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In Their Own Words

October 16, 1738

Hazards of Mail in Colonial Times

This day’s entry in the journal of William Stephens provided evidence of the hazardous nature of sending mail from colonial Georgia to England:

“…Received Letters from Mr. Abercromby, Attorney-General at Charles-Town, signifying, that the Packet which I sent in a Box for the Trustees, and which had been delivered to his Clerk in his Absence out of Town {vide Monday the 9th Inst.) was not gone, by Reason the Ship which it was intended to be sent by, and which sailed presently after, was bound for Bristol; and as he knew not whom to consign it to the Care of there, he did not think it safe to hazard it at an uncertainty: Which News was very unwelcome to me…”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 213.