NARRAGANSETT PLANTERS. The Narragansett Planters were a group of wealthy landowners who settled on the fertile lands in southern and southwestern Rhode Island. Their planter culture more closely resembled southern plantation life than that of the New England yeoman farmer. They raised cattle and bred horses, including the renowned Narragansett Pacer, on estates that in some cases exceeded several thousand acres. The planters also cultivated tobacco for a time. Motivated by the search for profit, they relied upon both African slaves and white indentured servants to cultivate this labor-intensive crop. In the mid-eighteenth century, slave laborers constituted over 10 percent of the Narragansett or South County population, the highest concentration in New England.
Fitts, Robert K. Inventing New England's Slave Paradise: Master-Slave Relations in Eighteenth-Century Narragansett, Rhode Island. New York: Garland, 1998.