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In Their Own Words

May 25, 1739

Illness Came on Quickly

This day’s entry in the journal of William Stephens showed how quickly the weather could change in colonial Georgia, and bring illness with it:

“…The long-continued Series of perfect Health, which has been so remarkable ever since the last Fall, throughout the Colony, began a little to alter with us: The great Vicissitude of Weather, betwixt Thunder, Rain, and sultry Heats (all violent in their Terms for a few Days past) catched many People unawares, and taught them to be more cautious hereafter not to expose themselves to such Inclemencies more than Necessity required; from whence Fevers began to grow rife among us all on a sudden; and though I had been but little abroad of late at such Seasons, yet several ugly Symptoms began to tell me it was Time to take Care of myself; wherefore I thought it not amiss to confine myself these two Days, when by Abstinence, and a little Self-Defence, I began to hope the worst was over. …”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 342.