acquainted with an African prince, captured and sold into slavery by some neighboring chief, and had returned him to his native country, after imbibing from his acquaintance with the facts a profound detestation of the Slave-Trade and of Slavery.
One of tile fundamental laws devised by Oglethorpe
for the government of his colony was a prohibition of slaveholding; another was an interdiction of the sale or use of Rum-neither of them calculated to be popular with the jail-birds, idlers, and profligates, who eagerly sought escape from their debts and their miseries by becoming members of the new colony.
The spectacle of men, no wiser nor better than themselves, living idly and luxuriously, just across the Savannah river
, on the fruits of constrained and unpaid negro labor, doubtless inflamed their discontent and their hostility.
As if to add to the governor's troubles, war between Spain
broke out in 1739, and Georgia
, as the frontier colony, contiguous to the far older and stronger Spanish settlement of East Florida
, was peculiarly exposed to its ravages.
, at the head of the South Carolina
militia, made an attempt on Saint Augustine
, which miscarried ; and this, in 1742, was retaliated by a much stronger Spanish expedition
, which took Fort St. Simon, on the Altamaha
, and might easily have subdued the whole colony, but it was alarmed and repelled by a stratagem of his conception.
soon after returned to England
; the trustees finally surrendered their charter to the Crown; and in 1752 Georgia
became a royal colony, whereby its inhabitants were enabled to gratify, without restraint, their longing for Slavery and Rum. The struggle of Oglethorpe1
was aided by the presence, counsels, and active sympathy, of the famous John Wesley
, the founder of Methodism, whose pungent description of Slavery as “the sum of all villainies,” was based on personal observation and experience during his sojourn in these colonies.
But “another king arose, who knew not Joseph ;” the magisterial hostility to bondage was relaxed, if not wholly withdrawn; the temptation remained and increased, while the resistance faded and disappeared; and soon Georgia
yielded silently, passively, to the contagion of evil example, and soon became not only slaveholding, but, next to South Carolina
, tile most infatuated of all the thirteen colonies in its devotion to the mighty evil.