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Indenture Contracts for Three Boys (1699).

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A contract recording the terms of indenture for three boys, illustrating the terms and conditions of this very common form of securing the labor of young adults and recent immigrants.

RG 3800.000 Kent County Court Record Book, 1699-1703, page 1. Transcript from: Leon DeValinger, Jr., Court Records of Kent County Delaware, 1680-1705, (Washington: American Historical Association, 1959), pp. 132-133.
Thomas Bedwell brought into Court a Servant boy Named Marcus Linshey to be Judged, he comminge in without Indenture, which being Considered, the Court doe deeme him the said Marcus Linshey to be now about Thirteene yeares of age, and doe order that he shall Serue the said Thomas Bedwell or his Assignes untill he shall arriue to One and Twenty yeares of age. Accordinge to Law, and that at the Experition thereof, the said Thomas Bedwell or his Assignes shall pay him his Corne Cloaths and Toolls as the Law directs John Evans brought into Court a Servant boy named Patrick Gorden to be Judged, he cominge in without Indenture, which being considered, The Court doe deeme him the said Patrick Corden to be about Thirteene Yeares of age, and doe order that he shall Serue the said John Evans or his assignes untill he shall arriue to One and Twenty yeares of age, and that at the Expiration thereof the said John Evans or his Assignes shall pay him his Corne Cloaths and Tools Accordinge to Law.
James Smothers in his Owne proper person Came into Court and Voluntarily binds his sone Thomas Smothers an infant aged Six yeares old or thereabouts Unto Stephen Simons and Sarah his wife to Serue them the said Stephen Simons and Sarah his wife, Untill he shall arrive to One and Twenty years of Age, and at the Expiration thereof the said Stephen Simons and Sarah his wife is to giue and allow to him the said Thomas Smothers, Two good merchantable Cows to his owne pro[per] Use and behoofe, And Farther it is Concluded that if incase it should soe happen that the said Stephen Simons and Sarah his wife should both dye before the Expiration of the said Terme of time, then in such case the said Thomas Smothers, shall immediately thereupon be free and full discharged from the Remainder of his said time, and Notwithstandinge, he shall haue the aforesaid Cows deliuered to him at the time of his said freedom, as aforesaid.


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