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In Their Own Words

August 12, 1738

Accident and Concern about Spanish Recorded

William Stephens recorded a fatal accident, and the colonists’ concern about Spanish incursion into Georgia, in his journal:

“…What only was remarkable this Day, was
another unhappy Accident that befel a German who was going to work at Highgate; where standing by as they were falling a Tree, which he was not aware of; in falling, it crushed him to Death; leaving a Widow and several Children at Savannah. Though we had no Letters, nor any News directly from England so long since as last May, and the freshest Advices then bore Date in February; yet we had now Advices from Charles-Town, by Letters received there, as well from New-England in the North, as from the West-Indies in the South, importing, that from the Measures taking in England in April last, there was great Appearance of a Rupture very soon with Spain: From whence all People in these Provinces began to think it was Time to look about them, not knowing how far the Spaniards in these Parts might incline to strike the first Blow. …”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 183-184.