This Case Set A Precendent For Slavery

Man with chains on his arms
Leslie Taylor-Grover
September 25, 2020

John Punch was an indentured servant – but his employer had been so cruel that he risked it all to find a better life. He escaped into the night in search of a better life. 

But unfortunately, that wasn’t the end.

Two other men, both white, had run with him. All of them were captured, and now all three awaited their fates. They were in trouble, and they knew it. What would their punishment be?

For their crimes, Punch and the other men were whipped. The men were also returned to their employer to have time added to their servitude. That was typical for such cases.

Something VERY atypical, though, happened with Punch.

The white men had only a few years added to their length of servitude, but not Punch. For the exact same offense, he would have to serve his employer THE REST OF HIS LIFE. What the hell?

This was one of the first times legal, lifelong slavery ever took place – and it was because of his race. This opened the door for even more Black indentured servants to be sentenced to slavery. 

Enslaving our people was planned and deliberate, so we must understand that true liberation is a struggle – and we will have to fight tooth and nail for our freedom!

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