Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Lee B. Wilson

Committee Member

Vernon Burton

Committee Member

J. Brent Morris


Colonial American studies often focus on the movements, actions and influences of white males and while their actions are significant to understanding the past, it leads to a one-sided view of history. In the colony of South Carolina, women and people of color were important figures that influenced society and made a lasting impact for future generations. Ann Drayton and Eliza Lucas Pinckney both became female planters in the absence of male figures in their life and thrived in their roles. Drayton and Lucas-Pinckney were legitimate agents of colonization and slavery. Quash/John Williams, who was a former slave of Eliza Lucas, showed that enslaved people affected society economically through their agricultural knowledge and skilled labors. His life also showed that enslaved people affected the laws and customs of colonial society through their resistance and rebellion. These two women and one man, as individuals, influenced society and contributed to the evolution of an emerging colonial power that made South Carolina the wealthiest colony in mainland British America. Their stories are unique and an intimate look into their lives reveal that women, enslaved and free Black people played a significant role in colonial society.



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