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In Their Own Words

September 19, 1738

Oglethorpe Letter Asked for Help from Parliament

After returning to Frederica from England, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees on conditions in Georgia:

“I am arrived here and find things in a better situation than I heard in England, all the Southern division of the province [Georgia] is in very good order.

“I have now told you the best. I hear that the Northern division of the province has lost near three-fourths parts of the people since I left it, some running away for fear of the Spaniards but ten for fear of debt. For the Court of Savannah has taken upon them to imprison for debt, notwithstanding the people surrender their effects… . I can say nothing with certainty of what has been done at Savannah, ‘till I see with my own eyes… .I fear, if some of the people who have had misfortunes are not assisted with provisions, the misery will be too great for description. I hope you will obtain another supply [appropriation] from Parliament, and there is great hope, nay I may say no doubt, that both silk and wine will be in very short time come to perfection.

“… I must again mention that if there is not a supply from Parliament this year, those brave fellows, who stood the worst and who ‘till the arrival of the regiment were forced to be almost the whole year under arms, must starve with their families, since they could not do the duty and work at the same time… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 347-348.