The first plantations were usually built along a river. The river was used as a highway to transport crops to market, and goods to the plantation. Plantations on a river had their own dock for loading and unloading boats. Plantations that were not on a river were connected by roads to another plantation.
The main building of the plantation was the planter's house. Servants and
slaves lived near by in small buildings. Kitchens were usually in a separate building because of the danger of fire. Crops were stored in sheds, and the livestock were kept in barns. Plantations were self-sufficient. Each plantation had its own blacksmith's shop, and laundry.
Money was rarely used in the Southern Colonies. Instead, crops were traded. Crop buyers traveled up and down southern waterways with their boats filled with British made goods. Planters would trade their tobacco, rice and indigo for shoes, lace, thread, farm tools and dishes.
Very large plantations did not sell their own crops. Planters of very large
plantations sold their crops through a broker in Britain. A broker is a person who is paid to buy and sell for someone else. Planters sent their crops to Britain with a list of things they wanted the broker to buy for them. The broker sold the crops, bought what the planter wanted, and then sent the goods back to the colonies.