How Did People in Colonial Georgia Make a Living?

People in colonial Georgia and the other Southern colonies made a living exporting tobacco, furs, indigo, rice and farm products. Colonial work was generally related to agriculture and farming, with top exports including vegetables, fruit, cotton and livestock.

Georgia was founded as one of the original 13 colonies. Created by a charter to General James Oglethorpe, Georgia was incorporated on April 21, 1732, and was named for King George II. Originally, Oglethorpe wanted Georgia to serve as a sanctuary for debtors from England. Georgia also served as a garrison to help defend other colonies from the Spanish. Notably, Georgia’s original charter prohibited slavery, but slaves performed much of the work done after slavery was permitted in the colony in 1749.

With the help of a local Indian chief, Oglethorpe established a camp at what would become Savannah, Georgia. The state was originally populated with 116 people, including men, women and children.

In colonial Georgia, women worked hard cooking, cleaning, raising vegetables, spinning wool and yarn and raising children. They also knitted clothing, like stockings and sweaters, and they made their own soap and candles. Women were also tasked with milking cows, churning milk to make butter and gathering berries and nuts as additional food sources.