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Pleas, and the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, or two of them, and printed copies of the same accounts will be transmitted to every considerable benefactor.
The prospect of success is as great, and the difficulties as little as have attended the planting any other colonies; perhaps they are less, since Carolina (to which Georgia is contiguous,) abounds with provisions. Vast numbers of cattle, as well as hares, rabbits, and deer. Fowls and fish of various kinds; fruits of the best sort. Indian corn, and European grain of every kind in vast abundance. The climate is known; the air very clear, healthy, and almost always temperate, and there are men to instruct in the seasons, and in the nature of cultivating that soil, which is a very rich one. Georgia is southward of the present settlements in Carolina. It is a vast tract of land, divided from that province by the river Savannah, and bounded on the south by the river Alatamaha, which are both large and navigable. By the best accounts we have yet had, from one river to the other at the sea is between sixty and seventy miles, and the extent of Georgia from the sea to the Apalatian mountains is about three hundred miles, widening very much in its progress from the sea.
The charter grants to the trustrees and their successors all the lands and territories from the most northern stream of the Savannah river, all along the sea-coast to the southward unto the most southern stream of the Alatamaha river, and westward from the heads of the said rivers, respectively in direct lines to the south seas, and all that space, circuit, and precinct of land lying within the said boundaries, with the islands in the sea lying opposite to the eastern coast of the said lands, within twenty leagues of the same, which are not already inhabited, or settled by any authority derived from the crown of Great Britain, together with all the soils, grounds, havens, ports, gulfs, and bays: mines, as well royal mines of gold and silver, as other minerals, precious stones, quarries, woods, rivers, waters, fishings, pearls, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, franchises, privileges, and preëminences within the said territories, and the precincts thereof, and thereunto in any sort belonging; to hold to them and their successors for ever for the better support of the colony.
The country is at present a forest of oaks, beech, elm,
ost southeads of the
cedar, chesnut, walnut, cypress, myrtle-trees, and many others, besides the mulberries, and vines, which I have mentioned before. That it is capable of great improvements, is generally agreed by those, who have seen the place; and there needs no other proof than this: Many of the people in South Carolina, hearing of this charter, have gone thither to survey the lands, and have (as I am informed) applied since to the trustees for grants. His Majesty has ordered the governor of South Carolina to give what assistance he can to the new settlement; this the assembly also (I hear) have promised. The governor is very hearty in promoting it, and has generously contributed towards it. He has been engaged likewise to provide several sawyers in South Carolina, and some of the most friendly among the Indians to assist the people in clearing the lands, &c. There are but few Indian families within four hundred miles, and those in perfect amity with the English. Port Royal, the station of his Majesty's ships, is within thirty; and Charlestown a great mart, that freights every year near two hundred ships, is within one hundred and twenty miles. If the colony is attacked, it may be relieved by sea from Port Royal, or the Bahamas, and the militia of South Carolina is ready to support it by land.
As towns are established, and grow populous along the rivers Savannah, and Alatamaha, they will make such a barrier, as will render the southern provinces of the British colonies on the continent of America, safe from Indian, and other enemies.
Under what difficulties was Virginia planted? The coast and climate then unknown, the Indians numerous, and at enmity with the first planters, who were forced to fetch all their provisions from England; yet it is grown so great a province, that the revenue is increased one hundred thousand pounds for duties upon goods that are sent yearly home from thence.
Within these fifty years Pennsylvania was as much a forest as Georgia is now, and in those few years, by the wise economy of Mr. Penn, and those who assisted him, it now gives food to eighty thousand inhabitants, and can boast of as fine a city as most in Europe.
The poor, who are sent to Georgia on the Charity, have all the expenses of their passage defrayed, have likewise all
conveniences allowed them in their passage: and great care is, (as I hear) and will be taken not to crowd too many of them in a ship for fear of illness. When they are set down in Georgia, the Trustees supply them with arms for their defence, working-tools for their industry, seeds of all kinds for their lands, and provisions for a year, or until the land can yield a support.
As experience has shown the inconvenience of private persons possessing too large quantities of land in our colonies, by which means, the greatest part of it must lie uncultivated, and they are thrown at such a distance, that they can neither assist, or defend one another; the Trustees settle the people in towns, a hundred families in each : and allot no more land than what can with ease be cultivated, and yet will afford a sufficient and handsome maintenance. They divide each man's share into three lots, viz.: one lot for a house and yard in the town, another for a garden near the town, and a third for a farm at a little distance from the town. These lots are all to be laid out, and the houses built by joint labor and assistance; and when finished, chance is to determine, who shall be the proprietors of each of them; by this conduct no man will have reason to complain, since fortune alone can give the preference.
As they will not, it seems, be suffered to alienate their lands without leave of the Trustees, none certainly will go over, but with a design to be industrious; and as they will be settled in such a frugality, none, who can live here, will think of going thither, where, though they will have a sufficient and plentiful maintenance, they will have no room for luxury, or any of its attendant vices.
For continuing the relief which is now given, there will be lands reserved in the colony, and the benefit arising from them, is to go towards carrying on the trust. So that at the same time, the money by being laid out preserves the lives of the poor, and makes a comfortable provision for those, whose expenses are by it defrayed; their labor in improving their own lands will make the adjoining reserved lands valuable, and the rents of those reserved lands will be a perpetual fund for relieving more poor people.
A power is granted to the Trustees by the charter to enjoy lands, &c. in Great Britain, in fee, not exceeding one thousand pounds a year beyond reprises ; also estates
for lives and years, and all chattels and things whatsoever, for the better settling, supporting, and maintaining the said colony, and to demise the same for a term of years in possession, and not in reversion, not exceeding thirty-one years from the time of granting; and if no fine is taken, the full value to be reserved, otherwise at least a moiety of the full value.
The corporation and their successors may import and export their goods at, and from any port or ports in Georgia, without being obliged to touch at any other port in Carolina.
The people, who settled there, are declared by the charter to be free, and not subject to any laws, but such as are framed by the corporation, and their successors; these not to be repugnant however to the laws of England, and to be approved by the King in council.
Civil liberty is to be established there in its full extent. No appearance of slavery, not even in negroes; by which means, the people being obliged to labor themselves for their support, will be, like the old Romans, more active and useful for the defence of their government.
That the people may not be long without public worship, the Trustees, (as I am informed, have already fixed on a clergyman, who is well recommended, is to embark very soon, and is to be allowed by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, as good a salary, as they give any of their other missionaries.
As liberty of conscience will be granted, it cannot be doubted, but a well-regulated government in a country so temperate, so pleasant, and so fruitful, will draw thither many of the distressed Saltzburghers, and other persecuted Protestants; and by giving refuge to these, the power and wealth of Great Britain, as a reward for her hospitality, will be increased by the addition of so many religious and industrious subjects.
Since I have mentioned the foreign protestants, it may not be improper to consider their present situation, and to show how prudent it is to establish such a colony as Georgia, if only on their account. As men, as fellow Christians, and as persecuted Christians, they have, as well as our own poor a claim on our humanity, notwithstanding the narrow opinions, and mistaken politics of some, who think their charity should begin, continue, and end at home.
The protestant interest in Europe hath declined very much since the treaty of Westphalia. In France there were several flourishing protestant churches, which are now entirely destroyed. There were five hundred churches in Poland; but being neither permitted to rebuild or repair the places of assembly, they are now reduced to forty, who are harassed on every pretence, of which Thorn has been a bleeding instance. În Hungary they are at this time depriving the protestants of their churches, and it is to be feared that a persecution now rages as openly there, as ever it did in France. Every one must know, and there can be few but feel the miseries which the Saltzburghers have lately undergone. Their hardships could only be equalled by their resolution in meeting, and their patience in bearing them. Many of these have been dragged from prison to prison till they perished by want; the rest, men, women, and children forced to renounce their faith, or drove vagrants from their country. There have been above twenty-three thousand of these exiles; and by advices received here lately, the number of converts among them to the protestant religion increases every day. In the Palatinate a concealed persecution is on foot; Deux Ponts, Bergues, Juliers, and all the Palatinate were formerly under protestant princes, and are now subject to a zealous Roman Catholic. The head of the house of Saxony, that was formerly the great support of the protestant interest in Germany, is firmly attached to the Romish religion. The church of Rome hath also gained the chiefs of many other families in Germany. The preferments in the Teutonic, and Malteze orders, the rich benefices, and great ecclesiastical sovereignties, the elective crown of Poland, and the imperial dignity itself, are used by that court to gain or keep the nobility, and even the sovereigns of Germany dependent on their supremacy : and when the sovereigns are of their profession, they think they can make more converts in a day by force, than in whole ages by preaching; for if the prince orders his protestant subjects to renounce their religion, they must submit, resist, or fly. Resistance is in vain, unless they are assisted by protestant princes, which these cannot do without raising a religious war through Europe ; which is not to be expected on every oppression for religion, since it could not be procured in the flagrant instances of Thorn and