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In Their Own Words

October 08, 1739

Difficulty of Travel Noted in Journal

This day’s entry in the journal of William Stephens showed how difficult travel could be in early colonial Georgia, simply in getting from off shore Tybee Island into Savannah:

“…About Three in the Morning we got aboard, the Ship lying far out at Sea, where with great Impatience I waited the Skooner’s Coming, all the fore Part of the Day, which gave Room for a little Chat what was doing in England, &c. And by Reason of an easterly Breeze, it was long ere the Skooner got out; so that she came up to us late in the Day, and then we used all possible Dispatch to put on board her four Pipes of Madera Wine (there being not a Drop to be had in Town) and seventeen Casks of Flour, Part of the forty sent; which also there was great Need of: And then putting the Passengers aboard, I took my Leave; but not without remembering to carry the Box with me, and immediately both Vessels made Sail, about Seven in the Evening, fine Moon-Light, with a small Breeze at East, which answered equally our Purposes; but a strong Tide withheld us from getting in atTybee; so that we were forced to come to an Anchor near the Bar till towards Morning; and then the Wind shifting to the North-West, we made it a whole Tide’s Work to reach Cockspur Road, about two Miles within the Light-House; and there (seeing Matters so cross to my Designs) I got a small Canoe, and rowing up against Tide, I came to Savannah…”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 429-430.