To ensure the colony's growth, labourers, carpenters, masons and domestic servants were regularly recruited in France. They were generally employed under contract or indentured for a period of three years. In exchange for their work for a set period of time, the recruiter paid the cost of passage and provided wages, lodging and food. Even if, in some cases, employers promised to pay for return passage at the end of the contract or provide the indentured workers with the means of subsistence and establishing themselves in the colony, the difficult living conditions sometimes induced people to return to France. Indentured workers made up a large number of the emigrants; in all, nearly 4,000 went to New France.

The Engagés
Contract between Jeanne Mance, residing on the Island of Montréal, and Jacques Mousnier, merchant of La Rochelle, for the transport to Québec, aboard the ship Saint-André, of 31 persons, including women and children, May 5, 1659
FR AD17 3E 316 fol. 83