Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Savannah, American Colony

Sat Mar 6 1736: I had a long conversation with John Regnier, the son of a gentleman who, being driven out of France on account of his religion, settled at Vevey in Switzerland, and practised physic there. His father died while he was a child. Some years after he told his mother he was desirous to leave Switzerland, and to retire into some other country, where he might be free from the temptations which he could not avoid there. When her consent was at length obtained he agreed with a master of a vessel, with whom he went to Holland by land, thence to England, and from England to Pennsylvania. He was provided with money, books, and drugs, intending to follow his father’s profession. But no sooner was he come to Philadelphia than the captain, who had borrowed his money before, instead of repaying it, demanded the full pay for his passage, and under that pretence seized on all his effects. He then left him in a strange country, where he could not speak to be understood, without necessaries, money, or friends. In this condition he thought it best to sell himself for a servant, which he accordingly did, for seven years. When about five were expired he fell sick of a lingering illness, which made him useless to his master; who, after it had continued half a year, would not keep him any longer, but turned him out to shift for himself. He first tried to mend shoes, but soon after joined himself to some French Protestants, and learned to make buttons. He then went and lived with an Anabaptist; but soon after hearing an account of the Moravians in Georgia, walked from Pennsylvania thither, where he found the rest which he had so long sought in vain.

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