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In Their Own Words

April 18, 1738

Colonists Wary of Spanish

This entry in the journal of William Stephens showed how concerned the early Georgia colonists were of the Spanish in Florida:

“… Late in the Evening we had another little Spanish Alarm, sufficient to keep us waking, which came from a Servant of Bailiff Parker’s, who was alone on his Plantation, about ten Miles off; and reported, that about Ten in the Forenoon four strange Men, all Foreigners, came suddenly upon him, and at first one of them drew his Sword with Intent to kill him; but another (who was the only Person among them that had a little broken English) interposed, and desired his Life might be spared; after which they all went into the Hut hard by, where they sat down and rested themselves about an Hour and a Half, without offering further Violence of any Kind, but obliging him to stand at the Door and watch, that nobody might surprize them; and then they walked away into the Country by a Path which showed they knew their Way, after first making him swear he would not discover what he had seen: He said they were all swarthy Men, with black Hair braided up, and brought up from behind under their Hats, every one alike in Dress, and black or dark coloured Cloaths, and each was armed with Sword, Gun, and a Pistol; no Buckles but Straps to tie their Shoes. … “

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 127-128.