LIFE OF PEOPLE IN COLONIAL
Trinity Christian School
Mrs. Stephanie Holland
NH, RI, MA, CT
NY, NJ, DE, PA
VA, MD, NC, SC, GA
Agriculture limited by short
growing season, cold climate, &
Temperate climate, longer
growing season, rolling land and
fertile soil = crop variety: what,
oats, corn (surplus)
Warm climate, rich soil, vast
coastal plain = agrarian
Small farms, family crops
Low demand for slaves
(household servants, laborers,
skilled (&un) workers
Fishing industry, sea trade,
shipbuilding, blacksmiths, coopers,
Colonists more interested in
Small farms (subsistence) &
Plantations (subsistence &
Rich iron ore & mineral deposits
= mining industry
VA & MD: tobacco
Colonists lived inland
Abundant forest land = timber
SC & GA: Rice & Indigo
Colonists lived near the coast
Combination of small towns,
rural farms and cities
Dependence on cheap (slave)
No requirements for public
schools – education left to tutors
& church schools
Few towns and cities
Most urbanized region
Schools in place by 1671
Most founded for religious reasons
English, German, Dutch, ScotsIrish
Few schools and educational
requirements – parent funded
English, African, Scots-Irish
Georgia’s Main Export: Rice
LIFE IN GEORGIA
Wilderness of Summer Heat & Insects
Strange Animals: Alligator, cougar, opossum,
buffalo, raccoon, & rattlesnake
Development of an agrarian culture: small
communities, far apart, hard work with the goal of
THE EBENEZER COMMUNITY
1734: Austrian Salzburgers arrive in Savannah
religiously persecuted at home
Came to Georgia on charity
(25 miles upriver
Ebenezer was laid out by Oglethorpe, who sent workers
from Savannah to clear the land
Problems: too far from river, swampy land, poor soil
1736: New Ebenezer was est. where the Savannah
River and Ebenezer creek converged
Disease & hardship plaque the Salzburgers
1737: An orphanage was est. for children who lost
Minister: John Martin Boltzius
Strict Church Regulations:
worked according to a set plan
Worker’s labor supported the church and orphanage
No hard liquor
No frivolous activity
Those who “misbehaved” were punished
This sketch of the early Ebenezer settlement was drawn in
1736 by Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck. That same year the
Salzburger settlement moved to a location closer to the
Savannah River, where conditions were better for farming.
German artist Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck drew a map of New Ebenezer during his visit to the
settlement in 1736. New Ebenezer, located on the bluffs above the Savannah River, was the second
settlement established by the Georgia Salzburgers, a group of Protestants expelled from the Catholic
province of Salzburg in 1731.
JOHN MARTIN BOLTZIUS
Lutheran minister Johann Martin Boltzius, along with
religious refugees from Salzburger, founded the settlement of
Ebenezer near Savannah in the early 1730s as a religious
utopia. Boltzius hoped to create a successful economic system
that was not dependent upon slavery.
Products: lumber, rice, beef, pork
Led all other colonies in silk
Grew the first cotton in Georgia
Though it took a while, the Salzburgers began to
assimilate with other colonists as they learned
Ebenzer: The Stone of Help
JOHN ADAMS TREUTLEN
John Treutlen was a leader in Georgia during the American
Revolution and helped to write Georgia's first constitution. In
1777 he became Georgia's first elected governor.
AFRICANS COME TO AMERICA
Juan Canaries: free black member on Colombus’
first voyage in 1492
Africans lived in Spain from at least 700 A.D., when
Islamic forces invaded Spain
Spanish & other European countries participated in
a slave trade with Africa.
The definition/organization of slavery varied from
region to region.
Slave: one who lost their freedom and were forced
to work for another person who “owned” them;
Time limit varied
Slavery in Spain
could purchase their freedom
Household servants, skilled workers, laborers, crew
1st Africans to North America accompany Lucas
Vasquez de Ayllon in 1526
SLAVERY IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES
1619: Dutch Captain stops in VA with 20 African
slaves on board his ship, which he trades for
slaves are Christian, and English Law (then) did not
allow Christians to be sold as slaves – so they became
Colonists hunger for more slaves
HOW DID SLAVERY BECOME LEGAL IN
1640: VA judge sentenced a runaway indentured
servant to life enslavement
1662: Law provided that a baby born in VA should
have the status (free or slave) of its mother
1705: VA law designates that slaves can be inherited
as part of one’s estate
Need for CHEAP LABOR: plantations, clearing
land, settling towns, etc.
Indentured Servants: immigrants (poor, young,
white) who agreed to work as servants for anyone
paying their way to the colonies
Indenture: Contract; required 4-7 years
of work, after
which the servant was free
Problems: (1) Indentured servants refused to complete
certain jobs, (2) they often ran away.
A preference for slavery developed.
WHY AFRICAN SLAVES?
Runaway slaves were easily identified by their skin color.
1672: England chartered the Royal African Company to
supply slaves from Africa to North America & the West
English traders shipped English goods (rum) to the Africa to
exchange for slaves.
Slaves were shipped to the Caribbean & sold to sugarcane
plantation owners in return for sugar and molasses
Sugar & molasses was shipped back to England or to the
Money from the sale of sugar and molasses in America was
used to purchase tobacco, rice, indigo, fish, timber, tar, animal
skins & other raw materials for shipment to England.
AFRICANS CAPTURED TO BE SOLD INTO SLAVERY CROSSED THE
ATLANTIC OCEAN LYING PRESSED TOGETHER IN CROWDED SHIPS'
HOLDS. THE CITY OF SAVANNAH SERVED AS A MAJOR PORT FOR THE
ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE FROM 1750, WHEN THE GEORGIA COLONY
REPEALED ITS BAN ON SLAVERY, UNTIL 1798, WHEN THE STATE
OUTLAWED THE IMPORTATION OF SLAVES.
New England Rum was sold directly to Africa for
payment in newly captured slaves.
Slaves were taken to the West Indies and sold to
Money from the sale of slaves was used to purchase
a cargo of sugar and molasses that was taken and
sold to New England distilleries to be used in
making more rum.
WHERE DID SLAVES END UP?
9/10 worked in the sugar plantations or mines of South
America, the Caribbean or Mexico
20 millions slaves
capture from W. Africa (Senegal, Gambia, Sierra
Leone, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and Angola) had been
shipped to the Americas.
SLAVE SHIP MANIFEST OF THE SCHOONER POLLY, MASTERED BY JOSHUA
SMITH. THE POLLY DEPARTED GAMBIA WITH FORTY SLAVES AND ARRIVED
IN SAVANNAH ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1796. THE MANIFEST LISTS THE
NUMBER OF SLAVES ON THE VESSEL, THE CONSIGNOR, THE
DESTINATION, AND THE SHIPPER. THE POLLY ALSO CARRIED TEN
GALLONS OF RUM.
SLAVERY IN GEORGIA:
THE SAVANNAH PETITION
Trustees were anti-slavery!
December 1738: the “Malcontents” petition the
Trustees to allow slavery.
Georgia could never
raise enough products for export
Georgia needed to compete with NC and SC, which
African slaves were better suited to work in the Georgia
climate, especially in the rice industry.
OBJECTIONS TO SLAVERY
Jan 1739: Scots-Irish @ Darien: having slaves would take
away the white workers will to work hard.
“It is shocking to
human nature, that any race of mankind…should be
sentenced to perpetual slavery; … freedom to them must be as dear
as to us.”
Salzburgers: the idea that white workers couldn’t raise rice
was ridiculous – they’d done it!
WHAT WAS THE “VERDICT”?
Some planters “rented” slaves from the Carolinas,
or sneaked them in.
1750: Trustees give in.
1,000 slaves brought to GA in 1752.
Opponents of slavery came to accept it.
15,000 blacks vs. 18,000 whites
Slave Codes: laws that governed the behavior of
Passed by the Colonial Assembly in 1755 and 1770.
Offered protection for the slaves in some cases.
Main intent: to ensure that slaves were kept in their
Woodcut from 1839 Anti-Slavery Almanac
A woodcut depicts the capture of a fugitive slave by a
slave patrol. Slave Patrols were common in Georgia from
1757 until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
SLAVE CODES (1770)
The offspring of slaves were to remain absolute
slaves and the personal property of their owners.
Any person employing a slave on the Lord’s Day
(Sunday) except in work of absolute necessity, must
forfeit 10 shillings.
Anyone teaching a slave to read or write would
forfeit 20 pounds.
SLAVE CODES (1770) CONT’D
If a slave struck a white person, the slave would
suffer after trial and conviction any punishment the
justice though fit, not extending to life or limb. For
the second offense, the punishment was death.
Slaves could not travel outside the town or
plantation without a ticket signed by a responsible
person. If a slave was found without a ticket or not
in the company of a white person, punishment was
whipping on the bare back not exceeding 20 lashes.
Georgia’s African Heritage:
GEORGIA SOCIETY & CULTURE
To begin with Georgia colonists experienced a
simple life of equality among “common folk”
1773: GA is a colony of
Colonist who own slaves begin to prosper
James Wright (1st Royal Governor) owned 11
plantations 26,000 acres of land and 525 slaves
GEORGIA SOCIETY & CULTURE:
LIFE IN SAVANNAH
1773: Savannah a busy British seaport
Colonists have help of hired laborers, indentured
servants or slaves
Specialists Available: shoemakers, tailors,
cabinetmakers, coopers, blacksmiths, gunsmiths,
masons, saddlers, wheelwrights, sailmakers,
mechanics and artists
Trained Professionals Available: lawyers, doctors,
clergymen & teachers
SAVANNAH’S SOCIAL LADDER
Position depended on ability and ambition.
Little opportunity for women. – position was tied to
Except for a few freedmen, blacks occupied the
“Step” of Ladder
Voice in Gov’t
Plantation Owners &
Provided most of the
Public Celebrations: military
ceremonies, weddings, funerals
Celebration of the King’s Birthday
Picnics & dances
Social Fraternities (males)
Taverns/Public Houses – Meetings
Reading – Booksellers;
1763 Georgia Gazette
LIFE IN THE COLONY OF GEORGIA:
LIFE IN THE BACKCOUNTRY
Where Georgia was really growing in the 1760s!
Steady growth in Augusta
Indian Trading Post
Gateway to the backcountry
The unofficial capital of Georgia’s frontier
Backcountry settlers lived simple, rugged, rowdy lives
self-sufficient; relied on their
own skills to survived
Did not like government interference in their lives
Primarily small-scale farmers:
Posessions: simple tools, guns, spinning wheel, kitchen items
Males: cleared land, tended crops, building maintenance, hunting
Females: tended gardens, cared for children, prepared meals, sewed
Recreation: shooting matches, horse races,
“work gatherings”: barn-raisings, corn shuckings & quilting bees
LIFE IN THE COLONY OF GEORGIA:
No government established school system
Children were primarily taught by their parents
– learned farming skills
Girls – learned household management skills
Orphans were “bound out” for families to teach
Sporadically, schools were est.
Bethseda Orphan House: THE school that
Subjects: Reading, writing,
arithmetic & RELIGION
Larger Plantations hired tutors.
Most GA children NEVER went to school.
LIFE IN THE COLONY OF GEORGIA:
RELIGION UNDER THE TRUSTEES
Trustees sent Bibles, prayer books, & other religious works
Anglican Church raised money for GA
Other religious were welcome
NO Catholics (They settled after the American Revolution)
Jewish Families: 1733 Dr.Samuel Nunes; Abraham DeLyon
Georgia’s Oldest Congregation: http://
Anglican Clergymen Arrive: minister to the colonists and convert
John Wesley: led “Sunday Schools”
; founder of Methodism
Charles Wesley: Oglethorpe’s Secretary
George Whitfield: est. Bethseda Orphan House
1735: Appointed Anglican Rector of GA
1736: Travels with his brother, John, from England to the GA
1737: Returns to England
1784: Founded Methodism in England
Brother of John Wesley
Secretary to General Oglethorpe
Chaplain at Fort Frederica
One of the founders of Methodism
“AN ELEGIAC POEM, ON THE DEATH OF THAT CELEBRATED
DIVINE AND EMINENT SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST, THE LATE
REVEREND, AND PIOUS GEORGE WHITFIELD”
Hail, happy Saint, on thy immortal throne! To thee complaints of grievance are unknown;
We hear no more the music of thy tongue, Thy wonted auditories cease to throng. Thy
lessons in unequal'd accents flow'd! While emulation in each bosom glow'd; Thou didst,
in strains of eloquence refin'd, Inflame the soul, and captivate the mind. Unhappy we,
the setting Sun deplore! Which once was splendid, but it shines no more; He leaves this
earth for Heav'n's unmeasur'd height, And worlds unknown, receive him from our sight;
There WHITEFIELD wings, with rapid course his way, And sails to Zion, through vast
seas of day. When his AMERICANS were burden'd sore, When streets were crimson'd
with their guiltless gore! Unrival'd friendship in his breast now strove: The fruit thereof
was charity and love. Towards America – couldst thou do more Than leave thy native
home, the British shore, To cross the great Atlantic's wat'ry road, To see America's
distress'd abode? Thy prayers, great Saint, and thy incessant cries, Have pierc'd the
bosom of thy native skies! Thou moon hast seen, and ye bright stars of light Have witness
been of his requests by night! He pray'd that grace in every heart might dwell: He long'd
to see America excell; He charg'd its youth to let the grace divine Arise, and in their
future actions shine; He offer'd THAT he did himself receive, A greater gift not GOD
himself can give: He urg'd the need of HIM to every one; It was no less than GOD's coequal SON! Take HIM ye wretched for your only good; Take HIM ye starving souls to be
your food. Ye thirsty, come to his life giving stream: Ye Preachers, take him for your
joyful theme: Take HIM, "my dear AMERICANS," he said, Be your complaints in his kind
bosom laid: Take HIM ye Africans, he longs for you; Impartial SAVIOUR, is his title due;
If you will chuse to walk in grace's road,
RELIGION UNDER ROYAL RULE
Royal Governor was required to see that the
Sabbath was observed.
1758: Church of England was made the colony’s
were taxed to support the COE, but
worshipped as they chose
At the end of the colonial period, a number of
religious groups had churches in Savannah
Religion varied elsewhere in GA:
the Church was THE center of life
Backcountry: Religion barely existed
•One of the most famous figures before
•Ben Franklin supported Bethseda – only he
felt that it should be located in PA!
"The poor little ones were tabled out here and there, and besides the hurt
they received by bad examples, forgot at home what they learned at
school. Others were at hard service and likely to have no education
at all. Upon seeing this I thought I could not better show my regard
to God and my country than by getting a house and land for these
children where they might learn to labor, read, and write, and at the
same time be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
"Bethesda" means "House of Mercy"
BETHESDA HOME FOR BOYS, 1740
1361 PH GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, BOX 7, FOLDER 12,