White Servitude in Colonial South Carolina

By Warren B. Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Hiring of White Servants

IN TREATING OF THE CONDITIONS under which men and women served their time, the first point to be noted is the indenture itself. The provisions contained in these instruments are mostly general in nature, differing in that respect from the more detailed indentures of apprentices bound out to learn some particular trade or business. Note, for example, the considerable attention to details in the following apprentice indenture:

this indenture made this Twenty Fifth Day of April in the Tenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third of Great Britain, France & Ireland King &c, & in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy. Witnesseth That Levi Swaine of all Saints Parish, County of Craven, Province of South Carolina, hath of his own free Will voluntarily & by & with the Advice & Consent of his Parents Placed & Bound himself Apprentice unto Thomas Harris of Parish of all Saints, County & Province aforesd, Planter to Learn the Occupation of Plantation Business, after the manner which the said Thomas Harris Useth & with him as an Apprentice to dwell, Continue & serve from the Day of the Date hereof unto the full end & Term of Six Years from thence next ensuing, & fully to be Compleat & ended during all which Term of Six Years, the said Apprentice his said Master well & Faithfully shall serve, his Secrets keep, his lawfull Commands Gladly do & Obey; Hurt to his said Master he shall not do nor Wilfully suffer to be done of others But of the same to the utmost of his Power shall forthwith give Notice to his said Master. He shall not do nor Wilfuly suffer the Goods of his said Master, to be embezzled or Wasted nor them lend without his Consent; Matrimony he shall not Contract, From the service of his said Master he shall not at any time Depart or absent himself without his said Masters Leave, but in all things as a Good & Faithfull Apprentice his said Master shall at all times serve, During the Term. And the said Master Obliges himself to find his said Apprentice, He performing the above, to find him sufficient Meat, Washing & Lodging & at the end of the said Term to

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