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In Their Own Words

November 04, 1742

Letter to Trustees Detailed Hardships

From Frederica on St. Simons Island, Thomas Upton wrote the Earl of Egmont, the most prominent of the Georgia Trustees, about his dire situation:

“… I suppose Your Lordship has been acquainted of my leaving my settlement upon this island and took up the island of All-Honey near Savannah where I did settle and planted and had this last year a very good crop but the misfortune of the last invasion [the failed Spanish invasion of St. Simons Island]. I left my place and was here with the General at every attach he had with the Spaniards, and while I was here the Indians plundered me and took all my goods out of the house. They did not as much as leave me a grain of corn or peas. In short they have quite stripped me and rendered me in so deplorable a condition unless the Honourable Trustees take my case into consideration. I have met with great losses ever since I have been in this colony. Upon my first settling on the island I had two servants, seven hogs, five dozen of fowls, beef, port, flour &c. all taken by the Spaniards. These things are a great loss to a person of a small fortune. I assure Your Lordship I have laid out in settling upwards of £500 and had as I imaged brought things to bear so as to live in a comfortable manner. I am really reduced, only His Excellency is so good as to commit the care of one of the guard boats, for which I have 4 Shillings per month. It’s some help indeed, but I should much rather remain planting was I in a capacity, for I am sure the country and soil is good and pleasant… . There is no part of America I like as well as this place, had I servants to assist me. If the Trustees would grant me the credit of six servants I should be able to repay them in a short time. I beg the favour of Your Lordship’s interest to Their Honours. I have nobody to rely on but Your Lordship… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 648-649.