Not same as slavery
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 8:51 p.m.
Regarding the feature story “History Center takes a long look at slavery in Western Pennsylvania” (Nov. 28 and TribLIVE.com): I don't know if anybody fact-checks Trib stories, but indentured servitude was not a form of slavery. It was a way for somebody who had no money to pay off a debt.
Probably more whites were indentured servants than blacks. It was a common way for a poor young person from Europe to get to the U.S.
There was some sort of agreement involved that could cover almost anything, but at minimum would specify how long and under what terms an individual would have to work to retire his debt. Further, the term “servant” didn't mean “house servant.” Most worked on farms or in industry.
In many, perhaps most, cases these contracts could be traded and the indentured individual would go to work for somebody else. However, that was not the same as being sold. The servant was not owned. He was under contract. Think modern sports.
I am sure this concept was abused from time to time, but if so, it would no longer be indentured servitude.
Robert B. Peirce
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Medicaid’s future
- Slots & property taxes
- Harmar needs better enforcement
- Our nation’s testing obsession
- Putin’s actions I
- Math in common?
- Obstacles to hiring
- Drought answer?
- Beneficial, irreplaceable
- Obama & Reaganomics I
- Obama & Reaganomics II