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In Their Own Words

December 20, 1833

Primitive Accomodations Described

Life in Georgia’s interior could be very primitive, as Mrs. James Hine of New York found out during her trip through Georgia. From Dublin, she wrote her mother about her first night’s experience after departing Savannah:

“I scarcely know where to begin - so much that is new to me meets me at every step. We left Savannah on the 8th. When we got to Norwood’s, where we were to spend the first night, evening was closing in around us. The house was of logs, a single story in height, presenting but one window and one door … . I supposed the building to be the barn … .What was my astonishment upon finding that it was the dwelling - the house of the family with whom we were to stay! …

“After the supper was finished I sought quarters for the night, and they showed me into the little room on the end of the piazza. It was barely large enough to hold a small bedstead and have a space of about two feet on one side of it. There was no space for the door to open; it had to open outside. There was no article of furniture in the room but the bedstead and one chair, not even a table to hold a light; … . the bedstead was a rough specimen of home manufacture, and the bed, professedly of feathers, though there were not enough feathers in it to have made a decent pair of pillows … . There was no mattress, but a dried cowhide laid upon the cords to prevent what feathers there were in the bed from sinking down between them… . I felt very much as if I had got on the extreme border of civilization but one remove from savage life. I have read much of frontier life, but I never pictured to myself anything so wild as this… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 86-87.