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In Their Own Words

October 11, 1735

Gnats Plagued Colonists

From Ebenezer, Johann Martin Boltzius wrote in his journal of a pest that still plagues south Georgia:

“The very cool nights have let up again and now it is once again lovely and pleasant during the night, but the days are very hot and the fields in which the people have planted turnips and other autumn plants need rain very badly. People and animals, particularly those who have to work in the forest, are now badly tormented by gnats; but we in our homes are spared this. Last year, when we lived nearer the river where there are many deciduous trees, we have to suffer much discomfort, especially at nights. in addition to these large and small gnats there is an untold number of other vermin in this hot, still uncultivated and wild land, most of which are similar to those in Germany… .”

Source: George Fenwick Jones (ed.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969), Vol. 2, pp. 172-173.