The Infortunate

The Infortunate : The Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, an Indentured Servant

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First published by Penn State Press in 1992, The Infortunate has become a staple for teachers and students of American history. William Moraley's firsthand account of bound servitude provides a rare glimpse of life among the lower classes in England and the American colonies during the eighteenth century. In the decade since its original publication, Susan Klepp and Billy Smith have unearthed new information on Moraley's life, both before his ill-fated venture as an indentured servant from England to the "American Plantations" and after his return to England. This revised edition features this additional information while presenting the autobiography in a new way, offering more explicit emphasis for students and teachers in college, university, and high school about how to read and interpret Moraley's autobiography.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 17.8mm | 272.16g
  • Pennsylvania State University Press
  • PennsylvaniaUnited States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0271026766
  • 9780271026763

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Author Information

Susan E. Klepp is Professor of Colonial American History and American Women's History at Temple University. She contributed the essay on Colonial Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth, edited by Randall Miller and William Pencak (Penn State, 2002).Billy G. Smith is Michael P. Malone Professor of History at Montana State University. He has edited two other Penn State Press books: Life in Early Philadelphia: Documents from the Revolutionary and Early National Periods (1995) and Down and Out in Early America (2004).

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Review quote

"The adventures of William Moraley depict not the rags-to-riches tale, the model so often used to describe mobility in colonial America, but rather the saga of one who never earned a decent competency. . . . Klepp and Smith have provided readers with a valuable glimpse of how those on the margins struggled, however in vain, in the 'best poor man's country.'"--Sharon V. Salinger, Journal of American History

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