Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Voyage To Georgia. Part 12.

Begun the 15th of October, 1735.

Each Freeholder has a Lott in Town 60 Foot by 90 Foot, besides which he has a Lott beyond the Common, of 5 Acres for a Garden.  Every ten Houses make a Tything, and to every Tything there is a Mile Square, which is divided into

1735-6. February. Savannah.
12 Lotts, besides Roads: Each Free-holder of the Tything has a Lott or Farm of 45 Acres there, and two Lotts are reserved by the Trustees in order to defray the Charge of the Publick.  The Town is laid out for two hundred and forty Freeholds; the Quantity of Lands necessary for that Number is 24 Square Miles; every 40 Houses in Town make a Ward, to which 4 Square Miles in the Country belong; each Ward has a Constable, and under him 4 Tything Men.  Where the Town-Lands end, the Villages begin; four Villages make a Ward without, which depends upon one of the Wards within the Town.  The Use of this is, in case a War should happen, that the Villages without may have Places in the Town, to bring their Cattle and Families into for Refuge, and to that Purpose there is a Square left in every Ward; big enough for the Out-wards to encamp in.  There is Ground also kept round about the Town ungranted, in order for the Fortifications, whenever Occasion shall require.  Beyond the Villages, commence Lotts of 500 Acres; these are granted upon Terms of keeping 10 Servants, Etc.  Several Gentlemen who have settled on such Grants have succeeded very well, and have been of great Service to the Colony.  Above the Town is a Parcel of Land called Indian Lands; these are those reserved by King Toma Chi Chi for his People.  There is near the Town, to the East, a Garden belonging to the Trustees, consisting of 10 Acres; the Situation is delightful, one half of it is upon the Top of a Hill, the Foot of which the River Savannah washes, and from it you see the Woody Islands in the Sea.  The Remainder of the Garden is the Side and some plain low Ground at the Foot of the Hill, where several fine Springs break out.  In the Garden is variety of Soils; the

1735-6. February. Savannah.
Top is sandy and dry, the Sides of the Hill are Clay, and the Bottom is a black rich Garden-Mould well watered.  On the North-part of the Garden is left standing a Grove of Part of the old Wood, as it was before the arrival of the Colony there.  The Trees in the Grove are mostly Bay, Sassafras, Evergreen Oak, Pellitory, Hickary, American Ash, and the Laurel Tulip.  This last is looked upon as one of the most beautiful Trees in the World; it grows straight-bodied to 40 or 50 Foot high; the Bark smooth and whitish, the Top spreads regular like an Orange-tree in English Gardens, only larger; the Leaf is like that of a common Laurel, but bigger, and the under-side of a greenish Brown:  It blooms about the Month of June; the Flowers are white, fragrant like the Orange, and perfume all the Air around it; the Flower is round, 8 or 10 Inches diameter, thick like the Orange-flower, and a little yellow near the Heart:  As the Flowers drop, the Fruit, which is a Cone with red Berries, succeeds them.  There are also some Bay-trees that have Flowers like the Laurel, only less.
            The Garden is laid out with Cross-walks planted with Orange-trees, but the last Winter, a good deal of Snow having fallen, had killed those upon the Top of the Hill down to their Roots, but they being cut down sprouted again, as I saw when I returned to Savannah.  In the Squares between the Walks, were vast Quantities of Mulberry-trees, this being a Nursery for all the Province, and every planter that desires it, has young Trees given him gratis from this Nursery.  These white Mulberry-trees were planted in order to raise Silk, for which Purpose several Italians were brought, at the Trustee’s Expense, from Piedmont by Mr. Amatis; they have fed Worms, and wound Silk to as great Perfection as any that ever came out of Italy: But the Italians falling out, one of them stole away the Machines for winding, broke the Coppers, and spoiled all the Eggs, which he could not steal, and fled to South-Carolina.  The others, who continued faithful, had saved but a few Eggs when Mr. Oglethorpe arrived, therefore he forbade any Silk should be wound, but that all the Worms should be suffered to eat through their Balls, in order to have more Eggs against next Year.  The Italian Women are obliged to takeEnglish Girls Apprentices, whom they teach to wind and feed; and the Men have taught our English Gardeners to tend the Mulberry-trees, and our Joyners have learned how to make the Machines for winding.  As the Mulberry-trees increase, there will be a great Quantity of Silk made here.
            Besides the Mulberry-trees; there are in some of the Quarters in the coldest part of the Garden, all kinds of Fruit-trees usual in England, such as Apples, Pears, etc.  In another Quarter are Olives, Figs, Vines, Pomegranates and such Fruits as are natural to the warmest Parts of Europe.  At the bottom of the Hill, well sheltered from the North-wind, and in the warmest part of the Garden, there was a Collection of West-India Plants and Trees, some Coffee, some Cocoa-nuts, Cotton, Palma-christi, and several West-Indian physical Plants, some sent up by Mr Eveleigh a publick-spirited Merchant at Charles-Town, and some by Dr. Houstoun, from the Spanish West-Indies, where he was sent at the Expence of a Collection raised by that curious Physician SirHans Sloan, for to collect and send them to Georgia, where the Climate was capable of making a Garden which might contain all kinds of Plants; to which Design his Grace the Duke ofRichmond, the Earl of Derby, the Lord Peters and the Apothecary’s Company contributed very generously; as did Sir Hans himself.  The Quarrels amongst the Italians proved fatal to most of these Plants, and they were labouring to repair that Loss when I was there, Mr. Miller being employ’d in the room of Dr. Houstoun, who died in Jamaica.  We heard he had wrote an Account of his having obtain’d the Plant from whence the trueBalsamum Capivi is drawn; and that the was in hopes of getting that from whence the Jesuits Barks is taken, he designing for that Purpose to send to the Spanish West Indies.
            There is a Plant of Bamboo Cane brought from the East Indies, and sent over by Mr. Towers, which thrives well.  There was also some Tea-seeds, which came from the same Place; but the latter, though great Care was taken, did not grow.

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