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Monday, February 8, 2016

John Watson, Indian Trader

Site of Yamacraw Bluff
JOSEPH WATSON, an Indian trader at Yamacraw in 1743, petitioned the Trustees in the Queen's Court at Westminster that he had settled and improved 100 acres of land at Yamacraw Bluff, called Watson's Store, 500 acres of land adjoining Mrs. Musgrove's 500 acres, on the east of the Savannah River, and that he had also settled and improved one half of the trust lot adjoining, asking that these lands be granted to him in fee simple, which they did. 

He was resident in the colony in 1735 he was tried by the Magistrate, and all of his papers seized with a warrant and his store nailed up. He argued that the proceedings of the trial were illegal, that he was hurried through, and suffered greatly in jail. 

Apparently, Mary Musgrove ran a sloopy trade store. Leading to his imprisonment was the fact that Mary Musgrove had complained bitterly against Watson, stating that while in her absence, Watson would not allow the Indians to trade their skins. She returned to find that Watson was in the store and had the door bolted. This caused the indians to break down the door to seek revenge. When Mrs. Musgrove heard, she begged Watson to escape for fear the indians would murder him. When the Indians broke in, and Watson was gone, they murdered the salve of Mrs. Musgrove, called Justice. The frightened Watson was was urged to remove himself from the colony, but did not.  John Wesley, the local Savannah minister at Savannah, sympathized with Watson, and preached a serman, Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar or not, directing the serman to Watson and the idea that people should insist upon their rights when oppressed by inferior Magistrates. 

In a letter from Robert Parker to Robert Hucks dated June 3, 1735, Savannah, "....In the case of Capt. (Joseph) Watson is worth your consideration; we are apprehensive his accusers has urged things against him that may even affect his life if his close confinement don't do it. He will die guiltless of the accusation...." 

Two years later, on March 22, 1737, Sarah Watson, the wife of Joseph Watson, petitioned the Trustees, complaining of Mr. Causton, one of the Chief Magistrates, had imprisoned her husband on lunacy charges.  The board considered her petition for some time, and he was eventually released. 

In August of 1750, Joseph Watson petitioned the Trustees to pay his passage back to Georgia, and that was granted. He died in 1757, and his will bequeathed his nephews all lands in Nova Scotia. 
To his three sisters, he bequeathed his lands in Lincolnshire. He also mentioned lands formerly called Yamacraw, but now Watsonburg.  Ref: Colonial Georgians by Jeannette Holland Austin. 

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Brickmaking in Savannah.

brick making
Thomas Salter, a Saddler at Savannah, was granted 500 acres of land on a piece of marsh located near Augustine Creek. He arrived in Georgia on December 17, 1733 and was appointed Constable.  The land on Hutchinson Island was unsuitable for brick-making, and he later removed his operations to Dawbus Island, south of Savannah, three miles below the town.  From the very first, then, there were some brick chimneys in Savannah.  Salter was married to Anne, the widow of Joseph Coles on September 9, 1736.  He died in 1751 naming his grandson, William Thomas Harris to care for his daughter, Ann Demetre.  Meanwhile, his widow went to reside with her daughter, Ann, who had married William Harris (died ca 1741), also a widow. 


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Monday, January 25, 2016

What Became of Mary Musgrove, Interpreter for General Oglethorpe?

Rev. Thomas Bosomworth and Mary Musgrove
A note was made in the Journal of William Stephens, Secretary to the Colony, dated December 12, 1737. "Dined with Mrs. (Mary) Musgrove, now Mrs. Mathews, sitting at the end of the table with two young girls, husband, and Tomochichi nearby, and a young shoter just ready barbecued over the fire in the wood. (Had two or three glasses of wine)...The occasion was a treat to Tomochichi and three or four indians upon his granting that spot of land to Mrs. Matthews and her husband." 

Mary Musgrove, now Mrs. Jacob Matthews, the translator for Tomochichi, told Mr. Stephens that he wished to record that the land was hers. Stephens said that he would do so. 

Jacob Matthews caused concern to the Trustees when it was reported to them that he behaved audaciously towards the Magistrates, they fearing for the peace of the town. And it was Mary, his wife, with whom they preferred to intercede with the indians. 

Children of John and Mary: (from the Cuyler Collection, University of Georgia Library) 

I. Edward Musgrove married an Indian girl, Nanny. 

II. James Musgrove, bequeathed by his father the Cowpen lot in Savannah, and an Indian man called Justice. 

Mary was married three times, first to John Musgrove, then to Jacob Matthews and finally to Rev. Thomas Bosomworth who demanded that the land which Tomichichi granted to Great Britain on St. Marys Island, be returned to his wife.  For years, he fought the cause, but his tarnished reputation as a minister of the Gospel and one who took advantage of others, was well known throughout the colony.

Ref: Colonial Georgians by Jeannette Holland Austin

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Monday, January 18, 2016

John Mackay

Durness, Scotland

JOHN MACKAY was born 1679 Durness, Scotland, which is on the northwestern tip of Scotland. He was a farmer who embarked for America on Oct. 20, 1735, arriving in Savannah, Georgia on January 10, 1736.  The wife, Jannett, and children are listed on the passenger list. 

Historical Collections of Georgia by White, p. 332, provides an Account of the Orphans and Children which were maintained and educated Orphan House at Georgia, known as Betheseda Orphanace. Upon the death of John Mackay in 1739, two his children are listed as orphans.  One son, Hugh Mackay, was a Lieutenant in the Rangers of General Oglethorpe; a daughter died at Sunbury, Georgia, and the two sons, William and Mackay were placed out as apprentices to Thomas Salter, bricklayers, and James Papott, a Savannah carpenter.

Ref: Page 86, A List of Early Settlers of Georgia by Coulter.




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Monday, January 11, 2016

The First Plantations in Savannah

Isle of Hope
Noble Jones, who was very active in the Crown's politices at Savannah, owned a plantation in Christ Church Parish, near Savannah, near the mouth of the Vernon River, on an island called Hope Island.  (Isle of Hope) He built a fort nearby to prevent the poor people of Frederica from escaping to other places in search of bread.  On the surface, this may seem cruel, however, those settlers transported at the expense of the Trustees had agreed to remain in the Colony.  On the Isle of Hope there were three plantations: Mr. Jones, Mr. Parker, Mr. Fallowfield. Mr. Fallowfield's house burned down in 1738. 
Later on, Noble Jones built the beautiful Wormsloe in Savannah,  which was later inherited by his son, Noble Wimberly Jones.  

Chelmsford was owned by Thomas Parker, a Gentleman of Savannah. 

In 1737, Mr. Thomas Causton, Storekeeper and Chief Magistrate of Savannah, built Ockstead, a house described in William Stephens' Journal as "handsome, fit for any gentleman".  This plantation was planted with 500 mulberry trees and after several years had passed, Causton and his wife, harvested the leaves and sold them to the filature for the purpose of silkworm manufacture. This plantation did not fair well under the management of Causon who was ultimately charged with not properly dispersing the estates of the settlers. He returned to England to clear his name and upon his return voyage, the ship sank and he was drowned.  After that, Mr. Williamson, the lazy husband of his niece, took charge of the plantation and allowed it to go to ruin.

William Stephens, Secretary of the Colony, lived on a plantation on the Vernon River with five or six servants to tend it, and seven or eight acres of cleared land. 

Mr. Carteret's plantation was on the main opposite Frederica, and he had about twenty servants. 

The 1500-acre plantation of Robert Williams, Merchant, was called Landiloe, and was located on the Savannah River. He he kept forty servants and spent about 2000 pds. sterling improving it. 

Jacob Matthews, the husband of widow, Mary Musgroves, bought some land formerly owned by Mr. Musgroves which he called Cow Pen, near Augusta, and he lived there for sometime with ten servants. 

Capt. Watson and Mr. Cooksey's plantations were near Augusta. 

There was a creek dividing Augusta from Indian lands, and a little below this creek was a plantation called Irene where John Wesley built a pretty house for an indian school, but soon grew weary, and left it. 

Hugh Anderson resided on St. Simon's Island where Oglethorpe told him to settle, with seventeen persons in the family, and servants. But he left this place in 1739 to go to Charles Towne, South Carolina, on account of hardships, later returning. 

In 1739, Hugh Mackay had a plantation on Amelia Island where he raised corn with some of his trust servants he brought to America with him. 

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Thomas Jones of Wales

The first burials were on this site. Graves later moved elsewhere
THOMAS JONES of Wales, formerly of London, a Clothworker, was a passenger on one of the trips of James Edward Oglethorpe to the Colony. He arrived on St. Simon's Island, Monday, September 18, 1738, and was immediately appointed Advocate of the Regiment, being asked by General Oglethorpe to inspect the store accounts at Savannah and to adjust the accounts of Thomas Causton.  For this reason he became known as a hot and passionate man, and was generally complained about by the other citizens. 

In May of 1739, he was appointed Storekeeper for the whole province and was paid an annual earnings of 30 pds.  However, he soon quarrelled with Robert Williams which resulted in a fist fight, but their differences were later settled. In June he was appointed the Overseer of the Trust Servants in the Northern Division of the Province of Savannah. These were the indentured servants to the crown, who could not be freed until their service as indentures expired. After this they were freed and usually granted 25 acres of land by the Crown. 

In the Journal of the Earl of Egmont dated October 10, 1739, Thomas Jones was described: "That Mr. Jones is so utterly rash, passionate and cruel, that twas to be feared he would drive the Colony away by Spring. That he declared he valued not the Trustees' orders, but would obey those of Colonel Oglethorpe." 

This type of temperament was not unusual for the new colonists, given their frustrations and hardships. In 1740,  twenty-five of the Trustees servants were employed by Thomas Jones on a new plantation located one mile south of Savannah, but the effort only produced 100 bushels of corn. A complaint was made by Mary Townsend to the Palace Court that Mr. Jones had a store and supplied shops with goods at wholesale prices, but otherwise sold them retail. 

However, the crown continued to appoint Thomas Jones to certain offices and duties. For one, he was made the third bailiff of Savannah and quickly became known as a man of resolution who was disliked by many. June 1, 1741, he was appointed one of the four assistants to Secretary William Stephens, Esquire, in the Town of Savannah, with John Pye elected as Clerk. However, was beset by John Pye who investigated grievances of the people, and began charging Thomas Jones with malpractice of the public accounts. Yet in a letter from Harman Verelst to Thomas Jones, dated at Westminster, December 14, 1741, Jones was complimented for his good work and accounting methods. "The Trustees are very well pleased with the exactness of the accounts you sent them by Captn. (William) Thomson, and are well satisfied in your capacity to serve them...." 

Finally, in February of 1771, Thomas Jones was granted 100 acres of land in St. Mathews Parish (Effingham County) . He died in Savannah on June 5, 1810. His wife, Eliza, died at Savannah in 1817, her LWT dated 1/17/1817, Will Book F. In her Will, she named her mother, Mrs. Jane Rea, and the children of her husband: Jane Mary Jones and Martha Cowles Jones. The Chatham County Wills and Estates are available to members of Georgia Pioneers

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Monday, December 28, 2015

The Escapades of Colonel Mark Carr (continued) #GA #Genealogy


Indian Corn
COLONEL MARK CARR, ESQUIRE, commander against the Spanish under General James Oglethorpe's command, was also known as the greatest person to improve conditions in the Georgia Colony. He first owned extensive plantations in St. Patrick's Parish and several town lots at Frederica. However, it was General Oglethorpe who told him where to make his plantation on the mainland at a place called  The Hermitage.  On January 28, 1740, Capt. Mark Carr wrote a letter from The Hermitage to General James Campbell detailing the expedition of General Oglethorpe into Florida in pursuit of the Spanish and of taking Ft. Picolata and Ft. San Francisco. He remarked that last season was the "wettest known in America", and that 50 out of 1200 persons had died of fevers; and that it was best to plant Indian corn, peas, pumpkins and potatoes, rather than import the British seeds and plants.

His plantation on the mainland was one of the very few in that location because of the constant danger of raids by the Spanish Indians. It as described in the Queen's Court at Westminster on February 11, 1744 by Lt. Colonel Alexander Heron, in giving his report to the Trustees of the agricultural progress being made in the Colony: "...that all sorts of garden stuff grow extremely well, and particularly asparagus, all the year round without dunging the lands...That he himself (Col. Heron) occupied one field on St. Simon's Island four years. That on three or four acres, he had 53 bushels of Indian corn cleared, and besides that, a third more of it was spoiled or lost at the time of the invasion (Spanish). That vines thrive extremely well and that he himself grated European vines on the wild ones on the island. And that in one year, there have been shoots of twenty seven feet from the grafting as big as his finger. That cotton grows on the land by one great necessity...that he has while mulberry trees which grow very well, but they are not the natural product of the country. That he thinks silk, wine oyl, and cotton may be raised very well there...that the wood of St. Simon's is chiefly Live Oak...."

One of the inherent problems for the Colonists, however, was that of the Indians and Spanish. The Spanish encourage the Indians to pilferage, burn and murder the homes and barns of  white settlers.

In March of 1741, the plantation of Colonel Carr was attacked and robbed by Spanish Indians from Augustine. They killed several of the corporal guards of soldiers posted at the plantation and servants, wounding others. The women and children locked themselves in the cellar at the time, while the Indians plundered their way and carried off the booty in a large boat belonging to the plantation. When Colonel Carr found out about it, He was out in a ship with General Oglethorpe putting down other attacks. General Oglethorpe sent out boats to overtake the Indians.
In October, Colonel Carr went out on a voyage on Davis Sloop, which became lost on the coast and was driven ashore, but all men aboard were saved. So, it was not until June that he returned, and William Stephens, Secretary of the Colony, expressed his relief in his Journal dated June 1, 1741.

Colonel Carr described his settlement problems in a letter to the Trustees dated May 12, 1752:
"In the beginning of the year 1739, General Oglethorpe put me in possession of 500 acres of land on the main to the south of Frederica called the "Hermitage", and the year following a tract of the like quantity to my second som, Thomas, as called "Carrsfield", on both of which I made very considerable improvements at a large expense, but in the year 1740 while I was in Virginia on his Majesty's service, my whole improvements, with my stock, was destroyed by Spanish Indians and several of my people cutt off, and by a moderate computation, my loss was several hundred and 50 pds. Soon after my return from Virginia, the General not thinking me safe there, granted me an island to the south of my former settlement which he called "Blyth", wherein I likewise built two brick, with several outhouses, as well as made very large improvements in cultivation, but by the withdrawing of the regiment these improvements not only became invaluable, but I was exposed and it became dangerous for me and my servants to remain upon it, and consequently, my money and time was in a great measure sunk.

You obliged me to moved into a less exposed neighborhood and I was advised to fix on Midway River where you pleased to grant my son, Thomas, 500 acres of land and also another tract of like quantity to me which was granted to, but resigned by Charles Ratcliff. On these lands, I have made larger improvements than any person in the neighborhood, but to my great disappointments two-thirds (as the Surveyor can inform you) proves unfitt for any manner of cultivation and must soon want land to plant, unless I can gett an addition. Therefore, I request that you will grant my son, William, who is now near twenty one years of age, 500 acres of l and on the north side of Newport River, about four miles southwest on the same neck where I am settled, and likewise that you would allow me to exchange the tract of land laid out for Lt. Archibald Don on Midway River which I have made appear to you I purchased from him, for the like quantity on Newport River adjoining the same.

Gentlemen, as I presume that no person that ever was in Georgia has given better prooff of his zeale and industry to improve the Colony that I have done, I need not assure you that I shall continue in it, and your obliging me with my request, I hope will enable me to retrieve the uncommon losses I have sustained, which has been much more than I can mention or chooses to trouble you with, as it's a truth well-known to you, I am. Your very obedient humble servant, Mark Carr. P. S. I lay no claim to the lands formerly granted to me or my son at Hermitage, Carrsfield, or Blyth, which I resign (to remove where I have requested), notwithstanding my improvements thereon."
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Saturday, December 26, 2015

What happened to Loyalists after the Revolutionary War?

If you are tracing your family history during the colonial years of the colonies, you may wish to consider the possibility that their loyalities to the king carried over into the Revolutionary War, when there were two sides; Patriots and Loyalists.

Throughout the Revolutionary War there were known loyalists in the colony, those who sided with the British.  On December 29, 1778 Savannah fell to the British forces and the rebel defenders were routed, losing 550 catured or killed.  As Patriot forces were swept from the State, a bitter civil war ensued between the Patriots and the Loyalists.  Only a year later, during the fall of 1779, the Continental army with help from French forces, attempted to liberate the city from its occupation without success.

One of the colony's most valiant Generals, Lachlan McIntosh came under criticism for his family connections.  In 1770 Lachlan was a leader in the independence movement in Georgia and during January of 1775 helped to organize delegates to the Provincial Congress from the Darien District.  In January of 1776 he was commissioned as a colonel in the Georgia Militia and raise the First Georgia Regiment of the Georgia Line, which was organized to defend Savannah and help repel a British assault at the Battle of the Rice Boats in the Savannah River.  He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Continental Army, charged to defend the southern flank of Georgia from British incurisions from Florida. During 1776 and 1777, McIntosh was embroiled in a bitter political dispute with Button Gwinnett, the Speaker of the Georgia Provisional Congress and a radical Whit leader.  The dispute began when McIntosh succeeded Gwinnett as commander of the Georgia Continental Battalion. The two men represented opposing factions in the Patriot cause and Gwinnett was asked to step aside after his election was called into question by opposition within the movement.  However, Gwinnett went on to become a delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence.  He returned to Georgia after his allies gained control of the Provisional Congress and succeeded in electing him speaker and commander-in-chief of the Committee of Safety.  Hence, he began purging the government and military of his political rivals.  His target was George McIntosh, the brother of Lachlan. He then ordered General McIntosh into British Florida on a poorly planned military expedition which failed.  Gwinnett and McIntosh publicly blamed one another for the failure.

Meanwhile, in January of 1777, George McIntosh was placed in irons in the Savannah jail. His brother, Lachlan McIntosh, angrily fought for his release, finally obtaining it for 20,000 pds.  George McIntosh was married to a daughter of Sir Patrick Houstoun (loyalist) and previously held positions of honor and trust.  In 1766 he was a surveyor appointed by the General Assembly to lay out roads, and in 1776, a member of the Commons House Assembly.  During 1777, George became unpopular in political circles when a proposal was made by Governor John Treutlen to unite South Carolina and Georgia. His contemporaries accused him of collaborating with the British during the war and shipping 400 barrels of rice down the St. John's River for use by the enemy.  

The quarrel with Button Gwinnett continued. 

In May of 1777, Lachlan McIntosh addressed the Georgia Assembly and denounced Gwinnett, calling him a "scoundrel" and "lying rascal."  Gwinnett retaliated by sending McIntosh a message demanding an apology or satisfaction. McIntosh refused to apologize and Gwinnett challenged him to a duel. On May 16th, they met in a field owned by James Wright several miles east of Savannah.  The men fired their pistols almost simultaneously, and both men were injured, McIntosh in the leg and Gwinnett in the thigh.  Three days later Gwinnett died from his wounds.  His last will and testament (the first to be filed in Savannah) is found on Georgia Pioneers.

The following year McIntosh was sent to command the Western department of the Continental Army at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania where he planned a failed expedition against Fort Detroit. Afterwards, he was replaced by Colonel Brodhead and returned to the South where he joined General Benjamin Lincoln in Charleston, South Carolina. McIntosh served with distinction throughout the war, but rumors were passed that his brother George was rendering aid to the enemy by running supplies to the British.

George McIntosh died in 1779 during the siege of Savannah by the British. His estates were confiscated. Lachlan, his brother, desperately fought to recover the estates and titles, but was only successful in having some personal effects sent to his plantation on Sapelo Island. Lachlan, arrested himself by the British during combat at Charleston in 1780, returned home to find the effects and papers of his brother, George, scattered about in unlocked trunks. Land grants and deeds had been placed in a small portmanteau trunk by the wife of George, and these were the only valuable assets retained by the family.  Source: McIntosh Genealogy by Jeannette Holland Austin.


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