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In Their Own Words

September 17, 1733

Oglethorpe Letter Seven Months after Founding of Savannah

Seven months after the founding of Savannah, James Oglethorpe wrote to the Trustees of affairs in the fledging colony of Georgia. His letter also reveals that he did not plan to stay in Georgia but rather would soon be returning to England:

“I have received the agreeable news of the approbation your designs have met with from Parliament, by the Georgia Pink, Captain Daubus Commander. The people on board him are all arrived safe, Daniel Preston excepted who was washed overboard in a storm… .

“In a former [letter] I gave you an account of my having agreed with Captain MacPherson for him to build fort Argyle for £200 Currency… . He has finished the new fort, the guns are mounted, the houses built and six families settled there besides the garrison… . I have settled Mr. Bishop, Hetherington &c. on a point called Thunderbolt, which commands the channel that comes up from Saint Augustine to this place. They have some guns there and a fort in pretty good forwardness. I have ordered ten men to be settled upon the Island of Tybee which commands the other passage from Augustine, and when that fortified I take this place will be pretty safe. A beacon upon Tybee for to direct ships on their making land is very necessary.

“Many of the newcomers, in spite of all I can do, drink very hard, so that I fear a mortality will soon happen amongst them. Our people’s being unhealthy forced me to stay here, lest it might seem that I left them in distress and for fear of sharing the sickness, which some people construed the consequence of the climate into which I had brought them. The place being now grown healthy, the authority of the Court being well established, I shall, so soon as the fort at Tybee is begun, leave this place which I am in hopes will be in a few days.

“… I have allowed Captain Daubus a reward as being the first ship that came from Europe directly… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 23-25.