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In Their Own Words

July 23, 1740

Stephens Visited Plantation, was Pleased

William Stephens had experienced much trouble finding reliable servants to work his lands in colonial Georgia, but as of this posting in his journal, had finally found a good group:

“…Whilst my Thoughts were employed as
usefully as I could for the Publick, in the Station appointed me, it was not amiss to have some Regard likewise to my own little Affair: And having not seen Bewlie since Whitsuntide, which was now eight Weeks ago, I rode out to make them a Visit there, and see what Disposition my little Family were in, under such daily Rumours there. I found eight Acres of Land as well filled with Corn, Pease, and Potatoes as I could wish, all thriving, and likely to do well: More I could not expect to see planted this Year, considering what Time they began, and how many Kinds of Works they had upon their Hands as first setting down. The Men were easy, and their present Work was to erect another Edifice, partly for holding Corn, and partly for divers other Uses; after which, in the next Place, I purposed to set up a Dwelling-House, in such a Manner, that it might be for a comfortable Reception of myself and a Friend at any Time, as well as whomsoever I thought fit to live in it. Upon asking my People, whether or not they would allow the Spaniards to come ashore and eat the Fruits of their Labour; they promised me very chearfully. to shew they would not part with all for Nought; and having with them two Fusees of my own, and two Muskets that I sent them from the Stores, which I assured them they should not want Ammunition for, they engaged to behave manfully, if it came to a Trial: And knowing him that was appointed by me their Overseer, to be a brisk Man, I was pretty confident in them that they would not set an ill Example to my next Neighbours there, by running away sooner than they were forced.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 626-627.