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In Their Own Words

June 26, 1738

Servant with Smallpox Still Worked

William Stephens was unhappily surprised to find a servant working with smallpox; he rebuked the man for risking the spread of the disease, but did not get a favorable response from either him or his employer:

“…finding one Sommers (a Servant) with the Small-Pox out full upon him, and nevertheless walking about and doing his ordinary Business; I took upon me to rebuke him, telling him how wicked a Thing it was tor him to appear Abroad in that Manner; whereby People who were frequently travelling that Way were in Danger of catching it; which at this Time raged so in the Province of Carolina (where he had lately been and got it) and this was the ready Way to make it spread over all Georgia; wherefore it was highly necessary for him to keep Close, &c. to all which he gave me surly Answers, and seemed to give no Heed to it: Upon which I applied myself to Cooper, under whom he worked, and told him it behooved him to confine him; but he and his Partner likewise making light of my Advice, and talking imperti- nently, I left them, not well pleased… “

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 161.