From the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Marse Bevin — according to WFPL — went to the Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit on Monday and extolled the virtues of indentured servitude as being something akin to an early form of an apprenticeship.
My history teacher in high school didn’t spend a lot of time going over indentured servitude, but I got the basics. You booked passage to the New World by selling your labor for several years. It sort of struck me, even back then, if this was a popular policy that it would have continued well past the 1700s. In fact, it seemed to have disappeared by the 1800s.
Why is that? Could it have been because indentured servitude was just a shade better than SLAVERY? Some like Matt Bevin argue that an indentured servant could learn a trade!
According to the radio station, Marse Bevin said that a couple of his ancestors came to America as indentured servants, learned how to make bells from their master and went on to form their own company after they were freed.
He hailed the harsh practice of keeping people in bondage as a way to give workers hands-on experience.
Maybe Bevin’s ancestors got some skills training, but most indentured servants ended up as farm hands. They worked long hours doing hard work and died of disease. And guess what? Their Masters treated them like chattel. That’s a polite term for “shit.”
From what little I have read, many an indentured servant woman was raped by the man holding on to her contract. And indentured servitude extended to children. Anyone want to guess that more than a few pedophiles got a hold of indentured servants?
Some state legislatures passed eventually passed some laws for the better treatment of indentured servants, but what killed off white indentured servitude was the slavery of Africans. Most indentured servants worked in the same fields with African slaves. The difference in skin color though helped white indentured servants to escape.
An escaped white indentured servant could blend into a local city population, and given the number of folks brought over this way, I’m sure the runaways found others willing to hide them from their contract holders. Enslaving Native Americans had the same effect. Those Native American slaves would run off to join another local tribe that would shelter them from white men.
This left BLACK African slaves out in the cold. There was no large population of local freed slaves willing to help or shelter runaway slaves. The psychological damage to enslaved Africans in a foreign land with no help explains why black slavery continue to thrive while white endentured servents had hope for freedom.