Primary Resource

Law Regulating Indentured Servants (1643)

In this law, passed in its session of March 1643 (New Style), the General Assembly addressed the problem of men and women arriving to Virginia without negotiated contracts, or indentures, for their labor. Some spelling has been modernized.

Transcription from Original

WHEREAS divers controversies have risen between masters and servants being brought into the colony without indentures or covenants to testifie their agreements whereby both masters and servants have been often prejudiced, Be it therefore enacted and confirmed for prevention of future controversies of the like nature, that such servants as shall be imported haveing no indentures or convenants either men or women if they be above twenty year old to serve fowre year, if they shall be above twelve and under twenty to serve five years, And if under twelve to serve seaven years.