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In Their Own Words

June 14, 1739

Farming Problems Expressed in Journal

This day’s entry in the journal of William Stephens showed the problems farmers faced in colonial Georgia - difficulty in retaining workers and the weather:

“…Devoted this Day almost wholly to my little Plantation; wherein falling so far short of the Number of Acres I had last Year, through the Defect of bad Servants, that instead of fifteen, I could not reckon fully ten; I made it my Care that what I had, should be at least as well dressed and cultivated as any of my Neighbors: And the Crop this Year generally promising very well, I concluded I should have as great a Produce, at least, as last Year, out of a larger Piece of Ground, when a dry Season and bad Seed was a great Baulk to most People: And from hence also I concluded a pretty just Estimate might be made hereafter, of what might be expected by a diligent Planter, if the Land were reasonably good, to pay him for his Labour.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 354.