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Major Richard. The man said, he had watched some days for an opportunity to deliver the letter. Mr. Oglethorpe rewarded him well
, and appointed to send him an answer by the next day at noon to the same place, which he agreed to come to receive. He would have given him a letter to the Governor of Augustine, but the man said that none could be carried, for that a troop of horse under the command of Don Pedro kept all the passages, so that all letters must go to him. They returned to St. George's. Mr. Oglethorpe had great fires made on Talbot island, another on St. George's, each a mile below the fort, and another a mile and half in the woods; so that any boat coming up the river, between them and the fort, would be discovered by the light of them. That night the men lay upon their arms, strict sentries were kept, the seamen having the charge of the lower mount, and Mr. Hermsdorf's men of the upper. There were sentries placed two hundred yards into the woods every way, and either Mr. Hermsdorf or Mr. Oglethorpe kept going the rounds all night. One scout boat was anchored near half a mile below them, and the marine boat near half a mile above, to watch the river.
“On the 6th, before day break, all hands set to cut down the wood, and with it they raised barricades from the upper mount to the lower; and all trees that were fit for it they cut into palisades by eight of the clock. Mr. Oglethorpe ordered seven shots to be fired out of the two several
guns, which for that purpose were ordered to be carried farther into the woods; and then at a moderate distance of time five shots to be fired out of the four pounder, which also was hauled into the wood, and the muzzle turned another way, that the flash might not be discovered from the Spanish lookout: this seemed to be guns from different distances; for the small report of the swivel guns made them appear further off, and the four pounders to be nearer; so that it appeared to be a ship saluting at some distance behind the island, and that returned by a forte. At ten of the clock Mr. Oglethorpe stood down with the scout boat, and Lieutenant Moore in the yawl, with the marine boat in company; they went to the Spanish main, but did not see the Spaniard at the place appointed, but discovered some horsemen that were concealed behind the sand hills. Mr. Oglethorpe would not suffer the boats to go near where there was any shelter, but to go to
the landing place, where there was a plain sand for a musket shot round. There we made signals carrying a flag of truce, but nobody would appear. After that, some horsemen made signals two miles below, but there was a close brushy wood just bebind them, which made it not proper to trust the boats there. Whilst they were looking at these horsemen, Mr. Oglethorpe discovered something which looked like a bank with pelicans upon it; but looking more attentively he saw it was a launch full of men, lying under the shelter of a sand bank, near the mouth of the river St. John's, within shot of which bank he must have passed to come to the place where the horsemen had made the signals. There was a strong tide of ebb, and if the boat had stood down to the horsemen, the Spaniards might have cut them off from returning, since they must have rowed up against tide, and she would have been above them. Mr. Oglethorpe, upon this, asked Mr. Moore if he was for examining the launch first, which Mr. Moore readily agreed to, and Mr. Oglethorpe sent off the marine boat, to order the periagua to weigh anchor and come down directly. As soon as the marine boat was gone off from them, they rowed towards the launch: as they came nearer, the men who before had kept themselves so low that they could only see their heads, started up at once and rowed out to sea. Upon this the two boats stopped, that they might not be carried too far down with the ebb, and put in where the horsemen were, but would not go within danger of an ambuscade from the bushes or sand hills. Upon which two horsemen came up to the open point of a level sand, where Mr. Oglethorpe bad before made the signals. The boat rowing up to them, Mr. Oglethorpe had a conference with one of them, a gentleman dressed in blue and very well mounted : he sent letters on shore to him, which he promised to deliver, and that he should have an answer in a day's time. The boats returned to St. George's, and meeting the periagua, which was come half way towards them, as soon as they landed they fell all to work, Mr. Oglethorpe as well as the rest : he marked out the ground for the fort enclosing the lower mount, and joining it to the upper mount by a line of palisadoes, marking it out, as also where the breastworks should be; and clearing the old ditches, palisading the breaches and the rampart; having begun by palisading the side towards the water.
“Having staid for the Spaniards' answer till the 8th in the
to theo Where theading the best
evening, and it not arriving, Mr. Oglethorpe and Mr. Moore set out in Capt. Gascoigne's yawl, leaving all the other boats and men at St. George's under the command of Mr. Hermsdorf. He landed on the main, and there made great fires in different places, which could be seen as far as the Spanish look-out; Mr. Hermsdorf having been ordered to do the same at several places on St. George's island. After which they went down to the north end of Talbot island, and there set all the wood on fire, which also could be seen from the Spanish look-out; they slept some hours upon the sea sand, and about an hour before day-break, the weather being boisterous, and the boat rather overloaded, they set several of the men on shore upon the south end of Amelia, ordering them to march along the sand beach, to the north end. Mr. Oglethorpe then went out to sea with the yawl, and got into the opening between Cumberland and Amelia, where they took in the men; and rowing all day, passed St. Andrews, and a violent storm of thunder
, lightning and rain overtook them in Cumberland sound, the weather growing so dark that they could not see any land; notwithstanding which they still rowed on, and got that night on board the Hawk. Mr. Oglethorpe having first spoke to Capt. Gascoigne went forward to Frederica, where he arrived three hours after midnight.”
On the 10th, he found here the Uchee Mico with his men, and the others which waited his arrival. He wrote a great number of letters, upon this new situation of affairs, which confirmed all the reports of the Spaniards beginning to commit hostilities against us. It was necessary therefore to stop them nearer home, and for that purpose to make the great push at St. George's; since whilst we held that passage from the river St. John's, it was difficult for them to come in open boats to us, there being forty miles from St. Augustine to St. John's, where they can have no port, but must keep out at sea, where every squall is dangerous, but from St. John's there is a passage through channels, within the islands as far as Charlestown. If open boats could not come up, ships would be very cautious of venturing in upon an unknown coast.
Mr. Oglethorpe therefore prepared for the supporting of St. George's, being resolved to have those of his men who were prisoners at Augustine brought back to him.
If the Spaniards could arm the Florida Indians, or have gained the upper Creeks, it would have been of great danger to the colony; for the Floridas amount to several thousand men; but they have few or no fire arms. The next danger was from the troops which would have come from Havannah. As there was no more provisions at Augustine than what was necessary for the people already there, therefore if they could be prevented from receiving such supplies, a large number of men from Havannah would be of no service to them, if we could spin out a defence till their provision were wasted. To obtain these two purposes Mr. Oglethorpe first wrote to the lieutenant governor of Carolina, advice of the Spaniards'intention to provide themselves with arms and ammunition and Indian presents, at Charlestown, which was the only place they could have them from time enough to do us any mischief; and therefore desired him to hinder the exportation of them.
At the same time he wrote to Mr. Eveleigh, a public spirited man and a merchant in Charlestown, that if the Governor and Council of Carolina could not prevent the sending out arms, ammunition, &c. that he should buy up what was in town, and thereby prevent the Spaniards from being at present supplied with them.
He also wrote to the Governor at New York on account of this matter, that he might take such measures for his majesty's service as his prudence should direct; the Spaniards expecting to be supplied with flour and other provisions from their correspondents at that place.
On the 11th Toma Chi Chi Mico, with Hyllispilli his chief war captain, newly came from the Indian nation, and who had been with him in England, and a great many other warriors arrived here ; as also Mrs. Musgrove and her brother, an half Indian called Griffin, and several other Indians.
The Uchee Indian king and his people had a conference with Mr. Oglethorpe; they had taken some disgust at this colony, by reason of an indiscreet action of one of the Saltzburghers, who had cleared and planted four acres of land beyond the Ebenezer river, contrary to Mr. Oglethorpe's order
, and without his knowledge; they had also turned their cattle over the river, some of which had strayed away
and eat the Uchee's corn twenty miles above Ebenezer. But what vexed the Uchees most was, that some of the Carolina
people swam a great herd of cattle over Savannah river, sent up negroes and began a plantation on the Georgia side, not far from the Uchee's town. Mr Oglethorpe had heard these matters from Toma Chi Chi, and had given orders for the remedy of them, as I mentioned before.
The Uchee king in the conference said, that he came to give him thanks, for having ordered back the cattle, and sent away the negroes, which he did on his first arrival ; and then told him, that he having done them justice before they asked it, made them love him, and not believe the stories that were told them against him; and that instead of beginning a war with the English, they were come down to help him against the Spaniards; and if they wanted them they would bring fourscore more of their warriors, and stay with him a whole year.
All hands were employed in putting on board arms, ammunition, tools, &c., for St. George's: and on the 12th Mr. Oglethorpe set out accompanied by Toma Chi Chi Mico and his Indians, by the Uchees, and a body of white men, with stores of all kinds. Toma Chi Chi and his men went in their boats.
Nothing material happened whilst Mr. Oglethorpe was absent, only that I made an end of unloading the two ships, · James, Captain Yokely, and the Peter and James, Captain Dymond, settled their accounts and discharged them. Lieutenant Delegal was now with the whole independent company at the sea point, and the man-of-war sloop so anchored as to secure the entry from Jekyl sound, and the storehouse being then finished, we therefore could discharge the ships which hitherto had served both for store-houses and guard ships. The colony was chiefly taken up with preparing for their defence, Mr. M’Intosh exercising the men daily.
On the 14th, at night, to our great joy Mr. Horton arrived at Frederica from among the Spaniards, and gave us an account that he had met Mr. Oglethorpe at sea, and that he would be very soon back. He told me “that at his arrival at St. George's Point, in April last, he sent over to the Spaniards' look-out, expecting to find horses there, according to the governor's appointment, but there being none, nor no guard, nor persons to be seen, after having expected them four days in vain, and Major Richard having no means of sending advice to the Governor of Augustine of his arrival,