TALES OF INDENTURED SERVANTS by Joseph & Edith Raskin

TALES OF INDENTURED SERVANTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kidnapped in the British Isles, shipped to the seaports of 18th-century colonial America, and sold on the auction block, the Raskins' subjects are once again early American settlers--this time eight young people indentured into servitude and, most often, cruelly exploited. Drawn from original sources, the material has intrinsic interest though in some cases the outcome of a story remains unknown. The first four are meatier in characterization and historical involvement. Matthew Lyon, an educated lad, is tricked onto a ship by a shrewd Irish sea captain; but, because a benevolently-inclined master cashes in on his intelligence, not only does Matthew wind up a member of Congress but he casts the deciding vote that elects Thomas Jefferson president. Tough Sarah Taylor, one of two native-born American children, indentures herself to escape a mean stepfather, then wins her freedom from abusive masters by staunchly appealing to the courts. In ""Men Wanted: Well, Sound and Without Wounds,"" a Scottish seventeen-year-old, taken prisoner by the British, finds himself shipped off to New York; twice sold, he is finally appreciated and taught a trade. The Raskins' latest roundup is readable if not always compelling, and does remind us that all those put on the block weren't black.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1978
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard