***Some publications transcribed in this
section may be deemed offensive by today's standards.***
READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!
DO NOT email me with complaints, if
you find something offensive, DON'T READ IT!
Nothing has been transcribe with the intention of upsetting or harming anyone's
beliefs, ideas, or ethnicity.
These are transcriptions of actual books
and documents, to edit them would change their historical significance.
By putting these documents online, I am in no way suggesting that the ideas expressed in these publications by the original authors
are beliefs or ideas that I have or maintain.
[NOTE by Webmaster] Reader discretion is advised! This publication is rife with errors, one of the biggest, and most inconceivable, is the photographs of men who died before the advent of the camera. You will see “photographs” within this text for General James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785), Sir Francis Drake (1544-1596), and the Rev. George Whitefield (1714-1770).
Another egregious mistake is the correspondence from “Lady Dorothy Oglethorpe” written from her home in the Georgia colony to her husband (General Oglethorpe) , his parents, and others. As most any historian knows, Oglethorpe’s wife never came to the American continent, not to mention her name was Elizabeth Wright and not Dorothy and they married in 1744, long after these “letters” were written. Of all the photographs, however, the one of Lady Dorothy Oglethorpe is actually a copy of a miniature carved on ivory and not an actual photograph of a person.
Most all of the information on Oglethorpe, the author gathered from the Georgia Historical Society and then president of said society Col. Jefferson Davis Twiggs who was never a president of the society, not to mention that he didn’t even exist; he was purely fictional.
Further inanities include reference to Rev. Whitefield and how he purchased a plantation in South Carolina because slavery was illegal in Georgia. This is not true because the reverend was a staunch advocate of slavery and he lobbied to have it legalized in Georgia, and won the argument by 1744.
One quote inspires riotous laughter when considering the reason for the Club members’ ignorance about Oglethorpe and Jekyll island: “…in conversation with the members, I have found no one who had searched out, or was in any way familiar with, the period of its occupation by Oglethorpe…” Of course no one was familiar with this occupation, as it never happened. Oglethorpe did not build his “mansion” on Jekyll Island, nor did he ever reside here full time with his wife and children. The chimney ruins on Jekyll Island are not part of Oglethorpe’s former mansion from the 1730’s either (as quoted in this publication).
I have no idea what kind of reception this manuscript received in Brunswick; especially among some of the most noted historians of Georgia’s Colonial history. One would think it was confronted with laughter and ostracism of the author. I’ve noticed one website online purporting to present an accurate history of Glynn County, lists this manuscript in their bibliography of texts used to build the site! It was also used by Charles Lanier to write his history of Jekyll Island merely two years later.
EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY
Magna est veritas, et prevalebit.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise
TO MY VALUED FRIEND,
NOT ALONE AS A MARK OF HIGH PERSONAL
The Legends of Jekyl Island.
SOME years since, during the same week,
I heard Jekyl Island described from two standpoints. It was soon after
its purchase by an association of gentlemen forming the well-known Jekyl
Island Club. Two of my friends gave me a glowing account of this newly
found island of Atlantis. A semi-tropical island off the coast of
southern Georgia; 17,000 acres of beautiful land, mostly covered with
choice timber, 1,400 deer ranging the forest, green turtle marching in
uninterrupted procession along the silvery beach, a lake of 500 acres so
packed with terrapin as to resemble a cedar block pavement, flocks of
quail and partridge darkening the air, oysters of incomparable flavor
everywhere, and all purchased at an unheard of bargain, for the beggarly
pittance of $125,000.
for each had secured a share in this enchanted
I recognized with interest and delight,
as often before, the widely variant conclusions from the points of view;
and when, in the spring of 1892, my friends King and McCagg,
who were members of the club, invited me to visit the island as their
guest, I accepted with delight, eager to see for myself the picture
which had been before me in such contrasted lights.
every way agreeable. All members of the club worthy of their exalted heritage were busily employed in doing nothing and in doing it thoroughly and well. A few members who were looking about for something to do, who watched anxiously for the newspapers and sought to adulterate the atmosphere of the island with the airs and cares of the outer world, were frowned upon, and their expulsion would have been considered, except that the consideration of even so self-evident a necessity would have required an effort. The Vice President and acting executive, of dignified and stately presence, was a man of abounding energy and fire, which was exercised daily and hourly in the transferring until the day after to-morrow of the things which should have been done yesterday. In a word, the island is an ideal resting place for the man of affairs. The visitors during my stay were largely of middle life, upon whom ease with dignity sat gracefully. Yet even there, and among them, the sprightly arrow-shooting god played havoc, and one of the loved and honored members, in
sequence thereof, met there smilingly his doom, and
now wanders, no longer alone, in far away Cathay, hand in hand with his
happy fate, and renews under occidental skies the dreams of his golden
the antiquarian zeal, the frenzy, a la Herodotus,
which, radiating from the President of the Chicago Historical Society,
animates all its members, urged me to learn what I could of the history
of the island, and I place before my readers the results of much
painstaking research in this field.
might impress the enemy with the great puissance of
your Majesty. The accursed Spaniards, concealed behind the trees, fired
upon us, and a sore and cruel fight seemed pendent, when the enemy,
stricken with fear, incontinently fled to their homes, with their
habiliments of war. One of our men was sorely wounded by the Spanish
Captain, whom we presently made prisoner, and, having set up a gallows,
we there hanged him in a chain by the middle, and afterwards consumed
with fire, gallows and all.
taken away all their weapons, we left them to
eggs, gathered in the sand, which we took from him,
as also his carbine and forty pounds of ambergris, which he had
collected from the sea, but did him no further harm. We took here
another observation, finding the latitude 31 deg. 10 min. N.”
The latitude indicates the location of
Jekyl Island. Dampier continues:
Oglethorpe, in 1733. The first settlement was at the present site of the city of Savannah, but later, General Oglethorpe determined upon Saint Simon’s Island as the most advantageous location for a colony. There are three large islands off the Georgia coast: Cumberland, already mentioned as the landing place of Sir Francis Drake, is the most southerly; north of this is Jekyl Island, and still further north is the Island of Saint Simons. Both the other islands are plainly visible from Jekyl. To be near his settlement of a large colony on Saint Simon’s Island, and still have the isolation and dignity proper to the gubernatorial state, Oglethorpe selected Jekyl as his own residence, and built there a commodious mansion of logs. Lady Oglethorpe, in one of her letters, speaks of having brought from the mainland and planted near the family mansion some roots of yellow Jessamine, not indigenous to the island, and the fact that a quantity of this Jessamine is still growing near the solitary chimney already mentioned, although not found elsewhere upon the island, is confirmatory of the
legend that this chimney marks the spot where stood
the baronial log castle of the Oglethorpes.
of the Georgia Historical Society, and a son of the
General Twiggs, whose gallantry and bravery were conspicuous in
the war with Mexico. The collection of manuscripts and public documents
relative to the early settlement of the State is large, and fortunately
escaped the destruction which befell so many similar collections during
the civil war.
himself, his secretaries and Lady Oglethorpe,
which are of interest as illustrating the experiences and hardships
connected with the period of this first occupation of Jekyl Island.
a queen, even of the wild and savage Tuscaroras,
might have moved her. These Indians are soon to return northward, as
the Choctaws claim the country hereabout, and the Tuscaroras, while
boasting to fear nothing, yet love their own scalps to remain where the
good God placed them.
for the crimes of wicked men. One of these pagans,
whose mind had been heretofore in total darkness, when urged to become a
Christian, retorted that Christians lied and cheated when buying furs
and were drunkards, and said that, as these men were Christians, he
would none of it, so hardened by the wiles of Satan are these
unbelievers against the truths of the gospel.
strange land, and I pray hourly that when the night
cometh, and when deep sleep falleth upon me, I may not be found without
a wedding garment.”
ground. One woman was baptized. She was of those
which come out of great tribulation, her husband and all her three
children having been drowned four days before in crossing the Ogeechee
River, and her happiness in the gospel caused me to feel that, like
Job, the Master had caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. She
was again married the day following her baptism, and when I suggested
longer days of mourning, she only replied that her first husband was
surely dead, and that his successor was of much substance, having a
cornfield and a gun. I have acquired sundry words of the language of
the Choctaws, and long to be able to speak to them in their mother
tongue. I doubt the interpreter, Mary Musgrove, who is yet in
the valley and shadow of darkness. To speak to the idolatrous Choctaws
in the English language is as the crackling of thorns under a pot; is as
one who would essay to draw out the leviathan with a hook; who should
seek to bind the sweet influence of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of
long for the day when again I may visit you and
enjoy the flesh-pots of Jekyl Island. I can with difficultly eat the
food of the savages. Insects bite and destroy my sleep. I am as a
skeleton, and the evil one continually suggests that I murmur at my lot,
and seek an easier way in which to serve the Lord.”
hope these few lines may find you in the enjoyment of the same great blessing. We are now established in our new home on Jekyl Island, and I would fain give you a picture of this abode of the Governor of this promising colony. The mansion is built of pine logs, plastered, where plastered at all, with clay, and surrounded by a dense forest. The house is very large and commodious, but lacking many of the conveniences of our pleasant home in Surrey. We sleep on beds made of pine leaves, which are most comfortable and exhale a balsamic fragrance supposed to be conducive to health. Our floors are of split pine logs, and about the walls are wooden pegs upon which to hang our gowns. Much of our china was broken on our journey hither, and we use instead the pewter mugs and plates brought for our servants. A few red savages are near us, living in wigwams, who beg often for tobacco, but bring us in return an abundance of venison and fish. The secretary of the colony, Charles Wesley, dwells with us upon the island, and is zealous to save the souls of the Indians who come hither to
hunt and fish. He baptized a week since one Indian
and made him a part of Christianity, but later, for what reasons we
cannot divine, though certainly through evil temptations of the father
of idolatry, the devil, he suddenly cast off the Christian religion and
abandoned the true, divine worship. Mr. Wesley has also the gift
of verse, and has written many sweet hymns, which we sing in our family
worship. Last week came several cloudy and dismal days, which he
reported to us had inspired him to write a hymn contrasting the shadowed
life here with the brightness of that which is to come. It begins thus:
From these lines you will see his
readiness to draw instructive lessons from all the incidents of daily
life, although, as you will see later, sometimes his hymns come near to
involve him in trouble.
boat, men, women, negroes, horses and dogs. They were soon disembarked and at the house, where General Oglethorpe made them welcome with an abundance of rum made by the Puritans in that part of America called New England. They then told us that not to overtax our hospitalities, they had brought with them an abundance of food and servants, and proposed to go at once to some suitable place upon the shore and roast oysters. We set out for a cove about a mile distant from our home. The progress towards it was a striking and curious pageant. First, marched as trumpeter, a stalwart negro, blowing a conch shell and producing a dismal and incessant blare. Then General Oglethorpe on horseback, with myself behind him on a pillion, and a negro on a mule, carrying my best hat in a box, lest it be destroyed by the trees and bushes. Then our family coach, with one wheel missing from an encounter with a stump, the axle being held up by a pole, and within the family of Governor Pickens, his wife, sister and niece, Miss Mercy Pickens. Then two open wagons with the
other ladies of the party, and some jugs of rum and
boxes of food. About these rode the gentlemen on horses and mules,
among them Mr. George Moultrie, a gallant young man who is soon
to wed Miss Mercy before named. Around the cavalcade swarmed the
negroes, shouting and laughing, rolling their white eyes, and showing
their white teeth in contrast to their shining black skins, and singing
songs full of melody and pathos. They seemed to bear the names of all
the heathen divinities and historic heroes. I recall Diana,
Flora, Phyllis, Caesar, Pompey, Hannibal,
Jupiter, and many more.
drive. When we reached the cove the negroes waded
into the water and brought ashore great baskets of oysters, which they
roasted in a fire kindled from branches of the fragrant pine.
General Oglethorpe brewed a large tub of rum punch, while I made a
bowl of delicious sangaree with wine fro your own cellar, which has been
with us from the time of our leaving dear old England. No one neglected
these beverages, and with the oysters, the cheese and other viands with
which we were provided, a royal banquet was enjoyed. Many of the
gentlemen were nearly overcome with the rum punch, although insisting
that it was the roasted oysters which made their legs unsteady, and this
had nearly led Mr. Wesley into serious trouble with Mr.
Moultrie, whose almost maudlin attentions to his sweetheart, Miss
Mercy, were constant and even annoying to her.
“Hold,” shouted Mr. Moultrie,
“none of your damned presumption. Mercy is not reserved for you
or any of your kind. She is mine and mine alone.” General
Oglethorpe interfered and endeavored to explain, but Mr. Moultrie
would listen to nothing, and proposed to give the Secretary a drubbing
on the spot. I succeeded in quieting him, and asked Mr. Wesley
to substitute another hymn, whereupon he commenced:
and until the rum was exhausted, the gentlemen
hunting daily and the ladies riding about the island and telling us all
the gossip and scandals of Charleston. The hunters brought in an
abundance of game, and this was cooked and served by the negro servants
brought with our visitors, whose skill made us almost regret General
Oglethorpe’s determination that no slaves shall be held in the
Oglethorpe thus, he being at that time in
employment to cultivate the plantation, and now
that the crops are gathered, I am in despair to find that there is no
gain, but a loss. The Master hath said, the laborer is worthy of his
hire, but the wages of the workman absorb the value of the harvest and
more. I entered upon the work with lofty hopes, but pride goeth before
destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Let not him that
girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.”
made short visit to the Orphanage, which is as ever
dear to my heart. The recollection of your encouragement and help in
this valiant work; of the pleasant years when I was often with you at
Jekyl Island, cheered by your wise and helpful counsel, have minded me
to again write you something of myself and my labors. I am come to the
time in life when the grasshopper is a burden; my strength is weakness,
my days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle. As William Shakespeare—a
man given overmuch to vain imaginings, yet whose lips oft-times are
touched with celestial fire, as he has said:
who at one of our meetings had found the pearl of great price, gave me three healthy negroes, told me of the great gain in the cultivation of tobacco, and that a tobacco plantation would of itself nearly maintain the Orphanage. I took the money which had been contributed for the good work, bought a small plantation in South Carolina, as slavery was forbidden in Georgia, bought also nine other strong negro men and women, and planted tobacco. My agent has each year secured bountiful crops. The Lord has abundantly blessed our labors. The negroes work from sunrise to sunset in the fields, and by moonlight cultivate the maize, which is their food. The clothing for all costs scarcely a pound in the y ear, and having to pay them no wages nor to buy them food, the results are most hopeful. Daily and nightly do I praise the Lord for these bountiful harvests, and pray that He whose mercy endureth forever may continue to bless our fields, and to cause the labor of these negro slaves to bear abundant fruit in the salvation of the many little ones
who are ready to perish. Verily the word fitly
spoken by my adviser of the tobacco plantation has been as apples of
gold in pictures of silver.
as generally believed, an island, dull and uninviting, where a few negroes had cultivated and then abandoned small cotton fields, and where a pleasant winter climate was its sole excuse for being, it is seen to be linked with events romantic and far reaching in our national life. We may in imagination picture General Oglethorpe and his lovely wife entertaining with royal hospitality the thirsty governors of North Carolina and South Carolina, with their escort of fair women and brave men. Through the majestic grove of pine, oak and magnolia, and across the broad savannas, we may see the brilliant array of huntsmen gaily caparisoned, following their hounds, while the cheering bugle blasts echo far and away through the forest. We see the huntsmen returning home with brush and game, welcomed by the courtly dames as became a gallant and victorious band of warriors; and as the sun goes down we may see the powdered heroes leading through the mazes of the stately minuet, on the floor of logs, the ladies, brave in ruff, brocade and farthingale.
Under the fragrant pines we may see the council of war, as General Oglethorpe with his subordinates plans the brilliant though unsuccessful campaign against the Spanish city of St. Augustine. Here, too, we see the youthful Wesley, the founder of Methodism, scarcely yet conscious of his mission and destiny as he wanders dreamily along the shores of the sounding sea, brooding the problems of profoundest moment, or shaping the sacred hymns, which have since, in all climes and tongues, been the consolation of humanity. And here, too, we see George Whitfield, the most entrancing pulpit orator of the last two centuries, seeking often, after his conflict with the hosts of sin, rest for body and mind in the forests of Jekyl Island; and, among the same wide-spreading evergreen oaks, gray with their trailing garlands of moss, under which we may wander to-day, nursing for the life-long battle his fascinating and magical eloquence. Surely, Prospero, waving anew his magic wand, could never summon from the vasty [sic] deep an island more historically picturesque.
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