Runaway indentured servants in Maryland, 1745-1760

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1981
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Abstract

Many studies of indentured servitude in the eighteenth century have tended to characterize the labor system as fairly rigid. An examination of runaway indentured servant advertisements in the Maryland Gazette reveals several factors prompting a different conclusion. A comparison of runaway servants to runaway slaves demonstrates certain similarities and differences between these two groups and their respective labor systems. Much of the data obtained from the runaway servant ads and the above comparison suggest that indentured servitude was more flexible than has often been thought.

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