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In Their Own Words

July 15, 1740

Oglethorpe Reported on Spanish Expedition

From Ebenezer, Johann Martin Boltzius recorded in his journal of word from James Oglethorpe and his campaign against Spanish Florida:

“Mr. Jones, whom I visited in Savannah, read me two letters from General Oglethorpe, dated the 30th of June. One was to him and the other to the Presbyterian preacher in Darien, Mr. MacClayd [John McLeod]. In the first, Mr. Oglethorpe reported to Mr. Jones that some 20 men, Scots and Indians, had gotten into an empty fort [Fort Mose] against his orders and were attached by the Spanish in a great fury. Several [actually many] were killed, and five or six were led to St. Augustine as prisoners. they had orders to stay in the open field near this same fort so that, if the Spanish became too powerful for them, they could save themselves in quick flight.

“In the second letter Mr. Oglethorpe reported to the above-mentioned preacher that a number of his parishioners had given their lives for their king and country. He had made arrangements to bury them in military fashion, but still did not know all their names. In the meantime he was letting the widows in Darien know that he would write to the Trustees requesting them to give each widow two man-servants and a serving girl free and supplied with provisions, to offset in some measure the loss of their husbands and to console them in their widowhood.”

Source: George Fenwick Jones and Don Savelle (ed. and trans.), Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America … Edited by Samuel Urlsperger (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983), Vol. VII, p. 191.