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In Their Own Words

March 12, 1733

Letter Described Early Savannah

Another letter written on this day was by Thomas Causton. Writing to his wife in England, Causton described the status of Savannah:

“… We are, according to a plan directed to be drawn by Mr. Oglethorpe as I mentioned in my last [letter], building the town, have got up three houses, are planting and sowing, and have sowed about ten acres in all of different kinds of seeds. The houses are made of timber of one floor, only a cock loft over it sufficient to hold two beds, the lower part will make one large room and two small ones and stands in a piece of ground which with the intended garden is 20 yards broad in front and 30 years long in depth… .

“As to our government we are divided into four tythings, each maintaining eleven men able to bear arms, of which one is Tythingman. I am one of them and according with my ten other men keep guard every fourth night. Our situation is indeed very pleasant, and though we want for nothing we have some grumbletonians here also.

“… we are much pestered with a little fly they call a sand fly. I have seen it in England about the horse dung. But every insect here is stronger than in England. The ants are half an inch long and they say will bite desperately. As for alligators I have seen several but they are by the sides of rivers. Our town is too high ground for them to clamber up. We have killed one. I find the camphor very good against the stings of the flies. I now begin to be somewhat hardened against them… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 10-11.