« PreviousContinue »
NEW AND ACCURATE ACCOUNT
OF THE PROVINCES OF
SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA:
With many Curious and Useful Observations on the Trade,
Navigation, and Plantations of Great Britain,
THERE have been several accounts of the provinces of Carolina published formerly; among which, Mr. Archdale's Description of South Carolina is of most undoubted credit. Another account in the form of a letter, (first printed in the year 1710) was lately reprinted by Mr. Clarke, near the Royal Exchange. I could shew many faults in this piece, both as to facts and reasoning, but shall only mention a few that are obvious to almost every reader who has ever heard any thing of that province. The author is fawningly partial to the then administration of government there. He praises its great blemishes. He finds a beauty in their attack upon St. Augustino; an expedition improvidently projected, and unsuccessfully attempted. He applauds their paper currency, which was a wretched expedient to salve up the wounds their little republic had received in that unhappy war: a remedy like those which our profligate young fellows frequently meet with at the hands of quack doctors, who have just skill enough in drugs to remove a clap by establishing a pox in the room of it. If that writer had any knowledge of commerce, or history, he must have known that a forced paper credit is incompatible with trade, and never held up to par in any age or country in the world; much less could it suit the commerce of an infant colony, whose very existence in the notion of people at a distance) was at that time precarious. I shall no farther pursue the crudities of that author; it is sufficient to observe, that if his account had been as just and accurate as Mr. Archdale's, it could not answer the expectations of the public at this time. Those treatises tell us of twenty sail of shipping, but now we can truly say that there are yearly two hundred freighted at Charles Town. The wide extent of their rice trade; the amazing increase of their stock of negroes and of cattle; and the encouraging essays they have made in wine and silk, render South Carolina a new country to the geographers. Neither of these writers is copious enough on the topic of the benefits which may arise to Great Britain by peopling this fruitful continent: that argument is therefore handled the more largely in the following pages. About two years ago, captain Purry, a Swiss gentleman, wrote* an authentic account of that country in French, which was printed at Neufchattel in Switzerland : and to shew that he believed himself when he gave a beautiful description of South Carolina, he has gone to settle there with six hundred of his countrymen.
And he that hangs, or beats out 's brains
Mr. Archdale's veracity will hardly be questioned by any but bigots, when the public shall be informed of his remarkable integrity in his own principles. He, being a quaker, was chosen into Parliament by the town of Colchester in Essex, but chose to relinquish his seat rather than violate his conscience with regard to oaths and the test act. He governed South Carolina with that moderation, that the colony blesses his memory; and their latest posterity will have cause to bless it ; for, under providence they owe to him their very being.
An anonymous author ought to have vouchers for his facts.
* This is entitled, Description Abregee de l'Etat present de la Caroline meridionale.
reasonin have added a Georgia : bin the Cra
I make an impartial judgment of the incorrectness of my style, and therefore cannot resolve to prefix my name to this piece: but by proper references to Mr. Archdale and Mr. Purry, I show that they concur with me in the geography and natural history of the country. The reasonings and observations are the result of various reading and conversation in many years : let these therefore stand or fall by themselves.
Since the following chapters were prepared for the press, I have read a curious pamphlet, entitled, Select Tracts relating to Colonies, &c., sold by Mr. Roberts, the publisher of this essay. Those tracts were written by the most knowing men of their respective generations, and the style and matter of the introduction to them sufficiently evince the eminent abilities of the person (whoever he was) that collected them. Had I seen them earlier they would have been of singular use to me in many of my observations and arguments in the following sheets: I now must be content to pride myself in having accidentally fallen into the same way of reasoning with the great authors of those tracts.
I designed to have added a chapter containing the scheme for settling the new colony of Georgia : but, upon a revisal of an elegant piece which was published in the Craftsman to that effect, I thought proper to desist for my own sake. I shall only take leave here to mention a precedent of our own for planting colonies, which, perhaps, in part or in the whole, may be worthy our imitation.
England was more than four hundred years in possession of a great part of Ireland before the whole was completely conquered: the wars there, and loss of English blood were infinite, the invaders mixed and intermarried with the natives throughout the provinces, and degenerated in habit, language, customs and affections. In the days of K. James the First, the Londoners were at the charge of sending into the most dangerous part of that kingdom more than four hundred poor families. There were a city, and a town built, as had been agreed on: the city of Londonderry contained three hundred, the town of Colerain a hundred houses ; these were fortified with walls and ditches, and established with most ample privileges. They send two members each to the parliament of that kingdom, and the mayor of Londonderry is always the first in the commissions of oyer and
terminer and assize. That city chooses two sheriffs as our London does, and they are of course sheriffs of the county at large, as the sheriffs of London are sheriffs of the county of Middleses. The salmon fisheries were given to the city of London who generally receive more than a thousand pounds per annum from them. What the present houserents of their city and town amounts to, I shall not pretend to say, but believe they make a considerable yearly sum, because the tenants have lately been too brisk bidders for each other's bargains. The city of Londonderry, and its liberties, (which I think are three miles round it) the town of Colerain and the fisheries, belong to the twelve companies of London considered as one aggregate body. There are two men chosen out of each company to make up this corporation, and, I think, they are called the London Society for the Plantation of Ulster. Besides this great estate belonging to them in one body, each company, in its own right, and by itself, has, or lately had, a large and rich manor belonging to it. One of them was lately sold for twenty thousand pounds, and I think a quit-rent of a hundred a year reserved upon it to the company forever. The Londoners have drawn above a hundred thousand pounds from that colony within ten years last past, and it is not probable that the first settlement ever cost them eight thousand pounds, which made four hundred families of their poor freemen happy, at the same time that it purchased so good an estate and strengthened the English interest in that kingdom. No other part of Ireland is now so perfectly free from the native Irish as are those two towns and their districts. The populace of Londonderry and of the adjoining country were so vigorous at the revolution as to endure a siege which has made that English colony memorable to latest posterity.
It is needless to expatiate in the just commendation of the Trustees for establishing a colony in Georgia. They have, for the benefit of mankind, given up that ease and indolence to which they were entitled by their fortunes and the too prevalent custom of their native country. They, in some degree, imitate their Redeemer in sympathizing with the miserable, and in laboring to relieve them. They take not for their pattern an epicurian deity: they set before their eyes the Giver of all good gifts, who has put it into their hearts, (and may he daily more and more enable their hands) to save multitudes of his living images from perdition.
The Situation of Carolina, the Historical Account of it; how far the Right to a new Country is acquired by the first Discovery; by Occupancy; lost by Dereliction.
The great and beautiful country of Carolina is bounded on the north between 35 and 36 deg. of N. latitude, with Virginia and the A palatian mountains, on the east with the Atlantic ocean, on the south about 30 deg. N. latitude, with part of the Atlantic, or gulf of Florida, and with Florida, and on the west its extent is unknown. All the charters, or patents of our kings that describe its bounds, have carried it westward in a direct line as far as the South Seas.
The Spaniards formerly included it all under the general name of Florida, and pretended a right to it by virtue of the pope's donation, as indeed they did to all America. The French, in the days of their Charles the IXth, made a little settlement there by the countenance and encouragement of admiral Coligny; but the civil wars in France prevented him from taking due care of it, and it came to nothing. He made a second, but almost all his men were murdered by the Spaniards after quarter given; and the French king did not resent it, probably because they were protestants. It is not unlikely that the admiral's view in sending these colonies was to secure a retreat for himself and the rest of the reformed in case they were conquered in France.
The Spaniards by injustice and cruelty provoked the Indians, and prepared them for the arrival of a third body of French, who put all the Spaniards to the sword. The commander of this third expedition contented himself with making a tour in the country; he made no settlement there, nor did the Spaniards seek to recover it; so that from the year 1567 it lay deserted by all European nations, till the days of our K. Charles the Ild, when the English effectually settled there, by virtue of his majesty's grant to certain lords proprietors, and completed that right, which his predecessor, K. Henry the VIIth, had acquired by the first discovery of this part of the continent. It is true, indeed, the Spaniards were acquainted with this country so early as the year 1512, under the conduct of John Ponce de Leon, but sir Sebastian Cabot, or Cabota, born at Bristol, of Venetian parents, had first dis