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In Their Own Words

November 10, 1740

Report on Early Georgia

Seven and one-half years after the founding of Georgia, a group of Savannah’s leading citizens - including Pat Graham, William Stephens, and Noble Jones - completed and signed a report for the Trustees, entitled “A State of the Province of Georgia.” Excerpts from their report included:

“… [T]he Town of Savannah was laid out, and began to be built, in which are now 142 Houses, and good habitable Huts. The Soil in general, when cleared, is productive of Indian Corn, Rice, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpions, Melons, and many other Kinds of Gourds, in great Quantities; Wheat, Oats, Barley, and other European Grains, ‘tis found by divers Experiments, may be propagated in many parts (more especially in the Uplands toward Augusta) with Success… . Ships of about three hundred Tons can come up to the Town … and the River is navigable for large Boats, as far as the town of Augusta, which … is 250 Miles distant from Savannah by Water; small boats can go 300 Miles further, to the Cherokees… . [T]here is in this Town a Court-House, A Gaol [jail], a Store-House, a large House for receiving the Indians, a Wharf or Bridge, a Guard-House, and some other publick Buildings; a publick Garden of ten Acres cleared, fenced, and planted with Orange-Trees, Mulberry-Trees, Vines, some Olives which thrive very well, Peaches, Apples, &c. It must be confessed, that Oranges have not so universally thriven with us… .Three Miles up the River there is an Indian Town, and at Six Miles Distance are several considerable Plantations: At ten Miles Distance are some more, and at Fifteen Miles Distance is a little Village, called Abercorn. Above that, on the Carolina Side, is the town of Purysburgh, twenty-two Miles from Savannah; and on the Georgia Side, twelve Miles from Purysburgh, is the Town of Ebenezer, which thrives very much; there are very good Houses built for each of the Ministers, and an Orphan-House; and they have partly framed Houses, and partly Huts, neatly built, and formed into regular Streets; they have a great deal of Cattle and Corn-Ground, so that they sell provisions at Savannah; for they raise much more than they can consume… .”

Source: Williams Stephens, A Journal of the Proceeding in Georgia ([no city cited]: Readex Microprint Corporation, 1966), Vol. II, pp. 510-513.