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In Their Own Words

May 02, 1738

Fire Destroyed Crops

Colonial Georgia farmers faced many obstacles, including fire, as noted by William Stephens in his journal on this day:

“…This Day an unfortunate Accident happened in my own little Affairs, which for the most Part demanded my Attention. The Person who owned the next five-Acre Lot adjoining to that which I had cleared and planted this Year, had in like Manner cut down all the Wood on his, and laid it in Heaps, but not yet burnt it; and notwithstanding a very high Wind blow’d this Day (such as rarely happens here) two Men employed in clearing that Land chose it, and setting Fire to those Heaps of Wood, it burnt with such Fury, that there was no coming near it; and the Wind driving it full upon my Fence, it very soon destroyed all one third of it, and the Cinders and thick Smoak which came from it flew over near half the Corn I had planted; which was finely flourishing, but in a great Measure destroyed now, so far as the Scorching went; and what I was yet more concerned at, was to see about an hundred and fifty young Mulberries, which I was nursing up against another Season, likewise the greatest Part of them spoiled. … “

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 138.