« PreviousContinue »
ble to make the said Davison's house tight, or keep it dry ; then the said Oglethorpe said, you might have thought of that before. And further, that the said Oglethorpe did then say to the said Cannon, if you touch a shingle of what the Doctor (meaning Hawkins) has put down, I'LL SHOOT YOU, to which he added a great oath, for you have done more than you can answer in building so high as to stop up the Doctor's window. That the said Davison being thus hindered from finishing his house, was forced to remove his goods from the said house, (which was quite open,) and had only a stable for his family to be in, until this deponent left the said Frederica, which was on the 29th of September, 1741.
John ROBERSON. South Carolina, ss. Sworu before me, Nov. 28, 1741.
John M.Leod, late minister of Darien, maketh oath and saith, that the people settled in Darien, in the province of Georgia, January, 1735-6, expected something more than being able barely to support themselves and families by clearing land, and planting it, or feeding of cattle. But in the year 1738, they found, by experience, that the produce of land in Georgia did not answer the expense of time and labor bestowed on it, either by themselves, who had taken great pains, or, indeed, by any white men at all, even where neither labor nor money were wanting, though it has always proved ineffectual. Therefore, it was then the voice of the said people of Darien, to leave the colony, though the improvements they had made were considerable, and settle in some province to the northward, where they would be free from such restraints, as rendered them incapable of subsisting themselves and families. That the petition signed by some of them against negroes, and in opposition to the representation from Savannah, dated the 9th of December, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight, (which was afterVOL. II.
wards signed by some of those who did sign the said petition), was wrote by a person who had no lot in Darien, an officer in General Oglethorpe's regiment, whom this deponent has great reason to believe, to have been sent by the said General to Darien on that purpose, knowing that the said person had an influence on some of that people, he being their countryman, and formerly master of the ship in which the said people came to America. That when this deponent left the said Darien, in May last, the widows and fatherless children, then there, had a promise of a slender allowance of provisions for some months before ; but not being punctually given them, they were in a miserable condition. Nor were they suffered to go and get a livelihood elsewhere, which they were desirous of. That the indented servants, who survived the unhappy action at Musa, when their time of servitude was expired, were under the necessity of listing in the service of a bad paymaster, or starving, because there was a land scout and water scout, to keep them from leaving the place, by land or water, and there were no others in the place to give them bread for their labor, being then but four of the old settlers there ; and these being wearied of cultivating ground for its produce, planted none last season; and the others (being about twenty in number) were for the most part servants, lately sent by the said General from another part of the colony, the rest being servants to the trustees at Darien.
That all the people at the said Darien are so strictly watched, that this deponent could not get away to Frederica, when he was coming off, nor from Frederica to Savannah without a permit. And that the said General refused (as bis then secretary, Mr. Mariotte, told this deponent) to permit his indented servant to row his boat from Frederica to Savannah. And farther this deponent saith not.
South Carolina : - Personally appeared before me, Othniel Beale, Jone of his Majesty's assistant judges) the above-named John M'Leod, and made oath, that the contents above and foregoing, to which he subscribed his name, are true.
Sworn this 12th Nov. 1741.
i Alexander Monroe, late of Darien, in Georgia, aged thirty
five years and upwards, maketh oath and saith, that he arrived at the said Darien, together with his wife, and one child, in company with near forty families more, in February, 1735-6. That he cleared, fenced in, and planted five acres of land, built a good house in the town, and made other improvements, such as gardening, &c. That he was never able to support his family by cultivation, though he planted the said five acres three years, and had a good crop. That he lived at Darien three years, and might have continued there longer, though he never heard that any white man was able to gain a livelihood by planting, had it not been for the mismanagement of some people in power, who exercised great severity over the inhabitants. That John More M'Intosh, who had the care of the trustees' stores kept at Darien for the use of the people there, issued out the stipulated allowance from the trustees of corn-kind, such as was rotten, though, at the same time, there was good and wholesome corn in the stores, which the said M·Intosh, not only made use of for himself and family, but fed his own hogs with the same, and this for two months together. That their allowance of cheese was so bad, that the inhabitants were obliged to throw it out to dogs, though they were starying at the same time. That the said MIntosh did employ this deponent and others of the said inhabitants in making a fort, making a landing-place, building a store-house, guardhouse, and several other public works, promising in behalf of the trustees, that they should be paid for the same, but that this deponent did never receive any money, or other consideration for such service; though he, together with the others employed in the said works, applied to Colonel Oglethorpe in that behalf.
That in the year 1737, the inhabitants of Darien were reduced to such distress for want of provisions, having neither corn, pease, rice, potatoes, nor bread-kind of any sort, or fish, nor flesh of any kind in store, after sending several times to Mr. Horton at Frederica for a supply, without being able to
obtain it. That their necessity pressed so much, that they were obliged, and did unanimously agree to go in a body with the said M‘Intosh More at the head of them, and make a demand of the said Horton to relieve their wants; and, it being our last shist, in case we were not supplied there, to go from thence to Savannah, where we were informed was no want in their stores, and not to return empty, being one and all determined, that if we should meet with a denial there, to break open the stores in a public manner, for hunger will break through even stone walls. But the said Horton not supplying us, sent us to Captain Gascoigne, commander of his Majesty's sloop the Hawk, who spared us two barrels of flour, and one barrel of beef.
That Captain Hugh M’Kay having exercised an illegal power there, such as judging in all causes, directing and ordering all things according to his will, as did the said M*Intosh More, by which many unjust and illegal things were done. That not only the servants of the said freeholders of Darien were ordered to be tied up and whipt; but also this deponent, and Donald Clark, who themselves were freeholders, were taken into custody, and bound with ropes, and threatened to be sent to Frederica to Mr. Horton, and there punished by him : this deponent, once for refusing to cry "all is well,” when he was an out-sentry, he having before advised them of the danger of so doing, lest the voice should direct the Indians to fire upon the sentry, as they had done the night before, and again for drumming with his fingers on the side of his house, it being pretended, that he had alarmed the town. That upon account of these, and many other oppressions, the freeholders applied to Mr. Oglethorpe, for a court of justice to be erected, and proper magistrates appointed in Darien, as in other towns in Georgia, that they might have justice done among themselves, when he gave them for answer, “ that he would acquaint the trustees'with it;" but that this deponent heard no more of it. That in December 1738, the said inhabitants of Darien finding, that from their first settling in Georgia, their labors turned to no account, that their wants were daily growing on them, and being weary of oppression, they came to a resolution to depute two men, chosen from amongst them, to go to Charleston in South Carolina, and there to make application to the government, in order to obtain a grant of lands. to
which the whole settlement of Darien to a man were to remove altogether, the said John M'Intosh More excepted ; but that it being agreed among them, first to acquaint the said Colonel with their intentions, and their reasons for such resolutions, John M·Intosh L., was employed by the said freeholders to lay the same before him, who returned them an answer, “ that they should have credit for provisions, with two cows and their calves, and a breeding mare, if they would continue on their plantations.” That the people with the view of these helps, and hoping for the further favor and countenance of the said Colonel, and being loth to leave their little all behind them, and begin the world in a strange place, were willing to make another trial, if they could by any means make out a livelihood in the colony: but whilst they were in expectation of these things, this deponent being at his plantation two miles from the town, in December 1738, he received a letter from Ronald M·Donald, which was sent by order of the said M·Intosh More, and brought to this deponent by William, son of the said M:Intosh, ordering him, the said deponent, immediately to come himself, and bring William Monro along with him to town, and advising him, that, “if he did so, he would be made a man of, but that if he did not, he would be ruined for ever." That this deponent coming away without loss of time, he got to the said M·Intosh More's house about nine of the clock that night, where he found several of the inhabitants together, and where the said M'Intosh More did tell this deponent, “ that if he would sign a paper, which he then offered him, that the said Colonel would give him cattle and servants from time to time, and that he would be a good friend to as many as would sign the said paper, but that they would see what would become of those that would not sign it, for that the people of Savannah would be all ruined, who opposed the said Colonel in it.” That this deponent did not know the contents of the said paper, but seeing, that some before him had signed it, his hopes on one side, and fears on the other, made him sign it also. That upon his conversing with some of the people, after leaving the house, he was acquainted with the contents and design of the said paper, which this deponent believes to be the petition from the eighteen, which the trustees have printed, and that very night he became sensible of the wrong he had done; and