Joseph, hat in hand, stood in front of his older brother Robert, waiting their turn to sign the indenture papers. They had no trouble finding a ship in the harbor to sign onto. There were many ships waiting for a full load of passengers before sailing west to America.  The ship's Captain sat co-signing the indentures, or contracts. He had made the voyage across the Atlantic many times and knew that he would find a ready market in America for the group in front of him. The cities and plantations in America were waiting for as many workers as would come. By paying the cost of travel for an indentured servant's trip, an owner had free labor from that servant for at least four to six years. The rich farmland in the middle Colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) and southern Colonies (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) produced cash crops that could be sold both in America and back in Europe.

 

 

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