Kneeling & Oppression
There’s a misconception in the United States that only African Americans are descendants of slaves, brought here against their will to work fields and serve in grand plantation homes. What people don’t realize is that before Africa was pillaged for the slave trade, the English targeted a whole other group of people.
Teague MacQuillen was born in 1615 in County Kilkenny, Ireland, the son of Rory Org MacQuillen. Rory Org was the last of the “Lords of the Route,” who had built Dunluce Castle and was a Lord with land and title to back it up. When King James (yes, that King James of the KJV) decided he wanted more and more of Irish land, he targeted Irish landowners.
Rory Org, who famously decreed, “no captain of his race ever died in his bed,” was strapped to English horses, drawn and quartered, for his land, faith, and beliefs. He was the last of the Lords of the Route, and Dunluce fell into enemy hands. His son, Teague, though, without land, hope, or kin, was forced onto the ship the Thomas, bound for the New World, and landed as an indentured servant near Jamestown in 1635.
Years later, Thomas Bentley was born in poverty about 1716 in England, and, wishing to come to the New World, signed the papers and became an indentured servant to someone to secure passage. I guess to him being a servant in America was better than being a pauper in England. Once in Maryland, he was sold, and indentured to a vile Anglican clergyman named Rev. Joseph Hooper. With two years left to serve, his eyes set on marrying his sweetheart Hannah, Rev. Hooper sent him on a trading expedition to some Native Americans in the wilderness of western Virginia.
When Thomas returned, Rev. Hooper was waiting for him with the authorities, claiming that he had stolen the items that he had traded. He was forced to serve for another seven unlawful years.
Years later, Thomas would be married to Hannah with many children in Lincoln County, NC, and would support the colonists as they broke free from English rule. While he was too old to fight, he sold grain and other materials at a steep discount to colonists who were unsympathetic of the Crown, and jacked up the prices to Red Coats and English supporters.
Great history lessons, right? These two men, Teague and Thomas, are much more than pages on history books for me. They represent two different angles of indentured servanthood: one forced into it, and the other who willingly served (until that business with Rev. Hooper) to come to America for opportunity. They were both indentured servants: a fancy name for slaves.
Both of them are my ancestors. READ ON
Hi, I'm Terrie!