תמונות בעמוד

Their diversions are various. With fome, dancing is a favorite amusement. Others take a fancied pleasure at the gaming table, which, however, frequently terminates in the ruin of their happiness, fortunes, and constitutions. In the upper counties, horse racing and cock fighting prevail, two cruel diversions imported from Virginia, and the Carolinas, from whence those who practise them principally emigrated. But the most rational and universal amusement is hunting; and for this Georgia is particularly well calculated, as the woods abound with plenty of deer, ra.coons, rabits, wild turkies, and other game ; at the same time the woods are fo thin and free from obstructions, that you may generally ride half speed in the chace, without danger. In this amusement pleasure and profit are blended. The exercise, more than any other, contributes to health, and fits for activity in business, and expertness in war; the game also affords them a palatable food, and the skins a profitable article of commerce.

Religion.] In regard to religion, politics and literature, this state is yet in its infancy. In Savannah is an Episcopal church, a Presbyterian church, .a Synagogue, where the Jews pay their weekly worship, and a German Lutheran church, supplied occasionaily by a German minister from Ebenezer, where there is a large convenient Stone church, and a settlement of sober industrious Germans of the Lutheran religion. In Augufta they have an Episcopal church. In Midway is a fociety of Christians, established on the congregational plan. Their meeting house was burnt by the British, 1778; lince which they have ereded a temporary one in its room. Their anceltors emigrated in a colony from Dorchester, near Boston, about the year 1700, and settled at a place named Dorchester, about 20 miles southwest of Charleston, South Corolina. In 1752, for the sake of a better climate, and more land, almost the whole society removed and settled at Midway. With few interruptions, occafioned by the deaths of their ministers, and the late war, in which they greatly suffered, they have had a preached gospel constantly among them. They, as a people, retain in a great meafure, that fimplicity of manners, that unaffected picty and brotherly love, which characterised their ancestors, the first settlers of New England. The upper counties are supplied, pretty generally, by Baptist and Methodist ministers. But the greater part of the state, is not suppled by minifters of


denomination. Conftitution ] The numerous defects in the present constitution of this ftate, induced the citizens, pretty universally, to petition for a revision of it. It was acordingly revised, or rather a new one was formed, in the course of the last year, nearly upon the plan of the constitution of the United States *, but has not yet been adopted by the state.

The fate of liierature.] The literature of this state, which is yet in its infancy, is commencing on a plan which affords the most flattering profpects. It seems to have been the design of the legislature of this itate, as far as poslible, to unite their literary concerns, and provide for them in common, that the whole miglit feel the benefit, and no part be neglected or left a prey to party rage, private prejudices and contentions, and consequent ignorance, their inseparable attendant. For this purpose, the literature of this state, like its policy, appears to be considered as one ob

* See “ Jackson's Conftitution of the American States, published by order of Congress,'--printed for Mr. Stockdale.


ject, and in the same manner subje&t to common and general regulations for the good of the whole. The charter containing their present fyftem of education, passed in the year 1785. A college, with ample and liberal endowments, is instituted in Louisville, a high and healthy part of the country, near the center of the state. There is also provision made for the inititution of an academy, in each county in the state, to be fupported from the same funds, and considered as parts and members of the fame institution, under the general superintendence and direction of a president and board of trustees, appointed, for their literary accomplishments, from the different parts of the state, invested with the customary powers of corporations. The institution thus composed, is denominated • The University of Georgia.'

That this body of literati, to whom is intrusted the direction of the general literature of the state, may not be so detatched and independent, as not to possess the confidence of the state, and in order to secure the at. tention and patronage of the principal officers of government, the governor and council, the speaker of the house of assembly, and the chief juftice of the state, are associated with the board of trustees, in some of the great and more folemn duties of their office, such as making the laws, appointing the president, settling the property, and instituting academies. Thus associated, they are denominated The Senate of the University," and are to hold a stated, annual meeting, at which the governor of the state prefides.

The senate appoint a board of commiffioners in each county, for the particular management and direction of the academy, and the other schools in each county, who are to receive their iastructions from, and are accountable to the senate. The rector of each academy is an officer of the university, to be appointed by the president, with the advice of the trustees, and commissioned under the public seal, and is to attend with the other officers at the annual meeting of the fenate, to deliberate on the general interests of literature, and to determine on the course of instruction for the year, throughout the university. The president has the general charge and oversight of the whole, and is from time to time to visit them, to examine into their order and performances.

The funds for the support of their inftitution, are principally in lands, amounting in the whole to about fifty thousand acres, a great part of which is of the best quality, and at present very valuable. There are also nearly fix thousand pounds fterling in bonds, houfes, and town lots in the town of Augusta. Other public property to the amount of £.1000, in each county, has been set apart for the purposes of building and furnishing their respective acadamies. The funds originally designed for the support of the orphan house, are chiefly in rice plantations and negroes. As the countess of Huntingdon has not, fince the revolution, expressed her intention concerning them, they lie at present in a very unproductive situation.

Isands.] The whole coaft is bordered with islands, affording, with few interruptions, an inland navigation from the river Savannah to St. Mary's. The principal islands are Skidaway, Wasfaw, Offabaw, St. Catharine's, Sapelo, Frederica, Jekyl, Cumberland and Amelia.

Indians.] The Muskogee or Creek Indians inhabit the middle parts of this state, and are the most numerous tribe of Indians of any within the

[ocr errors][merged small]

limits of the United States. Their whole number is 17,280, of which 5,860 are fighting men. Their principal towns lie in latitude 32 and longitude 11° 20' from Philadelphia. They are settled in a hilly but not moutainous country. The soil is fruitful in a high degree, and well watered, abounding in creeks and rivulets, from whence they are called the Creek Indians.

The SEMINOLAS, a division of the creek nation, inhabit a level, flat country on the Appalachicola and Flint rivers, fertile and well watered.

The CHACTAws, or flat heads, inhabit a very fine and extensive tract of hilly country, with large and fertile plains intervening between the Alabama and Missisippi rivers, in the western part of this state. This nation have 43 towns and villages, in three divisions, containing 12,123 fouls, of which 4,041 are fighting men.

The CHICASAWS are settled on the head branches of the Tombeckbe, Mobile, and Yazoo rivers, in the north-west corner of the state. Their country is an extensive plain, tolerably well watered from springs, and of a pretty good foil

. They have y towns, the central one of which is in latitude 34° 23', and longitude 14° 30' west. The number of fouls in this nation have been reckoned at 1725, of which 575 are fighting men.

History. ] The settlement of a colony between the rivers Savannah andi Alatamaha, was meditated in England in 1732, for the accommodation of poor people in Great-Britain and Ireland, and for the further security of Carolina. Private compaffion and public spirit conspired to promote the benevolent design.--Humane and opulent men suggested a plan of transporting a number of indigent families 10 this part of America, free of expence. For this purpose they applied to the King, George the IId. and obtained from him "letters patent, bearing date June 9th, 1732, for legally carrying into execution what they had generously projected. They called the new province GEORGIA, in honour of the King, who encouraged the plan. A corporation, consisting of 21 persons, was constituted by the name of trustees, for settling and establishing the colony of Georgia, which was separated from Carolina by the River Savannah.—The trustees having first set an example themselves, by largely contributing to the scheme, undertook also to folicit benefactions from others, and to apply the money towards clothing, arming, purchasing utensils for cultivation, and transporting such poor people as should consent to go over and begin a settlement. They did not confine their charitable views to the subjects of Britain alone ; but wisely opened a door for the indigent and oppressed protestants of other nations. To prevent a misapplication of the money, it was deposited in the bank of England.

About the middle of July, 1732, the trustees for Georgia held their first meeting, and chose Lord Percival president of the corporation-and ordered a common feal to be made. In November following, 116 fettlers embarked for Georgia, to be conveyed thither free of expence, furnished with every thing requisite for building and for cultivating the foil. James Oglethorpe, one of the trustees, and an active promoter of the settlement, embarked as the head and director of these settlers. They arrived at Charleston early in the next year, where they met a friendly reception from the governor and council.

Mr. Oglethorpe, accompanied by William Bull, fhortly after his arrival, visited Georgia, and after


reconnoitring the country, marked the spot on which Savannah now stands, as the fittest to begin their settlement. Here they accordingly be gan, and built a small fort ; a number of small huts for their defence and accommodation. Such of the settlers as were able to bear arms, were embodied, and well appointed with officers, arins, and ammunition.A treaty of friendhip was concluded between the settlers and their neighbours, and the Creek Indians, and every thing wore the aspect of peace and future profperity.

In the mean time the trustees for Georgia had been employed in framing a plan of settlement, and establishing such public regulations as they judged most proper for answering the great end of the corporation. In this general plan they confidered each inhabitant both as a planter and a soldier, who must be provided with arms and ammunition for defence, as well as with tools and utensils for cultivation. As the strength of the province was their chief object in view, they agreed to estab!ith fuch tenures for holding lands in it as they judged most favourable for a military establishment. Each tract of land granted was considered as a military fief, for which the poffeffer was to appear in arms, and take the field, when called upon for the public defence. To prevent large tracts front falling in process of time into one hand, they agreed to grant their lands in tail male in preference to tail in general. On the termination of the es. tate in tail male, the lands were to revert to the truit; and such lands thus reverting were to be granted again to such persons, as the common-council of the trust should judge most advantageous for the colony; only the truftees in such a case were to pay special regard to the daughters of such perfons as had made improvements on their lots, especially when not already provided for by marriage. The wives of fuch perfons as should furvive them, were to be, during their lives, entitled to the mansion-house, and one-half of the lands improved by their husbands. No man was to be permitted to depart the province without licence. If any of the lands granted by the trustees shall not be cultivated, cleared, and fenced round about with a worin fence, or pales, fix feet high, within eighteen years from the date of grant, flich part was to revert to the trull, and the grant with respect to it to te void.

All forfeitures for non-residence, high-treason, felonies, &c. were to the trustees for the use and benefit of the colony. The use of negroes was to be abfolutely prohibited, and also the importation of rum. None of the colonists were to be permitted to trade with Indians, but such as should obtain a special licence for that purpose.

These were some of the fundamental regulations established by the truf. tees of Georgia, and perhaps the imagination of man could fcarcely have framed a system of rules worse adapted to the circumstances and situatiou of the poor settlers, and of more pernicious consequence to the prosperity of the province. Yet, although the trustees were greatly mistaken, with respect to their plan of settlement, it must be acknowledged their views were generous. As the people sent out by them were the poor and unfortunate, who were to be provided with neceffaries at their public ftore, they received their lands upon condition of cultivation, and, by their personal residence, of defence. Silk and wine being the chief articles intended to be raised, they judged negroes were not requisite to these pur


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

poses. As the colony was designed to be a barrier to South-Carolina, against the Spanish fettlement at Augustine, they imagined that negroes would rather weaken than strengthen it, and that such paor

colonists would run in debt, and ruin themfelves by purchasing them. Rum was judged pernicious to health, and ruinous to the infant settlement. A'free trade with Indians was considered as a thing that might have a tendency to involve the people in quarrels and troubles with the powerful savages, and expose them to danger and destruction, Such were, probably, the motives which induced those humane and generous perfons to impose fuch foolish and ridiculous restrictions on their colony. For by granting their small estates in tail mail, they drove the settlers from Georgia, who foon found that abundance of lands could be obtained in America upon a larger scale, and on much better terms. By the prohibition of pegroes, they rendered it impracticable in such a climate to make any impression on the thick forests, Europeans being utterly unqualified for the heavy talk. By their discharging a trade with the west-Indies, they not only deprived the colonists of an excellent and convenient market for their lumber, of which they had abundance on their lands, but also of rum, which, when mixed with a sufficient quantity of water, has been found in experience the cheapest, the most refrething, and nourishing drink for workmen in such a foggy and burning climate. The trustees, like other distant legislators, who framed their regulations upon principles of speculation, were liable to many crrors and mistakes, and however good their design, their rules were found improper and impracticable. The Carolinians. plainly perceived that they would prove insurmountable obstacles to the progress and prosperity of the colony, and therefore from motives of pity began to invite the poor Georgians to come over Savannah river, and settle in Carolina ; being, convinced that they could never succeed under fuch impolitic and oppressive restrictions.

Besides the large sums of money which the trustees had expended for the fettlement of Georgia, the parliament had also granted during the two last years. £-36,000 towards carrying into execution the humanc purpose of the corporation. But after the representation and memorial from the legislature of Carolina reached Britain, the nation considered Georgia to be of the utmost importance to the British settlements in America, and began to make still more vigorous efforts for its speedy population. The first embarkations. of poor people from England, being collected from towns and cities, were found equally idle and useless members of society abroad, as they had been at home. An hardy and bold race of, men, inured to rural. labour and fatigue, they were persuaded would be much better.adapted both for cultivation and defence. To find men possessed of these qualifi, cations, they turned their eyes to Germany and the Highlands of Scotland, and resolved to send over a number of Scotch and German labourers to their infant province. When they published their terms at Inverness, an hundred and thirty Highlanders immediately accepted them, and were transported to Georgia. A township on the river Alatamaha, which was conLidered as the boundary between the British and Spanish territories, was alltted for the Highlanders, on which dangerous situation they settled, and built a town, which they called New Inverness. About the fame time an hundred and seventy Germans embarked with James Oglethorpe


[merged small][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »