An Historical Account Of The Rise And Progress Of The Colonies Of South Carolina And Georgia, Volume 2
by Alexander Hewatt
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

[Sidenote] George Whitfield's settlement.

In the annals of Georgia the famous George Whitfield may not be unworthy of some notice, especially as the world through which he wandered has heard so much of his Orphan-house built in that province. Actuated by religious motives, this wanderer several times passed the Atlantic to convert the Americans, whom he addressed in such a manner as if they had been all equal strangers to the privileges and benefits of religion with the original inhabitants of the forest. However, his zeal never led him beyond the maritime parts of America, through which he travelled, spreading what he called the true evangelical faith among the most populous towns and villages. One would have imagined that the heathens, or at least those who were most destitute of the means of instruction, would have been the primary and most proper objects of his zeal and compassion; but this was far from being the case. However, wherever he went in America, as in Britain, he had multitudes of followers. When he first visited Charlestown, Alexander Garden, a man of some sense and erudition, who was the episcopal clergyman of that place, to put the people upon their guard, took occasion to point out to them the pernicious tendency of Whitfield's wild doctrines and irregular manner of life. He represented him as a religious impostor or quack, who had an excellent knack of setting off to advantage his poisonous tenets. On the other hand, Whitfield, who had been accustomed to bear reproach and face opposition, recriminated with double acrimony and greater success. While Alexander Garden, to keep his flock from straying after this strange pastor, expatiated on the words of Scripture, "Those that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." Whitfield, with all the force of comic humour and wit for which he was so much distinguished, by way of reply, enlarged on these words, "Alexander the coppersmith hath done me much evil, the Lord reward him according to his works." In short, the pulpit was perverted by both into the mean purposes of spite and malevolence, and every one catching a share of the infection, spoke of the clergymen as they were differently affected.

[Sidenote] Whitfield's Orphan-house.

In Georgia Whitfield having obtained a track of land from the Trustees, erected a wooden house two stories high, the dimensions of which were seventy feet by forty, upon a sandy beach nigh the sea-shore. This house, which he called the Orphan-House, he began to build about the year 1740, and afterwards finished it at a great expense. It was intended to be a lodging for poor children, where they were to be clothed and fed by charitable contributions, and and trained up in the knowledge and practice of the Christian religion. The design, beyond doubt, was humane and laudable; but, perhaps, had he travelled over the whole earth, he could scarcely have found out a spot of ground upon it more improper for the purpose. The whole province of Georgia could not furnish him with a track of land of the same extent more barren and unprofitable. To this house poor children were to be sent from at least a healthy country, to be supported partly by charity, and partly by the produce of this land cultivated by negroes. Nor was the climate better suited to the purpose than the soil, for it is certain, before the unwholesome marshes around the house were fertilized, the influences of both air and water must have conspired to the children's destruction.

However, Whitfield having formed his chimerical project, determined to accomplish it, and, instead of bring discouraged by obstacles and difficulties, gloried in despising them. He wandered through the British empire, persuaded the ignorant and credulous part of the world of the excellence of his design, and obtained from them money, clothes, and books, to forward his undertaking, and supply his poor orphans in Georgia. About thirty years after this wooden house was finished it was burned to the ground; during which time, if I am well informed, few or none of the children educated in it have proved either useful members of society, or exemplary in respect to religion. Some say the fire was occasioned by a foul chimney, and others by a flash of lightning; but whatever was the cause, it burnt with such violence that little of either the furniture or library escaped the flames. When I saw the ruins of this fabric, I could not help reflecting on that great abuse of the fruits of charity too prevalent in the world. That money which was sunk here had been collected chiefly from the poorest class of mankind. Most of those bibles which were here burnt had been extorted from indigent and credulous persons, who perhaps had not money to purchase more for themselves. Happy was it for the zealous founder of this institution, that he did not live to see the ruin of his works. After his death he was brought from New-England, above eight hundred miles, and buried at this Orphan-house. In his last will he left Lady Huntingdon sole executrix, who has now converted the lands and negroes belonging to the poor benefactors of Great Britain and her dominions, to the support of clergymen of the same irregular stamp with the deceased, but void of his shining talents, and it is become a seminary of dissension and sedition.

[Sidenote] Sketch of his character.

As George Whitfield appeared in such different lights in the successive stages of life, it is no easy matter to delineate his character without an uncommon mixture and vast variety of colours. He was in the British empire not unlike one of those strange and erratic meteors which appear now and then in the system of nature. In his youth, as he often confessed and lamented, he was gay, giddy and profligate; so fondly attached to the stage, that he joined a company of strolling actors and vagabonds, and spent a part of his life in that capacity. At this period it is probable he learned that grimace, buffoonery and gesticulation which he afterwards displayed from the pulpit. From an abandoned and licentious course of life he was converted; and, what is no uncommon thing, from one extreme he run into the other, and became a most zealous and indefatigable teacher of religion. Having studied some time at Oxford, he received ordination in the church of England; yet he submitted to none of the regulations of that or any other church, but became a preacher in churches, meeting-houses, halls, fields, in all places, and to all denominations, without exception. Though little distinguished for genius or learning, yet he possessed a lively imagination, much humour, and had acquired considerable knowledge of human nature and the manners of the world. His pretensions to humanity and benevolence were great, yet he would swell with venom, like a snake, against opposition and contradiction. His reading was inconsiderable, and mankind being the object of his study, he could, when he pleased, raise the passions, and touch the tone of the human heart to great perfection. By this affecting eloquence and address he impressed on the minds of many, especially of the more soft and delicate sex, such a strong sense of sin and guilt as often plunged them into dejection and despair. As his custom was to frequent those larger cities and towns, that are commonly best supplied with the means of instruction, it would appear that the love of fame and popular applause was his leading passion; yet in candour it must be acknowledged, that he always discovered a warm zeal for the honour of God and the happiness of men. While he was almost worshipped by the vulgar, men of superior rank and erudition found him the polite gentleman, and the facetious and jocular companion. Though he loved good cheer, and frequented the houses of the rich or more hospitable people of America, yet he was an enemy to all manner of excess and intemperance. While his vagrant temper led him from place to place, his natural discernment enabled him to form no bad judgment of the characters and manners of men wherever he went. Though he appeared a friend to no established church, yet good policy winked at all his irregularities, as he every where proved a steady friend to monarchy and the civil constitution. He knew well how to keep up the curiosity of the multitude, and his roving manner stamped a kind of novelty on his instructions. When exposed to the taunts of the scoffer, and the ridicule of the flagitious, he remained firm to his purpose, and could even retort these weapons with astonishing ease and dexterity, and render vice abashed under the lash of his satire and wit. Sometimes, indeed, he made little scruple of consigning over to damnation such as differed from him or despised him; yet he was not entirely devoid of liberality of sentiment. To habitual sinners his address was for the most part applicable and powerful, and with equal ease could alarm the secure, and confirm the unsteady. Though, in prayer, he commonly addressed the second person of the Trinity in a familiar and fulsome style, and in his sermons used many ridiculous forms of speech, and told many of his own wonderful works, yet these seemed only shades to set off to greater advantage the lustre of his good qualities. In short, though it is acknowledged he had many oddities and failings, and was too much the slave of party and vain-glory, yet in justice it cannot be denied, that religion in America owed not a little to the zeal, diligence, and oratory, of this extraordinary man.

Having said so much with respect to the character which Mr. Whitfield bore in America, if we view the effects of his example and manner of life in that country, he will appear to us in a less favourable light. His great ambition was to be the founder of a new sect, regulated entirely by popular fancy and caprice, depending on the gifts of nature, regardless of the improvements of education and all ecclesiastical laws and institutions. Accordingly, after him a servile race of ignorant and despicable imitators sprung up, and wandered from place to place, spreading doctrines subversive of all public order and peace. We acknowledge the propriety and justice of allowing every reasonable indulgence to men in matters of religion. The laws of toleration being part of our happy constitution, it lies with men to learn their duty from them, and claim protection under them. But after a church has been erected and established by the most skilful architects, and for ages received the approbation of the wisest and best men, it serves only to create endless confusion to be making alterations and additions to gratify the fancy of every Gothic pretender to that art. Though Whitfield was in fact a friend to civil government, yet his followers on that continent have been distinguished for the contrary character, and have for the most part discovered an aversion to our constitution both of church and state. Toleration to men who remain peaceable subjects to the state is reasonable; but dissention, when it grows lawless and headstrong, is dangerous, and summons men in general to take shelter under the constitution, that the salutary laws of our country may be executed by its united strength. No man ought to claim any lordship over the conscience; but when the consciences of obstinate sectaries become civil nuisances, and destructive of public tranquillity, they ought to be restrained by legal authority. For certainly human laws, if they have not the primary, have, or ought to have, a secondary power to restrain the irregular and wild excesses of men in religious as well as in civil matters.

[Sidenote] A congress with Creeks.

About the year 1752 the flames of war broke out among some Indian nations, which threatened to involve the province of Carolina in the calamity. The Creeks having quarrelled with their neighbours for permitting some Indians to pass through their country to wage war against them, by way of revenge had killed some Cherokees nigh the gates of Charlestown. A British trader to the Chickesaw nation had likewise been scalped by a party of warriors belonging to the same nation. Governor Glen, in order to demand satisfaction for these outrages, sent a messenger to the Creeks, requesting a conference at Charlestown with their leading men. The Creeks returned for answer, that they were willing to meet him, but as the path had not been open and safe for some time, they could not enter the settlement without a guard to escort them. Upon which the Governor sent fifty horsemen, who met them at the confines of their territories, and convoyed Malatchee, with above an hundred of his warriors, to Charlestown.

[Sidenote] The governor's speech to them.

As they arrived on Sunday the Governor did not summon his council until the day following, to hold a congress with them. At this meeting a number of gentlemen were present, whom curiosity had drawn together to see the warriors and hear their speeches. When they entered the council-chamber the Governor arose and took them by the hand, signifying that he was glad to see them, and then addressed them to the following effect: "Being tied together by the most solemn treaties, I call you by the beloved names of friends and brothers. In the name of the great King George I have sent for you, on business of the greatest consequence to your nation. I would have received you yesterday on your arrival, but it was a beloved day, dedicated to repose and the concerns of a future life. I am sorry to hear that you have taken up the hatchet, which I flattered myself had been for ever buried. It is my desire to have the chain brightened and renewed, not only between you and the English, but also between you and other Indian nations. You are all our friends, and I could wish that all Indians in friendship with us were also friends one with another. You have complained to me of the Cherokees permitting the northern Indians to come through their country to war against you, and supplying them with provisions and ammunition for that purpose. The Cherokees, on the other hand, alledge, that it is not in their power to prevent them, and declare, that while their people happen to be out hunting those northern Indians come in to their towns well armed, and in such numbers that they are not able to resist them.

"I propose that a treaty of friendship and peace be concluded first with the English, and then with the Cherokees, in such a manner as may render it durable. Some of your people have from smaller crimes proceeded to greater. First, they waylaid the Cherokees, and killed one of them in the midst of our settlements; then they came to Charlestown, where some Cherokees at the same time happened to be, and though I cautioned them, and they promised to do no mischief, yet the next day they assaulted and murdered several of them nigh the gates of this town. For these outrages I have sent for you, to demand satisfaction; and also for the murder committed in one of your towns, for which satisfaction was made by the death of another person, and not of the murderer. For the future, I acquaint you, that nothing will be deemed as satisfaction for the lives of our people, but the lives of these persons themselves who shall be guilty of the murder. The English never make treaties of friendship but with the greatest deliberation, and when made observe them with the strictest punctuality. They are, at the same time vigilant, and will not suffer other nations to infringe the smallest article of such treaties. It would tend to the happiness of your people were you equally careful to watch against the beginnings of evil; for sometimes a small spark, if not attended to, may kindle a great fire; and a slight sore, if suffered to spread, may endanger the whole body. Therefore, I have sent for you to prevent farther mischief, and I hope you come disposed to give satisfaction for the outrages already committed, and to promise and agree to maintain peace and friendship with your neighbours for the future."

[Sidenote: Malatchee's answer.] This speech delivered to the Indians was interpreted by Lachlan McGilvray, an Indian trader, who understood their language. After which Malatchee, the king of the Lower Creek nation, stood forth, and with a solemnity and dignity of manner that astonished all present, in answer, addressed the Governor to the following effect: "I never had the honour to see the great King George, nor to hear his talk—But you are in his place—I have heard yours, and I like it well—Your sentiments are agreeable to my own—The great King wisely judged, that the best way of maintaining friendship between white and red people was by trade and commerce: —He knew we are poor, and want many things, and that skins are all we have to give in exchange for what we want—I have ordered my people to bring you some as a present, and, in the name of our nation, I lay them at your Excellency's feet—You have sent for us—we are come to hear what you have to say—But I did not expect to hear our whole nation accused for the faults of a few private men—Our head-men neither knew nor approved of the mischief done—We imagined our young men had gone a-hunting as usual—When we heard what had happened at Charlestown, I knew you would send and demand satisfaction—When your agent came and told me what satisfaction you required, I owned the justice of it—But it was not adviseable for me alone to grant it—It was prudent to consult with our beloved men, and have their advice in a matter of such importance—We met—we found that the behaviour of some of our people had been bad—We found that blood had been spilt at your gates—We thought it just that satisfaction should he made—We turned our thoughts to find out the chief persons concerned; (for a man will sometimes employ another to commit a crime he does not chuse to be guilty of himself) —We found the Acorn Whistler was the chief contriver and promoter of the mischief—We agreed that he was the man that ought to suffer—Some of his relations, who are here present, then said he deserved death, and voted for it—Accordingly he was put to death—He was a very great warrior, and had many friends and relations in different parts of the country—We thought it prudent to conceal for some time the true reason of his death, which was known only to the head men that concerted it—We did this for fear some of his friends in the heat of fury would take revenge on some of your traders—At a general meeting all matters were explained—The reasons of his death were made known—His relations approved of all that was done.—Satisfaction being made, I say no more about that matter—I hope our friendship with the English will continue as heretofore.

"As to the injuries done to the Cherokees, which you spoke of, we are sorry for them—We acknowledge our young men do many things they ought not to do, and very often act like madmen—But it is well known I and the other head warriors did all we could to oblige them to make restitution—I rode from town to town with Mr. Bosomworth and his wife to assist them in this matter—Most of the things taken have been restored—When this was over, another accident happened which created fresh troubles—A Chickesaw who lived in our nation; in a drunken fit shot a white man—I knew you would demand satisfaction—I thought it best to give it before it was asked—The murder was committed at a great distance from me—I mounted my horse and rode through the towns with your agent—I took the head men of every town along with me—We went to the place and demanded satisfaction—It was given—The blood of the Indian was spilt for the blood of a white man—The uncle of the murderer purchased his life, and voluntarily killed himself in his stead—Now I have done—I am glad to see you face to face to settle those matters—it is good to renew treaties of friendship—I shall always be glad to call you friends and brothers."

This speech throws no small light on the judicial proceedings of barbarous nations, and shews that human nature in its rudest state possesses a strong sense of right and wrong. Although Indians have little property, yet here we behold their chief magistrate protecting what they have, and, in cases of robbery, acknowledging the necessity of making restitution. They indeed chiefly injure one another in their persons or reputations, and in all cases of murder the guilty are brought to trial and condemned to death by the general consent of the nation. Even the friends and relations of the murderer here voted for his death. But what is more remarkable, they give us an instance of an atonement made, and justice satisfied, by the substitution of an innocent man in place of the guilty. An uncle voluntarily and generously offers to die in the place of his nephew, the savages accept of the offer, and in consequence of his death declare that satisfaction is made. Next to personal defence, the Indian guards his character and reputation; for as it is only from the general opinion his nation entertains of his wisdom, justice and valour, that he can expect to arrive at rank and distinction, he is exceedingly watchful against doing any thing for which he may incur public blame or disgrace. In this answer to Governor Glen, Malatchee discovers considerable talents as a public speaker, and appears to be insensible neither to his own dignity and freedom, not to the honour and independence of his nation. Genius and liberty are the gifts of heaven; the former is universal as that space over which it has scope to range, the latter inspires confidence, and gives a natural confidence to our words and actions.

During the months of June, July, and August, 1752, the weather in Carolina was warmer than any of the inhabitants then alive had ever felt it, and the mercury in the shade often arose above the nintieth, and at one time was observed at the hundred and first degree of the thermometer; and, at the same time, when exposed to the sun, and suspended at the distance of five feet from the ground, it arose above the hundred and twentieth division. By this excessive heat the air becomes greatly rarified, and a violent hurricane commonly comes and restores the balance in the atmosphere. In such a case the wind usually proceeds from the north-east, directly opposite to the point from which it had long blown before. Those storms indeed seldom happen except in seasons when there has been little thunder, when the weather has been long exceeding dry and intolerably hot, and though they occasion damages to some individuals, there is reason to believe that they are wisely ordered, and productive upon the whole of good and salutary effects. Among the close and dark recesses of the woods the air stagnates, and requires some violent storm to clear it of putrid effluvia, and render it fit for respiration. At the same time the earth emits vapours which in a few days causes the finest polished metals to rust. To penetrate through the thick forest, and restore the air to a salubrious state, hurricanes may be useful and necessary. And as such storms have been observed to be productive of good effects, the want of them for many years together may be deemed a great misfortune by the inhabitants, especially such as are exposed to the noon-day heat, to the heavy fogs that fall every morning and evening, and all the severities of the climate.

It is not improbable that the maritime parts of Carolina have been forsaken by the sea. Though you dig ever so deep in those places you find no stones or rocks, but every where sand or beds of shells. As a small decrease of water will leave so flat a country entirely bare, so a small increase will again cover it. The coast is not only very level, but the dangerous hurricanes commonly proceed from the north-east; and as the stream of the Gulf of Florida flows rapidly towards the same point, this large body of water, when obstructed by the tempest, recurs upon the shore, and overflows the country.

[Sidenote] A hurricane at Charlestown.

In the month of September, 1752, a dreadful hurricane happened at Charlestown. In the night before, it was observed by the inhabitants that the wind at north-east began to blow hard, and continued increasing in violence till next morning. Then the sky appeared wild and cloudy, and it began to drizzle and rain. About nine o'clock the flood came rolling in with great impetuosity, and in a little time rose ten feet above high water mark at the highest tides. As usual in such cases, the town was overflown, and the streets were covered with boats, boards, and wrecks of houses and ships. Before eleven all the ships in the harbour were driven ashore, and sloops and schooners were dashing against the houses of Bay-Street, in which great quantities of goods were damaged and destroyed. Except the Hornet man of war, which by cutting away her masts, rode out the storm, no vessel escaped being damaged or wrecked. The tremor and consternation which seized the inhabitants may be more easily conceived than expressed. Finding themselves in the midst of a tempestuous sea, and expecting the tide to flow till one o'clock, its usual hour, at eleven they retired to the upper stories of their houses, and there remained despairing of life. At this critical time Providence however mercifully interposed, and surprised them with a sudden and unexpected deliverance. Soon after eleven the wind shifted, in consequence of which the waters fell five feet in the space of ten minutes. By this happy change the Gulf stream, stemmed by the violent blast, had freedom to run in its usual course, and the town was saved from imminent danger and destruction. Had the water continued to rise, and the tide to flow until its usual hour, every inhabitant of Charlestown must have perished. Almost all the tiled and slated houses were uncovered, several persons were hurt, and some were drowned. The fortifications and wharfs were almost entirely demolished: the provisions in the field, in the maritime parts, were destroyed, and numbers of cattle and hogs perished in the waters. The pest-house in Sullivan's island, built of wood, with fifteen persons in it, was carried several miles up Cooper river, and nine out of the fifteen were drowned. In short, such is the low situation of Charlestown, that it is subject to be destroyed at any time by such an inundation, and the frequent warnings the people have had may justly fill them with a deep sense of their dependent condition, and with constant gratitude to Providence for their preservation.

[Sidenote] The advantages of poor settlers in the province.

We have seen the hardships under which the Carolineans laboured from the hot climate and low situation of the province, it may not be improper to take a view of those advantages afforded them which served to animate them amidst such difficulties to industry and perseverance. In that growing colony, where there are vast quantities of land unoccupied, the poorest class of people have many opportunities and advantages, from which they are entirely excluded in countries fully peopled and highly improved. During the first years of occupancy they are indeed exposed to many dangers in providing for themselves and families an habitation for a shelter against the rigours of the climate, and in clearing fields for raising the necessaries of life. But when they have the good fortune to surmount the hardships of the first years of cultivation, the inconveniencies gradually decrease in proportion to their improvements. The merchants being favoured with credit from Britain, are enabled to extend it to the swarm of labourers in the country. The planters having established their characters for honesty and industry, obtain hands to assist them in the harder tasks of clearing and cultivation. Their wealth consists in the increase of their slaves, stock and improvements. Having abundance of waste land, they can extend their culture in proportion to their capital. They live almost entirely on the produce of their estates, and consequently spend but a small part of their annual income. The surplus is yearly added to the capital, and they enlarge their prospects in proportion to their wealth and strength. At market if there be a great demand for the commodities they raise, this is an additional advantage, and renders their progress rapid beyond their most sanguine expectations; they labour, and they receive more and more encouragement to persevere, until they advance to an easy and comfortable state. It has been observed, on the other hand, that few or none of those emigrants that brought much property along with them have ever succeeded in that country.

[Sidenote] The advantages of money lenders.

Or, if the poor emigrant be an artificer, and chuses to follow his trade, the high price of labour is no less encouraging. By the indulgence of the merchants, or by the security of a friend, he obtains credit for a few negroes. He learns them his trade, and a few good tradesmen, well employed, are equal to a small estate. Having got some hands, instead of a labourer he becomes an undertaker, and enters into contract with his employer, to erect his house; to build his ship; to furnish his plantations with shoes, or the capital with bricks. In a little time he acquires some money, and, like several others in the city whose yearly gain exceeds what is requisite for the support of themselves and families, lays it out on interest. Ten and eight per cent. being given for money, proved a great temptation, and induced many, who were averse from the trouble of settling plantations, or were unable to bestow that attention to them which they demanded, to take this method of increasing their fortune. If the moneylender followed his employment in the capital, or reserved in his hands a sufficiency for family use, and allowed the interest to be added yearly to the capital stock, his fortune increased fast, and soon became considerable. Several persons preferred this method of accumulating riches to that of cultivation, especially those whom age or infirmity had rendered unfit for action and fatigue.

Notwithstanding the extensive credit commonly allowed the planting interest by the merchants, the number of borrowers always exceeded that of the lenders of money. Having vast extent of territory, the planters were eager to obtain numbers of labourers, which raised the demand for money, and kept up the high rate of interest. The interest of money in every country is for the most part according to the demand, and the demand according to the profits made by the use of it. The profits must always be great where men can afford to take money at the rate of eight and ten per cent. and allow it to remain in their hands upon compound interest. In Carolina labourers on good lands cleared their first cost and charges in a few years, and therefore great was the demand for money in order to procure them.

[Sidenote] And of the borrowers.

Let us next take a view of those advantages in favour of the borrower of money. His landed estate he obtained from the Crown. The quit-rents and taxes were trifling and inconsiderable. Being both landlord and farmer he had perfect liberty to manage and improve his plantation as he pleased, and was accountable to none but himself for any of the fruits of his industry. His estate furnished him with game and fish, which he had freedom to kill and use at pleasure. In the woods his cattle, hogs and horses grazed at their ease, attended perhaps only by a negro boy. If his sheep did not thrive well, he had calves, hogs and poultry in abundance for the use of his family. All his able labourers he could turn to the field, and exert his strength in railing his staple commodity. The low country being every where interspersed with navigable rivers and creeks, the expence of conveying his rice to the market, which otherwise would have been intolerable, was thereby rendered easy. Having provisions from his estate to support his family and labourers, he applies his whole staple commodities for the purposes of answering the demands of the merchant and moneylender. He expects that his annual produce will not only answer those demands against him, but also bring an addition to his capital, and enable him to extend his hand still farther in the way of improvement. Hence it happened, that in proportion as the merchants extended credit to the planters, and supplied them with labourers for their lands, the profits returned to the capital yearly according to the increased number of hands employed in cultivation.

It is no easy thing to enumerate all the advantages of water carriage to a fruitful and commercial province. The lands are rendered more valuable by being situated on navigable creeks and rivers. The planters who live fifty miles from the capital, are at little more expence in sending their provisions and produce to its market, than those who live within five miles of it. The town is supplied with plenty of provisions, and its neighbourhood prevented from enjoying a monopoly of its market. By this general and unlimited competition the price of provisions is kept low, and while the money arising from them circulates equally and universally through the country, it contributes, in return, to its improvement. The planters have not only water carriage to the market far their staple commodities, but on their arrival the merchant again commits them to the general tide of commerce, and receives in return what the world affords profitable to himself, and useful to the country in which he lives. Hence it happened, that no town was better supplied than Charlestown with all the necessaries, conveniencies, and luxuries of life.

[Sidenote] Great benefits enjoyed by colonists.

Besides these advantages arising from good lands given them by the Crown, the Carolineans received protection to trade, a ready market, drawbacks and bounties, by their political and commercial connection with the mother country. The duties laid on many articles of foreign manufacture on their importation into Britain were drawn back, sometimes the whole, almost always a great part, on their exportation to the colonies. These drawbacks were always in favour of the consumers, and supplied the provincial markets with foreign goods at a rate equally cheap as if they had been immediately imported from the place where they were manufactured. Hence the colonists were exempted from those heavy duties which their fellow-subjects in Britain were obliged to pay, on most articles of foreign manufacture which they consumed. Besides, upon the arrival of such goods in the country, the planters commonly had twelve months credit from the provincial merchant, who was satisfied with payment once in the year from all his customers. So that to the consumers in Carolina, East-India goods, German manufactures, Spanish, Portugal, Madeira and Fyal wines came cheaper than to those in Great Britain. We have known coals, salt, and other articles brought by way of ballast, sold cheaper in Charlestown than in London.

But the colonists had not only those drawbacks on foreign goods imported, but they were also allowed bounties on several articles of produce exported. For the encouragement of her colonies Great Britain laid high duties on several articles imported from foreign countries, and gave the colonists premiums and bounties on the same commodities. The planting tobacco was prohibited in England, in order to encourage it in America. The bounties on naval stores, indigo, hemp, and raw silk, while they proved an encouragement to industry, all terminated in favour of the plantations. Nor ought the Carolineans to forget the perfect freedom they enjoyed with respect to their trade with the West Indies, where they found a convenient and most excellent market for their Indian corn, rice, lumber, and salt provisions, and in return had rum, unclayed sugar, coffee and molasses much cheaper than their fellow-subjects in Britain. I mention these things because many of the colonists are ignorant of the privileges and advantages they enjoy; for, upon a general view of their circumstances, and a comparison of their case with that of their fellow-subjects in Britain and Ireland, they must find they had much ground for contentment, and none for complaint.

Another circumstance we may mention to which few have paid sufficient attention. It is true, Great Britain had laid the colonists under some restraints with respect to their domestic manufactures and their trade to foreign ports, but however much such a system of policy might affect the more northern colonies, it was at this time rather serviceable than prejudicial to Carolina. It served to direct the views of the people to the culture of lands, which was both more profitable to themselves and beneficial to the mother country. Though they had plenty of beaver skins, and a few hats were manufactured from them, yet the price of labour was so high, that the merchant could send the skins to England, import hats made of them, and undersell the manufacturers of Carolina. The province also furnished some wool and cotton, but before they could be made into cloth, they cost the consumer more money than the merchant demanded for the same goods imported. The province afforded leather, but before it could be prepared and made into shoes, the price was equally high, and often higher, than that of shoes imported from Britain. In like manner, with respect to many other articles, it would be for the advantage of the province as well as mother country to export the raw materials and import the goods manufactured. For while the inhabitants of Carolina can employ their hands to more advantage in cultivating waste land, it will be their interest never to wear a woollen or linen rag of their own manufacture, to drive a nail of their own forging, nor use any sort of plate, iron, brass or stationary wares of their own making. Until the province shall grow more populous, cultivation is the most profitable employment, and the labourer injures himself and family by preferring the less to the more profitable branch of industry.

Few also are the restrictions upon trade, which, in effect, could be deemed hurtful; for, excepting the vessels which traded to the southward of Cape Finisterre, and were obliged to return to England to cancel their bond before they sailed for Carolina, every other restraint may be said to be ultimately in favour of the province. It was the interest of such a flourishing colony to be always in debt to Great Britain, for the more labourers that were sent to it, the more rapidly it advanced in riches. Suppose the planters this year stand much indebted to the merchants, and, by reason of an unfavourable season, are rendered unable to answer the demands against them; the merchants, instead of ruining them, indulged them for another year, and perhaps intrusted them with double the sum for which they stood indebted. This has frequently been found the most certain method of obtaining payment. In like manner the merchants must have indulgence from England, the primary source of credit. If the province could not obtain such indulgence from any part of the world as from the mother country, it must be for its interest to support its credit with those generous friends who were both able and disposed to give it. To lodge the yearly produce of the province in the hands of those English creditors as soon as possible, is the surest means of supporting this credit. Besides, the London merchants being the best judges of the markets of Europe, can of course sell the staple commodities to the best advantage. The centrical situation of that city was favourable for intelligence; her merchants are famous over the world for their extensive knowledge in trade; they well knew the ports where there was the greatest demand for the commodity; all which were manifestly in favour of the province in which it was raised. Were the planters to have the choice of their market, it is very doubtful whether such liberty would be for their interest. Were they to export their produce on their own bottom, they would certainly be great losers. Some who have made the attempt have honestly confessed the truth: While it divided their attention, it engaged them in affairs to which they were in general very great strangers. Even the provincial merchants themselves are not always perfect judges of the markets in Europe, nor could they have obtained such unlimited credit in any other channel than that circumscribed by the laws of their country. Here is a co-operation of a number of persons united for promoting the interest and advantage of one another, and placed in circumstances and situations well adapted for that purpose. So that, in fact, it is not for the interest of Carolina, in its present advancing state, to be free from debt, far less of its planters to engage in trade, or its inhabitants in manufactures.

[Sidenote] Progress of the province.

To form a right judgment of the progress of the province, and the mutual advantages resulting from its political and commercial connection with Britain, we need only attend to its annual imports and exports. We cannot exactly say what its imports amounted to at this time; but if they amounted to above one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling in the year 1740, as we have already seen, they must have arisen at least to two hundred thousand pounds sterling in 1754. The quantities of rice exported this year were 104,682 barrels; of indigo, 216,924 pounds weight, which, together with naval stores, provisions, skins, lumber, &c. amounted in value to two hundred and forty-two thousand, five hundred and twenty-nine pounds sterling. This shews the great value and importance of the province to Britain. And while she depends on the mother country for all the manufactures she uses, and applies her attention to such branches of business as are most profitable to herself and most beneficial to Britain, Carolina must in the nature of things prosper. Without this dependence, and mutual exchange of good offices, the colony might have subsisted, but could never have thrived and flourished in so rapid a manner.


[Sidenote] A dispute about the limits of British and French territories.

Although the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle extended to the subjects of both Britain and France residing in America, yet the boundaries of the respective territories claimed by those rival states were by no means fixed in so clear and precise a manner as to preclude all grounds of future dispute. The limits of Nova Scotia in particular, and those of the extensive back settlements of Virginia and Pennsylvania, were neither clearly understood nor accurately marked. In consequence of which, as the colonists extended their culture backwards encroachments were made, or supposed to be made, which created jealousies and differences between the British and French subjects on that continent. Some merchants trading to Virginia and Pennsylvania having formed a project for a settlement on the Ohio, obtained a grant of six hundred thousand acres of land from the King, together with an exclusive privilege of trafficking with Indian nations nigh that river. To these territories the French claimed a right; and, to keep possession, as well as to engross the Indian trade, built a fort on the banks of the Ohio river, which they called Fort Duquesne. This situation was very convenient for preserving the friendship of Indian nations, an object of the utmost importance to the French, as the subjects of Britain in America were at that time vastly more numerous and powerful than those of France.

Tobacco being a plant which quickly exhausts the richest lands, the planters of Virginia were accustomed gradually to stretch backward, and occupy such fresh spots of ground as promised them the greatest returns. Some had even crossed the Allegany mountains, where they found rich vallies lying waste, upon which they settled plantations; and though the land-carriage of such a heavy and bulky commodity was expensive, yet they found that the superiority of their crops made them some compensation. To this territory beyond the mountains, as well as the other marked and measured out for the Ohio Company, the French laid claim, and sent a considerable garrison from Montreal to Fort Duquesne, to defend their pretended right. The commander in chief of Canada wrote a letter to the Governor of Virginia, complaining of encroachments made on his most Christian Majesty's territories, and demanding that such British planters and traders as had settled on those lands should withdraw, otherwise he would be obliged to seize both their properties and persons. No regard being paid to his complaints, the commandant of Fort Duquesne seized by force three British traders, and goods to a large amount, and carried them to Montreal. Upon which the Governor of Virginia determined to resent the injury, and immediately began to concert measures for the protection of the frontiers. He raised a body of militia, and sent them met the mountains to watch the motions of their troublesome neighbours, and obtained reinforcements from North and South Carolina to assist them against the French garrison. This detachment, under the command of Major Washington, encamped near Fort Duquesne, between whom and the French garrison hostilities commenced in America; and the flame of war afterwards spreading, involved Europe in the quarrel.

[Sidenote] A chain of forts raised by the French.

From this period the great object which the French kept in view was to strengthen their frontiers, and make all possible preparations for defending themselves against the storm which they foresaw gathering in America. Though they seemed averse from an open declaration of war, yet they continued pouring troops into the continent, and raising a line of forts to secure a communication between their colony at the mouth of the Mississippi and their great settlement in Canada. They amused the British administration with fruitless negotiations about the limits of Nova Scotia, while they were busily employed in the execution of this great plan. Their design, however, was no secret to the more discerning part of the Americans, who plainly perceived from such preparations that hostilities were approaching. In Acadia they erected a fort at Chinecto, to confine the British subjects of Nova Scotia within the peninsula. At Crown Point another was raised, on lands claimed by the King of Great Britain, well situated for harassing the back settlements of New York and Connecticut. Another was built at Niagara, on land belonging to the Six Nations in alliance with Britain. While the Canadians were falling down the Ohio river, and raising strong-holds, the forces at Pensacola and New Orleans were also forcing their way up the Mississippi, and establishing garrisons on the most advantageous posts, on purpose to meet their friends from Canada, and confine the British settlements to the space between the mountains and the Atlantic sea. The more easily to accomplish this great design, it was necessary to secure by all possible means the interest of the savage nations. For this purpose missionaries were sent among the different tribes, who conformed to the dress, manners and customs of the savages, and represented the British heretics in the most odious light, making the Indians believe that their safety and happiness depended on the total extirpation of such men from America. Though some tribes rejected their friendship, yet it is certain that many were won over by their insinuating arts and intrigues, and entered into alliances with them. When a general congress was held at Albany fewer Indians than usual at such meetings attended, which afforded grounds of suspicion, and obliged the governors of the British colonies to double their diligence for watching the motions of their enterprising neighbours.

[Sidenote] The distracted state of the British colonies.

At the same time the situation of some of the British colonies proved favourable to the hostile preparations and attempts of their enemies. Their clashing interests had bred jealousies and animosities among them, insomuch that it was no easy matter to bring them firmly to unite, in order to oppose a common enemy with vigour and spirit. They believed themselves unable to withstand the militia of Canada supported by some regiments of regular troops from France, and therefore in the most humble manner implored the protection of Britain. They were filled with terrible apprehensions of the French power, declaring that their vanity and ambition had nothing less in view at this period than to divide the western world with Spain, and make all its riches center in the house of Bourbon. But whether they had such a view or not, one thing is plain, that the reduction of the British empire in America would facilitate the accomplishment of such a design, as the Portuguese dominions must afterwards fall an easy prey to those two powerful potentates.

Though Great Britain was sensible of the danger which threatened her colonies, yet as the number of British settlers on the continent exceeded that of the French, being not less than twenty to one, she expected that they would unite among themselves, and raise a fund for the common defence. Hitherto she had nursed and protected them, and many of the colonies had arrived at a considerable degree of opulence and strength. They had the easiest taxes of any civilized people upon earth. They had enjoyed many civil privileges, and commercial advantages, from their connection with the mother country. As their resources were considerable, it was hoped their zeal would not be wanting for their own defence. To give a check to any encroachments of the French in that quarter, Great Britain was more remotely, America herself more immediately, concerned. Instructions were therefore sent to the governors of the different provinces, to recommend unanimity to the people, and the necessity of an association for their mutual defence. But when the raising of men and money was proposed to the assemblies they fell into disputes among themselves, which became more violent in proportion as the enemy approached their habitations. Some pleaded extraordinary privileges from their charters; others started frivolous and absurd objections, insisting on punctilios as pretences for delay. In short, so different were their constitutions and forms of government, so divided were they in their views and interests, that it was found impossible to unite them together, in order to give their force its due weight. The frontiers were naked and extensive, the inhabitants upon them were thin and scattered, and utterly unequal to the service requisite without the assistance of their neighbours. The flames of war had broke out on some of them, and the neighbouring provinces could no otherwise be safe than by stretching forth their hands in helping to extinguish them. Thus, while the French were acting in concert under one commander and chief, the British colonists were spending that time in barren deliberations and private disputes which they ought to have employed in fortifying their borders and checking the progress of their enemy. What was in fact the business of every man seemed to engage the attention of none, and all kept their eyes fixed on the mother country for protection, regarding themselves as disinterested in the general safety of the empire, and very unequal to their own defence.

[Sidenote] General Braddock's defeat in Virginia.

While thus one province refused help to another, Great Britain, notwithstanding the extensive dominions she had to guard in different quarters of the globe, generously undertook the protection of America. As the greatest dangers seemed to hang over the province of Virginia, General Braddock was sent out with a considerable body of men to assist the Virginians in driving the French from their frontiers. This haughty and rash leader, being possessed of considerable skill in the European arts of war, entertained a sovereign contempt for an American enemy, and advanced against Fort Duquesne without even the smallest doubt of success. However, the French had intelligence of his approach, and were prepared to receive him. Having collected a large body of Indians, they had taken possession of an advantageous ground, and placed the regulars on a rising hill in front, and the savages in the dark woods on each side. General Braddock, instead of keeping small parties before the main body, to scour the woods as he advanced, and explore every dangerous pass, marched his men, according to the custom in Europe, in a close compacted body, and unfortunately fell into the snare which his enemies had laid for him. The French regulars in the front began the attack from behind a breast-work, while the Indians kept up an irregular and scattered fire from the dark thickets on each side, which surprized and confounded the British soldiers, who were utter strangers to such methods of attack. Almost every shot took effect, and the brave men observing their neighbours falling by their side, were put into confusion and fled, refusing to return to the charge against invisible assailants, notwithstanding every effort used by the officers for that purpose. Braddock with many brave officers and men fell in this field, and the remainder retreated with precipitation to Philadelphia, leaving these frontiers in a worse condition than they were in before.

[Sidenote] Colonel Johnston's success at Lake George.

Colonel Johnston, who marched with about three thousand men against Crown Point, was indeed more successful than this rash commander in Virginia. Being better acquainted with the woods, and the various methods of attack, he could both avail himself of the advantages, and guard against the dangers arising from the nature of the country. With cautious steps he advanced against the enemy, until he reached Lake George, where a party of his advanced guard being attacked retreated to the main body. The French pursued them, and a bloody battle ensued between the two armies, equally skilled in bush-fighting, which terminated much to the honour of the British officer. The enemy was repulsed with considerable loss, leaving Baron de Diescau wounded in the field, who, with many others, fell into Johnston's hands, and were made prisoners of war. This finall advantage gained over the French served in some measure to revive the drooping spirits of the colonists; yet still they entertained the most discouraging apprehensions of the French power in the woods, and seemed ardently to long for the relief and assistance of the mother country.

While these hostilities were openly carrying on in the northern parts of America, it was judged prudent to consult the safety of the provinces to the south, and put them in the best posture of defence. To prevent the fatal influence of French emissaries among the Indian tribes, it was thought necessary to build some small forts in the heart of their country. The Indians on the Ohio river, from the success which attended their arms at Fort Duquesne, entertained the highest ideas of French courage and conduct, and were trying to seduce the Cherokees, who were at this time the firmest allies of Britain. A message was sent to Governor Glen from the chief warrior of the over-hill settlements, acquainting him that some Frenchmen and their allies were among their people, endeavouring to poison their minds, and that it would be necessary to hold a general congress with the nation, and renew their former treaties of friendship. He assured the Governor, that though he had been wounded in his younger years, and was now old, yet he would meet him half way for this purpose, if he should even be carried on the backs of his people. Accordingly, Governor Glen appointed a place for holding a congress, and agreed to meet the warrior; for as the clouds were gathering every where on the American horizon, the friendship of the Cherokees at such a time was an object of too much importance to Carolina to be overlooked or neglected.

It may be remarked, that the Cherokees differ in some respects from other Indian nations that have wandered often from place to place, and fixed their habitations on separate districts. From time immemorial they have had possession of the same territory which at present they occupy. They affirm, that their forefathers sprung from that ground, or descended from the clouds upon those hills. These lands of their ancestors they value above all things in the world. They venerate the places where their bones lie interred, and esteem it disgraceful in the highest degree to relinquish these sacred repositories. The man that would refuse to take the field in defence of these hereditary possessions, is regarded by them as a coward, and treated as an outcast from their nation. To the over-hill villages the French had an easy access by means of rivers that emptied themselves into the Ohio and Mississippi. Their middle settlements and towns in the valley lay more convenient for trading with the Carolineans. Hitherto they despised the French, whom they called light as a feather, fickle as the wind, and deceitful as serpents; and, being naturally of a very grave cast, they considered the levity of that people as an unpardonable insult. They looked upon themselves as a great and powerful nation, and though their number was much diminished, yet they could bring from their different towns about three thousand men to the field. At this time they had neither arms nor ammunition to defend themselves against their enemy, and the Governor of Carolina wanted liberty to build two forts on their lands, in order to secure their friendship and trade. As the French were tampering with them, and had shewn a keenness more than common to gain some footing with them, it behoved the province to exert itself, in order to prevent if possible any alliance with its enemies.

[Sidenote] Governor Glen holds a congress with the Cherokees.

Accordingly, in 1755, Governor Glen met the Cherokee warriors in their own country, with a view to purchase some lands from them; and, after the usual ceremonies previous to such solemn treaties were over, the Governor sat down under a spreading tree, and Chulochcullah being chosen speaker for the Cherokee nation, came and took his seat beside him. The other warriors, about five hundred in number, stood around them in solemn silence and deep attention. Then the Governor arose, and made a speech in name of his king, representing his great power, wealth and goodness, and his particular regard for his children the Cherokees. He reminded them of the happiness they had long enjoyed by living under his protection; and added, that he had many presents to make them, and expected they would surrender a share of their territories in return for them. He acquainted them of the great poverty and wicked designs of the French, and hoped they would permit none of them to enter their towns. He demanded lands to build two forts in their country, to protect them against their enemies, and to be a retreat to their friends and allies, who furnished them with arms, ammunition, hatchets, clothes, and every thing that they wanted.

When the Governor had finished his speech, Chulochcullah arose, and holding his bow in one hand, his shaft of arrows and other symbols used by them on such occasions in the other, in answer spoke to the following effect. "What I now speak our father the great king should hear—We are brothers to the people of Carolina—one house covers us all." Then taking a boy by the hand he presented him to the Governor, saying, "We, our wives and our children, are all children of the great King George—I have brought this child, that when he grows up he may remember our agreement on this day, and tell it to the next generation, that it may be known for ever." Then opening his bag of earth, and laying the same at the Governor's feet, he said, "We freely surrender a part of our lands to the great King—The French want our possessions, but we will defend them while one of our nation shall remain alive." Then shewing his bows and arrow, he added, "These are all the arms we can make for our defence—We hope the King will pity his children the Cherokees, and send us guns and ammunition—We fear not the French—Give us arms and we will go to war against the enemies of the great King." Then delivering the Governor a string of wampum in confirmation of what he had said, he added, "My speech is at an end—It is the voice of the Cherokee nation—I hope the Governor will send it to the King, that it may be kept for ever."

[Sidenote] And purchases a large tract of land from them.

At this congress a territory of prodigious extent was ceded and surrendered to the King. Deeds of conveyance were drawn up, and formally executed by their head men in name of the whole people. It contained not only much rich land, but there the air was more serene, and the climate more healthy, than in the maritime parts. It exhibited many pleasant and romantic scenes, formed by an intermixture of beautiful hills, fruitful vallies, rugged rocks, clear streams, and gentle water-falls. The hills were of a stiff and tenacious clay, but the vallies of a deep, fat mould, and were covered with perpetual verdure. The acquisition at that time was so far of importance to Carolina, as it removed the savages at a greater distance from the settlements, and allowed the inhabitants liberty to extend backwards, in proportion as their number increased.

[Sidenote] Forts built in defence of Carolina.

Soon after the cession of these lands, Governor Glen built a fort about three hundred miles from Charlestown, afterwards called Fort Prince George, which was situated on the banks of the river Savanna, and within gun-shot of an Indian town called Keowee. This fort was made in the form of a square, and had an earthen rampart about six feet high, on which stockades were fixed, with a ditch, a natural glacis on two sides, and bastions at the angles, on each of which four small cannon were mounted. It contained barracks for an hundred men, and was designed for a defence to the western frontiers of the province. About an hundred and seventy miles further down there was another strong-hold, called Fort Moore, in a beautiful commanding situation on the banks of the same river. In the year following another fort was erected, called Fort Loudon, among the Upper Cherokees, situated on Tenassee river upwards of five hundred miles distant from Charlestown; to which place it was very difficult at all times, but, in case of a war with the Cherokees, utterly impracticable to convey necessary supplies. These strong-holds, together with those of Frederica and Augusta in Georgia, were garrisoned by his Majesty's independent companies of foot, stationed there for the protection of the two provinces.

After having fortified these frontiers, the settlers of Carolina began to stretch backward, and occupied lands above an hundred and fifty miles from the shore. New emigrants from Ireland, Germany and the northern colonies obtained grants in these interior parts, and introduced the cultivation of wheat, hemp, flax and tobacco, for which the soil answered better there than in the low lands nearer the sea. The cattle, sheep, hogs and horses multiplied fast, and having a country of vast extent to range over, they found plenty of provisions in it through the whole year. From different parts new settlers were invited to those hilly and more healthy parts of Carolina, where they laboured with greater safety than among the swamps, and success crowned their industry. By degrees public roads were made, and they conveyed their produce in waggons to the capital, where they found an excellent market for all their productions, but especially the provisions which they raised.

[Sidenote] Its excellent fruits and plants.

Although the soil and climate of the province suited the finest fruits and vegetable productions, yet the garden had long been neglected, and the orchard had engaged the attention only of a few. The people of Bermuda, not many years ago, carried to the market in Charlestown cabbages raised on that island, and the northern colonies their apples and Irish potatoes. But now the Carolineans found, by chusing a spot of land with judgment for the garden, that it would furnish them with all necessaries of this kind. Every spring and autumn brought them a crop of European peas and beans. Musk and water melons thrive exceedingly well even on the sandy maritime islands, and arrive at a degree of perfection unknown in many parts of Europe. All kinds of sallad, such as lettuce, endive, cresses, parsley, radishes, onions, will grow there in all seasons of the year, excepting one, and as nature has denied the people this kind of nourishment during the summer months, it is probable it must on that account be unwholesome. The garden also yielded abundance of cabbages, brocoli, cauliflower, turnips, spinage, cucumbers, squashes, artichokes, pompions, asparagus, &c. in great perfection. The climate indeed refuses the people of Carolina currants and gooseberries, as every attempt to raise them has failed; but they have oranges, figs, peaches, apricots, nectarines and strawberries in plenty, which are exceedingly agreeable and refreshing in the summer season. Olives, grapes, cherries, citrons and plumbs will grow, though not cultivated in common; but apples, pears, pomegranates, chesnuts and walnuts are, or at least may be, raised in abundance. Many physical roots and herbs, such as China-root, snake-root, sassafras, are the spontaneous growth of the woods; and sage, balm and rosemary thrive well in the gardens. The planters distil brandy of an inferior quality from peaches; and gather berries from the myrtle bushes of which they make excellent candles. The woods will also supply them with a variety of cherries, mulberries, wild grapes and nuts. In short, nature hath denied the diligent and skilful planter few of the most useful vegetables, and many delicious fruits grow to a degree of perfection exceeded by no country in Europe.

Ar the same time it must be acknowledged, that some disadvantages attend the climate with respect to the vegetable kingdom. European grapes have been transplanted, and several attempts made to raise wine in Carolina; but so overshaded are the vines planted in the woods, and so foggy is the season of the year when they begin to ripen, that they seldom come to maturity. But as excellent grapes have been raised in gardens where they are exposed to the sun, we are apt to believe that proper methods have not been taken for encouraging that branch of agriculture, considering its great importance in a national view. Some tolerable wine has been made from the native vines, which do not ripen so early in the season as those transplanted from Europe; and perhaps in some future day, when the planters have acquired greater skill, and made trials of different soils and situations, the vineyard culture may succeed better than it has yet done, and turn to some national account, like other profitable articles of American husbandry.

In some seasons the cold blast from the north-west proves very destructive to the orange, the olive and peach trees. In mild winters the trees blossom early, sometimes by the beginning of February, often before the middle of it. After the juices begin to rise, should the north west wind bring a cold frosty night, it commonly kills every tender shoot. Governor Glen makes mention of a frost which happened on the 7th of February, 1747, which killed almost all the orange trees in the country. The trees being ready to blossom about the time the frost came, it burst all their vessels, insomuch that not only the bark, but even the bodies of many of them were split, and all on the side next the sun. Such blasts are incredibly sharp and piercing. The Governor says he found several birds frozen to death near his house. We cannot vouch for the truth of this assertion, but we know no climate where the cold is more severely felt by the human body.

[Sidenote] Its minerals undiscovered.

With respect to the mineral kingdom we may say, who can tell what rich mines lie hid in Carolina, when no person has sought for them? If it be true that mountainous countries are favorable to mines, it may be presumed that this province, in which there are many extensive and high mountains, is not without its hidden treasures, no more than the other parts of the continent. Pennsylvania hath already exhibited to the world some useful minerals, and Carolina in time will probably do the same. But while the surface of the earth yields abundance of vegetable productions for the use of the inhabitants, and a plentiful livelihood can be obtained by easier means than that of digging into its bowels, it can scarcely be expected that they will apply themselves to deep and uncertain researches. It remains for a more populous and improved state, when ingenious men will probably attempt to explore those subterranean riches, which as yet lie neglected. Mineral water has been found in several parts, and such springs will help both to lead men to the important discovery, and animate them with the hopes of success.

The province of Georgia, with respect to improvement, still remained little better than a wilderness, and the vast expence it had cost the mother country might perhaps have been laid out to greater advantage in other parts of the continent. In the government of that colony John Ellis, a Fellow of the Royal Society, succeeded Captain John Reynolds. The rich swamps on the sides of the rivers lay uncultivated; and the planters had not yet found their way into the interior parts of the country, where the lands not only exceeded those in the maritime parts in fertility, but where the climate was also more healthy and pleasant. Excepting vagabonds and fraudulent debtors, who fled to them from Carolina, few of the Georgians had any negroes to assist them in cultivation; so that, in 1756, the whole exports of the country were 2997 barrels of rice, 9335 lb. of indigo, 268 lib. of raw silk, which, together with skins, furs, lumber and provisions amounted only to 16,776 pounds sterling.

Although the hostilities which had commenced between Great Britain and France still continued, yet both potentates remained averse from an open declaration of war. William Lyttleton, now Lord Westcot, being appointed governor of South Carolina, in his way through the Bay of Biscay, was intercepted by a French squadron under the command of Count de Guay, and carried into France; but an order from the French court came to release the ship, and permit the Governor to return to England. The British commanders at sea indeed had orders to seize all French ships and bring them into port, yet as some hopes of an accommodation still remained, the crews were only confined, and the cargoes remained entire. But so soon as the news of the bare-faced invasions of our dominions in the Mediterranean, joined with the many encroachments in America, had reached the British court, all prospects of an accommodation vanished at once, and war was publicly declared against France on the 17th of May, 1756.

Before the end of that year William Pitt, who had long been distinguished in the House of Commons for a bold and powerful orator, was called to the helm, and to his uncommon popularity added the whole influence of administration. After his preferment such bold plans of operation were introduced to the council, as were calculated at once to rouze the British nation and to alarm her enemies. The city of London, having the greatest confidence in the spirit and abilities of the minister, poured in its treasures to his assistance, and so great were his resources, that his schemes, however vast, never failed for want of money. From this period vigour and decision attended almost every warlike enterprize; a martial spirit pervaded the navy and army, and every officer seemed emulous of distinction and glory in the service of his country. This new minister gave the enemy so much employment, that for the future they had scarce time to breathe, and extended the powerful arm of Britain from the centre to the extremities of the empire.

In America John Earl of London had been appointed commander in chief; but such was the state of affairs on that continent, that all he could do was not sufficient to prevent the encroachments of the enemy. So disunited were the provincials, and so different were their principles, views and interests, that each colony seemed concerned only for its own defence, and determined to act independent of its neighbour; while the French were firmly united under one commander in chief, the Governor of Canada. Lord Loudon plainly saw that nothing remained for him to achieve, and therefore pitched his camp at Albany, and there determined to continue with his little army on the defensive, until a reinforcement should arrive from Britain. The French still wore the laurel, and triumphed in the forest, having every possible advantage their heart could desire from the divided state of British America.

But although the campaign under Lord Loudon was opened under many disadvantages, this gallant officer was not idle during the year. Having made himself master of the state of affairs on the continent, he perceived that the French, though united and strong, were nevertheless vulnerable, and drew up a plan of operations for the ensuing campaign, which he transmitted to the minister in Britain. Immediately preparations were made for carrying it into execution. It had been proposed to raise some regiments in America, but the levies went on slowly. As many of the colonists fit for service were foreigners, and only understood their native language, it was thought proper to allow them foreign officers to command them upon their taking the oaths to government, which contributed not a little to the more speedy completion of the Royal American regiments.

[Sidenote: The British forces augmented.]

Early in the year following a considerable reinforcement from Britain arrived at New York. The Indians in alliance with us were furnished with arms, and encouraged to join the army. Among the British forces sent out there was a regiment of Highlanders, who were in many respects well qualified for the service. It is impossible to describe how much the savages were delighted with the dress, manners and music of this regiment. Their sprightly manner of dancing, their dexterity in the use of arms, and natural vivacity and intrepidity, the savages greatly admired, and expressed a strong inclination for attending the Scotch warriors to the field. To prevent them from joining the enemy it was not only necessity to employ those warriors, but it was thought they might be rendered useful for scouring the dark thickets before the regular army. Lieutenant Kennedy, to encourage them, entered into their humour, and, in order to head them, dressed and painted himself like an Indian. They gave him a squaw, and the nation to which she belonged having made him a king, no small service was expected from the new alliance.

[Sidenote] Their first success in America.

When General Abercrombie succeded Lord Loudon as commander in chief in America, the British force being considerably augmented, bolder enterprises were undertaken. It was agreed to attack the French settlements in different places. Though this commander met with a sharp repulse at Ticonderago, the French paid dear for this advantage by the loss of Cape Breton, which opened the way into Canada. Fort Frontenac next surrendered to Colonel Bradstreet, in which were found vast quantities of provision and ammunition, that had been designed for the French forces on the Ohio. The great loss sustained by the enemy at this place facilitated the reduction of Fort Duquesne, against which General Forbes was advancing with great vigilance and considerable force. This fortress the enemy, after a few skirmishes, determined to abandon; and having burnt their houses, and destroyed their works, fell down the Ohio river in boats to their strong-holds erected beyond the Cherokee mountains. No sooner was the British flag erected on Fort Duquesne, than the numerous tribes of Indians came in and made their submission; and, from a conviction of the superior valour and strength of the British army, joined the conquerors. Although the enemy lost few men at this place, yet their power in America received a heavy stroke by the division of their force which the loss of it occasioned. All communication between their settlements on the south parts and those of Canada being cut off, they could no longer act in concert, and their future exertions were rendered more feeble and ineffectual.

[Sidenote] The cause of the Cherokee war.

However, the flight of this French garrison to the south promised little good to Carolina. The scene of action was changed only from one place to another, and the baleful influence of those active and enterprising enemies soon appeared among the upper tribes of Cherokees. An unfortunate quarrel with the Virginians helped to forward their designs, by opening to them an easier access into the towns of the savages. In the different expeditions against Fort Duquesne, the Cherokees, agreeable to treaty, had sent considerable parties of warriors to the assistance of the British army. As the horses in those parts run wild in the woods, it was customary, both among Indians and white people on the frontiers, to lay hold on them and appropriate them to their own purposes. While the savages were returning home through the back parts of Virginia, many of them having lost their horses, laid hold of such as came in their way, never imagining that they belonged to any individual in the province. The Virginians however, instead of asserting their right in a legal way, resented the injury by force of arms, and killed twelve or fourteen of the unsuspicious warriors, and took several more prisoners. The Cherokees, with reason, were highly provoked at such ungrateful usage from allies, whose frontiers they had helped to change from a field of blood into peaceful habitations, and when they came home told what had happened to their nation. The flame soon spread through the upper towns, and those who had lost their friends and relations were implacable, and breathed nothing but fury and vengeance against such perfidious friends. In vain did the chieftains interpose their authority, nothing could restrain the furious spirits of the young men, who were determined to take satisfaction for the loss of their relations. The emissaries of France among them added fuel to the flame, by telling them that the English intended to kill every man of them, and make slaves of their wives and children. They instigated them to bloodshed, and for that purpose furnished them with arms and ammunition. The scattered families on the frontiers of Carolina lay much exposed to scalping parties of these savages, who commonly make no distinction of age or sex, but pour their vengeance indiscriminately on the innocent and guilty.

The garrison of Fort Loudon, consisting of about two hundred men, under the command of Captains Demere and Stuart, first discovered the ill humour in which the Cherokee warriors returned from the northern expedition. The soldiers, as usual, making excursions into the woods, to hunt for fresh provisions, were attacked by them, and some of them were killed. From this time such dangers threatened the garrison, that every one was confined within the small boundaries of the fort. All communication with the distant settlement from which they received supplies being cut off, and the soldiers being but poorly provided, had no other prospects left but those of famine or death. Parties of young Indians took the field, and, rushing down among the settlements, murdered and scalped a number of people on the frontiers.

[Sidenote] Governor Lyttleton prepares to march against them.

The commanding officer at Fort Prince George having received intelligence of those acts of hostility, dispatched a messenger to Charlestown to inform Governor Lyttleton that the Cherokees were gone to war, and that it would be necessary speedily to warn the people of their danger. In consequence of which orders were given to the commanders of the militia immediately to collect their men, and stand in a posture of defence, while the Governor was making preparations in Charlestown for marching against them, in order to give a speedy check to their progress. Parties of the independent companies were brought to Charlestown for this purpoise. The militia of the country had orders to rendezvous at Congarees, where the Governor, with such a force as he could procure from the lower parts, resolved to join them, and march to the relief of the frontier settlements.

[Sidenote] The Cherokees sue for peace.

No sooner had the Cherokees heard of these warlike preparations at Charlestown, than thirty-two of their chiefs set out for that place; in order to settle all differences, and prevent if possible a war with the Carolineans. For although they could not restrain some of their young men from acts of violence, yet the nation in general was still inclined to friendship and peace. As they arrived at Charlestown before the Governor had set out on the intended expedition, a council was called, and the chiefs being sent for, Mr. Lyttleton, among other things, told them, "That he was well acquainted with all the acts of hostility of which their people had been guilty, and likewise those they intended against the English, and enumerated some of them; then he added, That he would soon be in their country, where he would let them know his demands, and the satisfaction he required, which he would certainly take if they refused it. As they had come to Charlestown to treat with him as friends, they should go home in safety, and not a hair of their head should be touched; but as he had many warriors in arms in different parts of the province, he could not be answerable for what might happen to them unless they marched along with his army." After this speech Occonostota, who was distinguished by the name of the Great Warrior of the Cherokee nation, began to speak by way of reply; but the Governor being determined that nothing should prevent his military expedition, declared, he would hear no talk he had to make, neither in vindication of his nation, nor any proposals with regard to peace. Lieutenant-Governor Bull, who was better acquainted with the manners of Indians, and the dangers to which the province would be exposed from a war with them, urged the necessity of hearing the Great Warrior, and the happy consequences of an agreement before more blood was spilt. But Mr. Lyttleton remained inflexible, and put an end to the conference; with which behaviour the chiefs, however, were not a little displeased. For as they had travelled so far to obtain peace, and, after all, to be not only denied liberty to speak, but also to be disappointed with respect to the chief end of their journey, chagrined them much, and created many uneasy fears and suspicions.

[Sidenote] Governor Lyttleton marches against the Cherokees.

A few days after holding this conference with the chieftains the governor set out for Congarees, the place of general rendezvous for the militia, and about one hundred and forty miles distant from Charlestown, where he mustered in all about one thousand four hundred men. To this place the Cherokees marched along with the army, and were to appearance contented, but in reality burning with fury and resentment. When the army moved from the Congarees, the chieftains, very unexpectedly, were all made prisoners, and, to prevent their escape to the nation, a captain's guard was mounted over them, and in this manner they were obliged to march to Fort Prince George. Being not only deprived of their liberty, which an Indian values above all things, but also compelled to accompany an enemy going against their families and friends, they could now no longer conceal their resentment. They turned exceedingly sullen, and shewed that they were stung to the heart by such base treatment. The breach of promise an Indian holds an atrocious crime. To requite good intended with real evil, they with reason deemed an unpardonable injury. But what compleated the ill usage, the thirty-two Indians, upon the arrival of the army at Fort Prince George, were all shut up in a hut scarcely sufficient for the accommodation of six soldiers, where they spent their time in concerting plots for obtaining their liberty, and satisfaction for the injuries done them.

[Sidenote] Holds a congress a Fort Prince George.

Governor Lyttleton's little army being not only ill armed and disciplined, but also discontented and mutinous, he therefore judged it dangerous to proceed farther into the enemy's country. Having beforehand sent for Attakullakulla, who was esteemed both the wisest man of the nation and the most steady friend of the English, to meet him at Fort Prince George, this warrior hastened to his camp from an excursion against the French, in which he had taken some prisoners, one of whom he presented to the Governor. Mr Lyttleton knew, that, for obtaining a re-establishment of peace, there was not a man in the whole nation better disposed to assist him than this old warrior, though it was observed that he cautiously avoided making any offer of satisfaction. But so small was his influence among the Cherokees at this time, that they considered him as no better than an old woman on account of his attachment to their English enemies, and his aversion from going to war against them.

[Sidenote] His speech to Attakullakulla.

About the 18th of December, 1759, the Governor held a congress with this warrior, and by an interpreter spoke to him to the following effect: "You told me yesterday that you had a good talk to make, and expected the same from me. You know it is the will of the great King that his subjects and your people should live together in friendship, and you have said you desire not to break the chain thereof. It is a chain which our most gracious sovereign holds at one end, and you hold at the other. You know that, in order to keep this chain from contracting rust, and hinder it from being broken, it was necessary certain conditions should be made; and as all acts of the great king are kept till time shall be no more, so I now have in my hand those very conditions made with you and your people. It was agreed, that if an Indian should kill an Englishman, he shall be delivered up to be punished as the law requires. This was the ancient talk of our fathers and your fathers, and when King George took your nation under his protection he so ordered it for the future. This treaty has been since renewed by several of our King's governors of this province from time to time. It was the mercy of the great King that this way of restitution should be established, to prevent a war which might destroy your nation; whereas, at any time, by delivering up of the guilty person, the innocent might escape, and your people be suffered to live in friendship with ours.

"In the month of November, 1758, six deputies from your nation came to Charlestown, to make up all differences between our people and yours. They did then engage to observe the words of the treaty I have here, and which you know are the same with those formerly made by the great King. They received a large quantity of goods as a full compensation for the injuries done them by white people, and did solemnly promise to continue in strict friendship with all the King's subjects. Notwithstanding which they went to Statiquo under Moytoy and killed many white men, though no provocation had been given them. Thereupon I demanded satisfaction, according to the words of the great King, but they have given me none. As King Gorge loves mercy better than war, I was willing to wait; and while our people lay quietly in their houses, the Indians came, killed and scalped them. Last of all they put to death three men in the Upper nation, and drove our people, who lived in their towns to furnish them with goods, into the forts. As you know that your people have been guilty of all these crimes, and many more, I expected you would not only come down with a good talk, but also would have offered satisfaction for them. I am now come here with a great number of warriors, to take that satisfaction I have more than once demanded. Perhaps some of you thought, that, as our people put up with such injuries, they were apprehensive of your power; but you shall now see that this was owing to their patience, and not to their want of resolution. You know well the strength of our province, and that one third part of it is sufficient to destroy your nation. Besides, the white people in all the provinces are brothers, and linked together: we come not alone against you because we have suffered, for the Virginians and North Carolineans are prepared to march against you, unless satisfaction be given me. My brother the Governor of Georgia will also prevent any ammunition from coming to you. Some time ago you sent to Virginia, offering to trade with that province, and goods were on their way to you which I have stopt and they shall not proceed hither until I send directions for them. It is not necessary for me to say more to you, until you make satisfaction for killing the white people.

"Attakullakulla, you have been in England, and seen the power of the great King, and the number of his warriors. You also know, that, during these five years and more, we have been at war with the French, who were once numerous over all parts of America. You know I disdain to tell you a falsehood, and I will now inform you what success our army has had. Some of the last ships that arrived at Charlestown brought me a good deal of news. Our fleet has taken many ships of war belonging to the French. A messenger has arrived with an account that the great city of Quebec is reduced, as also, that the warriors of the great king have taken all the forts on the lakes and upon the Ohio, and beat down all things in their way, as a hurricane would have done in its passage. The Indians in those parts, fearing his power, have made their peace with the great King. The Delawares, Shawanese, and all of them that live near Fort Duquesne, have desired to be in friendship with us. The Choctaws also beg to be received under the King's protection by his beloved man Mr. Aitken, upon which a great number of traders are gone into their country with all sorts of goods. If you will not believe what I say, and imagine that the French are able to supply you with the necessaries which you want, you will be deceived, for they themselves are starving, and so much undone that they cannot furnish a blanket or a gun to the Choctaws, much less to you, who are removed at so great a distance from them.

"These things I have mentioned to show you that the great King will not suffer his people to be destroyed without satisfaction, and to let you know the people of this province are determined to have it. What I say is with a merciful intention. If I make war with you, you will suffer for your rashness; your men will be destroyed, and your women and children carried into captivity. What few necessaries you now have will soon be done, and you will get no more. But if you give the satisfaction I shall ask, the trade will be again opened with you, and all things go right. I have twice given you a list of the murderers; I will now tell you there are twenty-four men of your nation whom I demand to be delivered up to me, to be put to death, or otherwise disposed of as I shall think fit. Your people have killed that number of ours and more, therefore it is the least I will accept of. I shall give you till to-morrow morning to consider of it, and then I shall expect your answer. You know best the Indians concerned; several gangs at different times have been out, and I expect the twenty-four you shall deliver up will be those who have committed the murders."

[Sidenote] Attakullakulla's answer.

To this long speech Attakullakulla replied in words to the following effect: "That he remembered the treaties mentioned, as he had a share in making them: He owned the kindness of the province of South Carolina, but complained much of the bad treatment his countrymen had received in Virginia, which, he said, was the immediate cause of our present misunderstanding: That he had always been the firm friend of the English, of which he hoped his late fatiguing march against their enemies the French was a sufficient proof: That he would ever continue such, and would use all the influence he had to persuade his countrymen to give the Governor the satisfaction he demanded, though he believed it neither would nor could be complied with, as they had no coercive authority one over another: He desired the Governor to release some of the head men then confined in the fort to assist him; and added, that he was pleased to hear of the successes of his brothers the English, but could not help mentioning, that they shewed more resentment against the Cherokees than they had used to other nations that had disobliged them; that he remembered some years ago several white people belonging to Carolina were killed by the Choctaws, for whom no satisfaction had either been given or demanded."

[Sidenote] A treaty concluded with six chiefs.

Agreeable to the request of Attakullakulla, the Governor released Occonostota, Fiftoe the chief man of Keowee town, and the head warrior of Estaloe, who next day delivered up two Indians, whom Mr. Lyttleton ordered to be put in irons. After which all the Cherokees present, who knew their connections to be weak, being alarmed, fled out of the way, so that it was impossible to complete the number demanded. Attakullakulla, being then convinced that peace could not be obtained on such terms as the Governor required, resolved to go home and patiently wait the event; but no sooner was Mr. Lyttleton made acquainted with his departure, than he dispatched a messenger after him to bring him back to his camp; and being desirous of finishing the campaign with as much credit as possible, immediately on his return began to treat of peace. Accordingly a treaty was drawn up and signed by the Governor and six of the head men; in which it was agreed, that those twenty-two chieftains of the Cherokees should be kept as hostages confined in the fort, until the same number of Indians guilty of murder be delivered up to the commander in chief of the province; that trade should be opened and carried on as usual; that the Cherokees should kill, or take every Frenchman prisoner, who should presume to come into their nation during the continuance of the war; and that they should hold no intercourse with the enemies of Great Britain, but should apprehend every person, white or red, found among them, that may be endeavouring to set the English and Cherokees at variance, and interrupt the friendship and peace established between them.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse