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Convicts at botany bay

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Social Studies High School

Convict Servants in the American Colonies

During colonial times, free settlers were not the only arrivals to North America. Enslaved Africans and indentured servants, or people who agreed to work for several years in exchange for paid travel, accompanied their masters. A third, far less known group of servants also came to the colonies. Convicted criminals were punished with either three- or seven-year sentences as unpaid servants in the colonies. Listen to find out who these people were and how they played a role in the United States colonial history.

US History I Colonialism

Story Length: 8:33

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National Public Radio © 2004 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 07/24/2004

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