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Dec December

In Their Own Words

December 21, 1737

Salzburgers Needed Shoes

The need for shoes forced the Salzburgers to temporarily overlook their contempt for the only available cobbler, as evidenced by this entry in the journal of pastor Johann Martin Boltzius:

“The German cobbler from Purysburg [a nearby settlement on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River] has returned and is making shoes for our people. He remains a careless fellow, although he has repeatedly made many promises. We have had quite enough of him; but, in view of the lack of a better cobbler, we have no other recourse but to use his services. He has caused much offense in Purysburg, and the people there are not as well served by him as might have been the case formerly. I am quite prepared to buy such shoes for our people as come from London or New England to Savannah until such time as we shall be supplied by a more conscientious man of this trade. The wooden shoes and Indian footwear which some of our people wear do not suffice during the winter and the rainy season. A cobbler who not only knows how to make shoes but is also versed in preparing the leather could find great demand for his services in this country. Cow and ox hides are quite cheap, but the people who might prepare them for use are lacking.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones and Renate Wilson, Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger, Volume Four, 1737 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976), p. 222.