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In Their Own Words

May 23, 1744

Colonists Struggle to Find Cash Crop

William Stephens’ journal entry for this date in 1744 shows once again the colonists’ struggle to find a cash crop:

“May 23, Wednesday… Our Olive Trees blooming very finely this year, and having good Store of Fruit set upon them, I was very sorry when I took a Walk this day in the Garden, to find ‘twas all dropt [sic] off, which I knew not what to impute it to, unless ‘twas the poverty of the Soil where they were planted… . whilst the Oranges shew us by experience, dying every winter, that Maugre all our Endeavours of various kinds to defend them from the Frosts, we cannot preserve them … .”

Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1743-1745 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), p. 106.