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In Their Own Words

June 21, 1734

Arrival of Oglethorpe and Indians Noted in Journal

In his journal of Trustee proceedings, the Earl of Egmont wrote about the recent arrival of Tomochichi and other Yamacraw Indians, who were staying at James Oglethorpe’s estate in Godalming, a Surrey County community about 35 miles southwest of London:

“Order given to bring Tomachaki [sic] and the Indians on Shipboard with him, to our office & to lodge them there, and that our Housekeeper let not the Mob in to See them, nor take money of Gentlemen who Should come out of curiousity.”

In an undated note later added to the June 21, 1734 entry, Egmont wrote:

“The Indians brought by Mr. Oglethorp [sic] were Tomachaki [sic] chief of the Yamacraws, and his wife, Toonaway [Toonahowi] his Gr. Nephew, and 5 others, besides an Interpreter. They came to confirm the [May 21, 1733] Treaty made with them & 8 Nations their Allyes [sic] last year. And Mr. Oglethorp was willing they Should See the Magnificence wealth and Strength of England. There were very decent in their behaviour and no less observing of what they Saw. Their Chief was 90 years but as hearty as any Man of 50, and had a good understanding.

“This nation consists not of above 50 fighting men, but are a branch of the Creek nation who makes above 600. They have lately been much reduced by the Small pox. They are of a revengefull [sic] nature, but not apt to be the aggressor, and the reason they given why they revenge themselves is, that they have no law to punch by the magistrats [sic] hand. Adultery they punish by cutting off the womans [sic] ears and hair, and cutting the mans [sic] throat. A theif [sic] or coward in battle they banish. They live by hunting when the Season is in, and in the other Season Sow corn. They are So charitable that they cant [sic] bear to See another want, & not give him what he desires, and their houses are always open to Strangers.”

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. 57.