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In Their Own Words

February 26, 1740

Plans for Orange Growing Recorded

William Stephens recorded in his journal about his plans for attempting to grow oranges closer to the coast; previous attempts at growing them had little success:

“…I can not pass over this Circumstance of the Oranges, without a little Observation, having frequently heard the same related, of their growing common in the Woods: It is agreed by all, that no Beast will feed on them, or crop them; neither will the Dropping of any Trees annoy them, except the Pine, which will suffer no Tree to grow by him: Wherefore I purpose to make an Experiment this Season of putting some Hundreds of good Orange-Seeds into the Ground, two or three in a Hole, in such Places as I judge proper, in my new Plantation by Vernon River; which differs not a great deal in Latitude from the Alatamaha: And whereas the ill Success we have hitherto had with Oranges in this Part, is said to proceed from being too remote from the Salt; as well for the Influence of that Air, as that the Frost is never so severe, as here farther up on the Freshes; the Situation of my Land is open to the Sea: And from all this put together, I am not without Hopes that Oranges, by some lucky incident or other, may in Time be the Product of Georgia; though this severe Winter has left very few young ones alive, either in the publick Garden, or in any private about us, in Spite of all our Care.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 521-522.