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The 13 Colonies, Southern

The Southern Colonies which were part of the first 13 colonies, were dominated by wealthy slave-owning planters in Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. These planters owned estates that were worked on by African slaves.


Beginning in the 1720s planters began to build large mansions, wear bright red clothing, and hunt deer from horseback. Wealthy women in Southern colonies read British magazines, wear fashionable clothing of British design, and served an elaborate afternoon tea.

Once women were married, they supervised the household slaves and put on elaborate dinners and festive balls. These efforts were the most successful in South Carolina, where wealthy rice planters lived in townhouses in Charleston, a busy port city. 


The African slaves who worked on the indigo, tobacco, and rice fields in the South came from western and central Africa. Slavery in Colonial America was passed on from generation to generation, and slaves had no legal rights.

In 1700, there were about 9,600 slaves in the Chesapeake region and a few hundred in the Carolinas. About 170,000 more Africans arrived over the next five decades.

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