Dear Sister love,
It has been a while since we have last spoken, but I have not forgotten you. I hope all is well in Europe. How are mother and father? Brother? I am writing you this because we were as close as children and I do not want mother to worry. Mother would not have let me take this journey out here. How is everything holding up out there? Oh, I bet your children are grown and so beautiful. I am living in the Chesapeake Bay. I have been here since I was 16, just a child. It has been impossible to write because for the past five years I have been an indentured servant. I have been paying off my passage; others were kidnapped and forced into contract.
I live with a family by the name of Lerwick. They have three children, and own a great amount of land. I along with two other women am their servants. They have provided us with room and board as a part of our indenturment. I could have been bought by another master, maybe worst but I am lucky to have not been passed around from place to place. Our labor is very brutal, many of the others have ran away to escape their contracts.
We work on a field all day growing tobacco for our master Charles Lerwick to sell. The tobacco is in high demand here. We care for his children, clean and follow his demands. If we do not perform our duties we will be beaten. We receive bare minimum in our food, shelter and clothing. Charles would ask me to work later than the others so he could have more time to sexually abuse, and beat me. We are all provided room and board so Charles sneaks into the women’s room and forces us to do things against our will. He would night after night lie next to me, touch my legs and undress me. I felt useless and afraid, but I knew my life was at stake. Men have total control over women and Charles is our master.
During my indenturement I have become pregnant. I am eight months now. The court has ordered me to return after my child is born for another two years to finish my contract and make...