An Historical Account Of The Rise And Progress Of The Colonies Of South Carolina And Georgia, Volume 2
by Alexander Hewatt
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But before this formidable fleet and armament had reached Augustine, they were observed by Captain Haymer, of the Flamborough man of war, who was cruising on that coast; and advice was immediately sent to General Oglethorpe of their arrival in Florida. Georgia now began to tremble in her turn. The General sent intelligence to Governor Glen at Carolina, requesting him to collect all the forces he could with the greatest expedition, and send them to his assistance; and at the same time to dispatch a sloop to the West Indies, to acquaint Admiral Vernon with the intended invasion.

Carolina by this time had found great advantage from the settlement of Georgia, which had proved an excellent barrier to that province, against the incursions of Spaniards and Spanish Indians. The southern parts being rendered secure by the regiment of General Oglethorpe in Georgia, the lands backward of Port-Royal had become much in demand, and risen four times their former value. But though the Carolineans were equally interested with their neighbours in the defence of Georgia, having little confidence in General Oglethorpe's military abilities, since his unsuccessful expedition against Augustine, the planters, struck with terror, especially those on the southern parts, deserted their habitations, and flocked to Charlestown with their families and effects. The inhabitants of Charlestown, many of whom being prejudiced against the man, declared against sending him any assistance, and determined rather to fortify their town, and stand upon their own grounds in a posture of defence. In this resolution, however, it is plain they acted from bad motives, in leaving that officer to stand alone against such a superior force. At such an emergency, good policy evidently required the firmest union, and the utmost exertion of the force of both colonies; for so soon as General Oglethorpe should be crushed, the reduction of Georgia would open to the common enemy an easy access into the bowels of Carolina, and render the force of both provinces, thus divided, unequal to the public defence.

In the mean time General Oglethorpe was making all possible preparations at Frederica for a vigorous stand. Message after message was sent to his Indian allies, who were greatly attached to him, and crowded to his camp. A company of Highlanders joined him on the first notice; and seemed joyful at the opportunity of retorting Spanish vengeance on their own heads. With his regiment, and a few rangers, Highlanders, and Indians, the General fixed his head quarters at Frederica, never doubting of a reinforcement from Carolina, and expecting their arrival every day; but in the mean time determined, in case he should be attacked, to sell his life as dear as possible in defence of the province.

About the end of June, 1742, the Spanish fleet, amounting to thirty-two sail; and carrying above three thousand men, under the command of Don Manuel de Monteano, came to anchor off Simons's bar. Here they continued for some time sounding the channel, and after finding a depth of water sufficient to admit their ships, they came in with the tide of flood into Jekyl sound. General Oglethorpe, who was at Simons's fort, fired at them as they passed the sound, which the Spaniards returned from their ships, and proceeded up the river Alatamaha, out of the reach of his guns. There the enemy having hoisted a red flag at the mizen top-mast-head of the largest ship, landed their forces upon the island, and erected a battery, with twenty eighteen pounders mounted on it. Among their land forces they had a fine company of artillery, under the command of Don Antonio de Rodondo, and a regiment of negroes. The negro commanders were clothed in lace, bore the same rank with white officers, and with equal freedom and familiarity walked and conversed with their commander and chief. Such an example might justly have alarmed Carolina. For should the enemy penetrate into that province, where there were such numbers of negroes, they would soon have acquired such a force, as must have rendered all opposition fruitless and ineffectual.

General Oglethorpe having found that he could not stop the progress of the enemy up the river, and judging his situation at Fort Simons too dangerous, nailed up the guns, burst the bombs and coehorns, destroyed the stores, and retreated to his head quarters at Frederica. So great was the force of the enemy, that he plainly perceived that nothing remained for him to achieve, with his handful of men, and therefore resolved to use his utmost vigilance, and to act only on the defensive. On all sides he sent out scouting parties to watch the motions of the Spaniards, while the main body were employed in working at the fortifications, making them as strong as circumstances would admit. Day and night he kept his Indian allies ranging through the woods, to harass the outposts of the enemy, who at length brought in five Spanish prisoners, who informed him of their number and force, and that the Governor of Augustine was commander in chief of the expedition. The General, still expecting a reinforcement from Carolina, used all his address in planning measures for gaining time, and preventing the garrison from sinking into despair. For this purpose he sent out the Highland company also to assist the Indians, and obstruct as much as possible the approach of the enemy till he should obtain assistance and relief. His provisions for the garrison were neither good nor plentiful, and his great distance from all settlements, together with the enemy keeping the command of the river, cut off entirely all prospects of a supply. To prolong the defence, however, he concealed every discouraging circumstance from his little army, which, besides Indians, did not amount to more than seven hundred men; and to animate them to perseverance, exposed himself to the same hardships and fatigues with the meanest soldier in his garrison.

[Sidenote] A stratagem to get rid of the enemy.

While Oglethorpe remained in this situation, the enemy made several attempts to pierce through the woods, with a view to attack the fort; but met with such opposition from deep morasses, and dark thickets, lined with fierce Indians, and wild Highlanders, that they honestly confessed that the devil himself could not pass through them to Frederica. Don Manuel de Monteano, however, had no other prospect left, and these difficulties must either be surmounted, or the design dropt; and therefore one party after another was sent out to explore the thickets, and to take possession of every advantageous post to be found in them. In two skirmishes with the Highlanders and Indians, the enemy had one captain, and two lieutenants killed, with above one hundred men taken prisoners. After which the Spanish commander changed his plan of operations, and keeping his men under cover of his cannon, proceeded with some gallies up the river with the tide of flood, to reconnoitre the fort, and draw the General's attention to another quarter. To this place Oglethorpe sent a party of Indians, with orders to lie in ambuscade in the woods, and endeavour to prevent their landing. About the same time an English prisoner escaped from the Spanish camp, and brought advice to General Oglethorpe of a difference subsisting in it, in so much that the forces from Cuba, and those from Augustine encamped in separate places. Upon which the General resolved to attempt a surprise on one of the Spanish camps, and taking the advantage of his knowledge of the woods, marched out in the night with three hundred chosen men, the Highland company, and some rangers. Having advanced within two miles of the enemy's camp, he halted, and went forward with a small party to take a view of the posture of the enemy. But while he wanted above all things to conceal his approach, a Frenchman fired his musket, run off and alarmed the enemy. Upon which Oglethorpe finding his design defeated, retreated to Frederica, and being apprehensive that the deserter would discover his weakness, began to study by what device he might most effectually defeat the credit of his informations. For this purpose he wrote a letter, addressing it to the deserter, in which he desired him to acquaint the Spaniards with the defenceless state of Frederica, and how easy and practicable it would be to cut him and his small garrison to pieces. He begged him, as his spy, to bring them forward to the attack, and assure them of success; but if he could not prevail with them to make that attempt, to use all his art and influence to persuade them to stay at least three days more at Fort Simons, for within that time, according to the advice he had just received from Carolina, he would have a reinforcement of two thousand land-forces, and six British ships of war, with which he doubted not he would be able to give a good account of the Spanish invaders. He intreated the deserter to urge them to stay, and above all things cautioned him against mentioning a single word of Vernon coming against Augustine, assuring him, that for such services he should be amply rewarded by his Britannic Majesty. This letter he gave to one of the Spanish prisoners, who for the sake of liberty and a small reward, promised to deliver it to the French deserter; but, instead of that, as Oglethorpe expected, he delivered it to the commander and chief of the Spanish army.

[Sidenote] The Spaniards retreat to Augustine.

Various were the speculations and conjectures which this letter occasioned in the Spanish camp, and the commander, among others, was not a little perplexed what to infer from it. In the first place he ordered the French deserter to be put in irons, to prevent his escape, and then called a council of war, to consider what was most proper to be done in consequence of intelligence, so puzzling and alarming. Some officers were of opinion, that the letter was intended to deceive, and to prevent them from attacking Frederica; others thought that the things mentioned in it appeared so feasible, that there were good grounds to believe, the English General wished them to take place, and therefore gave their voice for consulting the safety of Augustine, and dropping a plan of conquest attended with so many difficulties, and which, in the issue, might perhaps hazard the loss of both army and fleet, if not of the whole province of Florida. While the Spanish leaders were employed in these deliberations, and much embarrassed, fortunately three ships of force, which the Governor of South Carolina had sent out, appeared at some distance on the coast. This corresponding with the letter, convinced the Spanish commander of its real intent, and struck such a panic into the army, that they immediately set fire to their fort, and in great hurry and confusion embarked, leaving behind them several cannon, and a quantity of provisions and military stores. The wind being contrary, the English ships could not, during that day, beat up to the mouth of the river, and before next morning the invaders got past them, and escaped to Augustine.

In this manner was the province of Georgia delivered, when brought to the very brink of destruction by a formidable enemy. Fifteen days had Don Manuel de Monteano been on the small island on which Frederica was situated, without gaining the smallest advantage over an handful of men, and in different skirmishes lost some of his bravest troops. What number of men Oglethorpe lost we have not been able to learn, but it must have been very inconsiderable. In this resolute defence of the country he displayed both military skill and personal courage, and an equal degree of praise was due to him from the Carolineans as from the Georgians. It is not improbable that the Spaniards had Carolina chiefly in their eye, and had meditated an attack where rich plunder could have been obtained, and where, by an accession of slaves, they might have increased their force in proportion to their progress. Never did the Carolineans make so bad a figure in defence of their country. When union, activity and dispatch were so requisite, they ingloriously stood at a distance, and suffering private pique to prevail over public spirit, seemed determined to risk the safety of their country, rather than General Oglethorpe, by their help, should gain the smallest degree of honour and reputation. Money, indeed, they voted for the service, and at length sent some ships, but, by coming so late, they proved useful rather from the fortunate co-operation of an accidental cause, than from the zeal and public spirit of the people. The Georgians with justice blamed their more powerful neighbours, who, by keeping at a distance in the day of danger, had almost hazarded the loss of both provinces. Had the enemy pursued their operations with vigour and courage, the province of Georgia must have fallen a prey to the invaders, and Carolina had every thing to dread in consequence of the conquest. Upon the return of the Spanish troops to the Havanna, the commander was imprisoned, and ordered to take his trial for his conduct during this expedition, the result of which proved so shameful and ignominious to the Spanish arms. Though the enemy threatened to renew the invasion, yet we do not find that after this repulse they made any attempts by force of arms to gain possession of Georgia.

[Sidenote] Ill treatment of General Oglethorpe.

The Carolineans having had little or no share of the glory gained by this brave defence, were also divided in their opinions with respect to the conduct of General Oglethorpe. While one party acknowledged his signal services, and poured out the highest encomiums on his wisdom and courage; another shamefully censured his conduct, and meanly detracted from his merit. None took any notice of his services, except the inhabitants in and about Port-Royal, who addressed him in the following manner: "We the inhabitants of the southern parts of Carolina beg leave to congratulate your Excellency on your late wonderful success over your and our inveterate enemies the Spaniards, who so lately invaded Georgia, in such a numerous and formidable body, to the great terror of his Majesty's subjects in these southern parts. It was very certain, had the Spaniards succeeded in those attempts against your Excellency, they would also have entirely destroyed us, laid our province waste and desolate, and filled our habitations with blood and slaughter; so that his Majesty must have lost the fine and spacious harbour of Port-Royal, where the largest ships of the British nation may remain in security on any occasion. We are very sensible of the great protection and safety we have long enjoyed, by your Excellency being to the southwards of us, and keeping your armed sloops cruising on the coast, which has secured our trade and fortunes more than all the ships of war ever stationed at Charlestown; but more by your late resolution in frustrating the attempts of the Spaniards, when nothing could have saved us from utter ruin, next to the Providence of Almighty God, but your Excellency's singular conduct, and the bravery of the troops under your command. We think it our duty to pray God to protect your Excellency, and send you success in all your undertakings for his Majesty's service; and we assure your Excellency, that there is not a man of us but would most willingly have ventured his all, in support of your Excellency and your gallant troops, had we been assisted, and put in a condition to have been of service to you; and that we always looked upon our interest to be so united to that of the colony of Georgia, that had your Excellency been cut off, we must have fallen of course."

But while the inhabitants in and about Port-Royal were thus addressing General Oglethorpe, reports were circulating in Charlestown to his prejudice, insomuch that both his honour and honesty were called in question. Such malicious rumours had even reached London, and occasioned some of his bills to return to America protested. Lieutenant-Colonel William Cook, who owed his preferment to the General's particular friendship and generosity, and who, on pretence of sickness, had left Georgia before this invasion, had filed no less than nineteen articles of complaint against him, summoning several officers and soldiers from Georgia to prove the charge. As the General had, in fact, stretched his credit, exhausted his strength, and risqued his life for the defence of Carolina in its frontier colony, such a recompence must have been equally provoking, as it was unmerited. We are apt to believe, that such injurious treatment could not have arisen from the wiser and better part of the inhabitants, and therefore must be solely ascribed to some envious and malicious spirits, who are to be found in all communities. Envy cannot bear the blaze of superior virtue, and malice rejoices in the stains which even falsehood throws on a distinguished character; and such is the extensive freedom of the British form of government that every one, even the meanest, may step forth as an enemy to great abilities and an unblemished reputation. The charges of envy and malice, Oglethorpe might have treated with contempt; but to vindicate himself against the rude attacks of an inferior officer, he thought himself at this time bound in honour to return to England.

[Sidenote] His character cleared, and conduct vindicated.

Soon after his arrival a court-martial of general officers was called, who sat two days at the Horse Guards, examining one by one the various articles of complaint lodged against him. After the most mature examination, the board adjudged the charge to be false, malicious, and groundless, and reported the same to his Majesty. In consequence of which Lieutenant-Colonel Cook was dismissed from the service, and declared incapable of serving his Majesty in any military capacity whatever. By this means the character of General Oglethorpe was divested of those dark stains with which it had been overclouded, and began to appear to the world in its true and favourable light. Carolina owed this benefactor her friendship and love. Georgia was indebted to him for both her existence and protection. Indeed his generous services for both colonies deserved to be deeply imprinted on the memory of every inhabitant and the benefits resulting from them to be remembered to the latest age with joy and gratitude.

After this period General Oglethorpe never returned to the province of Georgia, but upon all occasions discovered in England an uncommon zeal for its prosperity and improvement. From its first settlement the colony had hitherto been under a military government, executed by the General and such officers as he thought proper to nominate and appoint. But now the Trustees thought proper to establish a kind of civil government, and committed the charge of it to a president and four assistants, who were to act agreeable to the instructions they should receive from them, and to be accountable to that corporation for their public conduct. William Stephens was made chief magistrate, and Thomas Jones, Henry Parker, John Fallowfield, and Samuel Mercer, were appointed assistants. They were instructed to hold four general courts at Savanna every year, for regulating public affairs, and determining all differences relating to private property. No public money could be disposed of but by a warrant under the seal of the President and major part of the Assistants in council assembled, who were enjoined to send monthly accounts to England of money expended, and of the particular services to which it was applied. All officers of militia were continued, for the purpose of holding musters, and keeping the men properly trained for military services; and Oglethorpe's regiment was left in the colony for its defence.

By this time the Trustees had transported to Georgia, at different times, above one thousand five hundred men, women and children. As the colony was intended as a barrier to Carolina, by their charter the Trustees were at first laid under several restraints with respect to the method of granting lands, as well as the settlers with respect to the terms of holding and disposing of them. Now it was found expedient to relieve both the former and latter from those foolish and impolitic restrictions. Under the care of General Oglethorpe the infant province had surmounted many difficulties, yet still it promised a poor recompense to Britain for the vast sums of money expended for its protection. The indigent emigrants, especially those from England, having little acquaintance with husbandry, and less inclination to labour, made bad settlers; and as greater privileges were allowed them on the Carolina side of the river, they were easily decoyed away to that colony. The Highlanders and Germans indeed, being more frugal and industrious, succeeded better, but hitherto had made very small progress, owing partly to wars with the Spaniards, and to severe hardships attending all kinds of culture in such an unhealthy climate and woody country. The staple commodities intended to be raised in Georgia were silk and wine, which were indeed very profitable articles; but so small was the improvement made in them, that they had hitherto turned out to little account. The most industrious and successful settlers could as yet scarcely provide for their families, and the unfortunate, the sick, and indolent part, remained in a starved and miserable condition.

[Sidenote] The Carolineans petition for three independent companies.

Soon after the departure of General Oglethorpe, the Carolineans petitioned the King, praying that three independent companies, consisting each of an hundred men, might be raised in the colonies, paid by Great Britain, and stationed in Carolina, to be entirely under the command of the Governor and Council of that province. This petition was referred to the Lords of his Majesty's Privy-council, and a time appointed for considering, whether the present state of Carolina was such as rendered this additional charge to the nation proper and necessary. Two reasons were assigned by the colonists for the necessity of this military force: the first was, to preserve peace and security at home; the second, to protect the colony against foreign invasions. They alledged, that as the country was overstocked with negroes, such a military force was requisite to overawe them, and prevent insurrections; and as the coast was so extensive, and the ports lay exposed to every French and Spanish plunderer that might at any time invade the province, their security against such attempts was of the highest consequence to the nation. But though they afterwards obtained some independent companies, those reasons, at this time, did not appear to the Privy-council of weight sufficient to induce them to give their advice for this military establishment. It was their opinion, that it belonged to the provincial legislature to make proper laws for limiting the importation of negroes, and regulating and restraining them when imported; rather than put the mother country to the expence of keeping a standing force in the province to overawe them: that Georgia, and the Indians on the Apalachian hills, were a barrier against foreign enemies on the western frontiers: that Fort Johnson, and the fortifications in Charlestown, were a sufficient protection for that port; besides, that as the entrance over the bar was so difficult to strangers, before a foreign enemy could land five hundred men in that town, half the militia in the province might be collected for its defence. Georgetown and Port-Royal indeed were exposed, but the inhabitants being both few in number and poor, it could not be worth the pains and risque of a single privateer to look into those harbours. For which reasons it was judged, that Carolina could be in little danger till a foreign enemy had possession of Georgia; and therefore it was agreed to maintain Oglethorpe's regiment in that settlement complete; and give orders to the commandant to send detachments to the forts in James's Island, Port-Royal, and such other places where their service might be thought useful and necessary to the provincial safety and defence.

[Sidenote] The colony's advantages from Britain.

Many are the advantages Carolina has derived from its political and commercial connection with Britain. Its growing and flourishing state the colony owes almost entirely to the mother-country, without the protection and indulgence of which, the people had little or no encouragement to be industrious. Britain first furnished a number of bold and enterprising settlers, who carried with them the knowledge, arts, and improvements of a civilized nation. This may be said to be the chief favour for which Carolina stands indebted to the parent state during the proprietary government. But since the province has been taken under the royal care, it has been nursed and protected by a rich and powerful nation. Its government has been stable, private property secure, and the privileges and liberties of the people have been extensive. Lands the planters obtained from the King at a cheap rate. To cultivate them the mother-country furnished them with labourers upon credit. Each person had entire liberty to manage his affairs for his own profit and advantage, and having no tythes, and very trifling taxes to pay, reaped almost the whole fruits of his industry. The best and most extensive market was allowed to the commodities he produced, and his staples increased in value in proportion to the quantity raised, and the demand for them in Europe. All British manufactures he obtained at an easy rate, and drawbacks were allowed on articles of foreign manufacture, that they might be brought the cheaper to the American market. In consequence of which frugal planters, every three or four years, doubled their capital, and their progress towards independence and opulence was rapid. Indeed, the colonists had many reasons for gratitude, and none for fear, except what arose from their immoderate haste to be rich, and from purchasing such numbers of slaves, as exposed them to danger and destruction.

The plan of settling townships, especially as it came accompanied with the royal bounty, had proved beneficial in many respects. It encouraged multitudes of poor oppressed people in Ireland, Holland and Germany to emigrate, by which means the province received a number of frugal and industrious settlers. As many of them came from manufacturing towns in Europe, it might have been expected that they would naturally have pursued those occupations to which they had been bred, and in which their chief skill consisted. But this was by no means the case; for, excepting a few of them that took up their residence in Charlestown, they procured lands, applied to pasturage and agriculture, and by raising hemp, wheat and maize in the interior parts of the country, and curing hams, bacon, and beef, they supplied the market with abundance of provision, while at the same time they found that they had taken the shortest way of arriving at easy and independent circumstances.

[Sidenote] Its advantage and importance to Britain.

Indeed while such vast territories in Carolina remained unoccupied, it was neither for the interest of the province, nor that of the mother-country, to employ any hands in manufactures. So long as labour bestowed on lands was most profitable, no prudent colonist would direct his attention or strength to any other employment, especially as the mother-country could supply him with all kinds of manufactures at a much cheaper rate than he could make them. The surplus part of British commodities and manufactures for which there was no vent in Britain, found in Carolina a good market, and in return brought the English merchant such articles as were in demand at home, by which means the advantages were mutual and reciprocal. The exclusive privilege of supplying this market encouraged labour in England, and augmented the annual income of the nation. From the monopoly of this trade with America, which was always increasing, Britain derived many substantial advantages. These colonies consumed all her superfluities which lay upon hand, and enlarged her commerce, which, without such a market, must have been confined to its ancient narrow channel. In the year 1744, two hundred and thirty vessels were loaded at the port of Charlestown, so that the national value of the province was not only considerable in respect of the large quantity of goods it consumed, but also in respect to the naval strength it promoted. Fifteen hundred seamen at least found employment in the trade of this province, and, besides other advantages, the profits of freight must make a considerable addition to the account in favour of Britain.

Nor is there the smallest reason to expect that manufactures will be encouraged in Carolina, while landed property can be obtained on such easy terms. The cooper, the carpenter, the brick-layer, the shipbuilder, and every other artificer and tradesman, after having laboured for a few years at their respective employments, and purchased a few negroes, commonly retreat to the country, and settle tracts of uncultivated land. While they labour at their trades, they find themselves dependent on their employers; this is one reason for their wishing at least to be their own masters; and though the wages allowed them are high, yet the means of subsistence in towns are also dear, and therefore they long to be in the same situation with their neighbours, who derive an easy subsistence from a plantation, which they cultivate at pleasure, and are answerable to no master for their conduct. Even the merchant becomes weary of attending the store, and risking his flock on the stormy seas, or in the hands of men where it is often exposed to equal hazards, and therefore collects it as soon as possible, and settles a plantation. Upon this plantation he sets himself down, and being both landlord and farmer, immediately finds himself an independent man. Having his capital in lands and negroes around him, and his affairs collected within a narrow circle, he can manage and improve them as he thinks fit. He soon obtains plenty of the necessaries of life from his plantation; nor need he want any of its conveniencies and luxuries. The greatest difficulties he has to surmount arise from the marshy soil, and unhealthy climate, which often cut men off in the midst of their days. Indeed in this respect Carolina is the reverse of most countries in Europe, where the rural life, when compared with that of the town, is commonly healthy and delightful.


[Sidenote] All commotions and oppressions in Europe favourable to America.

The war between England and France still raged in Europe, and being carried on under many disadvantages on the side of the allied army, was almost as unsuccessful as their enemies could have desired. The battle of Fontenoy was obstinate and bloody, and many thousands were left on the field on the side of the vanquished. The victorious army had little reason for boasting, having likewise bought their victory very dear. Though bad success attended the British arms on the continent at this time, yet that evil being considered as remote, the people seemed only to feel it as affecting the honour of the nation, which by some fortunate change might retrieve the glory of its arms; but a plot of a more interesting nature was discovered, which added greatly to the national perplexity and distress. A civil war broke out within the bowels of the kingdom, the object of which was nothing less than the recovery of the British crown from the house of Brunswick. Charles Edward Stuart, the young pretender, stimulated by the fire of youth, encouraged by the deceitful promises of France, and invited by a discontented party of the Scotch nation, had landed in North Britain to head the rash enterprise. Multitudes of bold and deluded Highlanders, and several Lowlanders, who owed their misfortunes to their firm adherence to that family, joined his army. He became formidable both by the numbers that followed him, and the success that at first attended his arms. But at length, after having struck a terror into the nation, he was routed at Culloden field, and his party were either dispersed, or made prisoners of war.

What to make of the prisoners of war became a matter of public deliberation. To punish all, without distinction, would have been unjustifiable cruelty in any government, especially where so many were young, ignorant, and misled: to pardon all, on the other hand, would discover unreasonable weakness, and dangerous lenity. The prisoners had nothing to plead but the clemency of the King, and the tenderness of the British constitution. Examples of justice were necessary to deter men from the like attempts; but it was agreed to temper justice with mercy, in order to convince the nation of the gentleness of that constitution, which made not only a distinction between the innocent and guilty, but even among the guilty themselves, between those who were more, and those who were less criminal. The King ordered a general pardon to pass the Great Seal, in which he extended mercy to the ignorant, and misled among the rebels, which pardon comprehended nineteen out of twenty, who drew lots for this purpose, were exempted from trial, and transported to the British plantations. Among other settlements in America, the southern provinces had a share of these bold and hardy Caledonians, who afterwards proved excellent and industrious settlers.

As every family of labourers is an acquisition to a growing colony, such as Carolina, where lands are plenty, and hands only wanted to improve them; to encourage emigration, a door was opened there to Protestants of every nation. The poor and distressed subjects of the British dominions, and those of Germany and Holland, were easily induced to leave oppression, and transport themselves and families to that province. Lands free of quit-rents, for the first ten years, were allotted to men, women, and children. Utensils for cultivation, and hogs and cows to begin their stock, they purchased with their bounty-money. The like bounty was allowed to all servants after the expiration of the term of their servitude. From this period Carolina was found to be an excellent refuge to the poor, the unfortunate, and oppressed. The population and prosperity of her colonies engrossed the attention of the mother-country. His Majesty's bounty served to alleviate the hardships inseparable from the first years of cultivation, and landed property animated the poor emigrants to industry and perseverance. The different townships yearly increased in numbers. Every one upon his arrival obtained his grant of land, and sat down on his freehold with no taxes, or very trifling ones, no tythes, no poor rates, with full liberty of hunting and fishing, and many other advantages and privileges he never knew in Europe. It is true the unhealthiness of the climate was a great bar to his progress, and proved fatal to many of these first settlers; but to such as surmounted this obstacle, every year brought new profits, and opened more advantageous prospects. All who escaped the dangers of the climate, if they could not be called rich during their own life, by improving their little freeholds, they commonly left their children in easy or opulent circumstances. Even in the first age being free, contented, and accountable to man for their labour and management, their condition in many respects was preferable to that of the poorest class of labourers in Europe. In all improved countries, where commerce and manufactures have been long established, and luxury prevails, the poorest ranks of citizens are always oppressed and miserable. Indeed this must necessarily be the case, otherwise trade and manufactures, which flourish principally by the low price of labour and provisions, must decay. In Carolina, though exposed to more troubles and hardships for a few years, such industrious people had better opportunities than in Europe for advancing to an easy and independent state. Hence it happened that few emigrants ever returned to their native country; on the contrary, the success and prosperity of the most fortunate, brought many adventurers and relations after them. Their love to their former friends, and their natural partiality for their countrymen, induced the old planters to receive the new settlers joyfully, and even to assist and relieve them. Having each his own property and possession, this independence produced mutual respect and beneficence, and such general harmony and industry reigned among them, that those townships, formerly a desolate wilderness, now stocked with diligent labourers, promised soon to become fruitful fields.

[Sidenote] Cultivation attended with salutary effects.

It has been observed, that in proportion as the lands have been cleared and improved, and scope given for a more free circulation of air, the climate has likewise become more salubrious and pleasant. This change was more remarkable in the heart of the country than in the maritime parts, where the best plantations of rice are, and where water is carefully preserved to overflow the fields; yet even in those places cultivation has been attended with salutary effects. Time and experience had now taught the planters, that, during the autumnal months, their living among the low rice plantations subjected them to many disorders, from which the inhabitants of the capital were entirely exempted. This induced the richer part to retreat to town during this unhealthy season. Those who were less able to bear the expences of this retreat, and had learned to guard against the inconveniencies of the climate, sometimes escaped; but laborious strangers suffered much during these autumnal months. Accustomed as they were in Europe to toil through the heat of the day, and expose themselves in all weathers, they followed the same practices in Carolina, where the climate would by no means admit of such liberties. Apprehensive of no ill consequences from such exposure, they began their improvement with vigour and resolution, and persevered until the hot climate and heavy toil exhausted their spirits, and brought home to them the unwelcome intimations of danger.

[Sidenote] Mean heat in Carolina.

In the months of July, August, and September, the heat in the shaded air, from noon to three o'clock, is often between ninety and an hundred degrees; and as such extreme heat is of short duration, being commonly productive of thunder-showers, it becomes on that account the more dangerous. I have seen the mercury in Fahrenheit's thermometer arise in the shade to ninety-six in the hottest, and fall to sixteen in the coolest season of the year; others have observed it as high as an hundred, and as low as ten; which range between the extreme heat of summer and cold in winter is prodigious, and must have a great effect upon the constitution of all, even of those who are best guarded against the climate; what then must be the situation of such as are exposed to the open air and burning sky in all seasons? The mean diurnal heat of the different seasons has been, upon the most careful observation, fixed at sixty-four in spring, seventy-nine in summer, seventy-two in autumn, and fifty-two in winter; and the mean nocturnal heat in those seasons at fifty-six degrees in spring, seventy-five in summer, sixty-eight in autumn, and forty-six in winter.

[Sidenote] The diseases of the country.

As this climate differs so much from that of Britain, Ireland, and Germany, and every where has great influence on the human constitution, no wonder that many of these settlers should sicken and die by the change, during the first state of colonization. In the hot season the human body is relaxed by perpetual perspiration, and becomes feeble and sickly, especially during the dog-days, when the air is one while suffocating and sultry, and another moist and foggy. Exhausted of fluids, it is perhaps not at all, or very improperly, supplied. Hence intermittent, nervous, putrid and bilious fevers, are common in the country, and prove fatal to many of its inhabitants. Young children are very subject to the worm-fever, which cuts off multitudes of them. The dry belly-ache, which is a dreadful disorder, is no stranger to the climate. An irruption, commonly called the Prickly Heat, often breaks out during the summer, which is attended with troublesome itching and stinging pains; but this disease being common, and not dangerous, is little regarded; and if proper caution be used to prevent it from striking suddenly inward, is thought to be attended even with salutary effects. In the spring and winter pleurisies and peripneumonies are common, often obstinate, and frequently fatal diseases. So changeable is the weather, that the spirits in the thermometer will often rise or fall twenty, twenty-five, and thirty degrees, in the space of twenty four hours, which must make havock of the human constitution. In autumn there is sometimes a difference of twenty degrees between the heat of the day and that of the night, and in winter a greater difference between the heat of the morning and that of noon-day. We leave it to physicians more particularly to describe the various disorders incident to this climate, together with the causes of them; but if violent heat and continual perspiration in summer, noxious vapours and sudden changes in autumn, piercing cold nights, and hot noon-days in winter, affect the human constitution, the inhabitants of Carolina, especially in the maritime parts, have all these and many more changes and hardships during the year to undergo. Not only man, but every animal, is strongly affected by the sultry heat of summer. Horses and cows retire to the shade, and there, though harassed with insects, they stand and profusely sweat through the violence of the day. Hogs and dogs are also much distressed with it. Poultry and wild fowls droop their wings, hang out their tongues, and, with open throats, pant for breath. The planter who consults his health is not only cautious in his dress and diet, but rises early for the business of the field, and transacts it before ten o'clock, and then retreats to the house or shade during the melting heat of the day, until the coolness of the evening again invites him to the field. Such is his feebleness of body and languor of spirit at noon, that the greatest pleasure of life consists in being entirely at rest. Even during the night he is often restless and depressed, insomuch that refreshing sleep is kept a stranger to his eyes. If unfortunately the poor labourer is taken sick in such weather, perhaps far removed from, or unable to employ, a physician, how great must be his hazard. In towns this heat is still rendered more intolerable by the glowing reflection from houses, and the burning sand in the streets. But how it is possible for cooks, blacksmiths, and other tradesmen, to work at the side of a fire, as many in the province do during such a season, we must leave to the world to judge.

[Sidenote] Climate favourable to the culture of indigo.

This hot weather, however, has been found favourable to the culture of indigo, which at this time was introduced into Carolina, and has since proved one of its chief articles of commerce. About the year 1745 a fortunate discovery was made, that this plant grew spontaneously in the province, and was found almost every where among the wild weeds of the forest. As the soil naturally yielded a weed which furnished the world with so useful and valuable a dye, it loudly called for cultivation and improvement. For this purpose some indigo seed was imported from the French West Indies, where it had been cultivated with great success, and yielded the planters immense profit. At first the seed was planted by way of experiment, and it was found to answer the most sanguine expectations. In consequence of which several planters turned their attention to the culture of indigo and studied the art of extracting the dye from it. Every trial brought them fresh encouragement. In the year 1747 a considerable quantity of it was sent to England, which induced the merchants trading to Carolina to petition parliament for a bounty on Carolina indigo. The parliament, upon examination, found that it was one of the most beneficial articles of French commerce, that their West India islands supplied all the markets of Europe; and that Britain alone consumed annually six hundred thousand weight of French indigo, which, at five shillings a pound, cost the nation the prodigious sum of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. It was demonstrated by the merchants, that this vast expence might be saved, by encouraging the cultivation of indigo in Carolina, and commonly believed that in time the colony might bring it to such perfection, as to rival the French at the markets of Europe. This petition of the merchants was soon followed by another from the planters and inhabitants of Carolina, and others to the same effect from the clothiers, dyers, and traders of different towns in Britain. It was proved, that the demand for indigo annually increased, and it could never he expected that the planters in the West Indies would turn their hands to it, while the culture of sugar canes proved more profitable. Accordingly, an act of parliament passed, about the beginning of the year 1748, for allowing a bounty of sixpence per pound on all indigo raised in the British American plantations, and imported directly into Britain from the place of its growth. In consequence of which act the planters applied themselves with double vigour and spirit to that article, and seemed to vie with each other who should bring the best kind and greatest quantity of it to the market. Some years indeed elapsed before they learned the nice art of making it as well as the French, whom long practice and experience had taught it to perfection; but every year they acquired greater skill and knowledge in preparing it, and received incredible profit as the reward of their labours. While many of them doubled their capital every three or four years by planting indigo, they in process of time brought it to such a degree of perfection, as not only to supply the mother-country, but also to undersel the French at several European markets.

[Sidenote] The manner of cultivating and making indigo.

Here it may not be improper to give the reader some account of the manner in which the people of Carolina cultivate this plant, and extract the dye from it. As we pretend to little knowledge of this matter ourselves, we shall give the following rules and directions of an ingenious person, who practised them for several years with great success. "As both the quantity and quality of indigo greatly depend on the cultivation of the plant, it is proper to observe, that it seems to thrive best in a rich, light soil, unmixed with clay or sand. The ground to be planted should be plowed, or turned up with hoes, some time in December, that the frost may render it rich and mellow. It must also be well harrowed, and cleansed from all grass, roots, and stumps of trees, to facilitate the hoeing after the weed appears above ground. The next thing to be considered is the choice of the seed, in which the planters should be very nice; there is great variety of it, and from every sort good indigo may be made; but none answers so well in this colony as the true Guatimala, which if good is a small oblong black seed, very bright and full, and when rubbed in the hand will appear as if finely polished.

"In Carolina we generally begin to plant about the beginning of April, in the following manner: The ground being well prepared, furrows are made with a drill-plow, or hoe, two inches deep, and eighteen inches distant from each other, to receive the seed, which is sown regularly, and not very thick, after which it is lightly covered with earth. A bushel of seed will sow four English acres. If the weather proves warm and serene, the plant will appear above ground in ten or four-teen days. After the plant appears, the ground, though not grassy, should be hoed to loosen the earth about it, which otherwise would much hinder its growth. In good seasons it grows very fast, and must all the while be kept perfectly clean of weeds. Whenever the plant is in full bloom it must be cut down, without paying any regard to its height, as its leaves are then thick and full of juice, and this commonly happens in about four months after planting. But, previous to the season for cutting, a complete set of vats of the following dimensions, for every twenty acres of weed, must be provided, and kept in good order. The steeper or vat in which the weed is first put to ferment, must be sixteen feet square in the clear, and two and a half feet deep; the second vat or battery twelve feet long, ten feet wide, and four and a half feet deep from the top of the plate. These vats should be made of the best cypress or yellow-pine plank, two and a half inches thick, well fastened to the joints and studs with seven-inch spikes, and then caulked, to prevent their leaking. Vats thus made will last in Carolina, notwithstanding the excessive heat, at least seven years. When every thing is ready, the weed must be cut and laid regularly in the steeper with the stalk upward, which will hasten the fermentation; then long rails must be laid the length of the vat, at eighteen inches distance from one another, and wedged down to the weed, to prevent its buoying up when the water is pumped into the steeper. For this purpose the softest water answers best, and the quantity of it necessary must be just sufficient to cover all the weed. In this situation it is left to ferment, which will begin sooner or later in proportion to the heat of the weather, and the ripeness of the plant, but for the most part takes twelve or fifteen hours. After the water is loaded with the salts and substance of the weed, it must be let out of the steeper into the battery, there to be beat; in order to perform which operation, many different machines have been invented: but for this purpose any instrument that will agitate the water with great violence may be used. When the water has been violently agitated for fifteen or twenty minutes in the battery, by taking a little of the liquor up in a plate it will appear full of small grain or curdled; then you are to let in a quantity of lime-water kept in a vat for the purpose, to augment and precipitate the faeculae, still continuing to stir and beat vehemently the indigo water, till it becomes of a strong purple colour, and the grain hardly perceptible. Then it must be left to settle, which it will do in eight or ten hours. After which the water must be gently drawn out of the battery through plug-holes contrived for that purpose, so that the faeculae may remain at the bottom of the vat. It must then be taken up, and carefully strained through a horse-hair sieve, to render the indigo perfectly clean, and put into bags made of Osnaburghs, eighteen inches long, and twelve wide, and suspended for six hours, to drain the water out of it. After which the mouths of these bags being well fastened, it must be put into a press to be entirely freed from any remains of water, which would otherwise greatly hurt the quality of the indigo. The press commonly used for this purpose is a box of five feet in length, two and a half wide, and two deep, with holes at one end to let out the water. In this box the bags must be laid, one upon another, until it is full, upon which a plank must be laid, fitted to go within the box, and upon all a sufficient number of weights to squeeze out the water entirely by a constant and gradual pressure, so that the indigo may become a fine stiff paste; which is then taken out and cut into small pieces, each about two inches square, and laid out to dry. A house made of logs must be prepared on purpose for drying it, and so constructed that it may receive all the advantages of an open and free air, without being exposed to the sun, which is very pernicious to the dye. For here indigo placed in the sun, in a few hours will be burnt up to a perfect cinder. While the indigo remains in the drying house, it must be carefully turned three or four times in a day, to prevent its rotting. Flies should likewise be carefully kept from it, which at this season of the year are hatched in millions, and infest an indigo plantation like a plague. After all, great care must also be taken, that the indigo be sufficiently dry before it is packed, lest after it is headed up in barrels it should sweat, which will certainly spoil and rot it."

In this manner indigo is cultivated and prepared in Carolina, and the richest land in the heart of the country is found to answer best for it. The maritime islands, however, which are commonly sandy, are not unfavourable for this production, especially those that contain spots of land covered with oak, and hickory trees. It is one of those rank weeds which in a few years will exhaust the strength and fertility of the best lands in the world. It is commonly cut in the West Indies six and seven times in the year, but in Carolina no more than two or three times before the frost begins. Our planters have been blamed by the English merchants for paying too much attention to the quantity, and too little to the quality of their indigo, hence the West-India indigo brings an higher price at the market. He that prefers the quality to the quantity, is very careful to cut the plant at the proper season, that is, when the weed begins to bloom; for the more luxuriant and tender the plant, the more beautiful the indigo. While it is curing, indigo has an offensive and disagreeable smell, and as the dregs of the weed are full of salts, and make excellent manure, therefore they should be immediately buried under ground when brought out of the steeper. It is commonly observed, that all creatures about an indigo plantation are starved, whereas, about a rice one, which abounds with provisions for man and beast, they thrive and flourish. The season for making indigo in Carolina ends with the first frosty weather, which puts a stop to fermentation, and then double labour is not only requisite for beating it, but when prepared it is commonly good for nothing.

[Sidenote] The common methods of judging of its quality.

The planters bring their indigo to market about the end of the year, and frequently earlier. The merchant judges of its quality by breaking it, and observing the closeness of its grain, and its brilliant copper, or violet blue colour. The weight in some measure proves its quality, for heavy indigo of every colour is always bad. Good indigo almost entirely consumes away in the fire, the bad leaves a quantity of ashes. In water also pure and fine indigo entirely melts and dissolves, but the heterogeneous and solid parts of the bad sink to the bottom like sand. From this period it became a staple to Carolina, and proved equally profitable as the mines of Mexico or Peru. To the mother country it was no less beneficial, in excluding the French indigo entirely from her market, and promoting her manufactures, and trade. I shall afterwards take notice of the rapid progress made in the cultivation of this article; particularly with respect to the quantity produced and yearly shipped to Britain, to supply the markets in Europe.

[Sidenote] Nova Scotia settled.

The great bounty and indulgence of Britain towards her American colonies increased with their progress in cultivation, and favour after favour was extended to them. Filled with the prospect of opening an excellent market for her manufactures, and enlarging her commerce and navigation, in which her strength in a great measure consisted, these colonies were become the chief objects of her care, and new ones were planted for the protection of the old. At this time the peace of Aix la Chapelle left a number of brave sailors and soldiers without employment. Good policy required that they should be rendered useful to the nation, and at the same time furnished with employment for their own subsistence. Acadia, which was ceded to Britain by the treaty of peace, changed its name to Nova Scotia, and was capable of producing every species of naval stores. The sea there abounded with excellent fish, which might furnish employment for a number of sailors, and be made an useful and advantageous branch of trade. But the excellent natural harbours which the country afforded, of all other things proved the greatest inducement for establishing a colony in it, the possession of which would not only promote trade in the time of peace, but also prove a safe station for British fleets in time of war. Besides, for the sake of commercial advantage, it was judged proper to confine the settlements in America as much as possible to the sea-coast. The parliament therefore determined to send out a colony to Nova Scotia, and, to forward the settlement, voted forty thousand pounds. The following advantageous terms were held forth to the people by government, and a number of adventurers agreed to accept them. Fifty acres of land were to be allowed to every soldier and sailor, two hundred to every ensign, three hundred to every lieutenant, four hundred and sixty to every captain, and six hundred to all officers of higher rank; together with thirty for every servant they should carry along with them. No quit-rents were to be demanded for the first ten years. They were also to be furnished with instruments for fishing and agriculture, to have their passage free, and provisions found them for the first year after their arrival. Three thousand seven hundred and sixty adventurers embarked for America on these favourable terms, and settled at Halifax, which place was fixed on as the seat of government, and fortified. The Acadians, the former inhabitants of the country, were allowed peaceably to remain in it, and having sworn never to bear arms against their countrymen, submitted to the English government, and passed under the denomination of French neutrals. The greatest difficulty which the new settlers of Nova Scotia had to surmount at this time arose from the Micmac Indians, who held that territory from nature, and for some time obstinately defended their right to their ancient possessions; and it was not without considerable loss that the British subjects at length, by force of arms, drove them away from those territories.

[Sidenote] The great care of Britain for these colonies.

Nor did this new settlement engross the whole attention and liberality of the parent state; the province of Georgia also every year shared plentifully from the same hands. Indeed the bounty of the mother country was extensive as her dominions, and, like the sun, cherished and invigorated every object on which it shone. All the colonies might have been sensible of her constant attention to their safety and prosperity, and had great reason to acknowledge themselves under the strongest obligations to her goodness. If she expected a future recompense by the channel of commerce, which is for the most part mutually advantageous, it was no more than she had justly merited. The colonists, we allow, carried with them the rights and liberties of the subjects of Britain, and they owed in return the duties of obedience to her laws and subjection to her government. The privileges and duties of subjects in all states have been reciprocal, and as the mother country had incurred great expence for the establishment and support of these foreign settlements; as she had multiplied her burdens for their defence and improvement; surely such protection and kindness laid a foundation for the firmest union, and the most dutiful returns of allegiance and gratitude.

[Sidenote] Low state of Georgia.

However, the province of Georgia, notwithstanding all that Britain had done for its population and improvement, still remained in a poor and languishing condition. Its settlers consisted of two sorts of people; first, of indigent subjects and foreigners, whom the Trustees transported and maintained; secondly, of men of some substance, whom flattering descriptions of the province had induced voluntarily to emigrate to it. After the peace Oglethorpe's regiment being disbanded, a number of soldiers accepted the encouragement offered them by government, and took up their residence in Georgia. All those adventurers who had brought some substance along with them, having by this time exhausted their small stock in fruitless experiments, were reduced to indigence, so that emigrants from Britain, foreigners, and soldiers, were all on a level in point of poverty. From the impolitic restrictions of the Trustees, these settlers had no prospects during life but those of hardship and poverty, and of consequence, at their decease, of bequeathing a number of orphans to the care of Providence. Nor was the trade of the province in a better situation than its agriculture. The want of credit was an unsurmountable obstacle to its progress in every respect. Formerly the inhabitants in and about Savanna had transmitted to the Trustees a representation of their grievous circumstances, and obtained from them some partial relief. But now, chagrined with disappointments, and dispirited by the severities of the climate, they could view the design of the Trustees in no other light than that of having decoyed them into misery. Even though they had been favoured with credit, and had proved successful, which was far from being their case; as the tenure of their freehold was restricted to heirs male, their eldest son could only reap the benefit of their toil, and the rest must depend on his bounty, or be left wholly to the charge of that Being who feeds the fowls of the air. They considered their younger children and daughters as equally entitled to paternal regard, and could not brook their holding lands under such a tenure, as excluded them from the rights and privileges of other colonists. They saw numbers daily leaving the province through mere necessity, and frankly told the Trustees, that nothing could prevent it from being totally deserted, but the same encouragements with their more fortunate neighbours in Carolina.

[Sidenote: Complaint of the people.]

That the Trustees might have a just view of their condition, the Georgians stated before them their grievances, and renewed their application for redress. They judged that the British constitution, zealous for the rights and liberties of mankind, could not permit subjects who had voluntarily risked their lives, and spent their substance on the public faith, to effect a settlement in the most dangerous frontiers of the British empire, to be deprived of the common privileges of all colonists. They complained that the land-holders in Georgia were prohibited from selling or leasing their possessions; that a tract containing fifty acres of the best lands was too small an allowance for the maintenance of a family, and much more so when they were refused the freedom to chuse it; that a much higher quit-rent was exacted from them than was paid for the best lands in America; that the importation of negroes was prohibited, and white people were utterly unequal to the labours requisite; that the public money granted yearly by parliament, for the relief of settlers and the improvement of the province, was misapplied, and therefore the wise purposes for which it was granted were by no means answered. That these inconveniencies and hardships kept them in a state of poverty and misery, and that the chief cause of all their calamities was the strict adherence of the Trustees to their chimerical and impracticable scheme of settlement, by which the people were refused the obvious means of subsistence, and cut off from all prospects of success.

We have already observed, that the laws and regulations even of the wisest men, founded on principles of speculation, have often proved to be foreign and impracticable. The Trustees had an example of this in the fundamental constitutions of John Locke. Instead of prescribing narrower limits to the industry and ambition of the Georgians, they ought to have learned wisdom from the case of the Proprietors of Carolina, and enlarged their plan with respect to both liberty and property. By such indulgence alone they could encourage emigrations, and animate the inhabitants to diligence and perseverance. The lands in Georgia, especially such as were first occupied, were sandy and barren; the hardships of clearing and cultivating them were great, the climate was unfavourable for labourers, and dangerous to European constitutions. The greater the difficulties were with which the settlers had to struggle, the more encouragement was requisite to surmount them. The plan of settlement ought to have arisen from the nature of the climate, country, and soil, and the circumstances of the settlers, and been the result of experience and not of speculation.

Hitherto Georgia had not only made small improvement in agriculture and trade, but her government was feeble and contemptible. At this time, by the avarice and ambition of a single family, the whole colony was brought to the very brink of destruction. As the concerns of these settlements are closely connected and interwoven with the affairs of Indian nations, it is impossible to attain proper views of the circumstances and situation of the people, without frequently taking notice of the relation in which they stood to their savage neighbours. A considerable branch of provincial commerce, as well as the safety of the colonists, depended on their friendship with Indians; and, to avoid all danger from their savage temper, no small share of prudence and courage was often requisite. This will appear more obvious from the following occurrence, which, because it is somewhat remarkable, we shall the more circumstantially relate.

[Sidenote] Troubles excited by Thomas Bosomworth.

I have already observed, that during the time General Oglethorpe had the direction of public affairs in Georgia, he had, from maxims of policy, treated an Indian woman, called Mary, with particular kindness and generosity. Finding that she had great influence among the Creeks, and understood their language, he made use of her as an interpreter, in order the more easily to form treaties of alliance with them, allowing her for her services an hundred pounds sterling a-year. This woman Thomas Bosomworth, who was chaplain to Oglethorpe's regiment, had married, and among the rest had accepted a track of land from the crown, and settled in the province. Finding that his wife laid claim to some islands on the sea-coast, which, by treaty, had been allotted the Indians as part of their hunting lands; to stock them he had purchased cattle from the planters of Carolina, from whom he obtained credit to a considerable amount. However, this plan not proving so successful as the proud and ambitious clergyman expected, he took to audacious methods of supporting his credit, and acquiring a fortune. His wife pretended to be descended in a maternal line from an Indian king, who held from nature the territories of the Creeks, and Bosomworth now persuaded her to assert her right to them, as superior not only to that of the Trustees, but also to that of the King. Accordingly Mary immediately assumed the title of an independent empress, disavowing all subjection or allegiance to the King of Great Britain, otherwise than by way of treaty and alliance, such as one independent sovereign might make with another. A meeting of all the Creeks was summoned, to whom Mary made a speech, setting forth the justice of her claim, and the great injury done to her and them by taking possession of their ancient territories, and stirring them up to defend their property by force of arms. The Indians immediately took fire, and to a man declared they would stand by her to the last drop of their blood in defence of their lands. In consequence of which Mary, with a large body of savages at her back, set out for Savanna, to demand a formal surrender of them from the president of the province. A messenger was despatched before hand, to acquaint him that Mary had assumed her right of sovereignty over the whole territories of the upper and lower Creeks, and to demand that all lands belonging to them be instantly relinquished; for as she was the hereditary and rightful queen of both nations, and could command every man of them to follow her, in case of refusal, she had determined to extirpate the settlement.

The president and council, alarmed at her high pretensions and bold threats, and sensible of her great power and influence with the savages, were not a little embarrassed what steps to take for the public safety. They determined to use soft and healing measures until an opportunity might offer of privately laying hold of her, and shipping her off to England. But, in the mean time, orders were sent to all the captains of the militia, to hold themselves in readiness to march to Savanna at an hour's warning. The town was put in the best posture of defence, but the whole militia in it amounted to no more than one hundred and seventy men, able to bear arms. A messenger was sent to Mary at the head of the Creeks, while several miles distant from town, to know whether she was serious in such wild pretensions, and to try to persuade her to dismiss her followers, and drop her audacious design. But finding her inflexible and resolute, the president resolved to put on a bold countenance, and receive the savages with firmness and resolution. The militia was ordered under arms, to overawe them as much as possible, and as the Indians entered the town, Captain Jones, at the head of his company of horse, stopped them, and demanded whether they came with hostile or friendly intentions? But receiving no satisfactory answer, he told them they must there ground their arms, for he had orders not to suffer a man of them armed to set his foot within the town. The savages with great reluctance submitted, and accordingly Thomas Bosomworth, in his canonical robes, with his queen by his side, followed by the various chiefs according to their rank, marched into town, making a formidable appearance. All the inhabitants were struck with terror at the sight of the fierce and mighty host. When they advanced to the parade, they found the militia drawn up under arms to receive them, who saluted them with fifteen cannon, and conducted them to the president's house. There Thomas and Adam Bosomworth being ordered to withdraw, the Indian chiefs, in a friendly manner, were called upon to declare their intention of visiting the town in so large a body, without being sent for by any person in lawful authority. The warriors, as they had been previously instructed, answered, that Mary was to speak for them, and that they would abide by her words. They had heard, they said, that she was to be sent like a captive over the great waters, and they were come to know on what account they were to lose their queen. They assured the president they intended no harm, and begged their arms might be restored; and, after consulting with Bosomworth and his wife, they would return and settle all public affairs. To please them their muskets were accordingly given back, but strict orders were issued to allow them no ammunition, until the council should see more clearly into their dark designs.

On the day following, the Indians having had some private conferences with their queen, began to be very surly, and to run in a mad and tumultuous manner up and down the streets, seemingly bent on some mischief. All the men being obliged to mount guard, the women were terrified to remain by themselves in their houses, expecting every moment to be murdered or scalped. During this confusion, a false rumour was spread, that they had cut off the president's head with a tomahawk, which so exasperated the inhabitants, that it was with difficulty the officers could prevent them from firing on the savages. To save a town from destruction, never was greater prudence requisite. Orders were given to the militia to lay hold of Bosomworth, and carry him out of the way into close confinement. Upon which Mary became outrageous and frantic, and insolently threatened vengeance against the magistrates and whole colony. She ordered every man of them to depart from her territories, and at their peril to refuse. She cursed General Oglethorpe and his fraudulent treaties, and, furiously stamping with her feet upon the ground, swore by her Maker that the whole earth on which she trode was her own. To prevent bribery, which she knew to have great weight with her warriors, she kept the leading men constantly in her eye, and would not suffer them to speak a word respecting public affairs but in her presence.

The president finding that no peaceable agreement could be made with the Indians while under the baleful eye and influence of their pretended queen privately laid hold of her, and put her under confinement with her husband. This step was necessary, before any terms of negotiation could be proposed. Having secured the chief promoters of the conspiracy, he then employed men acquainted with the Indian tongue to entertain the warriors in the most friendly and hospitable manner, and explain to them the wicked designs of Bosomworth and his wife. Accordingly a feast was prepared for all the chief leaders; at which they were informed, that Mr. Bosomworth had involved himself in debt, and wanted not only their lands, but also a large share of the royal bounty, to satisfy his creditors in Carolina: that the King's presents were only intended for Indians, on account of their useful services and firm attachment to him during the former wars: that the lands adjoining the town were reserved for them to encamp upon, when they should come to visit their beloved friends at Savanna, and the three maritime islands to hunt upon, when they should come to bathe in the salt waters: that neither Mary nor her husband had any right to those lands, which were the common property of the Creek nations: that the great King had ordered the president to defend their right to them, and expected that all his subjects, both white and red, would live together like brethren; in short that he would suffer no man or woman to molest or injure them, and had ordered these words to be left on record, that their children might know them when they were dead and gone.

Such policy produced the desired effect, and many of the chieftains being convinced that Bosomworth had deceived them, declared they would trust him no more. Even Malatchee, the leader of the Lower Creeks, and a relation to their pretended empress, seemed satisfied, and was not a little pleased to hear, that the great King had sent them some valuable present. Being asked why he acknowledged Mary as the Empress of the great nation of Creeks, and resigned his power and possessions to a despicable old woman, while all Georgia owned him as a chief of the nation, and the president and council were now to give him many rich clothes and medals for his services? He replied, that the whole nation acknowledged her as their Queen, and none could distribute the royal presents but one of her family. The president by this answer perceiving more clearly the design of the family of Bosomworth, to lessen their influence, and shew the Indians that he had power to divide the royal bounty among the chiefs, determined to do it immediately, and dismiss them, and the hardships the inhabitants underwent, in keeping guard night and day for the defence of the town.

In the mean time Malatchee, whom the Indians compared to the wind, because of his fickle and variable temper, having, at his own request, obtained access to Bosomworth and his wife, was again seduced and drawn over to support their chimerical claim. While the Indians were gathered together to receive their respective shares of the royal bounty; he stood up in the midst of them, and with a frowning countenance, and in violent agitation of spirit, delivered a speech fraught with the most dangerous insinuations. He protested, that Mary possessed that country before General Oglethorpe; and that all the lands belonged to her as Queen, and head of the Creeks; that it was by her permission Englishmen were at first allowed to set their foot on them; that they still held them of her as the original proprietor; that her words were the voice of the whole nation, consisting of above three thousand warriors, and at her command every one of them would take up the hatchet in defence of her right; and then pulling out a paper out of his pocket, he delivered it to the president in confirmation of what he had said. This was evidently the production of Bosomworth, and served to discover in the plainest manner, his ambitious views and wicked intrigues. The preamble was filled with the names of Indians, called kings, of all the towns of the Upper and Lower Creeks, none of whom, however, were present, excepting two. The substance of it corresponded with Malatchee's speech; styling Mary the rightful princess and chief of their nation, descended in a maternal line from the emperor, and invested with full power and authority from them to settle and finally determine all public affairs and causes, relating to lands and other things, with King George and his beloved men on both sides of the sea, and whatever should be said or done by her, they would abide by, as if said or done by themselves.

After reading this paper in council, the whole board were struck with astonishment; and Malatchee, perceiving their uneasiness, begged to have it again, declaring he did not know it to be a bad talk, and promising he would return it immediately to the person from whom he had received it. To remove all impression made on the minds of the Indians by Malatchee's speech, and convince them of the deceitful and dangerous tendency of this confederacy into which Bosomworth and his wife had betrayed them, had now become a matter of the highest consequence; happy was it for the province this was a thing neither difficult nor impracticable; for as ignorant savages are easily misled on the one hand, so, on the other, it was equally easy to convince them of their error. Accordingly, having gathered the Indians together for this purpose, the president addressed them to the following effect. "Friends and brothers, when Mr. Oglethorpe and his people first arrived in Georgia, they found Mary, then the wife of John Musgrove, living in a small hut at Yamacraw, having a licence from the Governor of South Carolina to trade with Indians. She then appeared to be in a poor ragged condition, and was neglected and despised by the Creeks. But Mr. Oglethorpe finding that she could speak both the English and Creek languages, employed her as an interpreter, richly clothed her, and made her the woman of the consequence she now appears. The people of Georgia always respected her until she married Thomas Bosomworth, but from that time she has proved a liar and a deceiver. In fact, she was no relation of Malatchee, but the daughter of an Indian woman of no note, by a white man. General Oglethorpe did not treat with her for the lands of Georgia, she having none of her own, but with the old and wise leaders of the Creek nation, who voluntarily surrendered their territories to the King. The Indians at that time having much waste land, that was useless to themselves, parted with a share of it to their friends, and were glad that white people had settled among them to supply their wants. He told them that the present bad humour of the Creeks had been artfully infused into them by Mary, at the instigation of her husband, who owed four hundred pounds sterling in Carolina for cattle; that he demanded a third part of the royal bounty, in order to rob the naked Indians of their right; that he had quarrelled with the president and council of Georgia for refusing to answer his exorbitant demands, and therefore had filled the heads of Indians with wild fancies and groundless jealousies, in order to breed mischief, and induce them to break their alliances with their best friends, who alone were able to supply their wants, and defend them against all their enemies." Here the Indians desired him to stop, and put an end to the contest, declaring that their eyes were now opened, and they saw through his insidious design. But though he intended to break the chain of friendship, they were determined to hold it fast, and therefore begged that all might immediatly smoke the pipe of peace. Accordingly pipes and rum were brought, and the whole congress, joining hand in hand, drank and smoked together in friendship, every one wishing that their hearts might be united in like manner as their hands. Then all the royal presents, except ammunition, with which is was judged imprudent to trust them until they were at some distance from town, were brought and distributed among them. The most disaffected were purchased with the largest presents. Even Malatchee himself seemed fully contented with his share, and the savages in general perceiving the poverty and insignificance of the family of Bosomworth, and their total inability to supply their wants, determined to break off all connection with them for ever.

While the president and council flattered themselves that all differences were amicably compromised, and were rejoicing in the re-establishment of their former friendly intercourse with the Creeks, Mary, drunk with liquor, and disappointed in her views, came rushing in among them like a fury, and told the president that these were her people, that he had no business with them, and he should soon be convinced of it to his cost. The president calmly advised her to keep to her lodgings, and forbear to poison the minds of Indians, otherwise he would order her again into close confinement. Upon which turning about to Malatchee in great rage, she told him what the president had said, who instantly started from his seat, laid hold of his arms, and then calling upon the rest to follow his example, dared any man to touch his queen. The whole house was filled in a moment with tumult and uproar. Every Indian having his tomahawk in his hand, the president and council expected nothing but instant death. During this confusion Captain Jones, who commanded the guard, very seasonably interposed, and ordered the Indians immediately to deliver up their arms. Such courage was not only necessary to overawe them, but at the same time great prudence was also requisite, to avoid coming to extremities with them. With reluctance the Indians submitted, and Mary was conveyed to a private room, where a guard was set over her, and all further intercourse with savages denied her during their stay in Savanna. Then her husband was sent for, in order to reason with him and convince him of the folly of his chimerical pretensions, and of the dangerous consequences that might result from persisting in them. But no sooner did he appear before the president and council, than he began to abuse them to their face. In spite of every argument used to persuade him to submission, he remained obstinate and contumacious, and protested he would stand forth in vindication of his wife's right to the last extremity, and that the province of Georgia should soon feel the weight of her vengeance. Finding that fair means were fruitless and ineffectual, the council then determined to remove him also out of the way of the savages, and to humble him by force. After having secured the two leaders, it only then remained to persuade the Indians peaceably to leave the town, and return to their settlements. Captain Ellick, a young warrior, who had distinguished himself in discovering to his tribe the base intrigues of Bosomworth, being afraid to accompany Malatchee and his followers, thought fit to set out among the first: the rest followed him in different parties, and the inhabitants, wearied out with constant watching, and harassed with frequent alarms, were at length happily relieved.

[Sidenote] With difficulty settled.

By this time Adam Bosomworth, another brother of the family, who was agent for Indian affairs in Carolina, had arrived from that province, and being made acquainted with what had passed in Georgia, was filled with shame and indignation. He found his ambitious brother, not contented with the common allowance of land granted by the crown, aspiring after sovereignty, and attempting to obtain by force one of the largest landed estates in the world. His plot was artfully contrived, and had it been executed with equal courage, fatal must the consequence have been. Had he taken possession of the provincial magazine on his arrival at Savanna, and supplied the Creeks with ammunition, the militia must soon have been overpowered, and every family must of course have fallen a sacrifice to the indiscriminate vengeance of savages. Happily, by the interposition of his brother, all differences were peaceably compromised. Thomas Bosomworth at length having returned to sober reflection, began to repent of his folly, and to ask pardon of the magistrates and people. He wrote to the president, acquainting him that he was now deeply sensible of his duty as a subject, and of the respect he owed to civil authority, and could no longer justify the conduct of his wife; but hoped that her present remorse, and past services to the province, would entirely blot out the remembrance of her unguarded expressions and rash design. He appealed to the letters of General Oglethorpe for her former irreproachable conduct, and steady friendship to the settlement, and hoped her good behaviour for the future would atone for her past offences, and reinstate her in the public favour. For his own part, he acknowledged her title to be groundless, and for ever relinquished all claim to the lands of the province. The colonists generously forgave and forgot all that had past; and public tranquillity being re-established, new settlers applied for lands as usual, without meeting any more obstacles from the idle claims of Indian queens and chieftains.

[Sidenote] The charter surrendered to the King.

The Trustees of Georgia finding that the province languished under their care, and weary of the complaints of the people, in the year 1752 surrendered their charter to the King, and it was made a royal government. In consequence of which his Majesty appointed John Reynolds, an officer of the navy, Governor of the province, and a legislature similar to that of the other royal governments in America was established in it. Great had been the expence which the mother country had already incurred, besides private benefactions, for supporting this colony; and small had been the returns yet made by it. The vestiges of cultivation were scarcely perceptible in the forest, and in England all commerce with it was neglected and despised. At this time the whole annual exports of Georgia did not amount to ten thousand pounds sterling. Though the people were now favoured with the same liberties and privileges enjoyed by their neighbours under the royal care, yet several years more elapsed before the value of the lands in Georgia was known, and that spirit of industry broke out in it which afterwards diffused its happy influence over the country.

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