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In Their Own Words

March 04, 1733

Oglethorpe Trained Colonists on Firearms

Early Georgia colonist Peter Gordon recorded how James Oglethorpe trained the colonists in the use of firearms:

“Sunday the fourth, after Divine Service, we were ordered under arms, and the Tythings marched regularly into the wood, a small distance from the town, where Mr. Oglethorp ordered a mark to be fixed up, at a hundred yards distance to be shott at by all the men, and who ever shott nearest the mark, to have a small prise of seven or eight shillings value. This custome which was intended to train the people up to firing, and to make them good marksmen, was generally observed, for many Sundays afterwards. That being the only day we could be possibly spared from labour, and with some success.”

Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 19.