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In Their Own Words

March 27, 1734

Brutal Punishments Recorded in Journal

While the newly arrived Salzburgers waited in Savannah for work to begin on their settlement at Ebenezer, their principal minister, Johann Martin Boltzius, had an opportunity to see both English and Indian justice at work. Two days earlier, a colonist convicted of inciting others and several other charges received the first 100 of a 300-lash sentence. Now Boltzius recorded in his journal:

“The previously mentioned malefactor was to get his second 100 lashes, and more than 50 of them had been given to him. But when an Indian saw this he felt pity for him, ran around the malefactor in a circle and cried: ‘No Christian, no Christian!’, that is, ‘This is not Christian.’ And since the lashing did not cease, he embraced the poor sinner and offered his own back to the lash. This caused the judges to end the affair and to remit the rest of the rascal’s punishment. This afternoon an Indian husband cut both ears and all the hair off his Indian wife [a common Creek penalty for adultery], because she had been sitting with a white man and was said to have been quite familiar in her conduct with him. The fellow [the Indian husband] had drunk too much, otherwise such cruelty might not have occurred. He hung around town for several hours with the ears and the hair and showed them to the people. Jealousy is said to make these people frequently very cruel.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger: Volume I, 1733-1734 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), p. 67.