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In Their Own Words

November 22, 1738

Colonial Court Proceedings Recorded

William Stephens recorded the sitting of Court in colonial Georgia; the effects of the poverty in the colony were clearly evident:

“…The ordinary Time being come about for the Court to sit, it was opened this Day in the usual Form; when Mr. Parker took his Seat as first Bailiff, and Mr. Gilbert next him upon the Bench. No Matters of extraordinary Concern came before them, only petty Actions for Debt, &c. which were tried by Jury, as always; and such Matters as appeared litigous, as far as the Parties could be persuaded to refer them to Arbitration, were so dispatched; thereby to discountenance all little Spite and Malice, the frequent Concomitants of Poverty.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 232.