Georgia was founded as a colony for debtors. Its settlers were intended to stand between more Northerly colonies and Spanish and Native American attacks. Life was hard and socially isolated: there were few towns. Roads were mainly trails.
Children lived on isolated farmsteads. Families were large. Playmates were their siblings. Toys were few and handmade--corncob dolls; clay marbles. Children played tag, hopscotch and outdoor games. Traveling preachers held religious meetings that were big social events, drawing families from remote farms.
There were no schools. Boys might be taught at home. Girls were not taught to read or write. They learned to sew, cook and clean.
Children had many chores. Boys herded cows, chopped wood and hunted. Girls milked cows, made butter, picked vegetables and looked after chickens.
Early harvests were poor. Children went hungry. The first baby born in the colony died. Mothers died in childbirth. Preacher George Whitfield founded an orphanage in Savannah where poor children were cared for and taught religion. From 1749, Georgia was slave-owning. Black and white children might play together as babies; later they lived separate lives. Slave children could be sold.
Georgius Warren was born at sea on route to the colony. The first child born after arrival was Georgia Close.
- “The Limits of Liberty: American History 1607 to 1980”; Maldwyn A. Jones; 1983
- Georgia.gov: History of Georgia
- The New Georgia Encyclopedia: History and Archaeology
- Celebrate Boston: A Brief History of the Colony of Georgia
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images