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In Their Own Words

March 14, 1739

Salzburgers Wanted More Germans, No Slaves

From New Ebenezer, Salzburger minister Johann Martin Boltzius wrote Trustees’ accountant Harman Verelst in England of his people’s desire to have more Salzburgers sent from Germany. At the same time, he repeated their opposition to slavery:

“… Whereas our Salzburgers know now by experience of five years what wholesome, fruitful for industrious people, very convenient and profitable climate this country is in which we live by the wonderful providence of God, they have taken the liberty to entreat the General [Oglethorpe] in a letter to join with the Honourable Trustees in sending over from Germany to Georgia another transport of Salzburgers and to allow them the same encouragements which the first-comers had by the free gift and benevolence of them… . And when they are brought hither to Ebenezer they will be here as well satisfied as we are, having not the least reason to make any complaint about the hot season of the country, being not so very hot as idle and delicate people endeavor to persuade themselves and others and for that unreasonable reason would like it mighty well rather to employ Negroes in their work than white European people. As the Salzburgers have beseeched General Oglethorpe, so I take this freedom to beseech the Honourable Trustees not to allow any Negro men or women to be carried to and employed at our place of neighbourhood, seeing that the consequence of it would be very bad and the ruin of poor labourers. White people, if industrious and desirous to follow the directions of God [in] Genesis 111:19, are capable enough to plant here every country grain without huring their health in the summer season, of which is witness my whole congregation… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), pp. 400-402.