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In Their Own Words

July 20, 1737

Causton Had Disagreement with Malcontent

Thomas Causton was the bailiff of colonial Savannah, and kept the Trustees’ store (he earned the enmity of many of the colonists for his dictatorial ways). On this day he recorded in his journal of a disagreement he had with one of the colonists who was one of the Malcontents - the group of colonists opposed to the Trustees’ regulations governing early colonial Georgia. One of the people he called in to help mediate the dispute was John Wesley:

“…Mr. Bradley having Sent his Servant to me to desire to know if I had any meat for his family, I returned my Service; & desired to speak with him. Accordingly he came. I acquainted him that at present there was little or no Salt meat to be got, the Sloops that had lately been here having brought no more than what I was obliged to send to the Southward: But that I had bought some good dried fish, of which he might have any quantity. He answered, that he, nor any of his family never was used to any such food. I told him I had likewise bought Some Sweet Oyl, because I found it cheaper than butter, and I believed would make the Fish very good food. He said it might be very good, but answered as above; & then added that he must kill a Cow or Calf to feed his family. I told him, I desired whenever he killed any Cattle he would let me know what it was he did kill, and the weight, because it was necessary there should be an Account made of it. To this he answered, that he did not think there was any Occasion for it, for if he killed what had been delivered to him by order of Mr. Oglethorpe, he supposed himself to be answerable for it, & there was no occasion for any further account. I found he intended to dispute a matter which was part of the Trustees’ orders, & Mr. Jones only being present at the beginning, I sent for Mr. Christie, Mr. Vanderplank, & Mr. Wesley, resolving (if possible) either to convince him of his Error he seemed likely to fall in, or to take necessary precautions for my own Vindication. …”

Source: Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 274-275.