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Several insurrections followed thereupon; which, though suppressed with the death of many of the inhabitants, as well as of the blacks, hindered not the escape of some of these; but they were few, they could only go off in pettiauguas and other little boats by sea; the way by land was shut against them, as they knew they should be secured in Georgia; whereas if negroes had been here also, it would not have been easy to distinguish them, and the Carolina slaves would have found a readier and safer way to Augustine. With this prospect they would have been more generally tempted to rise, from which the difficulty of getting off undoubtedly deterred many of them. In January, 1738, the council, and assembly of South Carolina sent a solemn deputation to Augustine, to demand those, who had escaped by sea; but they returned without success; the Spanish governor peremptorily refused to deliver them, and declared that he had orders from the king of Spain to receive and protect them.
In the beginning of last June, there was a conspiracy and insurrection of above two hundred negroes, not far from Charlestown. As they had no prospect of escaping through the Province of Georgia, their design was to break open a store-house, and supply themselves, and those who would join them, with arms. The conspiracy was happily discovered the night before it was to be put in execution, and when they appeared the next day fifty of them were seized, and these were hanged, ten in a day, to intimidate the other negroes.
From these several considerations, it is submitted to the public, whether Georgia does not stand in a different point of light from any of our other colonies; and whether the admission of negroes is necessary or expedient; or whether on the contrary, it would not be injurious to the greater number of inhabitants, and hazardous for them all.
It may be proper now to shew in one or two instances, where the colony has been, and will be of great advantage to the public. If people are still credulous of every clamor, and incredulous of, and unattentive to the evidence, that products for trade can be raised in Georgia; or if they are too narrow-sighted to be pleased with the distance of the prospect; yet they must see, that the inhabitants can subsist there. Consequently there is room for increasing the number of our people, by carrying over more Saltzsburghers, and other persecuted or distressed foreign protestants. These can be carried thither, and settled at a less expense than the former, who have gone as harbingers, and provided a settlement, and easier means of subsistence for them. By these, and by the Highlanders from Scotland, (even if no more of our poor people from England should be sent) one great end of his majesty's charter is obtained. A barrier is fixed, and will be strengthening, for the southern provinces on the continent; and these may more securely proceed in their cultivation. South Carolina has in this particular some time since found the advantages of this barrier; for the most southward parts, before the establishment of Georgia, were so unsafe that people were afraid to make any settlements on them; but soon after, many thousand acres of rich land near Port Royal were run out, the land was raised to four times the former value, and the exportation of rice from that province was vastly increased. The public have seen, that Carolina has likewise been free from the ravages or attacks of the Indians, to which she was always liable before, and by which she so frequently suffered. In this view, therefore, of a barrier, abstracting the hopes of any improvements in our trade, Georgia has always been a national benefit.
The last point in which Georgia is to be considered, is with regard to the goodness of her harbors; and in this light she will prove of the highest importance to Great Britain. Spain has seen her in this light, and has therefore been so restless to gain her. From the badness of the harbor at Augustine, which is in a manner choked up, and cannot receive any ships of above a hundred tons, she is more sensible of what consequence it is to Great Britain to have good ones in Georgia. She knows that if a British fleet can ride there in safety, in a wholesome air, and daily supplied with fresh provisions, they may be a constant check on the galleons, and her homeward bound trade, in their course from the gulf of Florida; and may amply retaliate all the injuries which she does us on the other side of the gulf. For this reason the Spaniards at Augustine, when they first complained of Georgia, called it a Gibraltar in America. There is a *harbor in thirty-one degrees in the southward part of the province between St. Simon's island and Jekyl's island, which is capable of holding twelve men-of-war in the greatest security. The harbor is land-locked, and the entrance into it is free from any rocks or shoals; and on the bar there is a depth of water of twenty-two feet, so that a forty gun ship may pass very well over it, and the ships in the harbor lie under the cannon of St. Simon's fort. The river, which runs by the harbor, is so large and deep, that it is capable of receiving any number of ships which England can send thither; and where, being land-locked also, they may ride in great safety. In Cumberland sound, which is southward of Jekyl, and lies between the islands of Cumberland and Amelia, it is said, that there is still deeper water than in Jekyl sound; but as no affidavits have been made in relation to this, and as the captains, who sounded the entrance into Jekyl, never went so far, I shall not dwell upon it, being unwilling to deliver any thing upon uncertainty. In the northern part of the province, upon the bar at Tybee sound, at the mouth of the river Savannah, there is a depth of fifteen feet at low water, and twenty-two at high water; and the river Savannah communicating with it, will contain in safety, four hundred ships in smooth water. The entrance is so safe, that ships of four hundred tons, without altering their course, may run directly from the sea over the bar.
* Appendix, No. 8.
The whole coast of Georgia is secure for navigation, there being seven or eight fathom water within three or four leagues from the land, where ships, if necessity requires, may anchor with the greatest safety, the ground being all clean sand from one end of the coast to the other.
A report has prevailed, that the colony is abandoned; and this has been propagated chiefly by those'who have quitted it. It is undoubtedly true, that some in the northern division of the province have left it; but it is as true, that great numbers are still remaining, and that few or none of those, who were settled in the southern part of the province have left their plantations. Among the necessitous, who first applied to be sent over, there were some who had been reduced merely by misfortunes, but still unused to labor; and many by idleness who were as little accustomed to it. It was almost impossible to distinguish between them. The Trustees could only proceed in their choice, upon recommendations of them or their appearance, as great objects of charity. But the idle, who fled from labor in England, would as certainly fly from it in Georgia. A store was kept open for the subsistence of the people, much longer than was either promised or intended. This was done upon several considerations, viz. a dearth, which happened one year through almost all the continent of America; the interruptions given to the inhabitants by the attempts of the Spaniards; compassion in general to the settlers, and for an encouragement of them to be industrious for the future. But when it was found absolutely requisite to shut up the store, of which the people had been long forewarned; those who had fixed their thoughts and means of subsistence only there, and found themselves unprovided, immediately left the province; a few also, upon an appearance of a war with Spain, deserted their settlements, in order to be more remote from danger. There were some people likewise, in the first settling of the colony, who came from other American provinces to seek for work. These, finding but little business, after the public, and most of the private buildings were finished, returned, as is supposed, to their own homes.
By authentic accounts transmitted from William-Stephens, Esq., (who has resided in Georgia these three years, as Secretary for the affairs of the Trust within the province,) and received the 26th of last November, it appears, that the strength of the northern division of the province, has not for a year past, been impaired by the going away of laborious men, particularly of freeholders; the absence of some, whose idleness or fear of the Spaniards obliged them to withdraw, being supplied by others more industrious. And that of those who had quitted it, with expectation of a better support in South Carolina, some have returned again, and that two families more intended the same. Nay, even so late as the 28th of July last, when the news of raising the siege of Augustine had been a fortnight in the town of Savannah, notwithstanding endeavors were used to work up a panic among the people, and though permits to leave the colony were given to any who should ask them, three men only had quitted the province; and of these, one was superannuated, and went to a relation in Charlestown to be supported. The other two were Jews, who had no visible way of living. It was found likewise, that among the freeholders in that town, notwithstanding many had gone as volunteers to the camp, there were about seventy, who were able and willing to act for defence of the colony, exclusive of servants, inmates, &c. who were above double that number, and without taking notice of the plantations, and the adjacent villages and of the town of Ebenezer in particular, which alone could furnish sixty able men of the Saltzburghers.
Though beginning a settlement with indigent people is commonly disadvantageous, for reasons before mentioned; the sending over others of them in small numbers after the settlement is made, may not, and probably will not be attended with the same inconveniences. When they see a society formed, and a government ready established, at which they cannot have a shadow of reason to repine: when they see others, who had been in the same condition with themselves, living happily upon the fruits of their industry, and have evident and occular proofs, that they may soon arrive at the same; and when they will not have numbers to countenance them in their idleness, they will in all likelihood be more incited to labor.
The following short account of the state of the province, will (it is hoped) satisfy the public, that, though some have deserted it, it is not in that miserable condition, which some have taken pains to represent it.
About ten miles up the river, the town of Savannah is situated upon a bluff of land, about forty feet perpendicular from the water. The land about it, and on which it stands, is sandy, and after the hardest rains immediately dry, and therefore healthy, and fit for habitations. The water about the town is excellent. The town is regularly built, with a large street through it from the landing-place. There are at least one hundred and thirty houses in it, (besides warehouses and huts,) which are built at some distance from each other, to prevent the spreading of any fire, and to keep them more airy. These form several wide streets, and spacious squares. The town is divided into six wards, and every ward into three tithings, with a constable and three tithingmen appointed for each ward. It is governed by three bailiffs, and a recorder, who are the magistrates, and have full power to judge in matters of civil right, as well as capital offences in the northern part of the province. There are in the town, a court house, a gaol, a store-house, a house for the Trust servants, a wharf, a guard-house, and some