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Inmates and Servants, of the latter of which there were a great Number, part of whose Passages were paid for in the next Year on Representations made to the Trustees for that Purpose.
The Lands Granted in Trust this Year to be Cultivated for the Maintenance of an Orphan House in Georgia, were Five Hundred Acres.
The Money received this Year pursuant to Act of Parliament, was £.8,000, and in Benefactions 473?. 9*. Ad. which the Trustees applied, as also part of their former Balance to the Amount of 10,347/. As. Id. of which they exhibited an Account to the Lord Chancellor, and Master of the Rolls, pursuant to their Charter, and carried the then Remainder into their succeeding Accompt.
From the 9th June 1739, to the 9th June 1740.
A T the Time that some of the People at Savannah were so -fl clamorous for Negroes (for Seventy five Land and Freeholders of whom Fifty two were i reeholders, did not apply for them) the Province of South-Carolina was under frequent Alarms on account of their Negroes there. They had Intelligence that a Conspiracy was formed by the Negroes in Carolina to Rise and forcibly make their Way out of the Province, to put themselves under the Protection of the Spaniards; who had proclaimed Freedom to all who should run away to them from their Owners. That this Conspiracy was discovered at Winyar the most Northern Part of that Province, from whence as the Negroes must bend their Course, it argued that the other Parts of the Province must be Privy to it, and that the Rising was to be universal. Whereupon the whole Province was upon their Guard ; the number of Negroes in South-Carolina being computed to be about Forty Thousand, and the number of White Men at most not above Five Thousand. As several Negroes who were employed in Periaguas and other like Craft (which they carried off with them) had taken the Benefit of the Spaniards Proclamation and gone to Augustine, the Government of South-Carolina sent a solemn Deputation to Demand their Slaves; This Deputation consisted of Mr. Brathwaite a Member of the Council, Mr. Jiutlidge one of the Assembly, and Mr. Amian Clerk of the Assembly; But the Governor of Augustine tho' in Time of profound Peace, peremptorily refused to deliver them up, and declared he had Orders to receive all such as should come there and protect them.
Upon this, and the Petition which was sent from the Highlanders at Darien, and the Saltzburghers at Ebenezer, representing the Danger and Inconvenience of the Introduction of Negroes, the Trustees sent under their Seal * Answer to the Representation of some of the Inhabitants of Savannah.
Among the Persons to whom Grants of Land were made in order to their settling at their own Expence in the Colony, some never went over; others were Gentleman of Carolina who neglected to take up their Lands, or even desire to have them laid out; and others who quitted their Plantations, and went to reside at Savannah as Shop-keepers. One Man in particular an Apothecary Surgeon, from the beginning neglected his Grant and followed his Practice in the Town; another quitted his Plantation and betook himself to Selling of Rum: To these Two almost all the Town of Savannah were Indebted for Physick or Rum, and they first raised the Clamour that Lands might be alienable, and Negroes admitted, which would have made them Possessors of the chief Part of the Lots. To these some others who had gone at their own Expence, and had employed their Covenanted Servants on their Plantations joined themselves, taking their Servants from their Labour and letting them out to Hire in the Town for the sake of an immediate Profit, on which they lived in an idle and riotous manner; and even at the Time when their Servants were taken off from their proper Labour in their Plantations, they fomented the Clamour for Negroes in order to carry them on: The Spirit of Idleness which was very early introduced in the Town, many of the People were too ready to follow; constant Clubs have been held, and Horse Races kept up by them to amuse and divert the People from their Labour: And Delinquents (who have insulted the Laws even in the Courts of Justice and declared they would do their utmost to destroy the Colony) have when committed to Prison been abetted and supported by them. By these the beforementioned Representation was formed, and many of the People by their own Inclination to Idleness, by the Power the others had over them as Creditors, and by Hopes being given them that if they stuck together the Trustees must grant them Negroes, or see the Colony abandoned, were thus drawn in to Sign the same, in which they in a manner Demanded the Permission of Negroes and an Alteration of their Tenures.
The Trustees to make all the People as Easy and Contented as they could, published an Advertisement in the London Gazette the 8th September 1739, and other Papers, which was continued for several Days, and ordered it to be Published in the SouthCarolina Gazette, that they had resolved to enlarge their Grants on Failure of Issue Male, and to make a Provision for the Widows of the Grantees in the following manner, viz. That the Lands already Granted should on Failure of Issue Male descend to the Daughters of such Grantees, and in case there should be no Issue Male or Female, that the Grantee might Devise such Lands, and for want of such Devise that such Lands should Descend to their Heirs at Law; with a Proviso that the Possession of the Person who should enjoy such Devise should not be increased to more than Five Hundred Acres, and that the Widows of the Grantees should Hold and Enjoy the Dwelling-House, Garden, and one Moiety of the Lands their Husbands should Die seized of for and during the Term of their Lives.
* Appendix, No 11.
The Trustees directed in the Advertisement, that those who intended to have the Benefit given them should enter their respective Claims, in order that proper Grants and Conveyances in the Law might be forthwith prepared and executed for that purpose; and that no Fee or Reward was to be taken for the entering of any such Claim directly or indirectly by any Person or Persons whatsoever.
In the Month of August 1739, the Trustees received Advice from General Oglethorpe, That he had frequent Intelligence of the Spaniards endeavouring to Bribe the Indians and particular the Creek Nation into a Rupture with the English, which made it necessary for him to go to the General Assembly of the Indian Nations at the Coweta-Town about Five Hundred Miles distant from Frederica, in order to prevent such Designs and Seditions among them, and that he had been obliged to buy Horses and Presents to carry up to this Meeting, where the Choctaws (who are upon the Frontiers between the English and French Settlements) and the Chickesaws were to send their Deputies.
This Journey of General Oglethorpe's has since appeared to be of great Service to the Publick; for on the 26 August 1739. Mr. Stephens received an Express from Col. Bull Lieutenant Governor of South-Carolina, that he had Intelligence from Lieutenant Governor Clarke of New-York concerning the French Marching from Mont-Real near Quebeck with a Body of about Two Hundred Regular Troops and Five Hundred Indians, who were to be re-inforced by French and Indians in their Journey: That this Army was designed against the Indians in Friendship with his Britannick Majesty's Subjects of Carolina and Georgia who are situated near some Branches of the Mississippi River. Col. Bull added, that he should immediately dispatch an Express to the Creek-Nations with Advice to General Oglethorpe of the Contents of Lieutenant Governor Clarke's Letter, and that it was necessary that both the Provinces of Carolina and Georgia should be on their Guard, tho' if the Creek Indians should prove True the Danger would not be great; General Oglethorpe by his Treaties with the Indians in this Journey has confirmed them in the British Interest, and made a new Treaty with them whereby