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In Their Own Words

December 28, 1738

Both Colony and Mail Struggled

Today’s entry in the journal of William Stephens showed both the struggling economy in colonial Georgia, and the difficulty in getting mail to England:

“…Mr. Phelps, a Scotch Merchant (alias m. Chapman) who at Times has been used to bring sundry Goods of divers Sortments from England, adapted the Manner of this Country; wherein he had hitherto succeeded so well as to be encouraged to come again on the same Business; but now finding the Face of Affairs different from what he expedled here, he had been South to try what Market he could make there; this Day he returned thence, by whom we hoped for some Advice; but he brought no Letters, nor any Intelligence, only that from what he heard whilst there, he believed we must not expedl the General with us, under a Fortnight or three Weeks yet to come. In the Afternoon arrived Captain Ellis from Philadelphia, laden with the usual Kinds of Provision, wherein he had trided with this Colony for several Years past: But knowing our now poor Estate, he left his Sloop at Tybee, and came up only to get his Accounts settled between Mess. Causton and Jones, intending to proceed with his Cargo to St. Simon’s. He stopt by the Way at Charles-Town, where the Attorney-General put into his Hands a Packet for me from the Trustees, which came to him the Day before by Captain White from England; wherewith he also wrote me a Letter, both which Captain Ellis gave me, and I found only a short Letter for myself from Mr. Verelst, acquainting me that the last Letter which the Trustees received from me was so long since dated as the 27th of May last, &c. which I was much concerned at.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 252-253.