Olaudah Equiano and The Realities of Servants and Slaves in 17th Century

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 431 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Words: 431|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Back in the 17th century long ago there was a man by the name of Olaudah Equiano who was taken from his native land and family at a young age; He kept a detailed journal in which he described the horrors of slavery, being kidnaped and sold off at a young age. In this journal he included his memories about the sacrifices that he and many others were forced to live through for the Englishmen of Jamestown. Indentured servants were English men and women who were desperate for better opportunities but had no money to voyage to Jamestown. To make this happen they were to sign a contract that would cover their living expenses in exchange for labor work and after 7 years they were promised to be compensated with land and riches. Even after recruiting servants the supply and demand for tobacco and other goods continued expanding and their only alternative was to travel to Africa and enslave natives. These people were taken from their homes and forced to go to Virginia where they were sold to landowners and were made their property giving them no rights or freedom; Snatched against their will and separated from their families, they were beaten, starved and lived under horrible conditions left with nothing but a man to call master.

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Although being a servant and a slave were two different things it did not change that both were treated harshly; They were mistreated, overworked, underfed, beaten, and were given no value. While they did everything in their power to avoid getting punished, mutilation for the sake of advocating dominance was inevitable. On many occasions the treatment got so unbearable that they would take manners into their own hands and try to escape. Ultimately this led to nothing good because they would either be found and executed, or they would die while fighting for survival. Undoubtedly, they were both treated inhumanely but servants had the sense of security that allowed them to keep going because they knew this would just be temporary, sooner or later it would be over, and they would be set free onto a better life. In closing, although we could say servants had it better than slaves, we cannot deny that both had to face agonizing circumstances that potentially affected them permanently; especially in the stance of these natives that had no power to one day be free. It is writers like Equiano who documented his and many others experiences which allow us to firsthand view that makes this more of a reality that what these people went through was utterly horrifying.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Olaudah Equiano And The Realities Of Servants And Slaves In 17th Century. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Olaudah Equiano And The Realities Of Servants And Slaves In 17th Century.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
Olaudah Equiano And The Realities Of Servants And Slaves In 17th Century. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Olaudah Equiano And The Realities Of Servants And Slaves In 17th Century [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 May 14 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from:
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