Sources of Supply
AFTER CONSIDERATION OF THE VARIOUS REASONS for introducing white servants, attention should next be given to the sources from which they were drawn. Disbanded soldiers, defeated rebels, orphans, convicts, destitute Irish, and poor Protestants made up the more important contributing groups. In 1697 the Council of Trade and Plantations was concerned whether the King would "be pleased to be at the charge of transporting any disbanded soldiers" to the colonies. The end of the war in Europe should have provided an opportunity at this time for new servants. If the King were not interested, "it remains only that those who are willing to be transported as servants for a certain number of years apply to the merchants dealing with the said Plantations, and make their own terms with them beforehand."1 If none came out after the Peace of Ryswick, the government undertook a great experiment in Nova Scotia after the 1748 peace.
If victorious English soldiers were not available, defeated English and Scottish rebels were. There was generally a plentiful supply to be found among the adherents of the lost cause in the civil strifes of the mother-country.2 During the assizes held by the notorious Judge Jeffreys after the failure of Monmouth's Rebellion, wholesale deportation became the order of the day. Under date of September and October 1685 appear numerous lists of rebels to be transported from Dorchester, Taunton, Wells, and Exeter?3 Parliament passed a law arranging for transportation which required the colonies to pass laws for receiving them. On January 8, 1687, Lieutenant Governor Stede of Barbados wrote the Lords of Trade and Plantations: "We have already passed the Act required respecting transported rebels, which I hope will meet with approval. The first ship-load of them has arrived, and I send an account of the people to whom they have been assigned. A second shipload does not agree with the list sent to me."4 After the Revolution of 1688 the King "ordered the
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Publication information: Book title: White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina. Contributors: Warren B. Smith - Author. Publisher: University of South Carolina Press. Place of publication: Columbia, SC. Publication year: 1961. Page number: 38.
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