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his head-men to Charleston: a new treaty was
framed, accompanied by the usual preliminaries of presents, and the Indians returned home well satisfied. But few important transactions appear to have been recorded under the government of Mr. Reynolds: the laws which prevailed in the oth
er colonies, governed here. In 1755, the king
granted letters patent for establishing courts of record by the name of the General Courts of the Province of Georgia: Noble Jones and Jonathan Bryan, esquires, were appointed justices during the king's pleasure. These courts were competent to the trial of all treasons, felonies, and other criminal offences, committed within the province; they were to be held at Savannah, on the second Thursdays in January, April, July and October, every year: the letters also granted to the justices of this general court, full power to hold any pleas, in any manner of causes, suits and actions, as well criminal as civil, real, personal, and mixed, where the sum demanded should exceed forty shillings sterling, excepting only where the title of any freehold should come in question; and authorised them to bring causes to a final determination and execution, as fully and amply as might be done by the courts of king’s-bench, common pleas, and exchequer in England. The following table will give some idea of the progress of the colony for a few succeeding years.
Exports in 1750 . . . $8,897 76
The exports in silk from 1750 to 1754 inclusively, amounted to eight thousand eight hundred and eighty dollars. In the year 1757, one thousand and fifty pounds of raw silk, were received at the filature in Savannah. In 1758, the silkhouse was consumed by fire, with a quantity of silk and seven thousand and forty pounds of cocoons or silk balls. In 1759, the colony exported upwards often thousand weight of raw silk, which sold two or three shillings per pound higher in London, than that of any other country. The cultivation of rice had begun to produce disease, and the high pine-barren was resorted to for the restoration and preservation of health: some of the people in the country imagined that the residence near the causeways, in consequence of vegetable putrefaction, occasioned bilious fevers and other diseases. Since Mr. Boltzius had become a rice planter, he had buried four children out of five, in seven years, but the health of the negroes had not been much impaired by this species of cultivation.
On the 16th of February, 1757, Henry Ellis, a fellow of the royal society, was appointed to suc
ceed Reynolds in the government. The rich swamps on the sides of the rivers lay uncultivated, and the planters had not yet found their way into the interior of the country, where the lands not only exceeded those in the maritime parts in fertility for every thing else but rice, but where the climate was more healthy and pleasant. But few of the Georgians had any negroes to assist them in the cultivation of the rice swamps, so that in 1756, the whole exports of the country were only two thousand nine hundred and ninetysix barrels of rice, nine thousand three hundred and ninety-five pounds of indigo, and two hundred and sixty-eight pounds of raw silk, which together with skins, furs, lumber and provisions, amounted only to sixteen thousand seven hundred and seventy-six pounds sterling. Georgia continued to be an asylum for insolvent and embarassed debtors for Carolina and the other colonies, which, added to the indolence that had previously prevailed, kept the colony sunk in insignificance and contempt. The extreme heat of the summer in Savannah, as represented by governor Ellis, in a letter which was published, perhaps tended to deter many Europeans from settling so far south in North America. He says, that on the 7th of July, while writing in his piazza which was open at both ends, the mercury in Fahrenheit's thermometer stood at 102° in the shade: twice had it risen to that height during the summer, several times to
100," and for many days together to 98°, and in the night did not sink below 89°: he thought it highly probable that the inhabitants of Savannah breathed a hotter air than any other people upon earth. The town being situated on a sandy eminence, the reflection from the dry sand, when there was little or no agitation in the air, greatly increased the heat: by walking an hundred yards from his house upon the sand, under his umbrella, with the thermometer suspended by a thread as high as his face, the mercury rose to 105°. The same thermometer he had with him in the equatorial parts of Africa and the West India islands, yet by his journals he found it had never risen so high in those places, and that its general station had been between 79° and 86°: he acknowledges, however, that he felt those degrees of heat in a moist air, more oppressive than at Savannah, when the thermometer stood at 81° in his cellar, at 102” in the story above it, and in the upper story of his house at 1059. On the 10th of December, the mercury was up at 86°, and on the eleventh down as low as 38°, on the same instrument. Such sudden and extreme changes, espe. cially when they happen frequently, must violently rack the human constitution; yet he asserts that few people died at Savannah out of the ordinary course, though many were working in the open air, exposed to the sun during this extreme heat. As governor Ellis was a man of sense and erudition, and no doubt made his observations with accuracy, I shall not presume to call in question the facts which he relates, but I feel bound to assert, under the authority of the oldest inhabitants now living in Savannah, that there have been but few instances in which the mercury has risen above 96°, and none in which it has risen above 100° in the shade, within the last thirty years. The trade winds prevail on the sea coast of Georgia, with great uniformity in the summer, particularly on the southern part of it; and it is not unworthy of remark, that I resided at Point. Peter near the mouth of St. Mary’s river, eighteen months, and the garrison consisted of near one hundred troops, and that I do not recollect after the first fortnight, to have seen three men in bed with the sever, and that only one died during that period, and his disease was a consumption. Indeed the sea shore is healthy, except in the vicinity of stagnant fresh water, and would be very pleasant if the inhabitants were not annoyed by sand-flies and musketoes; the former are most troublesome in the spring and autumnal months, and in cloudy and damp mornings and evenings: they are unable to endure much heat or cold, and disappear on the approach of either. The musketoes are most troublesome during the heat of summer, particularly at night. I have annexed these remarks, because governor Ellis asserts that the maritime parts of Georgia are the most unhealthy and unpleasant. In 1758, the lands which had been acquired