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In Their Own Words

February 05, 1736

Lighthouse Delayed by Drunkeness

Francis Moore came to Georgia in 1736, keeping a journal of the voyage and settling in Georgia. James Oglethorpe, who had returned to England, was also on board for this trip back to Georgia. On the day after their landing at Tybee Island, Oglethorpe checked on the status of the lighthouse being built there, and was not pleased with its progress, as Moore recorded:

“…He found the Foundation had been piled, but the Brick-work not rais’d. The Materials which he left saw’d up at Savannah, were brought down, but nothing set up. …”

When the carpenter in charge was questioned, he offered a reason - one which would be a continual problem in colonial Georgia:

“…the chief reason of his Delay arose from his Men’s not working; that Rum was so cheap in Carolina, from whence they easily got it, that one Day’s Pay would make then drunk for a Week, and then they neither minded him nor any thing else. …”

Source: Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 92.