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Thinking Through the Past Essay

They are trying to get people to sign up for the indentured servant program. Pennsylvania was one of the best places for indentured servants. The indentured servant program would get you a ride over there and you would have to work four years, then you would be free to go on your way. The investigation says, “An acquaintance in Pennsylvania has just sent you a packet of documents about the colony. It contains an offer for paid passage to Pennsylvania in exchange for a four year term of service.” (Pg. 41) Then they want us to figure out if we would make the trip to Pennsylvania to become a Quaker.

Question 1

People with money were considered equal. People with no money were poor but considered equal. Society was pretty equal in general. In source one, Gabriel Thomas says, “I must needs say, even the present Encouragements are very great and inviting, for poor people (both men and women) of all kinds, can here get three times the wages for their labor they can in England or Wales.” (Pg.42) In source three, Gottlieb Mittelberger says, “If he has so much money, it will slip out of his hands; if he has it not, he must work his debt off as a slave and poor serf.” This says a lot, there is money or there isn’t. The people who had the money took the tretious trip across the sea. In source ten the table shows different wealth of free people in the new world. As time went on in Philadelphia the poorest had a chance to better themselves. Most people ranged from 61% – 100% were were the majority of people were.

Question 2

In source two, William Moraley says, “…. The first settlers not being sufficient of themselves to improve those lands, were not only obliged to purchase a great number of English servants to assist them, to whom they granted great immunities, and at the expiration of their servitude, land was given to encourage them to continue there …” (Pg.42) this says that the indentured servants were promised land after there servitude was complete. This kept the servants working hard and had their hopes up of having a farm of their own. In source three, Gottlieb Mittelberger says, “When one has served his or her term, he or she is entitled to a new suit of clothes at parting; and if it has been so stipulated, a man gets in addition a horse, a woman, a cow…”(Pg.46) In source eleven, the table shows that most former indentured servants got about fifty acres of land.

Question 3

There is evidence that people were getting rich off of others in source ten, the table shows that as time went on people were making more money. The worst time according to the table was in 1693. The poorest was only 2.2% and then decreased. By 1767 the 2.2% dropped to 1.8% and by 1774 it dropped some more to 1.1%. No wonder why this was “The best poor man country.” This would be the place that anyone with some common sense would want to move.


I think moving to Pennsylvania would be a smart move if I was a single man. If I had a family I would want to ride out what I had in England. I would want to stay in England if I had a family because in source three, Gottlieb Mittelberger says, “It often happens that whole families, husband, wife, and children, are separated by being sold to different purchasers…”(Pg.45) This would be tuff to set off across the sea with your family but once you got to the destination, most likely you would not see you wife, kids ever again. Gottlieb Mittelberger also says, “Many parents must sell and trade away their children like so many head of cattle…” (Pg.45) This is pretty intense. Maybe I would want to have a family and sell off my kids then later try to buy them back. This would be tuff and very hard.

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