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upwards of two years, but the exact time this deponent cannot be certain to, not having kept any minutes of the same.
This deponent further saith, that he has heard Mr. Thomas Causton, when sitting on the bench as judge, declare, that he had no business, nor would be governed by the laws of England; but pulled out of his pocket a book, and said, “ here are the laws of Georgia, which I have from Mr. Oglethorpe, by which you are to be governed," or words to that effect.
And this deponent further saith, that he verily believes the said Captain Joseph Watson was a well-wisher, and would have been of great benefit to the Georgia colony, and doth not think he ever had any evil intention against it.
JOSEPH SUMMERS. Sworn at Beaufort, Port Royal, the 1st of March, 1739, before me,
THOMAS WIGG, J. Peace,
To the Bailiffs and Recorder of the Town of Savannah in
the Province of Georgia in America.
The trustees very much approve of your conduct in Mr. Watson's last affairs, and will always support those who act with justice and intrepidity, in putting the laws in execution, for the good of the province, and Mr. Causton acted very judiciously in regarding the general interest and safety, preferable to any private consideration, in justly confining one man rather than risking the safety of the whole. Mr. Watson's behavior has been so cruel, and has shown so much premeditated malice, that his destroying Skee with rum, and the bragging of it, appears to the trustees murder ; for killing a man upon a forethought, and with a malicious design by means of any dangerous liquor, is as much murder, as killing him with any sort of weapon. But as the jury have brought him in lunatic, and therefore incapable of making his defence, the trustees direct that he shall be confined as a lunatic, and proper care taken for his recovery, until he shall be in a condition to take his trial; for which trial, a special commission will be sent over; and you at your perils must take care that he shall be forthcoming, when such commission shall arrive; and no other proceeding must be had on his affair until the arrival of the said commission. The trustees are apt to impute the death of Skee (which has been a very great detriment to the province by the loss of so bold a warrior, who both had been, and would have continued of the utmost service, upon the Spanish frontiers,) to the consequence of too great a mildness, or rather injustice, in letting Mr. Watson go off with so slight a fine when he was first convicted for the assault on Esteeche. You know, that the Indians are very nice in point of honor, and that they are not to be insulted. Had Mr. Watson at that time been severely fined, and bound to his good behavior, it had very probably prevented him from running into those extravagances by which he lost his senses, and from committing this murder; and in the consequence thereof, had prevented Justus, the servant of Mr. Musgrove, from being killed. You see by this, a foolish tenderness is the greatest of cruelties; it hath occasioned the death of two men, and if that kind of spirit continue of not punishing the guilty, you will destroy yourselves. It is very surprising to the trustees, that any magistrate could think of bailing a murderer, for murder is not bailable, and bailing of a lunatic is an act of lunacy; for his distemper makes his confinement necessary to mankind. The new-started opinion, that it is cruel to imprison on account of an Indian, is itself very cruel and pernicious; for if injustice is done to an Indian, the person who does it should be more severely punished, for doing it to one who is helpless, from his ignorance of our language; and because it is a breach of treaty, and an act of ingratitude to the first possessors of our land, who have always been exceeding friendly, and kind to the colony in its first weakness and necessities. And as for the opinion that it is right, to let a guilty man go out of the province without punishment, that is giving up at once those valuable privileges of trying all facts committed in it, and declaring yourselves incapable of supporting a civil government. If a man is guilty, you should punish him in the province, according to his deserts, and if he is not guilty, you should acquit him. But
you have no such thing as a power of banishing a man from the colony, nor ought you to let a criminal escape to another colony in safety. The expenses arising by Mr. Watson's confinement, and also for the taking care of him and having a proper keeper to watch him, will be defrayed
by the storekeeper at Savannah, till such time as they can 7 be defrayed out of his own estate, and he being a lunatic, *
it is impossible for him to carry on the Indian trade, the trustees hereby recall his license, and continue the license to Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove.
Signed by order of the Common Council of the trustees the 17th of March, 1734–5.
BENJAMIN MARTYN, Sec.
Joseph Watson maketh oath, that the above is a true
copy examined by himself with the original letter, which he, this deponent, sent to England by the Rev. Mr. John Wesley.
JOSEPH WATSON. Sworn April 10, 1740, before me,
SAVANNAH, Oct. 20, 1737. Whereas on this day a court was holden at Savannah, in the province of Georgia, by virtue of an order from the honorable the trustees, to pass sentence on Joseph Watson, gentleman, in pursuance of a verdict said to be given against him on November 20, 1734. And whereas the said Joseph Watson had a right, by the laws of England, to be heard as to what he could offer, why sentence should not be passed according to that verdict: this is to certify the honorable the trustees, that we, whose names are underwritten, were then present in the said court; and that the said Joseph Watson then offered to prove by witnesses then in court, who were of the said jury, that the said verdict had never been given, and that the verdict delivered to the court on November
20th aforesaid, was written in these and no other words, : "guilty of unguarded expressions.” And we do further cer
tify, that the said court did absolutely refuse to permit those witnesses to give their evidence. Witness our hands.
Hen. H Manly,
* There are no less than eight affidavits from Georgia, besides living witnesses, to prove that he was not a lunatic.
ister of Savan
Georgia, Savannah, Sept. 12, 1737. We, whose names are underwritten, do assert, that being on the petty jury, Nov. 20, 1734, in Joseph Watson's cause, we brought by our foreman, (Elisha Dobree), our written verdict, "guilty of unguarded expressions ;" what else was added was extorted by menaces from Thomas Causton, bailiff, and not assented to by us. Witness our hands. Jos. STANLEY,
Thomas Neale, late of Savannah in Georgia, aged thirtytwo years and upwards, maketh oath, and saith, that he lived in the colony four years and upwards, that holding a lot in right of Katrine his wise, late widow of Paul Amatis, who left a son about sixteen months old, who was heir to the said lot; this deponent did on the decease of the said infant, apply to General Oglethrope for a right to the said lot in his own name, which the said General complying with, he ordered Mr. John Fallowfield, first constable of Savannah, to give this deponent possession thereof; and the said Fallowfield, taking Joseph Fitzwalter, a landholder of Savannah, for a witness, did, in the year one thousand seven hundred
and thirty-eight, give this deponent possession of the said lot accordingly. That the said General did order William Stephens, Esq., secretary for the trustees' affairs in Georgia, to register it in this deponent's name. That being to clear the five acre lot belonging to the same within three years thereafter, he agreed with a person to do so, upon consideration that this deponent should pay him ten pounds sterling for his labor, but not being able to get it done then, he did fully intend to clear it the next spring, being one thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine, had he not been dispossessed thereof by order of the said General: that he had fenced in the town lot, and built a good habitable hut on the back of the same, and made other improvements: that he intended to build a large house on the front : that he did both watch and ward, mustered, and attended the courts: that he paid arrears for guard duty for the said lot before he came to it: that, when he was out of the province, Joseph Stanley undertook to do the said duty, for which this deponent paid the said Stanley : that he never heard any complaint made of neglect, but has been well informed that the said Stanley was punctual in so doing. That soon after he had possession given him in his own name, he put the widow Hughes into the said hut which he had built. That the said widow leaving the colony, he did then leave Mr. Martin in it, who had cohabited with her in possession thereof, and did agree with him that he might live in the said hut, upon condition that he looked after it, and took care of it in his absence, and likewise did guard duty for the same: but that after some months absence, having been sick in Carolina, where he went to buy provisions for the colony, he did, on his return to Savannah, find the said Martin, the tenant, turned out, and Peter Jermain in the possession of the whole ; and that the said Jermain had put in a tenant of his own. That he was then informed by Mr. Samuel Mercer, constable, and others of Savannah, that he, the said Mercer, had given the said Jermain possession of the said lot, in the manner that possession had been given to this deponent by Mr. Fallowfield aforesaid ; and that he did so by order of the said General. That he instantly applied to Mr. Henry Parker, and the other magistrates, for recovery of the said lot; when they told him it was not in their power to help him. That in March last he made a demand of the same from the said