« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Oglethorpe how far their possessions reached.
The day he arrived he presented ten bucks to the whole colony, which were divided after the Indian manner to all equal. Every day more Indians came in from different quarters, where they had been hunting. At last Mr. Jonathan Brian brought down a new scout boat with ten oars.
Mr. Oglethorpe having heard no news of Major Richard, and the boat sent to Augustine; and being informed by his Indians that great number of the Florida Indians were sent for up to their town; and also having advice from Charlestown that they heard from Augustine that the Spaniards were preparing to dislodge us, he resolved to go down and see the frontiers, and inquire what was become of his boat and men, and at the same time to restrain the Indians from hurting the Spaniards: who seemed very eager so to do, under the pretence of hunting the buffalo. Knowing there was a passage through which boats might come round the island, and perhaps might destroy the colony in one night, he made Capt. Yokely anchor below the town, who was very alert, and kept a good look-out, and having some cannon, and supported by a battery from the land, was above a match for open boats. He designed also to build a fort upon the boat passage, but the Indian company not being yet come, he had no men to garrison it. The Highlanders very cheerfully offered themselves for that service. He ordered a large periagua to bring them down from the Darien.
“On the 18th of April he set out with the two scout boats with Toma Chi Chi and a body of Indians, who though but few, being not forty, were all chosen warriors and good hunters. Mr. Oglethorpe did not care for having too many, lest their strength should encourage them to hostilities with the Spaniards, which it was his business to avoid. Rowing across Jekyl sound he went up another branch of the Alatamaha, to see what passages might lie that way for boats
, and encamped in a grove of pine trees upon the main, where were many trees fit for masts to the largest ships. They made
three fires, one for the Indians, one for the boatmen, and one for the gentlemen. Mr. Oglethorpe lay, as he usually does, in the woods under a tree, wrapt up in a cloak, near a good fire. Mr. Horton, Mr. Tanner, and the rest of the gentlemen lay round the fire in the same manner
. “The next day, soon after day break, they discovered the
periagua, which made a fine appearance, being full of men: Captain Hugh Mackay, who commanded them, had been indefatigable in making this dispatch; there was on board thirty Highlanders and ten other men, a party of the independent company, lately reduced, who had come over land to Darien under the command of Ensign Hugh Mackay, as before mentioned: they had with them tools for entrenching, and provisions. That afternoon they saw an island, which the Indians formerly called Wissoo, in English, Sassafras. This is over against Jekyl island on the south; the northwest end of it rises fifty foot or upwards above the water, like a terras, a mile in length, covered with tall pine trees. The western extremity of this hill commands the passage for boats from the southward as the northern end of the island does the entry for ships. Here they met with some bark-huts, which our friendly Indians had some time since built for their lodging when they hunted there. They saw a great many deer and a wide savannah lying at the foot of the hill, extending near two or three miles: so that from the western point they could discover any boat that came from the southward for several miles.
“Mr. Oglethorpe, upon the extreme western point of the bill, the foot of which is washed on the one side by the bay and by the channel that goes to the southward on the other, marked out a fort to be called St. Andrew's, and gave Captain Hugh Mackay orders to build it; leaving with him the periagua, and all that came in it, and also some Indians to hunt and shoot.
“Mr. Oglethorpe proceeded on the next morning with the two scout boats, and Toma Chi Chi and his Indians; who new named this island Cumberland in memory of his Royal Highness the Duke, who had been very gracious to them, particularly to Tooanahowi, nephew to Toma Chi Chi, to whom his Royal Highness had given a gold repeating watch, which Tooanahowi holding in his hand, said, the Duke gave us this watch, that we might know how the time went, and we will remember him at all times, and therefore will give this island his name: or words to that purpose. They encamped that night on the south end of Cumberland, and the Dext morning discovered another island beyond it, between which and the main, they rowed through very narrow and shoaly passages amongst the marshes. To this island Mr.
Oglethorpe gave the name of Amelia, it being a beautiful island, and the sea shore covered with myrtle, peach-trees, orange trees and vines in the wild woods. They rowed across a fresh water river, a branch of the Alatamaha, and that night Toma Chi Chi chose to encamp upon a ground where there were but a few straggling pine trees, and the land being clear for half a mile round, and thick of shrubs and palmettoes: his reason was that if any Florida Indians were out there, they would be discovered, if they approached in the night, by the noise of the palmetto leaves; and, (says he) you being Englishmen, who are used to fight in open ground, I choose this as being most to your advantage.
“Next morning he conducted them through several channels till they came to two rocks covered with cedar and bay trees, and climbing to the tops of those rocks he shewed them a wide river, which was St. John's, and a house or hut on the other side, saying, that is the Spanish guard. All on this side that river we hunt ; it is our ground. On the other side they hunt, but as they have lately hurt some of our people
, we will now drive them away. We will stay behind these rocks, where they cannot see us, till night, and then we will fall upon them.”
“Mr. Oglethorpe, with much difficulty, prevailed with the Indians not to attack the Spaniards; for some of them are related to those that had been killed the winter before, by the detachment from Augustine, and one of them, Poyeechy by name, had been wounded by the Spaniards. At last the Indians were prevailed upon to return to the Palmetto ground, where he promised to meet them. And not caring to trust them single, lest they should turn back and do mischief to the Spaniards, he ordered Mr. Horton, with one of the tenoared scout-boats to attend upon them; and with the other boat he himself went into St. John's river, intending to inquire of the Spanish guards what was become of the boat and men he had sent to Augustine.
“ The hut which they saw from the rocks, was the upper Spanish look-out, but seeing no people, they concluded it deserted, therefore stood down to the lower look-out.
“The boatmen fancied they saw a battery of cannon, for there appeared some black things which they thought looked like guns at a great distance, but Mr. Oglethorpe desired to see them nearer.
“ As they stood in, they proved to be cows lying down among the sand hills. There were no people at the look-out,
they went down to the sea, and rounding the point St. George, passing between that and Talbot island, came to the rendezvous at the Palmetto ground; where they met Mr. Horton in the scout boat, and some boats of Indians, but Toma Chi Chi with two boats was gone on.
“ About four hours in the night their sentry challenged a boat ; and Umpeachy, one of those who had been in England, answered, and at the same time leaped on shore with four others, and ran up to the fires where Mr. Oglethorpe
“They seemed in such a rage as is hardly to be described. Their eyes glowed as it were, with fire; some of them foamed at the mouth, and moved with such bounds, that they seemed rather possessed.
"Mr. Oglethorpe asked Umpeachy what the matter was: he said Toma Chi Chi has seen enemies, and has sent us to tell it, and to help you. Being asked why the Mico did not come back himself, he said, he is an old warrior, and will not come away from his enemies, who hunt upon our lands, till he has seen them so near as to count them. He saw their fire and therefore sent to take care of you, who are his friends. He will make a warrior of Tooanahowi, and before daylight will be revenged for his men, whom they killed whilst he was gone to England. But we shall have no honor, for we shall not be there. The rest of the Indians seemed to catch the raging fits, at not being present. Mr. Oglethorpe asked if he thought there were many; he said, yes, he thought the enemies were a great many, for they had a great fire upon a high ground, and the Indians never make large fires, but when they are so strong as to despise all resistance.
"Mr. Óglethorpe immediately ordered all his people on board
, and they rowed very briskly to where Toma Chi Chi was, being about four miles distance.
“They found him and his Indians with hardly any fire, only a few sparks behind a bush, to prevent discovery. They told him they had been to see the fire, and had discovered seven or eight white men; but the Indians they believed had encamped further in the woods, for they had not seen them: but Toma Chi Chi was going out again to look for the Indians, whom as soon as he discovered, he intended to give
the signal to attack both parties at once: one half of his men creeping near, and taking each their aim at those whom they saw most awake, and as soon as they had fired to run in with their hatchets, and at the same time those who had not fired should run in with their loaded arms; that if they knew once where the Indians were, they could be sure of killing all the white men, since they being round the fire, were easily seen, and the same fire hindered them from seeing others.
“Mr. Oglethorpe strove to dissuade them from that attempt; but with great difficulty could obtain of them to delay a little time, they thinking it argued cowardice. At last they got up, and resolved to go in spite of all his endeavors; on which he told them, You certainly go to kill them in the night, because you are afraid of seeing them by day: now I do not fear them. Stay till day, and I will go with you, and see who they are.
“ Toma Chi Chi sighed and sat down, and said, “We don't fear them by day ; but if we don't kill them by night, they will kill you to-morrow.' So they stayed.
“By day-break Mr. Oglethorpe and the Mico went down with their men, and came up to the fire, which they thought had been made by enemies, which was less than a mile from where the Mico had passed the night. They saw a boat there, with a white flag flying, and the men proved to be Major Richard, returned from Augustine.
“ The Indians then seemed ashamed of their rage, which inspired them to kill men before they knew who they were.
“ The same day they returned towards St. Andrews, and not having water enough, through the narrows of Amelia, the scout boats were obliged to halt there; but the Indians advanced to the south end of Cumberland, where they hunted, and carried venison to St. Andrews.
“Mr. Oglethorpe arriving there was surprized to find the fort in a forwardness; the ditch being dug, and the parapet raised with wood and earth on the land side, and the small wood was cleared fifty yards round the fort. This seemed to be the more extraordinary, because Mr. Mackay had no engineer, nor any other assistance in that way, but the directions left by Mr. Oglethorpe: besides it was very difficult to raise works here, the ground being a loose sand; therefore they used the same method to support it as Cæsar mentions in the wars of Gaul, laying trees and earth alternately, the