Page images
PDF
EPUB

any kind of spirits or strong waters whatsoever, At the same time they endeavored to supply the stores with strong beer from England, molasses for brewing i.eer, and with Madeira wines, which the people might purchase at reasonable rates, and which would be more refreshing and wholesome. The magistrates of the town of Savannah were empowered to grant licences to private persons for retailing beer, ale, &c. and the trustees had great reason to believe, that the healthiness of Eb.

enezer to the northward, and of Frederica to the

southward of Savannah, was to be attributed to the prohibition of ardent spirits. Where ardent spirits have been introduced in defiance of the law, and used to excess, the people were neither healthy nor vigorous. These acts, as well as the one prohibiting the use and introduction of slaves into the new colony, were laid before the king in council in the month of January 1735, and ratified. Though the lands granted by the trustees were to revert to them on failure of male issue, in order to be re-granted, for keeping up a number of men capable of bearing arms; yet the trustees as guardians of the people, when any such failure happened, resolved that the value of the improvements upon the lands of the late occupiers, should be estimated and paid to or for the benefit of the female offspring or nearest kinswoman, and the first case of this kind occurring on the death of Mr. De Ferron, the value of the improvements

y

he had made on his estate, was on the 5th of Fe. bruary 1735, paid in pursuance of an order to that effect, for the use of his daughter in England, who being destitute, would have been absolutely unable to proceed in the cultivation of her father’s lot. The addition to the population this year, at the trustees expense, were eighty-one ; principally Saltzburghers, who joined their countrymen at Ebenezer. Two thousand five hundred acres of land was granted this year to the poor, and one thousand nine hundred acres were grant. ed to such persons as came over on their own account: the contributions for this year amounted to 31,416l. 7s. 7d. sterling. The attention of Oglethorpe, was at an early period after his arrival in the colony, directed to the opening of a communication to the source of navigation on the Savannah river. He accordingly extended his settlements up that river as far as his claims by treaty would justify. The Saltzburghers, a hardy race of people who had been driven out of the electorate of Bavaria, by persecution, on account of their adherence to the tenets of the protestant religion, were settled about Ebenezer, twenty-five miles from Savannah—the lands between Ebenezer and the river of briers, (brier creek) belonged to a tribe of Indians called Uchees, who refused to dispose of them. Two forts were built on the north-east side of the river which answered the purpose. H

Establishments were made at mount pleasant; silver bluff—Moore's fort was built at a place called by the natives Savannah Town, seven miles above New-Windsor, and near the falls. The trustees ordered the town of Augusta to be laid eff in 1735, and garrisoned in 1736: several ware-houses were built and furnished with goods suitable for the Indian trade—boats were built by the inhabitants calculated to carry about ten thousand weight of peltry; making four or five voyages annually to Charleston. Augusta became a general resort for the Indian traders in the spring, where they purchased annually about two thousand pack-horse loads of peltry: and including towns-men, pack-horse-men and servants, it was calculated that six hundred white persons were engaged in this trade. A path was opened to Savannah which was passable on horse back: a stock of cattle was placed at Eebenezer belonging to the trustees, but were neglected for want of horses to attend to them. Amongst the emigrants of the last year (1734) were twenty families of Jews, for whom land was laid off in the neighborhood of Savannah.

The next colonists in 1735, were principally Saltzburghers, who joined the settlement of their compatriots at Ebenezer; these were honest industrious farmers, never complained of their condition or treatment, and appeared to be duly impressed with a sense of their obligations to the trustees.

The Rev. Mr. Boltzius in his letters to Ger. many, represents Ebenezer to be very healthy— he says that his congregation consisted of one hundred and thirty persons, by which it is supposed he meant grown people, and that only one death occurred in a whole year, and the deceased was a youth: he afterwards mentions their being afflicted by disease, occasioned by opening rice lands, and making a cross-way through Ebenezer swamp; and that the only part of the settlers who were generally unhealthy in the colony, were the idle and dissipated who lived in and about Savannah. When Oglethorpe left Georgia, which was in April 1734, the charge of the colony was confided principally to Thomas Causton, who was a bailiff or magistrate, and store-keeper. Other magistrates were associated with him, who were considered nominal characters, entirely under his control. The settlers preferred against him such charges as these—that he had threatened jurors, whose verdicts did not correspond with his inclination or humor; and being of low origin he became intoxicated with the powers vested in him : he was proud, haughty and cruel; that he compelled eight freeholders with an officer, to attend at the door of the court-house while it was in session, with their guns and bayonets; who had orders to rest their firelocks as soon as he appeared : that juries from terror of him could not act according to their consciences: that his head was turned by power and pride; and that he threatened without distinction, rich and poor, strangers and inhabitants, who dared to oppose his arbitrary proceedings, or claimed their just rights and privileges, with the jail, stocks and whipping post : that he thus rendered his name a terror to the people—he was charged with mis-applying the public money and other property, giving more than their due to his favorites, and withholding the just claims of those who dared to oppose the injustice of his proceedings. The inhabitants of Carolina, had in public and private donations, contributed upwards of 1300l. sterling, to aid and encourage the settlement of Georgia; and seeing the funds dissipated uselessly by Causton, and out of regard ...to the welfare of their fellow-creatures, persuaded , many of them to abandon their settlements in Georgia, and pass over into their province. In December 1734, Mr. Gordon as chief magistrate, was sent over by the trustees to Savannah : he is represented to have been a man of some talents, and soon became a favorite with the people—they laid their grievances before him, and he made an effort to restore harmony and ‘good order; but old Causton’s cunning soon pointed out an expedient to remove his adversary—Gordon was refused either money or provisions from the public store, which in a short time rendered him incapable of supporting him. self and family; and he was obliged after a stay

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »