Charleston, March 2. On the 23d last past in the morning, one Martin Dunn,belonging to his Majesty’s Ship the Alborough, happened to be with Benjamin Story in his Periauger in the Northern Branch of Store’s River, and striking at an Alligator, fell over board and down to the Ground immediately: No doubt but the Alligator made a good breakfast on him.
We have by the last Advice from Purrysburgh [South Carolina] an account of the noble Effects the Climate of that Colony has produced: There is six Couples embarked thence for Savannah in Georgia, to be join’d in the holy State of Matrimony, and half a dozen pair more preparing themselves for the same.
To His Excellency Governor Johnson, The humble Petition of all the Maids whose Names are under-written.
WHEREAS we the humble Petitioners are at present in a very melancholly Disposition of Mind, considering how all the Batchelors are blindly captivated by Widows , and our more youthful Charms thereby neglected, the Consequence of this our Request is, that your Excellency will for the future order, that no Widow shall presume to marry any young Man till the Maids are provided for, or else to pay each of them a Fine for Satisfaction, for invading our Liberties, and likewise a Fine to be laid on all such Batchelors as shall be married to Widows . The great Disadvantage it is to us Maids is, that the Widows by their forward Carriages do snap up the young Men, and have the Vanity to think their Merits beyond ours, which is a great Imposition upon us, who ought to have the Preference. This is humbly recommended to your Excellency’s Consideration, and hope you will prevent any further Insults. And we poor Maids as in duty bound will ever pray. P.S. I— being the oldest Maid, and therefore most concerned, do think it proper to be the Messenger to your Excellency, in behalf of my Fellow Subscribers.
(Was signed by sixteen Maids, and delivered to the Governor Yesterday at the Feast.)
The Pennsylvania Gazette 28 March 1734
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil thinks it clever of the author to have begun this account of rapacious widows snapping up eligible men with an alligator breakfasting on an unfortunate gentleman. Because Mrs Daffodil is Relentlessly Informative, she will mention that a Periauger is a shallow draft sailing vessel, also known as a pirogue.
The Governor was Robert Johnson, the British colonial Governor of the Province of South Carolina, also known as “the Good Governor,” as he was much-beloved. He was a kindly administrator (except to pirates), but one is uncertain whether the petition was ever granted. One hopes so, for the sake of that oldest Maid.