Today’s installment concludes Settlement Of Georgia (A.D. 1732),
our selection from History of Georgia by William B. Stevens published in 1847. For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages.
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Previously in Settlement Of Georgia (A.D. 1732).
The most generous assistance was given them by South Carolina. The Assembly, which met in Charleston three days after the arrival of the emigrants, immediately resolved to furnish the colony with large supplies of cattle and rice; to provide boats for the transportation of
the people from Port Royal to Savannah; and placed under Oglethorpe’s command the scout-boats and a troop of fifteen rangers for his
protection. They further appointed Colonel William Bull one of the Governor’s council, and a gentleman esteemed “most capable of assisting Oglethorpe in settling the colony by reason of his experience in colonial affairs, the nature of lands and the intercourse with Indians,” to attend him and offer him his advice and assistance. Such was the readiness of all to assist him that the Governor wrote, “Had not our Assembly been sitting I would have gone myself.”
Nor was private benevolence in any way behind public munificence. It is pleasant, in looking over the list of individual benefactions, to read such records as these:
February. –“Colonel Bull came to Savannah with four laborers, and assisted the colony for a month; he himself measuring the scantling, and setting out the work for the sawyers, and giving the proportion of the houses. Mr. Whitaker and his friends sent the colony one hundred head of cattle. Mr. St. Julian came to Savannah and stayed a month, directing the people in building their houses and other work. Mr. Hume gave a silver boat and spoon for the first child born in Georgia, which being born of Mrs. Close, were given accordingly. Mr. Joseph Bryan himself, with four of his sawyers, gave two months’ work in the colony. The inhabitants of Edisto sent sixteen sheep. Mr. Hammerton gave a drum. Mrs. Ann Drayton sent two pair of sawyers to work in the colony. Colonel Bull and Mr. Bryan came to Savannah with twenty servants, whose labor they gave to the colony. His excellency Robert Johnson gave seven horses, valued at twenty-five pounds, Carolina currency.”
These, with many other like records, evince their spirit in promoting the settlement of Georgia. And well they might; for the planting of this colony to the south of the Savannah increased their security from invasion by the Spaniards, and from the incursions and massacres of the Indian tribes, and still further operated as a preventive to the enticing lures held out to the negroes, by which desertion was rendered common and insurrection always dreaded. They were prepared, therefore, to hail the new colony as a bulwark against their Floridian and savage enemies, as opening further opportunities of trade, and as enhancing the value of their frontier possessions, which, according to the best authorities, were raised to five times their former value about Port Royal and the Savannah River.
The fostering care of South Carolina was to be repaid by the protecting service of Georgia. The labors of the colonists were great, but they had much to cheer them; and the assiduity and attention of Oglethorpe won upon their hearts so that they styled him “Father,” and he exercised his paternal care by unremitting efforts to advance their welfare. He spared not himself in any personal efforts, but took his turn regularly in doing night-guard duty, as an example to the rest, and at times worked at the hardest labor to encourage their industry.
Having put Savannah in a posture of defence, supplied it with provisions, and taken hostages of the Indians, Oglethorpe set out for Charleston, attended by Tomochichi and his two nephews, being desirous of cultivating the acquaintance and securing the good offices of the Governor, council, and Assembly of South Carolina. At Charleston he was met at the water-side by his excellency the Governor and council, who conducted him to Governor Johnson’s house, where the speaker and House of Assembly came to present their official congratulations on his arrival. His solicitations for assistance were promptly answered. The Assembly voted two thousand pounds currency for the assistance of Georgia the first year, and soon after the committee of supply brought in a bill for granting eight thousand pounds currency for the use of the new colony the ensuing year. The citizens also subscribed one thousand pounds currency, five hundred pounds of which were immediately paid down.
Grateful for this munificence Oglethorpe returned to Georgia to meet the great council of the towns of the Lower Creeks, whom he had desired to meet him in Savannah to strengthen the provisional treaty already made with Tomochichi, and secure their abiding amity for the future. In answer to this desire, eighteen chief men and their attendants, making in all about fifty, came together from the nine tribes of the nation, and met him in solemn council on the afternoon of May 18th. Speeches, not lacking in interest, but full of Indian hyperbole and the inflations of interpreters, were made by the chiefs, and answered by Oglethorpe through the medium of Messrs. Wiggin and Musgrove; and on May 21st the treaty was concluded.
The principal stipulations of it were that the trustees’ people should trade in the Indian towns; their goods being sold according to fixed rates mutually agreed upon: thus, a white blanket was set down at five buckskins, a gun at ten; a hatchet at three doeskins, a knife at one, and so on. Restitution and reparation were to be made for injuries committed and losses sustained by either party; the criminals to be tried by English law. Trade to be stopped with any town violating any article of the treaty. All lands not used by the Indians were to be possessed by the English, but, upon the settling of any new town, certain lands agreed on between the chiefs and the magistrates were to be reserved for the former. All runaway negroes were to be restored to Carolina, the Indians receiving for each one thus recovered four blankets and two guns, or the value thereof in other goods. And lastly, they agreed, with “straight hearts” and “true love,” to allow no other white people to settle on their lands, but ever to protect the English. The Indians, having received suitable presents, were dismissed in amity and peace; while Oglethorpe left the same day for Charleston, satisfied at having obtained, by such honorable means, the cession of such a fine country to the crown of England. This treaty was ratified by the trustees the following October.
The judicious and honorable conduct of Oglethorpe toward the Indians was of more security to the colony than its military defences. For a long time he had regarded the Indians with kindly feelings. At his suggestion Bishop Wilson, one of the bright and shining lights of the English Church, wrote <em>An Essay Toward an Instruction for the Indians,/em>, which he dedicated to Oglethorpe; and, now that he met them on their native soil, he evinced the same care for their interests, and through life manifested in all his acts his regard for their welfare. He was the red man’s friend; showing in his intercourse with him the honorableness of William Penn, without his private interests to subserve; the generosity of Lord Baltimore, without a patent of immense tracts to
secure to his descendants; the compassion of Roger Williams, without his mercantile views, to incite him to foster among the Indians kindness and regard.
Oglethorpe stands superior to all, because he had no private end to gratify, no lands to secure, no property to invest, no wealth to accumulate from or among the tribes whose amity he cultivated.
The art of the painter has commemorated the treaty of Penn with the Leni Lenapes, under the elm-tree of Shakamaxon; but neither this scene on the north edge of Philadelphia, nor the treaty of Roger Williams with “the old Prince Caconicas” at Seconke, nor the alliance of Leonard Calvert with the Susquehannas at Yoacomoco, excels, in any element of philanthropy or in any trait of nobleness, the treaty of Oglethorpe with the tribes of the Muscogees, under the “four pine-trees” on the bluff of Yamacraw.
This ends our series of passages on Settlement Of Georgia (A.D. 1732) by William B. Stevens from his book History of Georgia published in 1847. This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.
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