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Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Establishing the Georgia Colony, 1732-1750
The Deposition of Lieutenant George Dunbar, 1738-39

George Dunbar had apparently arrived with the first group of settlers in 1733. According to his deposition, what work were the settlers in Georgia required to do? How strenuous did the work appear to be? What does Dunbar have to say about Negro laborers?

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The Deposition of Lieutenant George Dunbar, taken upon the Holy Evangelists, before The Recorder of the Town of Frederica, Jan. 20, 1739.

THIS Deponent says, That he arrived in Georgia the Beginning of June last, with the first Detachment of General Oglethorpe's Regiment; and from that Time, to the Beginning of August, all the Carpenters of the said three Companies, and a certain Number of other Soldiers, were employ'd in building Clap-board Huts for the said Companies, and the other Soldiers were employ'd in unloading Vessels and Boats loaded with Clapboards, and other Necessaries for Building, and Provisions of different Kinds, often up to their Necks in Water: They were also employ'd in carrying Clap-boards, &c. upon their Backs to the Camp, in clearing Ground from Roots of Trees, &c. for a Parade, burning the Wood and Rubbish upon it, carrying of Bricks, and burning Lime: And the Artists who were excused from these Works, wrought at their own Trades, without standing still, by Reason of Heat. The Hours of Labour were from Day-Light, till between Eleven and Twelve; and from between One and Two, and sometimes between Two and Three, till Dark. All that Time the Men kept so healthy, that often no Man in the Camp ailed in the least, and none died except one Man, who came sick on board, and never worked at all; nor did I hear, that any of the Men ever made the Heat a Pretence for not Working.

And this Deponent further says, That he has been often in America, and frequently heard, that in the Negro Colonies, the Hire of White Men is more than that of Negroes. And this Deponent knows, that in South-Carolina White Ship-Carpenters and Caulkers have about one Third more Wages than a Negro of the same Trade or Profession, this Deponent having often paid Wages to both; and also knows there is the aforesaid Difference in many Handicrafts, and verily believes it is so in all; and affirms, that the same is owing to the White Men exceeding the Negroes in the same Professions, both in Quantity and Quality of their Work.


Sworn before me the Day and Year above written,
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