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In Their Own Words

January 16, 1739

Milder Punishment for Runaways

While George Whitfield had seen some brutal discipline on this day one year earlier, William Stephens decided upon a milder sort for tow of his runaway servants:

“…The two runaway Boys, who run off on Saturday, finding themselves miserably mistaken in what they attempted (which I believe would be their Case) were glad at last to find their Way back to a Hut of mine about three Miles out of Town; from whence they were conducted home last Night; and this Morning I caused them both to be put in Mind of their Duty with a little sharp Corredlion; which possibly being done in private, may have better Efficacy than to be whipped openly; from whence Offenders have often been observed to grow more hardened. …”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 263.