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ECONOMIC HISTORY OF VIRGINIA

CHAPTER X

‘SYSTEM OF LABOR: THE SERVANT — continued

The ordinary indenture was marked by great simplicity. When it was drawn previous to the departure of the servant from England, it named as the consideration for the right to his labor, payment of the cost of transportation, a sufficient quantity of drink, food, and clothing during the continuation of the term, together with lodgings and whatever else was thought to be essential to his livelihood. It was always in the power of those assuming the

1 For the indenture of an ordinary servant, see Neill's Virginia Carolorum, p. 57; see also Records of York County, vol. 1687–1691, p. 38, Va. State Library. The following is an interesting example of the indenture of a planter's apprentice: “ This Indenture made the 6th day of June in the year of our Lord Christ 1659, witnesseth, that Bartholomew Clarke ye Son of John Clarke of the City of Canterbury, Sadler, of his own liking and with ye consent of Francis Plumer of ye City of Canterbury, Brewer, hath put himself apprentice unto Edward Rowzie of Virginia, planter, as an apprentice with him to dwell from ye day of the date above mentioned unto ye full term of four years from thence next ensuing fully to be complete and ended, all which said term the said Bartholomew Clarke well and faithfully the said Edward Rowzie as his master shall serve, his secrets keep, his commands most just and lawful he shall observe, and fornication he shall not commit, nor contract matrimony with any woman during the said term, he shall not do hurt unto his master, nor consent to ye doing of any, but to his power shall hinder and prevent ye doing of any;

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obligations of an instrument of this character by mutual consent to insert unusual conditions as to what was to be done by either party for the special advantage of the other before or during its operation and at the expiration of the time which it covered. Thus the servant, in entering into covenants with a merchant or shipmaster engaged in the Virginian trade, could insist upon the privilege of having the interval of a fortnight at least in which to make inquiries concerning the characters of the different plantat cards, dice or any unlawful games he shall not play; he shall not waste the goods of his said master nor lend them to anybody without his master's consent, he shall not absent himself from his said master's service day or night, but as a true and faithful servant, shall demean hini. seif, and the said Edward Rowzie in ye mystery, art, and occupation of a planter which now ... the best manner he can, the said Bartholomew shall teach or cause to be taught, and also during said term shall find and allow his apprentice competent meat, drink, apparel, washing, lodging with all other things fitting for his degree and in the end thereof, fifty acres of land to be laid out for him, and all other things which according to the custom of the country is or ought to be done.” Records of Rappahannock County, vol. 1664-1673, p. 21, Va. State Library. The following is an indenture drawn up for a female servant: " This Indenture made the Second of Jany in ye year 1686 between John Porter of ye one party, and Samuel Polly of ye other party, both of ye County of Henrico in James River in manner and form following, witnesseth, that ye said John Porter doth covenant, grant and agree to and with ye sa Samll Polly to take his daughter Mary Polly for ye full end and term of ten years from ye 1st month September in ye year 1685, In consideration ye sd John Porter shall use or maintain ye gd Mary noe other ways than he doth his own in all things as dyett, cloathing and lodging, the sd Mary to obey the sd John Porter in all his lawful commands within ye sd term of years above menconed as also att ye full end and term of years that ye sd John Porter doth bind himself his executors or administrators to pay unto ye said Mary Polly, three barrells of corn and one suit of penistone and one suit of good serge with one black hood, two shifts of dowlas and shoes and hose convenient. And ye said Sam? Polly doth assure and bind firmly his sd daughter to ye said Porter for ye full end of ten years by these presents whereunto both the sd partyes have set their hands." Records of Henrico County, vol. 1677–1692, p. 424, Va. State Library.

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