Title: Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe
Author: Thaddeus Mason Harris
Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #10677]
Most recently updated: December 20, 2020
E-text prepared by Dave Maddock, Josephine Paolucci, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
by THADDEUS MASON HARRIS, D.D.
"Thy great example will in glory shine,
A favorite theme with Poet and Divine;
Posterity thy merits shall proclaim,
And add new honor to thy deathless fame."
On his return from Georgia, 1735.
[Illustration: GEN. JAMES OGLETHORPE. _This sketch was taken in February preceding his decease when he was reading without spectacles at the sale of the library of Dr. S. Johnson.
Having visited the South for the benefit of my health, I arrived at Savannah, in Georgia, on the 10th of February, 1834; and, indulging the common inquisitiveness of a stranger about the place, was informed that just one hundred and one years had elapsed since the first settlers were landed there, and the city laid out. Replies to other inquiries, and especially a perusal of McCall's History of the State, excited a lively interest in the character of General OGLETHORPE, who was the founder of the Colony, and in the measures which he pursued for its advancement, defence, and prosperity. I was, however, surprised to learn that no biography had been published of the man who projected an undertaking of such magnitude and importance; engaged in it on principles the most benevolent and disinterested; persevered till its accomplishment, under circumstances exceedingly arduous, and often discouraging; and lived to see "a few become a thousand," and a weak one "the flourishing part of a strong nation."
So extraordinary did Dr. Johnson consider the adventures, enterprise, and exploits of this remarkable man, that "he urged him to give the world his life." He said, "I know of no man whose life would be more interesting. If I were furnished with materials, I would be very glad to write it." This was a flattering offer. The very suggestion implied that the great and worthy deeds, which Oglethorpe had performed, ought to be recorded for the instruction, the grateful acknowledgment, and just commendation of contemporaries; and their memorial transmitted with honor to posterity. "The General seemed unwilling to enter upon it then;" but, upon a subsequent occasion, communicated to Boswell a number of particulars, which were committed to writing; but that gentleman "not having been sufficiently diligent in obtaining more from him," death closed the opportunity of procuring all the requisite information.
There was a memoir drawn up soon after his decease, which has been attributed to Capel Lofft, Esq., and published in the European Magazine. This was afterwards adopted by Major McCall; and, in an abridged form, appended to the first volume of his History of Georgia. It is preserved, also, as a note, in the second volume of Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, with some references and additional information. But it is too brief and meagre to do justice to the memory of one of whom it has been said, "His life was full of variety, adventure, and achievement. His ruling passions were, the love of glory, of his country, and of mankind; and these were so blended together in his mind that they formed but one principle of action. He was a hero, a statesman, an orator; the patron of letters, the chosen friend of men of genius, and the theme of praise for great poets." The writer of this elegant encomium, adds this remark: "AN AUTHENTIC AND TOLERABLY MINUTE LIFE OF OGLETHORPE IS A DESIDERATUM." Such a desideratum I have endeavored to supply. This, however, has been a very difficult undertaking; the materials for composing it, excepting what relates to the settlement of Georgia, were to be sought after in the periodicals of the day, or discovered by references to him in the writings or memoirs of his contemporaries. I have searched all the sources of information to which I could have access, with the aim to collect what had been scattered; to point out what had been overlooked; and, from the oblivion into which they had fallen, to rescue the notices of some striking incidents and occurrences in the life of Oglethorpe, in order to give consistency and completeness to a narrative of the little that had been preserved and was generally known.
[Footnote 1: Gulian Veerplanck, Esq. Anniversary Discourse before the
New York Historical Society, December 7, 1818, page 33.]
To use the words of one who had experience in a similar undertaking: "The biographer of our day is too often perplexed in the toil of his researches after adequate information for composing the history of men who were an honor to their age, and of whom posterity is anxious to know whatever may be added to increase the need of that veneration, which, from deficient knowledge, they can but imperfectly bestow."
My collected notices I have arranged so as to form a continuous narrative, though with some wide interruptions. The statements of the most important transactions have generally been made in the terms of original documents, or the publications of the day; as I deemed it more just and proper so to do, than to give them my own coloring. And I must apprize the reader, that instead of aiming to express the recital in the fluency of rhetorical diction, or of aspiring to decorate my style of composition with studied embellishments, MY PURPOSE HAS SIMPLY AND UNIFORMLY BEEN TO RELATE FACTS IN THE MOST PLAIN AND ARTLESS MANNER; and I trust that my description of scenes and occurrences will be admitted to be natural and free from affectation; and my inferences, to be pertinent, impartial, and illustrative. I hope, too, that it will not be thought that the detail of circumstances is needlessly particular, and the relation of incidents too minute. For, these, though seemingly inconsiderable, are not unimportant; and, though among the minor operations of active life, serve to indicate the state of existing opinions and prevailing motives, and to exhibit the real aspect of the times. They also have, more or less, relation to forth-coming events. They are foot-prints in the onward march to "enterprises of great pith and moment;" and hence should be carefully traced and inspected. Though my authorities are duly noted, I have not been so particular as to distinguish every passage which I had transcribed by marks of quotation; and, therefore, being willing that this work should be considered as mainly a compilation, with unassuming pretensions, entitle it BIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIALS.
After the lapse of more than a century since Oglethorpe entered on the stage of action, it cannot be expected that the varied incidents of so busy, eventful, and long protracted a life as was his, can be brought out and fully described; or that the prominent personal qualities of so singular a character can be delineated, for the first time, with vivid exactness and just expression. Not having presumed to do this, I have attempted nothing more than a general outline or profile.
Such as I have been able to make the work, I present it to the public. Whatever may be the reception which it may meet, I shall never think the moments misspent, which were devoted to the purpose of reviving the memory of Oglethorpe, and of perpetuating his fame by a more full recital of his deeds than had been heretofore made.
BOSTON, July 7th, 1838.
* * * * *
Since the preceding preface was written, the Reverend Charles Wallace Howard, who had been commissioned by the Legislature of Georgia to procure from the public offices in London, a copy of the records of the Trustees for the settlement of the Province, and of other colonial documents, has returned, having successfully accomplished the object of his mission. It may be thought that these are of such importance that all which I have done must be defective indeed, unless I avail myself of them; and so, perhaps, it may prove. But my advanced old age, my feeble state of health, and other circumstances, prevent my doing so. I console myself, however, with the consideration that as they consist of particulars relative to the settlement and early support of Georgia, to which Oglethorpe devoted not quite eleven years of a life extended to nearly a hundred, they would only contribute to render more distinct the bright and glorious meridian of his protracted day,—while I aimed to exhibit its morning promise and its evening lustre;—endeavoring to give some account of what he was and did forty-four years before he commenced "the great emprise," and where he was and how occupied forty-two years after its accomplishment.
Moreover, the official records contain, principally, a detail of the plans and measures which were adopted and pursued by the Trustees in London, or comprise the statement of public grants of money, and military stores and forces;—and these belong to History, and not to Biography.
The Letters of Oglethorpe, besure, would be exceedingly interesting; but I presume that much of what they refer to may be collected from pamphlets and periodicals of the day, where he is spoken of as he would not feel free to speak of himself. As from these I have collected the most material particulars, I cannot think that my actual deficiencies in the history of that eventful period can be very considerable or important.
From a correspondence with I.K. TEFFT, Esq. and WILLIAM B. STEVENS, M.D., of Savannah, I have obtained the clearer statement of some important facts and occurrences, which is respectfully noticed where introduced, and for which I render my grateful acknowledgments. The latter gentleman has also obligingly favored me with an article on the culture of silk in Georgia, which graces my appendix.
I have done the best I could with scanty store;
Let abler man, with ample means, do more;
Yet not deficiencies of mine decry,
Nor make my gatherings his own lack supply.
May 1st, 1841.
The date, at the close of the first preface, indicates that the publication of this work had been suspended.—A subsequent epistolary correspondence, in reference to it, with friends at Savannah, excited promptings, which were succeeded by a list of nearly two hundred subscribers for the volume in print;—a list that included the names of the most respectable gentlemen of the city, among whom were those that held distinguished stations and filled important offices in public life.
For this flattering encouragement and honorary patronage, the most grateful acknowledgments are rendered.
* * * * *
The name of the capital of South Carolina was originally written Charles-Town and Charles' Town. At the time of the early settlement of Georgia it had become blended in the compound word Charlestown, which, being found in the documents referred to or quoted in this work, is retained here, though of later years it is spelt Charleston.
In the following pages variations occur in the names of persons and places, principally in the extracts from German publications. This lack of uniformity in some instances, as also a few verbal errors in others, was not detected till the sheets had passed the press.
"Acres circumfert centum licet Argus ocellos,
Non tamen errantes cernat ubique typos."
The chapters, into which this work is divided, are with reference to somewhat distinct portions of the history; and may be likened to a suit of apartments in a capacious house; some large and some small, variously furnished, and with different prospects abroad; but yet adjoining each other, and, if but fitly framed together, adapted to a duly constructed edifice.
Parentage of Oglethorpe—Birth—Christian Name—Education—Military Profession and Promotion—In the Suite of the Earl of Peterborough—Service under Prince Eugene of Savoy—Elected Member of Parliament—Visits a Gentleman in Prison—Moves in the House of Commons for a redress of the rigors of Prison Discipline—Appointed on the Committee—Extracts from his Speeches in Parliament,
Oglethorpe appointed first a Director, and then Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company—Takes a compassionate interest in the situation of an African kidnapped, sold as a slave, and carried to Annapolis, in Maryland, a Province in North America, who proves to have been an Iman, or assistant Priest, of Futa, and was named Job Solomon—Causes him to be redeemed, and sent to England, where he becomes serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane for his knowledge of Arabic; attracts also the notice of persons of rank and distinction, and is sent back to Africa,
Project for settling the south-eastern frontier of Carolina—A Charter granted for it, by the name of Georgia—Trustees appointed, who arrange a plan of Settlement—They receive a grant of Money from Parliament, and from Subscriptions and Contributions—Oglethorpe takes a lively interest in it—States the Object, and suggests Motives for Emigration—A Vessel hired to convey the Emigrants—Oglethorpe offers to accompany the intended Colonists—His disinterested devotedness to the benevolent and patriotic Enterprise,
The emigrants embark—Arrive at Charlestown, South
Carolina—Oglethorpe visits Governor Johnson—Proceeds up the
Savannah river—Place of settlement fixed upon—Town laid out—Labors
superintended, and assisted by Colonel Bull—Treaty with Tomo
Chichi—Progress of settlement—Oglethorpe makes a visit to Governor
Johnson, presents himself before the House of Assembly, and makes an
Address of grateful acknowledgment of favors received—Returns to
Savannah—Holds a treaty with the Lower Creeks—Goes to horse-quarter
on the Ogechee—Fort Argyle built—Savannah laid out in wards, and
Court of Records instituted,
Oglethorpe intended to visited Boston, in New England—Governor Belcher's Letter to him—Provincial Assembly appoint a Committee to receive him—Sets out on an exploratory Excursion—Names an Island, Jekyl—Visits Fort Argyle—Returns to Savannah—Saltzburgh emigrants, conducted by Baron Von Reck, come to settle in Georgia—Oglethorpe assists them in selecting a place—They call it Ebenezer—He then goes up the river to Palachicolas—Returns—Goes to Charlestown, with Torno Chichi and other Indians, in order to take passage to England,
Oglethorpe arrives in England with his Indian Escort—Is welcomed by the Trustees—Apartments are provided for the Indians—They are introduced to the King and Royal Family—One of their number dies of the small pox—Visit the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Eton College—Shown the public buildings and institutions in London—Embark for Georgia—Their arrival,
Oglethorpe remains in England—Trustees make Regulations—Oglethorpe, desirous of providing for the conversion of the Indians, applies to Bishop Wilson to prepare a Book of Religious Instruction for them—Trustees seek for Missionaries—Engage John and Charles Wesley,
Trustees make a new selection of Settlers—Their Proposals successful in Scotland—Embarkation of Highlanders for Georgia—Indian hieroglyphic letter sent to the Trustees—Further emigration of Saltzburgers—Great embarkation of Colonists, attended by Oglethorpe and the Missionaries—Employment and religious exercises on board during the voyage—Arrival—Beacon on the Island of Tybee—The people go on shore at Peeper's Island—Oglethorpe goes to Savannah with the Missionaries—Sends provisions and refreshments to the Emigrants—Moore's account of the Public Garden—Tomo Chichi welcomes his friend—Saltzburgers make application for a removal from Ebenezer—Oglethorpe sends pioneers to lay out a road to Darien,
Special destination of the last Emigrants—Oglethorpe makes arrangements for their transportation to the Island of St. Simons—Follows with Charles Wesley—Arrives and lays out a Town to be called Frederica—Visits the Highlanders at Darien—Returns and superintends the building of a Fort—All the people arrive—Barracks for the Soldiers put up, and a Battery erected—Visited by Tomo Chichi, and Indians, who make a cession of the Islands—Reconnoitres the Islands and gives names to them—Commissioners from St. Augustine—Apparently amicable overtures—Oglethorpe goes to Savannah to hold a conference with a Committee from South Carolina respecting trade with the Indians—Insolent demand of the Spaniards—Oglethorpe embarks for England,
Delegation of the Missionaries—JOHN WESLEY stationed at Savannah—Has a conference with Tomo Chichi—His Preaching deemed personal in its applications—He becomes unpopular—Meets with persecution—Leaves the Province and returns to England—CHARLES WESLEY attends Oglethorpe to Frederica—Finds himself unpleasantly situated—Furnished with despatches for the Trustees, he sets out for Charlestown, and thence takes passage for England—By stress of weather the Vessel driven off its course—Puts in at Boston, New England—His reception there—Sails thence for England—After a perilous voyage, arrives—BENJAMIN INGHAM also at Frederica—Goes to Savannah to apprize John Wesley of the sickness of his brother—Resides among the Creeks in order to learn their language—Returns to England—CHARLES DELAMOTTE at Savannah—Keeps a School—Is much respected—GEORGE WHITEFIELD comes to Savannah—His reception—Visits Tomo Chichi, who was sick—Ministerial labors—Visits the Saltzburgers—Pleased with their provision for Orphan Children—Visits Frederica and the adjacent Settlements—Returns to England—Makes a second voyage to Georgia, and takes efficient measures for the erection of an Orphan House,
Oglethorpe arrives in England—Trustees petition the King for military aid to the new Colony—A regiment granted—Oglethorpe appointed Commander in Chief of South Carolina and Georgia—Part of the regiment sent out—Oglethorpe embarks for Georgia the third time—Remainder of the regiment arrive—And two companies from Gibraltar—Prospect of war with Spain—Military preparations at St. Augustine—Oglethorpe makes arrangements for defence—Treason in the Camp—Mutiny, and personal assault on the General,
Oglethorpe visits Savannah—Troubles there—Causton, the store-keeper, displaced—Oglethorpe holds a conference with a deputation of Indians—Town-meeting called, and endeavors used to quiet discontents—Goes back to Frederica, but obliged to renew his visit to Savannah,
Oglethorpe goes to Charlestown, South Carolina, to open his Commission—Comes back to Savannah—Gives encouragement to the Planters—Returns to Frederica—Excursion to Coweta—Forms a Treaty with the Upper Creeks—Receives at Augusta a delegation of the Chickasaws and Cherokees, who complain of having been poisoned by the Traders—On his return to Savannah is informed of Spanish aggressions, and is authorized to make reprisals,
Oglethorpe addresses a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Bull, suggesting an expedition against St. Augustine—Follows this, by application in person—Promised assistance, and cooperation—Returns to Frederica—Collects his forces—Passes over to Florida—Takes several Spanish forts—Is joined by the Carolinian troops—The enemy receive supplies—Oglethorpe changes the siege into a blockade—Takes possession of Anastasia Island—Colonel Palmer and his men surprised and cut to pieces—Spanish cruelties—English fleet quit the station—Siege raised, and Oglethorpe returns to Frederica,
Oglethorpe pays particular attention to internal Improvements—Meets with many annoyances—The Creeks, under Toonahowi, make an incursion into Florida—The Spanish form a design upon Georgia—Some of their fleet appear on the coast—Oglethorpe prepares for defence—Applies to South Carolina for assistance—Spaniards attack Fort William—Dangerous situation of Oglethorpe—Spanish fleet enter the harbor and land on St. Simons—In three successive engagements they are defeated—A successful stratagem—Enemy defeated at Bloody Marsh—Retire and attack Fort William, which is bravely defended by Ensign Stewart—Spanish forces, repulsed in all their assaults, abandon the invasion in dismay, and return to St. Augustine and to Cuba,
Oglethorpe, informed that the Spaniards were making preparations for a renewal of hostilities, takes measures to repel them—Meets with an alarming accident—Lands on the Florida side of St. John's—Proceeds towards St. Augustine—The Spanish do not venture out to attack him—Returns to the Islands—sees that the Forts are repaired—Takes passage to England to attend a Court Martial on an insidious charge against him by Lieutenant Cook—Is honorably acquitted, and Cook is dismissed from the service,
Oglethorpe's residence in England—Marriage—Military appointments—A Major General under the Duke of Cumberland for the suppression of the rebellion in 1745—Arraigned at a Court Martial and acquitted—Domestic and social life, and character—Death,
Obituary notice of Mrs. ELIZABETH OGLETHORPE, with extracts from her
Account of Carolina and Georgia by OGLETHORPE,
I. Family of Oglethorpe,
II. Discussion respecting the birth-day of the subject of these memorials,
III. Notices of the Earl of Peterborough, and of Dean Berkeley,
IV. Reference to the debates in Parliament in which Oglethorpe took a part,
V. Prison-visiting Committee,
VI. Release of insolvent debtors,
VII. Sir Thomas Lombe's mill for winding silk,
VIII. Case of Captain Porteous,
IX. Trustees for settling Georgia,
X. Oglethorpe's disinterestedness in the undertaking,
XI. Advertisement of Governor Johnson of South Carolina, and letter of the Governor and Council to Oglethorpe,
XII. Account of the Creeks,
XIII. Account of the Indians in Georgia by Oglethorpe,
XIV. Memoir of the Duke of Argyle,
XVI. Arrival of these persecuted German Protestants in Georgia,
XVII. Settlement of Moravians,
XVIII. Scout-boat and Channels,
XIX. Uchee Indians,
XX. A mutiny in the Camp, and attempt at assassination,
XXI. Memoir of Tomo-Chichi,
XXII. General Oglethorpe's manifesto,
XXIII. Fate of Colonel Palmer,
XXIV. Account of the siege of St. Augustine,
XXV. Spanish invasion,
XXVI. Order for a Thanksgiving,
XXVII. List of Spanish forces employed in the invasion of Georgia, and
of Oglethorpe's to resist them,
XXVIII. History of the silk culture in Georgia, written by W.B.
Stevens, M.D., of Savannah,
Parentage of Oglethorpe—Birth—Education—Christian Name—Education—Military Profession and Promotion—In the Suite of the Earl of Peterborough—Service under Prince Eugene of Savoy—Elected Member of Parliament—Visits a Gentleman in Prison—Moves in the House of Commons for a redress of the rigors of Prison Discipline—Appointed on the Committee—Extracts from his Speeches in Parliament.
James Oglethorpe, founder of the Colony of Georgia in North America,—a distinguished philanthropist, general, and statesman,—was the son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, of Godalming, in the County of Surrey, Great Britain, by Eleanor, his wife, daughter of Richard Wall, Esq. of Rogane, in Ireland. There has been, hitherto, great uncertainty with respect to the year, the month, and the day of his nativity; I have, however, what I deem good authority for deciding it to have been the twenty-first day of December, one thousand six hundred and eighty-eight.
[Footnote 1: For some account of the Family, see Appendix I.]
[Footnote 2: Appendix II.]
It is asserted in Thoresby's History of Leeds, page 255, that "he had two Christian names, James-Edward, supposed to have been bestowed upon him in compliment to the Pretender;" and he is so named on his sepulchral monument. But, as he always used but one; as he was enregistered on entering College at Oxford, simply James; and, as the double name is not inserted in any public act, commission, document, printed history, or mention of him in his life time, that I have ever met with, I have not thought proper to adopt it.
When sixteen years of age, on the 9th of July, 1704, he was admitted a member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where his brother Lewis received his education. It seems, however, that, after the example of that brother, as also of his brother Theophilus, he early relinquished a literary, for a military profession; and aspired to make his way in the world, "tam Marte quam Minerva."
[Footnote 1: The record of his admittatur, in the University Register, is,—"1704, Jul. 9, term. S. Trin. Jacobus Oglethorpe, e C.C.C. 16. Theoph. f. Sti. Jacobi, Lond. Equ. Aur. filius natu minor." That is, "In Trinity Term, July 9, 1704, James Oglethorpe, aged 16, youngest son of Theophilus Oglethorpe, of St. James's, London, was admitted into Corpus Christi College."]
His first commission was that of Ensign; and it is dated in 1710; and he bore that rank in the army when peace was proclaimed in 1713. In the same year he is known to have been in the suite of the Earl of Peterborough, ambassador from the Court of Great Britain to the King of Sicily and to the other Italian States; whither he was fellow traveller with the Rev. Dr. George Berkeley, his Lordship's Chaplain. Highly honorable was such a mark of favor from his Lordship; and peculiarly pleasant and instructive, also, must have been such companionship with the amiable and excellent clergyman; and it afforded opportunity of concerting plans of usefulness, of beneficence, and of philanthropy, the object and tendency of which were apparent in the after life of each.
[Footnote 1: Biographical Memoir in the European Magazine, Vol. VIII. p. 13.]
[Footnote 2: NICHOLS, in the Literary Anecdotes of the XVIIIth Century, Vol. II. p. 19, says, "he was aid-de-camp;" but as that was the title of a military rank, rather than of an attendant on a diplomatic ambassador, I have substituted another term, which however may embrace it, if it be really proper.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Berkeley, in a letter to Thomas Prior, Esq., dated Turin, January 6, 1714, n.s. says that he travelled from Lyons "in company with Col. Du Hamel and Mr. Oglethorpe, Adjutant General of the Queen's forces; who were sent with a letter from my Lord to the King's mother, at Turin." Works of GEORGE BERKELEY, D.D., with an Account of his Life. Dublin. 1704. 2 vols. 4to. Vol. I—p. xxx]
[Footnote 4: Appendix III.]
In 1714 he was Captain Lieutenant in the first troop of the Queen's guards. By his fine figure, his soldierly deportment and personal bravery, he attracted the notice of the Duke of Marlborough; whose confidence and patronage he seems long to have enjoyed, and by whom, and through the influence of the Duke of Argyle, he was so recommended to Prince Eugene, that he received him into his service, first as his secretary, and afterwards aid-de-camp. Thus near the person of this celebrated general, full of ardor, and animated with heroic courage, an opportunity was offered him in the warlike expedition against the Turks in which the Prince was engaged, to gather those laurels in what the world calls "the field of glory," to which he aspired; and, in several successive campaigns, he exhibited applauded proofs of chivalric gallantry and personal bravery. By his attentive observation of the discipline, manner of battle array, onset of the forces, and the instruction given him in military tactics, he acquired that knowledge of the art of war, for which he afterwards became so distinguished.
At the battle of Peterwaradin, one of the strongest frontier places that Austria had against the Turks, Oglethorpe, though present, was not perhaps actively engaged. It was fought on the 5th of August, 1716. The army of the Turks consisted of 150,000 men, of which 40,000 were Janisaries, and 30,000 Saphis, or troopers, the rest were Tartars, Walachians, and the troops of Asia and Egypt. The army of the Imperialists, under his Serene Highness, Prince Eugene, consisted of but little more than half that number. The onset began at seven in the morning, and by twelve Eugene was writing to the Emperor an account of the victory in the tent of the Grand Vizier.
[Footnote 1: Military History of Prince Eugene, of Savoy, (a superb work in two folio volumes, with elegant plates; compiled by CAMPBELL.) Lond. 1737. Vol. II. p. 215. From this, and from "The Life and Military Actions of Eugene," Lond. 1737, 12mo, the account of the battles is taken.]
After a sharp contest of about four hours, the Grand Vizier Hali, seeing the battle go against him, put himself at the head of his guard of horse, pushed through a defile, and made a very brisk charge; but his men could not sustain the contest; and he, having received two wounds, was carried off the field to Carlowitz, where he died the next day. The Aga of the Janisaries and Mahomet Bassa were also slain. The whole loss of the Turks in this action amounted to about 22,000; and of the Imperialists, 3,695 common soldiers, and 469 officers. There was found in the camp 164 pieces of cannon, and a prodigious quantity of powder, bullets, bombs, grenades, and various military equipments and stores; and the booty in other articles was great and rich beyond computation.
The Imperial army passed the Danube on the 6th of August, "in order to avoid the infection of the dead bodies." The same day a council of war was held, in which the siege of Temeswaer was proposed and resolved on. This is a town of Hungary, upon the river Temes, whence it has its name. It lies five miles from Lippa, towards the borders of Transylvania, and about ten from Belgrade. The Turks took it from the Transylvanians in 1552, and fortified it to a degree that they deemed it impregnable. After several severe conflicts, and a most desperate resistance, it capitulated on the 14th of October, 1716, and the Turks entirely evacuated the place on the 17th. Thus the capital of a region of the same name, was restored to its lawful prince after having been in the hands of the Turks 164 years. "The success of this victorious campaign filled not only Germany, but all Europe with joy." On this occasion, Oglethorpe acted as aid-de-camp; and his active service in attendance upon Prince Eugene; his prompt attention to the orders dictated to him, or transmitted by him; his alertness and fidelity in communicating them; and his fearless exposure to imminent peril in passing from one division of the army to another, gained him commendatory acknowledgments and the increased favor of his Serene Highness.
Notwithstanding these signal victories gained over them, the Turks were determined to continue the contest; and the next year the Grand Signior held a great Divan at Constantinople to take measures for its most vigorous prosecution. These purposes being put in train, Prince Eugene undertook the siege of Belgrade, their chief strong hold. "The Turks advanced to its relief, and besieged him in his camp. His danger was imminent; but military skill and disciplined valor triumphed over numbers and savage ferocity. He sallied out of his intrenchments, and, falling suddenly upon the enemy, routed them with great slaughter, and took their cannon, baggage, and everything belonging to their camp. Belgrade surrendered immediately after." On the 16th of August, (1717) the capitulation was signed; and immediately afterwards the Imperialists took possession of a gate, and the out-works; on the 19th Te Deum was solemnly performed in the tent of the Grand Vizier, which had become occupied by Eugene, and on the 22d the place was evacuated. The Imperialists found prodigious riches in the camp of which they had become possessed; "for the Sultan had emptied his coffers to supply this army, which was by far the most numerous of any set on foot since the famous siege of Vienna."
[Footnote 1: Russell's Modern Europe, Vol. V. p. 3.]
[Footnote 2: CAMPBELL'S Military History of Eugene, Vol. II. p. 233.]
"Such was the conclusion of the siege of Belgrade; a place of the last importance to the Imperialists and to the Turks; the bridle of all the adjoining country; the glorious trophy of the valor and conduct of his Serene Highness, Prince Eugene; and the bulwark, not of Germany only, but of all Christendom on this side."
"Oglethorpe was in active command at the siege and battle of Belgrade, on the south shore of the Danube, in 1717; where he acquired a high and deserved reputation."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine for 1785, p. 573.]
In the postscript of a letter from Alexander Pope, dated September 8th, 1717, to Edward Blount, Esq., is this remark: "I hope you will take part in the rejoicing for the victory of Prince Eugene over the Turks, &c." to which Dr. Warton subjoins this note; "at which General Oglethorpe was present, and of which I have heard him give a lively description."
The peace which took place in the following year between the Emperor and the Sultan, left Oglethorpe without any active employment; and he quitted, doubtless with reluctance, the staff of his friend and patron, prince Eugene, with whom he had so honorably served; and returned to England.
He was offered preferment in the German service; but it was, probably, a sufficient reason with him for declining the proffer, that "the profession of a soldier in time of peace affords but few opportunities of promotion, and none of distinction."
In the year 1722, succeeding his brother Lewis in the inheritance of the estate at Godalming, his weight of character and family influence secured to him a seat in Parliament, as Burgess, for Haslemere; and he continued to represent that borough, by successive elections, and through various changes of administration, for thirty-two years; and, "during this long period, he distinguished himself by several able speeches; and, in the laws for the benefit of trade, &c. many regulations were proposed and promoted by him."
In this august assembly, he was neither a dumb show, nor an automaton; nor the tool of party; but independent, intelligent, and energetic, delivered his opinions freely, spoke often, and always to the purpose.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix IV.]
His first recorded speech was on the 6th of April, 1723, against the banishment of Dr. Francis Atterbury, the Bishop of Rochester, which he deemed injudicious and needlessly rigorous.
[Footnote 1: History and Proceedings of the House of Commons, Lond. 1742, Vol. VI. p. 308.]
A few years after, his feelings of humanity were powerfully touched on finding a gentleman, whom he went to visit in the Fleet prison, loaded with irons, and otherwise cruelly used. Shocked by the scenes he witnessed, he determined to expose such injustice; and, if possible, to prevent such abuse of power. With this view, he brought forward a motion in the House of Commons, "that an inquiry should be instituted into the state of the gaols in the metropolis." This met with such attention, that in February, 1728, the House of Commons assigned the subject to a Committee, of which he was chosen Chairman. The investigation led to the discovery of many corrupt practices, and much oppressive treatment of the prisoners; and was followed by the enactment of measures for the correction of such shameful mismanagement and inhuman neglect in some cases, and for the prevention of severity of infliction in others.
[Footnote 1: Sir William Rich, Baronet.]
[Footnote 2: Appendix IV.]
[Footnote 3: Appendix V.]
A writer, whose opinion was founded on the best means of knowledge, has declared that "the effects of this interposition have been felt ever since by the unhappy prisoners."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine for 1785, page 572.]
Oglethorpe thus became the precursor of HOWARD, the philanthropist, in the cause of humanity, as it regards the amelioration of prison discipline in general, especially the rigors of close confinement for debt or petty offences, and that among felons and convicts. The impression then made on his mind and heart, led him, afterwards, to other and more extensive and efficacious measures for the relief of poor debtors from the extortions and oppressions to which they were subjected by gaolers, and from the humiliation and distress in which they were often involved without any fault of their own, or by some conduct which deserved pity rather than punishment.
At the opening of the session of Parliament on the 12th of January, 1731, the King's speech was the subject of debate in the House of Commons. A motion was made for an address of thanks, in which they should declare their entire approbation of his Majesty's conduct, express their confidence in the wisdom of his counsels, and announce their readiness to grant the necessary supplies. There were some who opposed the motion. They did not argue against a general vote of thanks, but intimated the impropriety, and, indeed, ill tendency of expressions which implied an unquestioning approbation of the measures of the ministry. In referring to this, Smollet says, "Mr. Oglethorpe, a gentleman of unblemished character, brave, generous, and humane, affirmed that many other things related more immediately to the honor and interest of the nation, than did the guarantee of the Pragmatic sanction. He said that he wished to have heard that the new works at Dunkirk had been entirely razed and destroyed; that the nation had received full and complete satisfaction for the depradation committed by the natives of Spain; that more care was taken in the disciplining of the militia, on whose valor the nation must chiefly depend in case of an invasion; and that some regard had been shown to the oppressed Protestants in Germany. He expressed his satisfaction, however, to find that the English were not so closely united to France as formerly, for he had generally observed that when two dogs were in a leash together, the stronger generally ran away with the weaker; and this, he feared, had been the case between France and Great Britain."
[Footnote 1: History of England, Book II. chap. iv. Section xxx.]
The motion, however, was carried, and the address presented.
Possessing a vein of wit, Oglethorpe was apt to introduce piquant illustrations and comparisons into his narratives, and sometimes with the view of their giving force to his statements; but, though they might serve to enliven conversation, they were not dignified enough for a speech in so august an assembly as that he was now addressing. They are, however, atoned for, on this occasion, by the grave tenor of his preceding remarks, which were the dictates of good sense, the suggestions of sound policy, and, especially, by the reference to the distressed situation of the persecuted German Protestants which was evincive of a compassionate consideration, truly honorable to him as a man and a Christian. And we shall find, that, in behalf of these, he afterwards exerted a personal and availing influence.
In 1732 he made a spirited and patriotic effort in Parliament to restore a constitutional militia; and to abolish arbitrary impressment for the sea-service; and, on this subject, he published a pamphlet entitled "The Sailor's Advocate," for which Mr. Sharpe obliged him with a sarcastic preface.
In the debate on the bill for encouraging the trade of the British sugar colonies, Oglethorpe took an active part, and manifested those liberal and patriotic views, and that regard for the colonial settlements in North America, which, afterwards, became with him a decided principle.
"In all cases," said he, "that come before this House, where there seems a clashing of interests, we ought to have no exclusive regard to the particular interest of any one country or set of people, but to the good of the whole. Our colonies are a part of our dominions. The people in them are our own people; and we ought to show an equal respect to all. If it should appear that our Plantations upon the continent of America are against that which is desired by the sugar colonies, we are to presume that the granting thereof will be a prejudice to the trade or particular interests of our continental settlements. And, surely, the danger of hurting so considerable a part of our dominions,—a part which reaches from the 34th to the 46th degree of north latitude,—will, at least, incline us to be extremely cautious in what we are going about. If, therefore, it shall appear that the relieving our sugar colonies will do more harm to the other parts of our dominions, than it can do good to them, we must refuse it, and think of some other method of putting them upon an equal footing with their rivals in any part of trade.
"Our sugar colonies are of great consequence to us; but our other colonies in that part of the world ought also to be considered. From them we have, likewise, yearly, large quantities of goods. We ought not to raise one colony upon the destruction of another. Much less ought we to grant a favor to any particular set of people which may prove to be against the public good of the nation in general."
To these, and other matters of general moment, Oglethorpe devoted his time, his talents, and his influence while in Parliament. He earnestly supported the cause of silk manufacture, which had then begun to spread in England by means of the improvement introduced by Sir Thomas Lombe, in the invention of his large engines, which are described as being of "a most curious and intricate structure," but which in our own day, when mechanical ingenuity has reached a high degree of excellence, and machinery seems itself almost an intelligent principle, would, probably, be regarded as merely "curious and intricate," without possessing any practical value.
[Footnote 1: The 6th of the excellent Essays by the Rev. Jared Eliot, on Field Husbandry, & c., 1761, is devoted principally to recommendations of the culture of mulberry trees for the raising of silk-worms. In page 161, is a reference to Sir Thomas Lombe, "that eminent throwster, who erected the great engine in Derbyshire; a wonderful structure, consisting of twenty-nine thousand five hundred and eighty-six wheels, all set a going and continued in motion by one single water-wheel, for working silk with expedition and success." See also Appendix VII.]
[Footnote 2: Manuscript lecture of J. Willard, Esq.]
A Corporation was formed in London, in 1707, with the professed intention of lending money to the poor on small pledges, and to persons of better rank, upon an answerable security, for setting them up, or assisting them in business. Its capital was then limited to £30,000, but in 1730 increased to £600,000, and a charter granted to the Corporation, by act of Parliament. But in October 1731, two of the chief officers, George Robinson, Esq., member for Marlow, the Cashier, and John Thompson, the Warehouse keeper, disappeared on the same day. This gave the Proprietors great alarm; and an inspection of affairs led to the discovery that for a capital of about £500,000, no equivalent was found to the value of £30,000; the remainder having been disposed of by ways and means of which no one could give an account. In consequence of this defalcation, a petition of the Proprietors was presented to the Parliament alleging that some who had been guilty of these frauds had transported themselves to parts beyond the seas, and carried with them some of the books and effects of the Corporation; and that there was great reason to believe that such an immense sum of money could not have been embezzled without the connivance and participation of others who remained in the kingdom; but that the petitioners were unable to come at the knowledge of their combinations or to bring them to justice, unless aided by the power and authority of that House; and therefore prayed that it might be afforded.
On the reading of the petition, Mr. Oglethorpe rose and spoke as follows:
"Sir, I am persuaded that this petition will be received in a manner befitting the unhappy case of the sufferers and the justice of this House. I can hardly suspect that any gentleman that has the honor of being a member of this House will hesitate in giving all the relief which we can to the number of unfortunate persons, who have been so much injured. Yet, because I have heard it whispered out of doors, that we ought not to receive this petition upon account, as is pretended, that the common seal is not affixed to it, I deem it necessary to take some notice of that objection, in case it should be started here. Sir, I must say that if there be any irregularity as to the affixing the seal of the Company to this petition, it is, in my opinion, so far from being an objection to our receiving the petition, that it is a very strong reason for it. If there be any fault in form, it is the fault of those who had the keeping of the common seal; and, as they may, perhaps, be of those against whom the complaints are made, and who may, upon inquiry, be found more or less amenable for the wrong, we are, therefore, to suspect that the withholding the seal may be with a view of preventing the truth's being brought to light; at any rate, we ought to discountenance and defeat such indirect practices with regard to the use of a common seal.
"For my own part, sir, I have been always for encouraging the design upon which this corporation was at first established; and looked upon it as a provident act of charity to let necessitous persons have the opportunity of borrowing money upon easier terms than they could have it elsewhere. Money, like other things, is but a commodity, and in the way of dealing, the use of it is looked upon to be worth as much as people can get for it. If this corporation let persons in limited circumstances have the use of money at a cheaper rate than individuals, brokers, or money lenders, would be willing to do, it was certainly a beneficent act. If they had demanded more than was elsewhere given, they would not have had applicants, and the design would not have proved good and useful; but the utility of it was most evident; and the better the design, and the more excellent the benefit, the more those persons deserve to be punished, who by their frauds have curtailed, if not now wholly cut off, these sources of furnishing assistance to the industrious and enterprising, and disappointed the public of reaping the benefit which might have accrued by an honest and faithful execution of so good an undertaking."
[Footnote 1: History and Proceedings of the House of Commons, Vol.
VII. p. 154.]
Another subject in the parliamentary discussions of Oglethorpe which I shall mention, is his defence of the magistracy and town-guard of the city of Edinburgh against an arraignment in the House of Lords, for what was deemed the neglect of prompt and energetic measures for suppressing the riotous seizure and murder of Captain Porteous by an exasperated mob. The circumstances were these.
After the execution in the Grass-market, on the 14th of April, 1736, of one Andrew Wilson, a robber, the town-guard, which had been ordered out on the occasion, was insulted by rude and threatening speeches, and pelted with stones, by the mob. John Porteous, the captain, so resented the annoyance, that he commanded his men to fire over their heads, to intimidate them; and then, as their opposition became violent, he directed the guard to fire among them; whereby six persons were killed, and eleven severely wounded. For this he was prosecuted at the expense of the city, and condemned to die. But, a short reprieve having been obtained, the mob, determined to defeat it, assembled in the night preceding the seventh day of September, whereon he was to have been executed pursuant to the sentence, and, in a very riotous manner, seized and disarmed the city-guard, and possessed themselves of the town-gates, to prevent the admission of troops quartered in the suburbs. They then rushed to the Tolbooth prison; the doors of which not yielding to the force of their hammers, they consumed by fire, and then brought forth Porteous by violence, and hung him on a dyer's post, or frame, in the Grass-market, nigh the spot where the unfortunate people were killed.
The magistrates, attended with several of the burgesses, attempted to quell the riot and disperse the mob, but were pelted with stones, and threatened to be fired upon if they did not retire.
This insult of the sovereign authority was too flagrant to be overlooked. Proclamations, with rewards of two hundred pounds sterling, were issued for apprehending the rioters, and, when the Parliament met, vigorous measures were taken in the affair. The Lord Provost was ordered up to London in custody; the magistrates summoned to answer the indictment, and a bill was introduced into the House of Commons "to disable Alexander Wilson, Esq., the principal magistrate during the riots, from ever after holding any office of magistracy in Edinburgh or Great Britain; to subject him to imprisonment for a year; to abolish the town guard, and to take away the gates of the nether Bowport of the city." Oglethorpe objected to the first reading of the bill, and it encountered his vigorous opposition. He engaged in a warm defence of the magistrates, and of the guard, declaring that there was no dereliction of duty on the part of the magistrates and of the guard, but they were overpowered by numbers, and thrown into actual jeopardy by the desperation of the mob. Hence the penalties of the bill would be the punishment of misfortune, not of crime.
In consequence of the stand which he thus took, and the interest made by others in the House of Commons, the bill was altered in its most essential circumstances, and, instead of the rigorous inflictions, "mercy rejoiced against judgment," and the city was fined the sum of two thousand pounds, to be applied to the relief and support of the widow of Porteous.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix VIII.]
A petition was made to Parliament "to extend the benefit of a late act for naturalizing foreigners in North America, to the Moravian Brethren and other foreign Protestants who made a scruple of taking an oath, or performing military service." General Oglethorpe, in the spring of 1737, presented the petition to the House of Commons, with an ample speech, and was supported by many members. The opinion of the Board of Trade was required on this head. The Proprietor of Pennsylvania promoted the affair among the members of Parliament, and especially with the Secretary of State, the Duke of Newcastle, by his good testimonies of the brethren in Pennsylvania. The matter of the bill was properly discussed, formed into an act, and, having passed, with the greatest satisfaction, through both houses, received in June, 1747, the Royal assent.
[Footnote 1: Cranz's History of the United Brethren, translated by La
Trobe, Lond. 1780, p. 331.]
On the 20th of February, 1749, another petition in behalf of the Moravians was presented to the House of Commons; and was supported by a long and highly impressive speech by Oglethorpe concerning the origin of their church, their constitution, their pious and benevolent labors, and particularly, what he was most apprized of, their peaceable and useful settlements in America. On the 18th of April, the engrossed bill was read the third time in the House, was passed, nemine contradicente, and ordered to be carried to the House of Lords. On the 21st of April, the bill was carried by sixteen members of the House of Commons to the House of Lords; and, after a short address by Oglethorpe, their leader, to Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, was accepted with great solemnity, and laid on the table. After due consideration, the act was passed, and on the 6th of June the Royal assent was given to it.
Oglethorpe appointed first a Director, and then Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company—Takes a compassionate interest in the situation of an African kidnapped, sold as a slave, and carried to Annapolis, in Maryland, a Province in North America—But proves to have been an Iman, or assistant Priest, of Futa, and was named Job Solomon—Causes him to be redeemed, and sent to England, where he becomes serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane for his knowledge of Arabic; attracts also the notice of persons of rank and distinction, and is sent back to Africa.
In January, 1731, Oglethorpe was chosen a Director of the Royal African Company, and the next year Deputy Governor. This situation brought to his knowledge the circumstances of an African slave, whose story is so interesting, that a few pages may be allowed for its recital.
A negro, called JOB, was purchased on the coast of Africa by Captain Pyke, commander of a vessel belonging to Mr. Hunt, a rich merchant of Liverpool, and carried to Annapolis, Maryland, where, with others, he was delivered to Michael Denton, the factor of Hunt, who sold him to Mr. Tolsey. He was at first employed in the cultivation of tobacco; but his humane master perceiving that he could not bear the fatigue, rendered his situation more tolerable by charging him with the care of his cattle. While in this employment, he used to retire, at stated times, to the recesses of a wood, to pray. He was seen there by a white boy, who amused himself with interrupting him, and often with wantonly insulting him by throwing dust in his eyes. This greatly added to Job's melancholy, which was increased by his having no means of making known the annoyance and abuse to which he was subjected, so that he grew desperate, and made his escape. He travelled through the woods till he came to the county of Kent, on Delaware bay, in Maryland, where, having no pass, and not being able to give any account of himself, he was taken up as a fugitive slave, and put into prison. While there, his behavior attracted more than common notice. Besides a stateliness of bearing, and an air of self-importance, which shew that he could be no ordinary person, he was observed to use prostrations at regular periods of the day, and to repeat sentences with great solemnity and earnestness. Curiosity attracted to the prison certain English merchants, among whom Mr. Thomas Bluet was the most inquisitive. He was able, from an old negro, who was a Foulah, and understood the language of Job, to obtain some information respecting his former condition and character. These particulars were communicated to his master Tolsey, who had been apprized of his capture, and come to reclaim him. In consideration, therefore, of what he had been, he not only forebore inflicting punishment on him for desertion, but treated him with great indulgence. Having ascertained that Job had in his possession certain slips of a kind of paper, on which he wrote strange characters, he furnished him with some sheets of paper, and signified a wish that he should use it. Job profited of his kindness, to write a letter to his father. This was committed to Denton, to entrust to his captain on the first voyage which he should make to Africa; but he having sailed for England, it was sent enclosed to Mr. Hunt, at London. When it arrived there, Captain Pyke was on his voyage to Africa. Here, however, it was shewn to the Governor of the Royal African Company, and thus it "fell into the hands," says my author, "of the celebrated Oglethorpe, who sent it to the University of Oxford to be translated, as it was discovered to be written in Arabic." The information which it imparted of the disastrous fate of the writer, so awakened his compassion, that he engaged Mr. Hunt, by an obligation to refund all expenses, to have Job redeemed, and brought to England. This was immediately attended to, and he was sent in the William, commanded by captain Wright, and in the same vessel was Mr. Bluet, who became so attached to him, that, on their landing, he went with him to London, where they arrived in April, 1733. As he did not find Oglethorpe, who had gone to Georgia, Bluet took him to his own house at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire. There Job recommended himself by his manly and courteous behavior; and applied himself so diligently to learn the English language, that he was soon able to speak, and even write it with correctness.
[Footnote 1: In the relation which I follow this appellation is written Pholey.]
[Footnote 2: BLUET.]
In the mean time a letter was sent in his behalf by Oglethorpe to the African Company, requesting them to take up his obligation to Mr. Hunt, and to pay the expenses of his voyage and accommodation after his arrival; and to answer the bills of Mr. Bluet for his keeping and instruction, till he himself should return. This was readily done, and his emancipation effected for forty pounds; and twenty pounds, bond and charges, were raised by subscription.
Job's knowledge of Arabic rendered him serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane, who often employed him in translating Arabic manuscripts, and inscriptions upon medals. To bring him into due notice, Sir Hans had him dressed in the costume of his country, and presented to the king and royal family; by whom he was graciously received; and her majesty gave him a beautiful gold watch. The same day he dined with the Duke of Montague; who afterwards took him to his country seat, where he was shewn, and taught the use of, the tools employed in agriculture and gardening. The same nobleman procured for him a great number of these implements, which were put into cases, and carried aboard the vessel in which he was to return to his native country. He received various other presents from many persons; some of these, according to Mr. Moore, were their Royal Highnesses, the Earl of Pembroke, several ladies of distinction, Mr. Holden, and members of the Royal African Company.
In the reference to him in NICHOLS'S Literary Anecdotes, vi. p. 91, it is said "he returned home loaded with presents to the amount of five hundred pounds." After having passed fourteen months in England, he embarked, in the month of July, 1734, on board a vessel belonging to the Royal African Company, which was bound for the river Gambia, and carried out Thomas Moore to accomplish some business at a Factory of the Company's at Joar, to whose particular care Job was committed.
While in England, his friend Bluet, collected from Job the history of his life, which he published, and from which some of the preceding, and several of the following particulars are extracted.
[Footnote 1: Memoirs of the Life of Job, the son of Solomon, the High Priest of Bimda, in Africa. By Thomas Bluet. London, 1734; 8vo., dedicated to the Duke of Montague.]
The name of this extraordinary man was Ayoub Ibn Soliman Ibrahim, that is, Job the son of Solomon the son of Abraham. His nation was that of the Jalofs; his tribe, or cast, the Pholey, or Foulah; and his native place Bunda, a city of Galumbo, in the kingdom of Futa, in Central Africa, opposite Tombuto.
[Footnote 1: The affix to his name is sometimes spelt JALLA, JALOF, and DGIALLA. These indicate the name of the tribe, or nation, to which he belonged; which was that of the JALOFS, on the river Sanaga, and along the Gambia.]
Ibrahim, the grandfather of Job, was the founder of the city of Bunda, during the reign of Abubeker, then king of Futa; who gave him the proprietorship and government of it, with the title of Alfa or High Priest. After his death, the dignity, which was hereditary in the family, passed to the father of Job. On the decease of Abubeker, his brother, the Prince of Jelazi, succeeded to the royalty; he, being already the father of a son, entrusted him to the care of Soliman, the father of Job, to have him taught the Arabic language, and the Alcoran. Job became, in this way, the fellow student and companion of this young prince. Jelazi lived but a short time, and was succeeded by his son.
When Job had attained the age of fifteen, he assisted his father in the capacity of Iman, or inferior priest, and soon after married the daughter of the Alfa of Tombuto: By her he had three sons, Abdallah, Ibrahim, and Sambo. Two years before his captivity he took a second wife, the daughter of the Alfa of Tomga; by whom he had a daughter named Fatima. His two wives and his four children were alive when he left Bunda.
In the month of February, 1730, the father of Job, having learnt that an English vessel had arrived in the Gambia, sent his son thither, attended by two domestics, to procure some European commodities; but charged him not to cross the river, because the inhabitants of the opposite bank were Mandingoes, enemies of the kingdom of Futa.
Job, coming to no agreement with Captain Pyke, the commander of the English vessel, sent back his two domestics to Bunda, to render an account of his affairs to his father, and to inform him that his curiosity induced him to travel further. With this view he made a contract with a negro merchant, named Loumein-Yoa, who understood the language of the Mandingoes, to serve him as an interpreter and guide on a pacific expedition and overture. Having passed the river Gambia, when the heat compelled him to avail himself of the cooling shade of the forest, he suspended his arms upon a tree, to rest himself. They consisted of a sabre, with a handle of gold; a dagger in a sheath, with a hilt of the same metal, and a rich quiver filled with arrows, of which king Sambo, the son of Jelazi, had made him a present. "His evil destiny willed" that a troop of Mandingoes, accustomed to pillage, should pass that way, who, discovering him unarmed, seized him, shaved his head and chin; and, on the 27th of February, sold him, with his interpreter, to Captain Pyke; and, on the first of March, they were put on board the vessel. Pyke, however, learning from Job that he was the same person who had attempted to trade with him some days before, and that he was a slave only by having been kidnapped, gave him leave to ransom himself and his companion. Accordingly, Job immediately sent to a friend of his father, who dwelt at Joar, where the vessel then lay, to beseech him to send news of his captivity. But the distance being fifteen days journey, the Captain, after waiting some time, found it necessary to set sail, and the unfortunate Job was carried off, and sold, as has been already mentioned.
[Footnote 1: This is the explanation of Job, who being a Mahometan, was a fatalist in his belief.]
He is described as being a fine figure, five feet ten inches in height; of a pleasing but grave countenance, and having strait black hair. His natural qualities were excellent. He was possessed of a solid judgment, a ready and wonderfully retentive memory, an ardent love for truth, and a sweet disposition, mild, affectionate, and grateful. His religion was Mahometanism; but he rejected the idea of a sensual paradise, and several other traditions that are held among the Turks. The foundation of his principles was the unity of God; whose name he never pronounced without some particular indication of respect. "The ideas which he held of the Supreme Being and of a future state, appeared very reasonable to the English; but he was so firm in the persuasion of the divine unity, that it was impossible to get him to reason calmly upon the doctrine of the Trinity. A New Testament in Arabic had been given him. He read it; and, giving his ideas, respectfully, concerning it, began by declaring that having examined it carefully, he could not find a word from which he could conclude that there were three Gods."
[Footnote 1: There is a scarce octavo portrait of him, head and shoulders only, etched by the celebrated painter, Mr. Hoare, of Bath, in 1734, as appears by a manuscript note on the impression of it in Mr. Bindley's possession. Under the print is engraved, "JOB, son of Solliman Dgialla, high priest of Bonda, in the country of Foota, Africa."]
[Footnote 2: "Il etoit si ferme dans la persuasion de l'unité divine, qu'il fut impossible de le faire raisouner paisiblement sur la Trinité. On lui avoit donué un Nouveau Testament daus sa langue, il le lut, et s'expliquant, avec respect, sur ce livre, il commence par déclarer que l'ayant examiné fort soigneusement, il n'y avoit pas trouvé un mot d'ou l'on fuit conclure qu'il y eut trois dieux." Histoire générale des Voyages, par l'Abbé A.F. Prévost. 4to. Paris. 1747. Tom. III. p. 116.]
Job landed at Fort English on the 8th of August, 1734. He was recommended particularly by the Directors of the Royal African Company to the Governor and Factors. They treated him with much respect and civility. The hope of finding one of his countrymen at Joar, induced him to set out on the 23d in the shallop with Mr. Moore, who was going to take the direction of the factory there. On the 26th at evening they arrived at the creek of Damasensa. Whilst Job was seated under a tree with the English, he saw seven or eight negroes pass of the nation that had made him a slave, thirty miles from that place. Though he was of a mild disposition, he could hardly refrain from attacking them with his sabre and pistols; but Moore made him give up all thought of this, by representing to him the imprudence and danger of such a measure. They called the negroes to them, to ask them various questions, and to inquire particularly what had become of the king, their master. They answered that he had lost his life by the discharge of a pistol, which he ordinarily carried suspended to his neck, and which, going off by accident, had killed him on the spot. As this pistol was supposed to have been one of the articles which he had received of Captain Pyke as the price of Job, the now redeemed captive, deeply affected by the circumstance, turning to his conductors, said, "You see that Heaven has made the very arms for which I was sold, serve as the punishment of the inexorable wretch who made my freedom their procurement! And yet I ought to be thankful for the lot into which I was cast, because if I had not been made a captive, I should not have seen such a country as England; nor known the language; nor have the many useful and precious things that I possess; nor become acquainted with men so generous as I have met with, not only to redeem me from bondage, but to shew me great kindness, and send me back so much more capable of being useful." Indeed, he did not cease to praise highly the English in conversing with the Africans, and endeavored to reclaim those poor creatures from the prejudice they had that the slaves were eaten, or killed for some other purpose, because no one was known to have returned.
Having met with a Foulah, with whom he had been formerly acquainted, he engaged him to notify his family of his return; but four months elapsed before he received any intelligence from Bunda. On the 14th of January, 1735, the messenger came back, bearing the sad tidings that his father had died; with the consolation, however, of learning, just before his death, of the ransom of his son, and of the favor which he had received in England. One of the wives of Job had married again in his absence; and the second husband had fled on being informed of the arrival of the first. During the last three years, the war had made such ravages in the country of Bunda, that no cattle remained there.
Job was deeply affected with the death of his father, the misfortunes of his country, and the situation of his family. He protested, however, that he pardoned his wife, and the man who had espoused her. "They had reason," he said, "to suppose me lost to them forever, because I had gone to a country from which no Foulah had ever returned."
When Moore, from whose narrative these particulars are extracted, left
Africa, he was charged with letters from Job, who remained at Joar, to
Oglethorpe, Bluet, the Duke of Montague, his principal benefactors,
and to the Royal African Company.
[Footnote 1: Travels into the inland parts of Africa; containing a description of several nations for the space of 600 miles upon the river Gambia; with a particular account of JOB BEN SOLOMON, a Pholey, who was in England in 1733, and known by the name of "the African Prince." By FRANCIS MOORE. London, 1738.]
"On Thursday, November 4th, 1737, Sir Hans Sloane communicated to the Royal Society a letter which a gentleman had received from Job, the African, whom MR. OGLETHORPE released from slavery, and the African Company sent home to his own country, in one of their ships, about twelve months ago. In this letter he very gratefully acknowledges the favor he received in England; and, in answer to some things desired of him when here, says that he has been in the country where the tree producing the gum-Arabic grows, and can assist the English in that trade. He further says, that he has been up in the country, as far as the mountains from whence the gold-dust is wafted down; and that if the English would build flat-bottomed boats to go up the river, and send persons well skilled in separating the gold from the ore, they might gain vastly more than at present they do by the dust trade; and that he should be always ready and willing to use the utmost of his power, (which is very considerable in that country,) to encourage and support them therein."
[Footnote 1: Political State of Great Britain, Vol. LIII. p. 18.]
Mr. Nichols, who has inserted his name among the members of the
Gentleman's Society at Spalding, adds, "died 1773."
[Footnote 1: Literary Anecdotes, Vol. VI. p. 90.]
Project for settling the south-western frontier of Carolina—A Charter granted for it, by the name of Georgia—Trustees appointed, who arrange a plan of Settlement—They receive a grant of Money from Parliament, and from Subscriptions and Contributions—Oglethorpe takes a lively interest in it—States the Object, and suggests Motives for Emigration—A Vessel hired to convey the Emigrants—Oglethorpe offers to accompany the intended Colonists—His disinterested devotedness to the benevolent and patriotic Enterprise.
The project, which had been for some time in contemplation, of settling the south-eastern frontier of Carolina, between the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, suggested to Oglethorpe that it could be effected by procuring the liberation of insolvent debtors, and uniting with them such other persons in reduced circumstances as might be collected elsewhere, and inducing them to emigrate thither and form a settlement.
[Footnote 1: See A Discourse concerning the designed establishment of a new Colony to the south of Carolina, by Sir ROBERT MONTGOMERY, Baronet. London, 1717.]
As such a project and design required for its furtherance more means than an individual could furnish, and more managing and directing power than, unaided, he himself could exert, Oglethorpe sought the coöperation of wealthy and influential persons in the beneficent enterprise. Concurring with his views, twenty-one associates petitioned the throne for an act of incorporation, and obtained letters-patent, bearing date the 9th of June, 1732; the preamble of which recited, among other things, that "many of his Majesty's poor subjects were, through misfortunes and want of employment, reduced to great necessities, and would be glad to be settled in any of his provinces of America, where, by cultivating the waste and desolate lands, they might not only gain a comfortable subsistence, but also strengthen the colonies, and increase the trade, navigation, and wealth of his Majesty's realms." And then added, that, for the considerations aforesaid, the King did constitute and appoint certain persons, whose names are given, "trustees for settling and establishing the colony of Georgia in America," the intended new province being so called in honor of the King, who encouraged readily the benevolent project, and contributed largely to its furtherance.
At the desire of these gentlemen, there were inserted clauses in the charter, restraining them and their successors from receiving any salary, fee, perquisite, or profit, whatsoever, by or from this undertaking; and also from receiving any grant of lands within the said district to themselves, or in trust for them.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. IX.]
"No colony," says Southey, "was ever established upon principles more honorable to its projectors. The conduct of the trustees did not discredit their profession. They looked for no emolument to themselves or their representatives after them."
[Footnote 1: SOUTHEY'S Life of Wesley, Vol. I. p. 179.]
In pursuance of the requisitions of the charter, the trustees held a meeting in London, about the middle of July, for the choice of officers, and the drawing up of rules for the transaction of business. They adopted a seal for the authentication of such official papers as they should issue. It was formed with two faces; one for legislative acts, deeds, and commissions, and the other, "the common seal," as it was called, to be affixed to grants, orders, certificates, &c. The device on the one was two figures resting upon urns, representing the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, the north-eastern and south-western boundaries of the province, between which the genius of the colony was seated, with a cap of liberty on her head, a spear in one hand, and a cornucopia in the other, with the inscription COLONIA GEORGIA AUG: On the other face was a representation of silk-worms; some beginning, and others completing their labors, which were characterized by the motto, NON SIBI SED ALIIS. This inscription announced the beneficent disposition and disinterested motives of the trustees; while the device was an allusion to a special object which they had in view,—the production of silk.
They had learned that the climate of the region was particularly favorable to the breeding of the worms, and that the mulberry-tree was indigenous there. They conceived that the attention requisite, during the few weeks of the feeding of the worms, might be paid by the women and children, the old and infirm, without taking off the active men from their employment, or calling in the laborers from their work. For encouragement and assistance in the undertaking, they were willing to engage persons from Italy, acquainted with the method of feeding the worms and winding the thread from the cocoons, to go over with the settlers, and instruct them in the whole process. And they intended to recommend it strongly to the emigrants to use their utmost skill and diligence in the culture of mulberry trees, and the prompt attention to the purpose to which their leaves were to be applied; so that, in due time the nation might receive such remittances of raw silk as would evince that their liberality towards effecting the settlement was well applied, and available in produce of an article of importation of so valuable a nature, and in great demand.
The trustees were excited to this project by Oglethorpe, who had been deeply engaged in ascertaining the value of wrought silk as an article of commerce, and also of the raw silk for domestic manufacture, at the time when Mr. John Lombe's invention for winding and reeling had been brought before Parliament. And now he considered that it would be an exceedingly desirable project to introduce the raising of the commodity in the projected new settlement, and thus diminish to the nation the large sums annually expended in the importation.
This is one of those prospective measures for the advancement of the colony, which were nearly a century before the age. Others will hereafter be mentioned alike entitled to wonder and admiration.
[Footnote 1: See in the Appendix to this volume, a brief history of the culture of silk in Georgia.]
In order to fulfil the intent and promote the purposes of their incorporation, the trustees gave public notice that they were ready to receive applications from such as were disposed to emigrate. They also appointed a committee to visit the prisons, and make a list of insolvent debtors for whom a discharge from the demands of their creditors could be obtained, and to ascertain what compromise might be effected for their release; as also to inquire into the circumstances and character of applicants. To render these more willing to emigrate, it became necessary to hold out encouragement and to offer outfits. To defray these and meet subsequent expenses in carrying the enterprize into effect, they first set the example of contribution themselves, and then undertook to solicit benefactions from others. Several individuals subscribed liberally; collections were made throughout the kingdom; the directors of the Bank of England volunteered a handsome contribution; and the Parliament gave ten thousand pounds.
[Footnote 1: "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth! to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves! They shall feed in the ways. They shall no longer hunger or thirst; FOR HE THAT HATH MERCY ON THEM SHALL LEAD THEM, even by the springs of water shall he guide them, with those that come from far."—Isaiah xlix. 9,11.]
Having thus acquired a fund to be laid out in clothing, arming, sending over, and supporting the emigrants, and for supplying them with necessary implements to commence and carry on the settlement, the following statement was published: "There are many poor, unfortunate persons in this country, who would willingly labor for their bread, if they could find employment and get bread for laboring. Such persons may be provided for by being sent to a country where there are vast tracts of fertile land lying uninhabited and uncultivated. They will be taken care of on their passage; they will get lands on which to employ their industry; they will be furnished with sufficient tools for setting their industry to work; and they will be provided with a certain support, till the fruits of their industry can come in to supply their wants; and all this without subjecting themselves to any master, or submitting to any slavery. The fruits of every man's own industry are to be his own. Every man who transports himself thither is to enjoy all the privileges of a free-born subject."
[Footnote 1: Political state of Great Britain, for August, 1732,
Vol. XLIV. p. 150.]
Oglethorpe himself stated the object, the motive, and the inducements of such an emigration in the following terms. "They who can make life tolerable here, are willing to stay at home, as it is indeed best for the kingdom that they should. But they who are oppressed with poverty and misfortunes, are unable to be at the charges of removing from their miseries, and these are the persons intended to be relieved. And let us cast our eyes on the multitude of unfortunate individuals in the kingdom, of reputable families, and of liberal, or at least easy education, some undone by guardians, some by lawsuits, some by accidents in commerce, some by stocks and bubbles, and some by suretyship; but all agree in this one circumstance, that they must either be burdensome to their relations, or betake themselves to little shifts for sustenance, which, it is ten to one do not answer their purposes, and to which a well-educated person descends with the utmost constraint. What various misfortunes may reduce the rich, the industrious, to danger of a prison,—to a moral certainty of starving!—These are the persons that may relieve themselves, and strengthen Georgia by resorting thither, and Great Britain by their departure.
"With a view to the relief of people in the condition I have described, his Majesty has, this present year, incorporated a considerable number of persons of quality and distinction, and invested a large tract of South Carolina in them, by the name of Georgia, in trust, to be distributed among the necessitous. Those Trustees not only give land to the unhappy, who go thither, but are also empowered to receive the voluntary contributions of charitable persons to enable them to furnish the poor adventurers with all necessaries for the expense of the voyage, occupying the land, and supporting them, until they find themselves settled. So that now the unfortunate will not be obliged to bind themselves to a long service to pay for their passage, for they may be carried gratis into a land of liberty and plenty, where they will immediately find themselves in possession of a competent estate, in a happier climate than they knew before,—and they are unfortunate indeed if they cannot forget their sorrows."
[Footnote 1: New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South
Carolina and Georgia. London. 1733. p. 30—33.]
When the Trustees had got a list of a sufficient number of persons disposed to emigrate, they resolved to send them over.
A vessel was hired to convey the emigrants, fitted up for their accommodation, and supplied with stores, not only for the voyage, but for their support after their arrival. The Trustees also furnished tools for building, implements for husbandry, domestic utensils, and various other articles; and JAMES OGLETHORPE, Esq., one of the Trustees, and the most zealous and active promoter of the enterprise, having signified his readiness to go with the emigrants, and in the same ship, in order to see that they were well treated, and to take care of them after their landing, was clothed with power to exercise the functions of Governor of the Colony.
[Footnote 1: Account, shewing the progress of the Colony of Georgia from its first settlement; published by order of the Honorable Trustees, by Benjamin Martin, Secretary. London. 1741.]
He was prompted to engage in this undertaking by the spirit of enterprise and an enlarged philanthropy and patriotism. While the benevolent purpose called into exercise his noblest feelings, he considered that the settlement of a new colony, in a pleasant region, would not only raise the character and highly improve the condition of those by whom it was constituted, but contribute to the interests of the British empire.
In all this he was actuated by motives wholly disinterested; for he freely devoted his time, his exertions, and his influence to the enterprise; and not only bore his own expenses, but contributed largely to the means and assistance of others.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix, No. X.]
The Abbe Raynal, in his Philosophical and Political History of the British Settlements in America, states as the cause of Oglethorpe's undertaking, what, when rightly understood, was but a consequence of it. He says, "A rich and humane citizen, at his death, left the whole of his estate to set at liberty such insolvent debtors as were detained in prison by their creditors. Prudential reasons of policy concurred in the performance of this Will, dictated by humanity; and the Government gave orders that such unhappy prisoners as were released should be transported into Georgia. The Parliament added nine thousand eight hundred and forty-three pounds fifteen shillings, to the estate left by the Will of the citizen. A voluntary subscription produced a much more considerable sum. General Oglethorpe, a man who had distinguished himself by his taste for great designs, by his zeal for his country, and his passion for glory, was fixed upon to direct these public finances, and to carry into execution so excellent a project."
[Footnote 1: Book II. Chap. IV. See also his History of the
Settlements and Trade of the East and West Indies, by Europeans, Book
XVIII. Vol. VII. page 359, of the English translation. Lond. 1787.]
Mr. Warden, adopted this account, but varied a little from it; for he says, "It happened that Oglethorpe was named executor for the disposal of a legacy left by a wealthy Englishman for the deliverance of insolvent debtors, detained in prison; and this donation, with others, procured from generous individuals, and ten thousand pounds sterling advanced by the government, was employed for the establishment of a colony, where this unfortunate class of men might find an asylum."
[Footnote 1: Statistical, Political, and Historical Account of the
United States of America. Vol. II. p. 471.]
Mr. Graham has also followed this statement, and given the testator the credit of projecting the release of prisoners for debt; a project which originated solely with Oglethorpe.
[Footnote 1: History of America. Vol. III p. 180.]
I have sought in vain for early vouchers of this statement, and feel assured that the project did not grow out of a bequest either of a "whole estate," or a "legacy" of any amount, left by "a rich citizen," or "a wealthy subject" of Great Britain. The story, like most others, becoming amplified by repetition, arose from the fact that Edward Adderly, Esq. had given, in his Will, the sum of one hundred pounds in aid of the settlement of Georgia; but that was two years after the settlement had commenced; and it was not to Oglethorpe individually to manage, but to the Trustees to appropriate.
Among my authorities are the publications of the day, when facts and circumstances are mentioned as taking place, and may, therefore, be relied on. I dwell on them more particularly, and lay on them greater stress, because all the early narratives speak of Oglethorpe as the projector of the undertaking, the leader of the emigrants, the founder of the colony. The publisher of "An account of the first planting of the colony of Georgia," speaking of his engagedness in this noble cause, says, "This was an instance of generosity and public spirit, and an enterprise of fatigue as Well as of danger, which few ages or nations can boast."
[Footnote 1: Account of the first planting of the colony of Georgia; published from the records of the Trustees; by BENJAMIN MARTIN, their Secretary. Lond. 1741, p. 11.]
Ambition and enterprise were strong traits in his character; and what he devised, his firmness of constitution, vigor of health, force of principle, and untiring perseverance, enabled him to pursue to its accomplishment.
The emigrants embark—Arrive at Charlestown, South Carolina—Oglethorpe visits Governor Johnson—Proceeds up the Savannah river—Place of settlement fixed upon—Town laid out—Labors superintended, and assisted by Colonel Bull—Treaty with Tomo Chichi—Progress of settlement—Oglethorpe makes a visit to Governor Johnson, and presents himself before the House of Assembly, and makes an Address of grateful acknowledgment of favors received—Returns to Savannah—Holds a treaty with the Lower Creeks—Goes to head-quarters on the Ogechee—Fort Argyle built—Savannah laid out in wards, and Court of Records instituted.
On the 16th of November, 1732, the intended emigrants embarked, accompanied by the Reverend Henry Herbert, D.D., a clergyman of the Church of England, as Chaplain, and Mr. Amatis, from Piedmont, who was engaged to instruct them in raising silk-worms, and the art of winding silk. The, following "account of their setting forth," is taken from a contemporary publication.
"The Ann galley, of about two hundred tons, is on the point of sailing from Depford, for the new Colony of Georgia, with thirty-five families, consisting of carpenters, brick-layers, farmers, &c., who take all proper instruments for their employment on their arrival. The men are learning military discipline of the guards; and are furnished with muskets, bayonets, and swords, to defend the colony in case of an attack from the Indians. The vessel has on board ten tons of Alderman Parsons's best beer, and will take in at Madeira five tons of wine for the service of the colony. Many of the Trustees were on board for the purpose of ascertaining whether they were suitably accommodated and provided for; and to take leave of the worthy gentleman of their own body, who goes with them to take care of them, and to direct in laying out their lands, and forming a town."
[Footnote 1: GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE for 1732, p. 1029.]
In pursuance of the benevolent design of the Trustees, Oglethorpe engaged in this expedition entirely at his own expense; furnished his own cabin-fare, on board; and was constantly attentive, during the whole voyage, to the situation and comfort of the passengers.
On the 13th of January, 1733, the ship dropt anchor outside of the bar, at the port of Charlestown, South Carolina. Excepting that two infirm children died on the passage, all that went on board had been well, and arrived in good health.
[Footnote 1: The following details are taken from what appears to be information sent to the Trustees in London, and by them published in that popular Journal entitled "The Political State of Great Britain," Vol. XLVI. page 234, collated with The History of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Colony of Georgia, in HARRIS'S Collection of Voyages, II. 327.]
Oglethorpe, with his suite, went on shore to wait on the Governor of the Province, his Excellency Robert Johnson. He was received in the kindest manner, and treated by him and the Council with every mark of civility and respect. Sensible of the great advantage that must accrue to Carolina from this new colony, the Governor afforded all the assistance in his power to forward the settlement; and immediately sent an order to Mr. Middleton, the king's pilot, to conduct the ship into Port Royal, and to furnish small craft to convey the colonists thence to the river Savannah.
In about ten hours they proceeded with this naval escort. On the 18th Mr. Oglethorpe went ashore on Tench's Island, where he left eight men, with directions to prepare huts for the people who would disembark, and tarry there till he could make farther arrangements. He proceeded thence to Beaufort, a frontier town of South Carolina, situated on Port Royal Island, at the mouth of the Coosawatchie river, having an excellent harbor.
Early the next morning he went ashore, and was saluted by a discharge of the artillery. The Colonists, arriving on the 20th, were cheerfully received and assisted by Lieutenant Watts, Ensign Farrington, and other officers of the King's Independent Company on that station; and were waited upon and welcomed by Mr. Delabarr and gentlemen of the neighborhood.
[Footnote 1: "Brief Account of the Progress of the First Colony sent
to Georgia,"—inserted in the 46th volume, p. 234, of the "Political
State of Great Britain;" and it makes the second Tract in FORCE'S
While the sea-worn emigrants rested and refreshed themselves, the indefatigable Oglethorpe, accompanied by Colonel William Bull, a man of knowledge and experience, went up the river to explore the country. Having found a pleasant spot of ground near to Yamacraw, they fixed upon the place as the most convenient and healthy situation for the settlers, and there marked out a town, which, from the Indian name of the river that ran past it, they called Savannah.
On the 24th he returned, and with the emigrants celebrated the following Sunday as a day of Thanksgiving for their safe arrival. A sermon was preached by the Reverend Mr. Jones, by exchange of services with Doctor Herbert, who officiated at Beaufort. There was a great resort of gentlemen and their families, from the neighborhood, to welcome the new-comers, and unite with them in the gladness of the occasion.
[Footnote 1: REV LEWIS JONES. See some account of him in DALCHO'S History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, p. 378.]
On the 31st they arrived at the place selected for their settlement, the description of which by Oglethorpe himself, in a letter to the Trustees, dated the 10th of February, 1733, cannot fail to give both interesting information and much pleasure to the reader.
After referring to a former letter, and giving a brief notice of their arrival at Beaufort, and his selection of a site, a few miles higher up the river, for laying out a town, he adds, "The river here forms a half-moon, along side of which the banks are about forty feet high, and on the top is a flat, which they call 'a bluff.' The plain high ground extends into the country about five or six miles; and, along the river side, about a mile. Ships that draw twelve feet of water can ride within ten yards of the bank. Upon the river side, in the centre of this plain, I have laid out the town, opposite to which is an island of very rich pasturage, which I think should be kept for the cattle of the Trustees. The river is pretty wide, the water fresh, and from the key of the town you see its whole course to the sea, with the island of Tybee, which is at its mouth. For about six miles up into the country, the landscape is very agreeable, the stream being wide, and bordered with high woods on both sides.
"The whole people arrived here on the first of February. At night their tents were got up. Until the tenth they were taken up with unloading and making a crane, which I then could not finish, and so took off the hands, and set some to the fortification, and began to fell the woods.
"I have marked out the town and common; half of the former is already cleared; and the first house was begun yesterday in the afternoon.
"I have taken ten of the Independent Company to work for us, for which
I make them an allowance.
"I send you a copy of the resolution of the Assembly of Carolina, and the Governor and Council's letter to me.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. X.]
"Mr. Whitaker has given us one hundred head of cattle. Colonel Bull, Mr. Barlow, Mr. St. Julian, and Mr. Woodward are come up to assist us, with some of their servants.
"I am so taken up in looking after a hundred necessary things, that I write now short, but shall give you a more particular account hereafter.
"A little Indian nation, the only one within fifty miles, is not only in amity, but desirous to be subjects to his Majesty King George, to have lands given them among us. Their chief, and his beloved man, who is the second in the nation, desire to be instructed in the Christian religion."
[Footnote 1: "The beloved man is a person of much consequence. He maintains and exercises great influence in the state, particularly in military affairs, their Senate, or Council, never determining an expedition or treaty without his consent and assistance." BOUDINOT, Star in the East, p. 202.]
Realizing how important it was to obtain the consent of the natural proprietors of the region, to the settlement of his colony here, and how desirable to be on good terms with those in the vicinity, he sought for an interview with Tomo Chichi, the Mico, or chief of a small tribe who resided at a place called Yamacraw, three miles up the river. Most fortunately and opportunely, he met with an Indian woman who had married a Carolinian trader by the name of Musgrove; and who understood and could speak the English language; and he availed himself of her assistance as an interpreter. The conference ended in a compact and treaty, favorable to the new comers. From this venerable chieftain he afterwards learned, that, besides that immediate district, the territory was claimed and partly occupied by the tribes of the upper and lower Creeks, whose formidable power, no less than their distinct pretensions, rendered it important that their consent should also be obtained. Accordingly, to gain their favor and sanction, he engaged Tomo Chichi to despatch an invitation to their chiefs, to hold a conference with him at Savannah.
[Footnote 1: Oglethorpe afterwards allowed her an annual stipend for her services, finding that she had great influence with the Indians.—Some years afterwards she married the Reverend Mr. Bosomworth; and then she put on airs, and united with him in a vexatious claim for a large tract of land. See McCALL, Vol. I. p. 213. Bosomworth had been a Chaplain in the Regiment of the General; had received many favors from him personally; and a salary from the Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts.]
A letter from Oglethorpe, dated Savannah March 12th, 1732-3, gives the following additional information.
"This Province is much larger than we thought, being one hundred and twenty miles from this river to the Alatamaha. This river has a very long course, and a great trade is carried on by it to the Indians, there having above twelve trading boats passed since I have been here.
"There are in Georgia, on this side the mountains, three considerable nations of Indians; one called the Lower Creeks, consisting of nine towns, or rather cantons, making about one thousand men able to bear arms. One of these is within a short distance from us, and has concluded a peace with us, giving up their right to all this part of the country; and I have marked out the lands which they have reserved to themselves. The King comes constantly to church, and is desirous to be instructed in the Christian religion; and has given me his nephew, a boy, who is his next heir, to educate.
"The two other nations are the Uchees and the Upper Creeks; the first consisting of two hundred, the latter of eleven hundred men. We agree so well with the Indians, that the Creeks and Uchees have referred to me a difference to determine, which otherwise would have occasioned a war.
"Our people still lie in tents, there being only two clapboard houses built, and three sawed houses framed. Our crane, our battery of cannon, and magazine are finished. This is all that we have been able to do, by reason of the smallness of our number, of which many have been sick, and others unused to labor; though, I thank God, they are now pretty well, and we have not lost one since our arrival here."
[Footnote 1: Political Taste of Great Britain, Vol. XLV. p. 445.]
The following extract from a letter dated Charlestown, 22d March, 1732-3, and printed in the South Carolina Gazette, describes, in honorable terms, the attention which the leader of this enterprise devoted to its furtherance.
[Footnote 1: See also "Account showing the progress of the Colony of
Georgia from its first Establishment." Lond. 1741. The Appendix,
No. 2 contains the Letter, with this notice—"Written by a Gentleman
of Charlestown, who, with some others, went thither, [i.e. to
Savannah] out of curiosity."]
"Mr. Oglethorpe is indefatigable, and takes a great deal of pains. His fare is but indifferent, having little else at present but salt provisions. He is extremely well beloved by all the people. The general title they give him is Father. If any of them are sick, he immediately visits them, and takes a great deal of care of them. If any difference arises, he is the person that decides it. Two happened while I was there, and in my presence; and all the parties went away, to outward appearance, satisfied and contented with his determination. He keeps a strict discipline. I never saw one of his people drunk, nor heard one of them swear, all the time I was there. He does not allow them rum; but in lieu gives them English beer. It is surprizing to see how cheerful the men go to work, considering they have not been bred to it. There are no idlers there. Even the boys and girls do their part. There are four houses already up, but none finished; and he hopes, when he has got more sawyers, which I suppose he will have in a short time, to finish two houses a week. He has ploughed up some land; part of which he has sowed with wheat, which has come up, and looks promising. He has two or three gardens, which he has sowed with divers sorts of seed, and planted thyme, sage, pot-herbs, leeks, skellions, celery, liquorice, &c., and several trees. He was palisading the town and inclosing some part of the common; which I suppose may be finished in about a fortnight's time. In short, he has done a vast deal of work for the time; and I think his name justly deserves to be immortalized."
"Colonel Bull, who had been sent by Governor Johnson to assist in laying out the town, and to describe to the people the manner of felling the trees, and of clearing, breaking up, and cultivating the ground, was a very efficient helper. He brought with him four of his negroes, who were sawyers, to help the workmen; and also provisions for them; being resolved not to put the Trustees to any expense; but to bestow his aid in the most free and useful manner. Others from Carolina, also, sent laborers, who, being accustomed to preparing a plantation for settlement, were very expert, and of essential service."
Thus generously assisted, the new settlers were enabled to cut down a great number of trees; to clear the land, to construct comfortable houses, to make enclosures of yards and gardens, to build a guard-house and fortification, and to effect other means of accommodation and defence.
[Footnote 1: Four beautiful pine-trees were left upon the plain, under which General Oglethorpe encamped.]
[Footnote 2: These were all of the same size; 22 by 16 feet. The town-lots consisted of one quarter of an acre; but they had other lots, at a small distance out of town, consisting of five acres, designed for plantations.]
A public garden was laid out, which was designed as a nursery, in order to supply the people with white mulberry trees, vines, oranges, olives, and various necessary plants, for their several plantations; and a gardener was appointed for the care of it, to be paid by the Trustees.
Things being put in a good train, and the proper station and employment of every man assigned him, Oglethorpe went to Charlestown on a visit to Governor Johnson and the Council. His object was to make a more intimate acquaintance with them, gratefully to acknowledge the succors for the new comers which had been so generously bestowed; and to consult measures for their mutual intercourse.
On Saturday, June 9th, presenting himself before the Governor and
House of Assembly, he thus addressed them.
"I should think myself very much wanting in justice and gratitude, if I should neglect thanking your Excellency, you gentlemen of the Council, and you gentlemen of the Assembly, for the assistance which you have given to the Colony of Georgia. I have long wished for an opportunity of expressing my sense of the universal zeal which the inhabitants of this province have shewn for assisting that colony; and could not think of any better opportunity than now, when the whole province is virtually present in its General Assembly. I am, therefore, gentlemen, to thank you for the handsome assistance given by private persons, as well as by the public. I am to thank you, not only in the name of the Trustees, and the little colony now in Georgia, but in behalf of all the distressed people of Britain and persecuted Protestants of Europe, to whom a place of refuge will be secured by this first attempt.
"Your charitable and generous proceeding, besides the self-satisfaction which always attends such actions, will be of the greatest advantage to this province. You, gentlemen, are the best judges of this; since most of you have been personal witnesses of the dangerous blows which this country has escaped from French, Spanish, and Indian arms. Many of you know this by experience, having signalized yourselves personally, either when this province by its own strength, and unassisted by any thing but the courage of its inhabitants and the providence of God, repulsed the formidable invasions of the French; or when it defeated the whole body of the southern Indians, who were armed against it, and was invaded by the Spaniards, who assisted them. You, gentlemen, know that there was a time when every day brought fresh advices of murders, ravages, and burnings; when no profession or calling was exempted from arms; when every inhabitant of the province was obliged to leave wife, family, and useful occupations, and undergo the fatigues of war, for the necessary defence of the country; and all their endeavors scarcely sufficient to guard the western and southern frontiers against the Indians.
"It would be needless for me to tell you, who are much better judges, how the increasing settlement of a new colony upon the southern frontiers, will prevent the like danger for the future. Nor need I tell you how every plantation will increase in value, by the safety of the Province being increased; since the lands to the southward already sell for above double what they did before the new Colony arrived. Nor need I mention the great lessening of the burden of the people by increasing the income of the tax from the many thousand acres of land either taken or taking up on the prospect of future security.
"The assistance which the Assembly have given, though not quite equal to the occasion, is very large with respect to the present circumstances of the Province; and, as such, shows you to be kind benefactors to your new-come countrymen, whose settlements you support; and dutiful subjects to his Majesty, whose revenues and dominions you by this means increase and strengthen.
"As I shall soon return to Europe, I must recommend the infant Colony to your further protection; being assured, both from your generosity and wisdom, that you will, in case of any danger or necessity, give it the utmost support and assistance."
To the insertion of this speech in the Political State of Great Britain, October, 1733, page 361, it is added, "On the Sunday evening following he set out again for Georgia; so that we may perceive that there is no endeavor wanting in him to establish and make that settlement a flourishing colony; but his conduct in this whole affair is by much the more extraordinary, and the more to be applauded, because, by the nature of the settlement, he cannot so much as expect any private or particular benefit; he cannot possibly have any other reward but that which is the certain, the eternal reward of good actions, a consciousness of having done a service to his country, and to mankind."
Favored by their industry, and the smiles of a propitious providence in that delightful region, "the wilderness and the solitary place was glad for them; and the desert rejoiced and blossomed as a rose." "They planted vineyards, and made themselves gardens, and set out in them trees of all kinds of fruits."
[Footnote 1: Isaiah, xxxv. 1.]
[Footnote 2: Ecclesiastes, ii. 3.]
In aid and encouragement of the settlement, the Trustees received a letter from THOMAS PENN, Proprietor of Pennsylvania, dated Philadelphia, March 6th, 1732-3, approving very highly of the undertaking, promising to contribute all the assistance in his power, and acquainting them that he had for himself subscribed one hundred pounds sterling, and that he was collecting what sums of money he could get from others, to be sent them, in order to be employed for the purposes of their charter.
[Footnote 1: Political State of Great Britain, for June, 1733, Vol.
XLV. p. 543.]
It has been already observed that "Oglethorpe endeavored very early to secure the favor of the Indians, who, by ranging through the woods, would be capable of giving constant intelligence to prevent any surprise upon the people, and would be a good out-guard for the inland parts of the Colony; as also to obtain of them grants of territory, and privilege of undisturbed occupancy and improvement." He was pleased, therefore, on his return from Charlestown, to find the chiefs of the Lower Creeks in waiting; the purpose of whose visit, as made known by Mr. Wiggan and Mr. John Musgrove, who acted as interpreters, was to treat on an alliance with the Colony.
[Footnote 1: Account, showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, from its first Establishment. Lond. 1741, p. 13.]
[Footnote 2: William Wiggan, who accompanied Sir Alexander Cuming in the beginning of the year 1731, on his journey to the Cherokees, is, in the narrative of that expedition, called not merely "the interpreter," but "the complete linguist."]
These Creeks consisted of eight tribes, united in a kind of political confederacy; all speaking the same language, but being under separate jurisdictions. Their deputation was composed of their micoes, or chiefs, and leading warriors, about fifty in number.
[Footnote 1: "Besides a king, every Indian town has a head warrior, who is in great esteem among them, and whose authority seems to be greater than their kings; because the king is looked upon as little else than a civil magistrate, except it so happens that he is at the same time a head warrior." Narrative of a Journey among the Indians in the Northwest parts of South Carolina, 1731, by Sir ALEXANDER CUMING. See, also, Appendix, No. XII.]
The General received them with courtesy, and then invited them to "a talk," in one of the new houses. He informed them that the English, by coming to settle there, did not pretend to dispossess, nor think to annoy the natives; but above all things desired to live on good terms with them, and hoped, through their representatives, now present, to obtain from them a cession of that part of the region on which he had entered, and to form and confirm a treaty of friendship and trade.
When he had explained his views with respect to the settlers, and their designs in making the location, Ouechachumpa, a very tall old man, in the name of the rest, informed the British adventurers what was the extent of the country claimed by their tribes. He acknowledged the superiority of the white men to the red; and said that he was persuaded that the Great Spirit who dwelt above and all around, (whose immensity he endeavored to express by throwing abroad his hands, and prolonging his articulations as he spoke,) had sent the English thither for the good of the natives; and, therefore, they were welcome to all the land which the Creeks did not use themselves. He confirmed his speech by laying before Oglethorpe eight buckskins, one for each of the Creeks; the best things, he said, that they had to bestow. He thanked them for their kindness to Tomo Chichi, who, it seems, had been banished with some of his adherents, from his own nation; but for his valor and wisdom had been chosen mico by the Yamacraws, an emigrating branch of the same stock.
The declarations of the speaker were confirmed by short speeches of the others; when Tomo Chichi, attended by some of his friends, came in, and, making a low obeisance, said, "When these white men came, I feared that they would drive us away, for we were weak; but they promised not to molest us. We wanted corn and other things, and they have given us supplies; and now, of our small means, we make them presents in return. Here is a buffalo skin, adorned with the head and feathers of an eagle. The eagle signifies speed, and the buffalo strength. The English are swift as the eagle, and strong as the buffalo. Like the eagle they flew hither over great waters; and like the buffalo nothing can withstand them. But the feathers of the eagle are soft, and signify kindness; and the skin of the buffalo is covering, and signifies protection. Let these, then, remind them to be kind, and protect us."
The alliance was soon made. The treaty contained stipulations on the part of the English, concerning trade; reparation of injuries, should any be committed; and punishment for impositions, should any be practised upon them; and, on the part of the Indians, a free and formal cession of that part of the region which was not used by the Yamacraws, nor wanted by the Creeks. By this cession they made a grant to the Trustees of the lands upon Savannah river as far as the river Ogechee, and all the lands along the sea-coast between Savannah and Alatamaha rivers, extending west as high as the tide flows, and including all the islands; the Indians reserving to themselves the islands of Ossabaw, Sapeloe, and St. Catherines, for the purposes of hunting, bathing and fishing; as also the tract of land lying between Pipe-maker's bluff and Pallachucola creek, above Yamacraw bluff, which they retained as an encampment when they should come to visit their beloved friends in that vicinity. This special reservation of some islands had been made by them in their treaty with Governor Nicholson, in 1722.
Oglethorpe then presented to each of the eight chiefs a laced coat and hat, and a shirt; to each of the eight war-captains, a gun, with powder, flint, bullets and shot; to the beloved men a duffle mantle of coarse cloth;—and distributed some smaller presents among their attendants. Upon this they took their leave of him, highly satisfied with the treatment which they had met.
[Footnote 1: This Treaty was sent to England, and was confirmed by the Trustees on the 18th of October, 1733. For a copy of it, see McCALL, History of Georgia, Appendix to Vol. I. p. 357.
The History of Georgia, by Major McCALL has great merit. It was written by the worthy author under circumstances of bodily suffering, submitted to, indeed with meekness, borne with heroic fortitude, and endured with unfailing patience. It is wonderful that he succeeded so well in the accomplishment of his work, considering the scanty materials which he could procure; for he says, that, "without map or compass, he entered an unexplored forest, destitute of any other guide than a few ragged pamphlets, defaced newspapers, and scraps of manuscripts."]
Having taken much pains to become acquainted with the character of the natives, he furnished a very intelligent traveller, by whom he was visited, with an interesting account of their manners and customs; who annexed it to the published volume of his travels.
[Footnote 1: As this is an extremely rare book, I give the title from a copy in the library of Harvard College. "A new voyage to Georgia, by a young gentleman: giving an account of his travels in South Carolina, and part of North Carolina. To which is added a curious account of the Indians by an Honorable Person; and a Poem to James Oglethorpe, Esq., on his arrival from Georgia." London, 1735. 12mo.
The author of the "History of Georgia," contained in the 40th volume of the "Universal History," page 456, quotes passages from this "Account of the Indians," and ascribes it to Oglethorpe.—Mr. SALMON in the 3d vol. of his Modern History, p. 602, giving an account of the present state of Georgia, introduces a quotation from what he calls "Mr. OGLETHORPE'S account of the religion and government of the Creeks," in the following words: "Mr. OGLETHORPE, speaking of the religion and government of the Creek nation, in 'a letter from Georgia to a person of honor in London,' says 'There seems to be a way opened to our Colony towards the conversion of the Indians,' &c. This is decisive in fixing the author; for Mr. SALMON knew the General personally; and, on publishing another edition of his elaborate work, obtained from him, a very interesting 'Continuation of the present state of Georgia.'" The Letter is copied into the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. III. p. 108 and 483. See also Appendix, No. XIII.]
On the 18th of June he went to the Horse-quarter, which lies six miles up the river Ogechee, and there took with him Captain McPherson, with a detachment of his rangers, on an excursion into the interior. After a march of forty miles westward, he chose a post, commanding the passages by which the Indians used to invade Carolina in the late wars. Here, upon an eminence which commands all the country round, he directed that a fortification should be built, to be called "Fort Argyle," in memory of his honored patron John Duke of Argyle. It is on the west bank of the Ogechee river. Its design was to protect the settlers from invasions by the Spaniards. Captain McPherson and his troop were to be quartered there, and ten families from Savannah to be removed, as cultivators, to its immediate vicinity.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix, No. XIV.]
On the 7th of July, at day break, the inhabitants of Savannah were assembled on the strand for the purpose of designating the wards of the town, and assigning the lots. In a devotional service, they united in thanksgiving to God, that the lines had fallen to them in a pleasant place, and that they were about to have a goodly heritage. The wards and tithings were then named; each ward consisting of four tithings, and each tithing of ten houses; and a house lot was given to each freeholder. There being in Derby ward but twenty one houses built; and the other nineteen having no house erected on them, Mr. Milledge and Mr. Goddard, the two chief carpenters, offered, in the name of themselves and seventeen of their helpers, to take the unbuilt on lots, and give the built ones to those who were less able to help themselves.
The people then partook of a plentiful dinner, which their generous
Governor had provided.
[Footnote 1: An account of this transaction in the South Carolina Gazette, under the date of August 8th, closes with this remark; "Some of the people having privately drunk too freely of rum, are dead; and that liquor, which was always discountenanced there, is now absolutely prohibited."]
In the afternoon the grant of a Court of Record was read, and the officers were appointed. The session of the magistrates was then held, a jury impanneled, and a case tried.
These were necessary regulations for establishing a due regard to order, discipline, and government. And yet, with all the influence which their honored leader could give to sanction the measures and support the authority, there was much to be done to render the administration effective. The settlers had no common bond of attachment or accordance; of course, it was very difficult to dispose them to the reciprocal offices of a social state, much more so to the still higher obligations of a civil compact. Together with these aims of those who were put into places of authority, they were obliged daily to use their endeavors to bring the restive and quarrelsome into proper subordination; to keep the sluggish and lazy diligently employed, and to teach the thriftless to be economical and prudent.
"Tantae molis erat disjunctis condere Gentem!"
Oglethorpe intended to visit Boston, in New England—Governor Belcher's Letter to him—Provincial Assembly appoint a Committee to receive him—Sets out on an exploratory Excursion—Names an Island, Jekyl—Visits Fort Argyle—Returns to Savannah—Saltzburgh emigrants, conducted by Baron Von Reck, come to settle in Georgia—Oglethorpe assists them in selecting a place—They call it Ebenezer—He then goes up the river to Palacholas—Returns—Goes to Charlestown, with Tomo Chichi and other Indians, in order to take passage to England.
Oglethorpe intended to have made the tour of the Colonies; particularly to have visited Boston, in Massachusetts. Apprized of this intention, Governor Belcher addressed to him the following letter.
[Footnote 1: Copied from the letter-book of Governor Belcher, in the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society.]
Boston, New England, May 3d, 1733. HONORED SIR,
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on your safe arrival in America; and I have a still greater in the advantages which these parts of his Majesty's dominions will reap from your noble and generous pursuits of good to mankind in the settlement of Georgia. May God Almighty attend you with his blessing, and crown your toils with success. Several of my friends, sir, from London, acquaint me with your intentions to pass by land from South Carolina, through the king's territories as far as this place; where I shall be very proud of shewing you the just esteem which I have for you; and shall depend that you will please to accept such quarters as my habitation affords during your stay in this government. When you get to Philadelphia or New York, I shall be glad of the favor of a line from you, to know how and when you make your route hither.
I am, with great respect, sir,
Your most obedient, and most humble servant,
At the next Assembly of the Province, the Governor, in a special message, apprized them of the expectation which he had of a visit from the General; and in the House of Representatives "it was ordered that a committee should be raised to prepare for the reception of James Oglethorpe, Esq., who may be expected in Boston this summer; that so the government may express their grateful sense of his good services to the public interest of the Province."
June 21st, 1733, the following motion was agreed on:—
"Whereas James Oglethorpe, Esq., a member of Parliament, and now at Georgia, near South Carolina, hath at several times appeared in favor of New England; and, in a particular manner done many good offices for this Province, of which this Court hath been advised by Mr. Agent Wilkes, and that he intends, in a short time, to return to Great Britain, by the way of Boston:—
"Voted, That Mr. Speaker, Mr. Cooke, Major Brattle, Mr. Thacher, Mr. Welles, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Hall, Mr. Webb, and Major Bowles, be a Committee, from this House, to congratulate that honorable gentleman upon his arrival at Boston; and, in their name and behalf, acquaint him that the Assembly are well knowing of the many good offices he hath done this Province, in that, when the interest, trade, and business thereof have been under the consideration of the British Parliament, he hath, in a distinguishing manner, consulted measures to perpetuate the peace and lasting happiness of this government. And, as his worthy and generous actions justly deserve a most grateful and public acknowledgment, to assure him that this country will retain a lasting remembrance of his great benefactions; and that a recognition of the favors which they have so frequently received from him, is the least that the House can offer; while they earnestly desire the continuance of his good will towards this Province."
His Excellency then made the following speech:
"Gentlemen of the Council and House of Representatives,
"I am glad to see the respect which you have expressed in your vote to the Honorable Mr. Oglethorpe, a member of that wise and august body, the Parliament of Great Britain; but, as there is no money in the treasury to defray the charge of the reception and entertainment of that honorable gentleman, I have taken early care to invite him to my house, when he may come into this Province, and I shall endeavor to entertain him in such a manner as may express the great esteem which I have of his attachment to his Majesty and to his Royal House, and of his regard to this Province, as well as of his great merit. And this I will do at my own charge, till the treasury may be supplied. And for these reasons I have not made your vote an order of this Court."
The Editor of the publication, entitled "The Political State of
Great Britain," makes the following remarks upon these doings of the
Legislature of Massachusetts:
[Footnote 1: Vol. XLVIII. p. 173.]
"This expression of gratitude towards Mr. Oglethorpe shows that the gentlemen who are members of the House of Representatives in that Colony, are men of good sense as well as lovers of their country; and there is certainly no greater incitement to generous and public spirited actions than that of public acknowledgment and praise."
Circumstances, however, prevented his making a visit, so earnestly expected, and which would have been so mutually gratifying.
On Wednesday, January 23, 1734, Oglethorpe set out on an exploratory excursion, to view the southern frontiers, in a row-boat commanded by Captain Ferguson, attended by fourteen companions and two Indians; followed by a yawl loaded with ammunition and provisions. They took "the inland passages." Thus are named the passes between the belt of "sea-islands" and the main land. For the distance of seven miles from the ocean along the whole coast, there is a margin of islands and marshes, intersected by rivers, creeks, and inlets, communicating with each other, and forming a complete inland navigation for vessels of one hundred tons.
Having reached the north-west coast of the islands of Ossabaw, St. Catherine, and Sapelo, they passed the entrances of Vernon river, of the Ogechee, and of the northern branches of the Alatamaha; and, on the 26th landed on the first Albany bluff of St. Simons, where they lay dry under the shelter of a large live oak tree, though it rained hard. The next day they proceeded to the sea point of St. Simons, in order to take an observation of the latitude. They afterwards discovered an island, of which the general asked the name, and, finding that it had none, he called it JEKYL, in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyl, his respected and particular friend. They reconnoitred various other places, and the mouths of rivers; and, on their return went up the Ogechee to Fort Argyle, where they lay in a house and upon beds, "for the first time since they left Thunderbolt."
[Footnote 1: This eminent man, who was the son of a clergyman in Northamptonshire, Great Britain, became known as an able lawyer, and an eloquent statesman. As the friend of the Whigs, he was one of the managers of Sacheverell's trial; and, after maintaining his principles and popularity undiminished, he was made, in the reign of George I., Master of the Rolls and Privy Counsellor, and was also knighted. He died in 1738, aged 75.]
[Footnote 2: This startling appellation was early given to a little settlement in the neighborhood of Savannah, in reference to an awful explosion there, the effects of which were said to be perceivable in the sulphuric smell and taste of a spring of water. "Adhuc tenet nomen, indelibile!"]
The fortifications there, by the unwearied diligence of Captain McPherson, were finished, and very defensible; being well flanked, and having several pieces of cannon.
[Footnote 1: Letter from a Gentleman of Savannah to his friend at Charlestown, S.C., inserted in The New England Weekly Journal, May 13, 1734.]
By this excursion he ascertained how expedient it was to have an outpost, with a well-manned fort on the island of St. Simons; and how desirable to form a settlement and military station near the mouth of the Alatamaha, for the protection and defence of the colony.
[Footnote 1: "At the west side of the island is a high bluff, compared with the marshes in its front; and here Frederica was afterwards built. The shore is washed by a fine river, which communicates with the Alatamaha, and enters the ocean through Jekyl sound, at the south end of the island. It forms a bay which is navigable for vessels of large burden." McCALL, I. 170.]
A strong sense of indignation had been expressed in England at the persecution of the Protestants at Saltzburg, in Bavaria, who had been banished by an Episcopal edict from their homes on account of their religion, and, in the midst of winter, driven from the region to seek a place of refuge. Oglethorpe had shared largely in the general sympathy; and, in a speech in the House of Commons, had declared his regret that no provision had been made for their relief in the late treaty. He proposed to the Trustees for settling the colony of Georgia, that an asylum should be there opened for these exiles. The proposition met with ready concurrence. A letter was addressed to their Elder, the venerable Samuel Urlsperger, to inquire whether a body of them would be disposed to join the new settlers, if measures were taken for their transportation. A favorable answer was received. An English vessel was sent to convey them from Rotterdam to Dover; and thence they embarked on the 8th of January, 1734, on board the ship Purrysburgh, Captain Frey, under the more immediate care and conduct of the Baron Philip George Frederick Von Reck, together with their Reverend Pastors, John Martin Bolzius and Israel Christian Gronau. After many difficulties and dangers, they arrived at Charlestown, South Carolina, on the 7th of March. Oglethorpe, who happened to be there, as they piously considered, "providentially," bid them a cheering welcome. He had their ship supplied with provisions; and sent the sea-sick pilgrims, what is so grateful and refreshing after a voyage, many baskets of cabbages, turnips, radishes, lettuce, and other vegetables, "of which the gardens were full." He introduced the Baron and the ministers to the Governor, who received them with much civility, and with whom they dined.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, 1732, p. 866, and Appendix, No.
[Footnote 2: See Appendix, No. XVI.]
The General sent one of his men to their ship, as a pilot, as also to announce their arrival, and bespeak the attention of the magistrates at Savannah; and, on the 9th they set sail for the desired region of peace. They entered the river on the 10th, which was reminiscere-Sunday; and "they called to remembrance the former days, in which, after they were illuminated," (and because they were so,) "they endured a great fight of afflictions, partly while they were made a gazing-stock in their dispersions, and partly while they became companions of them that were so. But they took unresistingly the spoiling of their goods, trusting to those who had compassion on their sufferings." "And they remembered the kindnesses of Oglethorpe."
[Footnote 1: Hebrews, x. 32-34.]
In the journal of their pastor, it is stated, "While we lay off the banks of our dear Georgia, in a very lovely calm, and heard the birds singing sweetly, all was cheerful on board. It was really edifying to us that we came to the borders of 'the promised land,' this day, when, as we are taught in its lesson from the Gospel, that Jesus came to the borders by the sea-coast, after he had endured persecution and rejection by his countrymen."
[Footnote 1: URLSPURGER, I. p. 80.]
On the 11th the ship got upon the sand; but was floated off by the tide on the 12th, and as they passed up the river, they were delighted with the pleasant prospect on both sides. The balmy odors of the pine trees, wafted by the land-breeze, seemed like incense mingling with their orisons, and the carols of the birds were in accordance with their matin-hymn of praise. This second reference to the minstrelsy of the grove, will not be wondered at by those who have visited that region in the spring of the year. The various notes of the feathered choristers are enchanting, even now, when the din of population has frightened them into coverts. But then, free and fearless, the strains were lively and joyful, and the chorus full.
As the vessel was moored near the landing-place, the inhabitants flocked down to the bank, and raised a cheering shout, which was responded with much gladness by the passengers on deck. Some of them were soon taken off in a boat, and led round to the town, part through the wood, and part through the newly laid out garden of the Trustees. Meanwhile "a right good feast" was prepared for them, and they were regaled with "very fine wholesome English beer." And, as otherwise much love and friendliness were shewn them by the inhabitants, and as the beautiful situation round about pleased them, they were in fine spirits, and their joy was consecrated by praise to God.
The pastors Gronau and Bolzius, with the commissary Von Reck, and Dr. Zweitzer were lodged in the house of the Reverend Mr. Quincy, whom they had met at Charlestown, on his return from a visit which he had been paying to his parents in Boston, Massachusetts, when he obligingly offered them the accommodation. For the emigrants barracks and tents were provided till the return of the General from Charlestown, whither he had gone to take passage for England, "but out of good will to the Saltzburgers, he put off his voyage for some days, and was resolved to see them settled before he went." He had promised them that they should have liberty to choose such part of the country as they thought most convenient, fertile and pleasant; and that he would go out with some of their elders, and select a place to their liking. They desired one at a distance from the sea, on gently rising ground, with intervening vales, near springs of water, and on the border of a small river, or clear brook; such being the nature of the region where they were born. To fulfil this engagement, immediately after his return, attended with Paul Jenys, Esq., Speaker of the House of Assembly of South Carolina, and some other gentlemen, he set out on the 15th of March, with Baron Von Reck, the commissary, Mr. Gronau, one of the ministers, Mr. Zweitzer their Doctor, and one of the elders, taking some Indians as guides, to explore the part of the country which answered to the description of the Saltzburgers. They went up the river in boats as far as Mr. Musgrove's cow-pens, where horses were got ready; and, after a ride of about fifteen miles, westward, through the woods, they arrived at the banks of a river, eighty feet wide, and twelve deep, with high banks. The adjacent country was hilly, with valleys of cane-land, intersected with little brooks, and bordered with springs of water. The Saltzburgers were extremely pleased with the place, and adopted it They then kneeled down by the river side, and devoutly thanked God for bringing them out of their persecutions, safe through so many dangers, into a land of rest; in memorial of which, they desired that the place might be called EBENEZER—"Hitherto the Lord hath helped us!" With the Bible in their hands, they then marched up to a site which was judged most proper to build upon; sung an hymn, and the pastor pronounced a benediction.
[Footnote 1: The Rev. Samuel Quincy, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, having been educated in England, and received priest's orders on the 28th of October, 1730, by Dr. Waugh, Bishop of Carlisle, was, in 1734 sent, by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, as a missionary to Georgia.]
[Footnote 2: Extract from a manuscript of Von Reck's Journal, furnished me by J.K. Tefft, Esq. of Savannah.]
Having thus assigned to the exiles, "a local habitation and a name," they all went to Abercorn, a village lately built, about the distance of six miles. Thence the commissary and his companions returned to Savannah, and Oglethorpe, with the speaker, went to Purrysburgh on the 18th in order to row up the river to the Palachocolas Indians, but the floods from the Cherokee mountains had so swelled the freshes, as to make that passage too tedious. They, therefore, went back to Abercorn, and thence to the designed settlement of the Saltzburgers, where Oglethorpe, parting with his honorable friend, crossed the river with the Indians, and renewed his excursion to Palachocolas. There he found a fort erected at the lowest passage of the river, and forty-five miles from Savannah. Returning from this visit, as he entered Ebenezer he found eight of the most able-bodied men at work, with their minister Gronau, in constructing booths and tents against the arrival of the families. In furtherance of their labors, he laid out the town, and directed the carpenters, who had arrived also in obedience to his orders, to assist in building six houses.
These attentions to the accommodation of the poor Protestants were gratefully acknowledged, and are recorded in the journal of the Reverend Mr. Bolzius, with a respectful tribute to the religious character of Oglethorpe, of which the following is a translation; "So far as we can conclude from a short acquaintance with him, he is a man who has a great reverence for God, and his holy word and ordinances; a cordial love for the servants and children of God; and who wishes to see the name of Christ glorified in all places. So blest have been his undertakings and his presence in this land, that more has been accomplished by him in one year than others would have effected in many. And since the people here have had such good cause to appreciate his right fatherly disposition, his indefatigable toil for their welfare, and his illustrious qualities, they feel that his departure would be a real loss to them. For us he hath cared with a most provident solicitude. We unite in prayers for him, that God would guide him to his home, make his voyage safe and prosperous, and enrich him with many blessings!"
[Footnote 1: URLSPURGER, I. p. 91.]
In journeys often and labors more abundant, he returned to Savannah; and set out from thence on the 23d of March, with the Speaker, to Charlestown, where he arrived on the 27th with a retinue of Indian chiefs, whom he had persuaded to accompany him to England. He had rightly judged that it would be an advantage to the colony to let some of the natives have a sight of England, as it would give them a high idea of that kingdom. He had gained the consent of Tomo Chichi and Scenawki his wife and Toonahowi his nephew; of Hillispilli, the war chief; Apakowtski, Stimalchi, Sintouchi, and Hinguithi, five chiefs of the Creek nation; and of Umphichi, a chief from Palachocolas; with their interpreter.
They embarked in the Aldborough man of war on Tuesday, the 7th of May, 1734.
Oglethorpe arrives in England with his Indian Escort—Is welcomed by the Trustees—Apartments are provided for the Indians—They are introduced to the King and Royal Family—One of their number dies of the small pox—Visit the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Eton College—Shown the public buildings and institutions in London—Embark for Georgia—Their arrival.
The Aldborough arrived at St. Helen's, in the Isle of Wight, on the 16th of June, 1734, bringing the founder of the new Colony, with the most gratifying accounts of his labors and success. He had "laid the foundation of many generations." He had made "the desolate wilderness a pleasant portion;" and, for its wildlings, had substituted offsets which should become "plants of renown." And he had brought with him some chiefs of the Indian tribes, to testify their accordance with the new settlement, and to repeat the expression of their desire to receive instruction in the language and religion of the settlers.
When a Roman General returned a conqueror, he entered the Imperial City with a triumphal procession, in martial pomp and pageantry, dragging at his car the kings and captains he had vanquished. But here was a return from a successful campaign, not bringing captives taken in battle, but an escort of unconquered chieftains, themselves sharers in the ovation of benevolence and the triumph of philanthropy.
Oglethorpe immediately addressed a letter to Sir John Phillips, Baronet, notifying him of his return, and giving him the pleasing intelligence of the safe arrival of the Baron Von Reck, and the Saltzburgers, whom he called "a very sensible, active, laborious, and pious people." He mentioned their location as selected to their liking; and said that he left them busily employed in completing its settlement. He added, "An Indian chief, named Tomo Chichi, the Mico, or king of Yamacraw, a man of an excellent understanding, is so desirous of having the young people taught the English language and religion, that, notwithstanding his advanced age, he has come over hither with me to obtain means, and assistant teachers. He has brought with him a young man whom he calls his nephew and next heir; and who has already learned the Lord's prayer in the English and Indian language."
"I shall leave the Indians at my estate, till I go to the city, where I shall have the happiness to wait upon you, and to relate all things to you more fully; over which you will rejoice and wonder."
[Footnote 1: Not having met with an English copy of the letter, I have given a version from the German in "Ausfürliche Nachrichten von der Salzburgischen en America, von SAMUEL URLSPURGHER". Halle, 1745. 4to.]
Having repaired to his house in old Palace-Yard, Westminster, he notified the Trustees of his arrival. Some of the gentlemen immediately called on him, and escorted him to the Georgia office, where he received their congratulations, with "expressions of their great satisfaction in the eminent services which he had performed in behalf of their new settlement."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, June, 1734, p. 327.]
On the evening of the 21st they gave a grand entertainment in honor of so distinguished an associate; and heard from him, with admiration, the narrative of his achievements.
[Footnote 1: London Magazine, June, 1734.]
On a special meeting they "voted their unanimous thanks to him for the ability, zeal, activity, and perseverance with which he had conducted the affairs of the settlement, and assured him that they should ever hold his services in grateful remembrance."
A publication of the day thus announces his arrival; "On the 16th of last month, James Oglethorpe, Esq., member of Parliament for Haslemere, in Surrey, and of the Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia, arrived in the Aldborough man of war, at St. Helen's, on his return from that colony; he having had so much generosity and public spirit as to go along with the first number of persons that were sent out for its establishment, where he has been ever since; being resolved to be a sharer with them in all the fatigues and dangers that might happen, either from the inclemency of a new climate, or from any of the accidents that usually attend the settlement of a new colony; and not to leave them till he saw them in a condition, not only to provide their own subsistence, but to defend themselves against any enemy that might probably attack them; all which fatigues and dangers he exposed himself to, and has undergone at his own charge, and without the least view of any private advantage or satisfaction, but that which every good man must feel in contributing to the relief of the distressed, and the public good of his country. This is such an action as the Roman historians, in the times of their greatest virtue, would have been proud of recording; and such an one as ought not to escape the notice of any man who pretends to give an account of the transactions of this kingdom."
[Footnote 1: Political State of Great Britain, Vol. XVIII. p. 19.]
His return was congratulated in some very complimentary verses; as was also the arrival of Tomo Chichi; and the head of Oglethorpe was proposed by Mr. Urban for a prize medal, to commemorate his benevolence and patriotism.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. IV. p. 505.]
[Footnote 2: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. V. 178. "The die was broken after a few were struck off." See Editorial note in Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1785, p. 517. I have procured an engraving, of the size of the original.]
Comfortable apartments were provided for the Indians in the Georgia office; and, when they were suitably dressed, and had curiously painted their faces, according to their custom, Sir Clement Cotterell was sent, on the 1st of August, to the Georgia office, whence he took them all, except one who was sick with the small pox, and had them conveyed, in three of the King's coaches, drawn by six horses, to the palace at Kensington. They were received at the door by the body guards, and then, by the Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamberlain, presented to his Majesty, whom Tomo Chichi addressed in the following characteristic terms.
"Great king; this day I see the majesty of your person, the greatness of your house, and the number of your people. I am come in my old days; so I cannot expect to obtain any advantage to myself; but I come for the good of the Creeks, that they may be informed about the English, and be instructed in your language and religion. I present to you, in their name, the feathers of an eagle, which is the swiftest of birds, and flieth around our nations. These feathers are emblems of peace in our land, and have been carried from town to town, to witness it. We have brought them to you, to be a token and pledge of peace, on our part, to be kept on yours.
"O great king! whatsoever you shall say to me, I will faithfully tell to all the chiefs of the Creek nation."
To this the king replied,—"I am glad of this opportunity of assuring you of my regard for the people from whom you came; and I am extremely well pleased with the assurance which you have brought me from them. I accept, very gratefully, this present, as an indication of their good dispositions towards me and my people; and shall always be ready to show them marks of favor, and purposes to promote their welfare."
They were then introduced to her Majesty, who was seated on a throne in the great gallery, attended by ladies of the court and nobility. The aged Mico thus addressed her: "I am glad to see you this day, and to have the opportunity of beholding the mother of this great nation. As our people are now joined with yours, we hope that you will be a common mother, and a protectress of us and our children." To this her Majesty returned a courteous answer.
After this they were introduced to his Royal Highness the Prince of
Wales, the Duke of Cumberland, the Princess of Orange, the Princesses
Amelia, Caroline, Mary, and Louisa; and then were conducted back to
On the 3d of August they were greatly afflicted by the decease of one of their companions by the small pox, notwithstanding the best medical attendance; but it occasioned no bad consequences, as his associates were with him, and saw that much better care was taken of him than could have been at home. He was interred, after the manner of their country, in St. John's burial ground, Westminster. The corpse, sewed up in two blankets, with a deal-board under and another over, and tied down with a cord, was carried to the grave on a bier. There were present only Tomo Chichi, three of the chiefs, the upper church-warden, and the grave-digger. When the body was laid in the earth, the clothes of the deceased were thrown in; after this, a quantity of glass beads and some pieces of silver; the custom of these Indians being to bury such effects of the deceased with him.
As all methods made to console them were disregarded, Oglethorpe took them out to his estate, that in the country retirement they might have a better opportunity to bewail the dead according to their custom, and that the change of the place might serve to abate their sorrow.
On the 17th of August, the aged and venerable Archbishop of Canterbury had them taken in his boat to Putney, where they were received and entertained in a very agreeable manner. On taking leave, Tomo Chichi intimated his inability, from want of a knowledge of the English language, to express suitably the acknowledgments of himself and his companions of the kind notice taken of them.
[Footnote 1: Rev. William Wake, D.D.]
The following day they visited his Grace at Lambeth, and endeavored to make known to him how deeply affected they were with the ignorance in religion in which they and their people were involved; and how much they not only needed, but desired instruction. In their conference with Dr. Lynch, the son-in-law of the Archbishop, the Mico was more explicit, and requested that some person might be sent to teach them; more particularly their youth.
On the next day they went to Eton College, and were received by the Rev. Dr. George, Dr. Berriman, and the rest of the Fellows present. On closing their visit to the school-room, Tomo Chichi begged that the lads might have a holiday when the Doctor thought proper; which caused a general huzza. They were then shewn the several apartments of the college, and took a respectful leave. Afterwards they went to Windsor, where they were graciously received; and thence to St. George's Chapel, where the prebends present named Dr. Maynard to compliment the Mico from the Dean and Chapter. The following day they went to Hampton Court; saw the royal apartments; and walked in the gardens, where a great concourse of people had assembled to see them. After these more distinguishing attentions, they were shewn the Tower, the public buildings, Greenwich Hospital, and all the great and interesting spectacles in London; and nothing was neglected that might serve to awaken and gratify their curiosity, and to impress them with the grandeur and power of the British nation.
After having staid four months, they were taken to Gravesend in one of his Majesty's carriages, whence they embarked aboard the transport ship, the Prince of Wales, George Dunbar, Captain, on the return voyage to Savannah, where they arrived on the 27th of December, 1734.
Captain Dunbar, in a letter to the Trustees, announcing his remarkably quick and prosperous passage across the Atlantic, wrote thus: "We arrived here all cheerful and in good health. The Indians behaved with their accustomed modesty; as did also, the Saltzburgers, who are a sober and pious people, and gave much less trouble than I expected; nor do I think any of them were dissatisfied while on board." In conclusion, he added, "Tomo Chichi, Toonahowi, Hillispilli, and Umpichi were so kind as to come on board on the morning of our intended departure to see me. They have a very grateful remembrance of the many civilities which they received in England, and desire me to inform your honors that Santechi has gone to the Upper and Middle Creeks, who are at present extremely well disposed to the British interest, and their deputies are expected down in two months."
[Footnote 1: London Magazine for March, 1735, p. 162. See also the whole letter, in the Political State of Great Britain, April, 1735, p. 374.]
Oglethorpe remains in England—Trustees make Regulations—Oglethorpe, desirous of providing for the conversion of the Indians, applies to Bishop Wilson to prepare a Book of Religious Instruction for them—Trustees seek for Missionaries—Engage John and Charles Wesley.
Oglethorpe remained in England to attend to his duties as a member of Parliament, and to suggest to the Trustees measures for the furtherance of the settlement of Georgia.
In consequence of the information which he could give from his personal observation, and that which he had received from others, respecting the state of the colony, and what would be expedient for its advancement in good order and prosperity, the Trustees prepared a regulation, which was enacted by the government into a law, "for maintaining peace with the Indians." This included the provisions and immunities of the act of the General Assembly of South Carolina in 1731; and, of course, was accordant with the relations and mutual interests of both Provinces. There was, also, passed a law for a like salutary purpose for preventing trouble with the Indians, as well as preserving the health and morals of the people already settled or that might be settled in their new colony, from the pernicious effects of spirituous liquors, entitled "An act to prevent the importation and use of rum and brandies into the Province of Georgia, or any kind of ardent spirits or strong waters whatsoever." A writer of the day makes this remark, "At the same time the Trustees endeavored to supply the stores with strong beer from England, molasses for brewing beer, and with Madeira wines; which the people might purchase at reasonable rates, which would be more refreshing and wholesome for them."
[Footnote 1: Account, showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia in America, from its first establishment: published by Order of the Trustees. Lond. 1741; page 16, under the year 1734.]
An unchecked indulgence in ardent spirits has ever been followed by lamentable effects. It demoralizes the conduct, destroys health, prevents usefulness, and ruins reputation. It breaks up domestic peace, wastes property, leads to impoverished circumstances, and entails wretchedness upon the members of the family of which the head was the victim. The prohibition, therefore, if it led to the disuse of the dangerous potation, would have been the present removal, and prevented the subsequent extension, of one of the greatest evils which has corrupted the social condition.
To these prudent and salutary regulations followed a statute entitled "An act for rendering the Province of Georgia more defencible, by prohibiting the importation of black slaves, or negroes, into the same." For this enactment, besides the consideration stated in the title, the following reasons are assigned: 1. On account of the cost of purchase, which, the settlers themselves being too poor to defray, must be met by the Trustees; on whom it would be a tax greater than they had funds to pay, or believed that they could obtain. 2. Because of the additional expense of their after maintenance, which must be provided, in addition to that already incurred for the support of those by whom they were to be employed. And 3. because the Trustees were desirous that the settlers should acquire the habits of labor and industry, of economy and thrift, by personal application.
[Footnote 1: See their reasons at large in the publication entitled Impartial Inquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, Lond. 1741; or in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. I. pages 166-173, and McCALL'S History, Vol. I. p. 25, &c.]
It is remarked by Mr. Burke, that "These regulations, though well intended, and indeed meant to bring about very excellent purposes, yet might at first, as it did afterwards, appear, that they were made without sufficiently consulting the nature of the country, or the disposition of the people which they regarded."
[Footnote 1: European Settlements in America, Vol. II. p. 266.]
Governor Belcher, of Massachusetts, in a letter to Lord Egmont, observes, "I have read Mr. Oglethorpe's state of the new colony of Georgia once and again; and by its harbors, rivers, soil and productions, do not doubt that it must in time make a fine addition to the British Empire in America; and I still insist upon it that the prohibitory regulations of the Trustees are essential to its healthy and prosperous condition; and the alteration of the Constitution to the advantage of females must give great encouragement to first undertakers or settlers, as your Lordship observes."
[Footnote 1: Letter Book, in the archives of the Massachusetts
Historical Society, Vol. V. p. 254.]
The visit of the Indians was made subservient to the favorite purpose of Oglethorpe, by rousing attention to the improvement of the race in knowledge and religion. At their earliest interviews with him, they had expressed a wish that their children might be taught to speak and read the English language, and they themselves instructed in the principles of Christianity. From their intercourse with the Carolinians for many years, they had been made sensible of the superiority which such attainments conferred, even where that intercourse had been, as it mostly was, with the traders; but no missionary had been sent, as in our times, to form them to civilization, and "teach them which be the first principles of the oracles of God." Oglethorpe felt extremely desirous of obtaining for them these advantages; and expressed to the trustees his belief that they would readily avail themselves of an opportunity for their attainment. In furtherance of this most important object, he applied to the Reverend Dr. Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man, to prepare a manual of instruction for them. The good Bishop complied with his request with great readiness; and the work was printed at the expense of "the Society for propagating the Gospel in foreign Parts." The volume was dedicated to the Trustees; and, in the preface, the author states that it "was undertaken in consequence of a short but entertaining conversation, which he, and some others, had with the honorable and worthy General Oglethorpe, concerning the condition, temper, and genius of the Indians in the neighborhood of Georgia, and those parts of America; who, as he assured us, are a tractable people, and more capable of being civilized and of receiving the truths of religion than we are generally made to believe, if some hindrances were removed, and proper measures taken to awaken in them a sense of their true interest, and of their unhappy condition, while they continue in their present state."
"And, indeed, that most worthy gentleman's great and generous concern for both the present and future interest of these nations, and his earnest desire and endeavors, so well known, to civilize them first, and make them more capable of instruction in the ways of religion and civil government, and his hearty wishes that something might be done to forward such good purposes, prevailed with the author, however indifferently qualified for such a work, to set about the following essay for propagating the Gospel amongst the Indians and negroes."
[Footnote 1: The title of the book is, "The Knowledge and Practice of Christianity made easy to the meanest capacity; or, an Essay towards an Instruction for the Indians." London, 1740. 12mo. A tenth edition was printed in 1764; and a translation in French, at Geneva, in 1744.]
On receiving a copy of this work, when it was printed, five years afterwards, from the Reverend Dr. Thomas Wilson, son of the Bishop, Oglethorpe addressed to him the following letter:
[Footnote 1: Not finding an English copy I have translated this from the French version.]
Frederica, in Georgia, April 24, 1741.
I have received, with not less pleasure than profit, the book sent to me by you, which was composed by your father. This work breathes so strongly the spirit of primitive piety; its style is so clear and simple; its plan is so easy for minds even the most limited, and at the same time so well adapted to make them understand the most profound mysteries, that it is a true representation of the religion in which it instructs its reader. Had our Methodists, instead of their lofty imaginations, been taught enough of the language of the Indians to be able to translate this book; or had they been sufficiently instructed to permit them to read it with advantage, I doubt not that we should immediately see surprising results from it; but God will accomplish his good work by the means which he will judge proper to employ. I have written to Mr. Varelst to buy, to the amount of five pounds sterling, copies of your father's work, and to send them to me.
"Have the kindness to commend me to the prayers of a Divine so worthy and pious; and be assured that I am,
"Your affectionate friend, and very humble and obedient servant,
The Trustees were now desirous of obtaining proper persons to go to Georgia to teach, and endeavor to convert, the Indians; and to officiate as chaplains to the colonists at Savannah, and at the new town about to be built on the island of St. Simons. They fixed their eyes upon Mr. John Wesley and some of his associates, as very proper for such a mission. The amiable and excellent Dr. John Burton, one of the Board, who was well acquainted with Wesley, having learned that he was in London, went thither himself, in order to accompany him to Oglethorpe, with whom, indeed, he was already acquainted by family attentions as well as public fame. The matter was proposed to Wesley, and strongly urged by such arguments as they thought most likely to dispose his mind to accept the proposal. Several influential friends concurred in advising him to go; and, as even his mother encouraged it, he yielded his compliance. His brother Charles agreed to accompany him, as did Benjamin Ingham, a member of their association at Oxford, and Charles Delamotte, son of a merchant in London.
[Footnote 1: When the settling of Georgia was in agitation, in 1732, Dr. Burton was solicited by the excellent Dr. Bray, and other Episcopal Clergymen,[A] to give his assistance in promoting that undertaking. Accordingly he preached a Sermon in its recommendation before the Society for conducting it; and his Discourse was afterwards published, with an Appendix concerning the State of the Colony. BENTHAM, de vita et moribus Johannis Burtoni. 8vo. London, 1771, page 12.]
[Footnote A: Rev. Dr. HALES, Dr. BERRIMAN, and others.]
[Footnote 2: Life of the Rev. JOHN WESLEY and of the Rev. CHARLES
WESLEY, his brother, by the Rev. HENRY MOORE. 8vo. Lond. 1824. 2 vol.
Vol. I. p. 334. This interview was on the 28th of April, 1735.]
In consequence of this engagement of the Wesleys, the General deemed it highly proper to visit their venerable and excellent parents at Epworth, not only to confirm their consent, but to communicate to them such information as should interest them strongly in every measure which aimed at the instruction, civilization, and christianizing of the natives of Georgia, from whom he and the new settlers had met so kind a reception. A reference to this, gives me the opportunity of introducing a letter from that aged minister, the Reverend Samuel Wesley, written rather more than a year before, in which he mentions the progress which he had made in a work that he was about to publish, and acknowledges the obligations which he was under to the General for kindnesses shown to himself and sons.
[Footnote 1: This letter is not in the "Memoirs of the Wesley Family," published by Dr. Adam Clarke in 1822; having been recently discovered.]
Epworth, July 6, 1734.
May I be admitted, while such crowds of our nobility and gentry are pouring in their congratulations, to press with my poor mite of thanks into the presence of one who so well deserves the title of UNIVERSAL BENEFACTOR OF MANKIND. It is not only your valuable favors on many accounts to my son, late of Westminster, and myself, when I was not a little pressed in the world, nor your more extensive charity to the poor prisoners; it is not these only that so much demand my warmest acknowledgments, as your disinterested and immovable attachment to your country, and your raising a new Colony, or rather a little world of your own in the midst of wild woods and uncultivated deserts, where men may live free and happy, if they are not hindered by their own stupidity and folly, in spite of the unkindness of their brother mortals.
I owe you, sir, besides this, some account of my little affairs since the beginning of your expedition. Notwithstanding my own and my son's violent illness, which held me half a year, and him above twelve months, I have made a shift to get more than three parts in four of my Dissertations on Job printed off, and both the paper, printing, and maps, hitherto, paid for. My son John at Oxford, now that his elder brother has gone to Tiverton, takes care of the remainder of the impression at London, and I have an ingenious artist here with me in my house at Epworth who is graving and working off the remaining maps and figures for me; so that I hope, if the printer does not hinder me, I shall have the whole ready by next spring, and, by God's leave, I shall be in London myself to deliver the books perfect. I print five hundred copies, as in my proposals; whereof I have about three hundred already subscribed for; and, among my subscribers, fifteen or sixteen English Bishops, with some of Ireland.
"If you will please herewith to accept the tender of my most sincere respect and gratitude, you will thereby confer one further obligation, honored sir, on
"Your most obedient and humble servant,
"To James Oglethorpe, Esq."
It appears, from a list of subscriptions annexed to Mr. Wesley's Dissertations on the Book of Job, that General Oglethorpe took seven copies of the work on large paper, which would amount to at least twenty pounds.
The elder son of the Rector, also, paid a tribute of respect to the General; and this in harmonious and polished verses; in which, however, he indulged, too freely, the poetic license in highly wrought description of the settlement of Georgia, and of the climate and productions of the region.
[Footnote 1: GEORGIA, a Poem; TOMO CHICHI, an Ode; and a copy of Verses on Mr. Oglethorpe's Second Voyage to Georgia. These were beautifully printed, in a large type, on nineteen folio pages. They were ascribed to SAMUEL WESLEY, as their author, in the tract entitled "True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia," by P. Telfair and others. Charlestown, S.C. 1741, page xi. of the Preface.]
As our narrative is brought near to the period when the General is about to return thither, it may be pertinent to introduce a short extract, in which the poet addresses the new settlers, eagerly expecting his arrival.
"See once again, see on your shores descend
Your generous leader, your unwearied friend!
No storm or chance his vessel thither drives,
No! to secure and bless you, he arrives.
To Heaven the praise,—and thanks to him repay,
And let remotest times respect the day.
He comes, whose life, while absent from your view,
Was one continued ministry for you;
For you he laid out all his pains and art,
Won every will, and softened every heart.
With what paternal joy shall he relate
How views the mother Isle your little State;
How aids the Senate, how the nation loves,
How GEORGE protects, and CAROLINE approves!—
A thousand pleasures crowd into his breast,
But one, one mighty thought absorbs the rest,
'And give me, Heaven, to see, (the Patriot cries),
Another Britain in the desert rise!'"
Trustees make a new selection of Settlers—Their Proposals successful in Scotland—Embarkation of Highlanders for Georgia—Indian hieroglyphic letter sent to the Trustees—Further emigration of Saltzburgers—Great embarkation of Colonists, attended by Oglethorpe and the Missionaries—Employment and religious exercises on board during the voyage—Arrival—Beacon on the Island of Tybee—The people go on shore at Peeper's Island—Oglethorpe goes to Savannah with the Missionaries—Sends provisions and refreshments to the Emigrants—Moore's account of the Public Garden—Tomo Chichi welcomes his friend—Saltzburgers make application for a removal from Ebenezer—Oglethorpe sends pioneers to lay out a road to Darien.
"Some of the first settlers had proved as idle and useless members of society in America, as they had been in Great Britain;" and, as their external wants had been supplied from the common store, they felt no stimulus to industry or frugality.
The Trustees, finding that the conduct of these drones and loungers tended rather to impede than promote their benevolent intentions, began to look round for a better stock of settlers; a hardy race, with good habits; such as were accustomed to laborious occupation and agricultural pursuits.
That all persons who should be disposed to go to Georgia, might be fully apprized of the several conditions which they were to perform, and of what was expected, and, indeed, would be required of them, in return for the assistance and support that would be afforded them, a statement was made, and rules and regulations were drawn up, printed and circulated; in which the Trustees indicated the qualifications of such as offered themselves, with the expectation of being engaged. They examined, at their office, such persons as applied for the benefit of the charity; and, out of these selected those who had the best characters, and were the truest and most deserving objects of compassion. They very explicitly and frankly acquainted the applicants with the inconveniences to which they would be subjected, and the hardships which they must expect to endure. They told them that on their arrival they would be under the necessity of living in slight hovels, till they could form materials for the construction of houses; that they must use great provident foresight to acquire comfortable subsistence, for their wants were to be supplied only till their industry brought in returns. They remarked to them that they, indeed, gave them lands, and furnished them rations for a year, but these lands were to be cleared up and tilled, in order to yield crops; that they must eat salt meat, and drink only beer or water. They reminded them, with solemn caution, that the sicknesses, to which a change of climate would expose them, were most dangerous to those who drank distilled liquors; so that temperance, which was every where commendable and salutary, would be absolutely necessary to preserve health. Finally, they were plainly told that if they were distrustful, or reluctant at putting forth their strenuous exertions, they must not engage in the undertaking.
[Footnote 1: Account, shewing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia.
Lond. 1741. Appendix to the Volume, No. 3 and 4.]
[Footnote 2: MOORE'S Voyage, page 10.]
Several were disheartened; but their place was soon filled up by others, who thought these difficulties not very great; and that, whatever they might be, they could encounter them; and that they could submit to temporary inconveniences, and persevere in efforts, stimulated by the proffered encouragement and aid.
In Scotland the proposals of the Trustees met with such success that, at Inverness and its vicinity, one hundred and thirty Highlanders were enrolled for emigration. These, with fifty women and children, were transported to Georgia, where they arrived in the month of January, 1735; and with them came several private grantees, with their servants. The Scots were destined to settle on the frontiers, for the protection and defence of the province. After tarrying a few days at Savannah, they conveyed themselves in periaguas, to the southward; and, ascending the Alatamaha river about sixteen miles from St. Simons, pitched upon a place for a residence, where they soon raised a little fort, in which they mounted four pieces of cannon. They, also, built a guard-house, a store, and a chapel, for they brought a pastor with them; and soon put up several huts for temporary accommodation, till they could prepare and erect commodious dwellings. The location, at their desire, was called "Darien;" which name the District still bears, and the town they called "New Inverness," a name no longer retained.
[Footnote 1: In the early publications this is written with the article—"the Darien."]
While Oglethorpe was in England, what was intended for a letter was sent over to the Trustees. It was composed by a chief of the Cherokees, drawn and curiously marked in red and black figures on the skin of a young buffalo, neatly dressed. A translation into English had been made from the Indian interpretation, when first delivered, in the presence of above fifty of their chiefs, and of the principal inhabitants of Savannah. It contained the grateful acknowledgment of the Indians of the honors and civilities shown to Tomo Chichi and his companions; their admiration of the grandeur of the British Court and kingdom; and declared their strong attachment to General Oglethorpe.
This hieroglyphic painting was set in a frame, and hung up in the
Georgia office in Westminster.
[Footnote 1: American Gazetteer. Lond. 1762. 12mo. Vol. II., article
To provide for the raising of silk-worms and winding the thread from the cocoons, was an early purpose of the Trustees. Liberal encouragement was given by the Government and the Board of Trade to the importation of all that could be produced. Samples had been sent to England which gave promise of success. In the beginning of May, this year, the Trustees and Sir Thomas Lombe, waited on the Queen with a specimen, who was highly gratified with learning that a British Colony had produced such silk, and desired that the fabric into which it should be wrought might be shewn her. Accordingly, on the 21st of October, these gentlemen, with Mr. Booth, the weaver, again waited on her Majesty with a piece of the manufactured silk; and she expressed great admiration of the beauty and fineness of the silk, and the richness of the pattern; and, as a further testimony of her satisfaction both with the produce and the manufacture, she ordered a suit to be made up immediately for her own wear, in which she appeared on her birth-day. To this, a poet of the time, in a description of the products of Georgia, thus alludes—
[Footnote 1: Political State of Europe, Vol. L. p. 242, and 469.]
"The merchant hence the unwrought silk imports,
To which we owe the attire of Queens and Courts."
[Footnote 1: New Voyage to Georgia, p. 61.]
A large number of intended emigrants having been enrolled, Oglethorpe had been most busily engaged for several months in making preparations for their embarkation. Various tools were to be collected, suits and changes of raiment prepared, articles of maintenance selected and packed for the public store at Savannah, and accommodations and provisions got ready for the voyage. The indefatigable leader of the expedition gave his personal attendance and directions, and saw that every thing was in the train of accomplishment, aided by the services and supervision of Mr. Francis Moore, whom the Trustees had appointed keeper of the stores. Oglethorpe had become acquainted with this gentleman as Factor to the Royal African Society, and as having had the charge of Job Jalla ben Solomon, the African Prince, whom the Company sent back to Africa.
There were two ships freighted, the Symond, of two hundred and twenty tons, Captain Joseph Cornish, master; and the London Merchant, of about the same burden, Captain John Thomas, master; and one of his Majesty's sloops, under the command of Captain James Gascoigne, was ordered to assist the Colony, and carry over the General, who intended to inspect the settlement; but he chose to go in one of the ships, though crowded with the emigrants, "that he might be able to take care of the people on the passage."
"The whole embarkation amounted to two hundred and twenty people on the Trust's account, besides Mr. Oglethorpe and the gentlemen with him, and his servants, whose passage he himself paid."
[Footnote 1: Voyage to Georgia, begun in the year 1735; by FRANCIS MOORE, 8vo. London, 1744, page 11. The author accompanied General Oglethorpe on what is called "the great embarkation," as keeper of the stores. The first date in the book is "15th of October, 1735," and the last, "22d of June, 1736." He resided at St. Simons, and was "Recorder at Frederica." By an advertisement, at the end of this volume, we learn that he made another voyage to Georgia in 1738, where he continued till 1743, when he returned to England. During his residence, he kept a Journal, "in which is an account of the siege of St. Augustine, in 1740, and of the Spanish invasion, in 1742." He adds, "I think myself obliged to acquaint the public that if I find the foregoing well received, I shall, without delay, publish my other Journal, as, also, a continuance of this, containing the treaty with the Governor of Augustine; and the regulation of several matters, relating to the Indian nations." That the Journal was not published is greatly to be regretted.]
Among the adventurers in this embarkation, lured by the accounts which had been published in England, of the delightful region of Georgia, were Sir Francis Bathurst, his son, three daughters, and servants; as also several relatives of the planters already settled there.
[Footnote 1: SALMON'S Modern History, Vol. III. p. 602.]
I copy from Boyer's Political State of Great Britain, the following particulars. "On the 13th of October, 1735, embarked on board the London Merchant, Captain Thomas, commander, fifty-six men, women, and children, Saltzburgers, and some other persecuted protestants from Germany, with Mr. Von Reck, who conducted from the same parts a former transport in 1733, and Captain Hermsdorf, going to settle with their countrymen in Georgia. The charge of their subsistence in their long journey from Ratisbon and Augsburg to Rotterdam, and from thence to London, and their expense at London till they went on board, was defrayed by the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign Parts, out of the collections committed to them for that purpose." Of this Society Oglethorpe was a member. The charge of their voyage to Georgia, with their maintenance there for one year, and for the arms, utensils, and other necessary articles and provisions which they took from hence with them, was defrayed by the honorable Trustees for establishing the colony.
[Footnote 1: Vol. L. page 468.]
"The next day James Oglethorpe, Esq., set out by land for Gravesend, and the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and the Reverend Mr. Charles Wesley, Student of Christ's Church College, and the Reverend Mr. Ingham, of Queen's, went thither by water, in order to embark on board the Symond, Captain Cornish, Commander; on board of which ship went likewise a great number of poor English families, at the expense of the trustees; and soon after these, two ships sailed together in company for Georgia. One of the above named clergymen is to settle at the new town of Savannah, in that colony; and the other two intend, (after some stay at Savannah, to learn the Indian language,) to devote themselves to preaching the Gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Indian nations bordering upon that colony; which might certainly be done with great effect, if men would but content themselves with inculcating and enforcing the rational and plain doctrines taught by Christ himself, without pretending to explain what have since been called the mysteries of the Christian religion, which serve only to divide Christians among themselves, and have very much prevented the conversion of heathens in all countries, and in all ages."
As the periodical publication, from which this paragraph is extracted, was the channel through which official information respecting the settlement and affairs of Georgia was communicated, the suggestion with which it is closed is to be understood as the opinion of the Trustees. And when we recollect the character of those who composed the Board, it may be considered as the dictate of sound judgment, and worthy of heedful observance.
The attention of Oglethorpe to the persons and condition of the emigrants, was assiduous, considerate, and kind. "He had laid in a large quantity of live stock and various refreshments, though he himself seldom eat any but ship's provisions. Not only the gentlemen, his friends, sat at his table, but he invited, through the whole of the passage, the missionaries and the captain of the ship, who, together made twelve in number."
[Footnote 1: Moore's Voyage, p. II.]
They had prayers twice a day. The missionaries expounded the scriptures, catechized the children, and administered the sacrament on Sundays; but, though the crew consisted of Episcopalians, Methodists, German Lutherans, and Moravians, "Oglethorpe showed no discountenance to any for being of different persuasions of religion."
"When occasion offered, he called together those who designed to be freeholders, and instructed them in what manner to behave themselves, and acquainted them with the nature of the country, and how to settle it advantageously. He constantly visited the sick, and let them have fowls for broth, and any refreshments of his own; and administered medicine, personally, where it was proper. Whenever the weather was calm enough to permit it, he went on board the London Merchant, with which company was kept all the way, to see that the like care was taken of the people there."
[Footnote 1: Moore, p. 12.]
The Journal of Wesley gives many details of the voyage; but, as they relate principally to the manner in which he and his brother and two friends spent their time, I pass them over, but quote the following anecdote from one of his biographers. "Mr. Wesley hearing an unusual noise in the cabin of General Oglethorpe, stepped in to inquire the cause of it. On which the General thus addressed him: 'Mr. Wesley you must excuse me. I have met with a provocation too much for a man to bear. You know that the only wine I drink is Cyprus wine, as it agrees with me the best of any. I therefore provided myself with several dozens of it, and this villain Grimaldi' (his foreign servant, who stood trembling with fear,) 'has drunk up the whole of it. But I will be revenged on him. I have ordered him to be tied hand and foot, and carried to the man of war that sails with us. The rascal should have taken care not to have served me so, for I never forgive.'—'Then I hope, sir,' (said Wesley, looking calmly at him) 'you never sin.' The General was confounded at the reproof; and, putting his hand into his pocket, took out a bunch of keys, which he threw at Grimaldi, saying, 'There, take my keys, and behave better for the future!'"
[Footnote 1: Rev. HENRY MOORE, Vol. II. p. 258.]
While this was a happy verification of the remark of the wise man, that "a soft answer turneth away wrath," it is a pleasing indication of the yielding placability of him to whom it was addressed.—"The discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
The ships, which bore this large accession to the Colony, passed the bar of the Tybee on the afternoon of Thursday, February 5th, 1736, and came to anchor. This island is at the mouth of the Savannah river; is five miles long, and three broad; and is the most easterly land in the State. Oglethorpe went immediately on shore, to see what had been done towards raising the beacon on the island, for the construction of which he had given orders. "It was to be an octagon building of squared timber; its dimensions twenty-five feet wide at the bottom, and ten at the top; and its height ninety feet, with a flag-staff on the top thirty feet high. When completed, it would be of great service to all shipping, not only the vessels bound to this port, but also to Carolina; for the land of the coast, for some hundred miles, is so alike, being low and woody, that a distinguishing mark is of great consequence."
[Footnote 1: MOORE's Voyage, p. 18.]
They had experienced a tempestuous voyage, and had a very rough passage; but now the weather was fine; the land breezes refreshed them as the ships lay quietly moored; and they hailed with delight the land of promise, the borders of which stretched before them; where, says Wesley, "the groves of pines along the shores made an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the verdure and bloom of spring in the depth of winter." A night of peaceful slumber passed; and, about eight o'clock on Friday morning, they went ashore on a small uninhabited island, where Oglethorpe led them to a rising ground, and they all knelt and returned thanks to God for their safe arrival. Leaving the people, as there was a fine spring, and a pond of pure water, to wash their clothes, and refresh themselves, he went himself, attended by his suite, in a boat to Savannah, where he was received, under the discharge of all their cannon, by the freeholders in arms, with the constables and tithing men at their head. He introduced to them the clergymen and gentlemen by whom he was accompanied; and congratulated the colonists on the religious advantages which they were about to derive from these pious missionaries: and here they passed the Sunday. Just three years had elapsed since the settlement commenced, and the celebration of the anniversary on the opening week was rendered more observable and gladdening by the return of the founder to share and grace the festivities of the occasion. But, amidst all the greetings and inquiries of the throng around him, he was not unmindful of the new comers. He made it his earliest care, as soon as the articles could be got ready, to send a boat with provisions and refreshments for the people on board the ships and at the island; and soon after made them a visit himself, and carried with him a still further supply of beef, pork, venison and wild turkeys, together with soft bread, beer, turnips, and garden greens. This was not only peculiarly relishing, after the salted sea-fare rations, but gratifying and encouraging, from the evidence it gave that a settlement, begun only three years ago, by a people in circumstances like theirs, could produce such plenty. And, while these attentions evinced the thoughtful regard of their conductor to their comfort and welfare, they increased their sense of obligation, awakened their gratitude, and strengthened their reliance.
[Footnote 1: Peeper Island.]
As Oglethorpe went round and visited the families in their dwellings, he was gratified with perceiving what improvements had been made in the town, and its vicinity; that about two hundred houses had been built, trees set out on the sides of the streets and public squares; and a large garden laid out, and now under cultivation. This had engaged his early attention, and was a favorite project, as of general interest and utility. It was situated at the east of the town, on the sloping bank, and included the alluvial champaign below. It was laid out with regularity and taste; and intended, primarily, to supply the settlers with legumes, culinary roots, radishes and salads, till they could prepare homestead-plats for raising them. The principal purpose, however, was for a nursery of white mulberry trees for the raising of silk worms; and from which the people could be supplied with young trees, that all the families might be more or less engaged in this reference to the filature. There was, also, a nursery coming on, of apple, pear, peach, and plum trees, for transplantation. On the borders of the walks were orange, olive, and fig-trees, pomegranates, and vines. In the more sunny part there was a collection of tropical plants, by way of experiment, such as coffee, cacoa, cotton, &c. together with some medicinal plants, procured by Dr. William Houston in the West Indies, whither he had been sent by Sir Hans Sloane to collect them for Georgia. The expenses of this mission had been provided by a subscription headed by Sir Hans, to which his Grace the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Derby, the Lord Peters, and the Apothecaries Company, liberally contributed. The Doctor having died at Jamaica, the celebrated botanist, Philip Miller was now his successor.
[Footnote 1: "Sir HANS SLOANE," says Dr. Pulteny, "was zealous in promoting the Colony of Georgia." Historical and Biographical Sketch of the Progress of Botany in England, Vol. II. p. 85. See a particular description of the garden, in MOORE's Voyage to Georgia, p. 30.]
All hands were now set to work, some to preparing houses, barracks, and lodgments for the new comers; some to unlade the vessels and store the cargo, and some to extend the wharf. The General, also, made a contract with persons for laying out and clearing the roads, and for making fortifications at the south.
By none, perhaps, was his return more cordially welcomed than by Tomo Chichi and Toonahowi. They brought with them two Indian runners, who had waited two months to give notice to the lower and upper Creeks, of his arrival.
He received, also, the visit of a deputation from Purrysburgh, consisting of the Honorable Hector Berenger de Beaufain and M. Tisley Dechillon, a patrician of Berne, with several other Swiss gentlemen, to congratulate his return, and acquaint him with the condition of their settlement.
The United Brethren, or Moravians, as they were more usually called, who attended the other exiled Protestants, began immediately their settlement near to Savannah. As soon as their personal accommodation could be effected, they sought the acquaintance of Tomo Chichi, and his little tribe; ingratiated themselves with these their neighbors, and, "with money advanced by General Oglethorpe," built a school-house for the children. "This school was called Irene, and lay not far from the Indian village."
[Footnote 1: CARPZOVIUS, Examination of the Religion of the United
Brethren, p. 417. See Appendix, No. XVII.]
[Footnote 2: CRANZ'S History of the United Brethren, p. 226. It was opened on the 15th of September.]
The Baron Von Reck, who had been to Ebenezer, returned on the 8th of February, accompanied with the Pastors Bolzius and Gronau, with the petition of the people for liberty to remove, from the fords where they were, to a place ten miles to the east of their settlement, called "Red-bluff," at the mouth of the river, where it enters the Savannah; and that those of their community who had just arrived, instead of being destined to the southward, might be united with them and enjoy the benefit of their religious instructers and guides. Before giving a decisive answer, Oglethorpe deemed it proper to examine their situation, and confer with the residents; and, not to keep them in suspense, especially as it was necessary to take immediate measures for the accommodation of the new comers, agreed to accompany the applicants on their return. Accordingly, he set out early on the appointed day, in the scout-boat, to the residence of Sir Francis Bathurst, six miles above Savannah; and thence took horse, and passed by the saw-mill set up by Mr. Walter Augustine, and, continuing his ride through the woods, arrived that night at Ebenezer. On reconnoitring the place the next day, he found that the Saltzburgers had constructed a bridge over the river, ten feet wide and eighty feet long; that four good framed houses had been erected at the charge of the Trustees, one for each minister, one for a schoolmaster, and one for a public store; and that a chapel, a guard-house, and a number of split-board houses had been built by the people. All these, however, they were resolved to forsake, and form a new settlement on the borders of the Savannah river. Their chief objection to remaining was, that the land was not good, and that the corn-harvest had failed; yet they acknowledged that they had a fine crop of peas, and many garden vegetables; that their cattle thrived exceedingly, that they had plenty of milk, and fine poultry and eggs. He endeavored to dissuade them from moving; but, finding their dissatisfaction with their present situation to be so decided, he yielded to their importunity; ordered a town to be laid out; and gave his unhesitating consent that the new comers should be incorporated with them. He then set out for the Swiss settlement, where he arrived in the evening. He was received with the greatest demonstrations of joy, and took lodgings at the house of Colonel Purry, who had provided a handsome entertainment for him.
[Footnote 1: John Peter Purry, formerly of Neufchatel.]
The chief purpose of his visit to this place was to engage a conveyance for the Honorable Charles Dempsey to St. Augustine. This gentleman had come over with him in the Symond, having been commissioned by the Spanish Minister in London to confer with the Governor of Florida on the subject of the boundary between that country and Georgia, and to effect some provisional treaty with General Oglethorpe. A contract was made with Major Richard to conduct this gentleman in a six-oared boat, being the best to be obtained, to his destination; and to be the bearer of a letter from the General, expressing his wish to remove all misunderstanding and jealousy.
[Footnote 1: In the Impartial Inquiry, &c. p.84, is a deposition which thus begins—"CHARLES DEMPSEY, of the Parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden, in the County of Middlesex, Esquire, aged fifty-four years and upwards, maketh that in the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-five, this deponent went with the Honorable James Oglethorpe, Esq. to Georgia, in America, and was sent from thence by the said Oglethorpe to St. Augustine with letters to the Governor there; that this deponent continued going to and from thence until November, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-six," &c.]
On his return to Savannah he sent forward Captain Hugh Mackay, Jr. with a company of rangers, to travel by land to Darien, in order to make observations on the intervening country, to compute the distance, and to judge of the practicability of a passable road; and Tomo Chichi furnished them with Indian guides.
The next day he attended a military review; after which, he addressed the assembled people in an animated speech, in which his congratulations, counsels, and good wishes were most affectionately expressed. And he reminded them that, though it was yet "a day of small things," experience must have strengthened the inducements to industry and economy, by shewing them that, where they had been regarded, the result had been not only competence, but thrift.
He then took leave of them, and went down to the ships at Tybee.
Special destination of the last Emigrants—Oglethorpe makes arrangements for their transportation to the Island of St. Simons—Follows with Charles Wesley—Arrives and lays out a Town to be called Frederica—Visits the Highlanders at Darien—Returns and superintends the building of a Fort—All the people arrive—Barracks for the Soldiers put up, and a Battery erected—Visited by Tomo Chichi, and Indians, who make a cession of the Islands—Reconnoitres the Islands and gives names to them—Commissioners from St. Augustine—Apparently amicable overtures—Oglethorpe goes to Savannah to hold a conference with a Committee from South Carolina respecting trade with the Indians—Insolent demand of the Spaniards—Oglethorpe embarks for England.
As the destination of the large number of intended settlers, which had now arrived was "for the purpose of laying out a county and building a new town near the southern frontier of Georgia," and the people were waiting to be conducted by the General to "the place of habitation," he was very active in making arrangements for their transportation, and, on the evening of the 16th of February, 1739, set out in the scout-boat, through the inward channels, to meet, at Jekyl sound, a sloop that he had chartered to take on some of the more efficient men as pioneers, and to make some preparation for the reception of the emigrants. He took with him Charles Wesley, who was to be his Secretary as well as Chaplain; Mr. Ingham having gone by a previous opportunity; and left John Wesley and Delamotte at Savannah.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XVIII.]
[Footnote 2: "The Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America, ordered a new town to be built in that Colony, and an embarkation to be made for that purpose."]
[Footnote 3: Many of the particulars in this chapter are taken from the Journal of THOMAS MOORE, who was present. As that work is extremely rare, I adopted its information more verbally than I should have done had I anticipated that it was so soon to be republished in the Collections of the Georgia Historical Society.]
As Oglethorpe was in haste, the men rowed night and day, and had no other rest than what they got when the wind favored their course; and "they vied with each other who should be forwardest to please the General, who, indeed, lightened their sense of fatigue by giving them refreshments, which he rather spared from himself than let them want."
[Footnote 1: MOORE, p. 42.]
On the morning of the 18th they arrived at St. Simons, an island near the north mouth of the Alatamaha river, fifteen miles in length, and from two to four in breadth. Here the working men and carpenters who came in the sloop and long boats, disembarked, and were immediately set to work.
Oglethorpe not only directed and superintended, but actually assisted in the labors. They soon got up a house and thatched it with palmetto leaves; dug a cellar, and throwing up the earth on each side, by way of bank, raised over it a store house; and then marked out a fort. They next constructed several booths, each of which was between twenty and forty feet long, and twenty feet wide. These were for the reception and temporary shelter of the Colonists.
After this, the General paid a visit to the Highlanders, at their settlement called "the Darien," a distance of sixteen miles on the northern branch of the Alatamaha. He found them under arms, in their uniform of plaid, equipped with broad swords, targets, and muskets; in which they made a fine appearance. In compliment to them, he was that morning, and all the time that he was with them, dressed in their costume. They had provided him a fine soft bed, with Holland sheets, and plaid curtains; but he chose to lie upon the ground, and in the open air, wrapt in his cloak, as did two other gentlemen; and afterwards his example was followed by the rest of his attendants. This condescending and accommodating disposition not only conciliated the regards of the settlers, but encouraged them both by example and aid in going through their arduous labors, and in submitting to the exigences of their situation. Happily his constitution was framed to a singular temperament, which enabled him to require but very little sleep; and he was capable of enduring long and frequent fasting, when imposed upon him either by necessity or business, without any observable prejudice to his health, or any other inconvenience. A gentleman, who was one of the party, in a letter, dated 24th of February, 1736, declares, "What surprizes me, beyond expression, is his abstemiousness and hard living. Though even dainties are plentiful, he makes the least use of them; and such is his hardiness, that he goes through the woods wet or dry, as well as any Indian. Moreover, his humanity so gains upon all here, that I have not words to express their regard and esteem for him." He further adds, "They have a Minister here, Mr. McLeod, a very good man, who is very useful in instructing the people in religious matters, and will intermeddle with no other affairs." How commendably prudent, as well as altogether proper, was this avoidance of secular topics and party discussions in preaching; and how conducive to social accordance and peace, as well as spiritual edification, was soon apparent in the lamentable effects of a different use of the ministerial function in the other settlements.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, 1736, p. 229.]
Having remained a few days with his favorite Highland corps, he returned to St. Simons, where he found Tomo Chichi, Toonahowi, and a party of Indians consisting of about forty men, "all chosen warriors and good hunters;" who had come down to show him what Islands they claimed as having belonged to their nation, but which had been ceded to him by treaty, and to which they would now give him the formal possession. To accomplish this, the General fitted out an expedition, to take them with him in the two ten-oared boats, with Major Horton, Mr. Tanner, and some other gentlemen as his escort; and a sufficient number of able hands both as boat-men and soldiers, and to man the periagua, with Highlanders under the command of Captain Hugh Mackay. He the more readily engaged in this excursion from an impatient desire to gain intelligence of Major Richard, and the deputation to St. Augustine.
[Footnote 1: The Periagua is a long flat-bottomed boat, carrying from twenty to thirty-five tons. It is constructed with a forecastle and a cabin; but the rest is open, and there is no deck. It has two masts, which the sailors can strike, and sails like those of schooners. It is rowed, generally, with two oars only.]
They set out on the 18th of March. On the first day they visited an island in the mouth of the Alatamaha, sixteen miles long, and from one to five broad; opposite the entrance of the great Latilla river. By the Indians it was called WISSOE, Sassafras; but the Spaniards had named it San Pedro. Toonahowi, pulling out a watch that had been given him by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, desired that it should bear his name; saying, "He gave me this watch, that we might know how time went; and we will remember him while time goes; and this place must have his name, that others may be reminded of him." The General left Captain Mackay and the Highlanders here, with directions to build a fort on the high ground, commanding the passes of the river; which, at their desire, should be called St. Andrews. On the south-east part of this island another strong fort was afterwards built, called Fort William, which commanded Amelia Sound, and the inland passage from St. Augustine.
On their excursion, the next day, they passed the Clogothea, an arm of the Alatamaha, and went ashore on a delightful island, about thirteen miles long, and two broad, with orange trees, myrtles and vines growing on it. The wild-grape vines here, as on the borders of the Savannah, grow to the very top of the trees, and hang from limb to limb in festoons, as if trimmed and twined by art. The name of this island, Santa Maria, they changed to AMELIA, in honor of her Royal Highness.
[Footnote 1: Journal of the Rev. Mr. Bolzius, who, it seems, was one of the party. See URLSPURGER, I. 845.]
On the third day they came to an island which had borne the name of San Juan; but claiming it as belonging to his Majesty, and the southernmost part of his Provinces on the sea-coast of North America, they named it GEORGE's.
As they approached the Spanish look-out, [Haser centinela] which is posted on the Florida side of the St. John's river, the Indians shewed their desire of making an assault upon it, as "some of them were related to those that had been killed, the winter before, by a detachment from St. Augustine; and one of them, Poyeechy by name, had been wounded by the Spaniards." The General, though with much difficulty, persuaded them to forbear; and prevailed upon them to return to what is called "the Palmetto ground," near to Amelia Island, in one of the scout-boats, under the care of Major Horton. When they had got entirely out of sight, he purposed to cross over and inquire of the Spanish guard what had become of his boat and the commissioner to the Governor of Florida.
[Footnote 1: The district, as far as St. John's, was taken from the Spaniards in Queen Anne's time; and at the time of the Peace of Utrecht it was in the possession of the English allied Indians. Now, since by this treaty all lands in America were declared to belong to their then present owners, and the said Indians still occupy it, and having acknowledged themselves subjects to the King of Great Britain, by cession, the territory became his.]
On going ashore they found no men at the look-out, and therefore went down to the lower one, which was also deserted. They then set out on their return, and passing between the St. George and Talbot Island came to the rendezvous at the Palmetto ground. There they met Mr. Horton in the scout-boat, and some boats of Indians; but Tomo Chichi, with two boats, was gone.
Here Mr. Moore, whom I follow, narrates a serio-comic adventure, which, though it may be, to some of my readers, a twice-told tale, will bear repeating.
"About four hours in the night, their sentry challenged a boat, and Umpichi, one of those that had been in England, answered, and at the same time leaped on shore with four others, and ran up to the fires where Mr. Oglethorpe then was. They seemed in such a rage as is hardly to be described. Their eyes glowed, as it were with fire. Some of them foamed at the mouth, and moved with such bounds that they seemed rather possessed.
"Mr. Oglethorpe asked Umpichi what the matter was. He said 'Tomo Chichi has seen enemies, and has sent us to tell it, and to help you.' Being asked why the Mico did not come back himself, he said, 'He is an old warrior, and will not come away from his enemies, who hunt upon our lands, till he has seen them so near as to count them. He saw their fire, and therefore sent to take care of you, who are his friends. He will make a warrior of Toonahowi, and, before daylight, will be revenged for his men whom they killed whilst he was gone to England. But we shall have no honor, for we shall not be there.' The rest of the Indians seemed to catch the raging fits, at not being present. Mr. Oglethorpe asked if he thought there were many. He said 'Yes! he thought the enemies were a great many, for they had a great fire upon a high ground, and the Indians never make large fires, but when they are so strong as to despise all resistance.'
"Mr. Oglethorpe immediately ordered all his people on board, and they rowed very briskly to where Tomo Chichi was; being about four miles distant.
"They found him, with his Indians, with hardly any fire, only a few sparks behind a bush, to prevent discovery; who told them that they had been to see the fire, and had discovered seven or eight white men, but the Indians, they believed, had encamped further in the woods, for they had not seen them; but Tomo Chichi was going out again to look for the Indians, whom, as soon as he discovered, he intended to give the signal to attack both the parties at once; one half creeping near, and taking each their aim at those whom they saw most awake; and, as soon as they had fired, to run in with their hatchets, and at the same time those who had not fired to run in with their loaded arms; that if they knew once where the Indians were, they would be sure of killing all the white men, since they, being round the fire, were easily seen, and the same fire hindered them from seeing others.
"Mr. Oglethorpe tried to dissuade them from that attempt, but with great difficulty could obtain of them to delay a little time; they thinking it argued cowardice. At last they got up and resolved to go in spite of all his endeavors; on which he told them, 'You certainly go to kill them in the night, because you are afraid of seeing them by day. Now, I do not fear them. Stay till day, and I will go with you, and see who they are.'
"Tomo Chichi sighed, and sat down, and said, 'We do not fear them by day; but if we do not kill them by night, they will kill you to-morrow.' So they stayed.
"By daybreak Mr. Oglethorpe and the Mico went down with their men, and came to the fire, which they thought had been made by enemies, which was less than a mile from where the Mico had passed the night. They saw a boat there, with a white flag flying, and the men proved to be Major Richard, and his attendants, returned from Augustine.
"The Indians then seemed ashamed of their rage, which inspired them to kill men before they knew who they were."
The meeting, under these circumstances, was doubly joyous. After mutual congratulations, he was informed by Major Richard that "he was cast away before he could get to St. Augustine; that part of the baggage was lost; but the boat and men saved. That, having scrambled through the breakers, and walked some leagues through the sands, they were met by Don Pedro Lamberto, a Captain of the horse, and by him conducted to the Governor, who received them with great civility; and that the reason of his long stay was to get the boat repaired." He brought letters from Don Francisco del Morale Sanchez, Captain General of Florida, and Governor of St. Augustine. These commenced with compliments, thanking him for the letters brought by Charles Dempsey, Esq. and Major Richard; which, however, were followed by complaints that the Creek Indians had assaulted and driven away the Spanish settlers on the borders of the St. Mattheo, and intimations of displeasure at the threatening appearance of the forts which he was erecting, and forces which manned them. Major Richard said that the Governor expected an answer in three weeks, and desired him to bring it. He added, that despatches had been sent to the Havana to apprize the Government of the arrival of the new settlers, and of the position which they had taken.
[Footnote 1: The St. John's.]
"The same day they returned toward St. Andrew's; but not having depth of water enough through the narrows of Amelia, the scout-boats were obliged to halt there; but the Indians advanced to the south end of Cumberland, where they hunted, and carried venison to St. Andrews."
By the directions and encouragements of the General, the works at St. Simons were carried on with such expedition, that, by the middle of April, the fort, which was a regular work of tabby, a composition of oyster shells and lime, was finished; and thirty-seven palmetto houses were put up, in which all the people might be sheltered till they could build better.
About the centre of the west end of the island, a town was laid out, which he called FREDERICA, with wide streets, crossing each other at right angles. These were afterwards skirted with rows of orange trees.
The ground being properly divided, "the people, who had now all arrived, having been brought in a little fleet of periaguas, were put in possession of their respective lots, on the 19th of April, in order that each man might begin to build and improve for himself. But the houses that had been built, and the fields that had been tilled and sown, were, as yet, to be in common for the public benefit."
At the south end of the island he caused to be erected a strong battery, called Fort St. Simons, commanding the entrance to Jekyl sound; and a camp of barracks and some huts.
[Illustration: Map of the Coast, Sea-Islands and early settlements of
In point of situation, a better place for a town, a fortress, and a harbor, could hardly be wished in that part of the country; lying, as it does, at the mouth of a very fine river. The surface of the island was covered with oak and hickory trees, intermixed with meadows and old Indian fields; the soil was rich and fertile, and in all places, where they tried, they found fresh water within nine feet of the surface.
[Footnote 1: See "History of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Colony of Georgia," in Harris's Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II. p. 330, 2d ed. Lond. 1764. The best history, up to the date of publication, extant.]
On the 25th, Oglethorpe and his men, and Major Richard and his attendants, got back to Frederica. On the next day the Indians arrived, the purpose of whose intended visit had been announced by Tomo Chichi. Having encamped by themselves near the town, they prepared for a dance; to which Oglethorpe went with all his people.
"They made a ring, in the middle of which four sat down, having little drums, made of kettles, covered with deer skins, upon which they beat, and sung. Round these the others danced, being naked to their waists, and having round their middle many trinkets tied with skins; and some had the tails of beasts hanging down behind them. They had painted their faces and bodies; and their hair was stuck with feathers. In one hand they had a rattle, in the other the feathers of an eagle made up like the caduceus of Mercury; they shook there plumes and the rattle, and danced round the ring with high bounds and antic postures, looking much like the figures of the Satyrs.
"They showed great activity, and kept just time in their motions; and at certain times answered, by way of chorus, to those that sat in the middle of the ring. They stopt; and then one of the chief warriors stood out, who sang what wars he had been in, and described by motions as well as by words, which way he had vanquished the enemies of his country. When he had done, all the rest gave a shout of approbation, as knowing what he said to be true."
[Footnote 1: MOORE.]
The Indian Mico then explained the object of their embassy in a long speech. After this, an alliance was concluded, and presents exchanged; which consisted, on the part of the Indians, of dressed skins; and, on that of Oglethorpe, of guns, red and blue cloth, powder, bullets, knives, and small whetstones; and, among the women he distributed linen and woolen garments, ear-rings, chains, beads, &c.
This business being despatched, the General called the freemen together, and communicated to them the contents of the letters which he had received from the Governor of St. Augustine; and this he did to prevent the ill impression that vague conjecture and idle reports might occasion, and then, in compliance with the requisition of the Governor of St. Augustine that hostile intrusion on the Spanish settlements might be prevented, he immediately fitted out a periagua and the marine boat, with men and provisions for three months; together with arms, ammunition, and tools, to sail to the southward, and cruise along the English side of the St. John's, in order to detect and prevent any lawless persons from sheltering themselves there, and thence molesting his Catholic Majesty's subjects, and to restrain the Indians.
This expedition was conducted by Captain Hermsdorff, who was to leave Major Richard and Mr. Horton his attendant, at some place on the Florida shore, whence they could proceed to St. Augustine to wait on the Governor with the despatches. The purport of these was to acquaint him, that, "being greatly desirous to remove all occasions of uneasiness upon the frequent complaints by his Excellency of hostile incursions upon the Spanish dominions, armed boats had been sent to patrol the opposite borders of the river, and prevent all passing over by Indians or marauders. The gentlemen were also directed to render him the thanks of General Oglethorpe for his civilities, and to express his inclination for maintaining a good harmony between the subjects of both crowns."
[Footnote 1: MOORE'S Voyage, p. 79.]
On the 22d of May, 1736, a respectable deputation of the Uchee Indians, from the neighborhood of Ebenezer, waited upon the General at St. Simons. They had painted themselves with various colors, and were dressed in their richest costume. Being introduced to him in the large apartment of the magazine store, the Indian King made a long speech; after which an alliance was entered into, and pledge presents interchanged. This treaty was a very important one, because the Uchees claimed the country above Augusta to the border of the Creeks, and a portion below adjoining the Yamacraws; because they were an independent tribe, having no alliance with the others; and because they had been a little dissatisfied with the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer.
[Footnote 1: URLSPURGER, I. 844, and Appendix No. XIX.]
On the first of June intelligence was received that Major Richard and Mr. Horton, instead of being received as commissioned delegates, had been arrested and made prisoners at St. Augustine. Not explaining to the satisfaction of the Governor and his Council the situation of the forts and the design of the military force that was stationed in them, they were detained in custody, till Don Ignatio Rosso, Lieutenant Colonel of the garrison, with a detachment of men had made personal investigations; who, after an absence of five days, returned and reported that the islands were all fortified, and appeared to be filled with men; and that the shores were protected by armed boats. A council of war was then held, and it was resolved to send back Major Richard and Mr. Horton, and their suit, and with them an embassy, consisting of Charles Dempsey, Esq., Don Pedro Lamberto, Captain of the Horse, and Don Manuel D'Arcy, Adjutant of the garrison, with intimations that this formidable array was unnecessary. By private information, however, Oglethorpe was led to infer that, notwithstanding the fair professions that had been made by the Spaniards, there were evidently measures concerted to increase their forces, to procure guns and ammunition, and to arm the Florida Indians.
[Footnote 1: MOORE'S Voyage, p. 79.]
In consequence of these and other indications that the Spaniards were commencing preparations for dislodging the English settlers, the General took all possible precautionary measures for repelling them. The fort and works on St. Simons were completed in the best manner, and a battery was erected on the east point of the island, which projects into the ocean. This commanded the entrance of Jekyl sound in such manner that all ships that come in at this north entry must pass within shot of the point, the channel lying directly under it.
St. Andrew's fort, on Cumberland Island, with its munition of ordnance and garrison of well-disciplined soldiers, was much relied upon as a mean of defence; and even the outpost at St. George's, on the north side and near the mouth of St. John's river, was deemed of no inconsiderable importance as a check, at least, upon any attempted invasion by the Spaniards, and as serving to prevent their going through the inner passages.
In the month of July the General visited Savannah, to attend to affairs there, and to hold a conference with a Committee of the General Assembly of South Carolina respecting the Indian trade, which they charged him with aiming to monopolize, to the disallowance of their traders.
It may be necessary here to state, that, as the boundaries of Georgia separated the Indians on the west side of the Savannah river from the confines of South Carolina, they must be admitted as in affinity with the new Colony. At any rate, Oglethorpe deemed it so expedient to obtain their consent to the settlement of his people, and their good will was so essential to a secure and peaceful residence, that his earliest care had been to make treaties of alliance with them. That these treaties should include agreements for mutual intercourse and trade, seemed to be, not only a prudential, but an indispensable provision; particularly as Tomo Chichi and the Micos of the Creeks, who went with him to England, had requested that some stipulations might be made relative to the quantity, quality, and prices of goods, and to the accuracy of weights and measures, in what was offered for the purchase of their buffalo hides, and deer-skins and peltry. Whereupon the Trustees proposed certain regulations of trade, designed to prevent in future those impositions of which the Indians complained. To carry these into effect, it was thought right that none should be permitted to trade with the Indians but such as had a license, and would agree to conduct the traffic upon fair and equitable principles. The Carolina traders, not being disposed to apply for a permit, nor to subject themselves to such stipulations and restrictions, were disallowed by the Georgia Commissary, who held a trading house among the Creeks. This was resented by them, and their complaints to the Provincial Assembly led to the appointment of the Committee just referred to, and whose conference with Oglethorpe was held at Savannah on the 2d of August, 1736. In their printed report they lay down these fundamental principles. "The Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, and Catawba Indians, at the time of the discovery of this part of America, were the inhabitants of the lands which they now possess, and have ever since been deemed and esteemed the friends and allies of his Majesty's English subjects in this part of the Continent. They have been treated with as allies, but not as subjects of the crown of Great Britain; they have maintained their own possessions, and preserved their independency; nor does it appear that they have by conquest lost, nor by cession, compact, or otherwise, yielded up or parted with, those rights to which, by the laws of nature and nations, they were and are entitled."
[Footnote 1: McCALL, Vol. I. p. 46.]
[Footnote 2: Capt. FREDERICK McKAY, in a letter to THOMAS BROUGHTON, Esq., Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, dated July 12,1735, written to justify his conduct as Indian Commissary, in turning out four traders who would not conform to the rules stipulated in the licenses, has the following remarks on the difficulties which he had to encounter: "It was impracticable to get the traders to observe their instructions, while some did undersell the others; some used light, others heavy weights; some bribed the Indians to lay out their skins with them, others told the Indians that their neighboring traders had heavy weights, and stole their skins from them, but that they themselves had light weights, and that their goods were better."]
[Footnote 3: "Report of the Committee appointed to examine into the proceedings of the people of Georgia, with respect to the Province of South Carolina, and the disputes subsisting between the two Colonies." 4to. Charlestown, 1736, p. 121.
This tract was printed by Lewis Timothy. There was no printer in
Carolina before 1730, and this appears to have been one of the
earliest productions of the Charlestown press, in the form of a book.
RICH's Bibliotheca Americana Nova, p. 53.]
"The Committee cannot conceive that a charter from the crown of Great Britain can give the grantees a right or power over a people, who, to our knowledge, have never owned any allegiance, or acknowledged the sovereignty of the crown of Great Britain, or any Prince in Europe; but have indiscriminately visited and traded with the French, Spaniards, and English, as they judged it most for their advantage; and it is as difficult to understand how the laws of Great Britain, or of any Colony in America, can take place, or be put in execution in a country where the people never accepted of, nor submitted to, such laws; but have always maintained their freedom, and have adhered to their own customs and manners without variation or change."
Hence the Committee inferred that the Regulations which were passed by the Trustees, could not be binding upon the Indians, nor serve to effect any exclusive trade with them. Oglethorpe acknowledged this independency of the Indians; and asserted that, in perfect consistency with it, they had entered into a treaty of alliance with the Colony of Georgia; and, having themselves indicated certain terms and principles of traffic, these were adopted and enjoined by the Trustees; and this was done, not to claim authority over the Indians, nor to control their conduct, but to indicate what was required of those who should go among them as traders.
In answer to the allegations that the Carolina traders had been excluded, he declared that, in granting licenses to trade with the Indians, he refused none of the Carolina traders who conformed to the Act, and gave them the same instructions as had been given by the Province of Carolina. He also declared that he had given, and should always continue to give, such instructions to the Georgia traders, as had formerly been given by the Province of South Carolina to theirs; and in case any new instructions given by the Province of South Carolina to their traders shall be imparted, and appear to him for the benefit of the two Provinces, he would add them to the instructions of the Georgia traders; and, finally, that, pursuant to the desire of the Committee, he would give directions to all his officers and traders among the Indians, in their talk and discourses to make no distinction between the two Provinces, but to speak in the name and behalf of his Majesty's subjects.
[Footnote 1: "To protect the natives against insults, and establish a fair trade and friendly intercourse with them, were regulations which humanity required, and sound policy dictated. But the rapacious spirit of individuals could be curbed by no authority. Many advantages were taken of the ignorance of Indians in the way of traffic." RAMSAY's History of South Carolina, Vol. I. p. 48. For other particulars stated by him, respecting the trade with the Indians, see p. 89,104.]
[Footnote 2: Report of the Committee, &c., p. 106, 107.]
It seems, however, that the Committee were not satisfied; primarily because licenses were required, and especially that they must come through the hands of the Governor of Georgia.
In a few days after this conference Oglethorpe returned to Frederica. On the latter part of September he renewed the commission of the Honorable Charles Dempsey, impowering him to state to the Governor of St. Augustine terms for a conventional adjustment of the misunderstanding between the two Provinces. This he eventually effected, and a treaty was concluded on the 27th of October following, much more conciliatory, on the part of the Spaniards, than he had expected. This, however, proved ineffectual, and the pleasing anticipations of restored harmony which it seemed to authorize, were shortly frustrated by a message from the Governor of St. Augustine to acquaint him that a Spanish Minister had arrived from Cuba, charged with a communication which he desired an opportunity of delivering in person. At a conference which ensued, the Commissioner peremptorily required that Oglethorpe and his people should immediately evacuate all the territory to the southward of St. Helena's Sound, as that belonged to the King of Spain, who was determined to vindicate his right to it. He refused to listen to any argument in support of the English claim, or to admit the validity of the treaty which had lately been signed, declaring that it had erred in the concessions which had been made. He then unceremoniously departed, with a repetition of his demand, accompanied with menaces.
Perceiving that the most vigorous measures, and a stronger defensive force than the Province could supply, would be necessary to overawe the hostile purposes displayed by Spain, or repel them if put in execution, Oglethorpe resolved to represent the state of affairs to the British Ministers, and straightway embarking, set sail for England. He arrived at the close of the year; and, presenting himself before the Board of Trustees, "received an unanimous vote of thanks, as he had made this second, as well as his first expedition to Georgia, entirely at his own expense."
[Footnote 1: HEWATT, II. 47, and GRAHAM, III. 200, totidem verbis.]
[Footnote 2: London Magazine, October, 1757, p. 545.]
Delegation of the Missionaries—JOHN WESLEY stationed at Savannah—Has a conference with Tomo Chichi—His Preaching deemed personal in its applications—He becomes unpopular—Meets with persecution—Leaves the Province and returns to England—CHARLES WESLEY attends Oglethorpe to Frederica—Finds himself unpleasantly situated—Furnished with despatches for the Trustees, he sets out for Charlestown, and thence takes passage for England—By stress of weather the Vessel driven off its course—Puts in at Boston, New England—His reception there—Sails thence for England—After a perilous voyage arrives—BENJAMIN INGHAM also at Frederica—Goes to Savannah to apprize John Wesley of the sickness of his brother—Resides among the Creeks in order to learn their language—Returns to England—CHARLES DELAMOTTE at Savannah—Keeps a School—Is much respected—GEORGE WHITEFIELD comes to Savannah—His reception—Visits Tomo Chichi, who was sick—Ministerial labors—Visits the Saltzburgers—Pleased with their provision for Orphan Children—Visits Frederica and the adjacent Settlements—Returns to England—Makes a second voyage to Georgia, and takes efficient measures for the erection of an Orphan House.
In order to show circumstantially the progress of colonization, by following Oglethorpe with his new and large accession of emigrants and military forces to their destined places of settlement on the borders of the Alatamaha and the southern islands, all mention of the reception and treatment of the Wesleys, whom he had brought over as religious missionaries, has been deferred. The relation is introduced now, as a kind of episode.
The delegation of these pious evangelists was encouraged by flattering suggestions, and acceded to with the most raised expectations; and its objects were pursued by them with untiring zeal and unsparing self-devotedness, through continual hindrances. The opposition which they met was encountered with "all long-suffering and patience;" but their best efforts were unavailing; "and their mission closed, too speedily, in saddened disappointment."
I. JOHN WESLEY, though stationed at Savannah, did not consider himself so much a Minister to the inhabitants as a missionary to the Indians. Whenever he mentioned his uneasiness at being obstructed in his main design, he was answered "You cannot leave Savannah without a Minister." To this he rejoined, "My plain answer is, I know not that I am under any obligations to the contrary. I never promised to stay here one month. I openly declared, both before, and ever since my coming hither, that I neither would nor could take charge of the English any longer than till I could go among the Indians." It was rejoined, "But did not the Trustees of Georgia appoint you to be Minister at Savannah?" He replied, "They did; but it was done without either my desire or knowledge. Therefore I cannot conceive that that appointment could lay me under any obligation of continuing here longer than till a door is opened to the Heathen; and this I expressly declared at the time I consented to accept that appointment."
[Footnote 1: Life of Rev. JOHN WESLEY, A.M., in which is included the Life of his Brother CHARLES WESLEY, A.M. By Rev. HENRY MOORE. Lond. 1824, 2 vols. 8vo. Vol. I. p. 310.]
Oglethorpe had been so impressed with what he had seen of the natives, that he had written home that "a door seemed opened for the conversion of the Indians." These favorable expectations were greatly increased by the visit to England of Tomo Chichi and his train. They seemed to be fully authorized by the declarations which were made by them to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other clergy; and they appeared to be put in a train of accomplishment by the interest taken for facilitating that purpose by the manual of instruction for the Indians which was preparing by Bishop Wilson. But when Tomo Chichi came to welcome the Governor on his arrival, and was introduced to the intended teacher, it appeared that unforeseen obstacles had arisen. "I am glad you are come," said the Mico, addressing him through the female interpreter. "When I was in England I desired that some would speak the great word to me; and our people then desired to hear it; but now we are all in confusion. The French on one side, and the Spanish on the other, and the Traders in the midst, have caused us much perplexity; and made our people unwilling. Their ears are shut. Their tongues are divided, and some say one thing, and some another. But I will call together our chiefs, and speak to the wise men of our nation, and I hope they will hear. But we would not be, made Christians as the Spaniards make Christians. We would be taught; and then, when we understand all clearly, be baptized." There was good sense in this remark. They would be informed of the evidences of the truth of Christianity, and have its principles and doctrines explained to them, and its precepts, tendency, and design illustrated; and hence be enabled to adopt it from conviction. This they would do, when they were made to understand how it was a divine revelation, and saw its effects in the life of its professors. But the reply of Wesley was not simple enough to be comprehended by him. It was this; "There is but one,—He that sitteth in the heaven,—who is able to teach man wisdom. Though we are come so far, we know not whether He will please to teach you by us, or no. If He teaches you, you will learn wisdom; but we can do nothing." All the inference which the poor Indian could draw from this was, that he who had come as a religious teacher disclaimed his own abilities, and referred to a divine Instructer, of whom the Mico could know nothing as yet, by whom alone the converting knowledge was to be communicated.
[Footnote 1: Account of the Settlement of the Saltzburg Emigrants at Ebenezer, in Georgia. By Philip George Frederic von Reck. Hamburgh, 1777. 12mo, p. 7.]
Moreover, he had been an observer of the disposition and conduct of those who called themselves Christians; and, at another interview with Wesley, when urged to listen to the doctrines of Christianity, and become a convert, he keenly replied, "Why these are Christians at Savannah! Those are Christians at Frederica!" Nor was it without good reason that he exclaimed, "Christians drunk! Christians beat men! Christians tell lies! Me no Christian."
Scenawki, however, had more courtesy. She presented the Missionaries with two large jars of honey, and one of milk; and invited them to come up to Yamacraw, and teach the children, saying, the honey represented the inclination of the people there, and the milk the need of their children. What a beautiful illustration of the mode of teaching practised by the Apostle! "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat;" adapting the instruction to the capacity of those to whom it was imparted, and "as they were able to receive it," could properly digest it, "and be nourished thereby."
Other conferences effected little; and as Mrs. Musgrove did not reside at Yamacraw, and could not often assist him as an interpreter; and, perhaps, could not readily make perspicuous in the Indian dialect what was somewhat more mystical than even his English hearers could comprehend, his cherished purposes for the conversion of the Indians seemed to be thwarted. Besides, the condition of the people at Savannah was such as to require clerical services, and he gave himself wholly to them.
For some time his labors as a preacher promised to be successful; "and all would have been well," says Southey, "could he but have remembered the advice of Dr. Burton." This was contained in a letter addressed to him a few days before embarking for Georgia. Among other things, this excellent friend suggested to him that, under the influence of Mr. Oglethorpe, giving weight to his endeavors, much may be effected in the present undertaking; and goes on to remark; "With regard to your behavior and manner of address, these must be determined according to the different circumstances of persons, &c.; but you will always, in the use of means, consider the great end; and, therefore, your applications will of course vary. You will keep in view the pattern of the Gospel preacher, St. Paul, who 'became all things to all men, that he might save some.' Here is a nice trial of christian prudence. Accordingly, in every case you will distinguish between what is indispensable, and what is variable; between what is divine, and what is of human authority. I mention this, because men are apt to deceive themselves in such cases; and we see the traditions and ordinances of men frequently insisted on with more rigor than the commandments of God, to which they are subordinate. Singularities of less importance, are often espoused with more zeal than the weighty matters of God's law. As in all points we love ourselves, so, especially, in our hypotheses. Where a man has, as it were, a property in a notion, he is most industrious to improve it, and that in proportion to the labor of thought he has bestowed upon it; and, as its value rises in imagination, he is, in proportion, unwilling to give it up, and dwells upon it more pertinaciously than upon considerations of general necessity and use. This is a flattering mistake, against which we should guard ourselves."
Unmindful of such counsel, the eagerness of Wesley to effect reformation was pressed too precipitately and carried too far. His sermons had such direct reference, not only to the state of affairs, but the conduct of individuals, that they were shrunk from as personal allusions. His zeal was excessive, and his practice exclusive.
[Footnote 1: Mr. SOUTHEY has this remark—"He was accused of making his sermons so many satires upon particular persons; and for this cause his auditors fell off; for though one might have been very well pleased to hear others preached at, no person liked the chance of being made the mark himself."—Moreover, "following the rubric, in opposition to the practice of the English church, he insisted upon baptizing children by immersion, and refused to baptize them if the parents did not consent to this rude and perilous method. Some persons he would not receive as sponsors, because they were not communicants; and when one of the most pious men in the Colony earnestly desired to be admitted to the communion, he refused to admit him because he was a Dissenter, unless he would be rebaptized. And he would not read the burial service over another for the same reason, or one founded on the same principle." Life of WESLEY, by ROBERT SOUTHEY, New York edition, 1820. Vol. I. p. 108.—Instances of personal reference in preaching, and of its alienating effects, are mentioned by Mr. Stevens, in his Journal, Vol. I. pp. 15, 19, and elsewhere.]
For these and other reasons, and in some respects most unreasonably, the people at Savannah became prejudiced against him, and so disaffected that "he perceived that his preaching was not likely to be attended with beneficial influence. Hence, having in vain sought an accommodation with his opponents, without in the least relaxing from the enforcement of his principles, and disappointed in the prime object of his mission, that of preaching to the Indians, he resolved to quit the Colony, and return to his native land."
[Footnote 1: Memoir of the Rev. John Wesley, prefixed to a volume of his Sermons, by Samuel Drew, page xvi.]
Another circumstance brought the whole scene of his trials to a catastrophe. Sophia Hopkins, the niece of Mrs. Causton, wife of Thomas Causton, Esq., chief magistrate of the place, had been a pupil to him to learn French, was a professed convert to his ministry, and become a member of the Church. Her beauty, accomplishments, and manners, were fascinating; and she appears, by some coquettish advances, to have won his affections. Delamotte, however, doubting the sincerity of her pretensions to piety, cautioned his friend Wesley against cherishing a fond attachment. The Moravian Elders, also, advised him not to think of a matrimonial connection. In consequence of this, his conduct towards her became reserved and distant; very naturally, to her mortification; though her own affections had been preëngaged, for she soon after married a Mr. Williamson. But a hostile feeling had been excited against him by her friends, for the manifestation of which an opportunity was afforded about five months after her marriage. Wesley having discovered in her conduct several things which he thought blameworthy, with his wonted ingenuousness, frankly mentioned them to her; intimating that they were not becoming a participant of the Lord's Supper. She, in return, became angry. For reasons, therefore, which he stated to her in a letter, he cautioned her not to come to the ordinance till she could do it in a reconciled temper.
The storm now broke forth upon him. A complaint was entered to the magistrates; an indictment filed, and a warrant issued, by which he was brought before the Recorder, on the charges of Mr. Williamson,—1st, That he had defamed his wife; and, 2dly, That he had causelessly repelled her from the Holy Communion. Wesley denied the first charge; and the second, being wholly ecclesiastical, he would not acknowledge the authority of the magistrate to decide upon it. He was, however, told that he must appear before the next court, to be holden at Savannah, August term, 1737. In the mean time pains were taken by Mr. Causton to pack and influence the jury. There were debates and rude management in the court. No pleas of defence were admitted. The evidence was discordant. Twelve of the grand jurors drew up a protest against the proceedings. The magistrates, themselves, after repeated adjournments, could come to no decision; and justice was not likely to be awarded. Wearied with this litigious prosecution, Wesley applied to his own case the direction given by our Lord to his Apostles, "If they persecute thee in one place, flee unto another;" and, shaking off the dust of his feet as a witness against them, he fled to Charlestown, South Carolina; whence, on Thursday, the 22d of December, 1737, he embarked for England. After a pleasant passage, he landed at Deal, February, 1738, as he remarks, "on the anniversary festival in Georgia, for Mr. Oglethorpe's landing there." As he entered the channel, on his return, Mr. Whitefield sailed through it, on a mission; not to be his coadjutor, as he expected, but, as it proved, his successor.
II. The situation of CHARLES WESLEY was annoyed by like discomfitures, and followed by still greater disappointment. He had received the most flattering accounts of Georgia from the conversation of Oglethorpe, with whom he had been for some time acquainted; and from the little book which this gentleman had published. Implicitly confiding in the high wrought descriptions which had been given him, and indulging anticipations of a colonization of more than Utopian excellence, he attended his brother to Georgia, and attached himself to Oglethorpe, whose warm professions had won him to his service both as Secretary and Chaplain.
His destination was to the new settlement at Frederica; and there he arrived, with his patron, on the 9th of March, 1736. The first person who saluted him, as he stept on shore, was Ingham, his intimate, confidential, and highly valued friend; who had preceded him thither. The meeting was truly pleasant; but what he learned from him of the state of affairs there, and of "the treatment which he had met for vindicating the sanctity of the Lord's day," was a saddening indication of the reverse which his cherished anticipations were soon to meet. He was apprised by it, however, of the necessity of taking measures for procuring a more sober observance of the Sabbath in future. Accordingly, as he had been announced to the settlers as their religious instructer and guide, he spent the remainder of the week in visits to their families, and in seeking that personal acquaintance with them, without which, he well knew that general instruction would be of little use; but, he observes, "with what trembling should I call this flock mine!" In the evening he read prayers, in the open air; at which Oglethorpe was present. He observed that the lesson seemed remarkably adapted to his situation, and that he felt the power of it; particularly of the passage, "continue instant in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak."
[Footnote 1: Colossians, IV. 3]
In the public discharge of his duties as a clergyman, he was solemn and fervent; and his preaching evinced "how forcible are right words." But in his daily intercourse with this heterogeneous population, he was not always aware that clerical intimacy should never descend to familiarity. He overheard rude speeches and gossipping tattle; and was made acquainted with some domestic bickerings and feuds; and kindly, though not always discretely, endeavored to check them; but his mediation was repelled as uncalled-for interference. To use the words of his biographer, "he attempted the doubly difficult task of reforming the gross improprieties, and reconciling some of the petty jealousies and quarrels with each other; in which he effected little else than making them unite in opposing him, and caballing to get rid of him in any way." Hence complaints were made to Oglethorpe, who, instead of discountenancing them decidedly, and vindicating, or at least upholding him whom he had brought over, and placed in an office where he ought to have demanded for him a treatment of deference and respect, himself listened too readily to complaints and invectives, and suffered them to prejudice him against the truly amiable, ingenuous, and kind-hearted minister. Instead of putting candid constructions on well-meant purposes, of cautioning his inexperience, or giving friendly advice, he treated him with coldness and neglect. The only apology for this is that suggested by Southey. "The Governor, who had causes enough to disquiet him, arising from the precarious state of the Colony, was teased and soured by the complaints which were perpetually brought against the two brothers, and soon began to wish that he had brought with him men of more practicable tempers." In some hours of calmer reflection, however, he felt the compunctious visitings of conscience, and convinced of the injustice which he had done to Mr. Wesley, "in the most solemn manner he professed to him his regret for his unkind usage; and, to express his sincerity, embraced and kissed him with the most cordial affection." Realizing, however, that the situation of this aggrieved and disheartened man was such that his usefulness here was at an end, and finding it necessary to make a special communication to the Trustees, relative to the internal distractions among the first settlers; to the Board of Trade on the subject of exports and commercial relations; and to the Government, respecting the exposed situation of the Colony, he commissioned him to carry the despatches.
[Footnote 1: "He that passeth by and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears." Proverbs, XXVI. 17. He who inconsiderately engages in other men's quarrels, whom he lights upon by chance, and in which he is not concerned, will assuredly suffer by his interference.]
[Footnote 2: SOUTHEY's Life of the Wesleys, Vol. I. p. 107.]
[Footnote 3: In the life of Wesley by MOORE, is an affecting detail of particulars, taken from the unpublished Journal of Charles Wesley, Vol. I. p. 265-285.]
[Footnote 4: Life of Wesley, Vol. I. p. 107.]
On the 26th of July, 1736, he set out for Charlestown, to take passage to England; and, on the 16th of August, went on board the London Galley. But the passengers and sailors soon found that the Captain, while on shore, had neglected every thing to which he ought to have attended. The vessel was too leaky to bear the voyage; and the Captain drinking nothing scarcely but gin, had never troubled his head about taking in water; so that they were soon reduced to short allowance, which, in that sultry clime and season of the year, was a distressing predicament. Meeting, too, with violent squalls of wind, they were driven off their course. The leak became alarming, and their troubles increased so fast upon them, that they were obliged to steer for Boston in New England; where they arrived, with much difficulty and danger, on the 2d of September.
Wesley was soon known at Boston; and met a hospitable reception among the Ministers, both of the town and neighborhood. In a letter to his brother, he thus describes the attentions that were paid to him. "I am wearied with this hospitable people; they so teaze me with their civilities. They do not suffer me to be alone. The clergy, who come from the country on a visit, drag me with them when they return. I am constrained to take a view of this New England, more pleasant even than the Old. And, compared with the region in which I last resided, I cannot help exclaiming, O happy country that breeds neither flies, nor crocodiles, nor prevaricators!"
[Footnote 1: Referring to the weekly assembling of the Clergy from the neighboring towns to attend the Thursday Lecture.]
[Footnote 2: Having found that letters to his brother were intercepted and read, before they were delivered, he wrote sometimes in Latin, and even passages in Greek. This, dated Boston, October 5th, 1736, was in Latin, and I give the extract here, of which the text is a translation. "Tsedet me populi hujuser, ita me urbanitate sua divexant et persequuntur. Non patientur me esse solum. E rure veninnt Clerici; me revertentes in rare trahant. Cogor henc Anglicum contemplari, etiam antiquâ amoeniorem; et nequeo non exclamare, O fortinata regio, nec muscas aleus, nec crocodilos, nec delatores!" [When Mr. C. Wesley was at Frederica, the sand-flies were one night so exceedingly troublesome, that he was obliged to rise at one o'clock, and smoke them out of his hut. He tells us that the whole town was employed in the same way. By crocodile he means the species called alligator. When at Savannah, he and Mr. Delamotte used to bathe in the river between four and five o'clock in the morning, before the alligators were stirring, but they heard them snoring all round them. One morning Mr. Delamotte was in great danger; an alligator rose just behind him, and pursued him to the land, whither he escaped with difficulty.]]
The repairs of the vessel detained him here till the 15th of October, when they sailed. They had a most perilous passage, and encountered violent storms; but on the third of December arrived opposite Deal; and the passengers went safe on shore.
III. INGHAM had his station assigned him at Frederica; and there his prudence preserved him from the vexations with which his cherished companion was annoyed. In behalf of that persecuted and dispirited friend, he went to Savannah, to inform John Wesley of the opposition of the people to his brother. He tarried there to supply John's place during his absence on the visit of sympathy and counsel, of mediation or rescue. Returning to Frederica, he remained there till the 13th of May, when he accompanied Charles to Savannah, whither he went to receive the Indian traders on their coming down to take out their licenses. He accompanied them to the upper Creeks; among whom he resided several months, and employed himself in making a vocabulary of their language, and composing a grammar.
[Footnote 1: SOUTHEY, I. 122, note; mention is also made of him in
CRANZ'S History of the United Brethren, p. 228.]
On the 24th of February, 1737, it was agreed that he should go to
England, and "endeavor to bring over, if it should please God, some of
their friends to strengthen their hands in his work." By him John
Wesley wrote to Oglethorpe, who had sailed for England, and to Dr.
Brady's associates, who had sent a library to Savannah.
[Footnote 1: MOORE'S Lives of the Wesleys, I. 315.]
Ingham is mentioned by Whitefield, in terms of high regard, as fellow-laborer with the Wesleys, and "an Israelite indeed."
IV. DELAMOTTE remained, from the first, with John Wesley at Savannah. He kept a school, in which he taught between thirty and forty children to read, write, and cast accounts. "Before public worship on the afternoon of the Lord's day, he catechized the lower class, and endeavored to fix some things of what was said by the Minister in their understandings as well as their memories. In the morning he instructed the larger children."
[Footnote 1: Here is a prototype of the modern Sunday-schools.]
He returned to England in the Whitaker, Captain Whiting; the ship that brought out Mr. Whitefield, June 2d, 1738. "The good people lamented the loss of him, and great reason had they to do so; and went to the waterside to take a last farewell."
V. GEORGE WHITEFIELD was the intimate friend of the Wesleys and of Ingham; and he states, in his Journal, that when they were in Georgia he received letters from them; and that their description of the moral condition of the Colony affected his heart powerfully, and excited a strong desire to join them, to assist them in the work in which they were occupied, and become "a partaker with them in the afflictions of the gospel." Such an undertaking was suited to his energetic and enterprizing character; and therefore engaged much of his attention. On the return of Charles Wesley to England, he learned more of the situation of the Colonists, and of their great need of religious instruction; and when Ingham came with special reference to procuring assistance, he expressed his readiness to go on the mission. In the letter which he received by him from John Wesley was this direct reference, "Only Delamotte is with me, till God shall stir up the heart of some of his servants, who, putting their lives in his hands, shall come over and help us, where the harvest is so great and the laborers are so few. What if thou art the man, Mr. Whitefield? Do you ask me what you shall have? Food to eat and raiment to put on; a house to lay your head in, such as your Lord had not; and a crown of glory that fadeth not away!" This, and another letter, strengthened the desire, which soon ripened into a purpose, for which all circumstances seemed favorable. Charles, too, became more explicit, and rather urged his going.
[Footnote 1: He addressed a poem to him in which are these verses:
"Servant of God! the summons hear.
Thy Master calls! arise! obey!
The tokens of his will appear,
His providence points out the way.
"Champion of God! thy Lord proclaim,
Jesus alone resolve to know.
Tread down thy foes in Jesus' name,
And conquering and to conquer go!"]
He accordingly went up to London to tender his services to Oglethorpe and the Trustees; by whom he was accepted; and he left London on the latter part of December, 1737, in the 23d year of his age, to take passage in the Whitaker, Captain Whiting, master, on a voyage to Georgia. It was, however, the end of January before the vessel was fairly on its way, in consequence of contrary winds. They sailed from the Downs a few hours only before the vessel, which brought Wesley back, cast anchor there. He was attended on his passage by the Honorable James Habersham and his brother. They landed, after rather a circuitous and long passage, on the 7th of May, 1738. Delamotte, whom Wesley had left schoolmaster at Savannah, received him at the Parsonage house, which he found much better than he expected. Having met with some of his predecessor's converts there, he read prayers on the morrow, and expounded, in the Court-house, and waited on the magistrates; but, being taken ill of a fever and ague, he was confined to the house for a week.
Being informed that Tomo Chichi was sick, nigh unto death, as soon as he could venture abroad he made him a visit. The Mico lay on a blanket, thin and meagre. Scenawki, his wife, sat by, fanning him with feathers. There was none who could speak English, so that Mr. Whitefield could only shake hands with him and leave him. A few days after he went again, and finding Toonahowi there, who could speak English, "I desired him," says Whitefield, "to ask his uncle whether he thought he should die;" who answered, "I cannot tell." I then asked, where he thought he should go, after death? He replied "To heaven." But alas! a further questioning led the solemn visiter to an unfavorable opinion of his preparedness for such a state of purity.
When Whitefield had recovered so as to commence his labors, he remarked that every part bore the aspect of an infant colony; that, besides preaching twice a day, and four times on the Lord's day, he visited from house to house, and was in general cordially received, and always respectfully; "but from time to time found that caelum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt. 'Those who cross the seas, change their climate, but not their disposition.'" Though lowered in their circumstances, a sense of what they formerly were in their native country remained. It was plainly to be seen that coming over was not so much a matter of choice as of restraint; choosing rather to be poor in an unknown country abroad, than to live among those who knew them in more affluent circumstances at home.
[Footnote 1: Gillies' Memoirs of Whitefield, p. 27.]
The state of the children affected him deeply. The idea of an Orphan-House in Georgia had been suggested to him by Charles Wesley, before he himself had any thought of going abroad; and now that he saw the condition of the Colonists, he said, "nothing but an orphan-house can effect the education of the children." From this moment he set his heart upon founding one, as soon as he could raise funds. In the meantime, he did what he could. He opened a school at Highgate and Hampstead, and one for girls at Savannah. He then visited the Saltzburgers' orphan-house at Ebenezer; and, if any thing was wanting to perfect his own design, or to inflame his zeal, he found it there. The Saltzburgers themselves were exiles for conscience' sake, and eminent for piety and industry. Their ministers, Gronau and Bolzius, were truly evangelical. Their asylum, which they had been enabled to found by English benevolence for widows and orphans, was flourishing. Whitefield was so delighted with the order and harmony of Ebenezer that he gave a share of his own "Poor's store" to Bolzius for his orphans. Then came the scene which completed his purpose. Bolzius called all the children before him, and catechized them, and exhorted them to give God thanks for his good providence towards them. Then prayed with them, and made them pray after him. Then sung a psalm. Afterwards, says Whitefield "the little lambs came and shook me by the hand, one by one, and so we parted." From this moment Whitefield made his purpose his fate.
[Footnote 1: PHILLIPS' Life and Times of Whitefield, p. 73.]
As opportunity offered he visited Frederica, and the adjacent settlements; and says that he often admired that, considering the circumstances and disposition of the first settlers, so much was really done. He remarks that "the first settlers were chiefly broken and decayed tradesmen from London and other parts of England; and several Scotch adventurers, (Highlanders) who had a worthy minister named Macleod; a few Moravians, and the Saltzburgers, who were by far the most industrious of the whole;" and he adds, that he would cheerfully have remained with them, had he not felt obliged to return to England to receive priest's orders, and make a beginning towards laying a foundation of the orphan-house, which he saw was much wanted.
In August he settled a schoolmaster, leaving Mr. Habersham at Savannah; and, parting affectionately with his flock, he went to Charlestown, South Carolina, and, on the 9th of September, went aboard the Mary, Captain Coe, for England, where he arrived in the latter part of November, 1738.
The Trustees for the Colony received him cordially; were pleased to express their satisfaction at the accounts which had been sent them of his conduct and services during his stay in the Colony; and having been requested by letters sent, unknown to him, from the magistrates and inhabitants, they most willingly presented to him the living of Savannah, (though he insisted upon having no salary), and as readily granted him five hundred acres of land, whereon to erect an Orphan-House, and make a garden and plantations; to collect money for which, together with taking priest's orders, were the chief motives of his returning to England so soon.
[Footnote 1: GILLIES, p. 32.]
Without extending the account of this zealous, eloquent, and popular preacher any further, suffice it to say that he was greatly successful in the object of his visit, and his appeals to public charity in behalf of the Orphan-House; that he returned to Georgia, and on March 11th, 1742, laid the foundation of that edifice; and, both in America and in England, continued his measures for its establishment, till he saw it completed.
Oglethorpe arrives in England—Trustees petition the King for military aid to the new Colony—A regiment granted—Oglethorpe appointed Commander in Chief of South Carolina and Georgia—Part of the regiment sent out—Oglethorpe embarks for Georgia the third time—Remainder of the regiment arrive—And two companies from Gibraltar—Prospect of war with Spain—Military preparations at St. Augustine—Oglethorpe makes arrangements for defence—Treason in the Camp—Mutiny, and personal assault on the General.
"At a meeting of the Trustees of Georgia, Wednesday, January 19th, 1737, Mr. Oglethorpe, newly returned hither, had the unanimous thanks of the board. He informed them that Savannah had greatly increased in building, and that three other towns had been founded within a year; namely, Augusta, Darien, and Frederica; that a new town, called Ebenezer, had been laid out for the Saltzburgers; and that there were several villages settled by gentlemen at their own expense. He gave them the pleasing intelligence that the remoter Creek nation acknowledged his Majesty's authority, and traded with the new settlers; and that the Spanish Governor-General and Council of War of Florida had signed a treaty with the Colony." He added, however, that notwithstanding these seeming auspicious circumstances, the people on the frontiers were in constant apprehensions of an invasion, and that he had strong suspicions that the treaty would not be regarded; that the Spanish government at Cuba was wholly opposed to it; and that the indignant demand of the commissioner from Havana, and the threat which followed, implied an infraction, and would lead to consequences against which it was necessary to provide.
[Footnote 1: Extract from the Record of the Trustees, published in the Gentleman's Magazine, for 1737, Vol. XII. p. 59.]
Upon this communication some able remarks were made in the London Post. They were introduced by a statement of the benefits likely to accrue to the English nation from settling the colony of Georgia; and go on to mention that the colony was in the most thriving condition in consequence of royal patronage and parliamentary aid, seconded by the generosity of contributors, "whose laudable zeal will eternize their names in the British annals; and, carried into effect under the conduct of a gentleman, whose judgment, courage, and indefatigable diligence in the service of his country, have shewn him every way equal to so great and valuable a design. In the furtherance of this noble enterprise, that public spirited and magnanimous man has acted like a vigilant and faithful guardian, at the expense of his repose, and to the utmost hazard of his life. And now, the jealousy of the Spanish is excited, and we are told that that court has the modesty to demand from England that he shall not he any longer employed. If this be the fact, as there is no doubt it is, we have a most undeniable proof that the Spaniards dread the abilities of Mr. Oglethorpe. It is, of course, a glorious testimony to his merit, and a certificate of his patriotism, that ought to endear him to every honest Briton."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. VII. p. 500. See, also, History of the British Provinces, 4to. p. 158.]
Reference is here made to the memorial of Don Thomas Geraldino, the Spanish ambassador at the British Court, in which, among other demands, he insisted that no troops should be sent over to Georgia, and particularly remonstrated against the return of Oglethorpe.
About the same time intelligence reached England that the Spaniards at St. Augustine had ordered the English merchants to depart, and were setting up barracks for troops that were daily expected; that an embarkation was preparing at Havana, in which two thousand five hundred soldiers were to be shipped in three large men-of-war, and eight transports; and that great quantities of provisions had been laid in for them. Upon this, and other hostile indications, of which the Trustees were apprised, they petitioned his Majesty that a regiment might be raised for the defence and protection of the Colony. This was granted. Oglethorpe was appointed General and Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's forces in Carolina and Georgia; and commissioned to raise a regiment for the service and defence of those two Colonies, to consist of six companies of one hundred men each, exclusive of non-commissioned officers and drums; to which a company of grenadiers was afterwards added. "This regiment he raised in a very short time, as he disdained to make a market of the service of his country, by selling commissions, but got such officers appointed as were gentlemen of family and character in their respective counties; and, as he was sensible what an advantage it was to the troops of any nation to have in every company a certain number of such soldiers as had been bred up in the character of gentlemen, he engaged about twenty young gentlemen of no fortune, to serve as cadets in his regiment, all of whom he afterwards advanced by degrees to be officers, as vacancies happened; and was so far from taking any money for the favor, that to some of them, he gave, upon their advancement, what was necessary to pay the fees of their commissions, and to provide themselves for appearing as officers."
[Footnote 1: London Magazine, for 1757, p. 546.]
"He carried with him, also," says a writer of that day, "forty supernumeraries, at his own expense; a circumstance very extraordinary in our armies, especially in our plantations."
With a view to create in the troops a personal interest in the Colony which they had enlisted to defend, and to induce them eventually to become actual settlers, every man was allowed to take with him a wife; for the support of whom some additional pay and rations, were offered. In reference to this, Governor Belcher, of Massachusetts, in writing to Lord Egmont, respecting the settlement of Georgia, has these remarks; "Plantations labor with great difficulties; and must expect to creep before they can go. I see great numbers of people who would be welcome in that settlement; and have, therefore, the honor to think, with Mr. Oglethorpe, that the soldiers sent thither should all be married men."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. VIII. p. 164.]
[Footnote 2: Manuscript Letter Book of Governor Belcher, in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society.]
Early in the spring of 1738, some part of the regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Cochran, embarked for Georgia, and arrived at Charlestown, South Carolina, on the 3d of May. They immediately proceeded to their destined rendezvous by land; as the General had taken care, on his former expedition, to have the rout surveyed, and a road laid out and made passable from Port Royal to Darien, or rather Frederica itself; and there were a sufficient number of boats provided for passing the rivers.
As soon as Oglethorpe obtained the proper stores of arms, ammunition, military equipments, and provisions, he embarked for Georgia, the third time, with six hundred men, women, and children, including the complement of the new raised regiment, on the 5th of July, in the Hector and Blandford, men-of-war; accompanied by five transports. They arrived at St. Simons on the 9th of September, where their landing at the soldier's fort, was announced by a discharge of artillery, and cheered by the garrison. The General encamped near the fort, and staid till the 21st, to forward the disembarkation, and give out necessary orders.
[Footnote 1: Letter from Frederica, in Georgia, dated October 8th, 1738, in the Gentleman's Magazine, for January, 1739, p. 22.]
He then went to Frederica, and was saluted by fifteen pieces of cannon at the fort. The magistrates and townsmen waited on him in a body, to congratulate him on his return.
On the 25th the inhabitants of the town went out with the General, and cut a road through the woods down to the soldiers-fort, in a strait line; so that there is an open communication between them. This work was performed in three days, though it is a distance of three miles.
Several Indians came to greet the General. They hunted in the vicinity, and brought venison every day to the camp. They reported that the chiefs from every town of the Upper and Lower Creek nation would set out to visit him as soon as they received notice of his return.
The arrival of the regiment, so complete and in so good order, was a great relief to the people of Frederica, as they had been often, during the summer, apprehensive of an attack by the Spaniards, who had sent large reinforcements of troops to St. Augustine, and were understood to be providing a formidable embarkation at the Havana, notwithstanding the treaty which had been so lately concluded with Oglethorpe. Nay, the Floridians had actually attacked one of the Creek towns that was next to them; but, though the assault was made by surprise, they were repulsed with loss; and then they pretended that it was done by their Indians, without their orders.
Under circumstances of so much jeopardy, the people were so often diverted from their daily labor, that their culture and husbandry had been greatly neglected; and there was the appearance of such a scarcity, that many would be reduced to actual want before the next crop could be got in. But, in consequence of the measures now taking for their security, and of some supplies which were brought, in addition to the military stores, and of more that would be sent for, the anxiety was removed, and they resumed their labors.
"The utmost care was taken by the General, that in all the frontier places the fortifications should be put in the best state of defence; and he distributed the forces in the properest manner for the protection and defence of the Colony; assigning different corps for different services; some stationary at their respective forts; some on the alert, for ranging the woods; others, light-armed, for sudden expeditions. He likewise provided vessels, and boats for scouring the sea-coast, and for giving intelligence of the approach of any armed vessels. He went from one military station to another, superintending and actually assisting every operation; and endured hardness as a good soldier, by lying in tents, though all the officers and soldiers had houses and huts where they could have fires when they desired; and indeed they often had need, for the weather was severe. In all which services, it was declared that he gave at the same time his orders and his example; there being nothing which he did not, that he directed others to do; so that, if he was the first man in the Colony, his preeminence was founded upon old Homer's maxims, 'He was the most fatigued, the first in danger, distinguished by his cares and his labors, and not by any exterior marks of grandeur, more easily dispensed with, since they were certainly useless.'"
[Footnote 1: HARRIS'S Voyages, II. p. 332.]
But there was treachery lurking in the camp, which, though for some time suspected, had been so vigilantly watched and guarded against, that the conspirators found no opportunity for carrying into effect their insidious purpose.
It seems that among the troops lately sent over, there was one soldier who had been in the Spanish service, and two others who were Roman Catholics and disclaimed allegiance to the British Government, who had enlisted as spies, and been bribed to excite a mutiny in the corps, or persuade those among whom they were stationed to desert the service.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. IX. 739, p. 22.]
Their attempts, however, to gain over accomplices, were unavailing; for those with whom they tampered had the fealty to reject their overtures, and the honesty to make a discovery of their insidious machinations. Upon this the traitors were seized, convicted, and, on the beginning of October, 1738, sentenced to be whipt and drummed out of the regiment.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XX.]
Hardly had this secret plot been defeated, when an affray took place at Fort St. Andrews, in which an attempt was made to assassinate the General, who was there on a visit.
Some of the soldiers who came from Gibraltar had been granted six months provisions from the King's stores, in addition to their pay. When these rations were expended, about the middle of November, one of the murmurers had the presumption to go up to the General, who was standing at the door with Captain Mackay, and demanded of him a continuance of the supply. To this unceremonious and disrespectful requisition the General replied, that the terms of their enlistment had been complied with; that their pay was going on; that they had no special favor to expect, and certainly were not in the way to obtain any by such a rude manner of application. As the fellow became outrageously insolent, the Captain drew his sword, which the desperado snatched out of his hand, broke in two pieces, threw the hilt at him, and made off for the barrack, where, taking his gun, which was loaded, and crying out "One and all!" five others, with their guns, rushed out, and, at the distance of about ten yards, the ringleader shot at the General. The ball whizzed above his shoulder, and the powder burnt his face and scorched his clothes. Another flashed his piece twice, but the gun did not go off. The General and Captain were immediately surrounded by protectors; and the culprits were apprehended, tried at a Court-Martial, and, on the first week in October, received sentence of death. The letter which gives a circumstantial account of this affair, written from Frederica, and dated December 26th, adds, "Some of the officers are not very easy, and perhaps will not be till the mutineers are punished, in terrorem; which has been delayed by the General's forbearance." I quote, with pleasure, this testimony to his lenity, given by one who must have intimately known all the aggravating circumstances, because some accounts state that he took summary vengeance.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. IX. p. 215.]
By the defeat of insidious plottings to induce the desertion of the frontier garrison, and the suppression of the insurgent mutiny, the spirit of insubordination was entirely quelled; and the people of the Colony were relieved from their apprehensions of an attack from the Spaniards, "as they had Oglethorpe among them, in whom they and the Indians had great confidence."
Oglethorpe visits Savannah—Troubles there—Causton, the store-keeper, displaced—Oglethorpe holds a conference with a deputation of Indians—Town-meeting called, and endeavors used to quiet discontents—Goes back to Frederica, but obliged to renew his visit to Savannah.
On the 8th of October, 1738, Oglethorpe set out from Frederica in an open boat, with two others attending it; and, after rowing two days and two nights, arrived at Savannah. "He was received, at the water-side, by the magistrates, and saluted by the cannon from the fort, and by the militia under arms; and the people spent the night in rejoicing, making bonfires," &c. But, notwithstanding this show of public joy, he had soon to learn particulars of the situation of the inhabitants, that rendered his visit unpleasant to himself, and not very welcome to some of those to whom it was made. Those who were duly sensible of his disinterested devotedness to the advancement and welfare of the settlement, were actuated, on this occasion, by a principle of real regard and gratitude; those who were apprehensive that their conduct in his absence might be investigated and disapproved, joined in the acclaim, that they might conciliate his favor; and those who had been discontented grumblers, did not care openly to exhibit indications of dissatisfaction.
[Footnote 1: Letter, dated Savannah, in Georgia, October 22,1738; published in the Gentleman's Magazine, for January, 1739, p. 22.]
On the day after his arrival he received information that the grand jury of Savannah had prepared a representation, "stating their grievances, hardships, and necessities," and complaining of the conduct of Mr. Thomas Causton, the first magistrate of the town, and keeper of the public store. They alleged that he had expended much larger sums than the Trustees authorized, and thus brought the Colony in debt; that he had assumed powers not delegated to him, and had been partial and arbitrary in many of the measures which he had pursued.
[Footnote 1: This is inserted in the Narrative of the Colony of
Georgia, by P. Tailfer, M.D., Hugh Williamson, M.A., and D. Douglas.
Charlestown, S.C. 1741. It was signed September 12th, 1737.]
[Footnote 2: Letter last quoted, and Stephens's Journal, Vol. I. p. 305.]
Upon an investigation of these allegations, Oglethorpe, as Governor-General of the Colony, deemed it expedient to displace him; to issue an order that the books, papers, and accounts, belonging to the stores, should be delivered to Thomas Jones, Esq., who had come over with the transports with the appointment of Advocate of the Regiment; and that security should be given by Causton, to answer the charges against him, by an assignment of his estate at Oakstead, and his improvements elsewhere. The office thus rendered vacant was supplied by the appointment of Colonel William Stephens, who had been sent over with the commission of Secretary for the affairs of the Trustees in the Province.
[Footnote 1: This worthy gentleman wrote a Journal, which commences on his arrival at Charlestown, in the Mary-Ann, Captain Shubrick, October 20, 1737, and comes down to October 28,1741. It gives a minute account of every thing which occurred; and bears throughout the marks of correctness, of ingenuousness, and frankness in the narrative of transactions and events; and of integrity, strict justice, and unflinching fidelity in the discharge of his very responsible office. As exhibiting "the form and pressure of the times," it is of essential importance to the Historian of Georgia; and, happily, it was printed, making three octavo volumes. But the work is exceedingly rare, especially the third volume. A complete set is among the EBELING books in Harvard College Library.
He had been at Savannah before, for in p. 46, is this remark; "All which was evident to myself, as well from what I observed, when here formerly, as more especially now, since my arrival." And again, p. 54, mentioning Mr. Fallowfield, "a constable, whose temper I was better acquainted with, having lodged at his house during my former abode here."
After the departure of General Oglethorpe, he was President of the Council, and acting Governor from July 11, 1743, to April 8, 1757, when he was succeeded by Henry Parker, Esq.]
The great mismanagement of the trust-funds which had been sent for the support of the Colony, rendered it also necessary to retrench the ordinary issues, "that something might remain for the necessary support of life among the industrious part of the community, who were not to be blamed."
On the 11th, Tomo Chichi came to wait upon the General. He had been very ill; but the good old man was so rejoiced at the return of his respected friend, that he said it made him moult like the eagle. He informed him that several Indian chiefs were at Yamacraw to pay their respects to him, and to assure him of their fidelity.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXI.]
This embassy consisted of the Micos or chiefs of the Ocmulgees, the Chehaws, the Ouchasees, and the Parachacholas, with thirty of their warriors, and fifty-two attendants. As they walked up the hill, they were saluted by a battery of cannon, and then conducted to the town-hall by a corps of militia, where the General received them. They told him that the Spaniards had decoyed them to St. Augustine, on pretence that he was there; but they found that they were imposed upon, and therefore turned back with displeasure, though they were offered great presents to induce them to fall out with the English. These single-hearted foresters had now come to remove from the mind of their pledged friend all apprehension of their alienation, and to assure him that their warriors shall attend his call. They closed their conference with a pressing invitation to him to come up to their towns in the course of the summer; and, with his promise to do so, they took a respectful leave.
On the 17th the General called the inhabitants to assemble at the town-hall, and "there made a pathetic speech to them;" which he began by thanking them for the measures which they had pursued for mutual help and the common good. He apprized them of the great exertions made by the Trustees to support, protect, and defend the Colony; but that their being obliged to maintain the garrisons, and lay in various stores till the arrival of the troops, and the dear price of provisions the last year, occasioned such an increased demand upon them, that they would not be able to continue further allowance, nor assume further responsibilities, unless a supply should be granted by parliament. This state of embarrassment he greatly regretted, inasmuch as those whom he addressed were suffering by the failure of their crops. He told them that, with surprise and great grief, he found that there was more due from the public store than there were goods and articles in it to pay; but that he had given orders that all persons should be paid as far as these effects would go. He said that he was fully aware of the privations already felt, and of the greater to which they were exposed; and, therefore, informed those who, on this account, or for any reason, supposed that they could better their condition by going out of the Province, that they had his full consent to do so. At the same time he requested such to come to his quarters, and acquaint him with their grievances, their wishes, and their purposes, and he would give them his best advice, and all the aid in his power. How many, or how far any, availed themselves of this overture, is not known; but the writer who has given an account of this address, adds, "It is remarkable that not one man chose to leave the Province, though they very well knew that they must endure great hardships before the next crop should come in, for there was very little money stirring, and very few had provisions sufficient to keep them till next year. However, they all seemed resolved rather to stay, than to leave the country now in its distress."
[Footnote 1: STEPHENS'S Journal, I. p. 305.]
[Footnote 2: Letter from Savannah, October 22, 1738.]
To lessen the demands upon the Trustees, Oglethorpe made retrenchments in the public expenditures. He disbanded the troop of Rangers, who guarded the country on the land side, though they offered to serve without pay; but he deemed it improper that they should be on service without remuneration. The garrisons were relieved by the regiments; so that that expense ceased. He aimed to reconcile the disaffected, by his good offices; and to gain their affections by unexpected and unmerited liberalities. With very timely largesses he assisted the orphans, the widows, and the sick; and contributed towards the relief of the most destitute; but, adds the writer of the letter above quoted, "we are apprehensive such contributions cannot last long, unless assisted from England, for the expenses are too great for any single man to bear."
The General pursued, with anxious scrutiny, his investigation into the management of business, and found the charges and accounts to be very perplexed, and the result evincing mismanagement and unfaithfulness. "He settled the officers, civil and military, among whom changes had taken place; filled vacancies; and took the most judicious measures that the whole municipal establishment should be properly organized. Then, calling them all to his lodgings, he gave it in charge that they should do their duties with care and vigilance. He exhorted them to use their best endeavors to preserve peace; especially at this time, when ill-disposed persons, taking advantage of people's uneasiness at those inevitable pressures under which they labored, and must necessarily for some time be subjected to, might craftily incite them to insurrection. Withal, he recommended earnestly to them to preserve unanimity among themselves, which would strengthen and support a due authority, and restrain the licentious into due obedience."
[Footnote 1: STEPHENS'S Journal, I. 309.]
On Wednesday morning, October 25th, Oglethorpe set out for the south, leaving, as Col. Stephens remarks, "a gloomy prospect of what might ensue; and many sorrowful countenances were visible under the apprehensions of future want; which deplorable state the Colony has fallen into, through such means as few or none of the settlers had any imagination of, till the Trustees, in their late letters, awakened them out of their dream; and the General, when he came, laid the whole open, and apprized them that they were but little removed from a downright bankruptcy. Now was a time when it would be fully apparent, who were the most valuable among them, by showing a hearty endeavor to contribute, what in them lay, to appease the rising discontents, and wait with patience to see better things, which were not yet to be despaired of."
[Footnote 1: STEPHENS'S Journal, I. 312.]
It appears that Mr. Causton discovered not only reluctance and perversity in explaining and authenticating his accounts; but, by disingenuous insinuations reflected on the conduct of Oglethorpe, "as if he very well knew that extraordinary occasions had created these great exceedings, which the Trustees approving of, he [Causton] was given up to be driven to utter ruin." Mr. Jones deemed it necessary to write to the General to inform him of the reflections which had thus been cast upon his honor, and of the impediments which he himself met in the business assigned to him. Upon the receipt of this letter, Oglethorpe set out on a return to Savannah, where he arrived early in the morning of Saturday, November 11th, and, as the bell was ringing for attendance on prayers, he went and joined the orisons of the congregation. This was more grateful to his feelings than the military salute and parade of the preceding visit; and the devotional exercises in which he engaged soothed his vexed spirit, and the petition for pardon of offences against God produced a livelier disposition in his heart of lenity and forgiveness towards those who had offended against him. In the course of the day, he looked again into the concerns of the store, and despatched some other affairs of consequence. In the evening he sent for Mr. Causton, when, "in a very mild manner, and gentler terms than could be expected, upon such a provocation, he reprehended him for the freedom he had taken with his name, and advised him to use no delays or shifts in making up his accounts."
[Footnote 1: Ibid. p. 325.]
On Sunday he attended public worship; and after that took boat, and went back to the south.
In both these visits to Savannah, Oglethorpe discovered among the inhabitants indications of the prevalence of not only a dissatisfied, but of a factious spirit; more to be lamented than a failing harvest, or a stinted market.
It was extremely mortifying to him to perceive that his greatest exertions and most assiduous services were underrated; his devotedness to their welfare unacknowledged; and his sacrifices and exposures that he might establish them in security and peace, were not merely depreciated, but miscalled and dishonored. While he was zealously engaged in strengthening the Colony, by locating large accessions of brave and industrious settlers on the frontiers, and erecting forts, and supplying them with troops and ammunition, the people who were "sitting under their own vines and fig-trees, with none to molest or make them afraid," and who had been best and longest provided for, were insensible to the hardships and dangers to which others were exposed; and, cavilling at the circumstances in which they were placed, complained as if he must be personally accountable for certain restrictions in the plan of settlement, and subsequent financial and commercial affairs, to which the Trustees had deemed it proper to subject them; restrictions which might have been submitted to by them with as good a grace as they were by the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer and the Scots at Darien, "who murmured not, neither were unthankful." In fact, it was very apparent, that by their indolence and improvidence these dissatisfied ones had brought upon themselves the chief of the evils which they suffered. Their allegations, therefore, were unreasonable, and the disposition which dictated them criminally ungrateful. But Oglethorpe, instead of reproaching the discontented for their ingratitude, and the murmurers for their unkind imputations, stifled his own justifiable feelings of displeasure, in the hope that such forbearance would refute the injustice of theirs. Well might the poet exclaim:
"What magnanimity!—May ne'er again
Unkind returns thy generous ardor chill,
Nor causeless censure give thy bosom pain,
Nor thankless hearts reward thy good with ill!
"But honoring gratitude its column raise,
To bear inscriptions of deserved praise;
And when through age the record is obscure,
A nobler let posterity procure."
Oglethorpe goes to Charlestown, South Carolina, to open his Commission—Comes back to Savannah—Gives encouragement to the Planters—Returns to Frederica—Excursion to Coweta—Forms a Treaty with the Upper Creeks—Receives at Augusta a delegation of the Chickasaws and Cherokees, who complain of having been poisoned by the Traders—On his return to Savannah is informed of Spanish aggressions, and is authorized to make reprisals.
As Oglethorpe was appointed General and Commander in Chief of the military forces in South Carolina, as well as Georgia, he deemed it proper to pay a visit to Charlestown, in order to have this assigned rank duly notified to the Governor and people of the Province. He, therefore, set out for that metropolis on the 10th of March, 1739; arrived on the 15th, and, on the 3d of April, had his commission opened and read in the Assembly. In reference to the exercise of the authority which it conferred, some regulations in the military establishment were adopted. On the 11th he returned to Savannah. To encourage the industry of the planters, he proposed to those who would persevere in doing what they could in the culture of their lands, "a bounty of two shillings per bushel for all Indian corn, and one shilling per bushel for all potatoes, which they should raise over and above what the produce could be sold for after the next harvest."
[Footnote 1: STEPHENS, I. 460.]
On the 18th he went to Frederica; but was obliged, in the summer, to renew his visit to Savannah; and, on the evening of the 10th of July, was received, under a discharge of cannon, by about forty of the freeholders under arms, which, he was pleased to say, was more than he expected. "His stay, being very likely to be short, many successively sought audience of him, whose affairs he despatched with his usual promptness."
"On the 17th he set off on his Indian expedition to Coweta: he proceeded up the river, in his cutter, with Lieutenant Dunbar, Ensign Leman, and Mr. Eyre, a cadet, besides attendants and servants. At the Uchee town, twenty-five miles above Ebenezer, he quitted water-conveyance, having appointed several of the Indian traders to wait his coming there, with a number of horses, as well for sumpter as riding, and also some rangers to assist."
On this journey, computed to be over three hundred miles, both he and his attendants met with many and great hardships and fatigue. They were obliged to traverse a continuous wilderness, where there was no road, and seldom any visible track; and their Indian guides led them often, unavoidably, through tangled thickets, and deep and broken ravines, and across swamps, or bogs, where the horses mired and plunged to the great danger of the riders. They had to pass large rivers on rafts, and cause the horses to wade and swim; and to ford others. During most of the way their resolute leader was under the necessity of sleeping in the open air, wrapped in his cloak or a blanket, and with his portmanteau for a pillow; or, if the night-weather was uncomfortable, or rainy, a covert was constructed of cypress boughs, spread over poles. For two hundred miles there was not a hut to be met with; nor a human face to be seen, unless by accident that of some Indian hunter traversing the woods. At length they arrived at Coweta, one of the principal towns of the Muscoghe, or Creek Indians, where the Chiefs of all the tribes were assembled, on the 11th of August. "Thus did this worthy man, to protect the settlement, which with so much pecuniary expense and devotedness of time, he had planted, now expose himself to the hazards and toils of a comfortless expedition, that would have proved unsurmountable to one of a less enterprising spirit and steady resolutions." Oglethorpe, and his suite, were received with great cordiality; and, after the necessary introduction to individuals, and a little refreshment and rest, a grand convention was formed. The assembly was arranged in due order, with the solemn introductory ceremonies prescribed for such occasions. A libation of the foskey, or black-drink, followed; of which Oglethorpe was invited to partake with "the beloved men," and of which the chiefs and warriors quaffed more copious draughts. Speeches and discussions followed; terms of intercourse and stipulations of trade were agreed upon; and, after smoking the calumet, they unitedly declared that they remained firm in their pledged fealty to the King of Great Britain, and would adhere to all the engagements of amity and commerce heretofore entered into with Oglethorpe as the representative of the Trustees. They then renewed the former grants, in terms more explicit and full, confirming the session of territory on the sea-coast, with the islands, and now extending the southern boundary to the river Matteo, or St. John's. And Oglethorpe, on his part, covenanted that the English should not encroach upon, nor take up, other lands, nor intrude upon any reserved privileges of the Creeks; but would cause their rights to be respected, and the trade with them to be conducted upon fair and honorable principles. This important treaty was concluded on the 21st of August, 1739.
[Footnote 1: This is a decoction of the leaves of the YAUPON, prinus glaber, and is of an exciting, and if taken freely, an intoxicating effect. It is prepared with much formality, and is considered as a sacred beverage, used only by the Chiefs, the War Captains, and Priests ("beloved men") on special occasions, particularly on going to war and making treaties. For an account of its preparation and use, see LAWSON'S Carolina, p. 90; BERNARD ROMAN'S Natural History of Florida, p. 94; ADAIR'S History of the American Indians, p. 108; CATESBY'S Natural History of Carolina, II. 57; and BARTON'S Elements of Botany, part II. p. 16.]
Oglethorpe ingratiated himself highly with the Creeks on this occasion, by his having undertaken so long and difficult a journey to become acquainted with them, and secure their favor; trusting himself with so few attendants in a fearless reliance on their good faith; by the readiness with which he accommodated himself to their mode of living; and the magnanimity of his deportment while among them.
The chief business being finished to mutual satisfaction, the General, with his attendants, set out on their return; and, after enduring the like hardships, exposures, and fatigue, arrived, on the 5th of September, at Fort Augusta, an outpost on the Savannah, where he had placed a garrison on his first expedition to Georgia; and under the protection of which, a little settlement was now formed, inhabited mostly by Indian traders. There he was waited on by the chiefs of the Chickasaws, and the chiefs of the Cherokees; the last of whom came with a heavy complaint that his people had been poisoned by the rum which had been brought to them by the traders. At this they expressed high resentment, and even threatened revenge. As this was an affair of quite an alarming nature, the General made strict inquiry into it; and ascertained that some unlicensed traders had, the preceding summer, carried up the small pox, which is fatal to the Indians; and that several of their warriors, as well as others, had fallen victims to the distemper. It was with some difficulty that he convinced the Indians that this was the real cause of the calamity. At the same time he assured them that such were the precautions and strict examination used, before any applicant for leave to trade could obtain it, that they need not apprehend any danger from such as came to them with a license. With this explanation and assurance they went away satisfied.
[Footnote 1: By some early writers of Carolina these chiefs are called "Caciques." Whether this be the same as Mico, I know not; but the title, though often used so, does not seem to be appropriate. Where justly applied, it is the title of the legislative chief, in distinction from the war chief.]
On the 13th of September, while yet at this place, an express arrived from Savannah to acquaint him that a sloop from Rhode Island had brought the intelligence, that the Governor of that Colony had, by orders from Great Britain, issued commissions for fitting out privateers against the Spaniards. This was not a little surprising to him. He could not conceive how a distant Colony should have any such orders, before they were sent to him who was most in danger of being attacked, in case of any rupture with Spain. However, he deemed it expedient to hasten his return, in order to obtain more direct information. On the 22d he reached Savannah, where he received and published his Majesty's orders for reprisals. In consequence of these, a stout privateer of fourteen guns, was immediately fitted out by Captain Davies, who had suffered by having had a ship and cargo, to the value of forty thousand pieces of eight, captured and most unjustly condemned by the Spaniards; and, therefore, felt that he had a right to avail himself of the present opportunity for obtaining redress.
[Footnote 1: London Magazine, for 1757, page 592.]
For several years, the British trade to America, particularly that to the West Indies, had suffered great interruption and annoyance from the Spanish guarda-costas, which, under various pretences, seized the merchant ships, and carried them into their ports, where they were confiscated. This piratical practice had increased to such a degree that scarcely any vessels were safe in those seas; for the Spaniards pretended that wherever they found logwood, cocoa, or pieces of eight on board, the capture was legal. Now, the first two of those commodities were the growth and produce of the English islands, and the last was the current specie of all that part of the world; so that there was hardly a ship homeward bound but had one or other of these on hoard.
These depredations were also aggravated by circumstances of great inhumanity and cruelty; the sailors being confined in loathsome prisons, at the Havana, and at Cadiz; or forced to work with irons on their legs; with no sustenance but salt fish, almost putrid, and beds full of vermin, so that many died of their hard captivity.
[Footnote 1: History of the Colonies planted by the English on the Continent of North America, by JOHN MARSHALL. 8vo. Philadelphia, 1824. Chap. X.]
The increasing complaints of the merchants, and the loud clamors of the nation, at length forced the British minister to abandon his pacific system; and war was declared against Spain on the 23d of October, 1739. A squadron, commanded by Admiral Vernon was detached for the West Indies, with instructions to act upon the defensive; and General Oglethorpe was ordered to annoy the settlements in Florida.
[Footnote 1: Historical Review of the Transactions of Europe, from the commencement of the War with Spain, in 1739, to the Insurrection in Scotland, in 1745, by SAMUEL BOYSE. 8vo.. Dublin, 1748. Vol. I. p. 27.]
It now became necessary for Oglethorpe to take the most prompt and effective measures for the protection of the Colony; and, as his settlement had, from the beginning, been opposed by the Spaniards at St. Augustine, and would now have to encounter their resentful assaults, he must put into requisition all his military force, and see to their adequate equipment. He immediately took measures for raising a troop of thirty rangers, to prevent the Spanish horse and Indians at St. Augustine from making incursions into the Province; and likewise to intercept the runaway negroes of Carolina, on their way through the country to join the Spaniards. At the same time he summoned four hundred Creeks, and six hundred Cherokee Indians to march down to the southern borders. He then viewed the arms of the militia, to ascertain that they were all in good order, and gave directions that powder, balls, and flints, should be issued out of the magazine, for supplying each member with a proper quantity. But aware that all this would be too inconsiderable for effectual resistance, he perceived it to be expedient to seek the protection of the West India fleet, and to apply to the Assembly of South Carolina for coöperation in a cause, in the event of which their own safety was involved. Accordingly he immediately sent up to Charlestown to desire assistance, and to consult measures with the commanders of the men of war then on the station, in order immediately to block up St. Augustine before the Spaniards could receive supplies and reinforcements from Cuba; which, if properly executed, the place would, in all probability, be soon reduced. This application was laid before the General Assembly, and, on the 8th of November, a Committee was appointed to take the same into consideration. Their Report was discussed in both Houses of Assembly; but no decision was obtained.
[Footnote 1: See his letter in the History of the Rise and Progress of Georgia, HARRIS'S Voyages, II. p. 338, dated 21st of September, 1739.]
Having taken these preparatory measures, he returned to Frederica to make all the arrangements which the exigences of the case required, in the equipment of his own forces, and by calling upon his Indian allies; waiting, with impatience, however, the result of his application to the sister Colony.
Towards the middle of November a party of Spaniards landed in the night time upon Amelia island, and skulked in the thicket till morning, when two Highlanders, unarmed, went into the woods for fuel; upon whom the Spaniards fired, first five and then ten shot; which was heard by Francis Brooks, who commanded the scout-boat upon the coast. He immediately made a signal to the Fort, which was then garrisoned by a detachment of General Oglethorpe's regiment. Upon this a party instantly went out, but they arrived too late, for they found their comrades dead, and that the assassins had taken to their boat, and put out to sea. The bodies of the soldiers were not only rent with shot, but most barbarously mangled and hacked. The periodical publication from which this account is taken, has the following remarks: "Whence it was apparent that the Spaniards had first, out of cowardice, shot them, and then, out of cruelty, cut and slashed them with their swords. If they had not been most scandalous poltroons, they would have taken the two unarmed men prisoners, without making any noise; and then they might have lurked in the wood till they had found an opportunity of getting a better booty, or at least of making more prisoners. And, if they had not been most barbarously cruel, they would have been satisfied with simply killing these unresisting men, (which might have been without such a volley of shot,) and not have so mangled their bodies after they were slain. From such cowardly and cruel foes no mercy can be expected; and every one sent against them must despair if he finds himself in danger of being overpowered, and wrought up to desperation and revenge when he finds himself any thing near upon an equal footing."
[Footnote 1: Annals of Europe, for 1739, p. 410.]
Upon being informed of this outrage, Oglethorpe fitted out and manned a gun boat, and pursued them by water and land, above a hundred miles; but they escaped. By way of reprisal, however, he passed the St. John's into Florida; drove in the guards of Spanish horse that were posted on that river; and advanced as far as a place called the Canallas; at the same time sending Captain Dunbar with a party to find out the situation and force of the fort at Picolata, near the river, upon what were then called "the lakes of Florida," eighty miles from the mouth of the river. They attacked the garrison, but were repulsed, having no artillery. They accomplished, however, the intentions of Oglethorpe, as they reconnoitred both that place and another fort called St. Francis.
In January he returned to Frederica, where he met with Captain Warren, who had lately arrived with the Squirrel man of war. When their consultation was concluded, Captain Warren went and cruised off the Bay of St. Augustine, while Oglethorpe, with a detachment of troops on board of the boats, and some artillery, went up the Lakes of Florida, rowing by day, and sailing by night, so that he attacked the two forts Picolata and St. Francis, took both the same day, and made the soldiers in the garrisons prisoners of war.
[Footnote 1: Afterwards Sir PETER WARREN, an excellent naval officer.]
Captain Hugh Mackay, in a letter to Colonel Cecil, dated Frederica, 24th of January, 1740, says, "The General escaped very narrowly being killed by a cannon ball at Fort St. Francis, or, as the Spaniards called it, 'San Francisco de Papa.'"
Oglethorpe addresses a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Bull, suggesting an expedition against St. Angustine—Follows this, by application in person—Promised assistance, and coöperation—Returns to Frederica—Collects his forces—Passes over to Florida—Takes several Spanish forts—Is joined by the Carolinean troops—The enemy receive supplies—Oglethorpe changes the siege into a blockade—Takes possession of Anastasia Island—Colonel Palmer and his men surprised and cut to pieces—Spanish cruelties—English fleet quit the station—Siege raised, and Oglethorpe returns to Frederica.
By the information which Oglethorpe was able to obtain from the prisoners, which confirmed the accounts received from other sources, he learned that the garrison at St. Augustine was in want of provisions; and that, the half-galleys having been sent to the Havana for troops and supplies, the river and sea-board were destitute of defence. Such being the case, he conceived that a fitting opportunity now offered for the reduction of the place, taking the enemy by surprise, before the reinforcements arrived; and thereby dispossessing the Spaniards of Florida. He, therefore, sent an express to Lieutenant-Governor Bull, urging an immediate compliance with his application for assistance. The consideration was accordingly renewed in the Assembly on the 4th of February. At length Oglethorpe, impatient of delays occasioned by their continued demurring about the feasibility of the project, presented himself before them, that they might be made acquainted more fully with his intentions, and with every thing relative to their being carried into execution. After many conferences, a scheme of action was agreed upon, and an Act of Assembly passed, April 5th, 1740, for the raising of a regiment of four hundred men, to be commanded by Colonel Vanderdussen; a troop of rangers; presents for the Indians; and supply of provisions for three months. They also furnished a large schooner, with ten carriage and sixteen swivel guns, in which they put fifty men under the command of Captain Tyrrell.
[Footnote 1: As the Rangers could not be procured, the Assembly afterwards voted an addition of two hundred men.]
[Footnote 2: The term of service, and, of course, the amount of supply, were afterwards extended to four months.]
With this encouragement, and the promise of coöperation by Commodore Vincent Price, who commanded the small fleet on that station, the place of rendezvous was appointed at the mouth of St. John's river. The General then published his manifesto, and immediately hastened back to Georgia to prepare his forces for the Expedition.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXII.]
On the beginning of April he went to the Uchee town to engage runners to his Indian allies to inform them of his intended assault of St. Augustine; to bespeak their assistance, and request their chiefs and warriors to join his forces at Frederica, whither he immediately repaired. There he completed the equipment of his forces; selected the field-pieces and their carriages, balls and powder; and attended to the military accoutrements, stores and provisions.
On the 9th of May he passed over to Florida with four hundred selected men of his regiment, and a considerable party of Indians, headed by Molochi, son of Prim the late chief of the Creeks; Raven, war-chief of the Cherokees; and Toonahowi, nephew of Tomo Chichi. On the evening of the 10th, part of the Carolina forces arrived.
As the first thing to be done was to take the forts that kept open the communication of the Spaniards with the country, and thus cut off their supplies, the General, impatient of losing time, invested the small fort called Francis de Pupa, seventeen miles north of St. Augustine, commanded by a sergeant and twelve men, who surrendered without a contest. Thence he proceeded to Fort Diego, situated on the plains, twenty-five miles from St. Augustine, defended by eleven guns, and fifty regulars, besides Indians and negroes. In his sortie upon this, he made use of a little stratagem, as well as force; which was by appointing three or four drums to beat, at the same time, in different places in the woods, and a few men now and then to appear suddenly, and withdraw out of sight again. At this, the enemy in the fort were so confounded, with the apprehension that they were surrounded by a great number of troops, that they made only a feint of opposition; and, being summoned to surrender, did so, on condition of being treated as prisoners of war, and, (what they principally insisted on) not to be delivered into the hands of the Indians, from whom they were conscious that they had incurred the most condign reprisals for former aggressions. The other articles were that they should deliver up the guns and stores, which consisted of nine swivel and two carriage guns, with the powder and shot, &c.; that they should have liberty to keep their baggage; that Seignior Diego Spinosa, to whom the fort belonged, it having been built at his expense, and on his land, should hold his plantation and slaves, and such other effects as were not already plundered in the field; and, finally, that no deserters or runaways from Charlestown should have the benefit of this capitulation. Here he left a garrison of sixty men, under the command of Lieutenant Dunbar, to secure the retreat of the army, in case of accidents, and to preserve a safe communication with the settlements in Georgia. He then returned to the place of rendezvous, where he was joined on the 19th of May by Captain M'Intosh, with a company of Highlanders, and Colonel Vanderdussen, with the rest of the Carolina troops, but without any horse, pioneers, or negroes.
[Footnote 1: Stephens, II. 389.]
By this time six Spanish half-galleys, with a number of long brass nine pounders, manned with two hundred regulars, and attended by two sloops loaded with ammunition and provisions, had entered the harbor of St. Augustine, so that the forces in the town and castle were very nearly equal in numbers to the land forces brought against them, and their artillery much superior.
Notwithstanding all the reinforcement which Oglethorpe had received, it was judged impracticable to take the place by assault from the land side, unless an attack could be made at the same time by the boats of the men of war, and other small craft, on the sea side, on which the town had no intrenchments; and to begin a regular siege on the land side was impossible, as he had neither force enough for investing the place, nor any pioneers for breaking the ground, and carrying on the approaches. For this reason it was concerted between him and the sea commanders, that as soon as they arrived off the bar of the north channel, he should march up with his whole force, consisting of about two thousand men, to St. Augustine, and give notice by a signal agreed on, that he was ready to begin the attack by land; which should be answered by a counter signal from the fleet of their readiness to attack it by sea. Accordingly the General marched, and arrived near the intrenchments of St. Augustine, June 4th, at night, having in his way taken Fort Moosa, about three miles from St. Augustine, which the garrison had abandoned upon his approach. He ordered the gates of the fort to be burnt, and three breaches to be made in the walls.
As soon as it was proper to begin the attack, he made the signal agreed on, but had no countersign from the men of war. This was to his utter surprise and disappointment. The reason which was afterwards assigned, was, that the fleet had ascertained that their promised cooperation had been rendered impracticable; as the galleys had been drawn up abreast in the channel between the castle and the island, so that any boats which they should send in must have been exposed to the cannon and musketry of the galleys, as well as the batteries of the castle; and, as no ships of force could get in to protect them, they must have been defeated, if not wholly destroyed; and that it was impossible to make an attack by sea, while the galleys were in that position. It being presumptuous to make an attack without the aid of the fleet, the General was under the necessity of marching back to Fort Diego, where he had left all his provisions, camp furniture, and tools; because he had neither horses nor carriages for taking them along with him by land, nor had then any place for landing them near St. Augustine, had he sent them by water.
[Footnote 1: London Magazine, Vol. XXVII. p. 22.]
Disappointed in the project of taking the place by storm, he changed his plan of operations, and resolved, with the assistance of the ships of war, which were lying at anchor off the bar, to turn the siege into a blockade, and to shut up every channel by which provisions could be conveyed to the garrison. For this purpose, he stationed Colonel Palmer, with his company, at Fort Moosa, to scour the woods, and intercept all supplies from the country, and "enjoined it upon him, for greater safety, to encamp every night in a different place, and, by all means to avoid coming into action." He also charged him, if he should perceive any superior party sallying forth from St. Augustine, to make a quick retreat towards Fort Diego, where it was certain the enemy would not follow him, for fear of having their retreat cut off by a detachment from the army. He sent Colonel Vanderdussen, with his regiment, to take possession of Point Quartell, at a creek which makes the mouth of the harbor opposite Anastasia; and this he did "because they would be safe there, being divided from St. Augustine, and covered from any sally that would be made by the garrison."
[Footnote 1: History of the British Settlements in North America.
Lond. 1773, 4to, page 163.]
As there was a battery on Anastasia, which defended the entry to St. Augustine, the Commodore suggested that, if a body of troops should be sent to land upon that island, under favor of the men of war, and dispossess it, he would then send the small vessels into the harbor, which was too shallow to admit the ships. Upon this, the General marched to the coast, and embarked in the boats of the men of war, with a party of two hundred men, and most of the Indians. Captain Warren, with two hundred seamen, attached themselves to this expedition.
Perceiving that the Spaniards were advantageously posted behind the sand-hills, covered by the battery upon the island, and the fire from the half-galleys which lay in shoal water where the men of war could not come, he ordered the heavy boats to remain and seem as though they intended to land near them, while he, with Captain Warren and the pinnaces, rowed, with all the speed they could, to the southward about two miles. The Spaniards behind the sand-hills strove to prevent their landing, but before they could come up in any order, the boats had got so near to the shore that the General and Captain Warren, with the seamen and Indians, leaped into the water breast high, landed, and took possession of the sand-hills. The Spaniards retreated in the utmost confusion to the battery; but were pursued so vigorously, that they were driven into the water, and took shelter in the half-galleys.
[Footnote 1: London Magazine, Vol. XXVII. p. 22.]
All hands were now set to work to erect the batteries, whence a cannonade was made upon the town. This, however, was to little effect; partly from the distance, and partly from the condition of some of the field pieces which were employed. The enemy returned a brisk fire from the castle and from the half-galleys in the harbor. The latter, chiefly annoying the camp, it was agreed to attack them; but though Commodore Price had proposed that measure to Colonel Vanderdussen first, he altered his opinion and would not consent to it.
"Thirty-six pieces of cannon, together with planks for batteries, and all other necessaries, with four hundred pioneers were to have come from Carolina; but only twelve pieces of cannon arrived. Of course, for want of planks for batteries, they were obliged to fire upon the ground, the consequence of which was, that their carriages were soon broken, and could not be repaired."
[Footnote 1: History of British Settlements in North America, p. 165.]
The Spaniards, on the other hand, had surprised and cut to pieces the detachment under Colonel Palmer. Of this disastrous event, the particulars are given by one who could say,—"Quos ego miserrimus vidi, et quorum pars magna fui." [Which I had the misfortune to see, and greatly to share.] I refer to a letter from Ensign Hugh Mackay to his brother in Scotland, dated at Fort St. Andrews, on Cumberland Island, August 10th, 1740.
After some introductory remarks, he gives the following account of the action:
"On the 9th of June the General sent out a flying party of militia, Indians, and thirteen soldiers, in all making one hundred and thirty-seven men, under the command of Colonel Palmer, a Carolina gentleman, an old Indian warrior, of great personal resolution, but little conduct. Under him I commanded the party, and had orders to march from St. Diego, the head-quarters, to Moosa, three miles from St. Augustine, a small fort which the Spaniards had held, but was demolished a few days before; there to show ourselves to the Spaniards, and thereafter to keep moving from one place to another to divert their attention, while the General took another route, and intended to come to Moosa in five days. The orders were just, and might with safety be executed, had a regular officer commanded; but poor Colonel Palmer, whose misfortune it was to have a very mean opinion of his enemies, would by no means be prevailed upon to leave the old fort, but staid there, thinking the Spaniards durst not attack him. He was mistaken, as will appear presently.
"Upon the 15th day of June, about four in the morning, we were attacked by a detachment of five hundred, from the garrison of St. Augustine, composed of Spaniards, negroes, and Indians, besides a party of horse to line the paths, that none of us might escape. Apprehending that this would happen, I obtained leave of Colonel Palmer, and therefore ordered our drum to beat to arms at three o'clock every morning, and to have our men in readiness till it was clear day. Thus it was upon the fatal 15th of June, as I have said, when the Spaniards attacked us with a very smart fire from their small arms; in which Colonel Palmer fell the first. We returned the fire with the greatest briskness that can be imagined; and so the firing continued for some time; but, unluckily, we were penned up in a demolished fort; there was no room to extend. The Spaniards endeavored to get in at the ruinous gate; and our party defended the same with the utmost bravery. Here was a terrible slaughter on both sides; but the Spaniards, who were five times our number, got at last, by dint of strength, the better; which, when I saw, that some prisoners were made, I ordered as many of my party then as were alive to draw off. We had great difficulty to get clear, for the Spaniards surrounded the fort on all sides. However, by the assistance of God, we got our way made good; drew up in sight of the enemy, and retired, without being pursued, till we were in safety. I had no more than twenty-five men, and some of them very ill wounded, of which number I was, for I received three wounds at the fort gate, but they were slight ones. Several of the poor Highlanders, who were in the engagement, and fought like lions, lost their lives,—some of them your acquaintance.
"I commanded, next Colonel Palmer, as captain of the horse, on the militia establishment. My lieutenant was killed. My cornet and quartermaster were made prisoners of war, with four more of the Highlanders. Charles Mackay, nephew to Captain Hugh Mackay, who was ensign of militia, received five wounds in the action, and lost one of his fingers; and, thereafter, rather than fall into the hands of the Spaniards, ventured to swim an inlet of the sea, about a mile broad, and had the good fortune to get to the side he intended, and so to the General's camp.
"As the Indians fled several different ways, no more account is yet heard of them, only that some of them were killed in the action, and others wounded and taken prisoners. I believe there were sixty killed, and twenty taken prisoners of our whole party. To some of our Creek Indians who were taken by the enemy, leave was given (to curry favor with their nation) to return home. They told me that we killed a great number of the Spaniards at Moosa, and that they were dying by fives and sixes a day after getting into the town; so miserably were they cut by our broad swords; yet by their great numbers they got the day; but were sadly mauled, otherwise they would have pursued me."
The fate of Colonel Palmer was the more affecting, from the consideration that he had raised one hundred and fifty good men, who had come with him as volunteers; that he was in a fort in which a breach had been made, and of course was no adequate protection; and that he was beyond the reach of any assistance. It has, indeed, been said that he was not enough mindful of the directions that had been given him, and presumptuously exposed himself to danger.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXIII.]
Mr. Stephens remarks that "the most bloody part of all fell to the unhappy share of our good people of Darien, who, almost to a man engaged, under the command of their leader, John Moore McIntosh; a worthy man, careful director among his people at home, and who now showed himself as valiant in the field of battle; where, calling on his countrymen and soldiers to follow his example, they made such havoc with their broadswords, as the Spaniards cannot easily forget." This brave champion was taken prisoner, and suffered severe and cruel treatment.
[Footnote 1: Journal, II. 436.]
[Footnote 2: He was sent to Old Spain, where he remained a prisoner, at Madrid, for several months; and was finally exchanged, and returned home to Darien.]
The principal commander of the Spaniards fell at the first onset.
The Spanish took several prisoners; basely insulted the bodies of the dead; and would have inflicted vengeful cruelties on their captives, one of whom was an Indian named Nicholausa, whom they delivered over to the Yamasees to burn, but General Oglethorpe sent a drum with a message to the Governor from the Indian chief of the Cherokees, acquainting him that if he permitted Nicholausa to be burnt, a Spanish horseman who had been taken prisoner should suffer the same fate. He also mentioned that, as the Governor was a gentleman and a man of honor, he was persuaded that he would put an end to the barbarous usage of that country; and expected from the humanity of a Spanish cavalier that he would prohibit insults to the bodies of the dead, and indignities to the prisoners; and he rather wished it, as he should be forced, against his inclination, to resort to retaliation, which his Excellency must know that he was very able to make, since his prisoners greatly exceeded those made by the Spaniards. Upon this the Governor submitted to the rescue of Nicholausa from the fate to which he had been destined. It was, also, agreed that the Indians, on both sides, should be treated as prisoners of war; so that an end was put to their barbarous custom of burning the unhappy wretches who fell into their hands.
Oglethorpe continued bombarding the castle and town until the regular troops came over from the land side, and the Carolina militia were removed from Point Quartel to Anastasia. He then summoned the Governor to surrender, but received an indignant refusal.
Soon after some sloops, with a reinforcement of men, and a further supply of military stores and provisions from Havana, found means to enter the harbor through the narrow channel of the Matanzas.
Upon this, all prospect of starving the enemy Was lost; and there remained only the chance of a forcible assault and battery.
As the dernier resort, it was agreed, on the 23d of June, that Captain Warren, with the boats from the men of war, the two sloops hired by General Oglethorpe, and the Carolina vessels, with their militia, should attack the half-galleys; and, at a given signal, the General should attack the trenches.
This was a desperate measure; for the whole of the troops belonging to the besiegers, including even the seamen, were much inferior in number to the garrison. The town was also covered on one side by a castle, with four bastions, and fifty pieces of cannon; from whence was run an intrenchment, flanked with several salient angles to Fort Coovo, on the river Sebastian. This intrenchment consisted of the neck of land from the river Anastasia to that of St. Sebastian, and entirely covered the town from the island.
Upon this the General drew in all the strength that he possibly could, and sent for the garrison that he had left at Diego. Being joined by them and by the Creek Indians, and having made a sufficient number of fascines and short ladders, provided all other necessaries for attacking the intrenchments, and brought up thirty-six cohorns, he received notice that the Commodore had resolved to forego the attack; declaring, that, as the season of hurricanes was approaching, he judged it imprudent to hazard his Majesty's ships any longer on the coast.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXIV.]
On the departure of the fleet, the place was no longer blockaded on the sea side; of course the army began to despair of forcing the place to surrender. The provincials, under Colonel Vanderdussen, enfeebled by the heat of the climate, dispirited by fruitless efforts, and visited by sickness, marched away in large bodies. The General himself, laboring under a fever, and finding his men as well as himself worn out by fatigue, and rendered unfit for action, reluctantly abandoned the enterprise. On the fourth of July everything which he had on the island was reëmbarked, the troops transported to the continent, and the whole army began their march for Georgia; the Carolina regiment first, and the General with his troops in the rear. On this occasion a very notable answer of the Indian Chief is reported; for, being asked by some of the garrison to march off with them, "No!" said he, "I will not stir a foot till I see every man belonging to me marched off before me; for I have always been the first in advancing towards an enemy, and the last in retreating."
[Footnote 1: Dr. RAMSAY, the historian of South Carolina, with his usual frankness and impartiality, closes his narrative of this siege with the following remark. "On the 13th of August the Carolina regiment had reached Charlestown. Though not one of them had been killed by the enemy, their number was reduced, fourteen, by disease and accidents."]
[Footnote 2: London Magazine, Vol. XXVII. p. 23.]
"Thus ended the expedition against St. Augustine, to the great disappointment of both Georgia and Carolina. Many reflections were afterwards thrown out against General Oglethorpe for his conduct during the whole enterprise. He, on the other hand, declared that he had no confidence in the Provincials, for that they refused to obey his orders, and abandoned the camp, and returned home in large numbers, and that the assistance from the fleet failed him in the utmost emergency. To which we may add, the place was so strongly fortified both by nature and art, that probably the attempt must have failed though it had been conducted by the ablest officer, and executed by the best disciplined troops."
[Footnote 1: HARRIS's Voyage, II. 340.]
The difficulties which opposed his success, showed the courage that could meet, and the zeal that strove to surmount them; and, while we lament the failure, we perceive that it was owing to untoward circumstances which he could not have foreseen; and disappointments from a quarter whence he most confidently expected and depended upon continued cooperation and ultimate accomplishment. Referring to this, in a speech in the British house of Peers, the Duke of Argyle made these remarks: "One man there is, my Lords, whose natural generosity, contempt of danger, and regard for the public, prompted him to obviate the designs of the Spaniards, and to attack them in their own territories; a man, whom by long acquaintance I can confidently affirm to have been equal to his undertaking, and to have learned the art of war by a regular education, who yet miscarried in the design only for want of supplies necessary to a possibility of success."
[Footnote 1: "Laudari viris laudatis"—to be praised by men themselves renowned, is certainly the most valuable species of commendation.]
A writer, who had good authority for his opinion, declares, that," though this expedition was not attended with the success some expected from it, the taking the fortress of St. Augustine, it was, nevertheless, of no little consequence, inasmuch as it kept the Spaniards for a long time on the defensive, and the war at a distance; so that the inhabitants of Carolina felt none of its effects as a Colony, excepting the loss suffered by their privateers, till the Spaniards executed their long projected invasion in 1742, in which they employed their whole strength, and from which they expected to have changed the whole face of the Continent of North America; and, even then, the people of Carolina suffered only by their fears."
[Footnote 1: HARRIS's Voyages, Vol. II. page 340.]
In a letter to Lord Egmont, by Governor Belcher, dated Boston, May 24th, 1741, is this remark; "I was heartily sorry for the miscarriage of General Oglethorpe's attempt on Augustine, in which I could not learn where the mistake was, or to what it was owing, unless to a wrong judgment of the strength of the place, to which the force that attacked it, they say, was by no means equal. I wish that a part of Admiral Vernon's fleet and General Wentworth's forces may give it a visit, before the Spaniards sue for peace. It seems to me absolutely necessary for the quieting of the English possessions of Carolina and Georgia, that we should reduce Augustine to the obedience of the British crown, and keep it, as Gibraltar and Mahon."
[Footnote 1: Letter-book of his Excellency JONATHAN BELCHER, in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. V. p. 254.]
Oglethorpe pays particular attention to internal Improvements—Meets with many annoyances—The Creeks, under Toonahowi, make an incursion into Florida—The Spanish form a design upon Georgia—Some of their fleet appear on the coast—Oglethorpe prepares for defence—Applies to South Carolina for assistance—Spaniards attack Fort William—Dangerous situation of Oglethorpe—Spanish fleet enter the harbor and land on St. Simons—In three successive engagements they are defeated—A successful stratagem—Enemy defeated at Bloody Marsh— Retire and attack Fort William, which is bravely defended by Ensign Stewart—Spanish forces, repulsed in all their assaults, abandon the invasion in dismay, and return to St. Augustine and to Cuba.
Of the year 1741 but few memorials are to be found. Oglethorpe resided principally at Frederica; but occasionally visited Savannah; and, every where, and at all times, actively exerted his powers of persuasion, his personal influence, or his delegated authority to reconcile the jarring contests and restore the social accordance and peace of the community, while with vigilance and precaution he concerted measures to guard the Colony against the threatening purposes of the Spaniards. In reference to his peculiar trials and vexatious annoyances, are the following remarks, copied from a letter of a gentleman at Savannah, deeply read in the early history of the Colony.
[Footnote 1: WILLIAM B. STEVENS, M.D., letter, October 19,1840.]
"The difficulties with which General Oglethorpe had to contend, were peculiarly onerous and perplexing, not only with the Spanish foes,—with the restless Indians,—with the clamorous settlement,—with discontented troops,—with meagre supplies,—with the defection of Carolina,—with the protest of his bills, and with the refusal of a just naval protection;—but the officers of his regiment were at enmity with him and with each other, and crimination and recrimination followed, disturbing the peace, and weakening the efficiency of the military corps. At a Court Martial, held in the early part of January, 1739, composed of thirteen officers, they, in their letter, dated 12th of January, to the General speak thus—'2d. That we have observed a great spirit of mutiny among the soldiers, particularly those of Lieutenant Colonel Cochran's company,' and '3d. That by evidence given in Court, it appears to us that Lieutenant Colonel James Cochran was in the knowledge of, and concealed a mutiny.' The wonder is, that, with such opposing influences, and such discordant materials, he effected any thing. That he achieved so much, under such adverse circumstances, proves him to have been a firm, bold, intrepid, and sagacious man; to have possessed the most eminent military qualifications, and those sterling virtues which mock at the petty malice of the envious, and triumph over the machinations of malignity."
He was, also, fully aware that, as the Spanish of Florida and Cuba entertained no good will towards him, they would seek an opportunity to retaliate his "assault and battery," which, though it had proved on his part a failure, had been to them a grievous annoyance. He, therefore, kept scout-boats continually on the look out, to give notice of the approach to the coast of any armed vessel. On the 16th of August advice was conveyed to him that a large ship had come to anchor off the bar. He immediately sent out the boat to ascertain what it was; and it was perceived to be manned with Spaniards, with evidently hostile purpose. Whereupon he went on board the guard sloop to go in search of her; took, also, the sloop Falcon, which was in the service of the Province; and hired the schooner Norfolk, Captain Davis, to join the expedition. These vessels were manned by a detachment of his regiment under the following officers: viz.: Major Alexander Heron, Captain Desbrisay, Lieutenant Mackay, Lieutenant Tamser, Ensign Hogan, Ensign Sterling, and Ensigns Wemyss and Howarth, and Adjutant Maxwell; Thomas Eyre, Surgeon and Mate; six sergeants, six corporals, five drummers, and one hundred and twenty-five privates. Before they could get down to the bar, a sudden squall of wind and storm of thunder and rain came on; and when it cleared up the vessel was out of sight.
Unwilling, however, to lose the object of this equipment, on the next day he sailed directly towards St. Augustine in pursuit of the ship. On the 19th the Falcon sloop, being disabled, was sent back, with seventeen men of the regiment; and the General proceeded with the guard sloop and schooner. On the 21st, by day-break, they discovered a ship and a sloop at anchor, about four or five leagues distant; and, it being a dead calm, they rowed, till they came up to them, about noon, when they found one to be the black Spanish privateer sloop, commanded by a French officer, Captain Destrade, who had made several prizes to the northward; and the other to be a three-mast ship; both lying at anchor outside of the bar of St. Augustine. The General issued orders to board them, when the wind freshing up, and the English bearing down upon them, they began firing with great and small arms, and the English returning the fire, they immediately left their anchors, and run over the bar. The sloop and schooner pursuing them; and, though they engaged them for an hour and a quarter, they could not get on board. The Spanish vessels then run up towards the town; and as they were hulled, and seemed disabled, six half-galleys came down, and kept firing nine-pounders, but, by reason of the distance, the shot did not reach the sloop or schooner. That night the General came to anchor within sight of the castle of St. Augustine, and the next day sailed for the Matanzas; but, finding no vessel there, cruised off the bar of St. Augustine, and nothing coming out, the whole coast being thus alarmed, he returned to Frederica.
There were three ships, and one two-mast vessel lying within the harbor at the time that the English engaged the sloop and ship.
[Footnote 1: Annals of Europe, page 404.]
This summer one of the Georgia boats off Tybee saved a three-mast vessel which the Spaniards had abandoned, leaving eighteen Englishmen on board, after having barbarously scuttled her, and choked the pumps, that the men might sink with the ship; but the boat's men, getting on board in good time, saved the men and the ship.
It seems that the Creeks, in retaliation of some predatory and murderous outrages of the Florida outposts, made a descent upon them in return. This is referred to in the following extract from a letter of General Oglethorpe to the Duke of Newcastle, dated
Frederica, 12th of December, 1741.
"Toonahowi, the Indian who had the honor of your Grace's protection in England, with a party of Creek Indians, returned hither from making an incursion up to the walls of Augustine; near which they took Don Romualdo Ruiz del Moral, Lieutenant of Spanish horse, and nephew to the late Governor, and delivered him to me.
"The Governor of Augustine has sent the enclosed letter to me by some English prisoners; and, the prisoners there, the enclosed petition. On which I fitted out the vessels, and am going myself, with a detachment of the regiment, off the bar of Augustine, to demand the prisoners, and restrain the privateers."
In the early part of the year 1742, the Spaniards formed a design upon Georgia, on which, from the time of its settlement, they had looked with a jealous eye. For this end, in May, they fitted out an armament at Havanna, consisting of fifty-six sail, and seven or eight thousand men; but the fleet, being dispersed by a storm, did not all arrive at St. Augustine, the place of their destination. Don Manuel de Monteano, Governor of that fortress, and of the town and region it protected, had the command of the expedition.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXV.]
About the end of May, or beginning of June, the schooner, which had been sent out on a cruise by General Oglethorpe, returned with the information that there were two Spanish men of war, with twenty guns each, besides two very large privateers, and a great number of small vessels, full of troops, lying at anchor off the bar of St. Augustine. This intelligence was soon after confirmed by Captain Haymer, of the Flamborough man of war, who had fallen in with part of the Spanish fleet on the coast of Florida, and drove some vessels on shore.
Having been apprized of this, the General, apprehending that the Spaniards had in view some formidable expedition against Georgia or Carolina, or perhaps both, wrote to the Commander of his Majesty's ships, in the harbor of Charlestown, urging him to come to his assistance. Lieutenant Maxwell, the bearer, arrived and delivered the letter on the 12th of June. Directly afterwards he sent Lieutenant Mackay to Governor Glenn, of South Carolina, requesting his military aid with all expedition; and this despatch reached him on the 20th. He then laid an embargo upon all the shipping in Georgia; and sent messages to his faithful Indian allies, who gathered to his assistance with all readiness.
And now the design of the Spaniards was manifest. On the 21st of June the fleet appeared on the coast; and nine sail of vessels made an attempt on Amelia Island, but were so warmly received by the cannon from Fort William, and the guard-schooner of fourteen guns and ninety men, commanded by Captain Dunbar, that they sheered off. When the General was informed of this attack, he resolved to support the fortifications on Cumberland Island; and set out with a detachment of the regiment in three boats; but was obliged to make his way through fourteen sail of vessels. This was very venturesome, and, indeed, was considered as presumptuously hazardous. For, had a shot from one of the galleys struck the boat in which he was, so as to disable or sink it, or had he been overtaken by a gun-boat from the enemy, the colonial forces would have become the weakly resisting victims of Spanish exasperated revenge. But by keeping to the leeward, and thus taking advantage of the smoke, he escaped the firing and arrived in safety.
After having withdrawn the command from St. Andrews, and removed the stores and artillery that were there, and reinforced Fort William, where he left one of the boats, he returned to St. Simons.
[Footnote 1: These two Forts were on Cumberland Island.]
He now sent another express to the Governor of South Carolina, by Mr. Malryne, informing him of his situation, and urging the necessity of a reinforcement. This application was not promptly complied with, in consequence of an unfortunate prejudice arising from the failure of his attempt upon St. Augustine. But as Georgia had been a great barrier against the Spaniards, whose conquest of it would be hazardous to the peace and prosperity of South Carolina, "it was thought expedient to fit out some vessels to cruise down the coast, and see what could be done for its relief."
[Footnote 1: WILLIAMS's History of Florida, p. 185.]
In the perilous emergency to which he was reduced, Oglethorpe took, for the King's service, the merchant ship of twenty guns, called the Success,—a name of auspicious omen,—commanded by Captain Thompson, and manned it from the small vessels which were of no force. He also called in the Highland company from Darien, commanded by Captain McIntosh; the company of rangers; and Captain Carr's company of marines.
On the 28th of June the Spanish fleet appeared off the bar below St. Simons; but from their precaution for taking the soundings and ascertaining the channel, was delayed coming in, or landing any of the troops, for several days; in which time "the General raised another troop of rangers; and, by rewarding those who did extraordinary duty, and offering advancement to such as should signalize themselves on this occasion, he kept up the spirits of the people, and increased the number of enlistments." He was placed, indeed, in a most critical situation; but he bore himself with great presence of mind, and summoned to the emergency a resolution which difficulties could not shake, and brought into exercise energies which gathered vigor from hindrance, and rendered him insensible to fatigue, and unappalled by danger. This self-collected and firm state of mind, made apparent in his deportment and measures, produced a corresponding intrepidity in all around him; inspired them with confidence in their leader; and roused the determined purpose with united efforts to repel their invaders.
[Footnote 1: The passages distinguished by inverted commas, without direct marginal reference, are from the official account.]
At this critical juncture, his own services were multiplied and arduous; for Lieutenant Colonel Cook, who was Engineer, having gone to Charlestown, on his way to London, the General was obliged to execute that office himself, sometimes on ship-board, and sometimes at the batteries. He therefore found himself under the necessity of assigning the command to some one on station, during his occasional absences; and accordingly appointed Major Alexander Heron; raising him to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
[Footnote 1: We shall see, in the sequel, that the absence of this officer, whatever its pretence, was with treacherous purpose, as may be surmised by the following extract from a letter to the Duke of Newcastle, dated 30th of July, 1741; where, mentioning the despatches sent to Governor Glen, earnestly requesting some military aid, the General informs his Grace that "Lieutenant Colonel Cook, who was engineer, and was then at Charlestown, hastened away to England; and his son-in-law, Ensign Erye, sub-engineer, was also in Charlestown, and did not arrive here till the action was over; so, for want of help, I was obliged to do the duty of an engineer."]
On Monday, the 5th of July, with a leading gale and the flood of tide, a Spanish fleet of thirty-six sail, consisting of three ships of twenty guns, two large snows, three schooners, four sloops, and the rest half-galleys, with landsmen on board, entered the harbor; and, after exchanging a brisk fire with the fort, for four hours, passed all the batteries and shipping, proceeded up the river. The same evening the forces were landed upon the island, a little below Gascoigne's plantation. A red flag was hoisted on the mizzen-top of the Admiral's ship, and a battery was erected on the shore, in which were planted twenty eighteen-pounders. On this, the General, having done all he could to annoy the enemy, and prevent their landing, and finding that the Fort at St. Simons had become indefensible, held a council of war at the head of his regiment; and it was the opinion of the whole that the fort should be dismantled, the guns spiked up, the cohorns burst, and that the troops there stationed should immediately repair to Frederica, for its defence. He accordingly gave orders for them to march, and sent for all the troops that were on board the vessels to come on shore.
As his only measures must be on the defensive, "he sent scouting parties in every direction to watch the motions of the enemy; while the main body were employed in working at the fortifications, making them as strong as circumstances would admit."
[Footnote 1: McCALL, I. 179.]
The Creek Indians brought in five Spanish prisoners, from whom was
obtained information that Don Manuel de Monteano, the Governor of
St. Augustine, commanded in chief; that Adjutant General Antonio de
Rodondo, chief engineer, and two brigades, came with the forces from
Cuba; and that their whole number amounted to about five thousand men.
Detachments of the Spaniards made several attempts to pierce through the woods, with a view to attack the fort; but were repulsed by lurking Indians. The only access to the town was what had been cut through a dense oak wood, and then led on the skirt of the forest along the border of the eastern marsh that bounded the island eastward. This was a defile so narrow, that the enemy could take no cannon with them, nor baggage, and could only proceed two abreast. Moreover, the Spanish battalions met with such obstruction from the deep morasses on one side, and the dark and tangled thickets on the other, and such opposition from the Indians and ambushed Highlanders, that every effort failed, with considerable loss.
On the morning of the 7th of July, Captain Noble Jones, with a small detachment of regulars and Indians, being on a scouting party, fell in with a number of Spaniards, who had been sent to reconnoitre the route, and see if the way was clear, surprised and made prisoners of them. From these, information was received that the main army was on the march. This intelligence was immediately communicated, by an Indian runner, to the General, who detached Captain Dunbar with a company of grenadiers, to join the regulars; with orders to harass the enemy on their way. Perceiving that the most vigorous resistance was called for, with his usual promptitude he took with him the Highland company, then under arms, and the Indians, and ordered four platoons of the regiment to follow. They came up with the vanguard of the enemy about two miles from the town, as they entered the savannah, and attacked them so briskly that they were soon defeated, and most of their party, which consisted of one hundred and twenty of their best woodsmen and forty Florida Indians were killed or taken prisoners. The General took two prisoners with his own hands; and Lieutenant Scroggs, of the rangers, took Captain Sebastian Sachio, who commanded the party. During the action Toonahowi, the nephew of Tomo Chichi, who had command of one hundred Indians, was shot through the right arm by Captain Mageleto, which, so far from dismaying the young warrior, only fired his revenge. He ran up to the Captain, drew his pistol with his left hand, shot him through the head, and, leaving him dead on the spot, returned to his company.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, XII. 497.]
The General pursued the fugitives more than a mile, and then halted on an advantageous piece of ground, for the rest of the troops to come up, when he posted them, with the Highlanders, in a wood fronting the road through the plain by which the main body of the Spaniards, who were advancing, must necessarily pass. After which he returned, with all speed, to Frederica, and ordered the rangers and boat-men to make ready, and all to use their utmost endeavors to resist the invaders.
During his temporary absence on this pressing emergency, Captain Antonio Barba, and two other Captains with one hundred grenadiers, and two hundred foot, besides Indians and negroes, advanced from the Spanish camp into the savannah with drums and huzzas, and halted within an hundred paces of the position where the troops left by Oglethorpe lay in ambuscade. They immediately stacked their arms, made fires, and were preparing their kettles for cooking, when a horse observed some of the concealed party, and, frightened at the uniform of the regulars, began to snort. This gave the alarm. The Spaniards ran to their arms, but were shot down in great numbers by their invisible assailants; and, after repeated attempts to form, in which some of their principal officers fell, they decamped with the utmost precipitation, leaving the camp equipage on the field. So complete was the surprise, that many fled without their arms; others, in a rapid retreat, discharged their muskets over their shoulders at their pursuers; and many were killed by the loaded muskets that had been left on the ground. Generally the Spaniards fired so much at random, that the trees were pruned by the balls from their muskets.
[Footnote 1: McCALL's History, I. 185.]
The General, returning with all expedition, heard the report of the musketry, and rode towards it; and, near two miles from the place of action, met some platoons, who, in the heat of the fight, the air being so darkened by the smoke that they could not see where to direct their fire, and a heavy shower of rain falling, had retired in disorder. He ordered them to rally and follow him, apprehending that immediate relief might be wanting. He arrived just as the battle ceased; and found that Lieutenant Sutherland, with his platoon, and Lieutenant Charles Mackay, had entirely defeated the enemy.
In this action Don Antonio de Barba, their leader, was made a prisoner, but mortally wounded. "In both actions, the Spaniards lost four captains, one Lieutenant, two sergeants, two drummers, and more than an hundred and fifty privates. One captain, one corporal, and twenty men were taken prisoners. The rest fled to the woods, where many of them were killed by the Indians, who brought in their scalps."
[Footnote 1: From the great slaughter, the scene of this action has ever since been called "the bloody marsh."]
Captain Demerey and ensign Gibbon being arrived, with the men they had rallied, Lieutenant Cadogan with the advanced party of the regiment, and soon after the whole regiment, Indians and rangers, the General marched down to a causeway over a marsh, very near the Spanish camp, over which all were obliged now to pass; and thereby stopped those who had been dispersed in the fight, from getting back to the Spanish camp. Having passed the night there, the Indian scouts in the morning got so near the Spanish place of encampment, as to ascertain that they had all retired into the ruins of the fort, and were making intrenchments under shelter of the cannon of the ships. Not deeming it prudent to attack them while thus defended, he marched back to Frederica, to refresh the soldiers; and sent out parties of Indians and rangers to harass the enemy. He now, at a general staff, appointed Lieutenant Hugh Mackay and Lieutenant Maxwell, Aids de camp, and Lieutenant Sutherland, Brigade Major.
While signal instances of heroism were thus honored, he warned the troops of the necessity of union and vigilance, of prompt attention to orders, and of maintaining an unflinching firmness in every emergency; for in these, under God, depended their safety.
Although he thus encouraged others, he was himself filled with perplexity. He began to despair of any help from Carolina. His provisions were bad and scarce, and, while the enemy commanded the river and the harbor, no supplies could be expected. Of all this, however, he gave no intimation, but, firm and self-possessed, submitted to the same fare with the meanest soldier, exposed himself to as great fatigue, and often underwent greater privations. At the same time his fixed resolution and irrepressible zeal in the defence and protection of his people, nerved him to further and even greater exertions.
On the 11th the great galley and two small ones, approached within gun-shot of the town; but they were repulsed by guns and bombs from the fort, and the General followed them in his cutter, with attendant boats, well manned, till he got under the cannon of their ships, which lay in the sound.
This naval approach, as appeared afterwards, was in consequence of a concerted plot. It seems that, at the commencement of the siege of St. Augustine, a Spanish officer quitted one of the outer forts and surrendered himself to Oglethorpe, who detained him prisoner of war. He was readily communicative, and gave what was supposed important information. After the close of the war, he might have been exchanged; but he chose to remain, pretending that the Spaniards looked upon him as a traitor. He, at length, so artfully insinuated himself into favor with the magnanimous Oglethorpe, that he was treated with great courtesy. On this invasion he begged permission to retire into the northern colonies of the English, saying that he apprehended that if he should fall into the hands of the Spaniards, they would deal rigorously with him. The General, not being aware of any treacherous design, gave him a canoe to go up the river till he was out of danger; whence he might proceed by land to some back settlement. Some days past and he came back to Frederica, pretending that he could not make his way through, nor by, the fleet without being discovered and captured. Most fortunately, some days after his return, an English prisoner, who had escaped from one of the ships of war, acquainted the General with the treachery of this officer, assuring him that he had been aboard at such a time, and talked over his insidious project of setting fire to the arsenal which contained all the powder and military stores, and that its explosion should be the signal to the Spanish galleys to approach, and, in the confusion of the occasion, make an assault upon the fort. This disclosure confirmed suspicions which had been excited by some of his management since his return; and he was put under guard. In consequence of this precaution, the concerted signal could not be given; and the ruinous project was most happily defeated.
[Footnote 1: URLSPURGER, IV. p. 1260.]
July 12th, two English prisoners who had effected an escape, one from the fleet, and one from the camp, informed the General that the Spaniards, not having anticipated such vigorous resistance, had become restless and dispirited, especially since they had ascertained by their roll how great was their loss of men; and that the state of the wounded was distressing. They added that these discomfitures were increased by the want of water on board the ships, which was so great that the troops were put upon half allowance, which, in this hot weather was a grievous deprivation, and that several, from the effect of the climate, were sick and unfit for service. They apprized him, also, that they had holden a council of war, in which there were great divisions, insomuch that the troops of Cuba separated from those of Augustine, and encamped at a distance near the woods.
This latter circumstance suggested the idea of attacking them while divided; and his perfect knowledge of the woods favored the project of surprising one of their encampments. In furtherance of this design, he drew out three hundred regular troops, the Highland company, the rangers, and Indians, and marched in the night, unobserved within a mile and a half of the Spanish camp. There his troops halted, and he advanced at the head of a select corps to reconnoitre the enemy. While he was using the utmost circumspection to obtain the necessary information without being discovered, an occurrence of the most villanous nature, disconcerted the project. As the particulars of this have been variously narrated, I am happy in being enabled to give the General's own account of the affair. In his official despatch to the Duke of Newcastle, dated at Frederica, in Georgia, 30th of July, 1742, he says,—"A Frenchman who, without my knowledge was come down among the volunteers, fired his gun, and deserted. Our Indians in vain pursued, but could not take him. Upon this, concluding that we should be discovered, I divided the drums into different parts, and they beat the Grenadier's march for about half an hour; then ceased, and we marched back in silence. The next day I prevailed with a prisoner, and gave him a sum of money to carry a letter privately, and deliver it to that Frenchman who had deserted. This letter was written in French, as if from a friend of his, telling him he had received the money; that he should try to make the Spaniards believe the English were weak; that he should undertake to pilot up their boats and galleys, and then bring them under the woods, where he knew the hidden batteries were; that if he could bring that about he should have double the reward he had already received; and that the French deserters should have all that had been promised to them. The Spanish prisoner got into their camp, and was immediately carried before the General, Don Manuel de Monteano. He was asked how he escaped, and whether he had any letters; but denying he had any, was strictly searched, and the letter found, and he, upon being pardoned, confessed that he had received money to deliver it to the Frenchman, (for the letter was not directed.) The Frenchman denied his knowing any thing of the contents of the letter, or having received any money, or correspondence with me. Notwithstanding which, a council of war was held, and they decreed the Frenchman to be a double spy; but General Monteano would not suffer him to be executed, having been employed by him. However they embarked all their troops with such precipitation that they left behind their cannon, &c., and those dead of their wounds, unburied."
[Footnote 1: Transcribed from the Georgia Historical documents, by my excellent friend T.K. TEFFT, Esq., of Savannah. The particulars of this singularly interesting ruse de guerre are detailed in all the accounts of the Spanish invasion; and in each with some variation, and in all rather more circumstantially than the above. See Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, p. 695; London Magazine for 1758, p. 80; HEWATT'S History of South Carolina, Vol. II. p. 117; McCALL'S History of Georgia, I. p. 184; RAMSAY'S History of the United States, I. 167, and MARSHALL'S History of the Colonies, p. 289.]
The Spanish General now deemed it expedient to relinquish a plan of conquest attended with so many difficulties, and the further prosecution of which would put to hazard the loss of both army and fleet, and perhaps of the whole Province of Florida.
"On the 14th of July the Spaniards burned all the works and houses on the south end of St. Simons and Jekyl islands.
"On the 15th the large vessels, with the Cuba forces on board, stood out to sea; and the Governor and troops from St. Augustine embarked in the galleys and small vessels, and took the inland passage, and encamped on the north end of Cumberland island, at Fort St. Andrews.
"The next day the General pursued the enemy, and, landing where they had encamped, sent an express in the night to Ensign Alexander Stewart, who commanded at Fort William, directing him, in case of an attack, to defend the place to the last extremity; and that he would reinforce him early the next day. At day-light twenty-eight sail of the Spanish line appeared off Fort William, fourteen of which came into the harbor, and demanded a surrender of the garrison. Stewart replied that it should not be surrendered, and could not be taken. They attacked the works from their galleys and other vessels, and attempted to land; but were repulsed by a party of rangers, who had arrived by a forced march down the island. Stewart, with only sixty men, defended the fort with such bravery, that, after an assault of three hours, the enemy discovering the approach of Oglethorpe, put to sea, with considerable loss. Two galleys were disabled and abandoned; and the Governor of St. Augustine proceeded with his troops by the inward passage. Ensign Stewart was rewarded, by promotion, for the bravery of his defence."
[Footnote 1: McCall, Vol. I. p.188.]
"On the 20th, General Oglethorpe sent his boats and rangers as far as the river St. John. They returned the next day with the information that the enemy were quite gone."
A few days after, the armed ships from South Carolina came to St. Simons; but the need of them was then over; and even of the British men of war upon the American station, though they had a month's notice, none appeared upon the coast of Georgia until after the Spanish troops were all embarked, and their fleet was upon its return to Havana and to St. Augustine.
In the account of the Spanish invasion, by the Saltzburg preachers at Ebenezer, are these very just reflections: "Cheering was the intelligence that the Spaniards, with all their ships of war and numerous military force, had raised the siege in shame and disgrace, and retired to Augustine! Doubtless they feared lest English ships of war should approach and draw them into a naval combat, for which they could have no desire. Nay, they feared, no doubt, that their own Augustine would suffer from it."
Devoutly acknowledging the protecting and favoring providence of God in this wonderful deliverance from a most formidable invading foe, General Oglethorpe appointed a day of Thanksgiving to be observed by the inhabitants of the Colony.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. XXVI.]
Thus was the Province of Georgia delivered, when brought to the very brink of destruction by a formidable enemy. Don Manuel de Monteano had been fifteen days on the small island of St. Simons, without gaining the least advantage over a handful of men; and, in the several skirmishes, had lost a considerable number of his best troops, while Oglethorpe's loss was very inconsiderable.
[Footnote 1: McCALL, I. 188.]
The writer of a letter from Charlestown, South Carolina, has this remark; "that nearly five thousand men, under the command of so good an officer as the Governor of St. Augustine, should fly before six or seven hundred men, and about one hundred Indians, is matter of astonishment to all."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine for 1742, p. 895. See also Appendix,
No. XXVII. for an account of the forces.]
The Rev. Mr. Whitefield, in a letter to a noble Lord, says, "The deliverance of Georgia from the Spaniards, one of my friends writes me, is such as cannot be paralleled but by some instances out of the Old Testament. I find that the Spaniards had cast lots, and determined to give no quarter. They intended to have attacked Carolina, but, wanting water, they put into Georgia, and so would take that Colony on their way. But the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Providence ruleth all things. They were wonderfully repelled and sent away before our ships were seen." "A little band chased a thousand; and a small one overcome a large people."
[Footnote 1: Letters, V.I. let. CCCCLXXXIX. p. 467.]
The writer of the History of the rise, progress, and settlement of the Colony of Georgia, so often quoted in this chapter, closes his account of this invasion with the following remark: "Instead of raising and heightening their success, to do honor to the General's character; we ought rather to lessen or diminish some of the circumstances, to render it, in such an age as this, more credible. But we have taken no liberties at all. The facts are represented, step by step, as they happened; and the reader left to make his own inferences, estimate, and opinion."
[Footnote 1: HARRIS's Voyages, II. 345.]
The Governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, addressed letters to Oglethorpe, "congratulating him upon the important services rendered to the Colonies; and assuring him of the interest which they felt in the honor he had acquired by his indefatigable exertions, constant exposure, extraordinary courage, and unequalled military conduct; and offering their humble thanks to the Supreme Governor of nations for placing the fate of the Southern Colonies under the direction of a General so well qualified for the important trust."
[Footnote 1: For some of the letters see the work last quoted.]
Oglethorpe, informed that the Spaniards were making preparations for a renewal of hostilities, takes measures to repel them—Meets with an alarming accident—Lands on the Florida side of St. John's—Proceeds towards St. Augustine—The Spanish do not venture out to attack him—Returns to the Islands—Sees that the Forts are repaired—Takes passage to England to attend a Court Martial on an insidious charge against him by Lieutenant Cook—Is honorably acquitted, and Cook is dismissed from the service.
In the beginning of the year 1743, General Oglethorpe, having had information that the Spaniards of St. Augustine were making preparations for another invasion of Georgia, took measures to repel it; and set out, at the head of a force consisting of a company of grenadiers, a detachment of his own regiment, the Highlanders, and the Georgia rangers, and a numerous collection of Indians.
[Footnote 1: "They were so apprehensive of this at South Carolina, that the fortifications of Charlestown were repaired and augmented." BOYSE's Historical Review, Vol. I. p. 381.]
He came very near being killed in his shallop, while sailing to reconnoitre St. Augustine; but Providence averted the fatality of the blow which he received. One of his cannon burst, and a piece of a sail-yard struck the head of the General, and so wounded him that the blood gushed from his ears and nose. The injury, happily, was not so great but that he soon collected himself, and cheered up his alarmed attendants.
[Footnote 1: URLSPURGER, IV. 2073.]
On the 6th of March he landed on the Florida side of St. John's river, and attacked a much more numerous party of the Spanish troops than that under his command, quartered at Fort Diego, forty of whom were killed in the engagement and pursuit, and the rest made their escape into the castle.
After this he proceeded to the neighborhood of St. Augustine; and, having placed the greatest part of his troops in ambuscade, marched with the rest almost to the walls of the fortress, in hopes that the Spaniards, upon seeing so small a party, would have sallied out to have engaged it, in which case he was resolved to have made a retreating fight, in order to draw the enemy into the ambush which he had prepared for them. But, it seems, that by accident they discovered the concealment of the troops, and deemed it prudent to remain in their stronghold. This stratagem having been frustrated, Oglethorpe, perceiving that an assault would be unavailing, marched back to the river, where he continued for some time, expecting that the enemy would come out, and endeavor to drive him from their territory, but, as they made not the attempt, and as the affairs of the Colony as well as his own, required his presence in England, he returned, to make arrangements for going thither.
Having seen that the fortifications on St. Simons and the other islands were repaired and greatly improved, Oglethorpe took passage on the 23d of July, 1743, in the guard-ship commanded by Captain Thompson, having with him Colonel Heron, Mr. Eyre, sub-engineer, and several others belonging to the regiment, and arrived in London on the 25th of September, where his personal presence was required to meet and answer an impeachment lodged against him in the War-office by Lieutenant Colonel William Cook. As soon as Oglethorpe arrived, he insisted that the allegations should be examined by a board of General Officers; but, as Cook gave in a list of several persons in Georgia and some in South Carolina, who, he said, were material witnesses, no investigation could be had till they should be heard. In consequence of this, and other delays, the Court Martial was not opened till the 4th of June, 1744. It continued two days in session; when, after a strict scrutiny into the complaint, article by article of the nineteen specific charges, the board were of opinion that "the whole and every article thereof was groundless, false, and malicious." On the presentation of the Report to his Majesty he was pleased to order that the said Lieutenant Colonel Cook should be dismissed the service.
This indictment by one who had been treated with great kindness, and who owed his preferment to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to the particular favor of the General, was not only ungrateful, but insidious and base.
The faithful Annalist of America, the Reverend Doctor Holmes, closes his reference to this transaction with this just and honorable reflection: "By the decision of this board, the character of this able General now appeared in resplendent light; and his contemporaries acknowledged, what impartial history must record, that to him Carolina was indebted for her safety and repose, as well as Georgia for existence and protection."
[Footnote 1: American Annals, II. 19.]
And here closes the history of the settlement of Georgia; in a great degree the project and the furtherance of one man, who must be allowed to possess the foremost rank among those, who, by well-concerted plans, and judicious and persevering measures for their accomplishment, have high claims on public gratitude, as warm and devoted patriots, and enlightened philanthropists. Embracing in one comprehensive view the effectual relief of the reduced or neglected, the planting of a Colony, and the promotion of its progressive improvement and welfare, it is the appropriate praise of the founder of Georgia, that, with a sagacity and foresight which are never sufficiently to be admired, a zeal and fortitude never exceeded, and a devotedness to the object which never relaxed, he commenced and carried on the arduous enterprise.
In "An account, showing the progress of the Colony of Georgia in
America from its first establishment; published by order of the
Honorable, the Trustees," London, 1741, is the following eulogy of
Oglethorpe, made by those who best knew how truly it was deserved.
"A Gentleman who may be justly termed the Romulus, father and founder of Georgia; a gentleman who, without any view but that of enlarging his Majesty's dominions, propagating the Protestant religion, promoting the trade of his country, and providing for the wants and necessities of indigent christians, has voluntarily banished himself from the pleasures of a Court, and exposed himself repeatedly to the dangers of the vast Atlantic ocean in several perilous and tedious voyages; instead of allowing himself the satisfaction which a plentiful fortune, powerful friends, and great merit entitle him to in England, has inured himself to the greatest hardships that any the meanest inhabitant of this new Colony could be exposed to; his diet has been mouldy bread, or boiled rice instead of bread, salt beef, pork, &c., his drink has been water; and his bed the damp earth, without any other covering than the canopy of heaven to shelter him: and all this to set an example to this new Colony how they might bear with such hardships in their new settlement."
A recent publication bestows also a tribute of commendation, in the following terms: "As governor of the new Colony, he was exposed to numberless difficulties and vexations; but persevered with great ardor in the scheme, and expended large sums out of his private fortune with a view to ensure its success."
[Footnote 1: GEORGIAN AERA; or Memoirs of the most eminent persons who have flourished in Great Britain from the accession of George I. to the death of George IV. Lond. 1834. 4 vol. Vol. II. p. 43.]
I give, also, an extract from "lines to General Oglethorpe, on the settlement of Georgia," published in the South Carolina Gazette, June, 1733.
"The fame of Tyrants should, if justice swayed,
Be bowled through deserts their ambition made;
But OGLETHORPE has gained a well-earned praise,
Who made the heirs of want, the lords of ease:
The gloomy wood to plenteous harvests changed,
And founded cities where the wild beasts ranged.
Then may the great reward assigned by fate
Crown his own wish to see the work complete!"
Oglethorpe's residence in England—Marriage—Military appointments—A Major General under the Duke of Cumberland for the suppression of the rebellion in 1745—Arraigned at a Court Martial and acquitted—Domestic and social life, and character—Death.
Having accomplished the great design of settling the Colony of Georgia, watched over its nascent feebleness, cherished its growth, defended it from invasion, vindicated its rights, and advanced its interests and welfare, Oglethorpe resigned the superintendence and government into other hands, and retired to his country seat at Godalming, "to rest under the shade of his own laurels."
In March, 1744, he was appointed one of the officers under Field
Marshal, the Earl of Stair, to oppose the expected invasion from
Having been so happy as to form a tender attachment to an amiable lady, which was reciprocated, he married, on the 15th of September, 1744, Elizabeth, the only daughter of Sir Nathan Wright, Baronet, of Cranham Hall, Essex.
[Footnote 1: On this occasion some congratulatory verses were written by the Rev. MOSES BROWN, and printed in the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XIV. p. 558.]
His chief residence was at his country seat; but he spent his winters in the venerable family mansion in St. James, Westminster, London, to attend his duties as member of Parliament and enjoy the society of men of the first respectability for rank, talents, and literature.
On the 25th of March, 1745, he was promoted to the rank of Major General; and the Rebellion breaking out in that year, he was placed at the head of four companies of cavalry, one of which bore the title of "Georgia Rangers." They had been raised at the expense of some loyal individuals, to act against the insurgents; "and," (says an Historian who had the best authority for the declaration,) "they did very signal service to their country." Their uniform was blue, faced with red; and they wore green cockades. They did not encamp with the foot, but were quartered in the towns.
[Footnote 1: Marshal Wade, the Commander in Chief, had under him
the following officers, viz.: Lieutenant Generals Lord Tyrawly, and
Wentworth; the Major Generals Howard, Huske, and Oglethorpe; and the
Brigadier Generals Mordaunt and Chemondelly.]
[Footnote 2: See Impartial History of the Rebellion in 1745, from authentic memoirs, particularly the Journal of a General Officer; and other original papers; with the characters of the persons principally concerned. By SAMUEL BOYSE. 8vo. Dublin. 1748. p. 80.]
As this expedition was commenced late in the fall, the King's troops were retarded in their operations by the rigor of the season, their late forced marches, and a most uncomfortable diarrhoea, which prevailed among the soldiers; but good quarters, proper refreshments, and the extraordinary care of their officers, relieved these difficulties, and put the army into so good a condition as enabled them to go through the campaign with fewer inconveniences and much less loss than could reasonably be expected, considering the great hardships and excessive fatigues to which they were exposed.
As soon as Marshal Wade had intelligence at Newcastle of the route which the rebels had taken, he resolved, notwithstanding the severity of the season, to march thence to the relief of Carlisle. Accordingly, on the 16th of November, the army began to move for that purpose. His Excellency intended to have begun his march as soon as it was light; but, moving from the left, the troops which had the van, delayed their motions several hours, to the great prejudice of the expedition; for the weather being extremely cold, and the travelling impeded by a deep snow, or made rough by frozen ground, the troops suffered very much. The Major Generals Howard and Oglethorpe, and the Brigadiers, Cholmondley and Mordaunt, marched on foot at the head of the infantry to encourage the soldiers. It was eight at night and very dark before the front line got into the camp at Ovington; and though the soldiers resolutely pressed forward, yet, the roads being terribly broken and full of ice, it was foreseen that many of the last column might drop, through excessive fatigue; and therefore the Major Generals Huske and Oglethorpe sent out countrymen with lights and carts to assist the rear guard, and bring up the tired men. In this service they were employed till near nine the next morning.
On the 17th the Marshal continued his march to Hexham, where he arrived, with the first line, about four in the afternoon, but the rear of the army did not come up till near midnight. Having received intelligence that Carlisle had surrendered, he resolved to march back to Newcastle; but, the weather continuing bad, and the roads become in a manner impassable, he did not arrive there with his army till the 16th; and, even then, the forces under his command were so exhausted by fatigue, and lamed by travelling, that, if it had not been for the great care taken of them by the people of Newcastle, they must have been, not only disheartened, but disqualified for service.
In the meantime the Duke of Cumberland's army was forming in Staffordshire; for, upon the approach of the Rebels, it was resolved that his Royal Highness should be sent down to command the forces in that part of the kingdom; and he arrived at Litchfield on the 28th of November.
Towards the latter end of the month, the army, under the command of Marshal Wade, began to move; the cavalry having reached Darlington and Richmond by the 25th. On the 29th the infantry was at Persbridge, whence he proposed to march to Wetherby, and there canton the whole army in the adjacent villages; looking upon this as the most convenient station either for distressing the enemy, should they attempt to retire, or for cooperating with the forces of his Royal Highness, as occasion should render necessary.
On the 8th of December the Marshal held a council of war, at Ferry-bridge, to consider of the most effectual means for cutting off the Highlanders on their retreat; and, in this council it was resolved to march directly to Wakefield and Halifax into Lancashire, as the most likely way of intercepting the rebels. Having arrived at Wakefield on the 10th, and having advice that the main body of the rebels was at Manchester, and their van-guard moving from thence towards Preston, and finding that it was now impossible to come up with them, he judged it unnecessary to fatigue the forces by hard marches, and, therefore, detaching Major General Oglethorpe, on the 11th, with the cavalry under his command, he began the march, with the rest of the forces to Newcastle. On the 13th a great body of the horse and dragoons under Oglethorpe arrived at Preston, having marched a hundred miles in three days over roads naturally bad, and at that time almost impassable with snow and ice; "which," says the Historian, "was a noble testimony of zeal and spirit, especially in the new raised forces."
His Royal Highness immediately gave his orders for continuing the pursuit of the rebels, with the utmost diligence. Accordingly Oglethorpe advanced towards Lancaster; which place the Duke reached on the 16th. Oglethorpe, continuing his pursuit at the heels of the rebels, arrived on the 17th in front of a village called Shap, where their rear was supposed to be, just before night-fall, in very bad weather. Here he held a consultation with his officers, in which it was decided that the lateness of the hour, and the exhaustion of the troops, rendered it inexpedient to make the attack that night. He, therefore, entered the neighboring village to obtain forage, and to refresh. Meanwhile the Duke pressed on; and, next morning, when he came to Shap, found that it had been abandoned by the rebels; but was surprised at seeing on his right, towards the rear, an unexpected body of troops. It turned out to be Oglethorpe's corps, which, from being the van-guard of the army, had thus unaccountably become the rear. Vexed at the disappointing occurrence, he caused Oglethorpe to be arraigned before a Court Martial, for having "lingered on the road." His trial came on at the Horse-guards on the 29th of September, and ended the 7th of October, 1746; when "he was honorably acquitted, and his Majesty was graciously pleased to confirm the sentence."
[Footnote 1: See London Gazette for October 20th, 1746; and the Memoir in European Magazine for 1785.
CROKER, in a note to his edition of BOSWELL's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. page 97, says that "though acquitted, he was never again employed. It is by no means surprising that this neglect should have mortified a man of Oglethorpe's sensibility; and it is to be inferred, from Mr. Boswell's expressions, that, late in life, he had in vain solicited for 'some mark of distinction, 'to heal his wounded feelings." The last intimations are confuted by the advancements in military rank stated in the following pages of these memorials. The "mark of distinction," deserved, perhaps expected, but certainly not "solicited," might be that of Knight, a title worn by his father, as also by the father of his wife.]
As a still higher proof that he stood high in public estimation, on the 13th of September, 1747, he was made Brigadier General in the British army.
On the establishment of the British Herring Fishery, in 1750, he took a very considerable part, and became one of the Council; in which situation, on the 25th of October he delivered to the Prince of Wales the Charter of incorporation in a speech which was printed in the public journals.
In 1754 he was candidate for the borough of Haslemere, which he had represented in former Parliaments; but on the close of the poll, the numbers were found to be for J. Moore Molyneaux, 75; Philip Carteret Webb, 76; Peter Burrel, 46; and Oglethorpe only 45.
On February 22d, 1765, he was raised to the rank of General of all his Majesty's forces; and for many years before his death was the oldest general officer on the staff.
[Footnote 1: In the Army list, issued from the War Office, 20th July, 1781, and in STOCKDALE's Calendar for the year 1785, (the year of Oglethorpe's death,) both of which are now before me, his name is first on the list.]
Here, perhaps, is the proper place to introduce an anecdote given by Major McCall, in his History of Georgia, Vol. I. p. 325, too striking to be omitted. "At the commencement of the American Revolution, being the senior officer of Sir William Howe, he had the prior offer of the command of the forces appointed to subdue the Rebels. He professed his readiness to accept the appointment, 'if the Ministry would authorize him to assure the Colonies that justice should be done them.' His proposal appeared to be the result of humanity and equity. He declared that 'he knew the Americans well; that they never would be subdued by arms; but that obedience would be secured by doing them justice.' A man with these views was not a fit instrument for the British Government, and therefore, agreeably to his own request, he was permitted to remain at home."
McCALL refers to "the Annual Register," for his authority; but, after careful searching, I do not find the statement. The intermediate comments, and the last sentence, are undoubtedly the Major's. The anecdote is also related in RAMSAY's History of the United States, Vol. III. p. 166.
I much doubt, however, that an official offer was made to him, as he was too old to engage in such a service; and deem the statement not sufficiently authenticated to be relied on.
He continued to reside, principally, at Cranham Hall, in Essex, a fine country seat of which he became possessed by his marriage with the heiress of Sir Nathan Wright. In this beautiful retreat, favored with the enjoyment of uninterrupted health, the possession of worldly competence, and the heart-cheering comforts of connubial life, he looked back upon the chequered scene of his former services with lively gratitude that he had escaped so many dangers, and been an honored instrument of effecting so much good; and the present happy condition of his lot was heightened by its contrast with past hardships, fatigues, and perils.
He passed his winters in London, where he enjoyed the acquaintance and even intimacy of some of the most honorable and distinguished characters of the day. "A gentleman and a soldier, he united the virtue of chivalrous honor and magnanimity with the acquirements of learning and that love of polite literature which associated him with the first scholars of the age." One who knew him intimately has said, "This extraordinary person was as remarkable for his learning and taste, as for his other eminent qualities; and no man was more prompt, active, and generous in encouraging merit."
[Footnote 1: BOSWELL, in the of Johnson, Vol. I. p. 97, of CROKER'S edition.]
To the celebrated Dr. Johnson he was respectfully attached; and was fond of having him often as a guest. Boswell has detailed some pleasing particulars of these interviews; and, after relating one, adds in a note the following remarks: "Let me here pay a tribute of gratitude to the memory of that excellent person, my intimacy with whom was the more valuable to me, because my first acquaintance with him was unexpected and unsolicited. Soon after the publication of my 'Account of Corsica,' he did me the honor to call on me, and approaching me with a frank, courteous air, said, 'Sir, my name is Oglethorpe, and I wish to become acquainted with you.' I was not a little flattered to be thus addressed by an eminent man, of whom I had read in Pope from my early years,
"Or, driven by strong benevolence of soul,
Will fly like Oglethorpe from pole to pole."
"I was fortunate enough to be found worthy of his good opinion, insomuch that I was not only invited to make one of the many respectable companies whom he entertained at his table, but had a cover at his hospitable board every day when I happened to be disengaged; and in his society I never failed to enjoy learned and animated conversation, seasoned with genuine sentiments of virtue and religion."
[Footnote 1: Vol. III. p. 225.]
Dr. Warton, referring to Oglethorpe, says, "I had the pleasure of knowing him well;" and, in a note upon the couplet quoted from Pope, says, "Here are lines that will justly confer immortality on a man who well deserved so magnificent an eulogium. He was, at once, a great hero, and a great legislator. The vigor of his mind and body have seldom been equalled. The vivacity of his genius continued to great old age. The variety of his adventures, and the very different scenes in which he had been engaged, made me regret that his life has never been written. Dr. Johnson once offered to do it, if the General would furnish him the materials. Johnson had a great regard for him, for he was one of the first persons that highly, in all companies, praised his 'London.' His first campaign was made under Prince Eugene against the Turks, and that great General always spoke of Oglethorpe in the highest terms. But his settlement of the Colony of Georgia gave a greater lustre to his character than even his military exploits."
With Goldsmith, too, he was intimate. In the lately published biography of this poet by Prior, referring to the occasional relief contributed to him in his exigences, it is added, "Goldsmith was content, likewise, to be made the channel of conveyance for the bounty of others, as we find by a letter of General Oglethorpe, a distinguished and amiable man, at whose table he met with good society, and spent many agreeable hours, and who now, at an advanced period of life, displayed the same love for the good of mankind, in a private way, that he had exerted on a more extended scale." With the letter he sent five pounds, to be distributed in aid of a charitable institution, in whose behalf Goldsmith seems to have taken an active interest; and the letter concluded with this kindly expressed invitation; "If a farm, and a mere country scene will be a little refreshment from the smoke of London, we shall be glad of the happiness of seeing you at Cranham Hall."
[Footnote 1: Vol. II. p. 457.]
It is asserted that "his private benevolence was great. The families of his tenants and dependants were sure of his assistance whilst they deserved it; and he has frequently supported a tenant, whose situation was doubtful, not merely forbearing to ask for rent, but lending him money to go on with his farm."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1785, p. 518.]
Of his public liberality, repeated mention has been made in the course of this work, more particularly in the settlement of Georgia; in the furtherance of which he not only bore his own expenses, but procured various outfits. He also contributed pecuniary assistance and conferred favors to encourage exertion, or reward well doing. No one excelled him in those smaller attentions to the interests and gratification of his friends and acquaintance; which, though they do not of themselves constitute a great character, are, certainly, very pleasing recommendations of it.
It is not denied that he had his imperfections and errors; and some, for which the plea of human frailty alone may not be a sufficient excuse. He was rather passionate in his temper, impatient of contradiction, and quick in his resentments; but, upon any ingenuous concession, was placable and ready to admit an apology. To the humble offender he was reconcilable, and to the submissive, magnanimous. In the heyday of life, a soldierly pride, or military point of honor, sometimes betrayed him into indiscretions or involved him in rencounters, to which, as he became more mature in age and in judgment, a dignified sense of true greatness rendered him superior. Some instances of rashness have been noted by Walpole with unsparing vituperation; and some self-complacent or boasting sallies, have been pointed at by Croker with a sarcastic sneer. But, admitting that these were far from being venial faults, yet it would be very uncharitable now to recall them from the forgetfulness and forgiveness in which they have long been passed over; especially as they were fully redeemed by noble qualities and beneficent deeds. Surely, he who was celebrated by Pope and Thompson, honored by the Reverend Dr. Burton, vindicated and praised in Parliament by the excellent Duke of Argyle, and favored by the regards of Dr. Johnson, "the English moralist," must have had a large prevalence of what, in the opinion of the best judges, is estimable in disposition and conduct, and irreproachable in character!
[Footnote 1: "All the stories of Horace Walpole are to be received with great caution; but his Reminiscences, above all, written in his dotage, teem with the grossest inaccuracies and incredible assertions." LORD MAHON'S History of England. Lond. 1837. Vol. II. p. 174, note.]
[Footnote 2: This honored friend he outlived; and, while attending the sale of his library, February 18th, 1785, the fine characteristic portrait of him was taken by S. Ireland, an engraving of which makes the frontispiece of this volume.]
He had a pleasing talent at narrative, and when animated by the cheering attention of his friends, he would give full scope to it. Anecdotes of times past, incidents and scenes of his eventful life, and occurrences which had passed under his observation, when detailed by him at length, and set off with his amusing episodical remarks and illustrations, made him a most entertaining chronicler. These were sometimes enlivened with a sportive humor that gave a charm to the social hour, and contributed to the amusement of his guests and friends. If in his extreme old age he indulged in egotisms or loquacity, still his observations were those of one who had seen and read much, and was willing to communicate his acquired knowledge and the results of his observation and experience; and few who attended to him, did so without receiving information and entertainment. Even his old stories of his own acting, served to confirm what he said, and he made them better in the telling; so that he was rarely troublesome with the same tale told again, for he gave it an air of freshness.
Polite in his address and graceful in his manners, the gallant veteran was a favorite visiter in the parties of accomplished ladies that occasionally met at the house of Mrs. Montague, Mrs. Garrick, Mrs. Boscawen, and Mrs. Carter.—Hannah More, in a letter to her sister, in 1784, says, "I have got a new admirer; it is the famous General Oglethorpe, perhaps the most remarkable man of his time. He was foster-brother to the Pretender; and is much above ninety years old; the finest figure you ever saw. He perfectly realizes all my ideas of Nestor. His literature is great; his knowledge of the world extensive; and his faculties as bright as ever. He is one of the three persons still living who were mentioned by Pope; Lord Mansfield and Lord Marchmont are the other two. He was the intimate friend of Southern, the tragic poet, and all the wits of that time. He is, perhaps, the oldest man of a Gentleman living. I went to see him the other day, and he would have entertained me by repeating passages from Sir Eldred. He is quite a preux chevalier, heroic, romantic, and full of the old gallantry." In another letter, she mentions being in company with the General at Mrs. Vesey's, where the Dutchess of Portland and Mrs. Delany were present, and where "Mr. Burke talked a great deal of politics with General Oglethorpe. He told him, with great truth, that he looked upon him as a more extraordinary person than any he had ever read of, for he had founded the province of Georgia; had absolutely called it into existence, and had lived to see it severed from the Empire which created it, and become an independent State."
[Footnote 1: Life and Letters, Vol. I. p. 181.]
[Footnote 2: Ibid. 204.]
The late President, John Adams, saw Oglethorpe in 1785, a short time before his decease. Within a day or two after his arrival in London, as Ambassador from the United States, had been announced in the public prints, the General called upon him; as was very polite and complimentary. "He had come to pay his respects to the first American Ambassador and his Family, whom he was glad to see in England; expressed a great esteem and regard for America; much regret at the misunderstanding between the two countries; and felt very happy to have lived to see the termination of it." There was something peculiarly interesting in this interview. He who had planted Georgia, and provided for it during the earliest stages of its dependent condition as a Colony, held converse with him who had come to a Royal Court, the Representative of its NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE!
[Footnote 1: See a letter from President Adams to Dr. Holmes. Annals, Vol. II. p. 530.]
A writer in the year 1732, and within the month on which the charter for Georgia was issued, made the following remarks: "If the Trustees give liberty of Religion, establish the people free, fix an agrarian law, and go upon the glorious maxims of liberty and virtue, their Province, in the age of a man, by being the asylum of the unfortunate, will become more and more advantageous to Britain than the conquest of a kingdom." The suggestion here made was seasonable and judicious; and the prospective intimation was a prophecy, accomplished in a sense not imagined, and surely not anticipated by the writer. The Province did become, whilst its founder was yet living, and therefore "in the age of a man," a highly advantageous acquisition to Great Britain in a commercial relation; and, though dismembered from the Empire, an important independent State.
[Footnote 1: London Magazine for 1732, p. 198.]
This remarkable man, abstemious in his mode of living, regular in his habits, and using much exercise, enjoyed good health to extreme old age; and such was his activity, that he could outwalk persons more than half a century younger. At that period of advanced life, when the weight of years usually bears down the elasticity of the mind, he retained all that spring of intellect which had characterized the promptitude of earlier days; his bodily senses seemed but little impaired; and his eye-sight served him to the last.
He died at his seat at Cranham, of a violent fever, 30th of June, 1785.
"And dropt like Autumn fruit, which, ripening long,
Was wondered at because it fell no sooner."
[Footnote 1: The library of General Oglethorpe was sold by Calderwood in 1788. It comprised standard works of Ancient and Modern History, of the Drama, Poetry, and Polite Literature.]
The preceding pages have given details of some principal actions and exploits of a very remarkable man; whose projects, dictated by benevolence and inspired by philanthropy, were all prospective. Their first, and, apparently, principal object, was to provide relief for the indigent, and an asylum for the oppressed. Their second, to unite the pensioners on the liberally contributed bounty, in a social compact for mutual assistance, and a ready cooperation for the general good. But even this, beneficent as it was, fell short of his aim. He considered himself to be engaged in forming a Colony, destined to extend and flourish under the salutary principles of order and justice, and the sustaining sanctions of civil law, and a form of government, which his breast swelled with the patriotic hope, would be well constituted and wisely administered.
This very statement of the origin of these political institutions, bears on it the indications of their perpetuity, especially as the freedom obtained for the first emigrants from rigorous exaction in their native country, was remembered and cherished in that which they settled, till it formed the constituents of civil liberty, which at length "threw off every yoke," for the attainment of NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE.
Hence, his agency, services and expenditures in settling the Province of Georgia, his disinterested devotedness to its establishment and progressive welfare, and his bravery and personal exposure in its defence, enrolled among the important achievements of his long and eventful life, constitute the most splendid trophy to his fame, and will ensure to his name a memory as lasting as that of America itself.
On a mural tablet of white marble, in the chancel of Cranham Church, is the following inscription, drawn up by CAPEL LOFFT, Esq.
Near this place lie the remains of JAMES EDWARD OGLETHORPE, Esq. who served under Prince Eugene, and in 1714 was Captain Lieutenant in the first troop of the Queen's Guards. In 1740 he was appointed Colonel of a Regiment to be raised for Georgia. In 1745 he was appointed Major General; in 1747 Lieutenant General; and in 1760, General of his Majesty's forces. In his civil station, he was very early conspicuous. He was chosen Member of Parliament for Haslemere in Surry in 1722, and continued to represent it till 1754. In the Committee of Parliament, for inquiring into the state of the gaols, formed 25th of February, 1728, and of which he was Chairman, the active and persevering zeal of his benevolence found a truly suitable employment, by visiting, with his colleagues of that generous body, the dark and pestilential dungeons of the Prisons which at that time dishonored the metropolis; detecting the most enormous oppressions; obtaining exemplary punishment on those who had been guilty of such outrage against humanity and justice; and redressing multitudes from extreme misery to light and freedom.
Of these, about seven hundred, rendered, by long confinement for debt, strangers and helpless in the country of their birth, and desirous of seeking an asylum in the wilds of America, were by him conducted thither in 1732.
He willingly encountered in their behalf a variety of fatigue and danger, and thus became the founder of the Colony of Georgia; a Colony which afterwards set the noble example of prohibiting the importation of slaves This new establishment he strenuously and successfully defended against a powerful attack of the Spaniards. In the year in which he quitted England to found this settlement, he nobly strove to secure our true national defence by sea and land, —a free navy— without impressing a constitutional militia. But his social affections were more enlarged than even the term Patriotism can express; he was the friend of the oppressed negro,— no part of the globe was too remote,— no interest too unconnected,— or too much opposed to his own, to prevent the immediate succor of suffering humanity. For such qualities he received, from the ever memorable John, Duke of Argyle, a full testimony, in the British Senate, to his military character, his natural generosity, his contempt of danger, and regard for the Public. A similar encomium is perpetuated in a foreign language; and, by one of our most celebrated Poets, his remembrance is transmitted to posterity in lines justly expressive of the purity, the ardor, and the extent of his benevolence. He lived till the 1st of July, 1785; a venerable instance to what a duration a life of temperance and virtuous labor is capable of being protracted. His widow, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nathan Wright of Cranham hall, Bart. and only sister and heiress of Sir Samuel Wright, Bart. of the same place, surviving, with regret, but with due submission to Divine Providence, an affectionate husband, after an union of more than forty years, hath inscribed to his memory these faint traces of his excellent character.
"Religion watches o'er his urn,
And all the virtues bending mourn;
Humanity, with languid eye,
Melting for others' misery;
Prudence, whose hands a measure hold,
And Temperance, with a chain of gold;
Fidelity's triumphant vest,
And Fortitude in armor drest;
Wisdom's grey locks, and Freedom, join
The moral train to bless his shrine,
And pensive all, around his ashes holy,
Their last sad honors pay in order melancholy."
[Footnote 1: Referring to the encomium of the Abbe Raynal, in his Histoire Philosophique et Politique.]
[Footnote 2: These last verses were added by the old friend of the
General, the Rev. Moses Browne.]
October 26th, 1787, died, at her seat, Cranham Hall, Co. Essex, aged 79, Mrs. Elizabeth Oglethorpe, widow of the late General Oglethorpe. She was daughter of Sir Nathan Wright, Bart., (nephew to the Lord Keeper,) by Abigail, his fourth wife, who survived and married Mr. Tryst. Sir Nathan, by his first wife, (Anne Meyrick) had two sons; Nathan, who succeeded him in title, and who married a daughter of Sir Francis Lawley, and died in April, 1737; and John, who died without issue. By his second wife, (Elizabeth Brage) he had a son, Benjamin, who died before him. By his third wife, (Elizabeth Bowater) he had no issue. By the fourth he had a son, Samuel, and Mrs. Oglethorpe. Sir Nathan, the son, had one son and two daughters; and the son dying without issue, his half-brother, Samuel, succeeded to the title and part of the estate. He dying a bachelor, Mrs. Oglethorpe became his heir, and has died without leaving any child. September 15, 1744, she married the late General Oglethorpe, who died July 1,1785; and to her magnanimity and prudence, on an occasion of much difficulty, it was owing that the evening of their lives was tranquil and pleasant, after a stormy noon. Very many and continual were her acts of benevolence and charity; but, as she would herself have been hurt by any display of them in her lifetime, we will say no more. Not to have mentioned them at all would have been unjust to her memory, and not less so to the world, in which such an example may operate as an incitement to others to go and do likewise.
[Footnote 1: This old mansion, situated on a pleasant rising ground, was built about the end of the reign of James I. In the hall is a very fine whole-length picture of Mr. Nathan Wright, a considerable Spanish merchant in the beginning of Charles the First's time, who resided long in that country, by Antonio Arias, an eminent painter of Madrid; and the more curious, as perhaps there is not another picture of that able master in England. Gentleman's Magazine, LV. 518.]
[Footnote 2: The date for the time of the death of General Oglethorpe, which is given on the 296th page of this volume, was taken from the public Gazettes. As it took place late in the night, it might be rather uncertain as to its being the close of one day or the beginning of another. But the above, corroborated by the testimony of the monumental inscription, must be correct. I regret, however, that I did not perceive it sooner. T.M.H.]
By her will, which is very long, and dated May 30, 1786, and has four codicils, the last dated September 11, 1787, she leaves her estate at Westbrook, in Godalming, Co. Surrey, bequeathed to her by the General, to his great nephew, Eugene, Marquis of Bellegarde, in France, then in the Dutch service, but born in England, and his heirs, with all her plate, jewels, &c.; to her nephews, John and Charles Apreece, and their sister Dorothy, wife of —— Cole, an annuity of £100 amongst them, and the survivor for life; and if either John or Charles succeed to the Baronet's title, the annuity to go over to the other; but if their sister survive, she to have only £200 per annum; also four annuities, of £50 each, to four of her female friends or neighbors. All these annuities are charged on the Cranham estate, which she gives in trust to Sir George Allanson Wynne, Bart., and Mr. Granville Sharpe, for the use of her nephew, Sir Thomas Apreece, of Washingley, Co. Huntingdon, for life, remainder in tail to his issue male or female, remainder to his brothers John and Charles, and sister Dorothy, successively, remainder to her own right heirs. The manor of Canewdon Hall, Essex, to be sold to pay legacies, viz.: £100 to Sir G.A. Wynne; £1000 to the Princess of Rohan, related to her late husband; £500 to the Princess de Ligne, her late husband's niece; £1000 to Samuel Crawley, Esq., of Theobalds, Co. Herts; £500 among the Miss Dawes's, of Coventry; £500 to James Fitter, Esq., of Westminster; £500 to the Marquis of Bellegarde. The manor of Fairstead Hall, Co. Essex, to Granville Sharpe, for life, paying £50 per annum to his friend Mr. Marriott, relict of General Marriott, of Godalming, and to settle the said estate to charitable uses after his death, at his discretion. To Edward Lloyd and Sarah his wife, her servants, £500; and £10 each, to other servants. By a codicil: to Maria Anne Stephenson £1000 stock out of any of her property in the funds; to Miss Lewis, who lives with Mrs. Fowle, in Red-lion square, and to Miss Billinghurst, of Godalming, £50 each; to the poor of Cranham, Fairstead, Canewdon, and Godalming, £20 each; her turn of patronage to the united livings of St. Mary Somerset and St. Mary Mounthaw, in London, to the Rev. Mr. Herringham, of South Weald. By another codicil, £1000 more to the Marquis of Bellegarde; £1000 to Count Bethisy; £200 to Granville Sharpe. By another, revokes the legacies to the Princess de Ligne and Count Bethisy, and gives them to the two younger daughters of the Marquis of Bellegarde, at the age of 21, or marriage. As the Marquis resides in France, and it may be inconvenient to him to keep the estate, she gives the manors of Westbrook and Brimscombe, and Westbrook-place in Godalming, in trust to G. Sharpe, and William Gill, Esqrs., and their heirs, to be sold, and the money paid to the Marquis. Her executors are Mr. Granville Sharpe, and Mrs. Sarah Dickinson, of Tottenham; the latter residuary legatee.
At the foot of the monument erected to the memory of General
Oglethorpe, was added the following inscription:
"His disconsolate Widow died October 26,1787,
in her 79th year,
and is buried with him,
in the vault in the centre of this Chancel.
Her fortitude of mind and extensive charity
deserve to be remembered,
though her own modesty would desire them to
This article is extracted from SALMON'S Modern History, Vol. III. page 770, 4th edition; where it is introduced in these words: "The following pages are an answer from General OGLETHORPE to some inquiries made by the author, concerning the State of Carolina and Georgia."
Carolina is part of that territory which was originally discovered by Sir Sebastian Cabot. The English now possess the sea-coast from the river St. John's, in 30 degrees, 21 minutes north latitude. Westward the King's charter declares it to be bounded by the Pacific ocean.
Carolina is divided into North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; the latter is a province which his Majesty has taken out of Carolina, and is the southern and western frontier of that province, lying between it and the French, Spaniards, and Indians.
The part of Carolina that is settled, is for the most part a flat country. All, near the sea, is a range of islands, which breaks the fury of the ocean. Within is generally low land for twenty or twenty-five miles, where the country begins to rise in gentle swellings. At seventy or eighty miles from the sea, the hills grow higher, till they terminate in mountains.
The coast of Georgia is also defended from the rage of the sea by a range of islands. Those islands are divided from the main by canals of salt water, navigable for the largest boats, and even for small sloops. The lofty woods growing on each side of the canals, make very pleasant landscapes. The land, at about seven or eight miles from the sea, is tolerably high; and the further you go westward, the more it rises, till at about one hundred and fifty miles distance from the sea, to the west, the Cherokee or Appallachean mountains begin, which are so high that the snow lies upon them all the year.
This ridge of mountains runs in a line from north to south, on the back of the English colonies of Carolina and Virginia; beginning at the great lakes of Canada, and extending south, it ends in the province of Georgia at about two hundred miles from the bay of Appallachee, which is part of the Gulf of Mexico. There is a plain country from the foot of these mountains to that sea.
The face of the country is mostly covered with woods. The banks of the rivers are in some places low, and form a kind of natural meadows, where the floods prevent trees from growing. In other places, in the hollows, between the hillocks, the brooks and streams, being stopt by falls of trees, or other obstructions, the water is penned back. These places are often covered with canes and thickets and are called, in the corrupted American dialect, swamps. The sides of the hills are generally covered with oaks and hickory, or wild walnuts, cedar, sassafras, and the famous laurel tulip, which is esteemed one of the most beautiful trees in the world. The flat tops of the hillocks are all covered with groves of pine trees, with plenty of grass growing under them, and so free from underwood that you may gallop a horse for forty or fifty miles an end. In the low grounds and islands in the river there are cypress, bay-trees, poplar, plane, frankincense or gum-trees, and aquatic shrubs. All part of the province are well watered; and, in digging a moderate depth, you never miss of a fine spring.
What we call the Atlantic ocean, washes the east and southeast coast of these provinces. The gulf stream of Florida sets in with a tide in the ocean to the east of the province; and it is very remarkable that the banks and soundings of the coast extend twenty or twenty-five miles to the east of the coast.
The tides upon this coast flow generally seven feet. The soundings are sand or ooze, and some oyster banks, but no rocks. The coast appears low from the sea, and covered with woods.
Cape Fear is a point which runs with dreadful shoals far into the sea, from the mouth of Clarendon river in North Carolina. Sullivan's Island and the Coffin land are the marks of the entry into Charlestown harbor. Hilton head, upon French's island, shows the entry into Port Royal; and the point of Tybee island makes the entry of the Savannah river. Upon that point the Trustees for Georgia have erected a noble signal or light-house, ninety feet high, and twenty-five feet wide. It is an octagon, and upon the top there is a flag-staff thirty feet high.
The Province of Georgia is watered by three great rivers, which rise in the mountains, namely, the Alatamaha, the Ogechee, and the Savannah; the last of which is navigable six hundred miles for canoes, and three hundred miles for boats.
The British dominions are divided from the Spanish Florida by a noble river called St. John's.
These rivers fall into the Atlantic ocean; but there are, besides these, the Flint and the Cahooche, which pass through part of Carolina or Georgia, and fall into the gulf of Appellachee or Mexico.
All Carolina is divided into three parts: 1. North Carolina, which is divided from South Carolina by Clarendon river, and of late by a line marked out by order of the Council: 2. South Carolina, which, on the south is divided from 3. Georgia by the river Savannah. Carolina is divided into several counties; but in Georgia there is but one yet erected, namely, the county of Savannah. It is bounded, on the one side, by the river Savannah, on the other by the sea, on the third by the river Ogechee, on the fourth by the river Ebenezer, and a line drawn from the river Ebenezer to the Ogechee. In this county are the rivers Vernon, Little Ogechee, and Westbrook. There is the town of Savannah, where there is a seat of judicature, consisting of three bailiffs and a recorder. It is situated upon the banks of the river of the same name. It consists of about two hundred houses, and lies upon a plain of about a mile wide; the bank steep to the river forty-five feet perpendicularly high. The streets are laid out regular. There are near Savannah, in the same county, the villages of Hampstead, Highgate, Skidoway, and Thunderbolt; the latter of which is a translation of a name; their fables say that a thunderbolt fell, and a spring thereupon arose in that place, which still smells of the bolt. This spring is impregnated with a mixture of sulphur and iron, and from the smell, probably, the story arose. In the same county is Joseph's town and the town Ebenezer; both upon the river Savannah; and the villages of Abercorn and Westbrook. There are saw mills erecting on the river Ebenezer; and the fort Argyle, lies upon the pass of this county over the Ogechee. In the southern divisions of the province lies the town of Frederica, with its district, where there is a court with three bailiffs and a recorder. It lies on one side of the branches of the Alatamaha. There is, also, the town of Darien, upon the same river, and several forts upon the proper passes, some of four bastions, some are only redoubts. Besides which there are villages in different parts of Georgia. At Savannah there is a public store house, built of large square timbers. There is also a handsome court house, guard house, and work house. The church is not yet begun; but materials are collecting, and it is designed to be a handsome edifice. The private houses are generally sawed timber, framed, and covered with shingles. Many of them are painted, and most have chimneys of brick. At Frederica some of the houses are built of brick; the others in the Province are mostly wood. They are not got into luxury yet in their furniture; having only what is plain and needful. The winter being mild, there are yet but few houses with glass windows.
The Indians are a manly, well-shaped race. The men tall, the women little. They, as the ancient Grecians did, anoint with oil, and expose themselves to the sun, which occasions their skins to be brown of color. The men paint themselves of various colors, red, blue, yellow, and black. The men wear generally a girdle, with a piece of cloth drawn through their legs and turned over the girdle both before and behind, so as to hide their nakedness. The women wear a kind of petticoat to the knees. Both men and women in the winter wear mantles, something less than two yards square, which they wrap round their bodies, as the Romans did their toga, generally keeping their arms bare; they are sometimes of woolen, bought of the English; sometimes of furs, which they dress themselves. They wear a kind of pumps, which they call moccasons, made of deer-skin, which they dress for that purpose. They are a generous, good-natured people; very humane to strangers; patient of want and pain; slow to anger, and not easily provoked, but, when they are thoroughly incensed, they are implacable; very quick of apprehension and gay of temper. Their public conferences show them to be men of genius, and they have a natural eloquence, they never having had the use of letters. They love eating, and the English have taught many of them to drink strong liquors, which, when they do, they are miserable sights. They have no manufactures but what each family makes for its own use; they seem to despise working for hire, and spend their time chiefly in hunting and war; but plant corn enough for the support of their families and the strangers that come to visit them. Their food, instead of bread, is flour of Indian corn boiled, and seasoned like hasty-pudding, and this called hommony. They also boil venison, and make broth; they also roast, or rather broil their meat. The flesh they feed on is buffalo, deer, wild turkeys and other game; so that hunting is necessary to provide flesh; and planting for corn. The land belongs to the women, and the corn that grows upon it; but meat must be got by the men, because it is they only that hunt: this makes marriage necessary, that the women may furnish corn, and the men meat. They have also fruit-trees in their gardens, namely, peaches, nectarines, and locust, melons, and water-melons, potatoes, pumpkins, onions, &c. in plenty; and many kinds of wild fruits, and nuts, as persimons, grapes, chinquepins, and hickory nuts, of which they make oil. The bees make their combs in the hollow trees, and the Indians find plenty of honey there, which they use instead of sugar. They make, what supplies the place of salt, of wood ashes; use for seasoning, long-pepper, which grows in their gardens; and bay-leaves supply their want of spice. Their exercises are a kind of ball-playing, hunting, and running; and they are very fond of dancing. Their music is a kind of drum, as also hollow cocoa-nut shells. They have a square in the middle of their towns, in which the warriors sit, converse, and smoke together; but in rainy weather they meet in the King's house. They are a very healthy people, and have hardly any diseases, except those occasioned by the drinking of rum, and the small pox. Those who do not drink rum are exceedingly long-lived. Old BRIM emperor of the Creeks, who died but a few years ago, lived to one hundred and thirty years; and he was neither blind nor bed-rid, till some months before his death. They have sometimes pleurisies and fevers, but no chronical distempers. They know of several herbs that have great virtues in physic, particularly for the cure of venomous bites and wounds.
[Footnote 1: That is the homestead.]
The native animals are, first the urus or zoras described by Caesar, which the English very ignorantly and erroneously call the buffalo. They have deer, of several kinds, and plenty of roe-bucks and rabbits. There are bears and wolves, which are small and timorous; and a brown wild-cat, without spots, which is very improperly called a tiger; otter, beavers, foxes, and a species of badger which is called raccoon. There is great abundance of wild fowls, namely, wild-turkey, partridges, doves of various kinds, wild-geese, ducks, teals, cranes, herons of many kinds not known in Europe. There are great varieties of eagles and hawks, and great numbers of small birds, particularly the rice-bird, which is very like the ortolan. There are rattlesnakes, but not near so frequent as is generally reported. There are several species of snakes, some of which are not venomous. There are crocodiles, porpoises, sturgeon, mullet, cat-fish, bass, drum, devil-fish; and many species of fresh-water fish that we have not in Europe; and oysters upon the sea-islands in great abundance.
What is most troublesome, there, are flies and gnats, which are very numerous near the rivers; but, as the country is cleared, they disperse and go away.
The vegetables are innumerable; for all that grow in Europe, grow there; and many that cannot stand in our winters thrive there.
APPENDIX. This portion of the work contains additional notes, original documents, and notices of some of the distinguished friends of Oglethorpe.
The following genealogical memoranda are taken principally, from a note in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, Vol. II. p. 17, on his having given the title of a book ascribed to the subject of the foregoing memoir
"This truly respectable gentleman was the descendant of a family very anciently situated at Oglethorpe, in the parish of Bramham, in the West Riding of the County of York; one of whom was actually Reeve of the County (an office nearly the same with that of the present high-sheriff) at the time of the Norman Conquest. The ancient seat of Oglethorpe continued in the family till the Civil Wars, when it was lost for their loyalty; and several of the same name died at once in the bed of honor in the defence of monarchy, in a battle near Oxford.
"William Oglethorpe, (son of William) was born in 1588. He married
Susanna, daughter of Sir William Sutton, Knight and sister to Lord
Lexington. He died in November, 1634 leaving two children, Sulton,
born 1612, and Dorothy (who afterwards married the Marquis of Byron, a
French nobleman,) born 1620.
"Sutton Oglethorpe, being fined £20,000 by the Parliament, his estates at Oglethorpe, and elsewhere, were sequestered, and afterwards given to General Fairfax, who sold them to Robert Benson of Bramham, father of Lord Bingley of that name. Sutton Oglethorpe had two sons, Sutton, and Sir Theophilus. Sutton was Stud-master to King Charles II.; and had three sons, namely, Sutton, Page to King Charles II.; John, Cornet of the Guards; and Joseph, who died in India.
"Sir Theophilus was born in 1652; and was bred to arms. He fought, under the Duke of Monmouth, in the affair at Bothwell bridge, where a tumultary insurrection of the Scots was suppressed, June 22, 1679. He commanded a party of horse at Sedgmoor fight, where the Duke was defeated, July 6, 1685; and was Lieutenant Colonel to the Duke of York's troop of his Majesty's horse-guards, and Commissioner for executing the office of Master of the Horse to King Charles II. He was afterwards first Equerry and Major General of the army of King James II.; and suffered banishment with his Royal Master." After his return to his native country he purchased a seat in the County of Surrey, called "the Westbrook place," near adjoining the town of Godalming; a beautiful situation, in a fine country. It stands on the slope of a hill, at the foot of which are meadows watered by the river Wey. It commands the view of several hills, running in different directions; their sides laid out in corn fields, interspersed with hanging woods. Behind it is a small park, well wooded; and one side is a capacious garden fronting the south-east.
Sir Theophilus was for several years a member of Parliament for Haslemere, a small borough in the south-west angle of the county of Surrey. This place was, afterwards, in the reigns of Anne, George I., and George II., successively represented by his three sons, Lewis, Theophilus, and James. He died April 10,1702, as appears by a pedigree in the collection of the late J.C. Brooke, Esq., though the following inscription in the parish church of St. James, Westminster, where he was buried, has a year earlier.—"Hie jacet THEOPHILUS OGLETHORPE, Eques auratus, ab atavo Vice-comite Eborum, Normanno victore, ducens originem. Cujus armis ad pontem Bothwelliensem, succubuit Scotus: necnon Sedgmoriensi palude fusi Rebellos. Qui, per varies casus et rerum discrimina, magnanimum erga Principem et Patriam fidem, sed non temerè, sustinuit. Obiit Londini anno 1701, aetat. 50."
Sir Theophilus married Eleanora Wall, of a respectable family in
Ireland, by whom he had four sons and five daughters; namely, Lewis,
Theophilus, Sutton, and James; Eleanora, Henrietta, Mary, and
I. LEWIS, born February, 1680-1; admitted into Corpus Christi College, in the University of Oxford, March 16,1698-9. He was Equerry to Queen Anne, and afterwards Aid-de-camp to the Duke of Marlborough; and, in 1702, member of Parliament for Haslemere. Having been mortally wounded in the battle of Schellenburgh, on the 24th October, 1704, he died on the 30th.
The following inscription to his memory is placed below that of Sir
"Hujus claudit latus LUDOVICUS OGLETHORPE, tam paternae virtutis, quam fortunae, haeres; qui, proelio Schellenbergensi victoria Hockstatensis preludio tempestivum suis inclinantibus ferens auxilium vulnere honestissima accepit, et praeclarae spe Indolis frustrata.—Ob. XXII aetatis, Anno Dom. 1704.
"Charissimo utriusque marmor hoc, amantissima conjux et mater possuit,
Domina Eleonora Oglethorpe."
II. THEOPHILUS, born 1682. He was Aid-de-camp to the Duke of Ormond; and member of Parliament for Haslemere in 1708 and 1710. The time of his death is not recorded. He must have died young.
III. ELEONORA, born 1684; married the Marquis de Mezieres on the 5th of March, 1707-8, and deceased June 28, 1775, aged 91. The son of this lady was heir to the estate of General Oglethorpe. He is mentioned, in the correspondence of Mr. Jefferson, as highly meritorious and popular in France, (1785.)
IV. ANN [mentioned in Shaftoe's narrative.]
V. SUTTON, born 1686; and died in November, 1693.
VI. HENRIETTA, [of whom we have no account.]
VII. JAMES, [see the next article.]
VIII. FRANCES-CHARLOTTE … Married the Marquis de Bellegarde, a
Savoyard. To a son of this union is a letter of General Washington,
dated January 15, 1790, in the 9th volume of Sparks's Writings of
Washington, p. 70.
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. LVII. p. 1123.]
IX. MARY, who died single.
The ARMS of the family are thus described: "Argent, a chevron, between three boar's heads, erased, sable armed, or, lingued proper."
CREST. "A boar's head, as before, holding an oaken branch, vert, fructed or."
There are great difficulties in ascertaining the age of Oglethorpe. The newspapers, soon after his decease, in 1785. and the Gentleman's and London Magazine, contain several articles about it.
While these inquiries, investigations, and statements were going the round of all the periodicals of the day, it is unaccountably strange that the family did not produce the desired rectification, and yet more surprising that in the inscription on the monument erected to his memory by his widow, and which was drawn up by her request, she should not have furnished the writer with the date of his birth, and the years of age to which he had arrived.
The London Gazette, first announcing his death, stated it one hundred and four years. The Westminster Magazine for July 1785, (a periodical published in the very neighborhood of the old family mansion,) in the monthly notice of deaths, has "June 30th, General Oglethorpe, aged 102. He was the oldest general in England." And I have a fine engraved portrait of him taken in February preceding his decease, or which is inscribed "he died 30th of June, 1785, aged 102." A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for September, 1785 p. 701, who was one of the first emigrants to Georgia, and personally and intimately acquainted with the General, declares that "he lived to be near a hundred years old, but was not one hundred and two, as has been asserted."
In the Biographical Memoir of him in the 8th volume of the European Magazine; in NICHOLS's Anecdotes of Literature and in McCALL's History of Georgia, his birth is said to have been in 1698; and yet it is asserted by the best authorities, that he bore the military rank of Ensign in 1710, when, according to their date of his nativity, he could have been but twelve years of age; and this before his entering College at Oxford.
Again, some make him Captain Lieutenant in the first troop of the Queen's Guards in 1714; the same year that others put him to College. According to such statements, he must on both these military advancements, have been of an age quite too juvenile for military service, and more so for military rank. And yet, to account for his obtaining such early, and, indeed, immature promotion, the writers suggest that "he withdrew precipitately from the sphere of his education." But I see no reason for supposing that he left the University before he had completed the usual term of residence for obtaining a degree; though he did not obtain that of Master of Arts till the 31st of July, 1731.
[Footnote 1: See Catalogue of Oxford Graduates.]
PRIOR, in The Life of Goldsmith, page 457, expressly says that
Oglethorpe, "after being educated at Oxford, served under Prince
Eugene against the Turks."
[Footnote 1: About this time he presented a manuscript French paraphrase of the Bible, in two folio volumes, finely illuminated, to the library of Corpus Christi College in Oxford. "The gift of James Oglethorpe, Esq., Member of Parliament." GUTCH's Appendix to Wood's History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford.]
Again, CROKER has a long note upon a passage in Boswell's Life of Johnson, II. p. 173, to invalidate a narative of Oglethorpe's respecting a writing of Colonel Sir Thomas Prendergast, who was killed at the battle of Malplaquet, on the 31st of August, 1709, which thus concludes: "At the battle of Malplaquet, Oglethorpe was only eleven years old. Is it likely that Oglethorpe, at the age of eleven years, was present at Pope's interview with Colonel Cecil? And, even if he were, what credit is to be given to the recollections, after the lapse of sixty-three years, of what a boy of eleven heard?"
[Footnote 1: CROKER means that the time when Oglethorpe told the story to Dr. Johnson was sixty-three years after the battle of Malplaquet, when the event referred to took place.]
In reply to this, I would observe, that it is not even probable, as this statement would imply, that the interview of Pope with Colonel Cecil was directly after the battle. There might have been intervening years. Moreover, Croker goes upon the presumption that the birth of Oglethorpe was in 1698. Now, to assign his birth to that year would make him only eighty-seven years old when he died; but Dr. Lettsom, in "a letter on prisons," in the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. LXXI. p. 21, has this remark: "I spent an evening, which agreeably continued till two o'clock in the morning, with the late General Oglethorpe, when this veteran was in the ninety-sixth year of his age; who told me, that he planted Georgia chiefly from prisons." And Hannah More writes of being in company with him when he was much above ninety years of age. He was, therefore, born before 1698. And, finally, the record of his admission into Corpus Christi College, at Oxford, decides the matter beyond all controversy; and, by certifying his age to be sixteen, proves that he was born in sixteen hundred and eighty-eight. For the month and day, I receive the testimony of William Stephens, Esq., Secretary for the affairs of the Trustees in Georgia, in the first volume of his Journal. On Thursday, December, 21st, [1738,] he makes this record.
"Another heavy rain of all last night, and this whole day's continuance; which, whatever impediments it might occasion to our other affairs, was no hindrance to our celebration of the General's birth-day, as had been always the custom hitherto; and in the very same manner as we did last year, under the discharge of cannon, &c." And McCall, who has named December 21st, says, "I am indebted to the Encyclopedia Perthensis, and to the Journal of a private gentleman in Georgia, where his birth-day was celebrated, for the date which I have inserted."
[Footnote 1: History of Georgia, Vol. I. p. 321.]
This assignment will tally with the other dates and their attendant circumstances; allow time, with becoming propriety, for finishing his education at the University; and show that he was not so precocious a soldier as has been represented, but that, instead of the juvenile age of eleven, he entered the army at the manly age of twenty-one.
Memorandum. This attempt to ascertain the exact age of Oglethorpe, was written in 1837. I have, since then, received the following letter, dated London, October 2d, 1840.
My Dear Sir.
In compliance with your request, I. have been, this morning,
to the vestry of St. James, Westminster, where I examined
the record of Oglethorpe's baptism, of which the following is
an exact copy in substance and form.
Bapt. | June 1689
2. | James Oglethorpe of Sir Theophilus and
| his lady Elinor, b. 1.
I certify that the above is a true extract from the Register
Book of Baptisms belonging to the Parish of St. James,
J.G. GIFFORD, Preacher and Assistant.
Hence it appears that Oglethorpe was born on the first of
June, 1669, and baptized on the second. I was assured by
Mr. Gifford that this is the true meaning of the record; and
I observed in the Register Book that other names were recorded
in like manner. There were several other baptisms the
same day, with different days of birth.
Most truly your friend and obedient servant,
This will be deemed decisive; though to me not entirely satisfactory. I think I see cause for questioning the "b.1." not their import, but their correctness: occasioned either for family reasons, or that the date given at the font either was not distinctly heard by the officiating clergyman, or misremembered at the time when the entry was made in the Book. Besides, there would seem no occasion for the presentation so immediately after the birth; for, according to custom, it is very unusual before the eighth day. On the other hand, from the statement of Nichols, Vol. II. p. 19, that of the children of Sir Theophilus, "the five eldest were born at St. James London," we may infer that JAMES, who was the sixth in the order of births in the family, was born at Godalming. This is proved, also, by Shaftoe's narrative, which mentions the going down of the mother to London, in consequence of the sickness and death of one of the nurslings. Now, though the main statement of that document may not be true, such an incidental circumstance as this, which has no direct bearing on "the vexed question," may be admitted. If, therefore, born at Godalming, he could not be taken to London, for baptism, on the day after his birth. And, admitting that his nativity was on the 21st of December, the season of the year alone would be sufficient reason for deferring the public ceremony till after the inclement weather, and the opportunity favored for having it in the Parish Church, where all the other children had been baptized.
After all, the fact that on the ninth of July, seventeen hundred and four, he was sixteen years old, as is testified on the Record of his admission into College, is incompatible with the date of June 1st, 1689, for the day of his birth, but consistent with that of December 21st, 1688.
To adjust all these discrepancies respecting the time of his birth, and others of the time of his death, one needs the ingenuity of the Benedictins of St. Maur, who published a 4to volume with this title: "L'art de verifier les dates des faits historiques."
CHARLES MORDAUNT, Earl of Peterborough. This great man died on his passage to Lisbon, 25th of October, 1735, aged 77. To bravery and heroism, he added a penetrating genius and a mind highly polished and well instructed in ancient and modern literature, as his Familiar Epistles, preserved among those of his friend Pope, fully evince.
Of REV. GEORGE BERKELEY, D.D., the celebrated Dean of Derry, and afterwards Bishop of Cloyne, I give the following particulars.
His learning and virtues, his lively and agreeable conversation, introduced him to the acquaintance, and procured him the esteem and friendship of many great and learned men, and among others the Earl of Peterborough, who made him his Chaplain, and took him as a companion on a tour of Europe in 1714-15. Soon after his return, the Dean published a proposal for the better supplying of the churches in the American Plantations with Clergymen, and for instructing and converting the savages to Christianity, by erecting a College in Bermuda. The first branch of this design appeared to him in the light of importance; but his principal view was to train up a competent number of young Indians, in succession, to be employed as missionaries among the various tribes of Indians. It appeared to be a matter of very material consequence, that persons should be employed in this service who were acquainted with the language necessary to be used; and he had also a strong persuasion that such missionaries as he proposed would be much better received by the savages than those of European extraction. These Indian lads were to be obtained from the different tribes in the fairest manner, and to be fed, clothed and instructed at the expense of the Institution.
The scheme, for some time, met with all the encouragement that was due to so benevolent a proposal. The King granted a charter; and the Parliament voted a very considerable sum to be obtained from the sale of lands in St. Christophers. Such a prospect of success in the favorite object of his heart, drew from Berkeley some beautiful verses, "in which," a writer of the day remarks, "another age, perhaps, will acknowledge the old conjunction of the prophetic character with that of the poetic, to have again taken place."
In consequence of this encouragement, he resigned his rich Deanry; and in execution of his noble design, embarked in the latter part of Autumn, 1728; his lady and her sister accompanying him; and arrived at Newport, in Rhode Island, in February following. This situation he pitched upon with a view of settling a correspondence there for supplying his College. He purchased a country-seat and farm in the neighborhood, where he resided about two years and a half. His residence in this country had some influence on the progress of literature, particularly in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The presence and conversation of a man so illustrious for talents, learning, virtue, and social attractions, could not fail of giving a spring to the literary diligence and ambition of many who enjoyed his acquaintance.
Finding, at length, that the promised aid of the ministry towards his College would fail him, he embarked at Boston in September 1731, on his return to England. At his departure he distributed the books which he had brought with him, among the Clergy of Rhode Island. He sent, as a gift to Yale College, a deed of his farm; and afterwards made a present to its Library of about a thousand volumes.
Immediately after his arrival in London, he returned all the private subscriptions that had been advanced for the support of his undertaking.
The fund, which had been calculated upon for his College, had been chiefly appropriated as a marriage portion of the Princess Ann, on her nuptials with the Prince of Orange. There remained, however, £10,000, which General Oglethorpe had interest enough in Parliament to obtain for the purpose of carrying over and settling foreign and other Protestants in his new Colony of Georgia in America; "having first paid Dean Berkeley the compliment of asking his consent to the application for the money, before he moved for it in Parliament."
[Footnote 1: See Journal of the House of Commons, May 10, 1733.]
He passed the latter part of his life at Oxford; and deceased January 14th, 1753, aged 74.
The character of this worthy prelate was expressed in few words by Bishop Atterbury, who, having heard much of him, wished to see him. Accordingly, he was one day introduced to him by the Earl of Berkeley. After some time, Mr. Berkeley quitted the room; on which the Earl said to the Bishop, "Does my cousin answer your Lordship's expectations?" The Bishop, lifting up his hands in astonishment, replied, "So much understanding, so much knowledge, so much innocence, and such humility, I did not think had been the portion of any but angels, till I saw this gentleman."
Mr. Pope sums up Bishop Berkeley's character in one line. After mentioning some particular virtues that distinguished other Prelates, he ascribes
"To Berkeley every virtue under heaven."
I close these memoirs of the early companion, and congenial and lasting friend of Oglethorpe, with the verses referred to, written by him.
The muse, disgusted at an age and time,
Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better clime,
Producing subjects worthy fame.
In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
And fancied beauties by the true:
In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
Where nature guides and virtue rules;
Where men shall not impose, for truth and sense,
The pedantry of courts and schools:
There shall be seen another golden age,
The rise of empire and of arts;
The good and great inspiring epic page,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay,
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future ages shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way,—
The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day,—
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
[See History and Proceedings of the House of Commons.]
Against the banishment of Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester.
April 6, 1723.
On ecclesiastical benefices.
On the preference of a militia to a standing army. Plea in behalf of the persecuted Protestants in Germany January, 1731-2.
On the bill for the better securing and encouraging the trade of the sugar Colonies. January 28, 1732.
On the petition of Sir Thomas Lombe relating to his silk winding machine.
On the petition from the proprietors of the Charitable Corporation, complaining of the mismanagement of their directors &c. February, 1732.
On a second reading of the sugar colony bill.
On the motion for an address of thanks in answer to the King's speech.
January 27, 1734. [His speech fills more than three pages.]
On the motion in the grand committee on the supply for granting thirty thousand men for the sea service for the year 1735. February 7th, 1734-5. [This speech fills six pages and a half.]
Against committing the bill for limiting the number of officers in the
House of Commons.
On Sir J. Barnard's motion for taking off such taxes as are burdensome to the poor and the manufacturers.
Against the act for disabling Alexander Wilson, Esq., from the holding office, &c.
On the petition, in 1747, of the United Brethren to have the Act for naturalizing foreigners in North America, extended to them and other settlers who made a scruple of performing military service.
On another petition of the United Brethren presented 20th of February, 1749.
[All the speeches in both Houses of Parliament on each of these petitions, were printed in the Universal Magazine for the months of April and May, 1749.]
He spoke on other occasions, to have indicated which would have required more research than I could spare.
This committee consisted of the following gentlemen:
James Oglethorpe, Esquire, Chairman,
The Right Honorable the Lord Finch,
The Right Honorable Lord Percival,
Sir Robert Sutton, Knight of the Bath,
Sir Robert Clifton, Knight of the Bath,
Sir Abraham Elton, Baronet,
Sir Gregory Page, Baronet,
Sir Edmund Knatchbull, Baronet,
Vultus Cornwall, Esquire,
Humphry Parsons, Esquire,
Robert Byng, Esquire,
Judge Advocate Hughes.
On Thursday, the 27th of February, they went to the Fleet prison to examine into the state of that gaol, in order for the relief of the insolvent debtors, &c., when the irons were ordered to be taken off Sir William Rich, Baronet. The next day, the same committee went a second time to the Fleet prison, where, upon complaint made to them that Sir William Rich was again put in irons, they made report thereof to the House of Commons, who thereupon ordered Mr. Bambridge, the warden of the Fleet, to be taken into the custody of their sergeant at arms.
"On Thursday, the 20th of March, Mr. Oglethorpe from the committee appointed to inquire into the state of the gaols of this kingdom, made a REPORT of some progress they had made, with the RESOLUTIONS of the committee thereupon, and he read the Report in his place, and afterwards delivered the same (with two appendixes) in at the table, where the Report was read, and the resolutions of the committee being severally read a second time, were agreed to by the House, in substance as follows, viz.:
"Resolved, nemine contradicente, that Thomas Bambridge, the acting Warden of the prison at the Fleet, hath wilfully permitted several debtors to the crown in great sums of money, as well as debtors to divers of his Majesty's subjects to escape; hath been guilty of the most notorious breaches of his trust; great extortions, and the highest crimes and misdemeanors in the execution of his said office; and hath arbitrarily and unlawfully loaded with irons, put into dungeons, and destroyed prisoners for debt under his charge, treating them in the most barbarous and cruel manner, in high violation and contempt of the laws of this kingdom:
"Resolved, nemine contradicente, that John Higgins, Esq., late warden of the prison of the Fleet, did during the time of his wardenship, wilfully permit many in his custody to escape, and was notoriously guilty of great breaches of his trust, extortions, cruelties, and many other high crimes and misdemeanors, &c., &c.
"And that James Barnes, William Pindar, John Everett, and Thomas King were agents of, and accomplices with the said Thomas Bambridge in the commission of his said crimes.
"At the same time, upon a motion made by Mr. Oglethorpe, by direction of the committee, it was unanimously resolved to address his Majesty that he would be graciously pleased to direct his Attorney General forthwith to prosecute, in the most effectual manner, the said Thomas Bambridge, John Higgins, James Barnes, William Pindar, John Everett, and Thomas King for their said crimes.
"It was also ordered that the said Bambridge, Higgins, Barnes, Pindar, Everett, and King be committed close prisoners in His Majesty's gaol of Newgate.
"Then, upon Mr. Oglethorpe's motions, two bills were ordered to be brought in, one to disable Thomas Bambridge from holding or executing the office of Warden of the Prison of the Fleet, or to have or exercise any authority relating therein. The other, for better regulating the prison of the Fleet, and for more effectually preventing and punishing arbitrary and illegal practices of the Warden of the said prison.
"In the last place the Commons ordered the Report from the Committee relating to the Fleet prison to be printed." [N.B. The substance of this report is given in BOYER's Political State of Europe, Vol. XXXVII. p. 359-377.]
The labors of Oglethorpe and his associates to correct prison abuses, were warmly acknowledged by their country, and were the grateful theme of the poet. They were alluded to by THOMSON in the following strain:
"And here can I forget the generous hand
Who, touched with human woe, redressive searched
Into the horrors of the gloomy jail?
Where misery moans unpitied and unheard,
Where sickness pines, where thirst and hunger burn,
And poor misfortune feels the lash of vice?
* * * * *
"Ye sons of mercy! yet resume the search,
Drag forth the legal monsters into light;
Wrench from their hands oppression's iron rod
And bid the cruel feel the pains they give!"
[Winter, l. 359-388.]
"The wretched condition of confined debtors, and the extortions and oppressions to which they were subjected by gaolers, thus came to be known to persons in high stations, and this excited the compassion of several gentlemen to think of some method of relieving the poor from that distress in which they were often involved without any fault of their own, but by some conduct which deserved pity rather than punishment."
In a very excellent publication entitled "Reasons for establishing the Colony of GEORGIA, with regard to the trade of Great Britain, the increase of our people, and the employment and support it will afford to great numbers of our own poor, as well as foreign Protestants," by BENJAMIN MARTIN, Esq. Lond. 1733; are some remarks in reference to the release of insolvent debtors from gaol, which I deem it proper to extract and annex here; and the rather, because the work is exceedingly rare.
After describing the deplorable condition of those who are in reduced circumstances, and need assistance and would be glad of employment, the writer refers to the situation of those who are thrown into prison for debt, and judges that the number may be estimated at four thousand every year; and that above one third part of the debts is never recovered hereby; and then adds, "If half of these, or only five hundred of them, were to be sent to Georgia every year to be incorporated with those foreign Protestants who are expelled their own country for religion, what great improvements might not be expected in our trade, when those, as well as the foreigners, would be so many new subjects gained by England? For, while they are in prison, they are absolutely lost,—the public loses their labor, and their knowledge. If they take the benefit of the Act of Parliament that allows them liberty on the delivery of their all to their creditors, they come destitute into the world again. As they have no money and little credit, they find it almost impossible to, get into business, especially when our trades are overstocked. They, therefore, by contracting new debts, must return again into prison, or, how honest soever their dispositions may be, by idleness and necessity will be forced into bad courses, such as begging, cheating, or robbing. These, then, likewise, are useless to the state; not only so, but dangerous. But these (it will be said) may be serviceable by their labor in the country. To force them to it, I am afraid, is impracticable; to suppose they will voluntarily do it, I am sure is unlikely. The Colony of Georgia will be a proper asylum for these. This will make the act of parliament of more effect. Here they will have the best motive for industry; a possession of their own, and no possibility of subsisting without it.
"I have heard it said that our prisons are the properest places for those that are thrown into them, by keeping them from being hurtful to others. Surely this way of thinking is something too severe. Are these people, with their liberty to lose our compassion? Are they to be shut up from our eyes, and excluded also from our hearts? Many of very honest dispositions fall into decay, nay, perhaps, because they are so, because they cannot allow themselves that latitude which others take to be successful. The ways that lead to a man's ruin are various. Some are undone by overtrading, others by want of trade; many by being responsible for others. Do all these deserve such hardship? If a man sees a friend, a brother, a father going to a prison, where felons are to be his society, want and sickness his sure attendants, and death, in all likelihood his only, but quick relief; if he stretches out his hand to save him from immediate slavery and ruin, he runs the risk of his own liberty, and at last loses it; is there any one who will say, this man is not an object of compassion? Not so, but of esteem, and worth preserving for his virtue. But supposing that idleness and intemperance are the usual cause of his ruin. Are these crimes adequate to such a punishment as confinement for life? But even yet granting that these unhappy people deserve no indulgence, it is certainly imprudent in any state to lose the benefit of the labor of so many thousands.
"But the public loss, by throwing men into prison, is not confined to them only. They have many of them wives and children. These are, also, involved in their ruin. Being destitute of a support, they must perish, or else become a burden on their parishes by an inability to work, or a nuisance by their thefts. These, too, are useless to society.
"In short, all those who can work yet are supported in idleness by any mistaken charity, or are subsisted by their parishes, which are at this time, through all England overburdened by indolent and lazy poor, who claim and are designed only for impotent poor;—all those who add nothing by their labor to the welfare of the state, are useless, burdensome, or dangerous to it. What is to be done with these necessitous? Nobody, I suppose, thinks that they should continue useless. It will be then an act of charity to these, and of merit to the public, for any one to propose, forward, and perfect a better expedient for making them useful. If he cannot, it is surely just to acquiesce, till a better be found, in the present design of settling them in Georgia." p. 16-21.
"In 1719, a silk-throwing mill was erected at Derby, and from that time to the beginning of the present century, various improvements were introduced.
"The following account of the first silk mill erected in England will be interesting. At the commencement of the last century, a person of the name of Crochet erected a small mill near the present works, with the intention of introducing the Italian method of spinning into this country. About 1715, a similar plan was in the contemplation of a mechanic and draughtsman named John Lombe, who travelled into Italy to procure drawings and models of the machines necessary for the undertaking. After remaining some time in that country, and gaining as much information as the jealousy and precautions of the merchants of Italy would allow, he returned with two natives, accustomed to the manufacture, into this country, and fixed upon Derby as a proper place to establish his works. He agreed with the corporation for an island, or rather swamp, in the river, 500 feet long and 52 feet wide, at the rent of about £8 yearly. Here he established his silk mills, and in 1718 procured a patent to enable him to secure the profits for fourteen years. But Lombe did not live much longer; for the Italians, exasperated at the injury done to their trade by its introduction into England, sent an artful woman over, who associated with the parties in the character of a friend, and, having gained over one of the natives who had originally accompanied Mr. Lombe, administered a poison to him, of which, it is said, he ultimately died. His death, however, did not prove fatal to his scheme; for his brother, and afterwards his cousin, carried on the business with energy, and employed more than three hundred persons. A little before the expiration of the Patent, Sir Thomas Lombe petitioned for a renewal of it; but this was refused, and instead of it, £14,000 was granted him, on condition that he should allow a complete model of the works to be taken; this was accordingly done, and afterwards deposited in the town for public inspection.
"This extensive mill stands upon a huge pile of oak, double planked and covered with stone-work, on which are turned thirteen stone arches, which sustain the walls.
"The spinning mills are eight in number, and give motion to upwards of 25,000 reel bobbins, and nearly 3000 star wheels belonging to the reels. Each of the four twist mills contains four rounds of spindles, about 389 of which are connected with each mill, as well as the numerous reels, bobbins, star wheels, &c. The whole of this elaborate machine, though distributed through so many apartments, is put in motion by a single water-wheel twenty-three feet in diameter, situated on the west side of the building."
[Treatise on the Manufactures and Machinery of Great Britain, by P. BARLOW, Esq., F.R.S., &c., in the Encyclopedia Metropol. Part VI. "Mixed Sciences."]
"Sir Thomas Lombe, Alderman of Bassishaw Ward, died, at his house in Old Jury, London, on the third of January 1739, aged 81. A gentleman of great integrity and honor. He was the senior Alderman, next the chair. Worth £120,000 sterling."
There is an account of the riot, and of all the particulars attending the murder of Captain Porteous, at the close of the 9th volume of the History of the Proceedings of the House of Commons, from page 506 to 545; and a concise narrative in the History of England, by Lord MAHON, Vol. II. p. 285-298. He introduces it by the following remarks: "Some years back, the real events might have excited interest; but the wand of an enchanter is now waved over us. We feel the spell of the greatest writer that the world has seen in one department, or Scotland produced in any. How dull and lifeless will not the true facts appear when no longer embellished by the touching sorrows of Effie, or the heroic virtue of Jeanie Deans!" He refers, in a note, to chapter VI. of The Heart of Mid Lothian, by Sir WALTER SCOTT, and to "his excellent narrative" in the 2d series of the Tales of a Grandfather, from p. 231 to 242, the end of the volume. See also the able speech of Mr. LINDSAY, in the Parliamentary History, p. 254.
It is worthy of remark that the Bill was carried in Committee by the least possible majority. One hundred and thirty-one members voted for reporting the Bill as amended; the same number voted against it. And, though it is customary for the Chairman to give his vote on the side of mercy, he voted in favor of the Bill. It is further remarkable, that two Scots members, the Solicitor General, and Mr. Erskine of Grange, were then attending an appeal in the House of Lords, and were refused leave of absence in order to be at this discussion, otherwise the Bill would have been entirely lost.
About the end of the month of August, 1732, Sir Gilbert Heathcote acquainted the court of directors of the Bank of England, that his Majesty had granted a charter for establishing a regular colony in Georgia; that the fund was to arise from charitable contributions which he recommended to them, shewing the great charity of the undertaking and the future benefit arising to England, by strengthening all the American Colonies, by increasing the trade and navigation of the kingdom, and by raising of raw silk, for which upwards of £500,000 a year was paid to Piedmont, and thereby giving employment to thousands of tradesmen and working people. Then Sir Gilbert gave a handsome benefaction to the design, and his example was followed by the directors then present, and a great many others belonging to that opulent society; and James Vernon, Robert Hucks, and George Heathcote, Esquires, paid into the Bank (the treasury for this use) £200 each for the charity, which was conducted by the following gentlemen as trustees:
Anthony Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Eyles, Esq.
John Lord Viscount Purceval, John Laroche, Esq.
John Lord Viscount Tyrconnel, James Vernon, Esq.
James Lord Viscount Limerick, Stephen Hales, A.M.
George Lord Carpenter, Richard Chandler, Esq.
Edward Digby, Esq. Thomas Frederick, Esq.
James Oglethorpe, Esq. Henry L'Apostre, Esq.
George Heathcote, Esq. William Heathcote, Esq.
Thomas Towers, Esq. John White, Esq.
Robert Moore, Esq. Robert Kendal, Esq.
Robert Hucks, Esq. Richard Bundy, D.D.
William Sloper, Esq.
Collections were made all over England, and large sums raised, and the Parliament gave £10,000, which enabled the trustees to entertain many poor people that offered, and to make provision for their transportation and maintenance till they could provide for themselves.
[OLDMIXON, I. p.526.
"Those who direct this charity have, by their own choice, in the most open and disinterested manner, made it impossible for any one among them to receive any advantage from it, besides the consciousness of making others happy. Voluntary and unpaid directors carry on their designs with honor and success. Such an association of men of leisure and fortune to do good, is the glory and praise of our country."]
[Sermon before the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia, by THOMAS RUNDLE, D.D., Bishop of Londonderry, Ireland. Lond. 1734, page 16.]
As Oglethorpe's going along with this new Colony proceeded merely from his public spirit, and from a disinterested and generous view of contributing all that was in his power, towards the benefit of his country, and the relief of his distressed countrymen, it met with just and deserved applause. In one of the public prints of the day the following encomium was inserted.
"Whether it is owing to an affectation of being thought conversant with the ancients, or the narrowness of our minds, I know not, but we often pass over those actions in our contemporaries which would strike us with admiration in a Greek or a Roman. Their histories perhaps cannot produce a greater instance of public spirit than what appeared in an evening paper of Saturday, the 18th instant, that 'James Oglethorpe, Esq., one of the Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia, is gone over with the first embarkation at his own expense.' To see a gentleman of his rank and fortune visiting a distant and uncultivated land, with no other society but the miserable whom he goes to assist; exposing himself freely to the same hardships to which they are subjected, in the prime of life, instead of pursuing his pleasures or ambition; on an improved and well concerted plan, from which his country must reap the profits; at his own expense, and without a view, or even a possibility of receiving any private advantage from it; this too, after having done and expended for it what many generous men would think sufficient to have done;—to see this, I say, must give every one who has approved and contributed to the undertaking, the highest satisfaction; must convince the world of the disinterested zeal with which the settlement is to be made, and entitle him to the truest honor he can gain, the perpetual love and applause of mankind.
"With how just an esteem do we look back on Sir Walter Raleigh for the expeditions which he made so beneficial to his country! And shall we refuse the same justice to the living which we pay to the dead, when by it we can raise a proper emulation in men of capacity, and divert them from those idle or selfish pursuits in which they are too generally engaged? How amiable is humanity when accompanied with so much industry! What an honor is such a man! How happy must he be! The benevolent man, says Epicurus, is like a river, which, if it had a rational soul, must have the highest delight to see so many corn fields and pastures flourish and smile, as it were, with plenty and verdure, and all by the overflowing of its bounty and diffusion of its streams upon them.
"I should not have written so much of this Gentleman, had he been present to read it. I hope to see every man as warm in praising him as I am, and as hearty to encourage the design he is promoting as I really think it deserves; a design that sets charity on a right foot, by relieving the indigent and unfortunate, and making them useful at the same time."
[Footnote 1: Transcribed into the Political State of Great Britain, for February, 1733, Vol. XLV. p.181.]
On the 13th of January, 1732-3, the Governor of South Carolina published in their Gazette the following advertisement.
Whereas I have lately received a power from the Trustees for establishing a Colony in that part of Carolina between the rivers Alatamaha and Savannah, now granted by his Majesty's Charter to the said Trustees, by the name of the Province of Georgia, authorizing me to take and receive all such voluntary contributions as any of his Majesty's good subjects of this Province shall voluntarily contribute towards so good and charitable a work, as the relieving poor and insolvent debtors, and settling, establishing, and assisting any poor Protestants of what nation soever, as shall be willing to settle in the said Colony; and whereas the said intended settlement will, in all human appearance, be a great strengthening and security to this Province, as well as a charitable and pious work, and worthy to be encouraged and promoted by all pious and good Christians; I have, therefore, thought fit to publish and make known to all such pious and well disposed persons as are willing to promote so good a work, that I have ordered and directed Mr. Jesse Badenhop to receive all such subscriptions or sums of money as shall be by them subscribed or paid in for the uses and purposes aforesaid; which sums of money (be they great or small,) I promise them shall be faithfully remitted to the Trustees by the aforesaid charter appointed, together with the names of the subscribers, which will by them be published every year; or, (if they desire their names to be kept secret) the names of the persons by whom they make the said subscriptions.
The piety and charity of so good an undertaking, I hope will be a sufficient inducement to every person to contribute something to a work so acceptable to God, as well as so advantageous to this Province.
A Copy of the Letter of the Governor and Council of South Carolina, to Mr. Oglethorpe.
Sir—We cannot omit the first opportunity of congratulating you on your safe arrival in this province, wishing you all imaginable success in your charitable and generous undertaking; in which we beg leave to assure you that any assistance we can give shall not be wanting in the promotion of the same.
The General Assembly having come to the Resolutions inclosed, we hope you will accept it as an instance of our sincere intentions to forward so good a work; and of our attachment to a person who has at all times so generously used his endeavors to relieve the poor, and deliver them out of their distress; in which you have hitherto been so successful, that we are persuaded this undertaking cannot fail under your prudent conduct, which we most heartily wish for.
The rangers and scout-boats are ordered to attend you as soon as possible.
Colonel Bull, a gentleman of this Board, and who we esteem most capable to assist you in the settling of your new Colony, is desired to deliver you this, and to accompany you, and render you the best services he is capable of; and is one whose integrity you may very much depend on.
We are, with the greatest respect and esteem, Sir, your most obedient humble servants.
Council Chamber, 26 January, 1733.
Copy of the Assembly's Resolutions.
The Committee of his Majesty's Honorable Council appointed to confer with a Committee of the lower House on his Excellency's message relating to the arrival of the Honorable James Oglethorpe, Esq., report—
That agreeable to his Majesty's instructions to his Excellency, sent down together with the said message, we are unanimously of opinion that all due countenance and encouragement ought to be given to the settling of the Colony of Georgia.
And for that end your Committee apprehend it necessary that his Excellency be desired to give orders and directions that Captain McPherson, together with fifteen of the rangers, do forthwith repair to the new settlement of Georgia, to cover and protect Mr. Oglethorpe, and those under his care, from any insult that may be offered them by the Indians, and that they continue and abide there till the new settlers have enforted themselves, and for such further time as his Excellency may think necessary.
That the Lieutenant and four men of the Apalachicola Garrison be ordered to march to the fort on Cambahee, to join those of the rangers that remain; and that the Commissary be ordered to find them with provision as usual.
That his Excellency will please to give directions that the scout-boat at Port Royal do attend the new settlers as often as his Excellency shall see occasion.
That a present be given Mr. Oglethorpe for the new settlers of Georgia forthwith, of an hundred head of breeding cattle and five bulls, as also twenty breeding sows and four boars, with twenty barrels of good and merchantable rice; the whole to be delivered at the charge of the public, at such place in Georgia as Mr. Oglethorpe shall appoint.
That periauguas be provided at the charge of the public to attend Mr. Oglethorpe at Port Royal, in order to carry the new settlers, arrived in the ship Anne, to Georgia, with their effects, and the artillery and ammunition now on board.
That Colonel Bull be desired to go to Georgia with the Honorable James Oglethorpe, Esq., to aid him with his best advice and assistance in settling the place.
Extract of a Letter from His Excellency Robert Johnson, Esq., Governor of South Carolina, to Benjamin Martyn, Esq., Secretary to the Trustees, &c.
CHARLESTOWN, Feb. 12, 1733.
Sir—I have received the favor of yours, dated the 20th of October, and the duplicate of the 24th. I beg you will assure the Honorable Trustees of my humble respects, and that I will attach myself to render them and their laudable undertaking all the service in my power.
Mr. Oglethorpe arrived here with his people in good health the 13th of January. I ordered him a pilot, and in ten hours he proceeded to Port Royal, where he arrived safe the 19th, and I understand from thence, that, after refreshing his people a little in our barracks, he, with all expedition, proceeded to Yamacraw, upon Savannah River, about twelve miles from the sea, where he designs to fix those he has brought with him.
I do assure you, that upon the first news I had of this embarkation, I was not wanting in giving the necessary orders for their reception; and, being assisted at Port Royal, (although they were here almost as soon as we heard of their design of coming,) not knowing whether Mr. Oglethorpe designed directly there, or would touch here.
I am informed he is mighty well satisfied with his reception there, and likes the country; and that he says things succeed beyond his expectation; but I have not yet received a letter from him since his being at Port Royal.
Our General Assembly meeting three days after his departure, I moved to them their assisting this generous undertaking. Both Houses immediately came to the following resolution; that Mr. Oglethorpe should be furnished at the public expense, with one hundred and four breeding cattle, twenty-five hogs, and twenty barrels of good rice; that boats should also be provided at the public charge to transport the people, provisions and goods, from Port Royal to the place where he designed to settle; that the scout-boats, and fifteen of our rangers, (who are horsemen, and always kept in pay to discover the motions of the Indians,) should attend to Mr. Oglethorpe, and obey his commands, in order to protect the new settlers from any insults, which I think there is no danger of; and I have given the necessary advice and instructions to our out garrisons, and the Indians in friendship with us, that they may befriend and assist them.
I have likewise prevailed on Colonel Bull, a member of the Council, and a gentleman of great probity and experience in the affairs of this Province, the nature of land, and the method of settling, and who is well acquainted with the manner of the Indians, to attend Mr. Oglethorpe to Georgia with our compliments, and to offer him advice and assistance; and, had not our Assembly been sitting, I would have gone myself.
I received the Trustees commission; for the honor of which I beg you will thank them. I heartily wish all imaginable success to this good work; and am, Sir,
Your most humble Servant,
P.S. Since writing the above, I have had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Oglethorpe, who gives me an account that his undertaking goes on very successfully.
Creeks, so called by the English, because their country lies chiefly among rivers, which the American English call "creeks;" but the real name is Musogees. Their language is the softest and most copious of all the Indians, and is looked upon to be the radical language; for they can make themselves understood by almost all the other Indians on the Continent. They are divided into three people, Upper, Lower, and Middle Creeks. The two former governed by their respective chiefs, whom they honor with a royal denomination; yet they are, in the most material part of their government, subordinate to the Chief of the latter, who bears an imperial title. Their country lies between Spanish Florida and the Cherokee mountains, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. They are a tall, well-limbed people, very brave in war, and as much respected in the South, as the Iroquois are in the North part of America.
[History of the British Settlements in North America, Lond. 1773, 4to, p. 156. ADAIR, 257. BARTON's Views, &c., Introduction XLIV. and Appendix 9.]
There seems to be a door opened to our Colony towards the conversion of the Indians. I have had many conversations with their chief men, the whole tenor of which shews that there is nothing wanting to their conversion but one who understands their language well, to explain to them the mysteries of religion; for, as to the moral part of Christianity, they understand it, and do assent to it. They abhor adultery, and do not approve of a plurality of wives. Theft is a thing not known among the Creek Indians; though frequent, and even honorable among the Uchees. Murder they look on as a most abominable crime: but do not esteem the killing of an enemy, or one that has injured them, murder. The passion of revenge, which they call honor, and drunkenness, which they learn from our traders, seem to be the two greatest obstacles to their being truly Christians: but, upon both these points they hear reason; and with respect to drinking rum, I have weaned those near me a good deal from it. As for revenge, they say, as they have no executive power of justice amongst them, they are forced to kill the man who has injured them, in order to prevent others doing the like; but they do not think any injury, except adultery, or murder, deserves revenge. They hold that if a man commits adultery, the injured husband is obliged to have revenge, by cutting off the ears of the adulterer, which, if he is too strong or sturdy to submit to, then the injured husband kills him the first opportunity he has to do it with safety. In cases of murder, the next in blood is obliged to kill the murderer, or else he is looked on as infamous in the nation where he lives; and the weakness of the executive power is such, that there is no other way of punishment but by the revenger of blood, as the Scripture calls it; for there is no coercive power in any of their nations; their kings can do no more than to persuade. All the power they have is no more than to call their old men and captains together, and to propound to them the measures they think proper; and, after they have done speaking, all the others have liberty to give their opinions also; and they reason together with great temper and modesty, till they have brought each other into some unanimous resolution. Then they call in the young men, and recommend to them the putting in execution the resolution, with their strongest and most lively eloquence. And, indeed, they seem to me, both in action and expression, to be thorough masters of true eloquence. In speaking to their young men, they generally address the passions. In speaking to the old men, they apply to reason only. [He then states the interview with the Creeks, and gives the first set speech of Tomo Chichi, which has been quoted.] One of the Indians of the Cherokee nation, being come down, the Governor told him that "he need fear nothing, but might speak freely," answered smartly, "I always speak freely, what should I fear? I am now among friends, and I never feared even among my enemies." Another instance of their short manner of speaking was when I ordered one of the Carolina boatmen, who was drunk and had beaten an Indian, to be tied to a gun till he was sober, in order to be whipped. Tomo Chichi came to me to beg me to pardon him, which I refused to do unless the Indian who had been beaten should also desire the pardon for him. Tomo Chichi desired him to do so, but he insisted upon satisfaction. Tomo Chichi said, "O Fonseka," (for that was his name,) "this Englishman, being drunk, has beat you; if he is whipped for so doing, the Englishmen will expect that, if an Indian should insult them when drunk, the Indian should be whipped for it. When you are drunk, you are quarrelsome, and you know you love to be drunk, but you don't love to be whipped." Fonseka was convinced, and begged me to pardon the man; which, as soon as I granted, Tomo Chichi and Fonseka ran and untied him, which I perceived was done to show that he owed his safety to their intercession.
"From his boyhood Oglethorpe uniformly enjoyed the friendship and confidence of his gallant and eloquent countryman, John Duke of Argyle; who, in an animated speech in Parliament, bore splendid testimony to his military talents, his natural generosity, his contempt of danger, and his devotion to the public weal."
[Footnote 1: VERPLANK's Discourse before the New York Historical
Society, p. 33.]
This favorable opinion, acquired in military campaigns, where his soldierly accomplishments and personal bravery had attracted the notice and won the admiration of the commanding officers, was preserved in after scenes, and confirmed by the principles which they both maintained, and the measures they alike pursued in Parliament.
The Duke also early devoted himself to a military life, and served under the great Marlborough. He distinguished himself at the battles of Ramilies, of Oudenarde, and Malplaquet, and assisted at the siege of Lisle and of Ghent. Such services were honorably rewarded by the King, who made him Knight of the Garter in 1710, and the following year sent him ambassador to Charles III. of Spain, with the command of the English forces in that kingdom. His support of the union with Scotland, rendered him for awhile unpopular with his countrymen, but his merits were acknowledged by all parties. George I. on his accession, restored him to the command of Scotland, of which he had before been capriciously deprived; and, in 1715, he bravely attacked Lord Mar's army at Dumblane, and obliged the Pretender to retire from the kingdom. In 1718 he was made Duke of Greenwich. He died in 1743, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a handsome monument records his virtues.
The following couplet by pope immortalizes his fame.
"Argyle, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the senate and the field."
He had the honor, also, to be celebrated in very high terms by
—"full on thee, ARGYLE,
Her hope, her stay, her darling and her boast,
From her first patriots and her heroes sprung,
Thy fond imploring country turns her eye;
In thee, with all a mother's triumph, sees
Her every virtue, every grace, combined,
Her genius, wisdom, her engaging turn,
Her pride of honor, and her courage tried,
Calm and intrepid, in the very throat
Of sulphurous war, on Tenier's dreadful field.
Nor less the palm of peace inwreathes thy brow;
For, powerful as thy sword, from thy rich tongue
Persuasion flows, and wins the high debate;
While, mix'd in thee, combine the charm of youth,
The force of manhood, and the depth of age."
[Autumn, 1. 926-941.]
Nachricht von dem establishment derer Salzburgischen emigranten zu Ebenezer, en der Provinz Georgien in Nord-America, &c. Von P.G.F. VON RECK. Halle 1774. From this, and a subsequent Journal of the same author, was published a very interesting little work, by the direction of the Society for promoting Christian knowledge, entitled "An extract of the Journals of Mr. Commissary VON RECK, who conducted the first transport of Saltzburgers to Georgia; and of the Reverend Mr. BOLZIUS, one of their Ministers." London, 1734. 12mo.
A circumstantial account of the settlement and of the affairs of these emigrants is given in a work which bears this title, "Ausfürliche Nacrichten von den Salzburgischen Emigranten, die sich in America niedergelassen haben, worinnen die Riesediaria des konige. Grossbritannischen Commissarii und der beyden Salzburgischen Prediger, wie auch eine Beschreibung von Georgien enthalten. Heraus gegeben von SAMUEL URLSPERGER." Halle, 1735-52. This journal of the proceedings of the Saltzburg emigrants, who formed the settlement of Ebenezer in Georgia, was continued from year to year, from 1734 to 1760; in several parts, which, bound up, make five thick quarto volumes. In Professor Ebeling's copy, now in the library of Harvard College, is the continuation, in manuscript, [perhaps the original,] and which was never printed, by JOHN MARTIN BOLZIUS, dated January, 1765. There is, also, a separate work, entitled Americanisches Ackerwerck Gottes, von SAMUEL URLSPERGER. Augs. 1745-1760. 4to. 4 vol.
A most interesting account of the persecution is to be found in
two thin quarto volumes by J.M. TEUBENER, entitled Historie derer
Emigranten oder Vertriebenen Lutheraner aus dem Ertz-Bissthum
Saltzburg. 2 vols. 4to. Leipz. 1732.
"About twenty-five thousand persons, a tenth part of the population, migrated on this occasion. Their property was sold for them, under the King of Prussia's protection; some injustice, and considerable loss must needs have been suffered by such a sale, and the chancellor, by whom this strong measure was carried into effect, is accused of having enriched himself by the transaction. Seventeen thousand of the emigrants settled in the Prussian states. Their march will long be remembered in Germany. The Catholic magistrates at Augsburgh shut the gates against them, but the Protestants in the city prevailed, and lodged them in their houses. The Count of Stolberg Warnegerode gave a dinner to about nine hundred in his palace; they were also liberally entertained and relieved by the Duke of Brunswick. At Leipsic the clergy met them at the gates, and entered with them in procession, singing one of Luther's hymns; the magistrates quartered them upon the inhabitants, and a collection was made for them in the church, several merchants subscribing liberally. The university of Wittenberg went out to meet them, with the Rector at their head, and collections were made from house to house. 'We thought it an honor,' says one of the Professors, 'to receive our poor guests in that city where Luther first preached the doctrines for which they were obliged to abandon their native homes.' These demonstrations of the popular feeling render it more than probable that if a religious war had then been allowed to begin in Saltzburg, it would have spread throughout all Germany.
"Thirty-three thousand pounds were raised in London for the relief of the Saltzburgers. Many of them settled in Georgia,—colonists of the best description. They called their settlement Ebenezer. Whitfield, in 1738, was wonderfully pleased with their order and industry. 'Their lands,' he says, 'are improved surprisingly for the time they have been there, and I believe they have far the best crop of any in the colony. They are blest with two such pious ministers as I have not often seen. They have no courts of judicature, but all little differences are immediately and implicitly decided by their ministers, whom they look upon and love as their fathers. They have likewise an orphan house, in which are seventeen children and one widow, and I was much delighted to see the regularity wherewith it is managed.'"
SOUTHEY'S Life of Wesley, Vol. I. p. 98, note.
With reference to these persecuted exiles, are the following lines of
"Lo! swarming southward on rejoicing suns
New colonies extend'. the calm retreat
Of undeserved distress, the better home
Of those whom bigots chase from foreign lands;
Such as of late an Oglethorpe has formed,
And crowding round, the pleased Savannah sees."
[Liberty, Part V.]
I give, also, an extract from the London Journal of the day.
"As the Trustees for settling Georgia are giving all proper encouragement for the Saltzburg emigrants to go over and settle there, some of the managers for those poor people have sent over to the Trustees from Holland, a curious medal or device, enchased on silver, representing the emigration of the poor Saltzburgers from their native country, which opens like a box, and in the inside contains a map of their country, divided into seventeen districts, with seventeen little pieces of historical painting, representing the seventeen persecutions of the primitive Christians; the whole being folded up in a very small compass, and is a most ingenious piece of workmanship."
"In consequence of the oppression which they suffered in Bohemia, the United Brethren, or, as they are more commonly called, the Moravians, resolved to emigrate to the new Colony of Georgia in America, whither the Saltzburgers had recently gone. With this purpose they applied to Count Zinzendorf, their spiritual guide, for his concurrence and assistance. Accordingly, he made interest with the Trustees on their behalf, which, being favorably received, and a free passage offered, a small company of them set out from Herrnfurt in November, 1734. They proceeded to London, where they found Mr. Spangenberg, who had nearly concluded every thing relative to their embarkation, with the Trustees, and to their accommodation and settlement, with General Oglethorpe. A number of Saltzburgers were also about to emigrate; and three zealous ministers of the Church of England, Mr. John Wesley, together with his brother Charles, and Mr. Benjamin Ingham, went with them in the same ship.
"They arrived at Savannah in the spring of 1735; and, in the following summer received a considerable increase of brethren, conducted by David Nitchmann, senior.
"The Saltzburgers went further up the river, and selected a place of settlement, which they called Ebenezer, but the Brethren began immediately their settlement near to Savannah; and God so blessed their industry, that they were not only soon in a capacity of maintaining themselves, but, also, of being serviceable to their neighbors. Having had assistance in the erection of a school-house for the children of the Indians, Tomo Tschatschi, their King, came to see it, and was glad that they might have a place where, as he expressed it, they could hear the good word. Consequently the Colony of the Brethren presented a fair prospect, both with respect to the settlement itself, and the instruction and conversion of the Heathen. But, being among the rest summoned to take up arms in defence of the country, and to march against the Spaniards, they refused it, as being no freeholders, and, of consequence, not obliged to it according to the laws of the Colony; nay, before coming over, they had expressly stated that they were not willing to perform any military service. Count Zinzendorf, on his visit to London, in January, 1737, took occasion to become acquainted with General Oglethorpe and the Trustees of Georgia, with whom he entered into a conference relative to the situation of the Moravian Brethren there. He remonstrated against their being called on to enlist as soldiers; and the Trustees readily exempted them from such a liability. But as this exemption embittered the minds of the people against them, some of the Brethren in 1738 left all their flourishing plantations, having repaid all the money which had been advanced towards their passage and settlement, and went to Pennsylvania. The rest were left undisturbed for awhile; but in 1739, when the troubles of war broke out afresh, being again molested on account of military service, they followed their brethren in the spring of 1740, and afterwards began the colonies of Bethlehem and Nazareth." CRANZ'S History of the United Brethren, p. 193, 213 and 229.
1. This was a strong built ten-oared boat, bearing three swivel guns, kept for exploring the river passages, visiting the islands, and for preventing the incursions of enemies, and repelling the predatory attempts of runaway slaves who sometimes lurked round and infested the coast. The crew was composed of bold and hardy South Carolinians, who lie out in the woods or in the open boat, for months together. Most of them are good hunters and fishers; and by killing deer and other game, subsist themselves, when the packed stores fail.
2. "Channels," as they are called, are water courses between the main-land and the islands; in some places above a mile wide, in others, not above two hundred yards. These sometimes open into what are called "sounds," which are gulfs of the sea, that extend into the land and entrances of rivers.
The Uchee Indians had a village not far from Ebenezer, at the time of the settlement of Georgia; but their principal town was at Chota, on the western branch of the Chattahoochee, or, as it was more properly spelt, Chota-Uchee river. How long they had resided there we do not know. As their language is a dialect of the Shawanees, it has been supposed that they were descendants from that tribe. A jealousy existed between them and the Muscogees; but they were in amity with the Creeks, though they would not mix with them. How numerous they were at the time of their treaty with Oglethorpe, cannot now be ascertained.
In 1773 they lived on a beautiful plain of great extent, in a compact village. They had houses made of timbers framed together, lathed and plastered over with a kind of red clay, which gave them the appearance of having been built of brick. At that time they numbered 1500, of whom 300 were warriors. For many years they have not joined the Creeks in any of their games or dances; and have only been kept from open hostility with other tribes, by the influence of the white people.
[For this note I am indebted to my friend SAMUEL G. DRAKE; whose Biography and History of the Indians of North America comprises much that can be known of the aborigines.]
From the journal of William Stephens, Esq. (Vol. II. pp. 76, 90, 473, 480, 499, and 505; and Vol. III. 4, 5, 27, and 32,) I collect the following particulars. One of the persons implicated in the insidious plot, was William Shannon, a Roman Catholic. "He was one of the new listed men in England, which the General brought over with him. By his seditious behavior he merited to be shot or hanged at Spithead before they left it, and afterwards, for the like practices at St. Simons. Upon searching him there, he was found to have belonged to Berwick's regiment, and had a furlough from it in his pocket." Instead of suffering death for his treasonable conduct, in the last instance, he was whipped and drummed out of the regiment. "Hence he rambled up among the Indian nations, with an intent to make his way to some of the French settlements; but being discovered by the General when he made his progress to those parts, in the year 1739, and it being ascertained that he had been endeavoring to persuade the Indians into the interest of the French, he fled, but was afterwards taken and sent down to Savannah, and committed to prison there as a dangerous fellow." On the 14th of August, 1740, he and a Spaniard, named Joseph Anthony Mazzique, who professed to be a travelling doctor, but had been imprisoned upon strong presumption of being a spy, broke out of prison and fled. On the 18th of September, they murdered two persons at Fort Argyle, and rifled the fort. They were taken on the beginning of October at the Uchee town, and brought back to Savannah, tried and found guilty, condemned and executed on the 11th of November, having previously confessed their crime.
Since my account of the traitorous plot was written, as also of the attempt at assassination, I have received from my friend Dr. W.B. STEVENS, of Savannah, the following extracts from letters of General Oglethorpe. As they state some particulars explanatory and supplementary of the narrative which I had given, I place them here. And this I do the rather because DR. HEWATT, (Vol. II. p. 70,) as also Major McCALL, (Vol. I. p. 124,) in the same words, and some others, incorporate the treachery at St. Simons, and the assault at St. Andrews into a connected narrative, as one occurrence; whereas it is very evident that the circumstances detailed were distinct; one originating among the troops which sailed in the Hector and Blandford, in July 1738, from England, and the other in the two companies drawn from the garrison at Gibraltar, which came in the Whittaker in the preceding month of May.
In reference to the first, General Oglethorpe thus wrote in a letter to the trustees, dated, "on board the Blandford at Plymouth, July 3d, 1738."
"We have discovered that one of our soldiers has been in the Spanish service, and that he hath stroved to seduce several men to desert with him to them, on their arrival in Georgia. He designed also to murder the officers, or such persons as could have money, and carry off the plunder. Two of the gang have confessed, and accused him; but we cannot discover the rest. The fellow has plenty of money, and he said he was to have sixty or a hundred crowns, according to the number of men he carried. He is yet very obstinate, refusing to give any account of his correspondents. We shall not try him till we come to Georgia, because we hope we shall make more discoveries."
"They left Plymouth on the 5th of July, and arrived about the 16th of
September, at Frederica."
On the 8th of October, 1738, occurs the following passage in a letter from Frederica, to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle.
"We have discovered some men who listed themselves as spies. We took upon one of them his furlough from Berwick's regiment in the Irish troops. They strove to persuade some of our men to betray a post to the Spaniards; who, instead of complying, discovered their intentions. I have ordered a general Court Martial, for the trying of them, who have not yet made their report. One of them owns himself a Roman Catholic, and denies the King having any authority over him."
"I conceive," says Dr. Stevens, "that these two letters refer to one and the same thing, viz.: that there were spies, which came over with the troops who arrived in September; that they designed to betray the English posts; that they were to murder the officers; and defeat the object for which the regiment was sent to Georgia. But this plot was crushed by the fact of its being discovered, the ring-leaders seized, and a Court Martial ordered."
Writing again to the Duke of Newcastle from Frederica, November 20, 1738, Oglethorpe says,—"Those soldiers who came from Gibraltar, have mutinied. The King gave them provisions and pay at Gibraltar. He gave them but six months provision here; after which they were to live upon their pay. On the expiration of their provisions, they demanded a continuance of them, and not being able to comply with their demands, they took to arms. One of them fired upon me. After a short skirmish we got the better of them. One of the officers was slightly, and one of the mutineers dangerously wounded, and five are secured prisoners, to be tried by a Court Martial. We have strong reason to suspect that our neighbors have tampered with these men. Many of them speak Spanish, and some of their boats, under various pretences, came up hither before my arrival."
[Footnote 1: He refers here to boats from St. Augustine.]
Upon this Dr. Stevens remarks—"In this case the cause of mutiny had no reference to the Spaniards. While in Gibraltar the troops had received provisions in addition to their pay. These were continued six months after their arrival in America; but when these were withdrawn, and nothing but their bare pay left, they became dissatisfied; demanded additional supplies; and, on refusal by General Oglethorpe, took to their arms. Here was a simple cause originating among themselves; in the other affair, the soldiers who created the difficulty were acting as agents of a foreign power; the bribed and acknowledged traitors to their own country. In the one case it was the sudden outbreaking of discontent, owing to the retrenchment of their wages; in the other, it was a premeditated and well-concerted plan, framed by Spanish emissaries on the other side of the water, to be executed on this."
Referring to the remark of General Oglethorpe at the close of the last letter, as also to some suggestions in the letter of mine, to which the foregoing was the reply, Dr. Stevens adds—"That the Spaniards tampered with the English, and endeavored to seduce them from their allegiance, is not to be doubted; because it was of the utmost importance to them to create divisions in the regiment; but the one to whom Hewatt refers, as having been 'in the Spanish service, and had so much of a Roman Catholic spirit,' is doubtless the same spoken of by Oglethorpe in July, upon whom a Court Martial sat in September; and who could not, therefore, have been connected with the mutiny at Fort St. Andrews, in November."
In the preceding pages are several references to Tomo Chichi, which show how strongly he became attached to Oglethorpe; how liberal he was in the grant of territory; how considerate in furnishing to the new settlers venison, wild turkeys, and other articles, as opportunity offered, and the occasion made particularly acceptable; how serviceable he was in procuring such interviews with the Chiefs of the Upper and Lower Creeks as led to amicable treaties; and how ready to assist, not only with his own little tribe, but by his influence with others, in the contests with the Spaniards. Some other notices of him, which bring out his excellent character more prominently, but could not be inserted in the body of this work, I have deemed to be sufficiently interesting to be inserted here.
"There were no Indians near the Georgians, before the arrival of Oglethorpe, except Tomo Chichi, and a small tribe of about thirty or forty men who accompanied him. They were partly Lower Creeks, and partly Yamasees, who had disobliged their countrymen, and, for fear of falling sacrifices to their resentment, had wandered in the woods till about the year 1731, when they begged leave of the Government of Carolina to sit down at Yamacraw, on the south side of Savannah river."
[Footnote 1: Report of the Committee of the South Carolina Assembly, on the Indian trade, 4to, 1736, p. 11.]
"Tomo Chichi had in his youth been a great warrior. He had an excellent judgment, and a very ready wit, which showed itself in his answers upon all occasions. He was very generous in giving away all the rich presents he received, remaining himself in a willing poverty, being more pleased in giving to others, than possessing himself; and he was very mild and good natured."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, 1740, Vol. X. p. 129.]
"While Oglethorpe was at Charlestown, in June 1733, an Indian shot himself in the vicinity. His uncle, (who was a war-king,) and his friends, finding him dead, and fancying that he had been murdered by the English, declared that they would be revenged on them. Tomo Chichi, being informed of the uproar, came to the place and strove to quiet the Indians, saying that he was persuaded it could not be the English who had killed him; and therefore desired that they would inquire better into the matter. But the uncle, continuing in a great rage, Tomo Chichi bared his breast and said to him, 'If you will kill any body, kill me; for I am an Englishman.' So he pacified them; and, upon the thorough examination of the matter, it was found that for some days he had been in despair, and desired several different Indians to shoot him; and an Indian boy saw him kill himself in the following manner; he put the muzzle of his gun under his chin, and with his great toe pushed the trigger."
[Footnote 1: New England Weekly Journal for August 23, 1733.]
The visit of Tomo Chichi to England was greeted in some beautiful poetry, of which the following stanza is an extract:
"What stranger this? and from what region far?
This wonderous form, majestic to behold?
Unclothed, yet armed offensive for the war,
In hoary age, and wise experience old?
His limbs inured to hardiness and toil,
His strong large limbs, what mighty sinews brace!
Whilst truth sincere and artless virtue smile
In the expressive features of his face.
His bold, free aspect speaks the inward mind,
Awed by no slavish fear, by no vile passion blind."
Major McCALL, after giving an account of the visit of the Indians to England, makes this declaration: "Tomo Chichi acknowledged that the Governor of the world, or Great Spirit, had given the English great wisdom, power, and riches, so that they wanted nothing. He had given the Indians great extent of territories, yet they wanted every thing. Therefore he exerted his influence in prevailing on the Creeks to resign such lands to the English as were of no use to themselves, and to allow them to settle amongst them; that they might be supplied with useful articles for cultivation, and necessaries of life. He told them that the English were a generous nation, and would trade with them on the most honorable and advantageous terms; that they were brethren and friends, and would protect them against danger, and go with them to war against their enemies." Vol. I. p. 46.
Mr. WESLEY, in his Journal, writes July 1st, 1736: "The Indians had an audience, and another on Saturday, when Chicali, their head man, dined with Mr. Oglethorpe. After dinner I asked the grey-headed old man, 'What he thought he was made for?' He said, 'He that is above knows what he made us for. We know nothing. We are in the dark. But white men know much. And yet white men build great houses, as if they were to live forever. In a little time white men will be dust as well as I.' I told him, 'if red men will learn the good book, they may know as much as white men. But neither we nor you can know that book, unless we are taught by Him that is above; and he will not teach you unless you avoid what you already know is not good.' He answered, 'I believe that; He will not teach us while our hearts are not white [pure]; and our men do what they know is not good. Therefore he that is above does not send us the good book.'"
About TOMO CHICHI, the following is given in SPENCE'S Anecdotes, p. 318. (Ed. Lond. 1820.)
"When General Oglethorpe was conversing with a sensible old native of Georgia about prayer, the latter said that 'they never prayed to God, but left it to him to do what he thought to be best for them; that the asking for any particular blessing, looked to him like directing God; and if so, must be a very wicked thing. That, for his part, he thought every thing that happened in the world was as it should be; that God, of himself, would do for every one what was consistent with the good of the whole; and that our duty to him was to be content with whatever happened in general, and thankful for all the good that happened to us in particular.'"
The speech of Tomo Chichi, on presenting the feather of an Eagle to Oglethorpe, is very expressive in his own laconic explication. By a little paraphrase it may be understood to import: "The Eagle has a sharp beak for his enemies, but down on his breast for his friend. He has strong wings, for he is aspiring; but they give shelter to feeble ones, for he is naturally propitious."
"TOMO CHICHI died on the 5th of October, 1739, at his own town, four miles from Savannah, of a lingering illness, being aged about 97. He was sensible to the last minutes; and when he was persuaded his death was near, he showed the greatest magnanimity and sedateness, and exhorted his people never to forget the favors he had received from the King when in England, but to persevere in their friendship with the English. He expressed the greatest tenderness for General Oglethorpe, and seemed to have no concern at dying, but its being at a time when his life might be useful against the Spaniards. He desired that his body might be buried among the English, in the town of Savannah, since it was he that had prevailed with the Creek Indians to give the land, and had assisted in the founding of the town. The corpse was brought down by water. The General, attended by the Magistrates and people of the town, met it upon the water's edge. The corpse was carried into the Percival square. The pall was supported by the General, Colonel Stephens, Colonel Montaigute, Mr. Carteret, Mr. Lemon, and Mr. Maxwell. It was followed by the Indians, and Magistrates, and people of the town. There was the respect paid of firing minute guns from the battery all the time of the procession; and funeral firing by the militia, who were under arms. The General has ordered a pyramid of stone which is dug in this neighborhood, to be erected over the grave, which being in the centre of the town, will be a great ornament to it, as well as testimony of gratitude."
[Footnote 1: Gentleman's Magazine, 1740, Vol. X. p. 129, and London Magazine, 1758, Vol. LVII. p. 24. The account of the death and funeral of Tomo Chichi, much like the above, is given in the Journal of W. STEPHENS, who was present. Vol. II. p. 153.]
As a frontispiece to one of the volumes of URLSPERGER'S Journal of the Saltzburg Emigrants, is an engraving of Tomo Chichi and Toonahowi, which bears the inscription, "TOMO CHICHI, Mico, and TOONAHOWI, the son of his brother, the Mice, or king of Etichitas; engraved in Augsburg after the London original, by John Jacob Kleinshmidt."
In 1738, a dramatic entertainment in three acts, entitled Timbo
Chiqui, was published by John Cleland. [NICHOLS'S Literary
Anecdotes, Vol. II. p. 459.]
TOONAHOWI was killed, valiantly fighting for the English against the
Yamasee Indians, at Lake di Pupa, in 1743.
Charlestown, April 1, 1740.
Whereas upon mature deliberation it is resolved to defend these Provinces by invading the Province of Florida, and attacking St. Augustine, in order to remove the enemy that from thence may molest his Majesty's subjects in America, which enemy both have and do continue to foment and countenance the slaves to rebellion, burning houses, murders, and other cruelties, of which the circumstances of the late massacre in this Province is too sad a proof; and whereas the General Assembly of this Province hath ordered forces to be raised, so that an army composed of various troops and Indians are to assist in invading the Spanish dominions of Florida; I, therefore, to prevent any disorders that may arise in the said army by virtue of powers received from his Majesty authorizing and empowering me, (for the better government of the forces during their continuance under my command,) to prepare and publish such rules and ordinances as are fit to be observed by all officers and soldiers: in regard, therefore, to the regiment of foot raised in South Carolina, I do constitute and appoint that Alexander Vanderdussen, Esq., Colonel of the said regiment, paid by the government of South Carolina, shall hold regimental courts martial for the trials of such offences as shall be committed by the officers and soldiers of that regiment; and that the said court martial shall consist of the officers of that regiment only; and that the Colonel of the said regiment shall sit as President of the said regimental courts martial, and make a report to me, and that according to the judgment of the said Courts I shall cause sentence to be pronounced, in case I approve of the same, or otherwise suspend the same as I shall see cause. And I do further declare that this authority shall continue for the space of four months from the commencement of the said expedition, and no longer; and that after the expiration of the said four months, or other sooner determination of the said expedition, every officer and soldier, whether volunteers from, or in the pay of the government of Carolina, shall have free liberty to depart and return to their habitations, and that a free pass (if by them required,) shall be respectively granted unto them, against being impressed, impeded, enlisted, or detained, by any authority, civil or military, whatsoever, that may be exercised by or derived from me.
And I do further declare that if the officers of his Majesty's ships of war shall land men to assist the land forces, one full moiety of all the plunder that shall be taken in such service, shall go to the officers and men in his Majesty's said sea-service, whose ships are assisting in the said expedition; and that all plunder taken and accruing to the officers and men in the land service shall be divided among the officers and men of the land service, in the same manner and proportion as prizes are distributed among the officers and men in his Majesty's sea-service, according to the laws and rules of his Majesty's navy.
And I do further declare that whatever share of plunder shall come to me as General and commander of the said forces, I will apply the same totally towards the relief of such men as may happen to be maimed or wounded in the said expedition, and towards assisting the widows and children of any of the said forces that may happen to be killed in the said service; and for the rewarding of such as shall perform any distinguished brave action.
No Indian enemy is to be taken as a slave, for all Spanish and Indian prisoners do belong to his Majesty, and are to be treated as prisoners, and not as slaves.
"As no final agreement with respect to the limits of the two provinces had been concluded, the Indians in alliance with Spain continued to harass the British settlements. Scalping parties of the Yamasees frequently penetrated into Carolina; killed white men, and carried off every negro they could find. Though the owners of slaves had been allowed from the Spanish government a compensation in money for their losses, yet few of them ever received it. At length Colonel Palmer resolved to make reprisals upon the plunderers. For this purpose he gathered together a party of militia and friendly Indians, consisting of about three hundred men, and entered Florida with a resolution of spreading desolation throughout the province. He carried his arms as far as the gates of St. Augustine, and compelled the inhabitants to take refuge in their castle. Scarce a house or hut in the Colony escaped the flames. He destroyed their provisions in the fields; drove off their hogs, cattle, and horses; and left the Floridians little property, except what was protected by the guns of their fort. By this expedition he demonstrated to the Spaniards their weakness; and that the Carolinians, whenever they pleased, could prevent the cultivation and settlement of their Province so as to render the improvement of it impracticable on any other than peaceable terms with their neighbors."
[Footnote 1: HEWATT'S History of South Carolina, Vol. I. p. 314, and Dr. RAMSAY'S History of South Carolina, Vol. I. p. 137; where it is quoted, word for word, without acknowledgment.]
"May 30th,  we arrived near St. Augustine. June 1st we were joined by the Flamborough, Captain Pearse; the Phoenix, Captain Fanshaw; the Tartar, Captain Townshend; and the Squirrel, Capt. Warren, of twenty guns each; besides the Spence Sloop, Captain Laws, and the Wolf, Captain Dandridge. On the 2d Colonel Vanderdussen, with three hundred Carolina soldiers, appeared to the north of the town. On the 9th General Oglethorpe came by sea with three hundred soldiers and three hundred Indians from Georgia: on the which they were carried on shore in the men-of-war's boats, under the cover of the small ships' guns. They landed on the Island Eustatia, without opposition, and took the look-out. The 13th Captain Warren, in a schooner and other armed sloops and pettiauguas anchored in their harbor, just out of cannon shot, until the 26th, when the sailors were employed in landing ordnance and other stores, within reach of the enemy's cannon. On which occasion they discovered a surprising spirit and intrepidity. The same night two batteries were raised; but too far off. The 27th the General summoned the Governor to surrender; who sent word he should be glad to shake hands with him in his castle. This haughty answer was occasioned by a dear-bought victory which five hundred Spaniards had obtained over eighty Highlanders, fifty of whom were slain; but died like heroes, killing thrice their number. The 29th, bad weather, obliged the men-of-war to put to sea, out of which but one man had been killed. Hereupon the siege was raised."
Letter from General Oglethorpe to Rev. J.M. Bolzius.
Though God has not been pleased to prosper us with the success of taking St. Augustine, yet we are to thank him for the safe return of the greatest part of our men, and that the pride of our enemy has been curbed.
Those men who came from Ebenezer, and that were in the Carolina regiment, I have ordered to be sent up to you again.
I recommend myself to your prayers,
and am, Reverend Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Frederica, 5 August, 1740.
From the Gentleman's Magazine, for November, 1740.
A letter in the Daily Post of the 26th, dated from Charlestown, South Carolina, having laid the ill success at Fort St. Augustine on the ill conduct of ——, some particulars of which are: 1st, that the cattle taken at a cow-pen of one Diego, twenty-five miles from the town, May 12, were not distributed to the soldiery; 2d, that the people might have entered the town without opposition, but were not suffered; 3d, that the men were needlessly harassed; 4th, that Colonel Palmer, who was sent to Negro Fort, two miles from the town, with one hundred and thirty-three men to alarm the Spaniards was not supported by ——, who staid six or seven miles off; 5th, that Colonel Palmer being attacked by five hundred Spaniards, shot three of them after they had entered the fort; 6th, that Captain Warren was the life and spirit of the cause; 7th, that the Volunteers, seeing no prospect of succeeding under such mad conduct, as they called it, daily went off,—the following answer was published.
"Upon seeing a letter misrepresenting, in the most false and malicious manner, the late expedition against St. Augustine; aiming thereby to defame the character of a gentleman, whose unwearied endeavors for the public service, have greatly impaired his health; and as I, who am a Captain in General Oglethorpe's regiment, was present, and acted upon that occasion as Brigadier Major, and must know the whole transactions, I think it my duty to take notice of it.
"As to the cow-pen it speaks of, it is a square Fort, with four carriage guns and four swivel guns, and had a garrison in it of forty-seven soldiers of the regular troops, and seven negroes, who were all made prisoners of war. The cattle found there, and in parts adjacent, were distributed to the King's troops and the Carolina regiment.
"In respect to the Carolina people being ready to enter the town of Augustine without opposition; it is entirely false, and without the least foundation.
"In regard to Colonel Palmer's misfortune, who was killed in the first fire from the Spaniards; he brought it upon himself by disobeying the orders he received, which positively enjoined his keeping in the woods, and avoiding action, and by acting contrary to the advice of the officers under his command, some of whom were present when he received his orders, and lodging himself in the Negro Fort Moosa, where they were surrounded and defeated; the gates of which fort, and the house within it, the General had before burnt.
"With respect to the Carolina Volunteers; that they did go away is certain, without leave given, or asked, and their Captain with them. A Captain of the Carolina regiment also left his command in the guard of the trenches, without being relieved, or asking any leave, and went with them. After such behavior, what credit can be given to such men, though termed persons of note?
"As to Captain Warren, whose name is mentioned to endeavor to throw an odium elsewhere; I am convinced by the personal acquaintance I have with him, that he will upon all occasions, do his duty in the service of his King and country; as also Captain Law and Captain Townshend, that were ashore with him.
"The morning after we landed upon the Island of Anastatia, I stood by while Captain Warren read to General Oglethorpe a letter to Captain Pearse, then Commodore, acquainting him of our landing without any loss, and the Spaniards withdrawing from that Island, on which Captain Warren said, all that was now necessary to secure the reduction of the place, was the taking of the Spanish galleys, which undertaking he would himself head with the King's boats under the cannon of the fort, if he would give him leave. Several councils of war were held on board his Majesty's ships by the sea captains, but Captain Warren's proposition was not undertaken.
"Lest malicious people should suggest that I might be sent to England by General Oglethorpe on this occasion, I solemnly declare, that I came at my own desire by his leave, and had no instructions from him, directly or indirectly, concerning this affair; but my regard to truth, and abhorrence of all false and malicious reports whatsoever, have induced me to publish this, to which I set my name. HUGH MACKLEY."
Johnson's Court, Charing Cross, Nov. 29, 1740.
For details of the Spanish invasion in 1742, I refer to the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XII. pages 494, 496, 550, and 661; and would here remark that Patrick Sutherland, Lieutenant of General Oglethorpe's regiment, was sent express to England to give an account of the war, and was furnished with a minute Journal of the occurrences; but, being taken by a Spanish privateer, he threw his papers into the sea. A circumstantial relation, however, having been sent by another conveyance to the Trustees, was attested and confirmed by Lieutenant Sutherland on his arrival in London; and was published in the London Gazette of December 25th, and thence transferred into the Gentleman's Magazine, for 1742, p. 693, and was afterwards repeated in the London Magazine for 1758, p. 79. There is also in HARRIS'S Collection of Voyages, Vol. II. p. 324-347, a very particular account of the Spanish invasion, which is introduced by the following remarks: "As to the manner in which they executed it at last; and the amazing disappointment they met with, notwithstanding the vast force they employed, and the smallness of that by which they were assisted, we had so full, so clear, and so authentic an account published by authority, that I know of no method more fit to convey an idea of it, or less liable to any exceptions than transcribing it." Of this I have freely availed myself, and have distinguished the direct quotations by inverted commas, but without repeating the references in marginal notes.
This account is concluded with the following remarks: "I must observe, before I conclude this chapter, that if there be any thing in it which ought in a particular manner to claim the attention of the public, it is, in a great measure, due to the lights afforded by the Honorable James Oglethorpe, from whom, if the author has caught any part of that generous spirit which inclines a man to bend all his thoughts and turn all his labors to the service of his country, it is but just that he should acknowledge it; and this he is the more ready to do, because, if there be any merit in his performance, capable of making it known to and esteemed by posterity, he would willingly consecrate it as a mark of his esteem and gratitude for the many informations he has received, and the right turn that has been given to his inquiries, by that knowing and worthy person, who is equally happy in rendering the greatest personal services himself to the community, and in infusing the like disposition in others, both by his example and conversation."
Some extracts are also inserted in my narrative from an account of the Invasion of Georgia, taken from the Diary of the Preachers at Ebenezer. [URLSPERGER, Vol. IV. p. 1252.] This is principally derived from intelligence by despatches to Savannah, and contains three letters from Oglethorpe. Just as my manuscript was going to the press, I was favored by my obliging friend, Dr. Stevens, of Savannah, with a copy of General Oglethorpe's despatch to the Duke of Newcastle; in season, however, to profit by it.
[Footnote 1: From the German translation of the Reverend Mr. Bolzius.]
Almighty god has at all times displayed his power and mercy in the wonderful and gracious delivery of his Church; and in the protection of pious and godly rulers and people, who have acknowledged and served him, against the ungodly conspiracies and violent practices of all their enemies. He has by the interposition of his Providence rescued us from the assaults of the Spaniards. They came out against us with fourteen sail of light galleys, into Cumberland sound, but fear came upon them, and they fled at his rebuke. Again they came with a mighty fleet of thirty-six ships and vessels, into Jekyl sound, and after a sharp contest became masters of the fort, since we had but four vessels to oppose their whole force; but He was there the shield of our people; for, in the unequal conflict in which we held out bravely for four hours, not one of our men was killed, although many of theirs were, and five by a single shot. They landed with four thousand five hundred men upon this island, according to the account of the prisoners we took, yea even of the Englishmen who escaped from them. The first party marched through the woods towards this town, (Frederica) when, before a small number of our people, they were dispersed, and fled. Another party which supported that, fought also, but was discomfited. We may say surely the hand of God was raised for our defence, for in the two skirmishes more than five hundred fled before fifty; though the enemy fought vigorously a long time, and, especially, fired their grenades with great spirit; but their shooting did little hurt, so that not one of us was killed; but they were thrown into great confusion, and pursued with so great loss, that according to the account of the Spaniards since made prisoners, more than two hundred returned not to their camp again. They advanced with their galleys against our fortress, but were disappointed and withdrew without discharging a shot. After this, fear came upon them, and they fled, leaving behind them some cannon, and many other things which they had taken on shore. Next, with twenty-eight sail they attacked Fort William, in which there were only fifty men, and after a contest of three hours, they desisted, and left the Province.
And so wonderfully were we protected and preserved, that in this great and formidable conflict but few of our men were taken, and but three killed. Truly the Lord hath done great things for us, by rescuing us from the power of a numerous foe, who boasted that they would conquer and dispossess us. Not our strength or might hath saved us; our salvation is of the Lord. Therefore it is highly becoming us to render thanks to God our deliverer. For this purpose, and in regard to these considerations, I hereby appoint that the twenty-fifth day of this month should be held as a day of public THANKSGIVING to Almighty God for his great deliverance, and the end that is put to this Spanish invasion. And I enjoin that every one observe this festival in a christian and godly manner; abstaining from intemperance and excess, and from all extravagant signs of rejoicing.
Given under my own hand and seal this twenty-first day of July, at Frederica in Georgia, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-two.
[Under the date of September, the Rev. Mr. Bolzius makes this entry in his diary—"Mr. Jones told me lately, that the people and soldiers at Frederica, on the day when the Thanksgiving was held, observed such a stillness and good order as he had never seen there. There was also a very pertinent and devout ascription of praise read, which he (and Mr. Jones is a good judge of edifying things,) pronounce to be very excellent; and, moreover, he maintained that it must have been prepared and composed by General Oglethorpe himself, for there was neither preacher nor school-master at Frederica at that time."]
[Footnote 1: URLSPERGER, IV. p. 1261.]
One Regiment of dismounted Dragoons, 400
Havana Regiment, 500
Havana Militia, 1000
Regiment of Artillery, 400
Florida Militia, 400
Batalion of Mulattoes, 300
Black Regiment, 400
General Oglethorpe's command consisted of,
His Regiment, 472
Company of Rangers, 30
Armed Militia, 40
Ensign Stewart's command at Fort William, on the south end of Cumberland Island, consisted of sixty men. Fort William was about fifty miles south-west from Frederica.
One of the principal designs which influenced the settlement of Georgia, was the hope of thereby creating a silk-growing province, where that material for which England had so long been indebted to France, Italy and China, could be produced in this colonial dependency.
As early as 1609, the subject engaged the attention of the adventurers to Virginia, and in a pamphlet, called "Nova Brittannia offering most excellent fruites by planting in Virginia," published that year, the writer says "there are silkeworms, and plenty of mulberie-trees, whereby ladies, gentlewomen and little children (being set in the way to do it) may bee all imploied with pleasure, making silke comparable to that of Persia, Turkey, or any other." In 1650, Mr. Samuel Hartlib published a work entitled "Virginia Discovery of Silk Wormes, with their Benefits," in which he endeavored to show that the raising of silk was a thing very practicable in Virginia, and even asserted that as a staple, it might be made superior to tobacco, in which opinion he was confirmed by the judgment of several others. That they made some advances in this culture, is evident from the fact that the Coronation robe of Charles II., in 1660, was made of silk reeled in that colony, and even so late as 1730, three hundred pounds of the raw material were exported from Virginia. Tobacco, however, soon assumed and maintained the ascendancy, to the exclusion of this more useful and beautiful produce.
In 1703, Sir Nathaniel Johnson introduced the silk culture into South Carolina, but the astonishing success which rewarded the casual introduction of rice into the plantation about eight years before, precluded a just interest in the undertaking, and as a public and recognized commodity it soon came to naught, though several persons, more for amusement than profit, still gave their attention to it; and as late as 1755, Mrs. Pinckney, the same lady to whom the province was indebted for the first cultivation of indigo ten years before, reeled sufficient silk in the vicinity of Charleston to make three dresses, one of which was presented to the Princess Dowager of Wales, another to Lord Chesterfield, and the third, says Ramsay, who narrates the circumstance, "is now (1809) in Charleston in the possession of her daughter, Mrs. Horrey, and is remarkable for its beauty, firmness and strength."
But notwithstanding these failures and the known difficulty of introducing a new branch of agriculture into a country, as was evidenced by the compulsion which was necessary by Henry IV. to introduce it into France, against the united voices of the merchants-traders, and even in opposition to the Duke of Sully, and also the indifference manifested in England, notwithstanding the able proclamation of King James on the subject, commanding its cultivation; the Trustees for the settlement of Georgia determined to make one more effort, which, if successful, would enrich both the province and the mother country. The views which they entertained, however, of making Georgia supplant every silk-growing country, were extravagant and erroneous; they expected, in fact, to supply all Europe, and to produce an article of equal strength, beauty and value, with any made on the Continent. The Piedmontese, thought they, who pay half of their silk for the rent of the mulberry trees and the eggs of the worm, or the peasants of France, burdened with political difficulty and stinted for conveniences, could not cope with the settlers of Georgia, where the mulberry (morus alba) trees would grow in the greatest luxuriance, where timber for their fabrics was no expense, where room was abundant and the reward sure. By this transfer, in addition to a direct saving to England of over 500,000_l_. which she paid for this article to foreign countries, twenty thousand people were to find employment in rearing it in Georgia, and as many more at home in preparing it for market.
Among the first emigrants who sailed with Oglethorpe from England in November 1732, was Mr. Amatis, from Piedmont, who was engaged by the Trustees to introduce the art of silk-winding into the colony, and who for that purpose brought with him several Italians and some adequate machinery. White mulberry trees were planted in a portion of land on the eastern border of the city, called the Trustees' garden; eggs were hatched, and silk spun "as fine as any from France or Italy." They soon, however, came to a mutual rupture, and the whole process was for a time suspended by the treachery of those employed, who broke the machinery, spoiled the seed, destroyed the trees, and then escaped to Carolina. Sufficient, however, had been wrought to test its value, and they were not discouraged by this inauspicious commencement. The Trustees still adhered to their design, and the more effectually to advance it, required of every settler that there should be on his grant, ten mulberry trees to each acre.
Mr. Camuse and his wife, both Italians, were now entrusted with this business, in which they were continued six years; the two first at a salary of 60_l_. per annum, and the four last at 100_l_. besides the rent of a dwelling house and garden.
In June 1734, General Oglethorpe carried eight pounds of raw silk, the first produced in Georgia, to England, which was followed by a small trunk full of the same article, on the 2d of April, 1735, and after being made into orgazine, by the engine of Sir Thomas Lombe, at Derby, who said that it "proved exceedingly good through all the operations," was sent up to London on the 13th of August, 1735, when the Trustees, together with Sir Thomas Lombe, waited on her majesty Queen Caroline and exhibited to her the elegant specimen of Georgia silk. The queen selected a portion of this parcel to be wove into a pattern, and being again waited on by these gentlemen and Mr. Booth, the silk weaver, on the 21st of September, she expressed "a great satisfaction for the beauty and fineness of the silk, the richness of the pattern, and at seeing so early a product from that colony;" and to express her pleasure at such a favorable result, a complete court-dress was made from it, and on His Majesty's next birth-day, she appeared at the levee in a full robe of Georgia silk.
On the return of Oglethorpe, in 1735, he renewed his endeavors to bring it into active operation. For the purpose of obtaining a sufficient quantity of seed, he allowed no silk to be reeled that year, but let the worms deposit their eggs. He required, also, that the Italian women should teach a number of the colonists, and thus render general the knowledge they could impart. The Saltzburgers at Ebenezer were the most forward to adopt his views, and in March 28, 1736, Rev. Mr. Bolzius gave one tree to each inhabitant as a present from Oglethorpe, and two of his congregation were instructed in the art of reeling, by Mrs. Camuse. But though Oglethorpe gave Mr. Bolzius trees, silk worms, and a book of instructions, yet he confesses that he felt no interest in the business, nor inclination to pursue it.
In July, 1739, Mr. Samuel Augspourger carried over a parcel of raw
silk which he received from Mr. Jones, the Trustees' store-keeper in
Savannah, and which was declared by eminent judges to be "equal to any
Italian silk, and worth full twenty shillings per pound."
On May 11, 1741, Mr. Bolzius in his journal states that twenty girls, during the last two months, succeeded in making seventeen pounds of cocoons which were sold on Friday last at Savannah for 3_l_. 8_s_. During this year, General Oglethorpe advanced to Bolzius 5_l_. for procuring trees, for which sum he obtained twelve hundred, and distributed twenty-two to each family in his parish.
On May 1, 1742, fourteen pounds and fourteen ounces were sold, which brought 2_l_. 19_s_. 6_d_. Nearly half of the silkworms died at Savannah, owing, as was then supposed, either to poisoned dew or warm weather.
December 4, 1742, General Oglethorpe sent five hundred trees to Ebenezer, with the promise of more if required. The indifference of the good Mr. Bolzius had by this time passed away, and he was now a zealous advocate for its extension. A machine was erected near his house, and two women succeeded very well, by which the people were stimulated to renewed exertions, and a public Filature was contemplated. The enterprise of these Germans, seemed to excite the envious disposition of Mrs. Camuse, with whom had been placed two women from Ebenezer; but the conduct of Mrs. C. in withholding information, rendered their acquirement inadequate, and Mr. Bolzius withdrew them from her charge. The first parcel of silk made, was sent to the Trustees, who expressed themselves pleased with its quality. In 1745, the weight of cocoons was two hundred and fifty-three pounds, and of spun silk sixteen and three-quarters. In 1746, the weight of cocoons was three hundred and forty-four pounds, and of spun silk eighteen pounds. Early in this year a machine for winding, and coppers for baking, together with appropriate treatises on the art, were sent over by the Trustees, but the people were indifferent and apathetic.
The Germans, however, were as active as formerly, and Mr. Bolzius, in a letter to Von Munch, dated May 6, 1747, says, that "the people last winter planted more mulberry trees than for thirteen years before," for which he promised them a bounty of one shilling for every tree which yielded one hundred pounds of leaves. The silk balls raised at this place this year, were over four hundred pounds, three hundred and sixty-six pounds of which sold for 36_l_. 12_s_. 10-1/2_d_. The amount raised in the whole colony, was eight hundred and forty-seven pounds of cocoons, and sixty-two pounds of spun silk. In 1748, the Saltzburgers reared four hundred and sixty-four pounds, but their small trees were destroyed, and some of the larger ones injured, by the late frost. They this year succeeded admirably in spinning twenty-four pounds of raw silk, the want of a chimney and proper basins, which had impeded them before, in their rude building, having been remedied. The President, writing to Secretary Martyn, December 11, 1746, says, "The fundamental cause of its stagnation, is the unaccountable backwardness of some of our dames and damsels to employ themselves in attending to the worms during the time of feeding, which I have frequently taken notice of, and it cannot be imputed to the want of leaves."
During the same period only thirty-four pounds of spun silk were raised by the Trustees' agent in Savannah. Mr. Bolzius, under date of February 15th, 1749, thus writes: "the weather being now warm and pleasant, the mulberry trees have put forth their young leaves, and our people are now turning their minds towards making of silk," and then, after expressing his surprise, that so few were disposed to this culture, adds, "one reason for this reluctance, is ascribed to the circumstance that, by ordinary labor, about two shillings might be obtained per day, whereas scarcely a shilling could be earned in the same time, by the silk concern." Seven hundred and sixty-two pounds of cocoons were raised, and fifty pounds thirteen ounces spun silk, and there were two machines erected in Mr. Bolzius's yard which drew off twenty-four ounces per day. On the 29th September, 1749, the Trustees promised 2_l_. to every woman, who shall make herself mistress of the art of winding, in one year. And they also gave Rev. Mr. Bolzius permission to erect ten sheds, with clay furnaces, at an expense of not more than 2_l_. each, and ten machines for reeling, at thirty shillings each, which he says could be made better than those at Savannah for 3_l_.; they also sent them ten basins, and the good Germans felt the impulse of this substantial encouragement. In 1750, though the people in other parts of the colony mostly relinquished the silk culture, the inhabitants of Ebenezer continued vigorously employed and interested in it. On the 2d of June they received ten kettles from the Trustees, one of which, and a reeling machine, were given to each mistress in the art of spinning, and two of the best artisans received 5_l_. for giving instruction to fourteen young women, to each of whom was bestowed 1_l_. for attention and industry.
Over a thousand pounds of cocoons were raised at Ebenezer, and seventy-four pounds two ounces raw silk made, producing (the price being then thirty shillings) over 110_l_. sterling. As illustrative of the luxuriant growth of the mulberry, it may be interesting to state, that two trees in front of the Parsonage, ten years old, measured three feet eight inches in circumference. In December of this year, eight more copper basins were received, and public confidence in the success of the undertaking seemed revived, notwithstanding Mr. Camuse and family had left the Province, and settled at Purysburgh, in South Carolina.
On the 25th December, 1750, Mr. Pickering Robinson, who, together with Mr. James Habersham, had been appointed the preceding August a commissioner to promote more effectually the culture of silk, arrived in Savannah.
Mr. Robinson had been sent to France, at the expense of the Trustees, to study the management of filatures and the necessary processes for preparing the article for market, and thus, though no operative, was qualified to take the directorship of so important a branch of industry. His salary was 100_l_. per annum; 25_l_. for a clerk, and a tract of land was also granted him, which, in 1763, sold for 1300_l_.
Mr. Robinson brought with him a large quantity of silkworm seed, but all failed, save about half an ounce; the commissioners determined at once to erect a filature, which should be a normal school to the whole province, and it was their opinion that it would be "a sufficient nursery to supply, in three or four years, as many reelers as will be wanted, when we make no doubt of many private filatures being erected, which can only make their culture a general staple." The dimensions were thirty-six feet by twenty, rough boarded, with a loft or upper story, for the spreading out of the green cocoons. It was commenced on the 4th of March, 1751. On the 1st of April, the basins were put up, and on the 8th of May the reeling began. To encourage the colonists, the Trustees proposed to purchase all the balls, and wind them at their own expense, and paid from 1_s_. 6_d_. to 2_s_. 4_d_. per pound for green cocoons. The Commissioners separated the cocoons into three sorts: 1st, perfect cones; 2d, the spongy and fuzzy; and 3d, the spotted, stained, and dupions. This arrangement, however, gave great offence to some of the residents in Savannah and Purysburgh, and Messrs. Robinson and Habersham requested the Vice President and assistants to determine the respective prices and publicly announce the same, which they did on the 26th April, by a proclamation, wherein by way of bounty, they promised to pay for cocoons delivered at their store in Savannah, the following sums, namely, for cocoons made by one worm, hard, weighty and good substance, 2_s_. per pound; for the weaker quality, pointed, spotted, or bruised, 1_s_. 3_d_.; for dupions (those made by two worms), 6_d_.; for raw silk, from 1st quality cocoons 14_s_. per pound; for that made from 2d quality, 12_s_.; the product of the double cones, 6_s_. per pound; and they also offered, if delivered at the filature, for best cocoons, 3_s_. 6_d_.; for middling 1_s_. 8_d_.; and for inferior 1_s_. 1_d_., a series of prices truly astonishing, when we reflect that the real merchantable worth of a pound of cocoons is scarcely ever 6_d_.
Experiments were made at the filature to ascertain the relative quantity of each of these qualities, in a given weight of cocoons, and the results were, that in fifty pounds of green cocoons, there were twenty-seven pounds of the first sort, ten pounds four ounces of the second, and twelve pounds twelve ounces of the third. After curing or baking, these fifty pounds weighed only forty-six pounds five ounces, showing a loss in ponderosity of nearly eight per cent. Beside the arrangement above specified, the cocoons were still further divided for the purpose of reeling into white and yellow, and these again, subdivided into five each, namely, 1st, hard and weighty; 2d, little woolly and weaker; 3d, very woolly and soft; 4th, spotted and much bruised; 5th, double worms.
Mr. Camuse, son, and daughter, who, it appears, gave the commissioners no little trouble by their perverse conduct, returned to Savannah and were engaged to labor at the filature, at three shillings per day, at which Mr. Habersham exclaims, "monstrous wages!" The reelers now advanced with much proficiency, and five of them, on the 10th of May, wound off eleven pounds of cocoons each. The proportion of raw silk to the cocoons, appeared, on a variety of trials, to be nearly in this ratio:—
oz. 10th May, 1751, 55 lbs. cocoons, 1st quality, produced 117-7/8. 11th " " 8 " " " " 6-9 per thread 18-1/2. 13th " " 11 " " " " produced 21-1/2. 15th " " 55 " " 2d " " 109. 18th " " 20 " " " " " 24. 22d " " 15 " " 1st " " 20-3/4. " " " 10 " " 2d " " 13-1/2.
The whole amount of cocoons raised in the province, was six thousand three hundred and one pounds, of which two thousand pounds came from Ebenezer, and four thousand pounds were made at Whitefield's Orphan-house. Two hundred and sixty-nine pounds and one ounce of raw silk, and one hundred and sixty-one pounds of filogee, were prepared, notwithstanding over three hundred and eighty pounds were lost by vermin, fire and mould. The expense of the culture was large this year, owing to the erection of the filature, &c., which swelled the sum to 609_l_. 9_s_. 8-1/2_d_. sterling. The private journals of that day kept at Savannah and Ebenezer, acquaint us, in some measure, with the arduous nature of the commissioners' labors, and the difficulties they encountered from the want of funds, the intractableness of laborers, the novelty of the attempt, the imperfections of machinery, and the bitter opposition of those who should have sustained and encouraged them. The public duties of Mr. Habersham prevented his constant attention to this business; but the whole time of Mr. Robinson was devoted to the filature, directing the sorters, aiding the novices, advising the reelers, and in every way exerting himself to obtain success. His engagement with the Trustees expired on the 30th of August, 1751, but finding that his intended departure depressed the friends of the culture, he was solicited by the local government to remain another year, and, generously sacrificing private to public interests, he complied with their request. Mr. Habersham thus speaks of Mr. Robinson. "I think him the most prudent as well as the most capable person I ever knew, to undertake such a work, and if he could be continued here, I doubt not but that he would turn out a number of well instructed reelers, who would be able to conduct filatures at Ebenezer, Augusta, and other parts of the province." So great was the confidence which the Trustees had in him, that he was appointed an assistant in the government at Savannah; an honor which he declined, and in the same letter stated, "If due encouragement be not given to the culture of raw silk, for the term of at least fourteen years, I positively cannot think of settling in America." These gentlemen recommended the building of a house, sixty feet by twenty-six, as a cocoonry, great loss having been experienced for the want of such a structure.
In 1752, Mr. Robinson returned to England, and his place was partially supplied by Joseph Ottolenghe, a native of Piedmont, and a proficient in his art, who came to Georgia on the 18th of July, 1751, and took charge of the filature in April, 1753. In a letter to Lee Martyn, dated September 11, 1753, Mr. Ottolenghe says, that "there were fewer cocoons raised this year, as the worms mostly hatched before the trees leaved," and that "the people were willing to continue the business." One hundred and ninety-seven pounds of raw silk were made this year, and three hundred and seventy-six pounds in 1754, besides twenty-four pounds of filosele. The people of Augusta became interested in this manufacture, and entered with considerable spirit into the undertaking, promising to send hands to Savannah, yearly, to learn the art of reeling: their enthusiasm, however, soon evaporated.
On the 29th of March, 1755, a certificate, signed by thirty-nine eminent silk-throwsters and weavers, was given to the "Commissioners for Trade and Plantations," stating that after examining three hundred pounds of raw silk, imported from Georgia, "we do sincerely declare that the nature and texture is truly good, the color beautiful, the thread as even and as clear as the best Piedmont (called wire silk) of the size, and much clearer and even than the usual Italian silks;" and furthermore, "it could be worked with less waste than China silk, and has all the properties of good silk well adapted to the weaver's art in most branches."
In 1755, five thousand four hundred and eighty-eight pounds of cocoons were raised, and four hundred and thirty-eight pounds of raw silk spun. The good effects of the filature were now happily evident in the increased interest of the planters in the subject, who sent both their daughters and young negroes to acquire the art of reeling. In 1756, three thousand seven hundred and eighty-three pounds and one ounce of cocoons were received at the filature, and two hundred and sixty-eight pounds of raw silk reeled.
The liberal policy of the commissioners, who had no private ends to answer, caused them to recommend the establishment of additional filatures, and in their letter to the Trustees, June 12th, 1751, they advise the erection of one at Ebenezer, and another contiguous to Savannah, but Mr. Ottolenghe opposed this course and arrogated to the one in Savannah the entire monopoly of the culture. Jealousy appears to have been very conspicuous in Mr. Ottolenghe's character, and his opposition to the Saltzburgers and depreciation of their efforts, arose from this suspicious trait. He aimed to render himself solely necessary, and aspersed everything which seemed to militate with his fancied superiority. This appears not only from letters of Governors Reynold and Ellis, but from his own correspondence, where this caution and fear of rivalry is plainly discernible. His course gave offence to the Ebenezer people, who had already erected a filature in their village; who had been at great sacrifice to send their wives and daughters to learn the art of reeling in Savannah, and who had hoped to carry on the manufacture under their own supervision and for their own benefit. Mr. Ottolenghe, however, overruled their views and required all cocoons to be delivered at Savannah and to be reeled there. Each basin at the filature had two apprentices, besides others who were employed in sorting the balls, &c., and the various operations connected with the trade, employed nearly forty persons.
In 1757, over five thousand pounds of cocoons were received at Savannah, and three hundred and sixty pounds of raw silk spun, which, says Governor Ellis, would have been more, if the eggs had not failed; and in a letter, dated 11th of March, 1757, he says "the raising of silk seems to be no longer a matter of curiosity, it employs many poor people, and is approaching towards a staple."
Seven thousand and forty pounds of cocoons were deposited in the filature in 1758, but while the friends of this business were rejoicing in the assured success of their experiment they were saddened by the destruction of the filature, which took fire on the 4th of July, and was totally consumed. The wound silk, which had not yet been shipped, amounting to three hundred and fifty pounds, was saved, but several thousand weight of silk balls, together with much of the reeling apparatus, were destroyed. Another and more capacious building was immediately erected and was ready for use the ensuing season.
In 1759, ten thousand one hundred and thirty-six pounds of cocoons were raised in Georgia, four thousand pounds of which were from Ebenezer, and the proceeds of their culture alone, for the season, reached 700_l_. sterling. The opinion of those engaged in the culture, as expressed to Dr. Jared Elliot, was, "that it was more profitable than any other ordinary business."
The cocoons delivered at the filature in 1760, weighed seven thousand nine hundred and eighty-three pounds, and there were spun eight hundred and thirty-nine pounds. Mr. Ottolenghe was now honored with the full appointment of "superintendant of the silk culture in Georgia," with a salary appropriate to his station.
Five thousand three hundred and seven pounds of cocoons, and three hundred and thirty-two pounds of raw silk were produced in 1761. Governor Wright, under date 13th of July, says, "The greatest appearance that ever they had here was destroyed in two nights' time, by excessive hard and unseasonable frosts, and there is likewise a degeneracy in the seed, as Mr. Ottolenghe tells me." These frosts occurred on the 5th and 6th of April. Parliament, this year, made a grant of 1000_l_. towards defraying the expenditure for the silk culture, and it was annually renewed until about 1766. By means of this gratuity, Mr. Ottolenghe was enabled to give a high price to the rearers of cocoons, and thus sustain the encouragement so judiciously commenced.
In 1762, fifteen thousand one hundred and one pounds of cocoons were delivered at the filature, and one thousand and forty-eight pounds of raw silk reeled, which Mr. O. declared to be the finest and best silk ever produced in Georgia.
The year 1763 showed an increase of cocoons but a decrease of silk, there being fifteen thousand four hundred and eighty-six pounds of the former, and only nine hundred and fifty-three pounds of the latter. The occasion of this disparity was a season of cold, rainy weather, towards the close of April, by which the later cocoons were injured and rendered almost useless.
There were delivered at the filature, in 1764, fifteen thousand two hundred and twelve pounds of cocoons, notwithstanding the season was so unfavorable, that Governor Wright mentions the case of one man who expected to make from five to seven hundred pounds, who only succeeded in raising one hundred pounds of cocoons. Eight thousand six hundred and ninety-five pounds were sent by the Saltzburgers, and the whole amount yielded eight hundred and ninety-eight pounds of raw silk.
In addition to the grant of Parliament, a Society, instituted in London, for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce, offered certain premiums for the advantage of the British American dominions, among which were:
"For every pound of cocoons produced in the province of Georgia and South Carolina, in the year 1764, of a hardy, weighty and good substance, wherein only one worm has spun, 3_d_.; for every pound of cocoons produced in the same year, of a weaker, lighter, spotted or bruised quality, 2_d_.; for dupions, 1_d_." These premiums were to be paid under the direction of Mr. O., with proper vouchers that the same were raised in either of the provinces specified.
It was agitated in 1765, to reduce the price of cocoons from 3_s_. to 1_s_. 6_d_. per pound, a measure which produced much dissatisfaction and as a consequence there was a considerable falling off in the amount of balls and silk, only twelve thousand five hundred and fourteen pounds of the former, and seven hundred and twelve pounds of the latter, together with seven hundred and twenty pounds of filosele being produced. To prevent the depression consequent on this reduction, Governor Wright suggested, that instead of so much per pound, as formerly, that the ten largest quantities should receive the highest, 50_l_., the next greatest parcel 45_l_., and so on, gradually decreasing with the decrease in weight, until you reached the lowest quantity, to which 10_l_. would be awarded; thus, while the expense would be greatly lessened to the Trustees, the stimulus of reward would be sufficiently sustained. This advice was not adopted, though owing to the urgent remonstrances of those best acquainted with the business, the reduction in the bounty was only 9_d_. instead of 1_s_. 6_d_. On the 25th April, 1765, the following order was published in the "Georgia Gazette:"
"Notice is hereby given to all whom it may concern, that, by direction of the Right Honorable the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, the price usually paid for cocoons is now reduced, and that no more than 2_s_. 3_d_. per pound will be paid for cocoons raised in this province, and delivered at the public filature this season.
"By order of His Excellency the Governor.
"GEO. BAILLIE, Commissary"
This bounty was still further reduced in 1766, when by order of the Board of Trade, only 1_s_. 1_d_. was paid per pound. The dependence of this culture on the weather, was signally instanced this year, from the fact that though many who had hitherto raised cocoons, abandoned it at the reduction of the bounty, yet such a large crop had never been produced before; over twenty thousand three hundred and eighty pounds of cocoons being delivered at the filature, which, however, only produced one thousand eighty-nine pounds of raw silk, and eight hundred and fifty pounds of filosele. This amount of reeled silk was not at all proportionate to the weight of the cones, resulting, as Mr. Ottolenghe said in a letter to Governor Wright, October 2, 1766, "to the badness of the seed, and consequent inferiority of the worms." In 1760, the cocoons weighed only seven thousand nine hundred and eighty-three pounds, and yet eight hundred and thirty-nine pounds of raw silk were spun; at which rate, the product this year should have been about two thousand pounds.
On the 26th of June, Henry Kennan made proposals to the Board of Trade, for carrying on the filature; but they were of a nature not at all advantageous to the culture, and Governor Wright, in his reply, on the 21st of October, disapproved of the plan, and exposed the fallacy of his scheme, which was in consequence abandoned.
In 1767, ten thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight pounds of balls were raised, and six hundred and seventy-one pounds nine ounces of raw silk spun; the decrease of cocoons being caused, first, by withdrawing of the Purysburgh cocoons, which last year amounted to five thousand five hundred and fifty-one pounds; and second, by the reduction of bounty, so that while last year the cocoons were delivered in by two hundred and sixty-four different persons, only one hundred and sixty individuals were this year devoted to the culture. The silk, however, was of a better quality, and sustained its high reputation in the London market.
In 1768, another plan was proposed, by Mr. Delamar, "in order the more effectually to establish the growth of raw silk in America." His proposal was, to pay a bounty of 20_s_. per pound on every pound of good, clear raw silk imported from any of his Majesty's dominions in America, to be paid on the price such silk might sell for at public sale in London; at the expiration of ten years, ten per cent. bounty was to be allowed; the ensuing five years at five per cent., after which time the bounty was to cease. This was the general feature of his plan; it was not, however, adopted, though in many respects its provisions were highly judicious and appropriate.
But this branch of industry and commerce was fast waning before the increasing culture of more sure and lucrative products, and only one hundred and thirty-seven different persons brought cocoons to the filature this year. Governor Wright, in his official letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, July 1, 1768, says, "I am persuaded that few, or none but the very poorer sort of people, will continue to go upon that article. Several substantial persons, who did mean to make it an object when the price was higher, have, to my knowledge, given it over. The reason, my Lord, is evident; for people who have their fortune to raise or make, will always turn themselves in such a way, and to the raising and making of such commodities, as they think will answer best; and it is very clear to me, that those who have negroes, may employ themselves and negroes to better advantage, &c., than by raising cocoons at 1_s_. 6_d_. per pound, although that is, as I have said, 7, 8, or 9_d_. more than they are intrinsically worth."
Cluny, in his "American Traveller," printed in London, 1769, says, "The climate of Georgia has been found to agree in every respect with the silk worm." Experience, however, proved that the climate was not sufficiently equable to secure permanent and continued success. Governor Wright, in the letter quoted above, says, "the variable and uncertain weather in spring, makes it precarious," and facts amply confirm this statement. Only five hundred and forty-one pounds of raw silk were made this year, a smaller amount, with one exception, than had been produced for ten years. In 1769, the quantity was still more decreased, both from the reluctance of the people to raise worms, and the unfavorable weather in spring. Governor Wright, on the 20th of June, 1769, says, "We had a most extraordinary prospect, till the middle of April, when I thought every thing safe, yet we had very cold rains on the 17th and 18th, which were succeeded by hard black frost on the 19th and 20th, and destroyed a great part of the worms, and will reduce the silk very much."
The silk business was now on the irretrievable decline, though it still maintained a nominal existence, and received the encouragement of Parliament. The special bounty which had hitherto been paid on cocoons, over and above their merchantable value, was suspended, and by a statute of 9 Geo. III., c. 38, a premium of twenty-five per cent. from the 1st of January, 1770, to the 1st of January, 1777,—of twenty per cent, from the 1st of January, 1777, to the 1st of January, 1784,—and of fifteen per cent. from the 1st of January, 1784, to the 1st of January 1791, on the ad valorem value of all silk produced in America and imported into Great Britain in vessels regularly navigated by law, was substituted in its place.
The inhabitants of Ebenezer resumed the culture, which with them had long been dormant, and its revival at that time was principally owing to the influence of a very worthy man and magistrate, Mr. Wertsch, who, sanguine himself of ultimate success, had imparted to the Germans a portion of his own enthusiasm.
In 1770, they shipped two hundred and ninety-one pounds of raw silk, the result of their own industry, and as the filature at Savannah was discontinued in 1771, the Earl of Hillsborough, ever anxious to advance the produce, warmly commended the zeal of the Saltzburgers, and directed President Habersham to distribute "the basins and reels that were left in the public filature, to such persons as Mr. Wertsch shall recommend to be proper objects of that bounty;" and in the same letter he promised that he would endeavor to procure for them, this year, "a small sum from Parliament, to be laid out in purchase of utensils for the assistance of the poor sort of people in your province." This promise he redeemed.
So popular had the silk business become at Ebenezer, that Mr. Habersham, in a letter dated the 30th of March, 1772, says, "some persons in almost every family there, understand its process from the beginning to the end." In 1771, the Germans sent four hundred and thirty-eight pounds of raw silk to England, and in 1772, four hundred and eighty-five pounds, all of their own raising. They made their own reels, which were so much esteemed that one was sent to England as a model, and another taken to the East Indies by Pickering Robinson. The operations at Savannah were now totally discontinued, though Mr. Ottolenghe still styled himself "Superintendent of the Silk Culture in Georgia," and in consideration of his long and faithful service in that office, received an annuity of 100_l_.
In a message of Sir James Wright, to the Commons House of Assembly, 19th of January, 1774, he says, "The filature buildings seem to be going to decay and ruin; may it not, therefore, be expedient to consider what other service or use they may be put to?" and the Assembly answered, "We shall not fail to consider how it may be expedient to apply the filature to some public use;" and henceforth it was used as an assembly or ball-room, a place where societies held their meetings, and where divine service was occasionally conducted: more recently, it was converted into a dwelling-house, and was thus appropriated at the time of its destruction by fire, on the afternoon of March 25, 1839.
Thus ended the grand project for raising silk in the Province of Georgia; for though some few individuals, together with the people of Ebenezer, continued to raise small quantities, yet, as a branch of general culture, it has never been resuscitated. The last parcel brought to Savannah was in 1790, when over two hundred pounds were purchased for exportation, at from 8_s_. to 26_s_. per pound.
On reviewing the causes which led to the suspension of this business, after so many exertions and such vast expense, which, it must be remembered, the profits of the culture never reimbursed, we find, first, the unfriendliness of the climate, which, notwithstanding its boasted excellence, interfered materially with its success. Governor Wright, frequently speaks of its deleterious influence, and the fluctuations in the various seasons, evidenced, to demonstration, that the interior was better adapted to the agricultural part of the business, than the exposed and variable sea-board. Mr. Habersham, in a letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, dated "Savannah, 24th of April, 1772," thus expresses himself on this point. "Upwards of twenty years ago, if my memory does not fail me, Samuel Lloyd, Esq., of London, who was one of the late trustees for establishing this colony, and was fourteen years in Italy, and very largely concerned in the silk business, wrote to me, that the best silk was produced at a distance from the sea-coast, owing, I suppose, to the richness of the soil, which made the mulberry leaf more glutinous, nutritive and healthy to the silk-worm; also, to their not being obnoxious to musquetoes and sand-flies, and probably, likewise, to the weather being more equal and less liable to sudden transition from heat to cold: and on a conversation this day with Mr. Barnard, of Augusta, he assures me, that from two years experience in raising cocoons there, he lost none from sickness, which frequently destroys two-thirds of the worms here;" and he further says, that Mr. Ottolenghe told him that the silk reeled from the Augusta cocoons "made the strongest and most wiry thread of any raised in these parts."
Second, the expensiveness of living, and the dearness of labor, which was as high as 1_s_. 8_d_. to 2_s_. per day, whereas 2_d_. or 3_d_. was the usual price paid the peasant in silk-growing countries. Governor Wright, in a letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, frankly told him that, "till these provinces become more populous, and labor cheaper, I apprehend, silk will not be a commodity, or an article, of any considerable amount."
Third, the great reduction of the bounty, which, being the stimulus to exertion, ceased to operate as an incentive, when from 3_s_. 3_d_. it fell to 1_s_. 3_d_., and finally to a mere premium on the general quantity imported. The poor could not subsist on these prices, and the rich could employ their lands to much better advantage than in cultivating an article which would not repay the expenses of labor: and lastly, the increasing attention, bestowed on rice and cotton, sealed the fate of the silk culture, and the planters soon learned to consider the latter of no importance in comparison, with the large and lucrative crops yielded by these more staple commodities. Other reasons might be mentioned, but these sufficiently account for its decline there, and its total neglect even to the present day. During the morus multicaulis epidemic, which spread over our country in 1838, Savannah, it is true, did not escape, and for a time the fever raged, with much violence, but the febrile action soon subsided, leaving no permanent benefit and only a few fields of waving foliage, as a deciduous memento of this frenzied excitement.
That silk can be produced in Georgia equal to any in the world, does not admit of a doubt, but whether it will ever be resumed, and when, is among the unknown events of the future.