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In Their Own Words

August 19, 1753

Bryan Explored Altamaha Delta, Lamented Condition of Frederica

Jonathan Bryan and a team of explorers took a trip along Georgia’s coast in 1753; on this day they explored the delta of the Altamaha River in the morning, then in the afternoon visited a very important site in early Georgia history. To his dismay, it was already being neglected:

“…we then proceeded up the main stream of the Altamahaw, this is a fine bold fresh River which vents itself into three mouths, the North Mouth into Doboy Sound, the Main or middle Stream into Egg Island sound, and the South into Jekyll Sound to the Southward of great St. Simons. the general course into the Main is N.W. 70 it runs up into the Country several hundred Miles to the Indian Nations, the lower part of the River being divided into several Streams, makes a good many Islands, and a vast Quantity of River Swamps and fresh Marsh… about two we got to Frederica. This Town was built & fortified round by General Oglethorpe, with regular Bastions and a Citadel towards the River, with Spur work and a good number of large Cannon and Mortars, but now all in ruins, the Stores Mazaunes [magazines] and many good Tabby Buildings, all in a ruinous Condition, the Melancholy Prospect of Houses without Inhabitants, Barracks without Soldiers, Guns without Carriages and the Streets grown over with Weeds, appeared to me with a very horrible Aspect, and so very different from what I once knew it…”

Source: Virginia Steele Wood and Mary R. Bullard, editors, Journal of a Visit to the Georgia Islands of St. Catherines, Green, Ossabaw, Sapelo, St. Simons, Jekyll, and Cumberland, with Comments on the Florida Islands of Amelia, Talbot, and St. George, in 1753. Mercer University Press, in association with The Georgia Historical Society, 1996, pp. 22-24.