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In Their Own Words

July 09, 1743

Violent Weather Recorded

William Stephens recorded James Oglethorpe’s intentions to return to England, while noting how some violent weather had marred one of the young colony’s landmarks:

“July 9. Saturday. The Generals preparations to be going soon for England was now no longer doubted, being universally known, … the storms of Thunder and Lightning were of late more frequent and severe than common; and since the last Marks noted of it, it fell heavy on some tall Pines that grew on top of the Bluff, just at the place of landing, two of which were split from Top to Bottom. These Trees (five in Number) grew in a round Clump near one another, and under them the General pitched his Tent at his first landing; wherefore they were left as a Standing Monument of it, and with all a good Mark for any Vessels coming up or down the River in the Night.”

Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1741-1743 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), p. 225.