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In Their Own Words

April 16, 1743

Wisdom of Planting Rice Solely Questioned

Among anticipated products from the 10-year-old colony of Georgia were rice, silk, and wine. But the following 1743 journal entry from Georgia president William Stephens shows that colonists were being advised their land might best be suited for other crops:

“April 16. Saturday. Wanting something more worth note, it may not be improper to observe, that meeting with two or three Carolina Gentleman planters, who came on no other Business than to spend a day or two of pleasure in this Colony, and see what they thought good, our Discourse run chiefly upon Planting, and Improvemts, wherein they plainly confessed their Errour in pursuing almost Soley the planting of Rice for so many years, without turning their thoughts to other things, which would be as profitable, and proper a product of this land and Climate.”

Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1743-1745 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), p. 194.