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In the 1770s and 1780s, Jefferson hired white indentured servants and “bonded” mixed-race workers to work at Monticello. Indentured servitude – contract work with no pay – was a kind of temporary slavery that was a common form of labor in colonial Virginia. Indentured servants were usually immigrants from Europe who served out three- to seven-year contracts in exchange for ship passage to America or poor whites who bound themselves to a master tradesman for a set number of years. In other cases, the illegitimate mixed-race children of poor mothers were often hired out as “bonded” workers by parish church wardens.