Who Were Some Important People in the Southern Colonies?

Some important people in the Southern colonies were Thomas Jefferson, Captain John Smith and Elizabeth (Eliza) Lucas Pinckney. All three made essential contributions to their communities and to the country.

Thomas Jefferson not only lived in Virginia his entire life, he was also a founding father and third president of the United States. He was an early and vocal supporter of America’s independence from Great Britain, and in 1774 he wrote, “A Summary View of the Rights of British America.” His reputation and the eloquence of this work led to his appointment to write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Captain John Smith was born and raised in England and became a soldier and an explorer. He joined the Army and earned many medals for bravery and a promotion to captain. His reputation for bravery caught the attention of influential men who wanted to start a colony in Virginia. In December 1606, Captain John Smith sailed to the New World and founded Jamestown.

Elizabeth (Eliza) Lucas Pinckney was born in the West Indies but relocated to South Carolina with her family when she was approximately 16 years old. Her mother died soon after they arrived. Eliza managed their three plantations when her father, a British Army officer, was away. Later, she improved indigo dye production, which was needed for the textile industry, significantly increasing indigo exports. She was so well known and admired that President George Washington was a pall bearer at her funeral.