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In Their Own Words

December 15, 1772

Excessive Spending for King’s Birthday

Savannah merchant James Habersham wrote to royal governor James Wright (then in England). His letter dealt primarily with business transactions between the two men, but included the following account of Habersham’s excessive (in his opinion) expenditures for celebrating the king’s birthday:

“… In regard to the Tables on the King’s Birth day, I did not pay for them the last day, and if I recollect I did not for the year preceeding for you, but Mrs. [name left blank] charged me one Shilling per head more, than she did you for the Dinner and more for Wine &c, so that I had better have paid for the rough Boarded Tables, and probably have more Money, than the expence of them - I demurred paying, the old Woman 2 or 3 Weeks, after the Bill was delivered, but as I suppose she wou’d make a Murmuring about docking her Account, I paid her for the Whole of it - Both her Dinner and Liquor were complained of, and what was provided in the Court Room and in the Field cost be about 55 Sterling, which was a great deal more than it deserved… .”

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 219.