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Colonial America | People
Drawing of ship

Early American colonists came from a wide variety of backgrounds. They were pilgrims, Separatists, and Puritans who hoped to worship as they pleased. They were adventurers who charted coastlines and mapped inland trails. They were profiteers, with desires to turn sea and soil into prosperity, wealth, and power.

Drawing of Compass Rose

Some of the people of colonial America were indentured servants, hoping for a clean slate and a chance at a new life. Some were unwilling migrants—captive Africans taken from their villages by slave traders and brought aboard ships that carried them to a New World. For Native Americans, their homelands, their way of life, and their very survival were at stake. Learn more about the people of colonial America by clicking the links on the left.