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In Their Own Words

September 11, 1734

Trustees/Yamacraw Negotiations Recorded in Diary

In London, the Earl of Egmont recorded in his diary an evening of negotiations between the Trustees and the Yamacraw Indians that had accompanied James Oglethorpe back to England. Their discussion reveals that Oglethorpe apparently had made the decision not to return to Georgia at that time; although he would ultimately return:

“… We passed the evening in conference with the Indians about settling our trade, as the weights, measures, goodness, prices and quality of the things we traffic in, wherein we found them very sagacious and reasonable. They also desire there might be but one dealer for each of their towns, and he licensed, that they might know who to complain of, and more easily have redress in case of ill-usage. They said multitudes of dealers only bred confusion and misunderstandings. they told us when they came over they expected Mr. Oglethorp would return with them, but, since that could not be, they desired our King would send over some gentleman, or that one of our Board would go, to assure the other nations that the word they brought from England was all true, otherwise those nations would not believe them.

“We replied that could not be, nor was necessary, for the magistrates Mr. Oglethorpe left there had all the necessary power to make good our agreements, and were besides obliged to follow our directions, and the Interpreter [John Musgrove] then with us should himself go to all those nations. Mr. Oglethorpe added that if any of our people abused them, and they found no redress, he would go over on purpose, and punish the guilty… .”

Source: U.K. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. 2, pp. 125-126.