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In Their Own Words

August 07, 1734

Egmont Recorded Yamacraw Visit

In London, the Earl of Egmont wrote of the visiting Yamacraw Indians:

“Mr. Verelts acquainted me that the King Toma-Chiki [sic] and the rest of the Indians was very well satisfied with their audience at Court, but were much afflicted with the death of their comrade, who was a cousin of the King’s On that occasion they sat up all night, crying and bewailing his loss. Toma-Chiki told Mr. Verelts, our accountant, that his relation was gone to God, that he would see us no more, but he should see him, and believed he should be the first; that all he desired was that one of the company here might live to carry back our King’s answer to his countrymen. Mr. Verelts asked him how he was pleased and what he observed at Court, to which he replied that they carried him through a great many houses (he meant rooms) to make him believe the King’s Palace consisted of many, but he was much surprised to find he returned by the same stairs he went up, by which he found it was still one house. He added that he found we knew a great many more things than they, but he doubted if we were happier, since we are worse livers than they, and they more innocent.

“The Queen called for the boy [Toonahowi], his nephew, after the audience she gave them all was over, stroked his face, and told him he much come again to see her, for she had a present for him. He answered in English, and is forward in his learning. Mr. Smith, of our Society [for Promotion of Christian Knowledge], coming three times a week to instruct him in the principles of Christianity. He can say the Lord’s Prayer, Belief, and Ten Commandments, but I fear all this will be lost at his return. They went on Friday last to Mr. Oglethorp’s [Westbrook Manor] in Surrey to dissipate their sorrow for the death of their friend, and returned this night… .”

Source: Historical Manuscripts Commission [U.K.], Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont. Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (Viscount Percival) (London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. II, p. 119-120.