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person of impartiality, how far we were from using arts* to extort by clamor a redress of our grievances.
A copy of the representation was immediately sent to Frederica, and another to Darien. The last was sent to Mr. John More M’Intosh, and under the same cover a letter to Mr. Benjamin M’Intosh. But the first kept up the other's letter, and sent his own with the representation to the General, who immediately despatched Lieutenant George Dunbar (who speaks the Highland language, and has a very fluent and artful way of talking,) who, with the assistance of More M’Intosh, and promises to the poor people of cattle, (which they afterwards got,) with several other considerations, soon persuaded them to sign a paper, the design of which, they were told, was to oppose the people of Savannah, who being enemies to the General, were petitioning against him. As for their leader M’Intosh, he was immediately set up in a store, and plentifully supplied with all kinds of goods, and has often declared, that if, by acting as he did, he could live well himself, he did not care what became of the rest of the colony; and as for his children, they might go wander in the woods with the Indians. As soon as it was heard that the representation was come to Frederica, the inhabitants were called together, and told that the people of Savannah were going to throw off the government of the trustees, and had associated together for that purpose; and therefore advised them to beware of any snare that might be laid by these people, which if they were caught in would ruin them. And thus was the design of the representation quashed both in Darien and Frederica. Some time after this a copy of the representation was sent to Mr. Oglethorpe, together with the following letter, which was wrote by an anonymous author, which we think is partly an explanation of the representation, and likewise a true view of the situation of the colony at that, time, with the character Mr. Oglethorpe then bore in it; and for these reasons we here insert it. It was directed,
“To the Honorable James Oglethorpe, Esq., General and
Commander in Chief over all his Majesty's Forces in South Carolina and Georgia, Sc. — at Frederica. “SIR,— It is the common misfortune of all who act in the
* Vide trustees' answer.
higher stations of life, to be surrounded with flatterers, who consult rather the humors, passions and prejudices of their patrons, than their honor and interest. This should induce every person in such station, who regards his own honor, interest or fame, to lend an open and attentive ear to truth, in whatever shape, or from whatever hand delivered. I who use this freedom with your Excellency, being an anonymous author, have no other bias, motive or interest in view, further than as I am a member of the colony, and a well-wisher to the happiness of society, unless a real and sincere regard to your honor and welfare, and an earnest desire to restore you to that quiet of mind and the now suspended affections of the people, which the present state of affairs must necessarily deprive you of; it is not, therefore, of consequence to inquire who writes, but what is wrote. I am, sir, a plain dealer, and shall, with the greatest respect, use you with more sincerity than ceremony; and if my arguments can attain the desired effect, you will, I doubt not, think me your and the colony's real friend. When a skilful physician would relieve his patient of a disease, he traces it from the beginning, and examines the sources and progress of it, in order that by finding out the cause, he may the more certainly apply a remedy. In the body politic the same process is necessary to effect a cure. The present languishing and almost desperate condition of the affairs of this province, is too obvious to your Excellency to need a description. Be pleased then, laying aside prepossession and prejudice, to retire unto yourself, and examine impartially whence the present misfortunes take rise, in order to which, let me present your Excellency with a view of the nation's designs in establishing this colony; and indeed they were and are nothing unsuitable to a British or Roman spirit, to wit; the establishing a strong and numerous settlement as a barrier and safeguard of British America ; to employ those persons in effecting this end who were least useful at home, and others who from the reasonableness of the proposals, should voluntarily proffer their service; to restore liberty and happiness to those who, oppressed by the common misfortunes of mankind, were groaning under the consequences of those misfortunes, and incapable to serve themselves or country at home; and lastly, to set afoot such new manufactures as might be most useful to support the colony, or tend to rectity
the balance of trade of Great Britain with neighboring nations. A design truly great, founded on the justest policy, and practicable. To suggest that any low private design was ever laid down, that might tend to make the adventurers slaves, or, at best, tenants at will ; or that it was a concert to leave the industry and substance of the settlers exposed to satisfy the ambition or covetousness of an after governor, or any particular courtier or party; or to imagine that the honorable board of trustees, or any of them, could be capable of such a concert ; I say, sir, that such a thought were impious. What wonder then, if numbers of persons, encouraged by his Majesty's most ample rights and privileges granted in his royal charter to the honorable trustees, for the behalf of the inhabitants; from the beautiful description of the fertility of the soil, and happiness of the climate ; and lastly, from a view that Mr. Oglethorpe, a gentleman of the greatest humanity and generosity, was willing to sacrifice his ease, and all those pleasures and enjoyments which his easy circumstances of life entitled him to, in order to be the patron and father of the distressed, and the distinguished friend of his country, society and human nature; I say, sir, no wonder if numbers, upon those views, embarked their persons, families and fates in such an adventure. Shall any thing then intervene to render such a noble design abortive, and frustrate those of their expected happiness, or your Excellency of your deserved honor? God forbid !
“ This colony consists of two sorts of people; either those whom the public sent over and supported, or volunteers,* who were not burthensome to the public ; both now I look upon in the same light; as either party have exhausted their support or private stocks, in endeavoring to prosecute the intended plan; but it shall suffice for my argument, that so many of each kind have applied themselves to this purpose, as are sufficient to confirm the experiment, that it is impossible for us with British or foreign servants, to afford the lowest necessaries of life, much less to increase our stocks, or defray the many exigencies and disappointments that this soil and climate are inevitably exposed to. This I take to be granted; and would to God the success of the colony depended on the laying the most satisfying proof of it! And as for persons
* By this word was meant those persons who settled in Georgia upon their own expense.
who, from selfish views, have imposed upon the credulity of the honorable trustees, by representing things in colors distant from truth, it were superfluous to curse them. I do not say, but in time manufactures may be founded more suitable to the strength and constitution of British servants, that might support and enrich the colony ; I heartily pray for that happy period; and should then condemn and dissent from any who would not be content with the present regulation; but as in the interim production of necessaries is absolutely requisite, and under the present establishment impracticable, it follows of course, that either the scheme must be altered, or the design abandoned. At the first it was a trial, now it is an experiment; and certainly no man or society need be ashamed to own, that from unforeseen emergencies their hypothesis did misgive; and no person of judgment would censure for want of success where the proposal was probable; but all the world would exclaim against that person or society who, through mistaken notions of honor or positiveness of temper, would persist in pushing an experiment contrary to all probability, to the ruin of the adventurers. How many methods may be found out by the wisdom of the trustees, for remedying this inconvenience, I know not; one only occurs to me, which is, the admitting a certain number of negroes, sufficient to ease the white servants from those labors that are most fatal to a British constitution. I am very sensible of the inconveniences of an unlimited use of them in a frontier colony ; but am as sensible, that those inconveniences may be prevented by prudent regulations; and their admission for executing the more laborious parts of culture made the means to attract numbers of white servants, who would otherwise fly the place as a purgatory or charnel. house. If our labor and toil is not capable of producing mere necessaries by cultivation of land, much less by trade; for as all the neighboring colonies, by reason of their negroes, prosecute all branches of it at a sixth part of the expense we can, they would forever preclude us of any benefit therefrom. And supposing, what cannot be admitted, that the nation would consent to give a perpetual fund for making up all those deficiencies, what benefit could ever accrue to the nation? or what to the settlers but a present bare sustenance ? and what the certain consequence but the bequeathing a numerous legacy of orphans to the care of
Providence, since no period of time can be affixed when such a support would enable us to provide for ourselves ? A second reason which disables us to improve either by land or trade, is our want of credit. You know very well that both the mercantile and the mechanic part of mankind, live more by credit than stock; and the man who has a probable scheme of improving credit, is naturally entitled to it. As we have no stock further to dispense, either in cultivation or trade, we are reduced to need the support of credit; which the present restrictions of our legal rights and titles to our land deprive us of. It is true, indeed, the trustees have assured us, that those and other restrictions are only temporary, and for the welfare of the first settlement, until a proper body of laws, which was upon the carpet, should be perfected ; and I am far from disputing the reasonableness of that resolution, while either the public support or private stocks kept us from needing credit; but that now the case is altered, the necessity of removing those restrictions is arrived, to preserve the remains of the colony not yet dissolved, and far too late for hundreds whom necessity has dispersed in other corners of the world : this is a truth, sir, too obvious to need further enlargement.
“Hence it is clear, we can insist on demanding our privileges as British subjects, from the trustees' promises; but we likewise claim them as law, justice and property. Your Excellency was pleased in the court house of Savannah to use a comparison to satisfy the minds of the people, of a man who would lend his horse but not his saddle, which one refusing another accepted of. This, I humbly take it, no ways meets the case; the king's majesty was owner both of horse and saddle, of lands and rights, and gave us both in his charter; we ask but what is there given us. The reliance on the public faith brought us to this colony ; and to endeavor to obviate or disappoint the effects of those promises which tempted us here, were to justify the decoying us to misery, under the sanction of the royal authority, than which nothing could be more injurious to the fountain of honor. I shall suppose, that were full and ample rights given, that some idle persons, who had no judgment to value, or inclination to improve their properties, no affections for their families or relations, might dispose of their rights for a glass of rum; but I absolutely deny, that the colony could lose by