The debts that I have incurred in the writing of this book go back many
years. I first conceived of the desire to trace and recover the lives of inden-
tured servants when I was a graduate student at Oklahoma State University.
Under the tutelage of Professor H. James Henderson, I researched indentured
servitude and presented a paper at a social scientific conference in 1981 and
English poor relief during the Tudor, Stuart, Commonwealth, Orange, and
Hanover periods and had an article included in a modest peer-reviewed pub-
lication. At the University of New Hampshire, under the tutelage of Professor
Charles E. Clark, I researched poor relief in northern New England. Since
those years during the 1980s, I have continued my interest in the experi-
ences of everyday people who lived in colonial America and who endured the
journey from England and Europe to America. Librarians at various institu-
tions have assisted in my research, especially those at Oklahoma State Uni-
versity and the University of New Hampshire back in the days of card
catalogs and painstaking research without electronic devices. Other librari-
ans at the Massachusetts Historical Society, New Hampshire Historical Soci-
ety, and Portsmouth Public Library have assisted with handwritten
manuscripts. I have particularly benefited from the efforts of the many histo-
rians and antiquarians of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries,
whose work, especially in local history, has provided a fundamental basis for
my research. I wish to also thank Bacone College for continuing support of
my research and writing. My wife, Linda, always provides fundamental help
and support.
My family, and ancestors, are and were the kind of everyday people por-
trayed in this book. The commonsense values of family, work, faith, perse-
verance, and love for freedom that are portrayed in this book are the same
values of my personal and ancestral past. This book is dedicated to the spirit
of such people.
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