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In Their Own Words

April 03, 1734

Jewish Colonist Helped Salzburgers

Almost most of Georgia’s colonists had been members of the Church of England before coming, other religions were represented. The first group to settle were 42 Jews, who came in July 1733. Next were persecuted Lutheran Protestants from Salzburg, who arrived on March 12, 1734. Three weeks after their arrival, Lutheran minister Johann Martin Boltzius recorded in his diary of the great help one of the Jews had provided the Salzburgers while they were in Savannah:

“The oft-mentioned Jew [Benjamin Sheftal] has shown so much love and rendered so many services to us and the Salzburgers that no one could ask any more. And whenever he was offered some money for his troubles he refused to accept it. For this reason the Salzburger men who are still here have decided to cultivate his fields and to help clear out the trees in them so that he can regain what he has lost on their account… .”

Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America… Edited by Samuel Urlsperger, Volume One, 1733-34 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1968), p. 70.