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In Their Own Words

April 28, 1741

Oglethorpe Report on Frederica

From Frederica, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees in London:

“Notwithstanding the silliness and desertion of some our inhabitants and the underhand endeavours of the Spaniards…, the town [Frederica] contains of freeholders and there is more likelihood of planting upon this island [St. Simons] than there has hitherto been, being about 150 acres already planted besides 40 acres of clear meadow enclosed for hay and some teams of oxen and horses, besides a great many riding horses, most of ‘em taken from the Spaniards.

“… I still think this province is likelier to succeed than ever and to become a strong frontier and useful in furnishing all those productions of warm countries, which we have from the Mediterranean, and by the raising of them gives support to persecuted Protestants from foreign countries and others who are will to be industrious, and do not doubt to accomplish the ends mentioned in our first proposals. I have the more reason to believe this since we have had the utmost opposition both public and private that could possibly have been given by the enemies of the Nation, as well as by the idleness, wickedness and folly of our inhabitants and the jealousy and self-interest of the neighbouring colonies. As God has been pleased hitherto to overcome all these oppositions, I think from thence we are much more likely now to succeed that we were before we knew what oppositions we were to receive. The chief thing is to persevere and go on steadily in spite of calumny, the weak but poisoned weapon of impotent enemies. Is think still, as I have already mentioned, the greatest service that can be done is to send over married recruits with industrious wives.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-43 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 572-573.