Beyond NGE

Want to Trade?

What do you like to trade? Baseball cards? Silly Bandz? Lunch? You probably trade mostly for fun, but if you reach back into our history, you’ll find that trade was serious business. The exchange of goods and services began in Georgia among the earliest native peoples, and it expanded when European explorers arrived in the 1500s and 1600s. Trade abounded among the Indians, French, English, and Spanish, who bartered such items as guns and blankets, as well as Indian slaves. During the Yamasee War of 1715, Native Americans banded together to fight against enslavement, and they convinced English slavers to trade for deerskins instead. By the time James Oglethorpe arrived in 1733, the Indians were skilled traders in the world economy, and his negotiations with Yamacraw leader Tomochichi were key to establishing Georgia as an English settlement.

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Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries