Freedom Press

Bristol’s White Slave Trade


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Indentured and Enforced Labour in the 17th Century

by Andrea Button

Bristol’s role as a supplier of labour to the American and West Indian colonies in the eighteenth century is associated with the African Slave Trade however, this trade was not officially open to the Bristol merchants until 1698. The indentured white servant system, operated in Bristol during the seventeenth century, was used by merchants to meet the demand for labour in Britain’s new colonies until the they were legally able to compete in the lucrative transatlantic trade. This pamphlet reveals the extent of this ‘white slavery’ and its links to Bristol.

Bristol Radical Pamphleteer
20 pages
Black and White