South Carolina is one of the most fertile landscapes to be found .
. . preferable in many respects to the terrain in Germany, as well as
in England . . . Game, fish, and birds, as well as waterfowl such as
swans, geese, and ducks, occur there in such plentiful numbers that
. . . newcomers can sustain themselves if necessary . . . until they
have cleared a piece of land, sown seeds, and gathered in a harvest . .
. . . . . Among other things, there can be found in the wild so-called
“Indian chickens” [turkeys], some of which weigh about 40 pounds
or even more. These exist in incredible numbers . . .
Hunting game, fishing, and bird-catching are free to anyone, but
one shouldn’t cross the borders of neighbors or of the Indians [who]
live in complete peace and friendship with our families. In addition,
their number decreases while the number of our people (namely the
Europeans) increases . . . Lumber can be found there in abundance,
especially the most beautiful oaks, but also many of the nicest
chestnuts and nut trees which are used by many for building and
are considered better than oaks. One can also find beeches, spruces,
cypresses, cedars, laurels, myrtle, and many other varieties.
Hogs can be raised very easily in great numbers at little cost,
because there are huge forests everywhere and the ground is covered
with acorns . . . Above all, the breeding of horses, cows, sheep, hogs
and many other kinds of domestic livestock proceeds excellently,
because pastures can be found almost everywhere, and the livestock
can remain in the fields the whole year, as it gets no colder in
Carolina in the middle of winter than it does in Germany in April
or October . . . Because of the multiplication of livestock, almost
no household in Carolina (after residing there a few years) can
justifiably be called poor.
As far as vegetables and fruits are concerned, Indian corn predominates, thriving
in such a way that one can harvest it twice a year and grow it wherever one wants
to. Our local cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats do well, but above all, rice
thrives there as excellently as in any other part of the world, and it grows in such
amounts that it can be loaded on ships and transported to other places. And as the
inhabitants use rice so much and make much more profit from it than any other
cereal, they are most keen on growing rice and there has been very little cultivation
of other cereals.
All kinds of our fruits can be planted there, but . . . future arrivals would do well
to bring along seedlings of any kind, or at least the seeds . . . There can already be
found different kinds of our local apples . . . As far as cabbage, beets, beans, peas,
and other garden plants are concerned, not only do our local plants grow very
well, but there are also many other varieties with excellent taste that are completely
unknown to us . . . Newcomers will do well to acquire all sorts of iron tools and
bring these along . . . If someone has lived in Carolina for a time and he wants to
go to another country, he may do so freely at any time.
Joshua von Kocherthal, â€œPastures can Be Found Almost Everywhere,â€
translated by Dorothee Lehlbach (Frankfurt: Georg Heinrich Oehrling, 2nd ed., 1709);
Special Collections Library of Duke University. Courtesy of Created Equal: A Social and
Political History of the United States (New York: Pearson Education Inc., 2003), 160â€“61.