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In Their Own Words

March 12, 1734

Landing of Salzburgers Recorded

After spending much of the previous day stranded on a sand bar, Baron von Reck recorded the landing of the Salzburger emigrants in Georgia, and his first impressions of Savannah:

“The Magistrates of the Town sent on Board our Ship an experienced Pilot; and we were carried up to the Town of Savannah by 11 in the Forenoon. They returned our salute of five Guns with three; and all the Magistrates, the Citizens, and the Indians, were come to the River side. The two Divines, Mr. Dunbar, some others, and myself, went ashore in a Boat. We were received with all possible Demonstrations of Joy, Friendship, and Civility. The Indians reach’d their Hands to me, as a Testimony of their Joy also for our arrival. The Salzburgers came on shore after us; and we immediately pitch’d a Tent for them, in the Square of the Town. I went to view this rising Town, Savannah, seated upon the Banks of a River of the same Name. The Town is regularly laid out divided into four Wards, in each of which is left a spacious Square, for holding of Markets, and other publick Uses. The Streets are straight, and the Houses are all of the same Model and Dimensions, and well contrived for Conveniency… . There is laid out, near the Town, by Order of the Trustees, a Garden for making Experiments, for the Improving Botany and Agriculture; it contains 10 acres, and lies upon the River; and it is cleared, and brought into such Order, that there is already, a fine nursery of Oranges, Olives, white Mulberries, Figs, Peaches, and many curious Herbs: besides which, there is Cabbages, Peas, and other European Pulse and Plants, which all thrive. Within the garden there is an artificial Hill, said by the Indians, to be raised over the body of one of their ancient Emperors. I had like to have forgot one of the best Regulations, made by the Trustees, for the Government of the Town of Savannah, I mean, the utter prohibition of the Use of Rum, that flattering but deceitful Liquor, which has been found equally pernicious to the Natives and new Comers, which seldom fails, by Sickness, or Death, to draw after its own Punishment.”

Source: [no author or editor cited]: Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 46-47.