Indentured Servants and Slaves

By:Brooklynn Bowen


In colonial times there were indentured servant and slaves. What did indentured servants and slaves do? Africans were sold into slavery and indentured servants started to work to pay off their voyage to America. Slaves were never free. Most slaves worked terribly hard and some were even killed at unreasonable ages from being whipped. Indentured servants worked for five to seven years. They wanted to earn money to pay off their voyage to America. Indentured servants and slaves were very helpful, but some people didn't think it was right.

What Did Indentured Servants and Slaves Do?

Indentured servant and slaves did many important jobs during colonial times. Indentured servants and slaves were not free. Indentured servants were owned for a certain length of time before they could they could have their own land. Indentured servants had to learn how to sew,cook.and run a home because when their time because when their five to seven years they were also able to pay for there voyage to America so they could own there own land. Africans were sold into slavery and brought to America. Slave also worked terribly hard on plantations,in houses,and and on farms. Most slaves were not allowed to go to school but some slave owners allowed them to. If slaves were not allowed to go to school and they still lived with there parents they would use the ashes in the fireplace. Indentured servants and slaves did many important things on plantations ,houses,and farms.


Slaves were very dependent in the colonies they also played many different games. In the southern colonies like Maryland,Virginia,North Carolina,South Carolina,and Georgia they were very dependent an slave labor. In the southern colonies slaves were dependent for harvesting crops like tobacco,cotton,rice,and indigo. In the New England colonies slaves were dependent on caring for livestock like pigs,cows,horses,and sheep. In the middle colonies slaves were miners,millers,tanners,and coopers. They had to make things for their owners family. Most slave families were separated from each other. Slave children played games like jump rope,trading marbles,hoops,and going fishing. Most slave children worked as hard as adults. Sometimes they would try to run away. Slaves were dependent for many important things in colonial times.

Indentured Servants

Indentured servants were from Europe. They wanted a trip to America. Indentured servants were from Europe. They wanted a trip to America but they could not pay for it themselves, so they became indentured servants to pay for their trip to America.Indentured servants got their own land after they worked long enough. Young men between fifteen and twenty-four years old are looking for a better life. One fourth of the indentured servants were women. Some were even chilrden but most of the kids were orphans. If the indentured servants did not raise enough money to pay for their trip they would become shipmasters. Indentured servants were very important workers in colonial times.


Indentured servants and slaves all wanted to be free but few were. Indentured servants and slaves were not free, but they would do anything to be free. Most slaves were never free, but some tried running away with their family to someplace safe. Some indentured servants died before their time was up working for their masters, but they still worked very hard. Indentured servants and slaves were treated horribly. They had no respect from their masters who worked them very hard sometimes to their death.


voyage - A long journey to a distant or unknown place especally over water or through outer space.

plantations - A large area of land especally in a hot part of the world where crops are grown.

dependent - Dicided or controlled by something else.



*A Slave Family by: Bobbie Kalman copyright 2003

*Colonial America by: Peggy Saari copyright 2000

*Craftspeople by: Bernardine S. Steven's copyright 1993


*Amidon Lusted, Marcia."Not Everyone Was Free."Appleseed Sep. 2011: 24-26. SIRS Discover. Web.

*Gundersen, Joan R."Colonial Life in America." World Book student. World Book 2015. Web.