SERFLegal Dictionary -> SERF
SERF. During the feudal times certain persons who were bound to perform very
onerous duties towards others, were so called. Poth. Des Personnes, p. 1, t. 1, a. 6, s. 4. There is this essential difference between a serf and a slave; the serf was bound simply to labor on the soil where he was born, without any right to go elsewhere without the consent of his lord; but he was free to act as he pleased in his daily action: the slave on the contrary is the property of his master, who may require him to act as he pleases in every respect, and who may sell him as a chattel. Lepage, Science du Droit, c. 3, art. 2, Sec. 2.