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In Their Own Words

April 15, 1740

Indians Arrived in Savannah

William Stephens recorded in his journal about the arrival of a group of Indians to help in an ongoing war with Spain. They were there to see James Oglethorpe (the General):

“…I had the General’s Orders to receive the Indians under Arms, with as many Freeholders as could readily be got together, other spare Men and Inmates being not allowed on this Occasion: And upon Beat of Drum, we got soon together about forty; which indeed was more than expected, considering how many were abroad at work, some one Way, and some another, especially at the Orphan-House; and Minors also, who were not of sufficient Stature, though judged capable of doing Guard Duty in their own Right, were excluded here. At Eleven a Clock they landed, under the Conduct of Mr. Eyre, and Mr. Samuel Brown an Indian Trader of Distinction; when I received them; and the greatest Part of the Town were gathered together, out of Curiosity, to see them: They were a Body of lusty. lively Fellows, with all their Faces most dismally painted with Vermillion and Blue, variously, as each fancied, to make himself appear terrible (as is their usual Custom) and well armed with Firelocks and Hatchets : The Freeholders marched first, four in a Rank; then the Indians in the same Manner, with each Party a Drum in the Centre, which alternately beat the English March, till we came to the Court-House, where the General sat to receive them; and the Freeholders then forming two strait Lines, the Indians passed betwixt them into the House, and the Drums ceased: During the March up the Town, fifteen Pieces of Cannon were discharged: When they were all seated, the General talked kindly to them a while by an Interpreter, and they had Pipes and To-bacco given them, which they all took readily: After that was over, I had Orders to conduct them to the Place prepared for them to rest in; which I did, in the same Manner as before; and there they found what necessary Refreshment was provided, &c. After which, I discharged our People, to follow their own Business, and took my Leave.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 553-554.