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In Their Own Words

March 05, 1739

Ship Grounding Described

In Savannah, Trustees’ secretary William Stephens recorded the grounding of a ship, then went on to describe a unique medical treatment:

“Wednesday. Capt. Thompson loosed his Ship from the Wharf, got up her Anchor, and attempted to fall down the River… . But through the Negligence of the Pilot (it is said) the ship ran aground on the edge of a Marsh near the Town, tho’ there was Water more than sufficient in the right Course, and the Wind very fair, an easy Breeze at West: What makes it worse is, that it happened to be just at high Water, and the top of the Spring Tide; so that when the Water ebbed, the ship laid fast on the Mud, and there remained little Expectation of her floating again till next Spring Tide… . Mr. Patrick Graham, Surgeon, … having Mrs. Cuthbert (Sister to the late Capt. Cuthbert, deceased) for his Patient, dangerously ill in a fever, at that Time a Lodger in his House; the Doctor took the Opportunity of prescribing Matrimony to her, as a Specifick which he was sure would compleat her Cure; and consenting to take his advice in it, they were married at her late brother’s plantation… .”

Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. II, pp. 302-303.