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fort about a mile distant from the castle, which had been abandoned by the Spaniards at the General's first approach) where they were soon after attacked by a superior force of the enemy, and a miserable slaughter ensued, scarcely one third of the number escaping, the others being either killed or taken prisoners. Thus these poor people, who, at the expense of their consciences, signed a representation contrary to their own interest and experience, and gave themselves entirely up to the General's service, by their deaths at once freed his Excellency from his debts and promises, and put an end to the settlement of Darien ; for there are now in that place not one quarter part of the number who settled there at first, and that is made up chiefly of women and children; and a scout boat is stationed before the town to prevent any of them from going off.
This siege was raised about the latter end of July; the General with the remainder of his regiment returned to Frederica; the Carolina forces were shipped off for that province; the few Georgians that were left repaired, as soon as they were allowed, to their several homes in a miserable condition; and the Indians marched towards their respective countries, very much weakened and discontented; the Cherokees returned (as they came) by Savannah, and of one hundred and ten healthy men, only about twenty got to their nation, the rest either perished by sickness or were slain; and thus ended the campaign in Florida.
During these transactions, Savannah decayed apace, and in August and September the same year, people went away by twenties in a vessel, insomuch that one would have thought the place must have been entirely forsaken ; for in these two months about one hundred souls out of the county of Savannah left the colony; many others have since left it, and, we believe, more will leave it very soon.
The boats with their hands which the General employed at that unfortunate expedition, he neither will pay, subsist or let depart from that place; however, they are stealing away October, by degrees ;* and at this time, of about five thou
sand souls that had, at various embarkations, ar1740.
rived in the colony of Georgia, (exclusive of the regiment) scarce as many hundreds remain; and those con
* We are now informed, that they all got away, some of them being paid and some not.
sist of the Saltzburgers at Ebenezer, who are yearly supported from Germany and England; the people of Frederica, who are supported by means of the regiment; the poor remainder of the Darien ; a few orphans, and others under that denomination, supported by Mr. Whitefield"; together with some Dutch servants maintained for doing nothing by the trustees, with thirty or forty necessary tools to keep the others in subjection ; and those make up the poor remains of the miserable colony of Georgia !*
Having now brought down this work to the month of October, 1740, being about the time most of the authors of this narrative were obliged to leave that fatal colony, we shall conclude the whole with a geographical and historical account of its present state.
GEORGIA lies in the 30th and 31st degrees of north latitude. The air generally clear, the rains being much shorter as well as heavier than in England; the dews are very great; thunder and lightning are expected almost every day in May, June, July and August; they are very terrible, especially to a stranger. During those months, from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon, the sun is extremely scorching; but the sea-breeze sometimes blows from ten till three or four. The winter is nearly of the same length as in England; but the mid-day sun is always warm, even when the mornings and evenings are very sharp, and the nights piercing cold.
The land is of four sorts; pine barren, oak land, swamp, and marsh. The pine land is of_far the greatest extent, especially near the sea-coasts. The soil of this is a dry whitish sand, producing shrubs of several sorts, and between them a harsh coarse kind of grass, which cattle do not love to feed upon; but here and there is a little of a better kind, especially in the savannahs, (so they call the low watery meadows which are usually intermixed with pine lands.) It bears naturally two sorts of fruit; whortle-berries, much like those in England, and chinquopin nuts, a dry nut about the size of a small acorn. A laborious man may in one year clear and plant four or five acres of this land ; it will produce
. It is here to be observed, that we have excluded the settlement of Augusta, it being upon a quite different footing.
the first year from two to four bushels of Indian corn, and from four to eight of Indian pease per acre; the second year it usually bears much about the same; the third, less; the fourth, little or nothing. Peaches it bears well; likewise the white mulberry, which serves to feed the silk worms; the black is about the size of a black cherry, and has much the same flavor.
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, walnut, sumach and gum trees, a sort of sycamore, dog trees, and hickory. In the choicest part of this land grow 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 thickskinned, large stoned, of a harsh taste, and of the size of small cherry; the cluster grape is of a harsh taste too, and about the size of a white currant. This land requires much labor to clear; but when it is cleared, it will bear any grain, for three, four or five years sometimes, without laying any manure upon it. An acre of it generally produces ten bushels of Indian corn, besides five of pease, in a year; so that this is justly esteemed the most valuable land in the province, white people being incapable to clear and cultivate
A swamp is any low watery 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 drained they would produce good rice; as would the cane swamps also, which in the meantime 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 watar, cedar 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 five 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 neighboring 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 eat the seed out of the ground, and dig up the blade after it is spired ; and variety of worms and insects devour the one half of it. But let us suppose none of those evils happened ; let us view the amount of the produce valued at the highest rate.
The produce of five acres of pine land raised by one hand the first
year. Indian corn, 20 bushels at 10s. l. d. currency per bushel.
5 0 sterling Indian pease, 40 bushels at ditto. 2 10 0
Total of first year's produce,
3 15 The second year the same; the third less, the fourth little or nothing.
Best oak land, five acres, at 15 bushels of corn and pease per acre, is seventy-five bushels, at ditto price, is 41. 13s. 9d. sterling.
Let us next consider the maintenance of every single white servant per annum, at the lowest rate, and then the reader will be able to judge whether white people can get their livelihood by planting land in this climate without negroes ? And the allowance to the trustees' Dutch servants being the least at which any white servant could be maintained in Georgia, we shall therefore take our estimation from it, which is eight pence sterling per day or 121. 3s. 4d. sterling per annum ; so that at a medium, the expense is three times greater than the produce, besides tools, medicines and other necessaries.
We must likewise observe, that the proportion of pine barren to either good swamp or oak and hickory land, is at least six to one; that the far greater number of the small lots have none or very little oak land; and if they had swamp that would bear rice, white people are unable to clear them if they
are covered with trees, and though only with canes, which is the easiest to cultivate; it were simply impossible to manufacture the rice by white men; the exercise being so severe, that no negro can be employed in any other work or labor comparable to it, and many hundreds of them (notwithstanding all the care of their masters,) yearly lose their lives by that necessary work.
Savannah stands on a flat bluff, (so they terni a high land hanging over a creek or river,) which rises about forty feet perpendicular from the river, and commands it several miles, both upwards and downwards, and if it was not for a point of woods which, about four miles down the river, stretches itself out towards the south-east, one might have a view of the sea, and the island of Tybee. The soil is a white sand 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 three most valuable islands upon all 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 to Vernon river.
On the east side of the town is situated the public garden, being ten acres enclosed, 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, &c.
The plan of the town was beautifully laid out in wards, tithings, and public squares left at proper distances for markets and public buildings; the whole making an agreeable uniformity.
The public works in this town are, Ist, 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 public acts, acknowledge the receipt of about seven hundred pounds sterling from charitable persons, for that express purpose.