Richard Frethorne. an apprenticed retainer. wrote a missive to his parents dated March 20-April 3. 1623 in which he describes his experience as an apprenticed retainer. Richard Frethorne was a immature Englishman who like many other hapless seventeenth century Englishmans were fighting to do terminals run into back in England. Frethorne embarked on his journey to the America’s as an apprenticed retainer in order to happen a better life. Merchants in England took advantage of these hapless people and recruited them to work every bit apprenticed retainers in America. Frethorne was one of these hapless individuals who accepted to go an apprenticed retainer. non cognizing that everything that they were promised was non traveling to be fulfilled. Frethorne left England in 1623 and Jamestown. Virginia was his preset location. Frethorne’s life before servitude is rather obscure. for there is non much record of his lifetime.
However we are able to decode that he has his two parents alive ( female parent and male parent ) and he has siblings ( both female and male ) . Based on the missive he sent back to his parents. Frethorne portrays the adversity of apprenticed retainers in early seventeenth century Virginia. In his missive. Frethorne implores his parents for aid. He is cognizant of the conditions in which he is exposed to life and he feels that the terminal is near for him. The missive serves as a call for aid every bit good as a adieu missive if his decease were to come. Frethorne compares his life now and the life he had back in England ; in England he ate more in one twenty-four hours than he ate in one hebdomad in the ship ; his parents have more to a mendicant in England than what he had now. In truth. even though hapless Whites suffered in England because of their poorness. being an apprenticed retainer was worse than poorness.
Two issues that have come to come up sing Frethorne’s missive to his parents are: complains about the unrealized promises made by elect Englanders to apprenticed retainers and the 2nd issue is sing apprenticed retainers being considered workers or slaves. The elites promised apprenticed retainers three repasts a twenty-four hours and upon their completion of servitude they were to be given coat. shirt. bloomerss. places. and land ; nevertheless. Frethorne’s missive depicts the complete antonym. Servants were non given three repasts a twenty-four hours. they were hardly given a good stable repast. and most of the nutrient and H2O given to them made the riders sick. Gottlieb Mittelberger described the conditions in which the riders lived: they merely had a 6?2 infinite. ships carried around 600 individuals. riders were forced to blow their last spot of commissariats and money in order to remain alive. they were starved to decease. trips were hebdomads long. and the salty nutrient and blackened H2O made them vomit.
The 2nd issue is whether or non apprenticed retainers are contracted workers or slaves. Indentured retainers were treated like slaves ; they were whipped. abused. sold. and punished merely similar slaves. However. apprenticed retainers were promised autonomy after 5-7 old ages of completed service. nevertheless if there were any household members that died. so they would hold to function their clip as good. Slaves on the other manus were born slaves and stayed slaves. apprenticed retainers still had the possibility of being freed. Erick Foner states that apprenticed retainers did non bask any autonomies while under contract and Frethorne’s 1623 missive further supports it.
In the early seventeenth century. more than two tierces of English colonist came to the America’s as apprenticed retainers. This was the lone manner that these hapless English people could come to America and get down a new life. But shortly plenty. these white indentured retainers began to acquire tired of the backbreaking work they had to make. so Masterss now relied on African slaves to make the occupation. Both apprenticed retainers and slaves were treated really likewise. Slaves and retainers were both brought to North America in really narrow infinites. they were starved to decease. exploited and lied to. and above all they were abused! Frethorne’s missive to his parents exposes the true purposes behind the elites. Not merely did they work these hapless people due to their economic position but they besides deceive them by saying that they will have certain things after their service is completed. nevertheless they are unrealized promises.
Indentured servitude is non a topic I have learned a batch about. but what I do cognize is that they were treated rather likewise to slaves. Regardless of their colour. white apprenticed retainers were still treated every bit inferior as slaves ; their poorness made them subordinate to elites and therefore is made these hapless white folks more susceptible to the barbarous purposes of the “rich” . In this category I have learned that apprenticed servitude was completed by white hapless people. but after clip Indians and Africans became the new apprenticed slaves. After these white indentured retainers completed the allotted clip. they were so free to travel and most of them became what was known as the in-between working category in the seventeenth century.
I was besides exposed to the horrific experiences these apprenticed retainers had to undergo while on their trip to North America. Even though they were white. they were treated as inferiors and no clemency was taken upon them. Children suffered the most. households were turned against each other. resentment existed in all corners of the ship. and the bulk died on board and were thrown to the sea without a proper entombment or ceremonial. Frethorne’s missive unsealed a new position I had non even taken into consideration.
These elites were pitiless and had no commiseration on anyone lower in rank than them. They stepped over all the inferiors in order to acquire what they wanted at any disbursal. Indentured servitude was about likewise to slavery and I believe that the lone difference was those white apprenticed retainers were promised freedom upon completion and that freedom were really given. Through Frethorne’s missive. I have felt the hurting these hapless have experienced and I have felt the hurting my people had to travel through. We. till this twenty-four hours. are still considered inferiors and subsidiary to Whites. yet it is in our power to alter that.