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In Their Own Words

May 28, 1742

Oglethorpe Accused Spanish of Troublemaking

From Frederica, just six weeks before the Spanish invasion of St. Simons Island, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees accusing Spanish Florida of being behind the vocal protestations of the malcontents in Savannah, as well as other intrigues:

“The mutinous temper at Savannah now shows itself to be fomented by the Spaniards and that the destruction of that place was but part of their scheme for raising a general disturbance through all North America. Their correspondence with the Negroes too fatally manifest itself in the fires at New York and Charles Town and the insurrection of the Negroes in Carolina when Mr. Bathurst and above twenty white people and forty Negroes were killed… . You have had a constant history of their [the Spaniards’] bribery from Savannah when they found all their cunning of no effect. They showed their last effort of impotent rage against the rest of the Trustees and me by scolding and raising virulent and malicious lies which they even ventured to print… . I believe this will be the Spanish faction’s last effort at Savannah… . We hope for a great crop of Indian corn upon the island. The soldiers hold the spade in one hand and the sword in the other and both successfully, for since we destroyed seven Spanish forts in Florida in the [1740] campaign against Augustine, we have held them into this very house, so that they have not been able to rebuild any one of them.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 612-613.