Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (MA)

Degree Level





Freddy C. Dominguez

Committee Member

James Gigantino II

Second Committee Member

Caree Ann Marie Banton


Atlantic World, Colonial America, England, Indentured Servant, Other, Perception


Although indentured servitude remained a viable source of labor in colonial America and eighteenth-century England, newspaper advertisements demonstrated the transformations of the perceptions associated with indentured servants in the midst of a changing Atlantic World. Not only were indentured servants perceived as a type of commodity in the rising consumerist culture of the eighteenth century; but, the perceptions of these individuals – reflected in runaway newspaper advertisements – changed depending upon the political, social, and economic circumstances in which they existed. The volatile nature of colonial life combined with the social, economic, and political implications of the changing Atlantic World, complicated the traditional colonial perception of an “other” and colonial America’s relationship with labor, indentured servants, and poor whites. Maintaining degrees of separation between the colonists and those defined as an “other” within the increasingly diverse colonies. Servitude in its various forms steadily increased throughout England as the changing Atlantic world created economic opportunities and cheaper access to luxury commodities such as servants for the middle class and the perception of an “other” shifted to exclude their colonial counterparts. Even as they maintained social control through the paradoxical nature of servitude and the intimate “othering” exemplified within the master-servant relationship. Although the layout of newspapers and the information included, at times, looked remarkably similar, the perceptions associated with indentured servitude vastly differed when placed in the context of the changing Atlantic World.