From the beginning, some Americans have been able to move more freely than others

Photo: CORBIS/Getty Images

They were called patrollers or, variously, “paterollers,” “paddyrollers,” or “patterolls,” and they were meant to be part of the solution to Colonial America’s biggest problem, labor. Unlike Great Britain, which had a large, basically immobile peasant class that could be forced to work for subsistence wages, there weren’t enough cheap bodies in America to do the grunt work. …

Ben Fountain

Award-winning author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Beautiful Country Burn Again

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