In Their Own Words
July 19, 1734
Yamacraw Visit Recorded in Diary
In London, the Earl of Egmont recorded in his diary about the status of the visit of Tomochichi and the other Yamacraw Indians:
“The seven Indians with their interpreter [John Musgrove], Mr. Oglethorp [sic], Mr. Vernon, and Mr. Verelts, came and dined with me. I diverted them in the best manner, walked them into the wood, had music and dancing. I made also some presents. They behaved with great decency, and were well pleased. At parting the King Toma-chiki [sic] made me a speech to tell me he came down to see me in good will and returned in friendship. That God above would continue it, and he hoped we would take care to breed their children Christians.
“I made him a suitable return.
“There were yesterday to see the Archbishop of Canterbury, and were extremely pleased with their visit. They had apprehensions that he was a conjuror, but the kind reception he gave them altered that imagination. The Archbishop would have put some questions to them concerning their notions of religion, but they have a superstition that it is unfortunate to disclose their thoughts on those matters, and refused to answer. They attributed the death of their companion [Tomochichi’s cousin had died of small pox during the visit] to having too freely spoke thereof since they came over. Nevertheless the King was so taken with the Archbishop that he said he must come again alone to talk with him. At coming away he said he now really believed they should have some good man sent them to instruct them and their children.
“… Of all these Indians there is but one who can be tempted to drink too freely, and they complained to us that their interpreter [John Musgrove] is too much given to it… .
“…The King [Tomochichi] made a sensible reflection since he came over. He said he saw we knew a great many more things than they, but he thought we were not the better men for it, and that they were more happy and innocent in their ignorance.”
Source: Historical Manuscripts Commission [U.K.], Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont. Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival), (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. II, pp. 113 et seq.