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In Their Own Words

May 06, 1738

Lack of Pilot Noted in Journal

William Stephens noted in his journal one of the many problems that faced colonial Georgia - the lack of a pilot to bring boats up from Tybee Island to Savannah. This was one he hoped would be fixed when the “General” - James Oglethorpe - returned to Georgia:

“…This Morning about Eight I was most 6. agreeably surprized, when at opening my Door I saw Colonel Cockran, whom I joyfully saluted: He left the Transports, which he quitted at a good Distance off the Bar Yesterday Evening; and betaking himself to the Boat, rowed up in the Night, complaining (which I was sorry he had so much Reason for) of Want of Pilotage, to bring the Ships in at Tybee: Which Complaints we have too frequently had from other Masters of Vessels; but on so great an Occasion it was less excusable. It is alledged by some, that we can hardly hope for it otherwise, till a good Pilot is fixed to live there, who may be , always ready, by having a small competent Support: For that it cannot be expected any one in that Station, who has his Living to seek for where he can get it, will be still upon Duty. But these Evils I know will be cured by such Dispositions as our General shall make, when we are so happy to see him again here. … “

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 140-141.