Indentured Servitude in the early 1600â€™s
In reading the primary source written by Richard Frethorne, from the early 1600â€™s, I learned that life as an indentured servant was nothing as it was made out to be, physically harder on a person in the new world and often took peopleâ€™s lives before the 5 years of servitude was up.
Richard Frethorne, an indentured servant sent from England to Jamestown, wrote several letters to his parents requesting their assistance to rescue him or to send him food, objects and clothing to use for him and to barter for trade. Frethorne goes into the details of his despair in his letters to his parents, including what he and his people are facing.
Frethorne talked about the plantation he is on and their lack of food. He ...view middle of the document...
Scurvy is a disease that affects the blood vessels, skin, and the bodyâ€™s healing process, resulting in anemia, hemorrhaging of the skin, and gum disease (gingivitis) and is caused by the lack of vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in many different types of vegetables and fruits. This is just one example of their lack of food. A bloody flix is commonly known as Dysentery. Dysentery is caused by poor sanitation and/or contaminated water or food. It caused diarrhea and vomiting that would not allow the person to keep down any nutrients they needed to survive. Because of the poor sanitation of this time they often would use the restroom in areas that their possible food/prey would be hunting at causing the animal to be infected and die.
Another problem that Frethorne wrote about was the natives of the land. The plantation owners did not have good standing with them therefore causing war between the settlers and natives. The first people to die or be kept as captives were typically the indentured servants or slaves. Frethorne wrote that the Rogues took over a small ship, beheaded their captain and stuck his head on a pole to ward off and scare anyone who were to cross their paths. Frethorne was very scared that he would die soon due to the Rogues or Disease.
Frethorne asked his father to redeem hi or save him by sending a ship to pick him up or to send him items for trade so that he could gain enough money to buy his way back to his home in England.
Therefore, times of indenture servitude of the new colonies were tough and often lead to death or illness. Many did not make it the required 5 years of servitude to gain their freedom, land and or start up seedlings.