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In Their Own Words

July 11, 1739

Boltzius Complimented Indians

From Ebenezer, Johann Martin Boltzius recorded in his journal what he saw as selfless traits of the Yamacraw Indians:

“… Two Indians visited my room today; and I again had occasion to observe a trait I had recently observed in some others: i.e. what is given to one of them, particularly the oldest, he shares in equal parts so that each may have a share, and this custom is observed for every little thing as long as it can at all be divided up. This particularly impressed me; no greed, egoism, or jealousy is noticeable in these people, but everyone wants his comrade to have as much as he himself wishes for.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson (ed. and trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America… Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1981), p. 149.