Journal of Jasper Danckaerts

Town Life,
page 8 of 14

The wages of a hired servant-girl in New York in 1655 were three dollars and a half a month, which was very good pay when we consider the purchasing power of money at that time. It is not till the eighteenth century that we read of the beginning of our vast servant-supply of Irish servants.

There was much binding out of children and young folk for terms of service. In Stuyvesant’s time several invoices of Dutch children from the almshouses were sent to America to be put to service, and the official letters concerning them show much kindliness of thought and intent towards these little waifs and strays. Early in the next century a sad little band of Palatines was bound out in New York families. It may prove of interest to give one of the bonds of indenture of a house-servant in Albany.

“THIS INDENTURE witnesseth that Aulkey Hubertse, Daughter of John Hubertse, of the Colony of Rensselaerwyck deceased hath bound herself as a Meniall Servant, and by these presents doth voluntary and of her own free will and accord bind herself as a Meniall Servant unto John Delemont of the City of Albany, weaver, by and with the consent of the Deacons of the Reformed Dutch Church in the Citty of Albany, who are as overseers in the disposal of the said Aulkey Hubertse to serve from the date of these present Indentures unto the full end and term of time that the said Aulkey Hubertse shall come to Age, all which time fully to be Compleat and ended, during all which term the said servant her said Master faithfully shall serve, his secrets keep, his lawful commands gladly everywhere obey, she shall do no Damage to her said Master nor see it to be done by others without letting or giving notice thereof to her said Master: she shall not waste her Master’s goods or lend them unlawfully to any. At Cards, Dice, or any unlawful Game she shall not play whereby her said Master may have Damage: with her own goods or the goods of others during the said Term, without License from her said Master she shall neither buy or sell: she shall not absent herself day or night from her Master’s service without his Leave, nor haunt Ale-houses, Taverns, or Playhouses, but in all things as a faithful servant, she shall behave herself towards her said Master and all his during the said Term. And the said Master during the said Term, shall find and provide sufficient Wholesome and compleat meat and drink, washing, lodging, and apparell and all other Necessarys fit for such a servant: and it is further agreed between the said Master and Servant in case the said Aulkey Hubertse should contract Matrimony before she shall come to Age then the said Servant is to be free from her said Master’s service by virtue thereof: and at the expiration of her said servitude, her said Master John Delemont shall find provide for and deliver unto his said servant double


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