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In Their Own Words

December 04, 1738

Darien Colonists Unhappy

William Stephens wrote in his journal of the unhappiness of the early Georgia colonists in Darien:

“…What we heard reported of the Settlement at Darien, was of still greater Consequence much, if true; where, it was said, an universal Defedlion appeared among them all on a sudden, and very unexpectedly, as they had hitherto shewn no Marks of Discontent, living quiet, and in all Appearance very intent upon cultivating their Land: But that now they discovered at once, what undoubtedly they had been smothering some Time past; and had sent a Deputation from among them, in the Name of one and all, to wait on the General at St. Simon’s, and lay their Grievances before him, and obtain a satisfactory Answer, with a certain Assurance, that they should have immediate Remedy for their Complaints; or else they were determined to break up, and seek a Settlement elsewhere. What Hardships they were which they sought Relief for, it is hardly fit in Prudence to name, with-out good Authority; but the same common Report told us, that the Tenure which they held their Land by was uppermost; that the Poverty of the Soil discouraged them from expecting to raise future Crops from it, as they had experienced, by having so much less grown this last Year, than they had Reason to look for, after so much Labour…”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 239.