Her study reveals how deeply entrenched the system was and how long it survived even after regulations seeking to end it. A particular phenomenon of the Poor Law during this period was the provision of poor children en mass as readymade workforces to these new industries.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Children Bound to Labor: Fryer Children Bound to Labor: Cornell University Press, Virtually all children worked in early America. Only a minority—usually "orphans" whose fathers were dead, absent, or unable to care for them—were bound by formal contracts that pledged children's labor for a term of years in return for their maintenance, vocational training, a modicum of academic instruction, and, in some cases, the promise of freedom dues.
Even those who were so bound were scarcely united by the circumstance, for pauper apprenticeship reflected local economic needs and pervasive social assumptions; it meant different things for girls and for boys, for white children and for children of color, for northerners and for southerners.
Each contract was slightly different. Nevertheless, the broad parameters of pauper apprenticeship vividly evoke what community leaders believed was due to ordinary children in early America.
The dozen essays in this volume sweep from Montreal to New Orleans, considering pauper apprenticeship in British and Dutch colonial contexts and in the early national United States. In fact, many of the essays ask essentially the same questions—Which children were bound?
With how much provision for literacy? The book's structure emphasizes the intense localism of pauper apprenticeship, which was not so much a "system" as a long-standing folk practice that sundry communities employed in slightly different forms.
Unfortunately, the emphasis on localism obscures aspects of pauper apprenticeship that transcended region. For this reason, the two synthetic overviews, Ruth Herndon and John Murray's essay on raising children in pauper apprenticeship and especially Steven Hindle [End Page ] and Ruth Herndon's essay on the trans-Atlantic roots of pauper apprenticeship, are especially valuable.
Herndon, Murray, and several contributors argue persuasively that pauper apprenticeship is worthy of historians' close attention.
Until the mid-nineteenth century, it was Americans' primary method of caring for orphaned and indigent children. Its reach was vast—Holly Brewer estimates that in the s, 7.
Moreover, apprenticeship contracts provide us with a unique window onto early American values about childrearing. It comes as no surprise that children were bound to labor, but what, at a minimum, did the community owe a child in return?
The essays in this volume suggest that overseers of the poor sought to provide pauper children with sustenance and vocational training that would allow them to maintain, though probably not improve, the social status to which they had been born.
Most apprentices were promised a little schooling, enough to acquire basic literacy, and some, chiefly boys, were given opportunities to master writing, arithmetic, and specialized trades. Girls were bound out less often than boys and for shorter terms; they were considered functionally adult a few years before their brothers were.
Many of the essays in Children Bound to Labor seek to uncover how apprenticeship worked by quantitative analysis of almshouse records and apprenticeship contracts.
The data sets are inevitably small, rendering the quantitative approach only partially successful.
|Children Bound to Labor: The Pauper Apprentice System in Early America||New Internationalist September The distinction between 'refugees', 'asylum-seekers' and 'economic migrants' is becoming harder to sustain. All are seeking shelter against violence, whether political or economic.|
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Even if one assumes that masters honored the terms of the contracts they signed, the contracts included many provisions that were open to interpretation.
Teaching a child to read might mean teaching him to sound out words in the hymnal, or it might encompass rigorous instruction that would equip him to interpret newspapers, legal documents, and the works of Shakespeare.
Teaching a boy husbandry might mean employing him as unskilled farm labor for several years, or it might mean systematically training him to manage a farm of his own. It's hard to ascertain how pauper children fared simply by analyzing apprenticeship contracts.
The most illuminating essays in Children Bound If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.
You are not currently authenticated. View freely available titles:Attitudes toward slavery: the matter of raceSlaves in most societies were despised.
This is best seen in the homology for slaves. The favourite homology was the woman or wife, then the minor child or an animal. Other terms for slaves were the apprentice, the pauper, the harlot, the felon, the actor, and the complex image of the Southern “Sambo” or Caribbean “Quashee.”.
Pauper apprentices were cheaper to house than adult workers. It cost Samuel Greg who owned the large Quarry Bank Mill at Styal, a £ to build a cottage for a family, whereas his apprentice house, that cost £, provided living accommodation for over 90 children.
Slaves in most societies were despised. This is best seen in the homology for slaves. The favourite homology was the woman or wife, then the minor child or an animal.
Other terms for slaves were the apprentice, the pauper, the harlot, the felon, the actor, and the complex image of the Southern. Sep 08, · Jane Humphries is a fellow of All Soul Souls College and a Professor of Economic History at Oxford University and the author of "Childhood .
The fate of women and girls of any age coerced and trapped as sex workers horrifies.
The so-called "apprentices" or "indentured servants" had no say in the matter. These enslaved White people are, however, never called slaves by establishment academics and media spokesmen. To do so would destroy the myth of unique Black victimhood and universal White guilt. The Health and Morals of Apprentices Act. With the start of industrialisation, it had become common for factory owners to employ pauper or orphaned children in their mills as "apprentices". If a family or orphaned children were placed in a workhouse, the house could and often did force the children to work or could sell them outright as pauper apprentices. The most notorious of these were children trapped as miners and those sold as climbing boys for chimney sweeps.
Boys are not immune. They might also sell them as “pauper apprentices” to masters who could work them fourteen hours a day/seven days a week and beat them at will.
The phrase “work them to death” is not unrealistic. “Britain’s Child Slaves. Binding out pauper apprentices was a widespread practice throughout the colonies from Massachusetts to South Carolina.
Poor, illegitimate, orphaned, abandoned, or abused children were raised to adulthood in a legal condition of indentured servitude.