Slavery White: A Study of Runaway Servants in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tamia Kyana Haygood (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Antonio Bly

Abstract: The plight of indentured servants is an overlooked drama in the American past. Their story has been distorted by current scholarship that tends to favor racial slavery. The world is uncomfortable with the concept of whites in bondage, even more so whites enslaving other whites. Scholars not interested in protecting the sensitivities of modernity—Abbot Smith, Aaron Fogelman, and Edmund Morgan—are few and far between. Other academics who are aware of the treatment of poor whites fear that acknowledging a shared experience between blacks and whites would diminish the legacy of racial slavery. All of which has come at the expense of poor Europeans whose conditions were comparable to slavery and has led to a simplistic myth of indentured servitude. A lower class European who could not afford the price of the trans-Atlantic voyage entered into an indentured contract to labor for 7-12 years. Upon completing the conditions of their contract, the servant was granted a plot of land upon which to build a new life in British America. In an effort to shatter this misconception, Slavery White will explore the experience of indentured servants in eighteenth-century Virginia.

Additional Information

Haygood, T.K. (2014). Slavery White: A Study of Runaway Servants in Eighteenth-Century Virginia. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2014

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