Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1670 – 10,000 Indentured Servants Kidnapped from England and Sent to the Colonies

“[Most] indentured servants or redemptioners… were brought under compulsion; the others came voluntarily. The former consisted of convicted criminals and kidnaped persons… Boys and girls of the poorer classes were hustled on board ships and virtually sold into slavery for a term of years. Kidnaping or ‘spiriting’ became a fine art under Charles II. Slums and alleys were raked for material to stock the plantations… About 1670 no fewer than ten thousand persons were ‘spirited’ away from England in one year. One kidnaper testified in 1671 that he had sent five hundred persons a year to the colonies for twelve years and another testified that he had sent 840 in one year. The government was slow to strike at this infamous traffic… Ship masters made an enormous profit from this traffic.”