Skip to main content

Video: Expectations versus Reality

Turn on the television, and let’s watch the Colonial Evening News. Imagine a television newscast from Savannah in 1734. Anchorman Jonathan Patrick from Williamsburg gives the overseas reports and colonial news from Philadelphia before introducing the feature story: the Georgia colony. Reporter Rebecca Wright in Savannah reviews the first year in the colony before turning for an interview with colonist Mary Tate and her daughter Elizabeth. The inquisitive reporter asks Mary why she came to Georgia and what thoughts she had when she first arrived. Digging deeper, the reporter asks if everyone is happy in the new colony. The answer is not a surprise. The trustees’ rules forbidding rum and slave ownership anger some people. Life is difficult in the colony and slaves would help lighten the work load. Daughter Elizabeth misses her English friends but allows that life in Savannah is tolerable. The reporter closes her story revealing that some people refer to this venture as Oglethorpe’s Folly while others think the colony is a valuable outpost for the British crown. Only time will let us know that answer.

Teacher tip: It is fun to go back in time and pretend present-day technology existed as this television newscast did. Were the issues investigated by the reporter some of the ones you knew existed in the colony? Suggest other stories a news reporter could explore and present your own newscast.