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In Their Own Words

February 27, 1736

Oglethorpe Letter on Colonists’ Arrival on St. Simons

Aboard the Symond near the mouth of Tybee Creek, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees about the arrival of the first colonists on St. Simons island and his subsequent visit with the Scot Highlanders at Darien:

“… I arrived at Saint Simon the 18th and found the sloop and a detachment of men whom I had sent with her there… . We immediately got up a house and thatched it with palmettoes, dug a cellar, traced out a fort with four bastions by cutting up the turf from the ground, dug enough of the ditch and raised enough of the rampart for a sample for the men to work upon.

“On the 22nd a boat arrived with a detachment of the workmen and the same day I left Saint Simon, rowing up the Altamaha three hours. I arrived at the Scotch settlement which they desire may be called Darien. They were all under arms upon seeing a boat and made a most manly appearance with their plaids, broadswords, targets and firearms … . They have mounted a battery of four pieces of cannon, built a guard house, a storehouse, a chapel and several huts for particular people… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 239-240.