US History





US History

There are several similarities as well as differences in the stories of Richard Frethorne and Olaudah Equiano. The first similarity is that they were both servants in foreign lands and suffered under challenging conditions. Frethorne was an indentured servant from England and had to work long hours under inhumane conditions with no pay at all. Similarly, Equiano’s story shows that he transported to Barbados to be a slave in the plantations. Both men had little choice in their positions and relied on the welfare of others. In addition to this, the two men witnessed many horrors as told in their stories. Frethorne explains that most of the companions he traveled with to Virginia died. Equiano describes appalling conditions in the ships transporting slaves, in which many of the slaves died.

One of the differences between the two men is that Frethorne went willingly into his occupation as an indentured servant, while Equiano claims to have been captured from West Africa and transported to Barbados. Frethorne says that Goodman Jacks castigated him for choosing to become an indentured servant, ignorant of what such a life entailed. Another difference between the two men’s stories is their captors. Equiano was captured by his fellow Africans and sold into slavery, and later ended up as a slave in Barbados. Frethorne, on the other hand, was an indentured servant to his fellow Englishmen, being a poor man in England. He went willingly, perhaps hoping to make a living from his position, but soon after realized what a dismal position he had put himself in. The two men also served in different locations; Frethorne in Virginia and Equiano in Barbados. The stories of the two men are also set in different times. Equiano’s is set in the late eighteenth century while Frethorne narrates his story in the early seventeenth century.