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In Their Own Words

September 24, 1740

Insect Bite Became Infected

William Stephens wrote in his journal about how a small insect bite had become infected:

“…Nothing happened that required my taking Notice of in the Town, or abroad elsewhere, which I was not sorry for, having enough to do at home every Day for some Time coming; and such Confinement happened now to be also requisite, on Account of a lame Leg that I brought home with me from my late Expedition, which was occasioned by a trifling Accident of a Bite from one of our flying Insedls (of which there is a great Variety in this Part of the World) which occasioned a small Swelling, from whence ensued an extream Itching, and that was attended with Scratching, which added to the Venom; and the Skin being thereby a little broke, an Humour immediately followed it; so that maugre what Mr. Hawkins applied to stop it at Frederica, from the Bigness or a Pin’s Head, it soon became a Sore as broad as a Man’s Hand, as it yet continues; but by the
Help of innocent cooling Things made use of now, and proper Rest, I hope soon to see it healed.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 658-659.