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In Their Own Words

March 16, 1736

Oglethorpe Letter Described Building of Fredercia

On St. Simons Island, construction was underway of the new town of Frederica, as noted in the following letter from James Oglethorpe to the Trustees:

“I have at last got all the people to Saint Simon’s … . We have built bowers thatched with palmetto for about half the inhabitants and by the end of this week I hope every family where women are will have a bower wind and water tight upon their lot. A party of people are sowing for the next year’s crop. I have already shown every man his town lot. About forty of the workmen are already come up and some are joining us every day. The man of war and the King’s Independent Company are not yet arrived. But the Indian king Tomochichi and his nephew Toonahowi and the beloved man Umpechee, who were in England with me, have joined us with a party of Indians and declared that they will live and die by us. They agreed that we shall possess the Island of Saint Simon’s but reserve that of Saint Catherine’s to themselves…

“Tomochichi and I at his desire go out tomorrow to hunt the buffalo as far as the utmost extent of his dominions towards Augustine. We shall then know how far the lands possessed by the English confederate Indians extend. Tomochichi is willing that we should settle upon any place within his lands provided the Lower Creek Nations agree to it. God be praised there is not so much as one of the persons dead that come from Europe with us… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 251-252.