Indentured Servants and Slaves

By:Nathan Englert


Indentured Servants and slaves were very important in Colonial America. First, indentured servants were people who agreed to work for a number of years. Next, slaves were people who were owned by another person. Last, indentured servants and slaves did many things to help their owners. Indentured servants and slaves were very helpful in Colonial America but some didn't think it was right.

Who were Indentured Servants?

Do you know what indentured servants were, I could tell you what exactly was an indentured servant. Indentured Servants were people who worked for a number of years for freedom. Usually, the men or women were poor and were wanting to leave England and come to America. Their owner paid for their passage as well as their food, clothing, and other necessities. Usually, if you were an indentured servant, you were a young man between 15 and 24 years. An indentured servant owner could extend their contract if they ran away or became pregnant. Once their years have ended, they were allowed to do their will. Later on in the Colonial times, indentured Servants were replaced with slaves. Indentured Servants were used a lot until Colonial Americans switched to slaves.

Who was a Slave?

Slaves helped a lot more than indentured servants but their owners were a lot more cruel. Slaves were people who were owned by another person. Once they were owned by someone they worked their whole lives without pay. In Colonial days, most people didn't think it was wrong. Most slaves lived on large farms called plantations. Slaves lived in small cabins with one to two rooms. In this cabin is where slaves ate, slept, and had family time together. By the mid-1600's, a series of laws known as the slave codes had established slavery. Slave codes kept the slaves in bondage for life-unless they ran away or their owner let them go. Slavery eventually became illegal but slaves were somehow legal back in Colonial times.

What did Indentured Servants and Slaves do?

Indentured Servants and slaves helped a lot throughout Colonial America. Indentured Servants and slaves helped throughout their masters plantation like planting and harvesting tobacco, rice, cotton, and indigo. They also helped in craftsman jobs. Some craft houses were run by slaves. Indentured Servants and slaves sometimes had to look over their owners property or plantation. If their owners saw them not doing their job on the plantation, they would be punished. A usual punishment for slaves was being whipped. A usual punishment for indentured servants was to add time to their contract. Colonial Americans relied on indentured servants and slaves, so they needed to work hard.


Indentured Servants and slaves were hard workers and helped throughout Colonial America. As soon as indentured servants came in Colonial times, life became easier. Then came slaves. Slaves were forced to work without any pay. Finally, indentured servants and slaves were used mostly for hard work. Colonial Americans used indentured servants and slaves against their will.


Bondage- The state of being a slave.
-Of or relating to the original 13 colonies forming the United States.
Plantation-A large area of land especially in a hot part of the world where crops are grown.


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