Saturday, 5 April 2014

Tools of The Freed Indentured Settlers.

I have found it very difficult to find any lists of tools carried by settlers, so I decided to focus on the Freedom Dues given to freed indentured servants. These dues also varied a lot, from including land, a horse, a cow, farm tools, a gun, and clothing, and these in turn were different for men and women. Below then are some primary accounts of Freedom Dues. Freedom dues were what the indentured servant recieved from his employer after 4-7 years indentured service. Some did not survive to receive these dues, others were cheated out of them. But for those who had a decent employer, these meager dues just may help them get a start on a life of their own.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of New Discoveries at Jamestown#3. A weeding hoe top center.

Settlers tools
one new ax, one grubbing hoe, and one weeding hoe.
White Servitude, by Richard Hofstadter. http://www.mc.cc.md.us/Departments/hpolscrv/whiteser.html
Two of the passengers were Gabriel and Richard Holland, possibly brothers, and like the others passengers were indentured workers
They signed an agreement with the Berkeley Group, as other male enlistees requiring them to work for three years to six years.
For the first year they would be provided “food, lodging, cattle, clothes, weapons, tools and other equipment.”  After the first year they would receive "50% of the profits from their endeavors.” At the end of their 3-year obligation, they would be “granted 50 acres of land."
In most colonies at the expiration of his term of service the servant was entitled by custom or statute to receive his "freedom dues." These dues universally included clothing for one year, and often tools, seed, arms, and some provisions as well. Thus, the Maryland act of 1639 provided that the servant was to receive
3 barrels of corn, a hilling hoe, and a weeding hoe and a felling axe and to a man servant one new cloth suit, one new shirt, one pair of new shoes, one pair of new stockings, and a new monmouth cap, and to a maid servant, one new petty coat and wastcoat, one new smock, one pair of new shoes, one pair of new stockings and the clothes formerly belonging to the servant.17
 In Maryland corn, clothes, and tools rather than land were invariably dispensed. By act of 1699 3 gun was substituted for the three barrels of Indian corn. 
“one good Cloth suite of Keisy or broad cloth a Shift of white linen one
new pair of stockins and Shoes two hoes one axe 3 barrells of Corne and fifty
acres of land…women Servants a Years Provision of Corne and a like proportion

 in Virginia indentured servants who completed their terms of service were entitled by law to a musket, ten bushels of corn, and 30 shillings (or the equivalent value in goods). Women were entitled to fifteen bushels of corn and 40 shillings. In 1748, the Virginia legislature set freedom dues at a standard rate of 3.10s for both men and women.
George Arnold in consideration ten pistoles paid for his
passage from Holland indents himself servant to George
Passasky of Phila. for two years from this date at the end
of his time to have one pistole and a new coat, waistcoat
and pair of breeches.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of New Discoveries at Jamestown#2

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting that I have a semi-modern version of every tool shown. (And you probably do too!)