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In Their Own Words

March 23, 1737

Diary Entry on Spanish Threat to Georgia

In London, the Earl of Egmont wrote in his journal of Trustee proceedings about Spanish threats to the security of Georgia and South Carolina. At the time of his entry, James Oglethorpe was in England:

“Mr. Wrag the Mercht. came to Shew us a letter he had received from his brother in Carolina confirming the Same, and that the Spaniards design’d to publish a Proclamation, declaring all Negroes free who Should not assist their Masters.”

“Mr. Oglethorpe recd. other letters that the Province of Carolina was much alarm’d and had order’d the Creek Indians to go down against the Florida Indians to keep them in Play, that they might not joyn the Spaniards… .

“Our condition at that time was bad: For tho we had about 700 men in our Province capable to bear arms, not above 300 could be got together to defend either Savannah or Frederica, in either of which places we had but little ammunition, and no military Man fit to command.”

Source: Robert G. McPherson (ed.), The Journal of The Earl of Egmont: Abstract of the Trustees Proceedings for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1738 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1962), p. 248.