Finally there were the indentured, who might be petty criminals, or civil debtors, or merely those who
had sold their labor for a period of years in exchange for a free passage.
The whole of society on the high
seas, or in the colonies, was far more open than at home.
“...Broken traders, miserable debtors, penniless
spendthrifts and discontented persons, travelling heads and scatterbrains.
These and like humours
the Indies and made them a kind of bedlam, for a short tyme.
But from such brain-sick humours have come
many solid and sober men, as these modern tymes testify.”
After about 1680, one of the quickest ways to a fortune was in the triangular trade.
elegant development made the slave trade pay a dividend on every leg.
In essence the trade was, as its name
suggests, in 3 parts.
The 1st leg was from England to West Africa, with trinkets and baubles (never gold),
cast iron bars (the long bar, 9 feet by 2 inches by 4 inches, later became a unit of barter), graycloth,
gunpowder, shot, alcohol, and salt.
Apart from salt, none of these was necessary to anyone in Africa except
to the native slave trader who needed the guns for use and the other objects for trade.