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The Oak Land commonly lies in narrow Streaks between Pine Land and Swamps, Creeks or Rivers; The Soil is a blackish Sand, producing several Kinds of Oak, Bay, Laurel, Ash, Wallnut, Sumach and Gum Trees, a sort of Sycamore, Dog Trees and Hickory: In the choicest Part of this Land prow Parsimon Trees, and a few Black Mulberry and American Cherry Trees: The common wild Grapes are of two sorts, both red; the Fox Grape grow two or three only on a Stalk, is thickskin'd, large ston'd, of a harsh Taste, and of the Size of a small Cherry; the Cluster Grape is of a harsh Taste too, and about the Size of a white Curran. This.Land requires much I.nhr^r to clear; but when it is cleared, it will bear any Grain, for three, ~ftWff Orflbe Years sometimes without laying any Manure upon it: An Acre of it generally produces Tev Biv4rels of Indian Corn, besides five of Pease, in a Year; so that this is justly esteem'd the most valuable Land in the Province, white People being incapable to clear and cultivate the Swamps.
A Swamp is any low watry Place, which is covered with Trees or Canes: They are here of three sorts, Cypress, River and Cane Swamps: Cypress Swamps are mostly large Ponds, in and round which Cypresses grow: Most River Swamps are overflown on every Side by the River which runs through or near them; if they were drain'd they would produce good Rice: as would the Cane Swa?nps also, which in the mean Time are the best Feeding for all Sorts of Cattle.
The Marshes are of two sorts; soft wet Marsh which is all a Quagmire, and absolutely good for Nothing, and hard Marsh, which is a firm Sand; but however at some Seasons is good for feeding Cattle: Marshes of both sorts abound on the Sea-Islands, which are very numerous, and contain all sorts of Land; and upon these chiefly, near Creeks and Runs of Water, Cedcr Trees grow.
We shall only add to the above, That considering no Land can be sowed (or at least what is sowed preserved) till the same is inclosed, that^ye Acres is the utmost a very able and laborious Man can propose to manage ; this being the Quantity allotted for the Task of a Negro in the Neighbouring Province, which Negro works four Hours each Day more than a white Man can do.
It must next be noticed, that with regard to the above Returns (suppose a prosperous Season without Disappointments; which is not the Case in such small Improvements as can be expected in an infant Colony one Year in five) either Drought burns or Rain drowns the Corn, and makes the Pease fall out of the Pod; Deer (which no Fences can exclude) devour those little settlements in a Night; Rats and Squirrels do the same; Birds
for above a Mile in Breadth South-East and North-West; beyond this, Eastward, is a River Swamp; Westward, a small Body of Wood-land, (in which was the old Indian Town) separated by a Creek from a large Tract of Land, which runs upwards along the Side of the River, for the Space of about five Miles; and being, by far, the best near the Town is reserved for the Indians, as General Oglethorpe declares, as are also some of the Islands in the River Savannah, and the theee most valuable Islands upon aU the Coast of that Province, viz. Ossiba, St. Katherine and Sapula. South-West of the Town is a Pine Barren that extends about fourteen Miles lo Vernon River.
On the East Side of the Town is situated the Publick Garden (being ten Acres inclos'd, on a barren Piece of Land, where it is hardly possible for what is planted to live, but impossible to thrive; and from this Garden were all the Planters to have been furnished with Mulberry-Trees, fyc.
The Plan of the Town was beautifully laid out in Wards, Tythings, and Publick Squares left at proper Distances for Markets and Publick Buildings; the Whole making an agreeable Uniformity.
The Publick Works in this Town are, 1st, A Court-house being one handsome Room with a piache on three Sides: This likewise, serves for a Church for Divine Service ; none having been ever built, notwithstanding the Trustees in their Publick Acts, acknowledge the Receipt of about Seven Hundred Pounds Sterling, from charitable Persons for that express Purpose.
'idly, Opposite to the Court-House stands the Logg House or Prison (which is the only one remaining of five or six that have been successively built in Savannah^ that Place of Terror and Support of absolute Power in Georgia.
idly, Nigh thereto is a House built of Loggs, at a very great Charge,, as was said, for the Trustees Steward; the Foundation below Ground is already rotten,*as the whole Fabrick must be in a short Time; for the Roof being flat, the Rain comes in at all Parts of it.
4th, The Store-house, which has been many Times altered and amended at a very great Charge; and it now serves as a Store for the private Benefit of one or two, as before mentioned.
5th, The Guard-house, which was first built on the Bluff scon decayed ; as did a second thro' improper Management; this now standing being the third. Several Flag-Staffs were likewise erected, the last of which, according to common Report, cost 50 I. Sterling.
* In August, 1740, a new Foundation wai begun.
6th, A Publick Mill for grinding Corn, was first erected at a considerable Expence, in one Square of the Town; but in about three Years Time (without doing the least Service) it fell to the Ground: In another Square of the Town a second was set up, at a far greater Expence, but never finished, and is now erased and converted into a House for entertaining the Indians, and other such like Uses.
1th, Wells and Pumps were made at a great Charge; but they were immediately choaked up, and never rendered useful, though this Grievance was frequently represented both to the General and Magistrates; the Want of Wells obliging the Inhabitants to use the River Water. which all the Summer over is polluted with putrid Marshes and the numberless Insects that deposite their Ova there, together with putrified Carcasses of Animals and corrupted Vegetables; and this no doubt occasioned much of the Sickness that swept off many.
Several of the Houses which were built by Free-holders, for Want of Heirs Male, are fallen to the Trustees (even to the Prejudice of the lawful Creditors of the Deceased) and are disposed of as the General thinks proper.
At least Two Hundred Lots were taken up in Savannah, about One Hundred and Seventy of which were built *upon; a great many of these are now ruinous, and many more shut up and abandoned; so that the Town appears very desolate, scarce one quarter part of it's Inhabitants being left, and most of those in a miserable Condition, for Want of the proper Necessaries of Life.
St. SIMONS Island, having on the East the Gulf of Florida, on the other sides Branches of die Alatamaha, is about One Hundred Miles South of Savannah, and extends in Length about Twenty, in Breadth from two to five Miles: On the West Side of it, on a low Bluff, stands FREDERICA, having Woods to the North and South, to the East partly Woods, partly Savannas and partly Marsh.
The soil is mostly blackish Sand; the Fortifications are augmented since the Retreat from Augustine, and here lie most of the Remains of General Oglethorpe's Regiment: Frederica was laid out in Form of a Crescent, divided into One Hundred and Forty Four Lots whereof about Fifty were built upon ; the Number of the Inhabitants, notwithstanding of the Circulation of the Regiment's Money, are not. above One Hundred and Twenty, Men, Women and Children, and these are daily stealing away by all possible Ways. On the Sea Point, about five Miles South East of the Town, were three Companies of the Soldiers stationed before the Attempt upon St. Augustine; several pretty Houses were buih by the Officers, and many Lots set off to the Soldiers and entered upon by them; most if not all now desolate. Several of the Officers of the Regiment brought over Servants to cultivate Land; Col. Cochran 20 Servants; Lieut. Horton at Jekyl, 16 Servants; Capt. Gascoign at least as many; all gone; and, according to the best of our Information, about Two Hundred of the Regiment are diminished.
* Several of these bad mora thin am House upon then.
About Twenty Miles North-West from St. Simons, is DARIEN, the Settlement of the Scots High-Landers; the Town is situate on the Main Land, close to a Branch of the Alatamaha River, on a Bluff Twenty Feet high; the Town is surrounded on all sides with Woods; the Soil is a blackish Sand: Here were upwards of Two Hundred and Fifty Persons Settled, who in Spring, 1736, built a large Fort for their own Protection; and the poor Remains of these are now no more than Fifty three (above two Thirds of which are Women and Children) besides tleven of the Trustees Servants inlisted as Soldiers, and stationed there under the Command of an Officer, in order to keep the others from going away, who are nevertheless making their. Escape daily.
The Southermost Settlement in Georgia, is FORT St. ANDREWS, Fifty Miles South .from Frederica, on the SouthWest side of Cumberland Island, upon a high Neck of Land which commands the River both Ways; the Walls are of Wood, fill'd up with Earth, round which are a Ditch and Pallisade; two Companies of General Oglethorpe's Regiment were formerly stationed there, but are now mostly drawn to Frederica.
Opposite to Frederica, on the Main, were settled Messrs. Carr and Carteret, with above Twenty Servants, where they cleared a considerable Tract of Land; but that Plantation is now quitted, and their Servants either dead or dispersed. We have lately heard from Frederica, that the General having station'd 10 or 12 Men upon this Place, they were attacked by Spaniards or Spanish Indians, 4 were killed, 4 carried off and 2 left wounded.
NEWEBENEZER, to which the Saltzburghers removed from their former Habitation at Old Ebenezer, consists of about One Hundred Persons, under the Government of Mr. Boltzius, their Pastor; they live and labour in a kind of Community, and never commix or associate with Strangers; they have been hitherto liberally supported both from Germany and England, and their Rights and Privileges have been much more extensive than any others in the Colony: This Town lies six Miles Eastward from