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In Their Own Words

August 03, 1737

Oglethorpe Reported to Trustees on Spanish

In London, James Oglethorpe dined with the Earl of Egmont and three other Trustees. During the meal, Oglethorpe (who was in England lobbying for a British regiment stationed in Georgia under his command) told of Spanish demands that all English colonists in Georgia must leave, as recorded by Egmont in his diary:

“… Mr. Oglethorp [sic] acquainted us that Fitzgerald, the Spanish Agent, had been with Sir Robert Walpole with renewal of complaints against Georgia in an insolent manner. He told he he had a second memorial to deliver … on the subject of the settlement of Georgia by English subjects,which country belong to Spain from the southward up northward as far as 33 degrees and 50 minutes north latitude [a claim that would have included the entire South Carolina coast]; that England had been encroaching on the Spanish dominions ever since the Revolution, but his Majesty of Spain finding himself in good condition is resolved to re-annex all that formerly belonged to the Spanish Monarch; that he hoped there had been time enough given since the last memorial [in 1736] for the English settled in Georgia to remove; that as he had given himself up much to God’s service, he was desirous to see his own dominions restored to him without Christian bloodshed, but if otherwise it would not lie at his door; that unless the English removed by fair means, his Governors know how to oblige them thereto by force, and if His Majesty of Great Britain should send over any troops, and particularly Mr. Oglethorpe to command them, he should take it for a declaration of war.”

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. 426-427.