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In Their Own Words

January 25, 1736

Violent Thunderstorm on Voyage to Georgia

Benjamin Ingham traveled to colonial Georgia in 1735-6 with John and Charles Wesley, and James Oglethorpe on a return trip. Ingham kept a journal of his experiences; on this day he recorded a violent thunderstorm while they were still at sea:

“…Towards Evening we had a terrible Storm, which lasted several hours. I observ’d it well, and truly I never Saw any thing hitherto so solemn and majestick. The Sea Sparkled and Smoak’d as if it had been on fire; the Air darted forth Lightening, and the wind blew so fierce that You could scarce look it in the face and draw your Breath. The waves did not swell so high as at some other times being press’d on by the impetuosity of the Blast; neither did the Ship roll much, but it quiver’d, jarr’d & Shak’d. About half an hour after 7, a great Sea broke in upon us, which split the main Sail, carried away the Companion, fill’d between decks, and rush’d into the great Cabin. This made most of the people tremble…Towards 3 the wind abated; In the morning we returned publick thanks for our deliverance, and before night most of the people had forgot they were ever in a Storm. …”

Source: Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 173-174.