Servant Versus Slave Essay

Submitted By henbro80
Words: 867
Pages: 4

Slave or Servant, Why does is Matter?

In 1607 the once bountiful and prosperous land known as America, (in present day) would change in a way no person living at that time could imagine. Not only would it be the land itself of course, but also the people and creatures that came to conquer, cultivate, and eventually consume it. Yet, it is the particular group of people of any gender or age that in the near beginning of its discovery from Europeans that came to make such enormous tasks possible. “They” being the indentured servants from in particular England, and later on but not by much time the slaves from Africa. Both groups alike and different in many ways, these were the people who made it possible for future immigrants to survive and prevail in the New World. Although, both sets of people were sentenced to work and do tasks for masters the differences clearly come alive in the sources from the book “Going to the Source” that give in depth analysis and give primary sources as proof to show how each group was treated differently and what experiences or mistreatments made them unequal. To show and prove this inequality a historian must have facts and evidence to back it up and prove that his/her theory is true and creditable. As for the sources covering the servant/slave disparity they cover both sides of the spectrum. Documents 4, 5, 6, and, 8 are all examples of servant runaways and the descriptions of which the master use to explain what the runaway may look like and other helpful details in capturing the person (56-58). Right away a instance that expresses the difference is they were commonly referred to as “people” not “property” which clearly shows how the servants were not thought of as lowly as a slave may be. On the other side for the less obvious differences into how each group was seen is the tone or more specific the urgency or the determination that seemed to radiate out of each source. I came across these radiating parts in the sources for the slave runaways which are numbers 9, 13, 14, and, 16 (59-61). One of the biggest or most apparent is in source 9 as it refers to some reward may be obtained if the slave is “killed or destroyed” which clearly shows the loathing this slave-owner had for his runaways (59). In comparison to source 4 as the master of a certain indentured servant merely asks in the reward to “secure…. and send word to his master” this clearly showing the difference in tone and vocabulary as to how the runaway is to be returned to the master (56). Although it is not only the tone or vocabulary that exemplifies the variance between slave runaway and servant runaway, but also the information given in the reward. For example in document, in sources 4 and 6 much of the article is devoted to the clothing or some of the belongings the servant runaway may whereas it differs with slave runaway source 16 where there is almost not description of what the slave men were wearing but merely the description of their face and body (58-61). To me, this shows a clear information bias that says all or most slaves have similar clothing and that it is not important as to what they are wearing because of all slaves alikeness yet in comparison servants clothing is a main part of the information giving in the reward because it