‘Making the Colony Work’ with Dr. Jared Ross Hardesty

Virtual Event – Making the Colony Work: Unfree Labor and the Fate of Colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1775 with Dr. Jared Ross Hardesty

Centering the history of work and industry, this talk explores the importance of the unfree labor system that Massachusetts colonists crafted from the earliest days of settlement. Although every colony that became the United States used various forms of unfree labor, colonists in Massachusetts created a flexible and resilient system that mixed a variety of dependent laboring arrangements—indentured servitude, apprenticeship, poor laws, convict servitude, Indigenous servitude and slavery, and African slavery—to address labor shortages. In turn, these dependent laborers became engrained in the colony’s social fabric, giving them access to public goods and, so they claimed, a place in society beyond their role as laborers.

Live on Zoom.

Free to all. To register, click here.

Jared Ross Hardesty is professor of history at Western Washington University and a scholar of colonial America, the Atlantic world, and the histories of labor and slavery. He is the author of three books, Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston (New York: NYU Press, 2016), Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England (Amherst & Boston: Bright Leaf, 2019) and Mutiny on the Rising Sun: A Tragic Tale of Smuggling, Slavery, and Chocolate (New York: NYU Press, 2021). His articles and book reviews have appeared in the Early American StudiesSlavery & AbolitionNew England Quarterly, and William & Mary Quarterly. Almost all of his peer-reviewed publications have examined the economy, social structure, and global entanglements of eighteenth-century New England.


Date April 5, 2023
From 4:00 pm
To 5:00 pm
Type Talk
Venue Live on Zoom
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