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In Their Own Words

December 18, 1738

Runaway Servant

William Stephens wrote in his journal of one of his servants trying to run away; he was concerned because of his youth and unfamiliarity with the land:

“…Thomas Rob-erts, who was sent over as a Servant by Mr. Verelst, recommended by Mr. Smith, and delivered to me by Sergeant McKenzie upon his Arrival, being a very idle Boy, and exceedingly addicted to lying; upon my Son’s telling him the latter End of the Week, that he should reckon with him on Monday; the Boy went out of the Way Yesterday in the Evening, and could not be found yet, though upon describing him, we learnt, that such an one had been seen in the Out-Parts of the Town; and from his being so young, and unacquainted with the Country or People, it could hardly be imagined he could sub- sist, or lie concealed long, due Enquiry being made after him.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 248-249.