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A Letter from an Indentured Servant October 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — leenahk @ 2:19 pm

Dear Family and Friends

How are you all doing? I am very lonely here in Virginia and life is quite tough, in the last couple of weeks the death rates have been so high that they have started to have a labor shortage and so now there are more indentured slaves like myself. I have also made a good friend here her name is Margarett Williams, she is also an indentured slave. She signed a contract to work for a big plantation owner Richard Smyth and Smyth must provide all her needs. Unlike Margarett we have to cook our own food and we must live with the little amount of clothing we brought while traveling to Virginia.

Living conditions are so poor now that one of my many roommates wrote to his family and friends that “I have eaten more in a day at home than I have had here for a week.”[1] It has been very difficult these past days and scary too because of the high death rates, we see many known slaves or slaves that have been working with us dying because of all the diseases. Many diseases are getting common and most of them are spreading quickly, many African slaves and indentured slaves are dying before there term is ending. Many of us were very scared that we would not be able to last until our term ended. Then when we found out that many of the servants that came before us had survived till the end of their term, gained freedom and were now able to claim land we felt much better and now we have all decided that we will work harder and succeed. I hope to become one of those servants who will be able to claim land and we will gain our freedom. Just one more year until I will gain freedom and I truly hope to have our family come live with me in Virginia on our own land that I will soon be able to claim.

Last year the first group of African slaves came to Virginia and they did not come from Europe like us because they came on a Dutch ship and like myself most of them were indentured slaves and the rest were enslaved. In the past year a few of them became successful farmers, but only when their contracts ended.

I am looking forward to meeting you all very soon.

 Yours Truly,
Marie Lynn












[1] Text Book, Page 68


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