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Of water fowl, in winter there are great abundance; besides the common English wild goose, duck, mallard, and teal, there is a kind of wild goose like the brand geese, and ducks of many kinds hardly known in Europe. There is a hooping crane, a fowl with grey feathers, five or six foot high, numbers of the heron kind of different species and colors, some small ones of the most beautiful white, which are called poor Jobs, from their being generally very lean. Of birds of prey, there are the land and the sea eagle, with different kinds of hawks: there are also numbers of pelicans and cormorants.
Of reptiles, the crocodile, which seems to be the chief, abounds in all the rivers of Georgia; they call them alligators. I have seen some of these I believe twelve foot long. A number of vulgar errors are reported of them ; one is, that their scales are musket proof; whereas I have frequently seen them killed with small shot; nay, I have heard from people of good credit, that when they have found one at a distance from the water they have killed him with sticks, not thinking him worth a shot. And Mr. Horton more than once has struck one through with a hanger. The watermen often knock them on the head with their oars as they sleep upon the banks, for they are very sluggish and timorous, though they can make one or two springs in the water with nimbleness enough, and snap with strength whatever comes within their jaws. They are terrible to look at, stretching open an horrible large mouth, big enough to swallow a man, with rows of dreadful large sharp teeth, and feet like dragons armed with great claws, and a long tail which they throw about with great strength, and which seems their best weapon, for their claws are feebly set on, and the stiffness of their necks hinders them from turning nimbly to bite. When Mr. Oglethorpe was first at Savannah, to take off the terror which the people had for the crocodiles, having wounded and catched one about twelve foot long, he had him brought up to the town, and set the boys to bait him with sticks, the creature gaping and blowing hard, but had no heart to move, only turned about his tail, and snapt at the sticks, till such time as the children pelted and beat him to death. At our first coming they would stare at the boats, and stand till they came up close to them, so that Mr. Horton killed five in one day; but being frequently shot at they grew more shy. They destroy a great deal of fish, and will seize a hog or a dog if they see them in the water; but their general way ofpreying is lying still, with their mouths open and their noses just above water, and so they watch till the stream brings down prey to them; they swallow any thing that comes into their mouths, and upon opening them knots of light wood have been found in their guts. They rarely appear in winter, being then in holes. They lay eggs which are less than those of a goose: they scrape together a number of leaves, and other trash, of which nature has taught them to choose such as will foment and heat; of these they make a dunghill or hot-bed, in the midst of which they leave their eggs, covering them with a sufficient thickness. The heat of the dunghill, helped by the warmth of the climate, hatches them, and the young crocodiles creep out like small lizards.
Next to the crocodile is the rattle-snake, a creature really dangerous, though far from being terrible to look at The bite is generally thought mortal, and certainly is so, if remedies are not in time applied. The Indians pretend to have performed wonderful cures, and boast an infallible secret, but it is generally believed that the hot season of the year, and the rage of the rattle-snake increase the force of the poison, and that the bite is more or less dangerous according to the part; and those who are bit with the least dangerous circumstances are cured by the outward applications of the Indians. Mr. Reeves, who was Surgeon to the Independent Company at Port Royal has, by a regular course of medicine, cured most of those who were carried to him and bit by rattlesnakes. I can say less of this, because (thank God) there has not been one person bit by a rattle-snake in the colony of Georgia. I have seen several of these snakes which were killed at Frederica, the largest above two yards long, the belly white, and the back of a brown color; they seem to be of the viper kind, and are of a strong smell, somewhat like musk. The rattles are rings at the end of their tails of a horny substance : these shaking together make a noise, which with their strong musky smell give cautious people notice where they are. They are not so nimble as some snakes are, therefore do not remove out of the way, which is generally the occasion of bites when they happen; for they naturally in their own defence snap at what treads near them, To prevent this, those who walk the woods much, wear what they call Indian boots, which are made of coarse woolen cloths, much too large for the legs, tied upon their thighs and hang loose to their shoes.
Besides the rattle-snake, there are some others whose bite · is dangerous; there are also many others, as the black, the red, and the chicken snake, whose bites are not venomous.
On the 24th, I resolved to keep the cargoes on board, and landed nothing but as it was actually wanted. There was a booth for a storehouse on shore, with a cellar to it; but the cargo of the Midnight sloop had filled that. There were also some other booths where the colony lodged till they had made their own bowers, but there being already a great many goods and provisions come up, there was not room enough in all for them, and we were much distressed for want of room, many things being damaged by not having cover to put them under. I therefore thought it best to keep the cargoes on board both ships, and take things out as we had occasion.
On the 25th, in the evening, Mr. Oglethorpe returned from the Spanish frontiers, and some difficulties having arose about settling the bounds of the dominions belonging to the crowns of Great Britain and Spain, to make the following transactions intelligible it will be necessary to describe the situation of the Province of Georgia, and also to give an account of his expedition to the frontiers, from whence he now returned.
The Mississippi river parts these bounds, the mouths and heads of which are possessed by the French, who have garrisons and considerable forces up that river as far as the Chickasaws country. To the east of that country there are four great nations of Indians.
1. The Choctaws, some of which lie on the other side of the river, and some on this. These Mr. Oglethorpe in his first voyage to Georgia gained to admit of English traders. They are about five thousand warriors on the east side of the river.
2. The Cherokees, a nation who inhabit the mountains upon the southern heads of the Savannah river, amounting to about three thousand warriors.
3. The Chickasaws, who lie upon the Mississippi river, between the Cherokees and the Choctaws, who have long been subjects to the crown of England, and who hinder the
French communication up that river with their northern colonies of Canada; and
4. The Creeks, who are bounded by the Chickasaws and Cherokees upon the north, the Choctaws upon the west, the Florida Indians upon the South, and who to the eastward reach as far as the ocean. These are divided into several towns and nations, one of which is commanded by Toma Chi Chi, who was in England. To these belonged all the islands upon the sea, and the main land, from the mouth of the Savannah, to the Choctaws and the Florida Indians. The Creeks did by treaty grant the lands which the English now possess in Georgia near Savannah, and for it received presents.
The sovereignty was in the crown of Great Britain, ever since the discovery of them by Sir Walter Raleigh. All Carolina bounded by the river St. John, was the Carolina granted to the proprietors in the English possession at the Treaty of 1670. They also conceded several islands, reserving to themselves several portions of land on the main, as also the islands of St. Catharine, Sapola, and Assaba. They granted those of Tybee, Warsaw, Skidoway, Wilmington, St. Simons, and all those to the southward of it as far as St. John's river to the colony. The Creek Indians were allies or rather subjects to the crown of Great Britain, and did, with the assistance of the English in the year 1703, beat the Spaniards as far as St. Augustine, and besieged that place. But though the siege was raised, the Creek Indians still kept possession of all the lands on the north of St. John's river, but had made a treaty with General Nicholson (who commanded by commission from King George the First in those countries) that no private Englishman should possess the property of any land to the south or west of the river Savannah, without leave first had from the Indians.
The first thing Mr. Oglethorpe did in his first voyage, was to obtain the grant from the Indians; and upon a meeting of all the upper and lower Creeks, upon Toma Chi Chi's return from England, they confirmed the grant of all the islands (those reserved as above excepted) also of all the lands upon the continent as far as the tide flowed, and two hours walk above it. In pursuance of this agreement Toma Chi Chi came down with a party of Indians to show
Mr. Oglethorpe how far their possessions reached. The day he arrived he presented ten bucks to the whole colony, which were divided after the Indian manner to all equal. Every day more Indians came in from different quarters, where they had been hunting. At last Mr. Jonathan Brian brought down a new scout boat with ten oars. Mr. Oglethorpe having heard no news of Major Richard, and the boat sent to Augustine; and being informed by his Indians that great number of the Florida Indians were sent for up to their town; and also having advice from Charlestown that they heard from Augustine that the Spaniards were preparing to dislodge us, he resolved to go down and see the frontiers, and inquire what was become of his boat and men, and at the same time to restrain the Indians from hurting the Spaniards: who seemed very eager so to do, under the pretence of hunting the buffalo. Knowing there was a passage through which boats might come round the island, and perhaps might destroy the colony in one night, he made Capt. Yokely anchor below the town, who was very alert, and kept a good look-out, and having some cannon, and supported by a battery from the land, was above a match for open boats. He designed also to build a fort upon the boat passage, but the Indian company not being yet come, he had no men to garrison it. The Highlanders very cheerfully offered themselves for that service. He ordered a large periagua to bring them down from the Darien.
“On the 18th of April he set out with the two scout boats with Toma Chi Chi and a body of Indians, who though but few, being not forty, were all chosen warriors and good hunters., Mr. Oglethorpe did not care for having too many, lest their strength should encourage them to hostilities with the Spaniards, which it was his business to avoid. Rowing across Jekyl sound he went up another branch of the Alatamaha, to see what passages might lie that way for boats, and encamped in a grove of pine trees upon the main, where were many trees fit for masts to the largest ships. They made up three fires, one for the Indians, one for the boatmen, and one for the gentlemen. Mr. Oglethorpe lay, as he usually does, in the woods under a tree, wrapt up in a cloak, near a good fire. Mr. Horton, Mr. Tanner, and the rest of the gentlemen lay round the fire in the same manner.
“The next day, soon after day break, they discovered the
to build it being very