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In Their Own Words

May 24, 1740

German Crops Grew Well in Georgia

From Ebenezer, Johann Martin Boltzius wrote:

“Mr. Oglethorpe has advised people at our locality [Ebenezer] several times to apply themselves to growing German crops, such as barley, rye, wheat, and oats. We are finding, as has already been noticed, that these same crops, if they are sown timely (to wit, in September), grow and ripen very well and better than in Germany before the great heat comes… . One would hardly hear in Germany of a single grain producing thirty to forty stalks and as many full, beautiful ears… . What is stopping the people from cultivating such European crops are the stumps and roots in the early, because of which they still cannot use a ploy, and without a plow those crops cannot be grown… .

“If we could just use a plow, the field work would be easier for the people than it is in Germany, because there are no stones, only loose fine earth. In addition they can work in the fields the entire winter; and, by using plow and harrow, they could control the uncommonly thick and plentiful grass much sooner and easier than if they just used the hoe. If they had wheat and rye, they would plant that much less rice, for in planting the latter they destroy their health and cloths more than in other kinds of field work. They must often stand quite deep in the water or swamp.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones and Don Savelle, Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983), Vol. 7, pp. 137-138.