Desktop version

Home arrow History

The Carolina colony

Carolina (1670) was the third Middle colony in a row named in honor of the then-current English ruler: Charles II had replaced Charles I, who lost his head. The colony served as a supply station for the hugely profitable sugar plantations of the West Indies. Carolina even tried its hand at supplying slaves. Over the objections of its London proprietors, the colony shipped as many as 10,000 American Indians to the cane fields of the sugar islands. Carolina officially adopted a version of the Barbados slave code in 1696 and learned to grow rice with the help of West African slaves; by 1710, the colony had more Africans than whites.

Carolina divided into North and South Carolina in 1691. In North Carolina, people farmed small plots, often just claiming land, building a cabin, and planting a few crops. They were rugged individualists, hiding out between the landed aristocracies of Virginia and South Carolina. The North Carolina folks were even accused of harboring pirates along stormy Cape Hatteras, the "graveyard of the Atlantic." When the local Tuscaroras Indians attacked a North Carolina town, the settlers fought a bloody war and ended up selling hundreds of the American Indians into slavery. The survivors traveled north looking for protection and became the sixth tribe in the Iroquois Confederacy.

South Carolina had larger plantations and a slave population that helped develop crops of rice and indigo by building up the land. In addition to fertile land, South Carolina had the major port city of Charleston.


Georgia (1733) was the last of the original 13 colonies and the only one founded in the 1700s. Named for the foppish King George II, Georgia was a buffer against the Spanish in Florida and the French in Louisiana whom the English feared would attack their colonies. Georgia's founder was James Oglethorpe, a fair-minded reformer who used his own money to develop a land that would let debtors get a new start. Oglethorpe helped design the beautiful city of Savannah, banned slavery, and fought off Spanish attacks. He invited reformers to visit, including the young John Wesley, who would go on to found the Methodist Church. Over Oglethorpe's objections after he left the colony, Georgia allowed slavery in 1750. Oglethorpe lived long enough to be a friend of the American Revolution in England.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics