Mission College Case of Attempted Escape of Three Hired Servants Analytical Review

Mission College Case of Attempted Escape of Three Hired Servants Analytical Review.

Section 1: Document Analysis

This court document from early Colonial Virginia describes the case of three indentured servants, two white and one black, who attempted to escape together. Analyze this example of coalitions and conflicts between different groups remembering to describe the document, explain its significance, and expand its context to explain how it relates to course themes.

“June 4, 1640.

Upon the petition of Hugh Gwyn gen’ wherein he complained to this board of three

of his servants that are run away to Maryland to his much loss and prejudice and wherein

he hath humbly requested the board that he may have liberty to make [10] the sale or

benifit of the said servants in the said Maryland which the Court taking into Considera-

tion and weighing the dangerous consequences of such pernicious incident do order that

a letter be written unto the said Governour to the intent the said servants may be

returned hither to receive such exemplary and condign punishment as the nature of

their offence shall justly deserve and then be to be returned to their said master »

9 th of July, 1640.

Whereas Hugh Gwyn hath by order from this Board Brought back from Maryland

three servants formerly run away from the said Gwyn, the court doth therefore order that

the said three servants shall receive the punishment of whipping and to have thirty

stripes apiece one called Victor, a dutchman, the other a Scotchman called James Gregory,

shall first serve out their times with their master according to their Indentures, and one

whole year apiece after the time of their service is Expired. By their said Indentures

in recompense of his Loss sustained by their absence and after that service to their said

master is Expired to serve the colony for three whole years apiece, and that the third

being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time

of his natural Life here or elsewhere.’”

From H.R. McILwaine’s Minutes Of The Council And General Court Of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632, 1670-1676 (Library of VA, 2nd ed. 1979) retrieved from

Mission College Case of Attempted Escape of Three Hired Servants Analytical Review


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