What Was the Economy of Colonial South Carolina?

Colonial South Carolina had a booming economy during the eighteenth century thanks in part to rice cultivation. Known as the South Carolina Colony or Province of South Carolina, much of the economy revolved around rice and animal pelts. This helped the area’s settlers become competitive merchants and lead the way for the other colonies.

African slaves held by the colonists accounted for the majority of the labor and offered their own technical expertise regarding rice since they had cultivated it in their homeland. As a result, the crop helped South Carolina become one of the richest of the thirteen colonies, and the Charlestown settlement (the area known today as Charleston) became one of the wealthiest areas in early America.

The colonists also focused on the lucrative fur trade. Deerskin and leather were exported from Charlestown to Portugal, Holland and countries along the Mediterranean.