Begun the 15th of October, 1735.
We went South as far as the 19th Degree of North Latitude, in order to fetch the Trade Winds, so that about Christmas it was as hot as in June. Our People grew sickly: Mr. Oglethorpehimself visited them constantly; and when it was proper he let them have Fowls for Broth, and Refreshments of his own. We had a very good Surgeon and I observed that Carduus Vomits gave the Sick great Relief: If that did not do, Bleeding and some Powders which the Doctor gave, (which were chiefly either Compositions of Salt of Wormwood or testaceous Powders) had such Effect, that, by the Blessing of God, not one Soul died from the time we left the Downs to our Arrival in Georgia. Instead of lessening our Number we increased, for on the Passage there were four Children born.
Whenever the Weather was calm enough to permit it, Mr. Oglethorpe went on board the London Merchant, to see that the like Care was taken of the People on board her, with whom we kept Company all the Way.
Having run before the Trade Wind till we had got Westing sufficient, and being as far South as 20 Degrees, we were obliged to stand Northwardly to fetch Georgia, which lies in the Latitude of 32; so that we had a second Winter, for we found the Weather cold as we came near the Coast of Georgia.
On the 26th of January it blew so hard, that we were obliged to lie-to under a reef’d Main-sail. We shipp’d several Seas, one of which fill’d the
great Cabbin, though the dead Lights were up; and another splitted our
Main-sail, which was quite new: We soon unbent it, and brought the Ship to under her Mizen.
On the 2d of February, at Noon, we saw three Sails standing E. N. E. We bore up to them and soon after spoke with the Pompey, Capt. Rowse, bound for London from Carolina. He lay by, whist Mr. Oglethorpe wrote Letters to England, which he sent by him.
On the 4th we found we had pass’d the Stream of the Gulph of Florida. We founded, and found Ground with 50 Fathom of Line, being the Banks of Georgia, which shoal gradually to Shore, at that time about 30 Leagues distant. In the Evening we saw Land, which proved to be the Island of Tybee. We lay off and on all Night.
On the 5th we ran in, and made Tybee plain. Capt. Dymond, of the Peter and James, came out to us in his Boat, and brought a Pilot with him. He carried us over the Bar with the first of the Flood, finding 19 Foot Water in the shoalest Part. We came to an Anchor within Tybee.
Mr. Oglethorpe went ashore to see what Progress was made in the Light-house: He found the Foundation had been piled, but the Brick-work not rais’d. The Materials which he had left saw’d at Savannah, were brought down, but nothing set up. He had left one Blythman, a Carpenter, a very ingenious Workman, in charge to build it, allowing him ten Men for his Assistance; and fearing that if he left any one to controul the Carpenter, (who naturally must understand less of it) it might have prevented the Work; therefore he left it in Carpenter’s Charge, at his Peril. Mr.Oglethorpe calling him to account for this scandalous Neglect, he had nothing to say in Excuse, but that he had used the Men in clearing away the Trees, that the
Beacon might be the more conspicuous; that a great deal of time had been taken up in piling the Foundation, and in bringing down and landing the Timber; that he had made a great many more Braces than at first had been thought necessary; but that the chief Reason of his Delay arose from his Men’s not work; that Rum was so cheap in Carolina, from whence they easily got it, that one Day’s Pay would make them drunk for a Week, and then they neither minded him nor any thing else. I heard Mr. Oglethorpe, after he return’d to the Ship, say, that he was in doubt whether he should prosecute the Man, who is the only one here able to finish the Work, and thereby leave the Work undone, and lose the Materials, which were all ready; or else forgive what was past, and have the Beacon finish’d. He took the latter Counsel, and agreed with him for a Time certain, and a Price certain, appointing Mr. Vanderplank to see that the Work advanced according to the Agreement; and not to pay, but proportionably to what should be done. This Beacon is 25 Foot wide at Bottom, 90 Foot high, and 10 Foot wide at Top. It is of the best of Pine, strongly timber’d raised upon Cedar Piles, and Brickwork round the Bottom. It will be, when raised, of great Service to all Shipping, not only to those bound to this Port, but also to Carolina; for the Land of all the Coast, for some hundred Miles, is so alike, being all low and woody, that a distinguishing Mark is of great Consequence.