1 May through 15 May 1793

Wednesday [1 May] a wet day spent it at work. –

Thursday [2 May] rain at home reading & working PM Mrs Charlton [1] Momford & Miss McCall. [2] drank Tea here –

Friday [3 May] spent the Day at home.

Saturday [4 May] a fine Day spent an agreeable afternoon at Mrs Sheftalls. –

Sunday [5 May] the weather agreeable drank with Mrs Momford Tea. – “The most exquisit[e] sentiments, and the best feelings, are often found in conjunction with the weakest bodies; just as the softest vibrations of music are commonly the most affecting. This by the way is one reason why want of health in youth so frequently produces fullness of virtue in age: and that few, who are then very sickly, do not also turn out very worthy. Early Sufferings mellow their natures, chastise their passions, abate their fondness for life, quash the petulance of imaginary excellence, inspire a thousand delicacies of affection, and season the heart with tenderness. It is thus that the frowns of adversity produce habits of humanity, and impregnate the coldest tempers with a glow of Sensibility, to which those of a warmer complexion, under a discipline less severe, are generally strangers. The crosses of life improve by retrenching our enjoyments, moderate our expectations, give the heart a mortal disgust to all the gaudy blandishments of sense, and fill our minds with Sensations and desires, to which nothing of all that lives within the hemisphere is adequate. The fleeting and fugitive objects, around us, are then seen and contemplated in their own colours. The world appears no longer that delicious paradise which the giddy and vicious describe. No: the pale hand of Sorrow robs the gay creation of every fictitious embellishment, disentagles the heart from those luscious gulphs of luxury, into which it frequently plunges, dissolves the bewitching charm of pleasure, and destroys the captivating powers of applause.[”] – [3]

Monday [6 May] lowery spent the Day at home. “A short Prayer taken from a Mass Book for souls in Purgatory. – Almighty God with whom do live the Spirits of the perfect in all the plenitude of immediate enjoyment and in whose holy custody are deposited the Souls of all those who depart hence in an inferior degree of thy grace, who being worthy of thy pure presence, through the imperfection of their virtues, are detained in a State of grief, and Suspended hopes: as we bless thee for the Saints already admitted to thy glory, to rejoice in thy unclouded Smile; so we most humbly and heartily present our Supplications unto thee for thy afflicted servants now banished from thee, who wait and sigh for the dawn of their deliverance. Pardon their sins – supply their deficiencies – wipe away the tears of sorrow from their eyes, that they may behold thee the God of love, and in thy glorious light eternally rejoice.[”] [4]

Tuesday [7 May] rainey spent the Day at home.

Wednesday [8 May] a cold East wind packed up for to leave this place been detained a week from the want of punctuality in a Merchant this is not a place for the Cardinal virtues to flourish in. –

Thursday [9 May] Wind still at East disagreable accounts from the Indians. – [5]

Friday [10 May] no weather for leaving this place, unwell spent the Day in reading.

Saturday [11 May] the fourteenth Day that the Wind has been East Mrs V. calld.

Sunday May 12th no Wind for Sailing Morning at home PM went to hear Andrew Preach. – [6]

Monday [13 May] East Wind Drank Tea with Mrs Griggs [7] sent our things on board Packet.

Tuesday [14 May] went down Savannah river in the Charleston Packet [8] Anchored at Tybee.

Wednesday [15 May] East Wind Capt Moore out of patience with waiting for a fair Wind put to Sea in hopes to beat his way at Night came on a heavy Gale the Vessell sprang a leak pump out of order that our Situation was very uncomfortable and alarming the Capt put back for Savannah. –


[1] Mrs. Charlton, the former Lucy Kenan of North Carolina, married Thomas Charlton, a surgeon and politician from South Carolina. After his death in 1790, Mrs. Charlton moved to Savannah, where she died in November 1793. Her son, Thomas (1779-1835), became a successful lawyer in Savannah, serving also as a Georgia state legislator, the state’s attorney general, and as mayor of Savannah for six terms. See Northen, Men of Mark, 2:298–99.

[2] The McCalls were a prominent South Georgia family at the time of Mrs. Smith’s visit. Hugh McCall (1767–1824), after a brief military career, served as jailer for Savannah from 1806 to 1823, and is best known for his History of Georgia (2 vols., 1811–16). His father, Thomas McCall, Esq., served as Surveyor General for Georgia. Most likely the Miss McCall mentioned above was one of Hugh’s three sisters–Janet, Margaret, and Elizabeth. Both Janet and Margaret would have been in their early twenties in 1793; Elizabeth died in 1795. See Northen, Men of Mark, 1:235–40.

[3] An excerpt from John More’s Strictures, Critical and Sentimental, on Thomson’s Seasons. With Hints and Observations on Collateral Subjects (London, 1777), 192. Most likely Dorothy Smith has taken some reading materials with her on her trip (see following note) and uses her diary at times like a commonplace book.

[4] The exact excerpt of this translation from the Catholic Mass Book of the “Litany for Souls in Purgatory” used above by Dorothy Smith, including punctuation and the emphasis on the word “suspended,” appeared in a letter about “future punishment” to the editor of the London Magazine signed “L. K.” (the translation was done by the writer of the letter). Smith may have had access to the London Magazine, either at home or even in Savannah, and may have been given a copy of the translation when she attended the mass on April 2. See London Magazine, June 1783, 273.

[5] Most likely the reference is to the power struggle that occurred after the death of Alexander McGillivray (1750–93), the titular leader of the Creek Nation who died at his plantation in Pensacola, Florida, on February 17, 1793. The previous year he had repudiated the Treaty of New York (which he had signed in 1790) and signed a new treaty with the Spanish, then occupying the Louisiana Territory vacated by the French as well as East Florida from their formidable fort in St. Augustine, Florida. Georgia was not consulted about the Treaty and most landowners were not pleased with the provisions that ceded to the Creeks large portions of land between Augusta and present-day Atlanta near what is now the Oconee National Forest, an act the Georgia settlers viewed as severely limiting the future growth of the state.

[6] Andrew Bryan, who Smith had heard preach previously on April 14.

7] Probably Jane Griggs, who was married to Powell Griggs, who had died in March 1785. See Gazette of the State of Georgia, March 31, 1785.

[8] The Smiths sailed on the schooner Uxbridge Packet, under Captain Moore, from Savannah to Charleston. See Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Friday, May 24, 1793.