Slavery Central to South Carolina Economy Timelines: Setting the Stage for Catto’s Life

By this time, slavery becomes a central part of the South Carolina economy with enslaved Africans representing the majority of the population. Native Americans as well as Africans were enslaved initially. However, after the Yamasee War (1715), slavery was virtually exclusive of Africans. The exceptions were the “lifetime indentured servants” who came as prisoners from Britain for their role in the failed Scottish Jacobite Rebellion (1774-46). South Carolina was also a favorable climate for the settlement of Sephardic Jewish immigrants, many of whom became slaveholders. By 1800, Charleston had the largest Jewish population in the United States. South Carolina was racially stratified into three racial categories: white, mulatto and black. It was a multi-cultural society with a slavery dependent social order.

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