Jobs in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

The North American continent was largely a question mark to those who left their European homelands behind to seek their fortunes, or, in the case of those immigrating to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, religious freedom. The immigrants may have heard great success stories about others who had crossed the vast Atlantic to find fertile land, endless opportunities, and perhaps even gold. These stories prompted many to leave behind everyone and everything they knew to take their chances in the unknown.

Often when we think of life in Colonial America we think of farmers going about their business planting and cultivating crops. While that was true in the Southern Colonies, settlers in the New England Colonies were not blessed with such fertile land. As a result, they needed other means to earn a livelihood.

The original 13 American Colonies.

The American Colonies were divided into three regional areas—the New England Colonies (Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), the Middle Colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware), and the Southern Colonies (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Caroline, and Georgia). The climate and natural resources available in each of the three regions determined the type of work available to those who lived there. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, with its lack of fertile farming land, the fishing, timber, livestock, and shipping industries became the focus. There was still some subsistence farming to be had in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Even though the land was rocky and not as rich as it was in the southern region, colonists in New England were still able to grow crops such as squash, corn, and beans.

The Fishing Industry

With its location along the shore of the Atlantic ocean, Massachusetts was (and is) in a prime location to take advantage of the sea life there, and fishermen often found mackerel, herring, halibut, bass, and cod for their troubles. Whaling was also a popular job in the Massachusetts Bay Colony since whale oil was used in lamps and soaps. As Captain Ahab would tell you, whaling could be a dangerous endeavor; however, it was a money maker, so sailors took their chances.

The Timber Industry

The rich forests in the New England region provided great opportunities for settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Homes were built from the hard woods. Timbermen could find oak, maple, beech, birch, hickory, and ash trees. Saw mills were used to produce wooden planks for export to England, which were then manufactured into finished goods such as furniture. Wood was also a necessity for the shipbuilding industry, another money maker in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Wood was used to make barrels, and other products gathered from the plentiful trees included resin for varnishing, tar for coating and preserving timber, pitch for water proofing, turpentine for cleaning, and potash for soap, bleach, and fertilizers.

The Livestock Industry

Horse breeding was one way to make use of the hilly, rocky, often infertile land. Many breeds of horses were brought to North America by the colonists, and horse breeding used various breeds of horses including the jennet, the Andalusian, the Friesian, and Arabians.


The Ship Building Industry

Ship building was particularly important in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with its emphasis on fishing and whaling. The easy availability of timber made ship building cheap in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In fact, many found work related to the ship building industry—including carpenters, joiners, sail makers, barrel makers, painters, caulkers, and blacksmiths. Ship building was also important for the merchants who sold or traded their wares overseas since the ships and the barrels gave them the means through which they could reach across the Atlantic as part of the Triangle Trade. Items included in the Triangle Trade from the three regions of the American Colonies were timber, sugar, fur, cotton, flour, tobacco, rice, indigo, fish, guns, ammunition. wool, and rum. Sadly, slaves were imported into the colonies as a result of the Triangle Trade.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony, as in any of the American Colonies, could provide opportunities for those with the gumption and the heartiness to learn new skills and grab opportunites when they arose. Some settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were subsistence farmers, eeking out a living from the less than fertile land. Others became successful fishermen, ship builders, or merchants. Adolescents played an important role in the growth of the Massachusetts Bay Colony since a 15 year old was an adult in the eyes of the law (Enright, Lapsley, & Olson, 1985). Subsistence farming, mercantilism, and the wars with Native Americans provided the backdrop for all work in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Despite the hardships settlers faced, the Massachusetts Bay Colony provided possibilities, which is why so many immigrants left their homelands behind.


Dow, G. F. (2012). Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Courier       Corporation.

Enright, R. D., Lapsley, D. K., & Olson, L. M. (1985). Early adolescent labor in colonial Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. The Journal of Early Adolescence5(4), 393-410.

Jernegan, M. W. (1929). The American colonies, 1492-1750: A study of their political,    economic and social development (Vol. 1). Longmans Green.

The Land of the Brave. The thirteen colonies. Retrieved from




Her Dear and Loving Husband is on Tour

To start getting ready for the 2018 release of Down Salem Way, I thought I’d do a new book tour for Her Dear and Loving Husband. Thanks to Roxanne Rhoads from Bewitching Book Tours for setting up the book tour. Here are the places to visit to follow HDLH from October 30 through November 13:

October 30 Saph’s Books
October 30 Books,Dreams,Life
October 31 A Night’s Dream of Books (Review)
October 31 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!
October 31 Reads 2 Love
November 1 Vicky at Deal Sharing Aunt
November 1 Ramblings of a Book Nerd
November 2 Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!
November 2 SImply Kelina
November 3 Lisa’s World of Books
November 3 The Book Junkie Reads (Interview)
November 6 Roxanne’s Realm (Guest Blog)
November 6 Silver Dagger Scriptorium
November 7 For Love of Books4
November 7 Paranormalists
November 8 T’s Stuff (Interview)
November 8 Character Madness and Musings
November 9 Fang-tastic Books (Guest Blog)
November 9 Don’t Judge, Read
November 10 Marsha A. Moore
November 10 CBY Book Club
November 13 Supernatural Central (Interview)
November 13 Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer (Interview)


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Update: Thanks to the over 100 readers who participated in the hop this year! Here are the randomly chosen winners:

  1. Wendy Positon
  2. Anette J.
  3. Serena Killick
  4. Bobby May
  5. Margaret Wilkins

I hope everyone had fun with the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop.

* * * * *

It’s been a few years since I participated in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, but now that I’m writing Down Salem Way, the prequel to the Loving Husband Trilogy, it seemed like a good time to give away five autographed paperback copies of Her Dear and Loving Husband, Book One in the Loving Husband Trilogy. If you love Outlander or A Discovery of Witches, then Her Dear and Loving Husband will be a great read for you. To find out more about the book, check here. Her Dear and Loving Husband is also a great book for Halloween with its vampires, witches, ghosts, and werewolves. Thanks to BookHounds for hosting the blog hop.

This giveaway is open to readers all over the world. Wherever you are, you’re welcome to participate.

Simply do one of the following and you’re entered into the drawing for one of five autographed paperback copies of Her Dear and Loving Husband. The sign up links are located on the right sidebar.

  1. Follow this blog
  2. Follow me on Facebook
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Follow me on Goodreads

To enter the giveaway, add your name and email address into the form below. In the message section, state which of the above options you chose.

That’s it! Good luck to everyone who entered!

Hop on over to the one of the other participating blogs and see what other great prizes you can win.