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An Apprentice's Indenture Contract (with text supports)

Many English settlers arrived in the colonies as indentured servants. Because poor men and women could not afford the cost of travel to North America, they bound themselves for four to seven years’ labor in return for passage across the Atlantic. Masters legally owned the labor of indentured servants. Servants who ran away and were caught had to serve longer as punishment. But servants also had legal rights including the right to petition and the right to testify in court. Often a young person agreed to serve a master as an apprentice and be trained in a skill. By signing indenture contracts, such as the one below, masters and servants agreed to specific terms and obligations.

Source | Kenneth T. Jackson and David S. Dunbar, eds., Empire City: New York through the Centuries (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 54-55.
Creator | William Mathews and Thomas Windover
Item Type | Government Document
Cite This document | William Mathews and Thomas Windover, “An Apprentice's Indenture Contract (with text supports),” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed September 24, 2023,



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