Savannah's First Murder
In the Fall of 1733, William Wise tried to smuggle a 14 year old prostitute on the Ship Anne sailing from England to the debtor's colony, Savannah.
He tried to say she was his daughter. - Many say William Wise had his fate coming to him long before abandoning England for the new world.
Upon the ship's arrival that December, our founder, General Oglethorpe, sent William to reside on the Island Hutchison across the Savannah River.
It's said no one blinked an eye in missing William. He was a hard man. Gruff. The kind of man who tried to bring along a prostitute to the new world. And so day after day he remained among the dense marsh of that island, flooded with alligators, gnats, and rats.
For two unlucky settlers, though, there was no escaping the company old Mr. Wise.
Alice Riley and Richard White had been assigned to serve him as he oversaw his designated efforts on Hutchison Island.
For Alice, an indentured servant, her life's goal was to work off the debt she owed in exchange for her passage to America - an all-too-common ritual in 1734.
But as fate would have it, William Wise found his entertainment in beating and abusing Alice daily. And her only companion, and suspected lover, Richard, was forced, day after day, to angrily look on as his beloved was abused by the lecherous old man.
One of Alice's duties was to bath William night after night.
“Time for my bath. Draw the bucket,” Mr. Wise would yawp.
To her disdain, Alice would begin the nightly ritual by brushing Mr. Wise’s long grey locks, before ministering to his lounging body with and bucket of hot water.
For long and miserable months this was the custom. Until finally, Alice and Richard couldn't bare it any longer.
Old Mr. Wise had to go.
“Time for my bath. Draw the bucket,” Mr. Wise yawped for the last time. And he lay back on the bed, naked, and waiting for Alice.
Only this time Richard was waiting in the room as well.
And before Mr. Wise could become any the wiser, the desperate pair pinned his head back over the side of the bed with a neckerchief.
Old Mr. Wise couldn’t fight back.
And when they submerged his head in that water-filled bucket, Mr. Wise didn't last long.
The first murder victim in Georgia.
As for what happened to Alice and Richard. Well, that's another story.