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“ Because our neighboring province (of which you are pleased to take notice,) has, by an introduction of too great numbers, abused the use of negroes; or, because an undoubted property in our land possessions might prove detrimental or hurtful to idle, profligate or abandoned people, it does not at all follow that we should be debarred the use of negroes for the field, or the more laborious parts of culture, under prudent limitations, or that sober and virtuous men should be deprived of just titles to their properties.
“ We are surprised that your Honors mention the representations of the people of the Darien, as a confirmation of the unreasonableness of our demands. For did your Honors know the motives by which these people were induced to present you with one or more petitions, contradictory to our representation, the welfare of the colony, and their own consciences; we are persuaded you never would have offered them as reasons for rejecting the representation from Savannah. They were bought with a number of cattle, and extensive promises of future rewards; a little present interest made them forget or neglect their posterity ; whereas the people of this place, duly sensible of the miseries and calamities they have suffered, and do still labor under, freely and voluntarily put their hands to the representation of this part of the province. No artful means were used to induce them to it; no artful man or men, negro-merchants or others, persuaded them to it. Dismal poverty and the most absolute oppression were the true fountains from whence our complaints proceeded. But how miserably were these inconsiderate deluded wretches rewarded? They were soon after carried against St. Augustine, placed on a dangerous post, where they were all or most of them cut off or taken prisoners by the enemy; which has put a period to the settlement of Darien, of which so many great things have been falsely reported.
“ With regard to our representation, we shall only beg leave to make one supposition, which it is almost impossible can have happened, viz., that this and all the other representations, letters, suits or petitions, made to the trustees by private or a joint number of persons, have been entirely false and groundless. What can have reduced the colony to the situation in which it now is ? What can have reduced its inhabitants to one sixth part of the number which we have known to reside here? Or, lastly, to what is the starving and despicable condition of the few that are now left owing ? Is it not, as well as every other matter which we have before urged, owing to and occasioned by the unanswerable reasons at different times given and laid before your honors, by honest men, (independent of you) who were and are the chief sufferers in this colony; and who could not be bribed to conceal, or terrified from declaring their sentiments ?
“Your honors may readily and safely join issue with us in our appeal to posterity, who were their best *friends, &c., for it is certain and obvious, that if the trustees are resolved to adhere to their present constitution, they or their successors are in no great danger of being called to any account by our posterity in Georgia.
“ We have likewise seen and read the alterations Mr. Martyn mentions to have been made by your Honors, with regard to the tenure of lands; together with a fictious abridgment of the same affixed to the most public places at Savannah.
“Mr. Martyn, in his letter, is pleased to tell us, that your Honors imagine we are satisfied therewith, as the rest of the colony are! Some few, perhaps, may have expressed themselves satisfied; but we will say no worse of such few, than that your Honors will soon be sensible, that even they are deceivers. It is true, such alterations, and the paper, entitled, An Answer to our Representation, above mentioned, are artfully penned, and will doubtless, for a time, amuse even men of the best sense in Europe, or elsewhere, who are strangers to the colony of Georgia; but any man of common understanding, or the least penetration, who by an unfortunate experience, has been well acquainted with that colony, can easily demonstrate, that those very papers are further snares to increase our miseries ; as it is impossible we can be enabled by these alterations to subsist ourselves and families any more than before, far less to put us in a capacity of recovering our already sunk fortunes and loss of time. Some time in the summer 1739, (whilst we still expected agreeable alterations to have succeeded our representation) we applied more than once to General Oglethorpe, as one of the trustees, for the same tract of land which we have since been refused by your Honors: but our petitions and applications were rejected; and for what reason ? Because indeed we refused to contradict what we had before set forth in our representation, so and become villains, as (we have too much reason to believe) some others on the same occasion were. We would not accept of settlements, sums of money, horses, cattle and other valuable considerations, at the expense of betraying our country, and contradicting our consciences, by signing a paper, which was prepared and offered to us, purporting a repentance of the measures we had taken for our own and the relief of other distressed British subjects; and consequently an approbation of a scheme which, by all appearance, seems to have been calculated and prepared to form a colony of vassals, whose properties and liberties were at all times to have been disposed of at the discretion or option of their superiors.
* Vide answer to the representation.
“ Such and many other methods of corruption have been too often practised in this colony ; but we refused and scorned such actions, from principles of which every honest man ought to be possessed.
“We are not surprised to find, that we have in vain applied to your Honors in several affairs, when we see you have been hitherto prepossessed by a gentleman of superior interest, with informations and assertions full of resentment, and which we well know cannot stand the test of an impartial examination ; but we are amazed and sorry to find, that he has had for so many years together, the interest of nominating those, who have been appointed from time to time, for the administration of justice, and making an impartial inquiry into and informing your Honors of the real situation of the colony of Georgia ; we say, such who have been implicitly obedient in carrying on his arbitrary schemes of government, and oppressing the inhabitants, as well as conniving at the deceiving your Honors and the nation !
“Gentlemen, as we have no favors to ask, or resentments to fear, we may with the greater freedom observe, that we are in full hopes, that all we can justly ask, will be granted us by a British Parliament, who we doubt not, will soon make an inquiry into the grievances of oppressed subjects, which have formerly inhabited, or do now inhabit the colony of Georgia ; that colony which has cost so great an expense to the nation, and from which so great benefits were promised and expected!
“ We are sensible of the freedoms which have been used with our respective characters, in the misrepresentation sent your Honors by partial men: nor are we less sensible, that the majority of the trustees have been kept in the dark, with regard to our just complaints and representations; or that such complaints have been communicated to them in lights distant from truth; insomuch that, we have reason to believe, two thirds of the honorable board are either misinformed of or are entire strangers to the barbarous and destructive schemes carried on in this miserable colony.
“We hope it will ere long appear to your Honors and the world (whatever has been advanced to the contrary) that we are honest men, free from any base design, free from any mutinous spirit; who have only stood firm for the recovery of our lost privileges, which have been secretly and under the most specious pretences withdrawn from us by some designing and self-interested men.
“We should be sorry to write disrespectfully of any one of the trustees; but when distressed and oppressed people arrive at the last extremities, it must be supposed, they will neither be ashamed to publish their misfortunes, or afraid of imputing their calamities to the fountain from whence they spring.
“Far be it from us in any shape to reflect in general on the honorable board, who we still believe are gentlemen of honor and reputation, who would not be accessory to any sinister or base designs; but we can't help thinking, that they are deluded, and brought to pursue measures inconsistent with the welfare and prosperity of the colony, by some who of the whole corporation are only acquainted with the particular situation of it; and who must therefore wilfully and from design, form and prepare destructive schemes for the perishing inhabitants of Georgia; and by unfair representations of persons and things, draw the approbation of the greater part of the honorable board, to such measures for the oppression of his Majesty's subjects, which they would, if they were impartially informed, scorn to think of, far less agree to.
“General Oglethorpe with all his forces has been obliged to raise the siege of St. Augustine, and we have reason to believe the impending ruin of this colony will be thereby determined; for the Spaniards are reinforced; the General's
army harassed and weakened, and the Indians provoked and discontented; so that every thing looks with the most dismal aspect. But as his conduct in, and the consequences of these affairs, will be soon published to the world ; and as we doubt not we have already incurred your Honors' displeasure, by reciting thus freely the many hardships which we have here and formerly asserted to have been the causes of our ruin, we shall now forbear and conclude by adding, that the extremity of our misfortunes has at last rendered us utterly incapable of staying here any longer; and though all the money we have expended on improvements in the colony is now of no advantage to us here, nor can be elsewhere; yet poor as we are, we shall think ourselves happy when we are gone from a place where nothing but poverty and oppression subsists. Therefore we hope, if ever this or any other paper or letter of ours shall appear in public, your honors will impute such publication to have proceeded from no other motives, besides a thorough knowledge of our duty to ourselves, our fellow subjects and sufferers, and to prevent others for the future from being deluded in the same manner as we have been, who are, with the greatest respect, “ Honorable Gentlemen,
Your most humble servants, (Signed)
About the latter end of May, 1710, Mr. Oglethorpe set out with his regiment for Florida, and soon after the Carolina forces (consisting of about six hundred men) joined him, with about three hundred Indians and sixty Highlanders, volunteers from Darien, who were buoyed up by the General with the mighty hopes of reward, besides several stragglers and boatmen from other parts of the province and elsewhere; so that, exclusive of six men of war, there might be about fifteen hundred effective men assisting at the siege (as it was called) of the castle of St. Augustine. But we shall take no further notice of this affair, than as it has affected or may still affect the colony of Georgia. The place being alarmed, the Highlanders, with some others, making in all one hundred and forty-one men, were posted at Musa, (this was a small