Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 228

Important Overview of the Colony of Georgia with Only 70 Copies Printed

"[2 Volumes] A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, Beginning October 20, 1737...",

Subject: Colonial Georgia

Period: 1742 (published)


Color: Black & White

5.3 x 8.1 inches
13.5 x 20.6 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This fascinating and exceedingly rare journal was written by William Stephens prior to his term as governor of the Province of Georgia beginning in 1743. This two-volume set documents his time in Georgia from his arrival in Savannah on 20 October 1737 through 4 October 1740. He chronicles life in the colony, his business proceedings, and his interactions with colonial inhabitants, including James Oglethorpe, who was governor of the colony at the time. Stephens' journal was published at the request of the Trustees of the colony, with only 70 copies printed for distribution among the Trustees. Featured at the end of Volume II is A State of the Province of Georgia, Attested upon Oath in the Court of Savannah, Nov. 10, 1740, which describes the geography, climate, resources, trade, settlements, and settlers of the colony.

Stephens also prepared a third volume of his journal, of which the Trustees requested 100 copies printed. However, a fire at the printer destroyed all but 30 copies, and as such, this volume is nearly always lacking. Of course, with only 70 copies of the first two volumes printed, these are also extremely rare, with the last known auction record in 1940.

Small octavo. 2 volumes: 480 pp., index; 508 pp., 32 pp., index. Hardbound in contemporary leather boards with modern leather spines with raised bands and red leather title labels.

References: Howes #S-944; Sabin #91313.

Condition: B+

Occasional foxing and toning. There is an old stamp from a previous owner on the first page of "A State of the Province of Georgia" in Volume II. The covers are scuffed and worn with bumped corners. The new spines are in excellent condition, with minor discoloration on Volume II.

Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000

Sold for: $6,000

Closed on 2/7/2024