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In Their Own Words

January 06, 1738

Stephens Talked with Unhappy Colonist

William Stephens recorded his conversation with an unhappy colonist, who had bought land in South Carolina and planned to move there:

“…In the Evening Mess. Brownjohn, Mercer, Adams and Bush, returned all from Carolina, where they went about three Weeks since (on what Errand I before noted) and meeting Mercer soon after his coming ashore, who was a leading Man among them, I took Occasion to enter into some Discourse with him, walking to and fro, and telling him in a jocular Way, that I understood he intended to but- ter his Bread on both Sides (meaning his Design of taking Lands in both Provinces): He told me very plainly, that they had all done what they went about, to to their great Satisfaction ; and for his Part, the Trustees were welcome to do what they pleased with all he had in Georgia ; where he had suffered too much, and would bear it no longer. Such a surly Answer surprised me a little at first ; but I seemed to make light of it ; only saying. Some go, and others come; and so we parted : But I thought with myself I would endeavor what I could to enquire the Truth, how far these Men had been Sufferers more than others, that they distinguished themselves in such a Manner. …”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 63-64.