Abbildungen der Seite

amidst disappointments and wants; and there is no altering the course of nature. Love and gratitude are the tribute of favors and protections, and resentment the consequence of injuries received; and in disappointments of this nature much more reasonably than in those of love, do the contrary passions take place in the same degree. What then remains, but that you embrace those obvious measures, that will retrieve our desperate affairs ; restore to us, in Mr. Oglethorpe, our father and protector, whose honor and affection was depended upon ; secure to yourself a society that loves and honors you; and who will always be ready to sacrifice both life and fortune to your honor and protection ; and your name with blessings will be perpetuated. If in this I have, by a sincere and well meant freedom, given offence, I heartily ask pardon; none was intended : and I only request, that while truth keeps the stage, the author may be allowed to remain incog, behind the scenes.”

“ THE PLAIN DEALER." [This letter was attributed to the pen of Patrick Tailfer.]

When gen. Oglethorpe received this letter, he had devoted six years of the prime of his life to their service; crossed the atlantic ocean five times; spent a large portion of his private funds ; exposed his person to hardships in an inhospitable climate and to the dangers of the sea ; secluded himself from the society of a court, where he might have rolled in easy affluence and indulged

in luxury. These sacrifices were made without the expectation of any other reward, than the gratification of closing a well spent life, with the sweet consolation of having devoted a considerable portion of it to the good of his country, and to the happiness and advantage of his fellowcreatures.

Foreseeing that no bounds could be limited to the introduction of slaves, which would not be ruinous to the colony in its present situation, he determined to persevere in the prohibition of negroes, until the state of the country would justify a change of policy.

The darling object of general Oglethorpe, was to restrain the Spaniards to the south of St. Johns; for which purpose he had a chain of forts from Augusta to the mouth of that river. The geography of the country at that time was very little known, and in support of his claim, in his discussions with the Spaniards, he contended that the St. Johns was the real southern branch of the Alatamaha. His establishments on St. Simons and Jekyl, were very considerable and admirably built. His large brewery on Jekyl, furnished beer for all the troops in great abundance; but notwithstanding his determination to keep ardent spirits out of the province, it was found impracticable after the arrival of his regiment, and so feeble were the exertions to suppress this uncontrolable desire of quaffing this nectar of the Scotch, that gen. Oglethorpe, while setting in the draw

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

ing rooms of respectable settlers or officers, they would frequently retire to an adjoining room and indulge in the use of ardent spirits ; at the smell of which he would say-woe to the liquor if it came to his sight: that which he discovered was always thrown away. In short, we can have but feint ideas of the difficulties which he had to encounter, to preserve that kind of order and support those rules, which he thought best calculated for the government of the people.

Before the general returned from England, several merchants and captains of vessels, having their own interest only in view, carried into the colony from New-York and other places, large cargoes of provisions and other articles, which the store-keeper at Savannah had been bribed to purchase on account of the trustees, without their authority. The amounts were considerable and the funds were found unequal to the discharge of the debts. The trustees, having a due regard to their public credit, gave public notice, that all the expenses which they had ordered, or should thereafter order to be incurred in America, for the use of the colony, should be defrayed and paid for in Georgia, in sola bills of exchange only, under their seal : and that no person whatsoever had any authority from them, or in their name, or for their account, to purchase or receive any cargoes of provisions, stores or other necessaries, without paying for them in the said sola bills.

The trustees, both by letters and instructions,

[ocr errors]

io their magistrates, had frequently exhorted and encouraged the people to the cultivation of their lands as a source on which they must soon depend for their support; and as many of those who were sent over on the charity of the trustees, as well as others who had come from other colonies for a temporary maintenance, continuing in their idle habits, had become burthensome vagabonds; they gave orders to discontinue supplies to those who neglected to cultivate their lands.

In the last year, the assembly of South Carolina, passed an ordinance for raising a sum to indemnify their traders, in cpposition to an act which was approved by his majesty in council, for maintaining the peace with the Indians in the province of Georgia: upon a memorial from the trustees complaining of the ordinance of Carolina, and upon a petition of the council and assembly of South-Carolina, against the act approved by his majesty, there was a solemn hear. ing before the lords commissioners of trade and plantations, and afterwards, before a committee of the lords of his majesty's privy council : Whereupon his majesty was pleased to order, that the said ordinance of South-Carolina, should be repealed and declared void; and to instruct the trustees to prepare a proper act or ordinance, for settling the trade carried on by the provinces of South-Carolina and Georgia with the Indians, on such footing as might be mutually beneficial to both provinces ; which was notified to the gover,


nor of South Carolina. General Oglethorpe was also furnished with a copy, accompanied with instructions, to consult with lieut. governor Bull; that the result of their deliberations might be transmitted to the trustees for their consideration; and that in the mean time, the commissioners of the two provinces, might proceed to concert such measures as to carry on a mutual trade with the Indians in both provinces.

William Stephens, who had lately been appointed secretary in Georgia, informed the trustees that the grand jury at Savannah, claimed the right of administering oaths, and making enquiry thereon, into all such matters as they should think fit; and the trustees having perceived in a representation from them, that they had exercised such power, Stephens was instructed to acquaint them, that the trustees were sensible of the mischievous consequences which might arise from the exercise of such power, by having themselves placed upon the pannel, if this claim of the grand jury was admitted.

In another letter received by the trustees from Stephens, he renewed the representation of theuneasiness and discontents which prevailed amongst the people, against the tenures upon which they held their lands, and related many instances of injustice being practised by the male heir, against the widowed mother and her other children: He urged for their consideration that the colony had been so long established, the inhabitants be

« ZurückWeiter »