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of speed, and the buffalo of strength. He told him that the English were as swift as the bird, and as strong as the beast — since like the former they flew over vast seas, to the uttermost parts of the earth, and like the latter they were so strong that nothing could withstand them.
“He said the feathers of the eagle were soft, and signified love — the buffalo skin was warm and signified protection and therefore he hoped the English would love and protect their little families.
“Oglethorpe accordingly accepted the present, and after concluding this treaty of friendship with the Indians, and placing his colony in the best posture of defence, he returned to Britain, carrying with him Tomachichi, his queen, and some more Indians.
“On their arrival in London, these Indian chiefs were introduced to his Majesty, while many of the nobility were present. When Tomachichi, struck with astonishment at the grandeur of the British court, addressed the king in the following words: .
“This day I see the majesty of your face, the grandeur of your house, and the number of your people. I am come in my old days, though I cannot expect to see any advantage to myself, I am come for the good of the children of all the nations of the lower and upper Creeks, that they may be instructed in the knowledge of the English.
“ These are the feathers of the eagle, which is the swiftest of birds, and which flyeth round our nations. These are a sign of peace in our land, and have been carried from town to town there. We have brought them over to leave them with you, O great king, as a token of everlasting peace.
“O great king, whatever words you shall say unto me, I will faithfully tell them to all the kings of the Creek nations."
“ To which his Majesty replied. I am glad of this opportunity of assuring you of my regard for the people from whom you come, and I am extremely well pleased with the assurances you have brought from them, and accept very gratefully of this present — an indication of their good disposition to me and my people. I shall always be ready to cultivate a good correspondence between the Creeks and my subjects, and shall be glad on any occasion to shew you a mark of my particular friendship.
“During the whole time these Indians were in England,
nothing was neglected that might serve to engage their affections, and fill them with just notions of the greatness and power of the British nation. After staying four months and seeing the grandeur of the English sovereign, they were carried to Gravesend and embarked for Georgia ; highly pleased with the generosity of the nation, and promising
picanal fidelity to its interesse method of treating bata and
“ This generosity and kind method of treating barbarians, was better policy than that of overawing them by force, and was attended, as might have been expected, with the happiest consequences.
“ To strengthen the frontier of Carolina, and promote the colony of Georgia, nothing could have been conceived more useful and effectual than a friendly intercourse with these savages in the neighborhood.
“ The most proper method of managing them was to secure the friendship of the leading men among them, whose influence however limited by the nature of their government, was nevertheless great, as they always directed the public councils in all affairs relative to peace and war."*
We have thus seen brought to a close the first act of Mr. Oglethorpe's American drama. He had appeared, played his part, and had retired. Every movement evinced the justice, magnanimity, and wisdom of his actions.
Who has not read in an hundred volumes, tributes of praise to the honor and humanity of William Penn? Who
* It will be seen, I take no notice of the report, that Mr. Oglethorpe brought out with him Sir Walter Raleigh's chart, because Dr. Hewatt speaks doubtingly of it, and because the story has, as told, internal evidence of being idle rumor. Quadrants were not then made or in use; and latitude as illy defined in charts as longitude. Sir Walter Raleigh would, in his roving course, scarcely venture into any of our barred inlets which to strangers look alarming, although a great protection to navigation after being known. And again because the Muscogalgees or Creeks, did not occupy the banks of Savannah river in Sir Walter Raleigh's time. They came from the west long afterwards, driving before them the maritime tribes, that they found in the country, among which the Shawnees were supposed one; the Yamasees who have perished within our memory another; and the Uchees are known to have belonged to those ancient maritime tribes. The Creeks considered them slaves; their language is altogether different. They were not allowed in travelling, to encamp on the northern side of the Indian path leading from Fort Hawkins (now Macon) to Montgomery, which for a long time was an Indian highway.
Colonel Hawkins and General Mitchel found it difficult to prevent the Creeks taking away from the Uchees the presents given by the American government, as they considered them still slaves. And finally, the mound the Indians are said to have pointed out as the burial place of their then king, is such as we find in five hundred places upon the coast, and are known by those most learned in Indian lore, to have existed before the present tribes. These barrows extend from Ohio to Florida, though composed of different materials in different countries. They greatly resemble the barrows that spread over the steppes of Tartary.
has not heard his conduct in the first settlement of Pennsylvania, contrasted with the conduct of the first settlers of every other colony? And surely in some instances very unjustly has this contrast been drawn; for Penn had but followed the example of Lord Baltimore at an earlier period, as well in his purchase from the Indians, of the right of soil, as in his treatment of them afterwards. But how will either of them stand, when placed in position with Mr. Oglethorpe ? They had obtained grants to themselves, and heirs, from their sovereign, of immense landed estates; and in calming Indian jealousy at their settlement, or preserving peace with them afterwards, they were but pursuing the most obvious and simple mode of making those estates profitable; and Mr. Penn took care before he left England, to extend the bounds of his territory by every means.
Mr. Oglethorpe and his associates tied themselves up, from every possible return for money or time expended, for dangers encountered, or even reputation risked. Penn's territory was flanked by the strong colonies of New York and Maryland, long since established. Mr. Oglethorpe placed himself in the front of danger with nothing behind him but the weak and divided colony of Carolina. He placed himself before the old and strong military colonies of Spain and France; and that too, just as Spain and France were awakening from a lethargy of twenty years, and in their family compacto determined to make one great struggle for dictation over the maritime nations of Europe.
Against these fearful odds, Mr. Oglethorpe took his post, reposing upon the resources of his own mind. Calm in the conviction that to wisdom, time brings opportunity. And we will see in the sequel how he availed himself of this opportunity.
Did Penn persuade the Indians to cede to him a small portion of land and to remain in peace with his colony ? — Oglethorpe procured from them willingly, all the land he desired; but he so won upon their affections, that the tribes congregated from hundred of miles around to pledge with him peace, to enter into alliances with him, to tender him the command over them, offering to follow him to war, wheresoever he wished, whether against white or red men.
And if we had no other evidence of the great abilities of Mr. Oglethorpe, but what is offered by this devotion of the
Indian tribes to him, and to his memory, for fifty years afterwards — it is all-sufficient, for it is only master minds that acquire this deep and lasting influence over other men.
Mr. Oglethorpe returned to England in the spring of 1734, having left his people at Savannah, in possession of every thing that was necessary for their comfort, and in the best possible understanding with the Indian settlements around them.
From that time until the end of the year 1735, he was engaged in collecting additional means for extending and strengthening his colony of Georgia. One hundred and thirty Highlanders were sent out under their chief, and settled at New Inverness, near Darien, upon the Alatamaha, and eighty additional Saltzburghers were established with their friends at Ebenezer, upon the Savannah river. Having made every arrangement within his power, and having collected during the year thirty thousand pounds sterling, be embarked again for Georgia; and arrived at Tybee on the 5th of February, bringing with him three hundred additional settlers, and a number of guns for the forts, that had and were to be built.
To show his unwearied diligence in all his operations I will here give a journal of his movements for a few days, published at the time.
“Mr. Oglethorpe passed the bar of Tybee on the 5th, and came to anchor in the road on the 6th. He went to Savannah town, where he ordered a new church to be built, and a wharf for the landing of goods.
“Tomachichi and Tonohowi came to welcome him, and said that the chiefs of the upper and lower Creeks were coming upon the same errand.
“On the 9th he went to Ebenezer where the Saltzburghers were settled; he arrived that night at Purysburgh, and lay at Col. Pury's house. He went afterwards to the Alatamaha river where the Highlanders are settled, and was in a Highland dress. Here a good bed was provided for him, but he declined it, and lay in the woods with Captain Dunbar.
“He the next day went down to St. Simon's island, and laid out a fort with four bastions, which he called Frederica; and commenced building it in such a situation that a canoe could not pass without being discovered ; and designed
and planned a new town behind the fort. He has ordered another fort to be built seven miles distant, at the sea point of the same island.
“ The Spaniards having sent to complain that the Indians fell upon them from all quarters, Mr. Oglethorpe sent two boats to patrol on the river St. Johns to prevent further mischief; and ordered Major Richards to St. Augustine to settle the boundaries with the Spanish Governor.”
This frank and prompt mode of acting on the part of Mr. Oglethorpe lead at length to a treaty between himself and the Governor of St. Augustine, of the most satisfactory character, which was signed at St. Augustine on the 26th October, 1736. Mr. Oglethorpe, had in despite of the recognition going on and even concluded, been most diligently employed during the summer, in completing the fortifications at St. Simons island, with the limited means within his control, and without the aid of any military science, except what he himself brought into operation. The fort at Frederica was built of tabby, and was situated at the upper end of a reach of the river, about a quarter of a mile in length. A water battery separated it from the river. Two strong bastions were on the land side — and it was surrounded by a deep intrenchment which admitted the tide. The review ground occupied about one half of the front of the bluff to the east, and the rest of the bluff was covered by a dense oak wood. In front of the centre of this wood a water battery of twelve heavy guns was placed.
In approaching Frederica every ship would have to run down for three quarters of a mile, stem on, upon this water battery, while she would receive an oblique fire from the batteries of this fort. The wood to the east end of the town covered it, and the fort too, from all fire from approaching ships — while the water battery in front of the wood, was too low to receive injury from the fire across the marsh. The wood itself was covered in its whole extent by a deep creek, bordered by a miry marsh of three hundred yards width.
I have been thus particular in describing these works, because it was there I was born — and upon them in my childhood I have sported — and because time, and the elements, and men in pursuit of other objects, have scarcely left a wreck behind. The wood has been transformed into a cotton field.