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as to hope for miracles. But as if the difficulties arising from indifferent lands, and discouraging tenures, were not sufficient to humble and prepare them for the other severities they have met with, they were totally prohibited the importation, use, or even sight* of negroes. In spite of all endeavors to disguise this point, it is as clear as light itself, that negroes are as essentially necessary to the cultivation of Georgia, as axes, hoes, or any other utensil of agriculture. So that if a colony was designed able but to subsist itself, their prohibition was inconsistent; if a garrison only was intended, the very inhabitants were needless: but all circumstances considered, it looked as if the assistance of human creatures, who have been called slaves, as well as subject to the treatment of such, were incongruous with a system that proceeded to confer the thing, but to spare the odium of the appellation. Experience would too soon have taught them the parity of their conditions, in spite of a mere nominal difference. The only English clergymen, who were ever countenanced there, declared they never desired to see Georgia a rich, but a godly colony; and the blind subjection the poor Saltzburgers are under to the Rev. Mr. Boltzius, who has furnished such extraordinary extracts in some accounts of Georgia, published here, will be too evident from some of the annexed depositions to call for any descant.
The pretended content and satisfaction of the people of Ebenezer, without negroes, will plainlyt appear to be the dictates of spiritual tyranny, and only the wretched acquiescence of people, who were in truth unacquainted with the privilege of choosing for themselves.
It is acknowledged indeed that the present war, and late invasion, may surnish the enemies of the colony with the most plausible objections that could occur, against the allowance of black slaves ; but these reasons have not always existed, nor have the trustees ever declared any resolution to admit them, at any other juncture. But if it plainly appears that Georgia, as a colony, cannot barely exist without them, surely an admission of them under limitations, suitable to the present
situation of affairs, is absolutely necessary to its support; since want and famine must be more dreadful and insuperable invaders, than any living enemy: besides, the
* Appendix, No. XXIX.
† Appendix, No. VIII. and IX.
honorable trustees were informed by a letter from Mr. Stirling and others, of the falsehood, of the contented and comfortable situation the people of Darien were affirmed to be in ; and that they were* bought with a number of cattle, and extensive promises of future rewards, when they signed their petition against negroes.
It is established also by their charter, that the trustees shall and may form and prepare laws, statutes and ordinances, fit and necessary for and concerning the government of the said colony, and not repugnant to the laws and statutes of England.
But notwithstanding this, and although the trustees were applied to by the peoplet for a body of laws for the government of the colony, as the want of them rendered it exceeding difficult, for either grand or petit juries to discharge in a proper manner, the great duties incumbent on them by their oaths; yet they never received, or heard of any other laws except the Salique law, one for the prohibition of negroes, and a third, prohibiting the use and importation of spirituous liquors; any one of which was sufficient to prevent, or defeat the settlement of a colony in their situation : neither would the most judicious application of the money, advanced for its establishment, have compensated for such fundamental errors in the constitution. It seems a little odd, that three laws should be formed, that had a visible tendency to distress the colony, and not one fairly calculated for its increase and encouragement; none that might make it seem related to a British government. The intention of this omission I shall not presume to explain, but it is certain that enacting and executing of laws, not repugnant to the laws of England, must have prevented a great deal of such government, as the poor people have complained of; much indefinite and unwarrantable imprisonment, fining, punishing and forfeiting.
The trustees are further empowered by their charter, to erect and constitute judicatures and courts of record, or other courts, for the hearing and determining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, &c. As well as to appoint governors, judges, magistrates, &c., for the government of the colony.
* Appendix, No. V. VI. and VII.
In a Representation from the Grand Jury.
We may very naturally infer, that this power of constituting courts of justice, implies a due and regular application of that power, to be the duty of the trustees; and yet there is not so much as a magistrate in two of the towns, (there being but five in the province,) viz.: Darien and Ebenezer, * though one of them is thirty, and the other above fifty miles off any settlement, that has a magistrate. The populous town of Augusta, which is said to furnish out two thousand horses in the spring, and which, by the trustees' published account, was resorted to by six hundred white men,t employed on the Indianf trade, had none, till lately one Kent was said to have a commission given him by the trustees, when it was expected they would have punished him, for having dared to act as a justice of peace, and imprison and punish the people, without any but a verbal commission from Mr. Oglethorpe, under whom he has a military command of men. If they really believed this town to be so populous, why was it without even one civil magistrate ? But for the real state and poverty of this place, we refer to the affidavits of Mr. O'Brien and John Gardner.
Savannah and Frederica (the two principal towns,) must be allowed to have had extraordinary magistrates indeed, some of whom may not have wilfully injured the people; though others have declared from the bench, that the laws of England were no laws in Georgia ; || made false imprisonments, 1 discharged grand juries, whilst matters of felony lay** before them, tt intimidated petit-juries; in short, stuck at nothing to oppress the people ; neither has there been any governor appointed, or any records rightly kept for the people to appeal home from; which, whether it is so designed or not, prevents them from applying so regularly to his Majesty, for the benefit and redress of his distressed subjects.
The charter also enjoins the training, instructing and exercising the militia for the safety of the colony, the use of martial law in time of actual war and invasion, and the erection of forts for the defence of the colony ; notwithstanding
Appendix, No. VI. and VIII. + See a state of the colony attested upon oath, Appendix, No. X. and XI.
s Appendix, No. XXVI. See petition of the Grand Jury, 1721. ** See petition of the Grand Jury, 1741. || Appendix, No. XVIII.
17 Appendix, No. XVIII.
which, it is said there has been no muster there these four or five years, and that there is not a defensible* fort in the province. The want of martial law they cannot, indeed, justly complain of, since they have had nothing else but that, or worse, in time of peace, which possibly may have been one reason for no musters,t since it might be judged bad politics to train a people up to the knowledge and use of arms, who were to be ruled by nothing else. Besides, indeed, frequent musters would have exposed the real scarcity of people in a place that has been so diligently misrepresented, as populous, and what not.
It is said that the trustees have altered the tenures of the lands; but are they yet so good as in any of the rest of his Majesty's provinces, where lands are granted in free and common socage? Have any ill effects attended such full tenures ? And have any good ones followed the want of them? A sufficient term has been allowed for the experiment, and can the ill success of it be an argument for its continuance in any degree, or shape, or upon any pretence or color? And of the ill tendency of this destructive tenure, the trustees had a very early warning from a gentleman of undoubted integrity, and a member of their own body, which we shall take the liberty to recite in his own words.
Right Honorable the Lords and other Honorable Trustees
for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America.
I conceive I am summoned hither at this time, with the other trustees, to hear and debate on one or two dangerous mistakes, which have happened in the beginning of settling the infant colony of Georgia ; the good and prosperity whereof no man can have more at heart than I have had. But, as I have often with sorrow found at this board, my want of eloquence hath caused the motions of my sincere good intentions for the colony to pass unregarded, I hope you will therefore excuse the liberty I now take, of delivering in writing what I pray to say on those two pernicious mistakes.
* Appendix, No. II.
† Appendix, No. XXXII.
The first of those two evils is, concerning the portions of the land granted, to each man, heads of the families sent thither on the charity or otherwise, which land is of no value now, nor ever can be, until cultivated and improved by their great labor and expense. Yet that estate is limited to an intail male, whereby, upon any failure of male issue, all the females and their posterity are entirely cut off from all fruits and advantages of their parents' labor and industry for one or more ages; which is the children's natural right, and ought in justice to be secured to them. Moreover the subjecting the same estate to so many terrifying forfeitures, renders it the more precarious. There never was an instance of any lands ever granted in the British plantations, under such limitations and forfeitures, before this, which will be attended with many evil consequences.
It will not only defeat the charitable intentions of those many good and generous benefactors who have contributed very liberally, and those who shall do so, for the comfortable settlement, provision and support of many poor distressed families and their children; but also deprive the females of their just right given them by God and nature. This extraordinary tenure will be a great means of depeopling the colony as fast as you can people it; for those poor people, who now gladly embrace any terms or conditions to be removed from their present distresses here, will, as soon as the trustees have done feeding them in Georgia, remove themselves into other plantations, where they may have lands given them gratis, under the best tenure the crown could ever grant, without paying any quit rent, or other consideration for it.
Much more might be said to show the mischievous effects which that unreasonable tenure, by which the lands are now granted to those who are settled in Georgia, will unavoidably have on that colony. But I beg leave to say something of the Jews, who, to the number of between forty and fifty, bave procured themselves to be already settled there contrary to the will, and without the consent of the trustees, and there are more of their nation now going over to them.
I humbly conceive these shocking matters require your most serious attention ; for unless you speedily take some vigorous resolutions to suppress effectually the two great evils aforesaid, Georgia will soon become a Jewish colony,