In Their Own Words
March 24, 1737
Tragedies Recorded in Journal
Savannah minister John Wesley recorded two tragedies in his journal on this day:
“A Fire broke out in the House of Robert Hows, and in an Hour burnt it to the Ground. A collection was made for him the next day; and the Generality of the People shew’d a surprizing Willingness, to give a Little out of their Little for the Relief of a Necessity greater than their own. About this time Mr. Lacy of Thunderbolt call’d upon me; when observing him to be in deep Sadness, I asked, What was the of it? And a terrible one indeed he gave in the Relation following. In 1733 David Jones, a Sadler, a middle-aged Man, who had for some time before lived at Nottingham, being at Bristol, met a Person there; who after giving him some Account of Georgia, asked, Whether he would go thither? Adding, His Trade (that of Sadler) was an exceeding Good Trade there, upon which he might live, creditably and comfortably. He objected his want of Money to pay his Passage, and buy some tools which he should have need of. The Gentleman told him, He would supply him with That, and hire him a Shop when he came to Georgia, wherein he might follow his Business, and so repay him, as it suited his Convenience. Accordingly to Georgia they went; where soon after his Arrival, his Master (as he now stiled him) sold him to Mr. Lacy, who set him to work with the rest of his Servants in clearing Land. He commonly appear’d much more thoughtful than the rest, often stealing into the Woods alone. He was now sent to do some Work on an Island, three or four Miles from Mr. Lacy’s Great Plantation. Thence he desir’d the other Servants to return without him, saying, He would stay and kill a Deer. This was on Saturday. On Monday they found him on the Shore, with his Gun by him, and the Forepart of his Head shot to Pieces. In his Pocket was a Paper-Book, all the Leaves thereof were fair, except one, on which ten or twelve Verses were written; two of which are these, (which I transcribed thence, from his own Hand Writing) Death could not a more sad Retinue find; Sickness and pain before, and Darkness all behind.”
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. 216-217.