In colonial America, an indentured servant and a slave were pretty much the same. The only difference was that the indentured servants were only assigned to serve for a period of time. Once the time was fulfilled, the servant was released with freedom dues. During the time that the servant was indentured, the owner of the indenture was required to legally feed, clothe, and provide living quarters for the servant. The life of an indentured servant was difficult.

Indenturing was common in the first thirteen states. Days when indentures were to be sold were advertised in the newspaper. The servant’s new master could keep the indenture or could sell it to another buyer. The citizens who were indentured were trained in the work of the employer who bought their indenture and most commonly kept working in the same premises where they were trained. If the indentured servants ran away they were hunted down for the illegal shunning of their legally contracted job. Buying indentured servants brought people to America from England, although people born in America could also be indentured. It was usually a voluntary action, for some of the people could not find a job because they lacked experience; so they signed an indenture for the job that they wished to train in. Indenturing was popular in America.

By the amount of escaping servants and the number of suicides committed, it is clear that being indentured was obviously not a piece of cake. Illegal abuse was sometimes dealt upon the indentured servants. Some masters were kinder than others. Being indentured then was difficult.