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In Their Own Words

April 26, 1822

Early Visit to Athens

On a three-month tour through Georgia, New England lawyer Jeremiah Evarts visited Athens on this day, Evarts recorded in his diary:

“Called last evening on the Reverend Dr. Waddel, President of the University of Georgia at Athens. There are nearly one hundred students in the college here under the instruction of a president, three professors and a tutor. There is no professor of religion in college, though one or two students are hopefully pious.

“Called upon Mrs. Newton, a widow. She came into this country as a frontier settler thirty-five years ago and for four years was obliged occasionally to resort to forts for protection, had a sister killed by Indians within hail of the fort where herself was. Mrs. Newton says the terrors of the four years’ exposure are beyond description. When her door was shut, she dared not open it for fear of seeing Indians. And when it was opened, she dared not shut it, for fear Indians would approach unseen! The settlers could not live all the while in forts, because they must gain subsistence from the land, and they could not live all the while on their farms without imminent danger of being murdered. The Indians stole their horses, cattle, &c, and murdered unprotected individuals.”

Source: Edward J. Cashin (ed.), A Wilderness Still The Cradle of Nature: Frontier Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1994), pp. 65-66.