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In Their Own Words

August 21, 1740

Dangerous Gun Play Recorded

In Savannah, Trustees’ secretary William Stephens recorded in his journal an example of how one man’s idea of fun proved dangerous to others:

“… Mr. Jones calling on me this Afternoon, and conferring a while … was not gone far from my House, when a Gun went off; and he returning immediately, asked me if I know whence that Shot was, for that it was with a Ball, which he heard whiz very near him: He went away again but a little Way, when another Shot was made from the same Quarter, with a Ball also, and that I clearly heard pass over my Head as I stood at the Gate of my Yard looking out; whereupon I called on Mr. Jones (not yet out of Sight) and when he came, upon laying these these Things together, we thought the Circumstances attending it were pretty remarkable; wherefore Mr Jones taking the Tything-man with him … went directly and seized the Fellow, who was yet standing on, or near the same Spot from whence he had fired, and had his Gun again ready loaden… . Upon examination the fellow owned that he was not shooting at any Mark or other particular Thing whatever, but only diverting himself with the Gun; when we asked him whether he thought it a reasonable Diversion or not, to stand without the Town and fire Ball into it, levelling his Piece directly: He had nothing to say more, than that he did not mean any Harm: But Mr. Jones not satisfied with that answer, and which I neither could think a very sufficient one; he committed him for the present, and took the Gun from him… .”

Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. II, pp. 485-486