Primary Resource

Requesting to Hire an Indian Servant (1711)

In the following petition to Virginia governor Alexander Spotswood, Richard Little Page (sometimes Littlepage) of New Kent County requests permission to hire two Pamunkey Indians to work for him as servants. He does so according to the provisions of a law, "Concerning Indians," passed by the General Assembly in its March 1662 (New Style) session. Spotswood then replies, granting Little Page's request. Some contractions have been expanded.

Transcription from Original

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Richard Little Page of New Kent County

Humbly Sheweth,

That by an Act of Assembly held at James Citty by Prorogation the 23d day of March 1661, Entituled—Acts Concerning Indians—Amongst other things it is Enacted that no person of what Quality soever should Entertain any of the Neighboring Indians as Servants, or otherwise without a Lycence first obtained from the Governour himself, and your Petitioner being willing to hire Into his Service one Indian Woman belonging to the Pamunky Town, named Mary, humbly prays your honors Lycence for the same; and that your Honors would also grant him a Lycence for an Indian man from the said Town, to Hunt for him, he being willing to give his obligation to be answerable for all the Injuries and Damages, that the said Indians shall do to the English, according to the Directions of the aforementioned Act of Assembly—

And hee shal pray &c—

To which is the following reply.

Whereas, Richard Littlepage of the County of New Kent Gent: hath made Application to me for a Licence to hyre and imploy one man of the Pamunky Indians to hunt for him, and also one Woman of the said nation named Mary, in the nature of a hyred Servant, and hath given bond to answer all Damage, the said Indian man shall do in his hunting to any of her Majestys' Subjects:

These are therefore to License and permitt the said Richard Littlepage to hyre and imploy the said Indian man and Woman: Provided, that Whenever the Queen of Pamunky shall recall them or either of them,

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the said Richard Littlepage shall imediately Dismiss them from his Service, and not harbor or entertain them thereafter, without a new Licence, and the consent of the said Queen first obtained.

Given under my hand this 25th day of October 1711.

A. SPOTSWOOD—