BIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIALS OF JAMES OGLETHORPE,
FOUNDER OF THE COLONY OF GEORGIA, IN NORTH AMERICA.
by THADDEUS MASON HARRIS, D.D.
MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES; OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY AT ATHENS, GREECE; OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY; THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY; THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY; AND CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
TO THE PRESIDENT, THE VICE PRESIDENTS, THE OFFICERS AND MEMBERS
GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
THIS WORK IS
TO I.K. TEFFT, ESQ., WILLIAM B. STEVENS, M.D., AND A.A. SMETS, ESQ., _OF SAVANNAH_;
WITH A LIVELY SENSE OF THE INTEREST WHICH THEY HAVE TAKEN IN THE PUBLICATION OF THIS WORK, THIS PAGE IS INSCRIBED BY THEIR OBLIGED AND GRATEFUL FRIEND,
THADDEUS MASON HARRIS.
“Thy great example will in glory shine, A favorite theme with Poet and Divine;
Posterity thy merits shall proclaim, And add new honor to thy deathless fame.”
_On his return from Georgia_, 1735.
[Illustration: GEN. JAMES OGLETHORPE. _This sketch was taken in February preceding his decease when he was reading without spectacles at the sale of the library of Dr. S. Johnson.
Having visited the South for the benefit of my health, I arrived at Savannah, in Georgia, on the 10th of February, 1834; and, indulging the common inquisitiveness of a stranger about the place, was informed that just one hundred and one years had elapsed since the first settlers were landed there, and the city laid out. Replies to other inquiries, and especially a perusal of McCall’s History of the State, excited a lively interest in the character of General OGLETHORPE, who was the founder of the Colony, and in the measures which he pursued for its advancement, defence, and prosperity. I was, however, surprised to learn that no biography had been published of the man who projected an undertaking of such magnitude and importance; engaged in it on principles the most benevolent and disinterested; persevered till its accomplishment, under circumstances exceedingly arduous, and often discouraging; and lived to see “a few become a thousand,” and a weak one “the flourishing part of a strong nation.”
So extraordinary did Dr. Johnson consider the adventures, enterprise, and exploits of this remarkable man, that “he urged him to give the world his life.” He said, “I know of no man whose life would be more interesting. If I were furnished with materials, I would be very glad to write it.” This was a flattering offer. The very suggestion implied that the great and worthy deeds, which Oglethorpe had performed, ought to be recorded for the instruction, the grateful acknowledgment, and just commendation of contemporaries; and their memorial transmitted with honor to posterity. “The General seemed unwilling to enter upon it then;” but, upon a subsequent occasion, communicated to Boswell a number of particulars, which were committed to writing; but that gentleman “not having been sufficiently diligent in obtaining more from him,” death closed the opportunity of procuring all the requisite information.
There was a memoir drawn up soon after his decease, which has been attributed to Capel Lofft, Esq., and published in the European Magazine. This was afterwards adopted by Major McCall; and, in an abridged form, appended to the first volume of his History of Georgia. It is preserved, also, as a note, in the second volume of Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, with some references and additional information. But it is too brief and meagre to do justice to the memory of one of whom it has been said, “His life was full of variety, adventure, and achievement. His ruling passions were, the love of glory, of his country, and of mankind; and these were so blended together in his mind that they formed but one principle of action. He was a hero, a statesman, an orator; the patron of letters, the chosen friend of men of genius, and the theme of praise for great poets.” The writer of this elegant encomium, adds this remark: “AN AUTHENTIC AND TOLERABLY MINUTE LIFE OF OGLETHORPE IS A DESIDERATUM.” Such a desideratum I have endeavored to supply. This, however, has been a very difficult undertaking; the materials for composing it, excepting what relates to the settlement of Georgia, were to be sought after in the periodicals of the day, or discovered by references to him in the writings or memoirs of his contemporaries. I have searched all the sources of information to which I could have access, with the aim to collect what had been scattered; to point out what had been overlooked; and, from the oblivion into which they had fallen, to rescue the notices of some striking incidents and occurrences in the life of Oglethorpe, in order to give consistency and completeness to a narrative of the little that had been preserved and was generally known.
[Footnote 1: Gulian Veerplanck, Esq. _Anniversary Discourse before the New York Historical Society_, December 7, 1818, page 33.]
To use the words of one who had experience in a similar undertaking: “The biographer of our day is too often perplexed in the toil of his researches after adequate information for composing the history of men who were an honor to their age, and of whom posterity is anxious to know whatever may be added to increase the need of that veneration, which, from deficient knowledge, they can but imperfectly bestow.”
My collected notices I have arranged so as to form a continuous narrative, though with some wide interruptions. The statements of the most important transactions have generally been made in the terms of original documents, or the publications of the day; as I deemed it more just and proper so to do, than to give them my own coloring. And I must apprize the reader, that instead of aiming to express the recital in the fluency of rhetorical diction, or of aspiring to decorate my style of composition with studied embellishments, MY PURPOSE HAS SIMPLY AND UNIFORMLY BEEN TO RELATE FACTS IN THE MOST PLAIN AND ARTLESS MANNER; and I trust that my description of _scenes_ and _occurrences_ will be admitted to be natural and free from affectation; and my inferences, to be pertinent, impartial, and illustrative. I hope, too, that it will not be thought that the detail of _circumstances_ is needlessly particular, and the relation of _incidents_ too minute. For, these, though seemingly inconsiderable, are not unimportant; and, though among the minor operations of active life, serve to indicate the state of existing opinions and prevailing motives, and to exhibit the real aspect of the times. They also have, more or less, relation to forth-coming events. They are foot-prints in the onward march to “enterprises of great pith and moment;” and hence should be carefully traced and inspected. Though my authorities are duly noted, I have not been so particular as to distinguish every passage which I had transcribed by marks of quotation; and, therefore, being willing that this work should be considered as mainly a compilation, with unassuming pretensions, entitle it BIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIALS.
After the lapse of more than a century since Oglethorpe entered on the stage of action, it cannot be expected that the varied incidents of so busy, eventful, and long protracted a life as was his, can be brought out and fully described; or that the prominent personal qualities of so singular a character can be delineated, for the first time, with vivid exactness and just expression. Not having presumed to do this, I have attempted nothing more than a general outline or profile.
Such as I have been able to make the work, I present it to the public. Whatever may be the reception which it may meet, I shall never think the moments misspent, which were devoted to the purpose of reviving the memory of Oglethorpe, and of perpetuating his fame by a more full recital of his deeds than had been heretofore made.
BOSTON, _July 7th_, 1838.
* * * * *
Since the preceding preface was written, the Reverend Charles Wallace Howard, who had been commissioned by the Legislature of Georgia to procure from the public offices in London, a copy of the records of the Trustees for the settlement of the Province, and of other colonial documents, has returned, having successfully accomplished the object of his mission. It may be thought that these are of such importance that all which I have done must be defective indeed, unless I avail myself of them; and so, perhaps, it may prove. But my advanced old age, my feeble state of health, and other circumstances, prevent my doing so. I console myself, however, with the consideration that as they consist of particulars relative to the settlement and early support of Georgia, to which Oglethorpe devoted not quite eleven years of a life extended to nearly a hundred, they would only contribute to render more distinct the bright and glorious meridian of his protracted day,–while I aimed to exhibit its morning promise and its evening lustre;–endeavoring to give some account of what he was and did forty-four years before he commenced “the great emprise,” and where he was and how occupied forty-two years after its accomplishment.
Moreover, the official records contain, principally, a detail of the plans and measures which were adopted and pursued by the Trustees in London, or comprise the statement of public grants of money, and military stores and forces;–and these belong to History, and not to Biography.
The Letters of Oglethorpe, besure, would be exceedingly interesting; but I presume that much of what they refer to may be collected from pamphlets and periodicals of the day, where he is spoken of as he would not feel free to speak of himself. As from these I have collected the most material particulars, I cannot think that my actual deficiencies in the history of that eventful period can be very considerable or important.
From a correspondence with I.K. TEFFT, Esq. and WILLIAM B. STEVENS, M.D., of Savannah, I have obtained the clearer statement of some important facts and occurrences, which is respectfully noticed where introduced, and for which I render my grateful acknowledgments. The latter gentleman has also obligingly favored me with an article on the culture of silk in Georgia, which graces my appendix.
I have done the best I could with scanty store; Let abler man, with ample means, do more; Yet not deficiencies of mine decry,
Nor make my gatherings his own lack supply.
May _1st_, 1841.
The date, at the close of the first preface, indicates that the publication of this work had been suspended.–A subsequent epistolary correspondence, in reference to it, with friends at Savannah, excited promptings, which were succeeded by a list of nearly two hundred subscribers for the volume in print;–a list that included the names of the most respectable gentlemen of the city, among whom were those that held distinguished stations and filled important offices in public life.
For this flattering encouragement and honorary patronage, the most grateful acknowledgments are rendered.
* * * * *
The name of the capital of South Carolina was originally written Charles-Town and Charles’ Town. At the time of the early settlement of Georgia it had become blended in the compound word Charlestown, which, being found in the documents referred to or quoted in this work, is retained here, though of later years it is spelt Charleston.
In the following pages variations occur in the names of persons and places, principally in the extracts from German publications. This lack of uniformity in some instances, as also a few verbal errors in others, was not detected till the sheets had passed the press.
“Acres circumfert centum licet Argus ocellos, Non tamen errantes cernat ubique typos.”
The chapters, into which this work is divided, are with reference to somewhat distinct portions of the history; and may be likened to a suit of apartments in a capacious house; some large and some small, variously furnished, and with different prospects abroad; but yet adjoining each other, and, if but fitly framed together, adapted to a duly constructed edifice.
Parentage of Oglethorpe–Birth–Christian Name–Education–Military Profession and Promotion–In the Suite of the Earl of Peterborough–Service under Prince Eugene of Savoy–Elected Member of Parliament–Visits a Gentleman in Prison–Moves in the House of Commons for a redress of the rigors of Prison Discipline–Appointed on the Committee–Extracts from his Speeches in Parliament,
Oglethorpe appointed first a Director, and then Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company–Takes a compassionate interest in the situation of an African kidnapped, sold as a slave, and carried to Annapolis, in Maryland, a Province in North America, who proves to have been an Iman, or assistant Priest, of Futa, and was named Job Solomon–Causes him to be redeemed, and sent to England, where he becomes serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane for his knowledge of Arabic; attracts also the notice of persons of rank and distinction, and is sent back to Africa,
Project for settling the south-eastern frontier of Carolina–A Charter granted for it, by the name of Georgia–Trustees appointed, who arrange a plan of Settlement–They receive a grant of Money from Parliament, and from Subscriptions and Contributions–Oglethorpe takes a lively interest in it–States the Object, and suggests Motives for Emigration–A Vessel hired to convey the Emigrants–Oglethorpe offers to accompany the intended Colonists–His disinterested devotedness to the benevolent and patriotic Enterprise,
The emigrants embark–Arrive at Charlestown, South Carolina–Oglethorpe visits Governor Johnson–Proceeds up the Savannah river–Place of settlement fixed upon–Town laid out–Labors superintended, and assisted by Colonel Bull–Treaty with Tomo Chichi–Progress of settlement–Oglethorpe makes a visit to Governor Johnson, presents himself before the House of Assembly, and makes an Address of grateful acknowledgment of favors received–Returns to Savannah–Holds a treaty with the Lower Creeks–Goes to horse-quarter on the Ogechee–Fort Argyle built–Savannah laid out in wards, and Court of Records instituted,
Oglethorpe intended to visited Boston, in New England–Governor Belcher’s Letter to him–Provincial Assembly appoint a Committee to receive him–Sets out on an exploratory Excursion–Names an Island, Jekyl–Visits Fort Argyle–Returns to Savannah–Saltzburgh emigrants, conducted by Baron Von Reck, come to settle in Georgia–Oglethorpe assists them in selecting a place–They call it Ebenezer–He then goes up the river to Palachicolas–Returns–Goes to Charlestown, with Torno Chichi and other Indians, in order to take passage to England,
Oglethorpe arrives in England with his Indian Escort–Is welcomed by the Trustees–Apartments are provided for the Indians–They are introduced to the King and Royal Family–One of their number dies of the small pox–Visit the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Eton College–Shown the public buildings and institutions in London–Embark for Georgia–Their arrival,
Oglethorpe remains in England–Trustees make Regulations–Oglethorpe, desirous of providing for the conversion of the Indians, applies to Bishop Wilson to prepare a Book of Religious Instruction for them–Trustees seek for Missionaries–Engage John and Charles Wesley,
Trustees make a new selection of Settlers–Their Proposals successful in Scotland–Embarkation of Highlanders for Georgia–Indian hieroglyphic letter sent to the Trustees–Further emigration of Saltzburgers–Great embarkation of Colonists, attended by Oglethorpe and the Missionaries–Employment and religious exercises on board during the voyage–Arrival–Beacon on the Island of Tybee–The people go on shore at Peeper’s Island–Oglethorpe goes to Savannah with the Missionaries–Sends provisions and refreshments to the Emigrants–Moore’s account of the Public Garden–Tomo Chichi welcomes his friend–Saltzburgers make application for a removal from Ebenezer–Oglethorpe sends pioneers to lay out a road to Darien,
Special destination of the last Emigrants–Oglethorpe makes arrangements for their transportation to the Island of St. Simons–Follows with Charles Wesley–Arrives and lays out a Town to be called Frederica–Visits the Highlanders at Darien–Returns and superintends the building of a Fort–All the people arrive–Barracks for the Soldiers put up, and a Battery erected–Visited by Tomo Chichi, and Indians, who make a cession of the Islands–Reconnoitres the Islands and gives names to them–Commissioners from St. Augustine–Apparently amicable overtures–Oglethorpe goes to Savannah to hold a conference with a Committee from South Carolina respecting trade with the Indians–Insolent demand of the Spaniards–Oglethorpe embarks for England,
Delegation of the Missionaries–JOHN WESLEY stationed at Savannah–Has a conference with Tomo Chichi–His Preaching deemed personal in its applications–He becomes unpopular–Meets with persecution–Leaves the Province and returns to England–CHARLES WESLEY attends Oglethorpe to Frederica–Finds himself unpleasantly situated–Furnished with despatches for the Trustees, he sets out for Charlestown, and thence takes passage for England–By stress of weather the Vessel driven off its course–Puts in at Boston, New England–His reception there–Sails thence for England–After a perilous voyage, arrives–BENJAMIN INGHAM also at Frederica–Goes to Savannah to apprize John Wesley of the sickness of his brother–Resides among the Creeks in order to learn their language–Returns to England–CHARLES DELAMOTTE at Savannah–Keeps a School–Is much respected–GEORGE WHITEFIELD comes to Savannah–His reception–Visits Tomo Chichi, who was sick–Ministerial labors–Visits the Saltzburgers–Pleased with their provision for Orphan Children–Visits Frederica and the adjacent Settlements–Returns to England–Makes a second voyage to Georgia, and takes efficient measures for the erection of an Orphan House,
Oglethorpe arrives in England–Trustees petition the King for military aid to the new Colony–A regiment granted–Oglethorpe appointed Commander in Chief of South Carolina and Georgia–Part of the regiment sent out–Oglethorpe embarks for Georgia the third time–Remainder of the regiment arrive–And two companies from Gibraltar–Prospect of war with Spain–Military preparations at St. Augustine–Oglethorpe makes arrangements for defence–Treason in the Camp–Mutiny, and personal assault on the General,
Oglethorpe visits Savannah–Troubles there–Causton, the store-keeper, displaced–Oglethorpe holds a conference with a deputation of Indians–Town-meeting called, and endeavors used to quiet discontents–Goes back to Frederica, but obliged to renew his visit to Savannah,
Oglethorpe goes to Charlestown, South Carolina, to open his Commission–Comes back to Savannah–Gives encouragement to the Planters–Returns to Frederica–Excursion to Coweta–Forms a Treaty with the Upper Creeks–Receives at Augusta a delegation of the Chickasaws and Cherokees, who complain of having been poisoned by the Traders–On his return to Savannah is informed of Spanish aggressions, and is authorized to make reprisals,
Oglethorpe addresses a letter to Lieutenant-Governor Bull, suggesting an expedition against St. Augustine–Follows this, by application in person–Promised assistance, and cooperation–Returns to Frederica–Collects his forces–Passes over to Florida–Takes several Spanish forts–Is joined by the Carolinian troops–The enemy receive supplies–Oglethorpe changes the siege into a blockade–Takes possession of Anastasia Island–Colonel Palmer and his men surprised and cut to pieces–Spanish cruelties–English fleet quit the station–Siege raised, and Oglethorpe returns to Frederica,
Oglethorpe pays particular attention to internal Improvements–Meets with many annoyances–The Creeks, under Toonahowi, make an incursion into Florida–The Spanish form a design upon Georgia–Some of their fleet appear on the coast–Oglethorpe prepares for defence–Applies to South Carolina for assistance–Spaniards attack Fort William–Dangerous situation of Oglethorpe–Spanish fleet enter the harbor and land on St. Simons–In three successive engagements they are defeated–A successful stratagem–Enemy defeated at Bloody Marsh–Retire and attack Fort William, which is bravely defended by Ensign Stewart–Spanish forces, repulsed in all their assaults, abandon the invasion in dismay, and return to St. Augustine and to Cuba,
Oglethorpe, informed that the Spaniards were making preparations for a renewal of hostilities, takes measures to repel them–Meets with an alarming accident–Lands on the Florida side of St. John’s–Proceeds towards St. Augustine–The Spanish do not venture out to attack him–Returns to the Islands–sees that the Forts are repaired–Takes passage to England to attend a Court Martial on an insidious charge against him by Lieutenant Cook–Is honorably acquitted, and Cook is dismissed from the service,
Oglethorpe’s residence in England–Marriage–Military appointments–A Major General under the Duke of Cumberland for the suppression of the rebellion in 1745–Arraigned at a Court Martial and acquitted–Domestic and social life, and character–Death,
Obituary notice of Mrs. ELIZABETH OGLETHORPE, with extracts from her Will,
Account of Carolina and Georgia by OGLETHORPE,
I. Family of Oglethorpe,
II. Discussion respecting the birth-day of the subject of these memorials,
III. Notices of the Earl of Peterborough, and of Dean Berkeley,
IV. Reference to the debates in Parliament in which Oglethorpe took a part,
V. Prison-visiting Committee,
VI. Release of insolvent debtors,
VII. Sir Thomas Lombe’s mill for winding silk,
VIII. Case of Captain Porteous,
IX. Trustees for settling Georgia,
X. Oglethorpe’s disinterestedness in the undertaking,
XI. Advertisement of Governor Johnson of South Carolina, and letter of the Governor and Council to Oglethorpe,
XII. Account of the Creeks,
XIII. Account of the Indians in Georgia by Oglethorpe,
XIV. Memoir of the Duke of Argyle,
XVI. Arrival of these persecuted German Protestants in Georgia,
XVII. Settlement of Moravians,
XVIII. Scout-boat and Channels,
XIX. Uchee Indians,
XX. A mutiny in the Camp, and attempt at assassination,
XXI. Memoir of Tomo-Chichi,
XXII. General Oglethorpe’s manifesto,
XXIII. Fate of Colonel Palmer,
XXIV. Account of the siege of St. Augustine,
XXV. Spanish invasion,
XXVI. Order for a Thanksgiving,
XXVII. List of Spanish forces employed in the invasion of Georgia, and of Oglethorpe’s to resist them,
XXVIII. History of the silk culture in Georgia, written by W.B. Stevens, M.D., of Savannah,
Parentage of Oglethorpe–Birth–Education–Christian Name–Education–Military Profession and Promotion–In the Suite of the Earl of Peterborough–Service under Prince Eugene of Savoy–Elected Member of Parliament–Visits a Gentleman in Prison–Moves in the House of Commons for a redress of the rigors of Prison Discipline–Appointed on the Committee–Extracts from his Speeches in Parliament.
James Oglethorpe, founder of the Colony of Georgia in North America,–a distinguished philanthropist, general, and statesman,–was the son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, of Godalming, in the County of Surrey, Great Britain, by Eleanor, his wife, daughter of Richard Wall, Esq. of Rogane, in Ireland. There has been, hitherto, great uncertainty with respect to the year, the month, and the day of his nativity; I have, however, what I deem good authority for deciding it to have been the twenty-first day of December, one thousand six hundred and eighty-eight.
[Footnote 1: For some account of the Family, see Appendix I.]
[Footnote 2: Appendix II.]
It is asserted in Thoresby’s History of Leeds, page 255, that “he had two Christian names, James-Edward, supposed to have been bestowed upon him in compliment to the Pretender;” and he is so named on his sepulchral monument. But, as he always used but one; as he was enregistered on entering College at Oxford, simply James; and, as the double name is not inserted in any public act, commission, document, printed history, or mention of him in his life time, that I have ever met with, I have not thought proper to adopt it.
When sixteen years of age, on the 9th of July, 1704, he was admitted a member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where his brother Lewis received his education. It seems, however, that, after the example of that brother, as also of his brother Theophilus, he early relinquished a literary, for a military profession; and aspired to make his way in the world, “tam Marte quam Minerva.”
[Footnote 1: The record of his _admittatur_, in the University Register, is,–“1704, Jul. 9, term. S. Trin. Jacobus Oglethorpe, e C.C.C. 16. Theoph. f. Sti. Jacobi, Lond. Equ. Aur. filius natu minor.” That is, “_In Trinity Term, July 9, 1704_, James Oglethorpe, _aged_ 16, _youngest son of_ Theophilus Oglethorpe, _of St. James’s, London, was admitted into Corpus Christi College_.”]
His first commission was that of Ensign; and it is dated in 1710; and he bore that rank in the army when peace was proclaimed in 1713. In the same year he is known to have been in the suite of the Earl of Peterborough, ambassador from the Court of Great Britain to the King of Sicily and to the other Italian States; whither he was fellow traveller with the Rev. Dr. George Berkeley, his Lordship’s Chaplain. Highly honorable was such a mark of favor from his Lordship; and peculiarly pleasant and instructive, also, must have been such companionship with the amiable and excellent clergyman; and it afforded opportunity of concerting plans of usefulness, of beneficence, and of philanthropy, the object and tendency of which were apparent in the after life of each.
[Footnote 1: Biographical Memoir in the European Magazine, Vol. VIII. p. 13.]
[Footnote 2: NICHOLS, in the _Literary Anecdotes of the XVIIIth Century_, Vol. II. p. 19, says, “he was aid-de-camp;” but as that was the title of a _military_ rank, rather than of an attendant on a _diplomatic_ ambassador, I have substituted another term, which however may embrace it, if it be really proper.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Berkeley, in a letter to Thomas Prior, Esq., dated Turin, January 6, 1714, n.s. says that he travelled from Lyons “in company with Col. Du Hamel and Mr. Oglethorpe, Adjutant General of the Queen’s forces; who were sent with a letter from my Lord to the King’s mother, at Turin.” _Works of GEORGE BERKELEY, D.D., with an Account of his Life_. Dublin. 1704. 2 vols. 4to. Vol. I–p. xxx]
[Footnote 4: Appendix III.]
In 1714 he was Captain Lieutenant in the first troop of the Queen’s guards. By his fine figure, his soldierly deportment and personal bravery, he attracted the notice of the Duke of Marlborough; whose confidence and patronage he seems long to have enjoyed, and by whom, and through the influence of the Duke of Argyle, he was so recommended to Prince Eugene, that he received him into his service, first as his secretary, and afterwards aid-de-camp. Thus near the person of this celebrated general, full of ardor, and animated with heroic courage, an opportunity was offered him in the warlike expedition against the Turks in which the Prince was engaged, to gather those laurels in what the world calls “the field of glory,” to which he aspired; and, in several successive campaigns, he exhibited applauded proofs of chivalric gallantry and personal bravery. By his attentive observation of the discipline, manner of battle array, onset of the forces, and the instruction given him in military tactics, he acquired that knowledge of the art of war, for which he afterwards became so distinguished.
At the battle of Peterwaradin, one of the strongest frontier places that Austria had against the Turks, Oglethorpe, though present, was not perhaps actively engaged. It was fought on the 5th of August, 1716. The army of the Turks consisted of 150,000 men, of which 40,000 were Janisaries, and 30,000 Saphis, or troopers, the rest were Tartars, Walachians, and the troops of Asia and Egypt. The army of the Imperialists, under his Serene Highness, Prince Eugene, consisted of but little more than half that number. The onset began at seven in the morning, and by twelve Eugene was writing to the Emperor an account of the victory in the tent of the Grand Vizier.
[Footnote 1: _Military History of Prince Eugene, of Savoy_, (a superb work in two folio volumes, with elegant plates; compiled by CAMPBELL.) Lond. 1737. Vol. II. p. 215. From this, and from “_The Life and Military Actions of Eugene_,” Lond. 1737, 12mo, the account of the battles is taken.]
After a sharp contest of about four hours, the Grand Vizier Hali, seeing the battle go against him, put himself at the head of his guard of horse, pushed through a defile, and made a very brisk charge; but his men could not sustain the contest; and he, having received two wounds, was carried off the field to Carlowitz, where he died the next day. The Aga of the Janisaries and Mahomet Bassa were also slain. The whole loss of the Turks in this action amounted to about 22,000; and of the Imperialists, 3,695 common soldiers, and 469 officers. There was found in the camp 164 pieces of cannon, and a prodigious quantity of powder, bullets, bombs, grenades, and various military equipments and stores; and the booty in other articles was great and rich beyond computation.
The Imperial army passed the Danube on the 6th of August, “in order to avoid the infection of the dead bodies.” The same day a council of war was held, in which the siege of Temeswaer was proposed and resolved on. This is a town of Hungary, upon the river Temes, whence it has its name. It lies five miles from Lippa, towards the borders of Transylvania, and about ten from Belgrade. The Turks took it from the Transylvanians in 1552, and fortified it to a degree that they deemed it impregnable. After several severe conflicts, and a most desperate resistance, it capitulated on the 14th of October, 1716, and the Turks entirely evacuated the place on the 17th. Thus the capital of a region of the same name, was restored to its lawful prince after having been in the hands of the Turks 164 years. “The success of this victorious campaign filled not only Germany, but all Europe with joy.” On this occasion, Oglethorpe acted as aid-de-camp; and his active service in attendance upon Prince Eugene; his prompt attention to the orders dictated to him, or transmitted by him; his alertness and fidelity in communicating them; and his fearless exposure to imminent peril in passing from one division of the army to another, gained him commendatory acknowledgments and the increased favor of his Serene Highness.
Notwithstanding these signal victories gained over them, the Turks were determined to continue the contest; and the next year the Grand Signior held a great Divan at Constantinople to take measures for its most vigorous prosecution. These purposes being put in train, Prince Eugene undertook the siege of Belgrade, their chief strong hold. “The Turks advanced to its relief, and besieged him in his camp. His danger was imminent; but military skill and disciplined valor triumphed over numbers and savage ferocity. He sallied out of his intrenchments, and, falling suddenly upon the enemy, routed them with great slaughter, and took their cannon, baggage, and everything belonging to their camp. Belgrade surrendered immediately after.” On the 16th of August, (1717) the capitulation was signed; and immediately afterwards the Imperialists took possession of a gate, and the out-works; on the 19th Te Deum was solemnly performed in the tent of the Grand Vizier, which had become occupied by Eugene, and on the 22d the place was evacuated. The Imperialists found prodigious riches in the camp of which they had become possessed; “for the Sultan had emptied his coffers to supply this army, which was by far the most numerous of any set on foot since the famous siege of Vienna.”
[Footnote 1: Russell’s _Modern Europe_, Vol. V. p. 3.]
[Footnote 2: CAMPBELL’S _Military History of Eugene_, Vol. II. p. 233.]
“Such was the conclusion of the siege of Belgrade; a place of the last importance to the Imperialists and to the Turks; the bridle of all the adjoining country; the glorious trophy of the valor and conduct of his Serene Highness, Prince Eugene; and the bulwark, not of Germany only, but of all Christendom on this side.”
“Oglethorpe was in active command at the siege and battle of Belgrade, on the south shore of the Danube, in 1717; where he acquired a high and deserved reputation.”
[Footnote 1: _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1785, p. 573.]
In the postscript of a letter from Alexander Pope, dated September 8th, 1717, to Edward Blount, Esq., is this remark: “I hope you will take part in the rejoicing for the victory of Prince Eugene over the Turks, &c.” to which Dr. Warton subjoins this note; “at which General Oglethorpe was present, and of which I have heard him give a lively description.”
The peace which took place in the following year between the Emperor and the Sultan, left Oglethorpe without any active employment; and he quitted, doubtless with reluctance, the staff of his friend and patron, prince Eugene, with whom he had so honorably served; and returned to England.
He was offered preferment in the German service; but it was, probably, a sufficient reason with him for declining the proffer, that “the profession of a soldier in time of peace affords but few opportunities of promotion, and none of distinction.”
In the year 1722, succeeding his brother Lewis in the inheritance of the estate at Godalming, his weight of character and family influence secured to him a seat in Parliament, as Burgess, for Haslemere; and he continued to represent that borough, by successive elections, and through various changes of administration, for thirty-two years; and, “during this long period, he distinguished himself by several able speeches; and, in the laws for the benefit of trade, &c. many regulations were proposed and promoted by him.”
In this august assembly, he was neither a dumb show, nor an automaton; nor the tool of party; but independent, intelligent, and energetic, delivered his opinions freely, spoke often, and always to the purpose.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix IV.]
His first recorded speech was on the 6th of April, 1723, against the banishment of Dr. Francis Atterbury, the Bishop of Rochester, which he deemed injudicious and needlessly rigorous.
[Footnote 1: History and Proceedings of the House of Commons, Lond. 1742, Vol. VI. p. 308.]
A few years after, his feelings of humanity were powerfully touched on finding a gentleman, whom he went to visit in the Fleet prison, loaded with irons, and otherwise cruelly used. Shocked by the scenes he witnessed, he determined to expose such injustice; and, if possible, to prevent such abuse of power. With this view, he brought forward a motion in the House of Commons, “_that an inquiry should be instituted into the state of the gaols in the metropolis_.” This met with such attention, that in February, 1728, the House of Commons assigned the subject to a Committee, of which he was chosen Chairman. The investigation led to the discovery of many corrupt practices, and much oppressive treatment of the prisoners; and was followed by the enactment of measures for the correction of such shameful mismanagement and inhuman neglect in some cases, and for the prevention of severity of infliction in others.
[Footnote 1: Sir William Rich, Baronet.]
[Footnote 2: Appendix IV.]
[Footnote 3: Appendix V.]
A writer, whose opinion was founded on the best means of knowledge, has declared that “the effects of this interposition have been felt ever since by the unhappy prisoners.”
[Footnote 1: Gentleman’s Magazine for 1785, page 572.]
Oglethorpe thus became the precursor of HOWARD, the philanthropist, in the cause of humanity, as it regards the amelioration of prison discipline in general, especially the rigors of close confinement for debt or petty offences, and that among felons and convicts. The impression then made on his mind and heart, led him, afterwards, to other and more extensive and efficacious measures for the relief of poor debtors from the extortions and oppressions to which they were subjected by gaolers, and from the humiliation and distress in which they were often involved without any fault of their own, or by some conduct which deserved pity rather than punishment.
At the opening of the session of Parliament on the 12th of January, 1731, the King’s speech was the subject of debate in the House of Commons. A motion was made for an address of thanks, in which they should declare their entire approbation of his Majesty’s conduct, express their confidence in the wisdom of his counsels, and announce their readiness to grant the necessary supplies. There were some who opposed the motion. They did not argue against a general vote of thanks, but intimated the impropriety, and, indeed, ill tendency of expressions which implied an unquestioning approbation of the measures of the ministry. In referring to this, Smollet says, “Mr. Oglethorpe, a gentleman of unblemished character, brave, generous, and humane, affirmed that many other things related more immediately to the honor and interest of the nation, than did the guarantee of the Pragmatic sanction. He said that he wished to have heard that the new works at Dunkirk had been entirely razed and destroyed; that the nation had received full and complete satisfaction for the depradation committed by the natives of Spain; that more care was taken in the disciplining of the militia, on whose valor the nation must chiefly depend in case of an invasion; and that some regard had been shown to the oppressed Protestants in Germany. He expressed his satisfaction, however, to find that the English were not so closely united to France as formerly, for he had generally observed that when two dogs were in a leash together, the stronger generally ran away with the weaker; and this, he feared, had been the case between France and Great Britain.”
[Footnote 1: History of England, Book II. chap. iv. Section xxx.]
The motion, however, was carried, and the address presented.
Possessing a vein of wit, Oglethorpe was apt to introduce piquant illustrations and comparisons into his narratives, and sometimes with the view of their giving force to his statements; but, though they might serve to enliven conversation, they were not dignified enough for a speech in so august an assembly as that he was now addressing. They are, however, atoned for, on this occasion, by the grave tenor of his preceding remarks, which were the dictates of good sense, the suggestions of sound policy, and, especially, by the reference to the distressed situation of the persecuted German Protestants which was evincive of a compassionate consideration, truly honorable to him as a man and a Christian. And we shall find, that, in behalf of these, he afterwards exerted a personal and availing influence.
In 1732 he made a spirited and patriotic effort in Parliament to restore a constitutional militia; and to abolish arbitrary impressment for the sea-service; and, on this subject, he published a pamphlet entitled “The Sailor’s Advocate,” for which Mr. Sharpe obliged him with a sarcastic preface.
In the debate on the bill for encouraging the trade of the British sugar colonies, Oglethorpe took an active part, and manifested those liberal and patriotic views, and that regard for the colonial settlements in North America, which, afterwards, became with him a decided principle.
“In all cases,” said he, “that come before this House, where there seems a clashing of interests, we ought to have no exclusive regard to the particular interest of any one country or set of people, but to the good of the whole. Our colonies are a part of our dominions. The people in them are our own people; and we ought to show an equal respect to all. If it should appear that our Plantations upon the continent of America are against that which is desired by the sugar colonies, we are to presume that the granting thereof will be a prejudice to the trade or particular interests of our continental settlements. And, surely, the danger of hurting so considerable a part of our dominions,–a part which reaches from the 34th to the 46th degree of north latitude,–will, at least, incline us to be extremely cautious in what we are going about. If, therefore, it shall appear that the relieving our sugar colonies will do more harm to the _other_ parts of our dominions, than it can do good to _them_, we must refuse it, and think of some other method of putting them upon an equal footing with their rivals in any part of trade.
“Our sugar colonies are of great consequence to us; but our other colonies in that part of the world ought also to be considered. From them we have, likewise, yearly, large quantities of goods. We ought not to raise one colony upon the destruction of another. Much less ought we to grant a favor to any particular set of people which may prove to be against the public good of the nation in general.”
To these, and other matters of general moment, Oglethorpe devoted his time, his talents, and his influence while in Parliament. He earnestly supported the cause of silk manufacture, which had then begun to spread in England by means of the improvement introduced by Sir Thomas Lombe, in the invention of his large engines, which are described as being of “a most curious and intricate structure,” but which in our own day, when mechanical ingenuity has reached a high degree of excellence, and machinery seems itself almost an intelligent principle, would, probably, be regarded as merely “curious and intricate,” without possessing any practical value.
[Footnote 1: The 6th of the excellent _Essays_ by the Rev. Jared Eliot, _on Field Husbandry, &_ c., 1761, is devoted principally to recommendations of the culture of mulberry trees for the raising of silk-worms. In page 161, is a reference to Sir Thomas Lombe, “that eminent throwster, who erected the great engine in Derbyshire; a wonderful structure, consisting of twenty-nine thousand five hundred and eighty-six wheels, all set a going and continued in motion by one single water-wheel, for working silk with expedition and success.” See also Appendix VII.]
[Footnote 2: Manuscript lecture of J. Willard, Esq.]
A Corporation was formed in London, in 1707, with the professed intention of lending money to the poor on small pledges, and to persons of better rank, upon an answerable security, for setting them up, or assisting them in business. Its capital was then limited to L30,000, but in 1730 increased to L600,000, and a charter granted to the Corporation, by act of Parliament. But in October 1731, two of the chief officers, George Robinson, Esq., member for Marlow, the Cashier, and John Thompson, the Warehouse keeper, disappeared on the same day. This gave the Proprietors great alarm; and an inspection of affairs led to the discovery that for a capital of about L500,000, no equivalent was found to the value of L30,000; the remainder having been disposed of by ways and means of which no one could give an account. In consequence of this defalcation, a petition of the Proprietors was presented to the Parliament alleging that some who had been guilty of these frauds had transported themselves to parts beyond the seas, and carried with them some of the books and effects of the Corporation; and that there was great reason to believe that such an immense sum of money could not have been embezzled without the connivance and participation of others who remained in the kingdom; but that the petitioners were unable to come at the knowledge of their combinations or to bring them to justice, unless aided by the power and authority of that House; and therefore prayed that it might be afforded.
On the reading of the petition, Mr. Oglethorpe rose and spoke as follows:
“Sir, I am persuaded that this petition will be received in a manner befitting the unhappy case of the sufferers and the justice of this House. I can hardly suspect that any gentleman that has the honor of being a member of this House will hesitate in giving all the relief which we can to the number of unfortunate persons, who have been so much injured. Yet, because I have heard it whispered out of doors, that we ought not to receive this petition upon account, as is pretended, that the common seal is not affixed to it, I deem it necessary to take some notice of that objection, in case it should be started here. Sir, I must say that if there be any irregularity as to the affixing the seal of the Company to this petition, it is, in my opinion, so far from being an objection to our receiving the petition, that it is a very strong reason for it. If there be any fault in form, it is the fault of those who had the keeping of the common seal; and, as they may, perhaps, be of those against whom the complaints are made, and who may, upon inquiry, be found more or less amenable for the wrong, we are, therefore, to suspect that the withholding the seal may be with a view of preventing the truth’s being brought to light; at any rate, we ought to discountenance and defeat such indirect practices with regard to the use of a common seal.
“For my own part, sir, I have been always for encouraging the design upon which this corporation was at first established; and looked upon it as a provident act of charity to let necessitous persons have the opportunity of borrowing money upon easier terms than they could have it elsewhere. Money, like other things, is but a commodity, and in the way of dealing, the use of it is looked upon to be worth as much as people can get for it. If this corporation let persons in limited circumstances have the use of money at a cheaper rate than individuals, brokers, or money lenders, would be willing to do, it was certainly a beneficent act. If they had demanded more than was elsewhere given, they would not have had applicants, and the design would not have proved good and useful; but the utility of it was most evident; and the better the design, and the more excellent the benefit, the more those persons deserve to be punished, who by their frauds have curtailed, if not now wholly cut off, these sources of furnishing assistance to the industrious and enterprising, and disappointed the public of reaping the benefit which might have accrued by an honest and faithful execution of so good an undertaking.”
[Footnote 1: History and Proceedings of the House of Commons, Vol. VII. p. 154.]
Another subject in the parliamentary discussions of Oglethorpe which I shall mention, is his defence of the magistracy and town-guard of the city of Edinburgh against an arraignment in the House of Lords, for what was deemed the neglect of prompt and energetic measures for suppressing the riotous seizure and murder of Captain Porteous by an exasperated mob. The circumstances were these.
After the execution in the Grass-market, on the 14th of April, 1736, of one Andrew Wilson, a robber, the town-guard, which had been ordered out on the occasion, was insulted by rude and threatening speeches, and pelted with stones, by the mob. John Porteous, the captain, so resented the annoyance, that he commanded his men to fire over their heads, to intimidate them; and then, as their opposition became violent, he directed the guard to fire among them; whereby six persons were killed, and eleven severely wounded. For this he was prosecuted at the expense of the city, and condemned to die. But, a short reprieve having been obtained, the mob, determined to defeat it, assembled in the night preceding the seventh day of September, whereon he was to have been executed pursuant to the sentence, and, in a very riotous manner, seized and disarmed the city-guard, and possessed themselves of the town-gates, to prevent the admission of troops quartered in the suburbs. They then rushed to the Tolbooth prison; the doors of which not yielding to the force of their hammers, they consumed by fire, and then brought forth Porteous by violence, and hung him on a dyer’s post, or frame, in the Grass-market, nigh the spot where the unfortunate people were killed.
The magistrates, attended with several of the burgesses, attempted to quell the riot and disperse the mob, but were pelted with stones, and threatened to be fired upon if they did not retire.
This insult of the sovereign authority was too flagrant to be overlooked. Proclamations, with rewards of two hundred pounds sterling, were issued for apprehending the rioters, and, when the Parliament met, vigorous measures were taken in the affair. The Lord Provost was ordered up to London in custody; the magistrates summoned to answer the indictment, and a bill was introduced into the House of Commons “to disable Alexander Wilson, Esq., the principal magistrate during the riots, from ever after holding any office of magistracy in Edinburgh or Great Britain; to subject him to imprisonment for a year; to abolish the town guard, and to take away the gates of the nether Bowport of the city.” Oglethorpe objected to the first reading of the bill, and it encountered his vigorous opposition. He engaged in a warm defence of the magistrates, and of the guard, declaring that there was no dereliction of duty on the part of the magistrates and of the guard, but they were overpowered by numbers, and thrown into actual jeopardy by the desperation of the mob. Hence the penalties of the bill would be the punishment of misfortune, not of crime.
In consequence of the stand which he thus took, and the interest made by others in the House of Commons, the bill was altered in its most essential circumstances, and, instead of the rigorous inflictions, “mercy rejoiced against judgment,” and the city was fined the sum of two thousand pounds, to be applied to the relief and support of the widow of Porteous.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix VIII.]
A petition was made to Parliament “to extend the benefit of a late _act for naturalizing foreigners in North America_, to the Moravian Brethren and other foreign Protestants who made a scruple of taking an oath, or performing military service.” General Oglethorpe, in the spring of 1737, presented the petition to the House of Commons, with an ample speech, and was supported by many members. The opinion of the Board of Trade was required on this head. The Proprietor of Pennsylvania promoted the affair among the members of Parliament, and especially with the Secretary of State, the Duke of Newcastle, by his good testimonies of the brethren in Pennsylvania. The matter of the bill was properly discussed, formed into an act, and, having passed, with the greatest satisfaction, through both houses, received in June, 1747, the Royal assent.
[Footnote 1: Cranz’s History of the United Brethren, translated by La Trobe, Lond. 1780, p. 331.]
On the 20th of February, 1749, another petition in behalf of the Moravians was presented to the House of Commons; and was supported by a long and highly impressive speech by Oglethorpe concerning the origin of their church, their constitution, their pious and benevolent labors, and particularly, what he was most apprized of, their peaceable and useful settlements in America. On the 18th of April, the engrossed bill was read the third time in the House, was passed, _nemine contradicente_, and ordered to be carried to the House of Lords. On the 21st of April, the bill was carried by sixteen members of the House of Commons to the House of Lords; and, after a short address by Oglethorpe, their leader, to Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, was accepted with great solemnity, and laid on the table. After due consideration, the act was passed, and on the 6th of June the Royal assent was given to it.
Oglethorpe appointed first a Director, and then Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company–Takes a compassionate interest in the situation of an African kidnapped, sold as a slave, and carried to Annapolis, in Maryland, a Province in North America–But proves to have been an Iman, or assistant Priest, of Futa, and was named Job Solomon–Causes him to be redeemed, and sent to England, where he becomes serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane for his knowledge of Arabic; attracts also the notice of persons of rank and distinction, and is sent back to Africa.
In January, 1731, Oglethorpe was chosen a Director of the Royal African Company, and the next year Deputy Governor. This situation brought to his knowledge the circumstances of an African slave, whose story is so interesting, that a few pages may be allowed for its recital.
A negro, called JOB, was purchased on the coast of Africa by Captain Pyke, commander of a vessel belonging to Mr. Hunt, a rich merchant of Liverpool, and carried to Annapolis, Maryland, where, with others, he was delivered to Michael Denton, the factor of Hunt, who sold him to Mr. Tolsey. He was at first employed in the cultivation of tobacco; but his humane master perceiving that he could not bear the fatigue, rendered his situation more tolerable by charging him with the care of his cattle. While in this employment, he used to retire, at stated times, to the recesses of a wood, to pray. He was seen there by a white boy, who amused himself with interrupting him, and often with wantonly insulting him by throwing dust in his eyes. This greatly added to Job’s melancholy, which was increased by his having no means of making known the annoyance and abuse to which he was subjected, so that he grew desperate, and made his escape. He travelled through the woods till he came to the county of Kent, on Delaware bay, in Maryland, where, having no pass, and not being able to give any account of himself, he was taken up as a fugitive slave, and put into prison. While there, his behavior attracted more than common notice. Besides a stateliness of bearing, and an air of self-importance, which shew that he could be no ordinary person, he was observed to use prostrations at regular periods of the day, and to repeat sentences with great solemnity and earnestness. Curiosity attracted to the prison certain English merchants, among whom Mr. Thomas Bluet was the most inquisitive. He was able, from an old negro, who was a Foulah, and understood the language of Job, to obtain some information respecting his former condition and character. These particulars were communicated to his master Tolsey, who had been apprized of his capture, and come to reclaim him. In consideration, therefore, of what he had been, he not only forebore inflicting punishment on him for desertion, but treated him with great indulgence. Having ascertained that Job had in his possession certain slips of a kind of paper, on which he wrote strange characters, he furnished him with some sheets of paper, and signified a wish that he should use it. Job profited of his kindness, to write a letter to his father. This was committed to Denton, to entrust to his captain on the first voyage which he should make to Africa; but he having sailed for England, it was sent enclosed to Mr. Hunt, at London. When it arrived there, Captain Pyke was on his voyage to Africa. Here, however, it was shewn to the Governor of the Royal African Company, and thus it “fell into the hands,” says my author, “of the celebrated Oglethorpe, who sent it to the University of Oxford to be translated, as it was discovered to be written in Arabic.” The information which it imparted of the disastrous fate of the writer, so awakened his compassion, that he engaged Mr. Hunt, by an obligation to refund all expenses, to have Job redeemed, and brought to England. This was immediately attended to, and he was sent in the William, commanded by captain Wright, and in the same vessel was Mr. Bluet, who became so attached to him, that, on their landing, he went with him to London, where they arrived in April, 1733. As he did not find Oglethorpe, who had gone to Georgia, Bluet took him to his own house at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire. There Job recommended himself by his manly and courteous behavior; and applied himself so diligently to learn the English language, that he was soon able to speak, and even write it with correctness.
[Footnote 1: In the relation which I follow this appellation is written _Pholey_.]
[Footnote 2: BLUET.]
In the mean time a letter was sent in his behalf by Oglethorpe to the African Company, requesting them to take up his obligation to Mr. Hunt, and to pay the expenses of his voyage and accommodation after his arrival; and to answer the bills of Mr. Bluet for his keeping and instruction, till he himself should return. This was readily done, and his emancipation effected for forty pounds; and twenty pounds, bond and charges, were raised by subscription.
Job’s knowledge of Arabic rendered him serviceable to Sir Hans Sloane, who often employed him in translating Arabic manuscripts, and inscriptions upon medals. To bring him into due notice, Sir Hans had him dressed in the costume of his country, and presented to the king and royal family; by whom he was graciously received; and her majesty gave him a beautiful gold watch. The same day he dined with the Duke of Montague; who afterwards took him to his country seat, where he was shewn, and taught the use of, the tools employed in agriculture and gardening. The same nobleman procured for him a great number of these implements, which were put into cases, and carried aboard the vessel in which he was to return to his native country. He received various other presents from many persons; some of these, according to Mr. Moore, were their Royal Highnesses, the Earl of Pembroke, several ladies of distinction, Mr. Holden, and members of the Royal African Company.
In the reference to him in NICHOLS’S _Literary Anecdotes_, vi. p. 91, it is said “he returned home loaded with presents to the amount of five hundred pounds.” After having passed fourteen months in England, he embarked, in the month of July, 1734, on board a vessel belonging to the Royal African Company, which was bound for the river Gambia, and carried out Thomas Moore to accomplish some business at a Factory of the Company’s at Joar, to whose particular care Job was committed.
While in England, his friend Bluet, collected from Job the history of his life, which he published, and from which some of the preceding, and several of the following particulars are extracted.
[Footnote 1: _Memoirs of the Life of Job, the son of Solomon, the High Priest of Bimda, in Africa_. By Thomas Bluet. London, 1734; 8vo., dedicated to the Duke of Montague.]
The name of this extraordinary man was Ayoub Ibn Soliman Ibrahim, that is, Job the son of Solomon the son of Abraham. His nation was that of the Jalofs; his tribe, or cast, the Pholey, or Foulah; and his native place Bunda, a city of Galumbo, in the kingdom of Futa, in Central Africa, opposite Tombuto.
[Footnote 1: The affix to his name is sometimes spelt JALLA, JALOF, and DGIALLA. These indicate the name of the tribe, or nation, to which he belonged; which was that of the JALOFS, on the river Sanaga, and along the Gambia.]
Ibrahim, the grandfather of Job, was the founder of the city of Bunda, during the reign of Abubeker, then king of Futa; who gave him the proprietorship and government of it, with the title of Alfa or High Priest. After his death, the dignity, which was hereditary in the family, passed to the father of Job. On the decease of Abubeker, his brother, the Prince of Jelazi, succeeded to the royalty; he, being already the father of a son, entrusted him to the care of Soliman, the father of Job, to have him taught the Arabic language, and the Alcoran. Job became, in this way, the fellow student and companion of this young prince. Jelazi lived but a short time, and was succeeded by his son.
When Job had attained the age of fifteen, he assisted his father in the capacity of Iman, or inferior priest, and soon after married the daughter of the Alfa of Tombuto: By her he had three sons, Abdallah, Ibrahim, and Sambo. Two years before his captivity he took a second wife, the daughter of the Alfa of Tomga; by whom he had a daughter named Fatima. His two wives and his four children were alive when he left Bunda.
In the month of February, 1730, the father of Job, having learnt that an English vessel had arrived in the Gambia, sent his son thither, attended by two domestics, to procure some European commodities; but charged him not to cross the river, because the inhabitants of the opposite bank were Mandingoes, enemies of the kingdom of Futa.
Job, coming to no agreement with Captain Pyke, the commander of the English vessel, sent back his two domestics to Bunda, to render an account of his affairs to his father, and to inform him that his curiosity induced him to travel further. With this view he made a contract with a negro merchant, named Loumein-Yoa, who understood the language of the Mandingoes, to serve him as an interpreter and guide on a pacific expedition and overture. Having passed the river Gambia, when the heat compelled him to avail himself of the cooling shade of the forest, he suspended his arms upon a tree, to rest himself. They consisted of a sabre, with a handle of gold; a dagger in a sheath, with a hilt of the same metal, and a rich quiver filled with arrows, of which king Sambo, the son of Jelazi, had made him a present. “His evil destiny willed” that a troop of Mandingoes, accustomed to pillage, should pass that way, who, discovering him unarmed, seized him, shaved his head and chin; and, on the 27th of February, sold him, with his interpreter, to Captain Pyke; and, on the first of March, they were put on board the vessel. Pyke, however, learning from Job that he was the same person who had attempted to trade with him some days before, and that he was a slave only by having been kidnapped, gave him leave to ransom himself and his companion. Accordingly, Job immediately sent to a friend of his father, who dwelt at Joar, where the vessel then lay, to beseech him to send news of his captivity. But the distance being fifteen days journey, the Captain, after waiting some time, found it necessary to set sail, and the unfortunate Job was carried off, and sold, as has been already mentioned.
[Footnote 1: This is the explanation of Job, who being a Mahometan, was a fatalist in his belief.]
He is described as being a fine figure, five feet ten inches in height; of a pleasing but grave countenance, and having strait black hair. His natural qualities were excellent. He was possessed of a solid judgment, a ready and wonderfully retentive memory, an ardent love for truth, and a sweet disposition, mild, affectionate, and grateful. His religion was Mahometanism; but he rejected the idea of a sensual paradise, and several other traditions that are held among the Turks. The foundation of his principles was the unity of God; whose name he never pronounced without some particular indication of respect. “The ideas which he held of the Supreme Being and of a future state, appeared very reasonable to the English; but he was so firm in the persuasion of the divine unity, that it was impossible to get him to reason calmly upon the doctrine of the Trinity. A New Testament in Arabic had been given him. He read it; and, giving his ideas, respectfully, concerning it, began by declaring that having examined it carefully, he could not find a word from which he could conclude that there were three Gods.”
[Footnote 1: There is a scarce octavo portrait of him, head and shoulders only, etched by the celebrated painter, Mr. Hoare, of Bath, in 1734, as appears by a manuscript note on the impression of it in Mr. Bindley’s possession. Under the print is engraved, “_JOB, son of Solliman Dgialla, high priest of Bonda, in the country of Foota, Africa_.”]
[Footnote 2: “Il etoit si ferme dans la persuasion de l’unite divine, qu’il fut impossible de le faire raisouner paisiblement sur la Trinite. On lui avoit donue un Nouveau Testament daus sa langue, il le lut, et s’expliquant, avec respect, sur ce livre, il commence par declarer que l’ayant examine fort soigneusement, il n’y avoit pas trouve un mot d’ou l’on fuit conclure qu’il y eut trois dieux.” _Histoire generale des Voyages, par l’Abbe_ A.F. Prevost. 4to. Paris. 1747. Tom. III. p. 116.]
Job landed at Fort English on the 8th of August, 1734. He was recommended particularly by the Directors of the Royal African Company to the Governor and Factors. They treated him with much respect and civility. The hope of finding one of his countrymen at Joar, induced him to set out on the 23d in the shallop with Mr. Moore, who was going to take the direction of the factory there. On the 26th at evening they arrived at the creek of Damasensa. Whilst Job was seated under a tree with the English, he saw seven or eight negroes pass of the nation that had made him a slave, thirty miles from that place. Though he was of a mild disposition, he could hardly refrain from attacking them with his sabre and pistols; but Moore made him give up all thought of this, by representing to him the imprudence and danger of such a measure. They called the negroes to them, to ask them various questions, and to inquire particularly what had become of the king, their master. They answered that he had lost his life by the discharge of a pistol, which he ordinarily carried suspended to his neck, and which, going off by accident, had killed him on the spot. As this pistol was supposed to have been one of the articles which he had received of Captain Pyke as the price of Job, the now redeemed captive, deeply affected by the circumstance, turning to his conductors, said, “You see that Heaven has made the very arms for which I was sold, serve as the punishment of the inexorable wretch who made my freedom their procurement! And yet I ought to be thankful for the lot into which I was cast, because if I had not been made a captive, I should not have seen such a country as England; nor known the language; nor have the many useful and precious things that I possess; nor become acquainted with men so generous as I have met with, not only to redeem me from bondage, but to shew me great kindness, and send me back so much more capable of being useful.” Indeed, he did not cease to praise highly the English in conversing with the Africans, and endeavored to reclaim those poor creatures from the prejudice they had that the slaves were eaten, or killed for some other purpose, because no one was known to have returned.
Having met with a Foulah, with whom he had been formerly acquainted, he engaged him to notify his family of his return; but four months elapsed before he received any intelligence from Bunda. On the 14th of January, 1735, the messenger came back, bearing the sad tidings that his father had died; with the consolation, however, of learning, just before his death, of the ransom of his son, and of the favor which he had received in England. One of the wives of Job had married again in his absence; and the second husband had fled on being informed of the arrival of the first. During the last three years, the war had made such ravages in the country of Bunda, that no cattle remained there.
Job was deeply affected with the death of his father, the misfortunes of his country, and the situation of his family. He protested, however, that he pardoned his wife, and the man who had espoused her. “They had reason,” he said, “to suppose me lost to them forever, because I had gone to a country from which no Foulah had ever returned.”
When Moore, from whose narrative these particulars are extracted, left Africa, he was charged with letters from Job, who remained at Joar, to Oglethorpe, Bluet, the Duke of Montague, his principal benefactors, and to the Royal African Company.
[Footnote 1: _Travels into the inland parts of Africa; containing a description of several nations for the space of 600 miles upon the river Gambia; with a particular account of_ JOB BEN SOLOMON, _a Pholey, who was in England in 1733, and known by the name of “the African Prince.” By_ FRANCIS MOORE. London, 1738.]
“On Thursday, November 4th, 1737, Sir Hans Sloane communicated to the Royal Society a letter which a gentleman had received from Job, the African, _whom_ MR. OGLETHORPE _released from slavery_, and the African Company sent home to his own country, in one of their ships, about twelve months ago. In this letter he very gratefully acknowledges the favor he received in England; and, in answer to some things desired of him when here, says that he has been in the country where the tree producing the _gum-Arabic_ grows, and can assist the English in that trade. He further says, that he has been up in the country, as far as the mountains from whence the _gold-dust_ is wafted down; and that if the English would build flat-bottomed boats to go up the river, and send persons well skilled in separating the gold from the ore, they might gain vastly more than at present they do by the dust trade; and that he should be always ready and willing to use the utmost of his power, (which is very considerable in that country,) to encourage and support them therein.”
[Footnote 1: _Political State of Great Britain_, Vol. LIII. p. 18.]
Mr. Nichols, who has inserted his name among the members of _the Gentleman’s Society at Spalding_, adds, “died 1773.”
[Footnote 1: _Literary Anecdotes_, Vol. VI. p. 90.]
Project for settling the south-western frontier of Carolina–A Charter granted for it, by the name of Georgia–Trustees appointed, who arrange a plan of Settlement–They receive a grant of Money from Parliament, and from Subscriptions and Contributions–Oglethorpe takes a lively interest in it–States the Object, and suggests Motives for Emigration–A Vessel hired to convey the Emigrants–Oglethorpe offers to accompany the intended Colonists–His disinterested devotedness to the benevolent and patriotic Enterprise.
The project, which had been for some time in contemplation, of settling the south-eastern frontier of Carolina, between the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, suggested to Oglethorpe that it could be effected by procuring the liberation of insolvent debtors, and uniting with them such other persons in reduced circumstances as might be collected elsewhere, and inducing them to emigrate thither and form a settlement.
[Footnote 1: See _A Discourse concerning the designed establishment of a new Colony to the south of Carolina, by Sir_ ROBERT MONTGOMERY, _Baronet. London_, 1717.]
As such a project and design required for its furtherance more means than an individual could furnish, and more managing and directing power than, unaided, he himself could exert, Oglethorpe sought the cooeperation of wealthy and influential persons in the beneficent enterprise. Concurring with his views, twenty-one associates petitioned the throne for an act of incorporation, and obtained letters-patent, bearing date the 9th of June, 1732; the preamble of which recited, among other things, that “many of his Majesty’s poor subjects were, through misfortunes and want of employment, reduced to great necessities, and would be glad to be settled in any of his provinces of America, where, by cultivating the waste and desolate lands, they might not only gain a comfortable subsistence, but also strengthen the colonies, and increase the trade, navigation, and wealth of his Majesty’s realms.” And then added, that, for the considerations aforesaid, the King did constitute and appoint certain persons, whose names are given, “trustees for settling and establishing the colony of Georgia in America,” the intended new province being so called in honor of the King, who encouraged readily the benevolent project, and contributed largely to its furtherance.
At the desire of these gentlemen, there were inserted clauses in the charter, restraining them and their successors from receiving any salary, fee, perquisite, or profit, whatsoever, by or from this undertaking; and also from receiving any grant of lands within the said district to themselves, or in trust for them.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. IX.]
“No colony,” says Southey, “was ever established upon principles more honorable to its projectors. The conduct of the trustees did not discredit their profession. They looked for no emolument to themselves or their representatives after them.”
[Footnote 1: SOUTHEY’S Life of Wesley, Vol. I. p. 179.]
In pursuance of the requisitions of the charter, the trustees held a meeting in London, about the middle of July, for the choice of officers, and the drawing up of rules for the transaction of business. They adopted a seal for the authentication of such official papers as they should issue. It was formed with two faces; one for legislative acts, deeds, and commissions, and the other, “the common seal,” as it was called, to be affixed to grants, orders, certificates, &c. The device on the one was two figures resting upon urns, representing the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, the north-eastern and south-western boundaries of the province, between which the genius of the colony was seated, with a cap of liberty on her head, a spear in one hand, and a cornucopia in the other, with the inscription COLONIA GEORGIA AUG: On the other face was a representation of silk-worms; some beginning, and others completing their labors, which were characterized by the motto, NON SIBI SED ALIIS. This inscription announced the beneficent disposition and disinterested motives of the trustees; while the device was an allusion to a special object which they had in view,–the production of silk.
They had learned that the climate of the region was particularly favorable to the breeding of the worms, and that the mulberry-tree was indigenous there. They conceived that the attention requisite, during the few weeks of the feeding of the worms, might be paid by the women and children, the old and infirm, without taking off the active men from their employment, or calling in the laborers from their work. For encouragement and assistance in the undertaking, they were willing to engage persons from Italy, acquainted with the method of feeding the worms and winding the thread from the cocoons, to go over with the settlers, and instruct them in the whole process. And they intended to recommend it strongly to the emigrants to use their utmost skill and diligence in the culture of mulberry trees, and the prompt attention to the purpose to which their leaves were to be applied; so that, in due time the nation might receive such remittances of raw silk as would evince that their liberality towards effecting the settlement was well applied, and available in produce of an article of importation of so valuable a nature, and in great demand.
The trustees were excited to this project by Oglethorpe, who had been deeply engaged in ascertaining the value of wrought silk as an article of commerce, and also of the raw silk for domestic manufacture, at the time when Mr. John Lombe’s invention for winding and reeling had been brought before Parliament. And now he considered that it would be an exceedingly desirable project to introduce the raising of the commodity in the projected new settlement, and thus diminish to the nation the large sums annually expended in the importation.
This is one of those prospective measures for the advancement of the colony, which were nearly a century before the age. Others will hereafter be mentioned alike entitled to wonder and admiration.
[Footnote 1: See in the Appendix to this volume, a brief history of the culture of silk in Georgia.]
In order to fulfil the intent and promote the purposes of their incorporation, the trustees gave public notice that they were ready to receive applications from such as were disposed to emigrate. They also appointed a committee to visit the prisons, and make a list of insolvent debtors for whom a discharge from the demands of their creditors could be obtained, and to ascertain what compromise might be effected for their release; as also to inquire into the circumstances and character of applicants. To render these more willing to emigrate, it became necessary to hold out encouragement and to offer outfits. To defray these and meet subsequent expenses in carrying the enterprize into effect, they first set the example of contribution themselves, and then undertook to solicit benefactions from others. Several individuals subscribed liberally; collections were made throughout the kingdom; the directors of the Bank of England volunteered a handsome contribution; and the Parliament gave ten thousand pounds.
[Footnote 1: “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth! to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves! They shall feed in the ways. They shall no longer hunger or thirst; FOR HE THAT HATH MERCY ON THEM SHALL LEAD THEM, even by the springs of water shall he guide them, with those that come from far.”–Isaiah xlix. 9,11.]
Having thus acquired a fund to be laid out in clothing, arming, sending over, and supporting the emigrants, and for supplying them with necessary implements to commence and carry on the settlement, the following statement was published: “There are many poor, unfortunate persons in this country, who would willingly labor for their bread, if they could find employment and get bread for laboring. Such persons may be provided for by being sent to a country where there are vast tracts of fertile land lying uninhabited and uncultivated. They will be taken care of on their passage; they will get lands on which to employ their industry; they will be furnished with sufficient tools for setting their industry to work; and they will be provided with a certain support, till the fruits of their industry can come in to supply their wants; and all this without subjecting themselves to any master, or submitting to any slavery. The fruits of every man’s own industry are to be his own. Every man who transports himself thither is to enjoy all the privileges of a free-born subject.”
[Footnote 1: _Political state of Great Britain, for August_, 1732, Vol. XLIV. p. 150.]
Oglethorpe himself stated the object, the motive, and the inducements of such an emigration in the following terms. “They who can make life tolerable here, are willing to stay at home, as it is indeed best for the kingdom that they should. But they who are oppressed with poverty and misfortunes, are unable to be at the charges of removing from their miseries, and these are the persons intended to be relieved. And let us cast our eyes on the multitude of unfortunate individuals in the kingdom, of reputable families, and of liberal, or at least easy education, some undone by guardians, some by lawsuits, some by accidents in commerce, some by stocks and bubbles, and some by suretyship; but all agree in this one circumstance, that they must either be burdensome to their relations, or betake themselves to little shifts for sustenance, which, it is ten to one do not answer their purposes, and to which a well-educated person descends with the utmost constraint. What various misfortunes may reduce the rich, the industrious, to danger of a prison,–to a moral certainty of starving!–These are the persons that may relieve themselves, and strengthen Georgia by resorting thither, and Great Britain by their departure.
“With a view to the relief of people in the condition I have described, his Majesty has, this present year, incorporated a considerable number of persons of quality and distinction, and invested a large tract of South Carolina in them, by the name of Georgia, in trust, to be distributed among the necessitous. Those Trustees not only give land to the unhappy, who go thither, but are also empowered to receive the voluntary contributions of charitable persons to enable them to furnish the poor adventurers with all necessaries for the expense of the voyage, occupying the land, and supporting them, until they find themselves settled. So that now the unfortunate will not be obliged to bind themselves to a long service to pay for their passage, for they may be carried _gratis_ into a land of liberty and plenty, where they will immediately find themselves in possession of a competent estate, in a happier climate than they knew before,–and they are unfortunate indeed if they cannot forget their sorrows.”
[Footnote 1: _New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia_. London. 1733. p. 30–33.]
When the Trustees had got a list of a sufficient number of persons disposed to emigrate, they resolved to send them over.
A vessel was hired to convey the emigrants, fitted up for their accommodation, and supplied with stores, not only for the voyage, but for their support after their arrival. The Trustees also furnished tools for building, implements for husbandry, domestic utensils, and various other articles; and JAMES OGLETHORPE, Esq., one of the Trustees, and the most zealous and active promoter of the enterprise, having signified his readiness to go with the emigrants, and in the same ship, in order to see that they were well treated, and to take care of them after their landing, was clothed with power to exercise the functions of Governor of the Colony.
[Footnote 1: _Account, shewing the progress of the Colony of Georgia from its first settlement; published by order of the Honorable Trustees, by Benjamin Martin, Secretary_. London. 1741.]
He was prompted to engage in this undertaking by the spirit of enterprise and an enlarged philanthropy and patriotism. While the benevolent purpose called into exercise his noblest feelings, he considered that the settlement of a new colony, in a pleasant region, would not only raise the character and highly improve the condition of those by whom it was constituted, but contribute to the interests of the British empire.
In all this he was actuated by motives wholly disinterested; for he freely devoted his time, his exertions, and his influence to the enterprise; and not only bore his own expenses, but contributed largely to the means and assistance of others.
[Footnote 1: See Appendix, No. X.]
The Abbe Raynal, in his _Philosophical and Political History of the British Settlements in America_, states as the _cause_ of Oglethorpe’s undertaking, what, when rightly understood, was but a _consequence_ of it. He says, “A rich and humane citizen, at his death, left the whole of his estate to set at liberty such insolvent debtors as were detained in prison by their creditors. Prudential reasons of policy concurred in the performance of this Will, dictated by humanity; and the Government gave orders that such unhappy prisoners as were released should be transported into Georgia. The Parliament added nine thousand eight hundred and forty-three pounds fifteen shillings, to the estate left by the Will of the citizen. A voluntary subscription produced a much more considerable sum. General Oglethorpe, a man who had distinguished himself by his taste for great designs, by his zeal for his country, and his passion for glory, was fixed upon to direct these public finances, and to carry into execution so excellent a project.”
[Footnote 1: Book II. Chap. IV. See also his _History of the Settlements and Trade of the East and West Indies, by Europeans_, Book XVIII. Vol. VII. page 359, of the English translation. Lond. 1787.]
Mr. Warden, adopted this account, but varied a little from it; for he says, “It happened that Oglethorpe was named executor for the disposal of a legacy left by a wealthy Englishman for the deliverance of insolvent debtors, detained in prison; and this donation, with others, procured from generous individuals, and ten thousand pounds sterling advanced by the government, was employed for the establishment of a colony, where this unfortunate class of men might find an asylum.”
[Footnote 1: _Statistical, Political, and Historical Account of the United States of America_. Vol. II. p. 471.]
Mr. Graham has also followed this statement, and given the testator the credit of projecting the release of prisoners for debt; a project which originated solely with Oglethorpe.
[Footnote 1: _History of America_. Vol. III p. 180.]
I have sought in vain for early vouchers of this statement, and feel assured that the project did not grow out of a bequest either of a “whole estate,” or a “legacy” of any amount, left by “a rich citizen,” or “a wealthy subject” of Great Britain. The story, like most others, becoming amplified by repetition, arose from the fact that Edward Adderly, Esq. had given, in his Will, the sum of one hundred pounds in aid of the settlement of Georgia; but that was _two years after the settlement had commenced_; and it was not to Oglethorpe individually to manage, but to the Trustees to appropriate.
Among my authorities are the publications of the day, when facts and circumstances are mentioned as taking place, and may, therefore, be relied on. I dwell on them more particularly, and lay on them greater stress, because all the early narratives speak of Oglethorpe as the projector of the undertaking, the leader of the emigrants, the founder of the colony. The publisher of “An account of the first planting of the colony of Georgia,” speaking of his engagedness in this noble cause, says, “This was an instance of generosity and public spirit, and an enterprise of fatigue as Well as of danger, which few ages or nations can boast.”
[Footnote 1: _Account of the first planting of the colony of Georgia; published from the records of the Trustees; by_ BENJAMIN MARTIN, _their Secretary_. Lond. 1741, p. 11.]
Ambition and enterprise were strong traits in his character; and what he devised, his firmness of constitution, vigor of health, force of principle, and untiring perseverance, enabled him to pursue to its accomplishment.
The emigrants embark–Arrive at Charlestown, South Carolina–Oglethorpe visits Governor Johnson–Proceeds up the Savannah river–Place of settlement fixed upon–Town laid out–Labors superintended, and assisted by Colonel Bull–Treaty with Tomo Chichi–Progress of settlement–Oglethorpe makes a visit to Governor Johnson, and presents himself before the House of Assembly, and makes an Address of grateful acknowledgment of favors received–Returns to Savannah–Holds a treaty with the Lower Creeks–Goes to head-quarters on the Ogechee–Fort Argyle built–Savannah laid out in wards, and Court of Records instituted.
On the 16th of November, 1732, the intended emigrants embarked, accompanied by the Reverend Henry Herbert, D.D., a clergyman of the Church of England, as Chaplain, and Mr. Amatis, from Piedmont, who was engaged to instruct them in raising silk-worms, and the art of winding silk. The, following “account of their setting forth,” is taken from a contemporary publication.
“The Ann galley, of about two hundred tons, is on the point of sailing from Depford, for the new Colony of Georgia, with thirty-five families, consisting of carpenters, brick-layers, farmers, &c., who take all proper instruments for their employment on their arrival. The men are learning military discipline of the guards; and are furnished with muskets, bayonets, and swords, to defend the colony in case of an attack from the Indians. The vessel has on board ten tons of Alderman Parsons’s best beer, and will take in at Madeira five tons of wine for the service of the colony. Many of the Trustees were on board for the purpose of ascertaining whether they were suitably accommodated and provided for; and to take leave of the worthy gentleman of their own body, who goes with them to take care of them, and to direct in laying out their lands, and forming a town.”
[Footnote 1: GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE for 1732, p. 1029.]
In pursuance of the benevolent design of the Trustees, Oglethorpe engaged in this expedition entirely at his own expense; furnished his own cabin-fare, on board; and was constantly attentive, during the whole voyage, to the situation and comfort of the passengers.
On the 13th of January, 1733, the ship dropt anchor outside of the bar, at the port of Charlestown, South Carolina. Excepting that two infirm children died on the passage, all that went on board had been well, and arrived in good health.
[Footnote 1: The following details are taken from what appears to be information sent to the Trustees in London, and by them published in that popular Journal entitled “_The Political State of Great Britain_,” Vol. XLVI. page 234, collated with _The History of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the Colony of Georgia_, in HARRIS’S Collection of Voyages, II. 327.]
Oglethorpe, with his suite, went on shore to wait on the Governor of the Province, his Excellency Robert Johnson. He was received in the kindest manner, and treated by him and the Council with every mark of civility and respect. Sensible of the great advantage that must accrue to Carolina from this new colony, the Governor afforded all the assistance in his power to forward the settlement; and immediately sent an order to Mr. Middleton, the king’s pilot, to conduct the ship into Port Royal, and to furnish small craft to convey the colonists thence to the river Savannah.
In about ten hours they proceeded with this naval escort. On the 18th Mr. Oglethorpe went ashore on Tench’s Island, where he left eight men, with directions to prepare huts for the people who would disembark, and tarry there till he could make farther arrangements. He proceeded thence to Beaufort, a frontier town of South Carolina, situated on Port Royal Island, at the mouth of the Coosawatchie river, having an excellent harbor.
Early the next morning he went ashore, and was saluted by a discharge of the artillery. The Colonists, arriving on the 20th, were cheerfully received and assisted by Lieutenant Watts, Ensign Farrington, and other officers of the King’s Independent Company on that station; and were waited upon and welcomed by Mr. Delabarr and gentlemen of the neighborhood.
[Footnote 1: “_Brief Account of the Progress of the First Colony sent to Georgia_,”–inserted in the 46th volume, p. 234, of the “_Political State of Great Britain_;” and it makes the second Tract in FORCE’S Collection.]
While the sea-worn emigrants rested and refreshed themselves, the indefatigable Oglethorpe, accompanied by Colonel William Bull, a man of knowledge and experience, went up the river to explore the country. Having found a pleasant spot of ground near to Yamacraw, they fixed upon the place as the most convenient and healthy situation for the settlers, and there marked out a town, which, from the Indian name of the river that ran past it, they called Savannah.
On the 24th he returned, and with the emigrants celebrated the following Sunday as a day of Thanksgiving for their safe arrival. A sermon was preached by the Reverend Mr. Jones, by exchange of services with Doctor Herbert, who officiated at Beaufort. There was a great resort of gentlemen and their families, from the neighborhood, to welcome the new-comers, and unite with them in the gladness of the occasion.
[Footnote 1: REV LEWIS JONES. See some account of him in DALCHO’S _History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina_, p. 378.]
On the 31st they arrived at the place selected for their settlement, the description of which by Oglethorpe himself, in a letter to the Trustees, dated the 10th of February, 1733, cannot fail to give both interesting information and much pleasure to the reader.
After referring to a former letter, and giving a brief notice of their arrival at Beaufort, and his selection of a site, a few miles higher up the river, for laying out a town, he adds, “The river here forms a half-moon, along side of which the banks are about forty feet high, and on the top is a flat, which they call ‘a bluff.’ The plain high ground extends into the country about five or six miles; and, along the river side, about a mile. Ships that draw twelve feet of water can ride within ten yards of the bank. Upon the river side, in the centre of this plain, I have laid out the town, opposite to which is an island of very rich pasturage, which I think should be kept for the cattle of the Trustees. The river is pretty wide, the water fresh, and from the key of the town you see its whole course to the sea, with the island of Tybee, which is at its mouth. For about six miles up into the country, the landscape is very agreeable, the stream being wide, and bordered with high woods on both sides.
“The whole people arrived here on the first of February. At night their tents were got up. Until the tenth they were taken up with unloading and making a crane, which I then could not finish, and so took off the hands, and set some to the fortification, and began to fell the woods.
“I have marked out the town and common; half of the former is already cleared; and the first house was begun yesterday in the afternoon.
“I have taken ten of the Independent Company to work for us, for which I make them an allowance.
“I send you a copy of the resolution of the Assembly of Carolina, and the Governor and Council’s letter to me.
[Footnote 1: Appendix, No. X.]
“Mr. Whitaker has given us one hundred head of cattle. Colonel Bull, Mr. Barlow, Mr. St. Julian, and Mr. Woodward are come up to assist us, with some of their servants.
“I am so taken up in looking after a hundred necessary things, that I write now short, but shall give you a more particular account hereafter.
“A little Indian nation, the only one within fifty miles, is not only in amity, but desirous to be subjects to his Majesty King George, to have lands given them among us. Their chief, and his beloved man, who is the second in the nation, desire to be instructed in the Christian religion.”
[Footnote 1: “The _beloved man_ is a person of much consequence. He maintains and exercises great influence in the state, particularly in military affairs, their Senate, or Council, never determining an expedition or treaty without his consent and assistance.” BOUDINOT, _Star in the East_, p. 202.]
Realizing how important it was to obtain the consent of the natural proprietors of the region, to the settlement of his colony here, and how desirable to be on good terms with those in the vicinity, he sought for an interview with Tomo Chichi, the Mico, or chief of a small tribe who resided at a place called Yamacraw, three miles up the river. Most fortunately and opportunely, he met with an Indian woman who had married a Carolinian trader by the name of Musgrove; and who understood and could speak the English language; and he availed himself of her assistance as an interpreter. The conference ended in a compact and treaty, favorable to the new comers. From this venerable chieftain he afterwards learned, that, besides that immediate district, the territory was claimed and partly occupied by the tribes of the upper and lower Creeks, whose formidable power, no less than their distinct pretensions, rendered it important that their consent should also be obtained. Accordingly, to gain their favor and sanction, he engaged Tomo Chichi to despatch an invitation to their chiefs, to hold a conference with him at Savannah.
[Footnote 1: Oglethorpe afterwards allowed her an annual stipend for her services, finding that she had great influence with the Indians.–Some years afterwards she married the Reverend Mr. Bosomworth; and then she put on airs, and united with him in a vexatious claim for a large tract of land. _See_ McCALL, Vol. I. p. 213. Bosomworth had been a Chaplain in the Regiment of the General; had received many favors from him personally; and a salary from the _Society for propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts_.]
A letter from Oglethorpe, dated Savannah March 12th, 1732-3, gives the following additional information.
“This Province is much larger than we thought, being one hundred and twenty miles from this river to the Alatamaha. This river has a very long course, and a great trade is carried on by it to the Indians, there having above twelve trading boats passed since I have been here.
“There are in Georgia, on this side the mountains, three considerable nations of Indians; one called the _Lower Creeks_, consisting of nine towns, or rather cantons, making about one thousand men able to bear arms. One of these is within a short distance from us, and has concluded a peace with us, giving up their right to all this part of the country; and I have marked out the lands which they have reserved to themselves. The King comes constantly to church, and is desirous to be instructed in the Christian religion; and has given me his nephew, a boy, who is his next heir, to educate.
“The two other nations are the Uchees and the _Upper Creeks_; the first consisting of two hundred, the latter of eleven hundred men. We agree so well with the Indians, that the Creeks and Uchees have referred to me a difference to determine, which otherwise would have occasioned a war.
“Our people still lie in tents, there being only two clapboard houses built, and three sawed houses framed. Our crane, our battery of cannon, and magazine are finished. This is all that we have been able to do, by reason of the smallness of our number, of which many have been sick, and others unused to labor; though, I thank God, they are now pretty well, and we have not lost one since our arrival here.”
[Footnote 1: _Political Taste of Great Britain_, Vol. XLV. p. 445.]
The following extract from a letter dated Charlestown, 22d March, 1732-3, and printed in the South Carolina Gazette, describes, in honorable terms, the attention which the leader of this enterprise devoted to its furtherance.
[Footnote 1: See also “_Account showing the progress of the Colony of Georgia from its first Establishment_.” Lond. 1741. The _Appendix_, No. 2 contains the Letter, with this notice–“Written by a Gentleman of Charlestown, who, with some others, went thither, [i.e. to Savannah] out of curiosity.”]
“Mr. Oglethorpe is indefatigable, and takes a great deal of pains. His fare is but indifferent, having little else at present but salt provisions. He is extremely well beloved by all the people. The general title they give him is _Father_. If any of them are sick, he immediately visits them, and takes a great deal of care of them. If any difference arises, he is the person that decides it. Two happened while I was there, and in my presence; and all the parties went away, to outward appearance, satisfied and contented with his determination. He keeps a strict discipline. I never saw one of his people drunk, nor heard one of them swear, all the time I was there. He does not allow them rum; but in lieu gives them English beer. It is surprizing to see how cheerful the men go to work, considering they have not been bred to it. There are no idlers there. Even the boys and girls do their part. There are four houses already up, but none finished; and he hopes, when he has got more sawyers, which I suppose he will have in a short time, to finish two houses a week. He has ploughed up some land; part of which he has sowed with wheat, which has come up, and looks promising. He has two or three gardens, which he has sowed with divers sorts of seed, and planted thyme, sage, pot-herbs, leeks, skellions, celery, liquorice, &c., and several trees. He was palisading the town and inclosing some part of the common; which I suppose may be finished in about a fortnight’s time. In short, he has done a vast deal of work for the time; and I think his name justly deserves to be immortalized.”
“Colonel Bull, who had been sent by Governor Johnson to assist in laying out the town, and to describe to the people the manner of felling the trees, and of clearing, breaking up, and cultivating the ground, was a very efficient helper. He brought with him four of his negroes, who were sawyers, to help the workmen; and also provisions for them; being resolved not to put the Trustees to any expense; but to bestow his aid in the most free and useful manner. Others from Carolina, also, sent laborers, who, being accustomed to preparing a plantation for settlement, were very expert, and of essential service.”
Thus generously assisted, the new settlers were enabled to cut down a great number of trees; to clear the land, to construct comfortable houses, to make enclosures of yards and gardens, to build a guard-house and fortification, and to effect other means of accommodation and defence.
[Footnote 1: Four beautiful pine-trees were left upon the plain, under which General Oglethorpe encamped.]
[Footnote 2: These were all of the same size; 22 by 16 feet. The town-lots consisted of one quarter of an acre; but they had other lots, at a small distance out of town, consisting of five acres, designed for plantations.]
A public garden was laid out, which was designed as a nursery, in order to supply the people with white mulberry trees, vines, oranges, olives, and various necessary plants, for their several plantations; and a gardener was appointed for the care of it, to be paid by the Trustees.
Things being put in a good train, and the proper station and employment of every man assigned him, Oglethorpe went to Charlestown on a visit to Governor Johnson and the Council. His object was to make a more intimate acquaintance with them, gratefully to acknowledge the succors for the new comers which had been so generously bestowed; and to consult measures for their mutual intercourse.
On Saturday, June 9th, presenting himself before the Governor and House of Assembly, he thus addressed them.
“I should think myself very much wanting in justice and gratitude, if I should neglect thanking your Excellency, you gentlemen of the Council, and you gentlemen of the Assembly, for the assistance which you have given to the Colony of Georgia. I have long wished for an opportunity of expressing my sense of the universal zeal which the