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which they inconsiderately plunge themselves, to avoid the infamy of begging, or the horrors of a dungeon ? This appears by a late example of Smith, the book-binder, who destroyed his wife, his child, and himself, which probably he would not have done, could he have been secure of such a retreat, and support, as this colony will afford.
If a man gives an alms to a beggar in the street, it is undoubtedly a proof of a compassionate temper, but is an ill-judged one, as it serves only to encourage and confirm him in a habit of idleness.
If a man bestows a sum upon those miserable objects in prison, it is a temporary relief in their misery, but not a sufficient one from it.
Every public act of insolvency is likewise an act of benevolence, but does not answer the end proposed, if it makes no provision for the poor who are released. Their discharge otherwise only giving the wretched advantage of starving at large.
Such then, and such only are right benefactions, as procure not only immediate relief for the unfortunate, but provide for their future happiness, and use.
For this beneficent design, bis Majesty has given a large tract of land (called Georgia) near Carolina, in trust. The management of it is in the hands of several noblemen and gentlemen, who give up their time and assistance to the improvement of it, without any view to their own interest: nay at their own desire are restrained, as well as their successors, by clauses in the charter, from receiving any salary, fee, perquisite, or profit whatsoever, by, or from this undertaking; and also from receiving any grant of lands within the district of Georgia to themselves, or in trust for them.
That each benefactor may know, that what he has contributed, is safely lodged, and justly accounted for, all the money is deposited in the bank of England, who have undertaken to give receipts for the same. Entries are made of every benefaction in a book kept for that purpose by the Trustees, with the benefactors' names, or if concealed, the names of those, by whose hands they sent their money. Annual accounts of all the money received, and how the same has been disposed, are to be laid before the Lord High Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the Master of the Rolls, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common
Pleas, and the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, or two of them, and printed copies of the same accounts will be transmitted to every considerable benefactor.
The prospect of success is as great, and the difficulties as little as have attended the planting any other colonies; perhaps they are less, since Carolina (to which Georgia is contiguous,) abounds with provisions. Vast numbers of cattle, as well as hares, rabbits, and deer. Fowls and fish of various kinds; fruits of the best sort. Indian corn, and European grain of every kind in vast abundance. The, climate is known; the air very clear, healthy, and almost always temperate, and there are men to instruct in the seasons, and in the nature of cultivating that soil, which is a very rich one. Georgia is southward of the present settlements in Carolina. It is a vast tract of land, divided from that province by the river Savannah, and bounded on the south by the river Alatamaha, which are both large and navigable. By the best accounts we have yet had, from one river to the other at the sea is between sixty and seventy miles, and the extent of Georgia from the sea to the A palatian mountains is about three hundred miles, widening very much in its progress from the sea.
The charter grants to the trustrees and their successors all the lands and territories from the most northern stream of the Savannah river, all along the sea-coast to the southward unto the most southern stream of the Alatamaha river, and westward from the heads of the said rivers, respectively in direct lines to the south seas, and all that space, circuit, and precinct of land lying within the said boundaries, with the islands in the sea lying opposite to the eastern coast of the said lands, within twenty leagues of the same, which are not already inhabited, or settled by any authority derived from the crown of Great Britain, together with all the soils, grounds, havens, ports, gulfs, and bays: mines, as well royal mines of gold and silver, as other minerals, precious stones, quarries, woods, rivers, waters, fishings, pearls, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, franchises, privileges, and preëminences within the said territories, and the precincts thereof, and thereunto in any sort belonging; to hold to them and their successors for ever for the better support of the colony.
The country is at present a forest of oaks, beech, elm,
cedar, chesnut, walnut, cypress, myrtle-trees, and many others, besides the mulberries, and vines, which I have mentioned before. That it is capable of great improvements, is generally agreed by those, who have seen the place; and there needs no other proof than this: Many of the people in South Carolina, hearing of this charter, have gone thither to survey the lands, and have (as I am informed) applied since to the trustees for grants. His Majesty has ordered the governor of South Carolina to give what assistance he can to the new settlement; this the assembly also (I hear) have promised. The governor is very hearty in promoting it, and has generously contributed towards it. He has been engaged likewise to provide several sawyers in South Carolina, and some of the most friendly among the Indians to assist the people in clearing the lands, &c. There are but few Indian families within four hundred miles, and those in perfect amity with the English. Port Royal, the station of his Majesty's ships, is within thirty; and Charlestown a great mart, that freights every year near two hundred ships, is within one hundred and twenty miles. If the colony is attacked, it may be relieved by sea from Port Royal, or the Bahamas, and the militia of South Carolina is ready to support it by land.
As towns are established, and grow populous along the rivers Savannah, and Alatamaha, they will make such a barrier, as will render the southern provinces of the British colonies on the continent of America, safe from Indian, and other enemies.
Under what difficulties was Virginia planted? The coast and climate then unknown, the Indians numerous, and at enmity with the first planters, who were forced to fetch all their provisions from England; yet it is grown so great a province, that the revenue is increased one hundred thousand pounds for duties upon goods that are sent yearly home from thence.
Within these fifty years Pennsylvania was as much a forest as Georgia is now, and in those few years, by the wise economy of Mr. Penn, and those who assisted him, it now gives food to eighty thousand inhabitants, and can boast of as fine a city as most in Europe.
The poor, who are sent to Georgia on the Charity, have all the expenses of their passage defrayed, have likewise all
conveniences allowed them in their passage: and great care is, (as I hear) and will be taken not to crowd too many of them in a ship for fear of illness. When they are set down in Georgia, the Trustees supply them with arms for their defence, working-tools for their industry, seeds of all kinds for their lands, and provisions for a year, or until the land can yield a support.
As experience has shown the inconvenience of private persons possessing too large quantities of land in our colodies, by which means, the greatest part of it must lie uncultivated, and they are thrown at such a distance, that they can neither assist, or defend one another; the Trustees settle the people in towns, a hundred families in each : and allot no more land than what can with ease be cultivated, and yet will afford a sufficient and handsome maintenance. They divide each man's share into three lots, viz.: one lot for a house and yard in the town, another for a garden near the town, and a third for a farm at a little distance from the town. These lots are all to be laid out, and the houses built by joint labor and assistance; and when finished, chance is to determine, who shall be the proprietors of each of them ; by this conduct no man will have reason to complain, since fortune alone can give the preference.
As they will not, it seems, be suffered- to alienate their lands without leave of the Trustees, none certainly will go over, but with a design to be industrious; and as they will be settled in such a frugality, none, who can live here, will think of going thither, where, though they will have a sufficient and plentiful maintenance, they will have no room for luxury, or any of its attendant vices.
For continuing the relief which is now given, there will be lands reserved in the colony, and the benefit arising from them, is to go towards carrying on the trust. So that at the same time, the money by being laid out preserves the lives of the poor, and makes a comfortable provision for those, whose expenses are by it defrayed; their labor in improving their own lands will make the adjoining reserved lands valuable, and the rents of those reserved lands will be a perpetual fund for relieving more poor people.
A power is granted to the Trustees by the charter to enjoy lands, &c. in Great Britain, in fee, not exceeding one thousand pounds a year beyond reprises ; also estates
for lives and years, and all chattels and things whatsoever, for the better settling, supporting, and maintaining the said colony, and to demise the same for a term of years in possession, and not in reversion, not exceeding thirty-one years from the time of granting; and if no fine is taken, the full value to be reserved, otherwise at least a moiety of the full value.
The corporation and their successors may import and export their goods at, and from any port or ports in Georgia, without being obliged to touch at any other port in Carolina.
The people, who settled there, are declared by the charter to be free, and not subject to any laws, but such as are framed by the corporation, and their successors; these not to be repugnant however to the laws of England, and to be approved by the King in council.
Civil liberty is to be established there in its full extent. No appearance of slavery, not even in negroes; by which means, the people being obliged to labor themselves for their support, will be, like the old Romans, more active and useful for the defence of their government.
That the people may not be long without public worship, the Trustees, (as I am informed,) have already fixed on a clergyman, who is well recommended, is to embark very soon, and is to be allowed by the Society for Propagating .the Gospel in foreign parts, as good a salary, as they give any of their other missionaries. . As liberty of conscience will be granted, it cannot be doubted, but a well-regulated government in a country so temperate, so pleasant, and so fruitful, will draw thither many of the distressed Saltzburghers, and other persecuted Protestants; and by giving refuge to these, the power and wealth of Great Britain, as a reward for her hospitality, will be increased by the addition of so many religious and industrious subjects.
Since I have mentioned the foreign protestants, it may not be improper to consider their present situation, and to show how prudent it is to establish such a colony as Georgia, if only on their account. As men, as fellow Christians, and as persecuted Christians, they have, as well as our own poor a claim on our humanity, notwithstanding the narrow opinions, and mistaken politics of some, who think their charity should begin, continue, and end at home.