Chapter 7 Life of the People in Colonial Georgia
Regional Commonalities • Georgia colony had much in common with other colonies: • Most colonists from England, so they shared common language and culture; • All colonies expected to provide England with raw materials and purchase finished products from England.
Regional Differences:New England Colonies • Short growing season, farms for family use. Few slaves were house slaves. • Fishing industry and sea trade led to shipbuilding. • Also home to skilled blacksmiths, coopes, sliversmiths and furniture makers. • Most towns small, but large cities like Boston. Most areas very religious. School laws in place by 1671.
Middle Atlantic Colonies • Most diverse in terms of people, religion, and economy. • Lots of farmland allowed for selling of surplus crops, led to more slavery. • Rich mineral deposits lead to development of mining. • Abundant forests provided wood for shipbuilding and wagons. No requirements for education.
Southern Colonies • Warm climate created strong agricultural economy. • Plantations produced high-demand cash crops in large quantities (tobacco, rice, indigo and cotton). Crops grown in different areas, according to geography. • Slaves used for much labor. Few public schools; most wealthy families had tutors.
Life in Georgia • Unusual animals to Europeans: alligators, cougars, opossums, buffalo, raccoons, rattlesnakes. • Communities far apart; had agrarian cultures. People began to adapt. • More immigration from other countries meant more religions.
The Ebenezer Community • German immigrants from Salzburg (Salburgers) came as Lutheran Protestants. Trustees raised the funds. • Settled 25 miles north of Savannah in settlement called Ebenezer. Conditions too bad for farming – moved closer to Savannah. • Became prosperous with silk and cotton trade. After learning English, more accepted as true Georgians.
Africans Come to America • Juan Canaries was freed black crew member on Columbus’s ship. Africans lived in Spain 700 years when Islamic forces had slaves traded by African rulers. • Slavery different in all parts of the world. In Spain slaves could buy freedom or travel to New World with “owners”. • Slaves often on explorations of New World
Africans in Georgia • Ayllon brought slaves who revolted and lived with Guale Indians. • Some Africans trained as soldiers to help staff Spain’s garrisons. • Slaves in British colonies encouraged to escape to Florida for freedom and land (had to convert to Catholicism) • Black Militia near St. Augustine created Fort Mose.
Slavery in the Colonies • Slavery began in 1619 in Virginia as a trade for goods needed for a ship. • They were Christianized, so they became servants. • 1640 a Virginia judge sentenced an indentured African servant to slavery for life for running away. Indentured servants had to pay for passage for 4 to 7 years.
Slavery in the Colonies • In 1662 Virginia law gave African babies same status as the mother (free or slave) • In 1705 Virginia law made slaves property and part of inheritance by family. • Indentured servants refused to work in fields. Slaves used because they didn’t have to be replaced and could be identified if they ran away.
Slavery in the Colonies • In 1672 England chartered the Royal African Company to bring slaves from Africa to colonies in North America and West Indies. English goods traded to Africa. • Slaves sent to Caribbean to work on sugar plantations. Sugar and molasses traded to colonies to be sold for other goods.
Slavery in the Colonies • Slave traders took rum to Africa to get slaves to be sold in colonies. • Triangular trade – slaves bought with rum were then sold for sugar and molasses, which were used to make more rum. • In 1700s most slaves sent to Brazil, Mexico and West Indies. • In 1800s 20 million slaves shipped to Americas.
Slavery in Georgia • JO opposed slavery in Georgia, but group called “Malcontents” petitioned the trustees for slaves. • Argued that climate more suited for slavery and needed for more production. • Scots at Darien and Salzburgers refused to use slaves. • Slaves “sneaked in” to Savannah and trustees gave in. By 1773, 15,000 slaves were in Georgia.
Slave Codes • Slave codes used to govern slave behavior • Children were property of owners (not parents) • Slaves couldn’t travel w/o ticket with signature. Punishment was whipping on bare back (about 20 lashes) • If a slave struck a white person, punishment was severe (not life or limb)
Slave Codes • 2nd time slave struck white person was death. • White farmers caught working slaves on Sundays were fined 10 shillings • Anyone caught teaching a slave to read or write forfeited 20 pounds.
Georgia Society and Culture • Although JO and trustees wanted “common class”, wealthy plantation owners and slaves made up higher and lower classes. • Savannah prospered – servants and slaves allowed colonists to become skilled workers and professionals. • Women and Blacks had little opportunity to be independent.
Savannah Society • Wealthy rice planters and shipping merchants were top of the class. • Land owners were second • Skilled professionals were third • Wealthy celebrated life with parties, clubs and ceremonies. • Taverns were social gatherings to share news; first newspaper published in 1763.
Life in the Backcountry • Frontier area beyond Savannah. • Augusta built as station for Indian traders on their way to Creek and Cherokee country. • Backcountry people were rowdy, rugged and simple. They didn’t like government to tell them what to do. • Hard work major part of life, including celebrations (corn shuckings, barn raising and quilting bees).
Education in Colonial Georgia • Most children taught by parents. Boys learned a trade and girls learned how to manage a household. • Few schools existed, mostly taught by clergy, so religion was taught in school. • Wealthy children had private tutors, most poor children never went to school.
Religion • Trustees made sure hundreds of Bibles and prayer books came to colonies. • All religious groups (except Catholics) invited to settle in Georgia (changed after American Revolution. • One of first physicians in Savannah was a Jewish immigrant. • Church of England became official church and people were taxed, but they could attend any church they wanted to attend.