The Infortunate: The Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, an Indentured Servant / Edition 1by Susan E. Klepp
Pub. Date: 06/28/1992
Publisher: Penn State University Press
William Moraley's autobiography, originally published in 1743, provides a rare view of life among the lower classes in England and the American middle colonies during the early eighteenth century. In 1729, Moraley ventured as an indentured servant from England to the "American Plantations," where he worked in various jobs, rambled about the countryside, and… See more details below
William Moraley's autobiography, originally published in 1743, provides a rare view of life among the lower classes in England and the American middle colonies during the early eighteenth century. In 1729, Moraley ventured as an indentured servant from England to the "American Plantations," where he worked in various jobs, rambled about the countryside, and mingled with white and black bonds people, laborers, artisans, Indians, and other common folk. His account brims over with observations about the geography and climate, the flora and fauna, and the customs, politics, religions, superstitions, material conditions, and daily lives of the inhabitants of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Of special interest are his comments about servants, slaves, and Native Americans—groups frequently ignored by early travelers. Moraley's experiences were similar to those of many other eighteenth-century European immigrants who sold themselves into servitude, but he is among only a handful of people at the bottom of society who left memoirs of their lives.
Smart, sassy, and articulate, Moraley narrates a take of adventure designed primarily to entertain. At times a rogue, a drunkard, a liar, a vagabond, and a petty thief, he boasts that he could "rake with the best of them." But the autobiography has considerable historical value as well. It depicts the life of a down-and-out artisan whose fortunes, like so many other bound laborers, did not substantially improve. The reasons for the different career paths of such working people have been the subject of much scholarly debate, and these memoirs can more firmly ground that controversy in actual human experience.
The substantial introduction by Klepp and Smith reconstructs Moraley's life, relates the autobiography to the literary developments of the era, compares the careers of Moraley and Franklin, and discusses the author's social, political, and religious worlds. It also identifies and leaves open to differing interpretations a host of issues and paradoxes about eighteenth-century life raised by Moraley's account.
- Penn State University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Older Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Editor’s Preface to the Second Edition
Editor's Preface to the First Edition
THE INFORTUNATE: OR, THE VOYAGE AND ADVENTURES OF WILLIAM MORALEY
1. Moraley and his family.
The Infortunate learns Latin and arithmetic.
Bound to an attorney. Becomes a watchmaker.
The South Sea Bubble. His mother settles in Newcastle. Reduced to poverty. Sells himself for a term of years into the American plantations. Before the Lord Mayor of London. Repenting too late. Calling at Calais. A recognition.
2. The story of Sir George Sonds’s two sons.
3. Life on board ship.
Dolphins and flying fish.
Land at last.
In the market.
Sold as a slave.
“A Quaker, but a Wet one.”
“The Athens of Mankind.”
4. The fortunate Andalousian
Churches and missionaries.
The Mayor of Philadelphia.
Rescuing a lady.
An Exchange of wint.
A Negro’s ghos.
The Delaware River.
An enormous skeleton.
6. Plantations in Pennsylvania.
“The best poor Man’s Country in the World.”
7. The Indians in Pennsylvania.
Their habits, manners, and religion.
The governor and his Council.
The family of William Penn.
Charity of the Quakers.
Fish and fruit.
“The Tennis-ball of Fortune.”
8. End of servitude in Pennsylvania.
“A roving Tarter.”
Trent Town and Burlington.
Encounter with a panther.
Detained for a runaway.
Journey to New York.
An Indian King.
The Governor of New York.
Pursued by creditors.
9. The Valentian; or, faithful Lover
10. Departure from New York.
Ducking witches at Mount Holly.
Journey to Maryland.
Encounter with a horn snake.
Assists a mother and two children.
Danger from creditors.
Sets sail for Ireland.
The man with three wives.
11. Voyage to Ireland.
Arrives at Workingon.
“The picture of Robinson Crusoe.”
“A Grave Quaker.”
A tankard of supernaculum.
Mr. Senhouse’s pleasantries.
12. Sir Richard Musgrave.
Belated in a fell.
Corbridge, Wylam, etc. Arrives in Newcastle.
Postscript: The author’s case, recommended to the Gentlemen of the law.
A. The Book and Its Author
B. Moraley Genealogy
C. The Wills of William Moraley’s Parents
D. Moraley as a Literary Artisan
E. Newcastle, England
F. Isaac Pearson’s Servants
G. The Ghost in Isaac Pearson’s Home
H. The Witchcraft Trial at Mount Holly
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