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Georgia with the first embarkation, consisting of forty families, making upwards of one hundred persons, all brought over and supported at the public charge. The first thing he did after he arrived in Georgia, was to make a kind of solemn treaty with a parcel of fugitive Indians, who had been formerly banished their own nation for some crimes and misdemeanors they had committed, and who had, some months before this, got liberty from the governor of South Carolina, to settle there.* Some of these he afterwards carried home with him under the title of kings, &c., and all of them have been ever since maintained at the public charge, at vast expense, when many poor Christians were starving in the colony for want of bread; and we may safely affirm, (and appeal to the storebooks for the truth of it) that a larger sum of money has been expended for the support of those useless vagrants, than ever was laid out for the encouragement of silk, wine, or any other manufacture in the colony.
Secondly, he prohibited the importation of rum, under pretence that it was destructive to the constitution, and an incentive to debauchery and idleness. However specious these pretences might seem, a little experience soon convinced us, that this restriction was directly opposite to the well-being of the colony : for, in the first place, we were cut off from the most immediate and probable way of exporting our timber, (the only poor prospect of export that we could ever flatter ourselves with) to the sugar islands, rum being the principal return they make. In the second place, the experience of all the inhabitants of America, will prove the necessity of qualifying water with some spirit, (and it is very certain, that no province in America yields water that such a qualification is more necessary to than Carolina and Georgia and the usefulness of this experiment has been sufficiently evident to all the inhabitants of Georgia who could procure it, and use it with moderation. A third reason which made this restriction very hurtful to the colony, was, that though the laws were in force against it, (which put it in the power of magistrates to lay hardships upon every person who might be otherwise under their resentment,) yet great quantities were imported, only with this difference, that in place of barter or exchange,
They built a small number of huts on a bluff called Yamacraw. Savannah now stands on the same bluff.
| Viz. : from Carolina and New England, who would take money only.
the ready money was drained from the inhabitants : and likewise, as it is the nature of mankind in general, and of the common sort in particular, more eagerly to desire, and more immoderately to use those things which are most restrained from them; such was the case with respect to rum in Georgia. .
The third thing he did was regularly to set out to each free-holder in Savannab, lots of fifty acres, in three distinct divisions, viz.: the eighth part of one acre for a house and garden in the town; four acres and seven-eighths, at a small distance from town; and forty-five acres at a considerable remove from thence. No regard was had to the quality of the ground in the divisions, so that some were altogether pine barren, and some swamp and morass, far surpassing the strength and ability of the planter: and indeed, what could be done at any rate, with such small parcels of land separate from one another. These lots were likewise shaped in long pointed triangles, which considerably increased the extent of inclosure, and rendered great part of each lot entirely useless. But these and many other hardships were scarcely felt by the few people that came there, so long as Mr. Oglethorpe staid, which was about fifteen months. They worked hard indeed, in building some houses in town; but then they labored in common, and were likewise assisted by negroes from Carolina, who did the heaviest work. But at* Mr. Oglethorpe's going to England, the growing fame of the colony was thereby greatly increased, so that as it has been before observed, people, in abundance, from all parts of the world, flocked to Georgia. Then they began to consider, and endeavor, every one according to his genius or abilities, how they might best subsist themselves. Some, with great labor and expense, essayed the making of tar.f This, as it is well known to the trustees, never quitted costs. Others tried to make plank and saw boards; which, by the great price they were obliged to sell them at, by reason of the great expense of white servants, was the chief means of ruining those who thought to procure a living by their buildings
* Before he departed, a vessel with about twenty families of Jews arrived, all of , whom had lots assigned them; and likewise a vessel with forty transported Irish convicts, whom he purchased, although they had been before refused at Jamaica, and who afterwards occasioned continual disturbances in the colony.
† Mr. Causton, the trustees' store keeper, mostly at their charge, made a tar kiln, which turned out to no advantage.
in town; for boards of all kinds could always be bought in Carolina, for half the price that they were able to sell them at; but few were capable to commission them from thence, and those who were so, were prevented from doing it, upon pretence of discouraging the labor of white people in Georgia. Those who had numbers of servants and tracts of land in the county, went upon the planting of corn, peas, potatoes, &c., and the charge of these who succeeded the best, so far exceeded the value of the produce, that it would have saved three fourths to have bought all from the Carolina market. The falling of timber was a task very unequal to the strength and constitution of white servants; and the hoeing the ground, they being exposed to the sultry heat of the sun, insupportable; and it is well known that this labor is one of the hardest upon the negroes, even though their constitutions are much stronger than white people, and the heat no way disagreeable nor hurtful to them, but in us it created inflammatory fevers of various kinds, both continued and intermittent; wasting and tormenting fluxes, most excruciating colics, and dry belly-aches; tremors, vertigoes, palsies, and a long train of painful and lingering nervous distempers, which brought on to many a cessation both from work and life; especially as water without any qualification was the chief drink, and salt meat the only provisions that could be had or afforded. And so general were these disorders, that during the hot season, which lasts from March to October, hardly one half of the servants and working people, were ever able to do their masters or themselves the least service; and the yearly sickness of each servant, generally speaking, cost his master as much as would have maintained a negro for four yeas. These things were represented to the trustees in the summer 1735, in a petition for the use of negroes, signed by about seventeen of the better sort of people in Savannah. In this petition there was also set forth the great disproportion betwixt the maintenance and clothing of white servants and negroes. This petition was carried to England and presented to the trustees, by Mr. Hugh Stirling, an experienced planter in the colony, but no regard was had to it, or to what he could say, and great resentment was even shown to Mr. Thompson, the master of the vessel in which it went.
Whilst we labored under those difficulties in supporting
and Historical Narrative, &c. 201 ourselves, our civil liberties received a more terrible shock ; for instead of such a free government as we had reason to expect, and of being judged by the laws of our mother country, a dictator* (under the title of bailiff and store-keeper, was appointed and left by Mr. Oglethorpe, at his departure, which was in April, 1734) whose will and pleasure were the only laws in Georgia. In regard to this magistrate, the others were entirely nominal, and in a manner but ciphers. Sometimes he would ask in public their opinion, in order to have the pleasure of showing his power by contradicting them. He would often threaten juries, and especially when their verdicts did not agree with his inclination or humor. And in order the more fully to establish his absolute authority, the store and disposal of the provisions, money, and public places of trust, were committed to him; by which alteration in his state and circumstances, he became in a manner infatuated, being before that a person of no substance or character, having come over with Mr. Oglethorpe amongst the first forty, and left England upon account of something committed by him concerning his majesty's duties. However, he was fit enough for a great many purposes, being a person naturally proud, covetous, cunning and deceitful, and would bring his designs about by all possible ways and means.
As his power increased, so did his pride, haughtiness and cruelty; insomuch that he caused eight freeholders with an officer, to attend at the door of the court every day it sat, with their guns and bayonets, and they were commanded, by his orders, to rest their firelocks as soon as he appeared; which made people in some manner afraid to speak their minds, or juries to act as their consciences directed them. He was seldom or never uncovered on the bench, not even when an oath was administered; and being perfectly intoxicated with power and pride, he threatened every person without distinction, rich and poor, strangers and inhabitants, who in the least opposed his arbitrary proceedings, or claimed their just rights and privileges, with the stocks, whippingpost and log-house, and many times put those threatenings into execution ; so that the Georgia stocks, whipping-post and log-house, soon were famous in Carolina, and every
where in America, where the name of the Province was heard of, and the very thoughts of coming to the colony became a terror to people's minds. And now the province of Carolina, who had, in private and public donations, given us upwards of 13001. sterling, seeing these things and how the public money was thrown away, began to despise the colony, and out of a regard to the welfare of their fellow creatures, persuaded everybody they could from settling in it. That this absolute power might be exercised without the least interruption, the other magistrates were such, that they either were unable or incapable to oppose it. It is true, in December 1734, Mr. Causton met with a little interruption; for the Trustees then sent over to Savannah one Mr. Gordon as chief magistrate, who being a person of a very winning behavior, affable and fluent in speech, soon got the good will of every body, and a great many of the people laid their grievances and hardships open to him, which seemed a little to eclipse Mr. Causton; but he soon found out an expedient to remove this adversary, viz., by refusing him provisions from the store, which in a little time rendered him incapable to support bimself and family, whereby he was obliged, after about six weeks' stay, to leave the place, in order, as he said, to represent our grievances to the Trustees, and soon after returned to London ; but he did not perform his promise, for what reason we shall not pretend to determine; and some time thereafter he either resigned or was dismissed from his office of first bailiff, and Mr. Causton was appointed in his stead. As to Mr. Henry Parker, who was appointed third bailiff when Mş. Gordon came over, he was in the first place, a man who had nothing to support himself and large family but his day labor, which was sawing, and consequently as soon as his time was otherwise employed, he must be entirely dependent on the store for his subsistence. In the second place, he was a man of no education, so that Mr. Causton soon moulded him to his own liking, and infused into him what notions he pleased. Thirdly, he was and is an absolute slave to liquor, and he who plies him most with it (which Causton always took care to do, and whose example has been since followed by his successor Jones) has him, right or wrong, on his side. As to Mr. Christie the recorder, he was easily overruled by the other two; and the same practice was always continued; for he who was appointed