Page images

mander of it, and to prevent the poor people of Frederica from getting to any other place, where they might be able to support themselves

About three miles south-east of Savannah, upon Augustine Creek, lies Oxstead, the settlement of Mr. Thomas Causton, improven by many hands and at a great charge, where he now resides with a few servants. Between Oxstead and the town of Savannah lie, 1st, Hermitage, the settlement of Mr. Hugh Anderson, who had seventeen in family and servants; but he was obliged both to leave that and retire from the colony, about two years ago, upon account of the general hardships. 2dly, the settlements of Mr. Thomas Christie, and six others belonging to the township of Savannah : all now forsaken. 3d, the settlements of the Germans of Count Zinzendorff, who were twenty families; which are likewise now entirely abandoned, they having all gone to other colonies.

Upon the west side of Savannah, lie the township lots of the Jews, now deserted, (they having all gone to other colonies, except three or four) as are all others on that quarter, excepting one or two.

About three miles from Savannah on the south, the settlement of Mr. William Williamson is in the same condition: and also, the settlement belonging to the trustees adjoining to Mr. Williamson's; which was committed by them to the care of Mr. William Bradley, their steward, to be cultivated and improved by him at their charge, as an example to others, and to satisfy themselves what improvements in land were practicable by white servants. The event might have opened the eyes of any that would see. Upwards of twenty, sometimes thirty servants, were employed ; above two thousand pounds sterling expended in the experiment, and never so much of any kind of grain raised from it, as would have maintained the numbers employed about it six months. It now lies on a par with the most ruinous plantation in Georgia. Part of their Dutch servants have been employed last year by Mr. Thomas Jones, upon a new plantation about a mile to the southward of Savannah. They were twenty-five in number, and maintained at the expense of eight-pence sterling each per diem; and we have lately been credibly informed, the whole produce did not exceed one hundred bushels of corn.

The Orphan-House is situated about fourteen miles southeast of Savannah. This famous work was begun in March, 1740; and during the space of six months, there were about one hundred people, men, women and children, maintained and employed about it; and according to their own calculation, they have expended near four thousand pounds sterling. But ever since Mr. Whitefield left Georgia, the latter end of August in the same year, it has decayed apace; for, besides those he then carried to the northward with him, a great many have since left them; and their money growing short, they were soon obliged to discharge most of the workmen; besides, of late, many divisions have arisen amongst them. In short, the design seems to be drawing near a period, although at this time, the house itself is scarcely half finished. It is built upon a low pine barren, surrounded on one side with a large tract of salt marsh, extending to Vernon River, to which they have a passage by water, when the tides are up, for small craft; on the other side it is surrounded with woods. They have cleared about ten acres of ground, and have built several houses and huts. The frame of the Orphan-House is up, the roof shingled, and the sides weather boarded. It is sixty feet in length, forty feet wide. It has two stories, besides cellars and garrets; the cellars are built of brick, which likewise serves for a foundation to the whole building. It would certainly be a fine piece of work, if finished; but if it were finished, where is the fund for its support? and what service can an orphan-house be in a desert and a forsaken colony.

About three or four miles from the Orphan-House, on the side of Vernon River, William Stephens, Esq., (formerly mentioned) has a plantation with five or six servants, who have cleared about seven or eight acres. However, if he reaps no benefit from them, he is at as little charge to maintain them.*

As it would be too tedious to mention particularly the, township or five and forty-five acre lots, being in all about one hundred that were settled, we need only, therefore, in general, say, that there are few or none of them but what are in the same condition with those before specified, viz. : ruinous and desolate.

* The trustees allow him so many servants, and their maintenance.

The last place we shall mention is Augusta, distant from Savannah two hundred miles up the river, on the same side. It was founded in 1737, at a considerable charge, under the direction of one Mr. Roger Lacy, being at that time agent to the Cherokee nation. It is principally, if not altogether, inhabited by Indian traders and store-keepers; the number of whom may now be about thirty or upwards; and a considerable quantity of corn has been raised there. To account for this singular circumstance, we shall only assign two reasons; the first is the goodness of the land, which at so great a distance from the sea, is richer than in the maritime parts; the second and chief one is, that the settlers there are indulged in and connived at the use of negroes, by whom they execute all the laborious parts of culture; and the fact is undoubted and certain, that upwards of eighty negroes are now in the settlements belonging to that place. We do not observe this as if it gives us any uneasiness, that our fellow planters are indulged in what is so necessary for their wellbeing ; but we may be allowed to regret, that we and so many British subjects, who stood much more in need of them, should have been ruined for want of such assistances.

Having now taken a survey of the colony of Georgia, we? shall conclude this treatise by taking notice of two or three of the most remarkable transactions in it since October last.

On the tenth day of November, a court was called at Savannah, where Col. Stephens read a paragraph of a letter, which he said was from the trustees, desiring the inhabitants to set forth their miseries, hardships and difficulties in writing, in order to have the seal of the colony annexed thereto, and so transmitted to the trustees. Whereupon Mr. Stephens gave the recorder a paper to read, in which the colony was represented in a most flourishing condition, (in the town of Augusta alone, there were represented to be white people, and pack-horses belonging thereto, who were employed in the Indian trade) enumerating the many useful, fine and curious productions of it, such as hedges with pomegranates growing upon them, wine, silk, oil, wheat, &c., with many other hyperboles. This paper Mr. Stephens said he had been at great care and pains about, and which he took to be a just answer to the trustees' letter, with the true state of the colony. But the poor people, seeing the absurdity

and falseness of it, soon discovered their dislike thereof by their leaving the court house; and only eighteen persons signed the same, every one of whom were supported in one

shape or other by the public; Mr. Fallowfield, then on the į bench, used what arguments he could to persuade him, that

it was reasonable every person should represent his own case to the trustees, and he apprehended the design of the trus-,

tees was such ; but Stephens in a passion said, except they 1. would sign this, they should have the public seal to no other

paper; so it was to no purpose what either he or the recorder Mr. John Py could urge, who very soon left the court, declaring their dislike and abhorrence of such proceedings; but immediately they, with the rest of the inhabitants, to the number of above sixty, drew up a remonstrance to the trustees, in which they fully set forth the true state of the colony, with their own miserable condition in it. This paper, and soon after a petition to the king and council, &c., were lately transmitted to the authors hereof, who immediately forwarded them for London ; but as the issue thereof is now depending, we do not think it proper to expose them to the public. .

On the 2d of April last a fire broke out by accident in a smith's forge in Savannah, which consumed almost one whole square; and in the highest rage of the devouring flames, Mr. Thomas Jones stood an idle spectator with his hands in his bosom, and with the utmost unconcernedness, insomuch, that when he was applied to by several of the miserable people for a small quantity of gunpowder to blow up an adjoining house, in order to prevent the fire from spreading, his answer was, I can do nothing in it, I have no orders concerning such matters.

We have lately been informed from Frederica, that the General, having stationed twelve men upon the place which was the settlement of Messrs. Ker and Carteret before mentioned, they were attacked by Spaniards or Spanish Indians, and four were killed, four carried off, and two wounded

A good many of the people have come away from Frederica lately, and in order to get off were obliged to make use of stratagems, such as going a hunting upon the islands, &c. We are informed, that some differences have happened betwixt the General and some of the magistrates there, and that in the place of one of them he has appointed one of his

waiting boys. Several of the poor remainder of the Darien people have likewise escaped, notwithstanding the body of forces stationed there to prevent them.

• Having thus brought this Historical Narrative within the compass proposed, and endeavored to dispose the materials in as distinct a method and series as the necessary conciseness would allow; we readily admit that the design is far from being complete. To have acquainted the world with all the hardships and oppressions which have been exercised in the colony of Georgia, must have required both a larger volume than we were capable of publishing, and more time than we could bestow. We therefore satisfy ourselves, that we have, with care and sincerity, executed so much of the design, as may pave the way to any others who can descend more minutely to particulars; and those who are best acquainted with the affairs of that colony, will be most capable of judging how tenderly we have touched both persons and things.

It only remains, that we in a few paragraphs endeavor to exhibit to the view of the reader, the real causes of the ruin and desolation of the colony; and those briefly are the following:

1. The representing the climate, soil, &c. of Georgia in false and too flattering colors; at least, the not contradicting those accounts when publicly printed and dispersed, and satisfying the world in a true and genuine description thereof.

2. The restricting the tenure of lands from a fee simple to tail-male, cutting off daughters and all other relations.

3. The restraining the proprietor from selling, disposing of, or leasing any possession.

4. The restricting too much the extent of possessions; it being impossible that fifty acres of good land, much less pine barren, could maintain a white family.

5. The laying the planter under a variety of restraints in clearing, fencing, planting, &c. which was impossible to be complied with.

6. The exacting a much higher quit-rent than the richest grounds in North America can bear.

7. But chiefly the denying the use of negroes, and persisting in such denial after, by repeated applications, we had humbly

« PreviousContinue »