Irish immigrants were generally the poorest immigrants who came to America, driven by the potato famine and land scarcity in Ireland due to English policies.
Irish women immigrated just as much as their male counterparts, uncommon in immigration patterns, and often worked as servants to wealthy Americans.
The particular duties of each category of domestics (cook, maid, waiter, attendant, wash woman, nurse) and those who worked outside (gardener and coachman) were fairly straightforward.
Most redemptioners came from Britain or Germany and were imported to Philadelphia.
The majority were young, under twenty, and died before their contracts were up due to the rough conditions of travel and colonial life.
You can look at some of the original documents that were created at the time when these people were living.
They are the earliest records detailing people who were formerly enslaved. I predict we’ll see millions of living people find living relatives they never knew existed.
Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its first Bishop, wrote in the first sentence of his autobiography that he was born enslaved to Benjamin Chew.
The Chew papers contain letters written by enslaved Africans that give a more detailed description of the hardships and heartaches they endured.
Urban slavery offered the enslaved an environment where they could learn from, socialize, and worship with free Blacks as well as Whites.
At any given time there were enslaved Africans working next to free Blacks and European immigrants at Cliveden.
Nevertheless, indentured servants, along with normal servants, were often subject to physical abuse.