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loading and making a crane which I then could not get finished, 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. 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, and to breed their children at our schools; their chief and his beloved man, who is the second man in the nation, desire to be instructed in the christian religion.” I am gentlemen, &c.
On the 20th of the same month, governor Oglethorpe wrote another letter to the trustees, of which the following is an extract:
“OUR people are all in perfect health; I chose the situation for the town upon an high ground forty feet perpendicular above high water mark; the soil, dry and sandy ; the water of the river, fresh, and springs coming out of the side of the hill. I pitched upon this place not only for the pleasantness of the situation, but because, from the above mentioned and other signs, I thought it healthy; for it is sheltered from the western and southern winds, (the worst in this country) by vast woods of pine trees, many of which are an hundred, and few under
seventy feet high. There is no moss on the trees, though in most parts of Carolina they are covered with it, and it hangs down two or three feet from them. The last and fullest conviction of the healthiness of the place, was, that an Indian nation who knew the nature of this country chose it for their situation.” *
When his excellency gave this account of the moss, he had not extended his travels into the swamps of Georgia, nor had the period of his residence given him an opportunity of judging correctly of the most unhealthy winds. A small fort was erected on the bank of Savannah river, as a place of refuge, and some guns were mounted on it for the defence of the colony. The people were employed in falling trees and building huts, and Oglethorpe animated and encouraged them, by the exposure of his person to all the hardships which the poor objects of his compassion endured : he formed them into a company of militia, appointed officers, and furnished them with arms and ammunition. To show the Indians how expert they were in the use of arms, he frequently exercised them ; and as they had been disciplined before hand by the sergeants of the guards in London, they performed the manual exercise, little inferior to the regular troops. Hav. ing put his colony in the best possible situation for comfort and defence, the next object of his attention was, to treat with the natives for a share of their landed possessions.—The principal tribe that at this time occupied the territory of which he wished to gain possession, were the upper and kower creeks; the former were numerous and strong, the latter, by disease and war, had been reduced to a small number: both tribes together were computed at about twenty-five thousand men, women and children. These Indians, according to a treaty formerly made with governor Nicolson, laid claim to the lands lying south-west of Savannah river, and to procure their friendship for this infant colony, was an object of the highest consequence. But as the tribe settled at Yamacraw was inconsiderable, Oglethorpe judged it expedient to have the other tribes also, to join with them in the treaty. To accomplish this union, he found an Indian, or rather half breed woman, named Mary, who had married a trader from Carolina, by the name of Musgrove, and who could speak both the English and Creek languages: perceiving that she had some influence amongst the Indians, and might be made useful as an interpreter in forming treaties of alliance with them, he first purchased her friendship with presents, and then allowed her a salary of one hundred pounds a year as a reward for her services. By her assistance he summoned a pretty general meeting of the chiefs, to hold a congress with him at Savannah, in order to procure their consent to the peaceable settlement of his colony. At this congress, when fifty chiefs were present, Oglethorpe represented to them the great power, wisdom and wealth of the English nation, and the many advantages that would accrue to the Indians in general, from a connection and friend. ship with them ; and as they had plenty of lands, he hoped they would freely resign a share of them to his people, who were come to settle amongst them, for their benefit and instruction. After having distributed some presents, which was then considered as a necessary preliminary to a treaty” of peace and friendship, an agreement
was entered into, and Tomochichi, in the name of the creek nation, addressed him with the fol.
lowing speech : “Here is a little present; I give you a buffa. loe's skin adorned on the inside with the head and feathers of an eagle, which I desire you to accept, because the eagle is an emblem of speed, and the buffaloe of strength: the English are swift as the bird, and strong as the beast, since like the former, they flew over vast seas to the uttermost parts of the earth; and like the latter, they are so strong that nothing can withstand them: the feathers of the eagle are soft, and signify love; the buffaloe's skin is warm, and signifies protection; therefore, I hope the English will love and protect their little families.” Oglethorpe accepted the present, a treaty was concluded to the satisfaction of both parties, the
* See appendix No. 2.
colonists appeared satisfied with their condition, and every thing seemed to promise prosperity to the new colony. When Oglethorpe came over from England he was not vested with full powers, consequently the ratification of the treaty was to be made in England. Soon after his arrival he sent runners to the different towns, and invited a convention of the kings and chiefs of the creek nation, and entered into a treaty of amity and commerce with them, making a transfer of the whole nation and all their lands, and agreeing to live under and become the subjects of his majesty’s government in common with the white colonists of Georgia. It was further stipulated that a free and complete right and title, was granted to the trustees for all the lands between Savannah and Alatamaha rivers, extending west to the extremity of the tide water, and including all the islands on the coast from Tybee to St Simons’ inclusively, reserving to themselves the islands of Ossabaw, Sapeloe and St. Catharines, for the purposes of hunting, bathing and fishing—also the tract of land lying between Pipe-maker's bluff and Pallychuckola creek, above Yamacraw bluff, now Savannah : which lands the Indians reserved to themselves for an encampment, when they came to visit their beloved friends at Savannah. Stipulations were entered into, regulating the price of goods, and the value of peltry, which was to be received in exchange; and that the number of