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Tybee, erected by the Trustees, is visible above four leagues at sea, and is of the greatest consequence to all ships coming upon that coast; that the bar at Tybee is a very safe entrance, whereon there is at least fifteen feet at low water, and twenty-two feet at high water, in common tides; that the town of Savannah is about ten miles up the river from Tybee, to which place ships of three hundred tons may go up with safety ; that the sea coast from Tybee to Jekyl, four leagues from the land, is all even ground, not less than seven or eight fathom water, and any ship keeping in such a depth of water, may steer along that coast with the greatest safety, and anchor if they have occasion ; for no dangerous banks reach so far from land; that on the bar at Jekyl there is much the same depth of water, as at Tybee, and when over the bar, there is a very convenient harbor for almost any number of ships; that the town of Frederica is about ten miles up the river from Jekyl, upon the island of St. Simons, and when this deponent last left Georgia, the said town was begun to be fortified round, but a fort was before erected in the front of the said town, commanding the river both ways, where the town guard was kept, which was built large enough upon occasion to contain the inhabitants of the said town; that three companies of General Oglethorpe's regiment were encamped on the south point of the said island, and most of the soldiers had lots of land set out near the camp, which they cultivated when not on duty; that on the west part of Cumberland island, the star work fort of St. Andrew is built, that the climate of Georgia is very healthy, and the soil much the same as in South Carolina; and that vines and mulberry trees grow wild thereon ; that the possessing Georgia so far to the southward, and settling the same with white inhabitants is a very great security to all his Majesty's northern colonies in America, and particularly to that of South Carolina.
Sworn at the public office this 26th day of August, 1740,
Frederica in Georgia, That is to say: The Deposition of John Fred, Pilot on board his Majesty's Ship the Flambo
rough, taken before Francis Moore, Recorder of the Town of Frederica.
This deponent says, that in the year 1729, he was taken prisoner by a Spanish Guarda Coast from the Havannah, in about the latitude of 24, 40; that the Guarda Coast, who took this deponent prisoner, instead of falling in with St. Augustine, as they intended, fell into the northward of that port about fourteen leagues, at the mouth of the river St. Matthæo. This deponent says, that he knows the said river to be St. Matthæo, and that the Spaniards on board the Guarda Coast, and those at Augustine, called it by the same name. And this deponent knows, that the river St. John's is within the bar at Augustine, and that the river which the Spaniards now call St. John's, is what was called St. Matthæo; but why they have changed that name, he does not know. And this deponent further says, that his knowledge of the river St. Matthæo arises from draughts, and from the declaration of the Spaniards, themselves; that he has made the entrance of the said river several times, and saw the sand bills and entrance of the said river this voyage.
JOHN FRED. Sworn to before me the 25th day of January, 1739—40.
Extracts of a Letter from Mr. Thomas Jones to Mr. John Lyde, dated at Sa
vannah, September 18, 1740.
When I arrived at Savannah, I took lodgings, and boarded at a gentlewoman's house, (Mrs. Vanderplank) where I have continued hitherto, but intend shortly to remove to my own house in town, or to an house of the Trustees, now vacant, having a small but agreeable family, viz, a man and maid servant, also one Mr. Harris, recommended to me by your friend in Fosket; he is a person of great integrity, has been very serviceable to me, and in some measure made up the disappointment I met with in others; and one William Russel, a sober youth, whom I employ in writing for me. My little family (may we be more thankful) have been very healthy; we abound in the necessary conveniences of life ; are well supplied with fresh provisions, viz. beef from 1 1-2d to 2 1-2d. per lb. Pork from 2d. to 2 1-2d. per lb. Veal from 2 1-2d. to 3d. per lb. Mutton (being yet very scarce) is from 4 1-2d. to 5d. per lb. Tame fowl we have plenty of, therefore seldom buy any, nor wild fowl, and fish, which we abound with. Mr. Harris, who is an expert fowler, sometimes goes out with his gun, and seldom fails of bringing in either wild turkey, curlews, rabbit, partridge, squirrel, ducks, or geese, (in their season) sometimes venison, but that, and bear, &c. the Indians supply us with often. As to our liquors, we have wine, chiefly Madeira or Vidonia, which cost us from 3s. to 3s. 6d. a gallon ; strong beer 20s. per barrel, of 30 gallons; cider 10s. per barrel. Our small beer we brew of molasses, and is cheap. Coffee about 18d. per lb. Tea from 5s. to 7s. per lb. The finest wheat flout is at 1d. per lb. I bake my own bread generally with half wheat, and half Indian wheat flour; the Indian wheat is sold from 10d. to 18d. per bushel, is well tasted, and very nourishing bread. The finest rice is sold here from 3s. 6d. to 58. per hundred weight. We have good store of pulse, roots, and pot-herbs, such as peas, and beans of divers kinds, (many of them yet unknown in England) pumpkins, musk and water mellons, potatoes and generally all the roots and herbs used in England. As to our fruit, the most common are peaches and nectarines, (I believe that I had a hundred bushels of the former this year in my little garden in the town) we have also apples of divers kinds, chincopin nuts, walnut, chesnut, hickory and ground nuts; several sorts of berries, besides those common with you ; very good grapes; but no oranges grow nearer than Amelia to the southward. We have exceeding fine water at Savannah, fire wood very reasonable ; such as have houses of their own, have no other burthen than performing or paying for their guard duty in their turn. There are no taxes; all public buildings, and other such works such as bridges, roads, &c. have been carried on at the expense of the trustees. I have not seen any part of the world, where persons that would labor, and used any industry, might live more comfortably.
Having mentioned Darien, which is a town inhabited by the Highland Scotch, under the care of Mr. McCloud, the people live very comfortably, with great unanimity: I know of no other settlement in this colony more desirable, except Ebenezer, a town on the river Savannah, at thirty-five miles distance from hence, inhabited by Saltzburghers and other Germans, under the pastoral care of Mr. Bolzius and Mr. Gronau, who are discreet, worthy men ; they consist of sixty families or upwards. The town is neatly built, the situation exceeding pleasant, the people live in the greatest harmony with their ministers, and with one another, as one family; they have no idle, drunken, or profligate people among them, but are industrious, many grown wealthy; and their industry hath been blessed with remarkable and uncommon success, to the envy of their neighbors ; having great plenty of all the necessary conveniences for life (except clothing) within themselves; and supply this town with bread kind, as also beef, veal, pork, poultry, &c.
Many artifices have been made use of to gain over these Germans and the Darien people, to join with the discontented party here, in petitioning for negro slaves; and since they could not be prevailed on, letters have been wrote to them from England, endeavoring to intimidate them into a compliance.
I have already exceeded the limits of a letter, and perhaps trespassed on my friends' patience, by entering into a detail of matters not very entertaining ; yet I thought it necessary, lest my friends should conclude, that if living, I was wholly deprived of my reason, by remaining in a country (represented to be) wholly destitute of the common necessaries of life; or that necessity obliged me to continue in it, or else that an eager desire of wealth might tempt me to run any hazard ; this last I am well assured my friends, who have known my conversation and manner of life in England, would hardly believe to be the case with me, whatever instances may be given of persons, who have run great risks in their healths and lives on that account.
I hinted to you in my last, that I enjoyed a better state of health since I came in this colony, than I had for some years past; my friends here have the same, though many of the inhabitants have had fluxes or intermitting fevers frequently, (often occasioned by intemperance) yet few die of those distempers. I have carefully inquired into the account of
our births and burials at Savannah, and its districts, for one year past, and find the former has exceeded the latter, as three to two. I have not known any town, or place in England, where fewer have died in that space of time, in proportion to the inhabitants. I have this day (that I might be at a greater certainty) inquired at Mr. Whitefield's (who has by far the largest family of any in this colony consisting of near one hundred and fifty persons) and received the following account from Mr. Habersham, (who has the care and direction of the family in Mr. Whitefield's absence) that their family consists of sixty persons, including hired servants, sixty-one orphans, and other poor children, twentyfive working tradesmen, and others, in all one hundred and forty-six, exclusive of many others, who have remained at their house a month, two or three months at a time, (and have been accounted to be of their family) and that all the family are in good health.