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Many of those looking to venture into the New World found themselves without the means to do so. One way they could pay for their passage was by agreeing to become laborers or servants to already established patrons living in the West. This system - known as indentured servitude - brought innumerable poor workers and families across the Atlantic to start their lives anew. Most contracts required that servants labor for seven years to pay off their debt, after which point they could be given a tract of land, a farewell sum of money, or a quick boot off their former master's property.