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In Their Own Words

September 16, 1738

Lack of Good Workers Bemoaned in Journal

In Savannah, Trustees’ secretary William Stephens bemoaned the lack of good hired help available in Georgia:

“Saturday. Every one of my Servants now were sick, and incapable of Work; and what was worse, when well were grown so false and lazy, through the poisonous Influence of other idle Rascals, who made it great Part of their Business to seduce and debauch all they could, that for some Months past their Labour did not pay for keeping them… . I knew not what remedy to find, other than to dispose of two or three of the worst, if I could get any proper Master to take them off my Hands when well, and try to get others who be of some Use to me; otherwise all must go to Ruin… I was sure to pay severely, for our common labouring People, who never cared to work as long as they had Money or Credit to live in Excess; when they were wanted for Hire, required such wages as is hardly to be believed… .”

Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. I, pp. 287-288.