It has been maintained in mitigation of the brutality of the American slave system that the Negroes were purchased from African chieftains, who had enslaved them there. View the discussion thread. The Maryland court sentenced the six disobedient servants to thirty lashes each, with two of the most moderate rebels compelled to perform the whipping. As the colony grew, the number of bondservants grew also, although as servants were repeatedly set free, their proportion to the population of Virginia declined. It is estimated that seventy percent of all immigration in the colonies throughout the colonial era consisted of redemptioners. Since the service was temporary, a large new supply had to be continually furnished.