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care who else is satisfied. If they annoy us after that, we are Englishmen, and shall know how to teach them manners."
We verily believe that the people of England, when the right of these matters is explained to them, will wish to see it done, and that any thing but permanent unpopularity will be incurred by a ministry, which shall address itself to its explanation and execution. Sure we are, that to recede from oncemeditated iniquity is far less shameful than to persist in it, and that the politicians, who, by that honesty, which is always the best policy, shall have healed the feuds between two nations that owe so much to one another, will have entitled themselves to the cordial and lasting gratitude of the human race.
Art. VI. — Biographical Memorials of JAMES OGLE
THORPE, Founder of the Colony of Georgia, in North
1841. 8vo. pp. 424.
GEORGIA was the last of the Old Thirteen Colonies, which were founded under the auspices of the British government in North America. The origin and early progress of this colony are mainly to be ascribed to the philanthropy, enterprise, and generous efforts of Oglethorpe. Hitherto the incidents of his long life have been found only in detached portions of the history of his time, in the almost forgotten tracts relating to the first settlement of Georgia, and in the biographical accounts of some of the eminent men with whom he associated. Dr. Harris, with a lively interest in his subject, and much patience of research, las gathered up these fragments, and in the volume before us has presented them in the form of a connected narrative. Considering the nature of his naterials, the author's task was neither inviting nor easy ; but it has been well executed, and he has rendered a just tribute to the memory of a distinguished benefactor of mankind, and a valuable service to the history of his country.
James Oglethorpe was the son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, of Godalming, in the county of Surrey. There has been much uncertainty respecting the precise date of bis birth. After a full investigation of this point, Dr. Harris
decides, upon what he believes to be good authority, that it happened on the 21st of December, 1688. At the age of sixteen he was admitted a member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. We are not told how long he remained at the University, but probably till he had completed the usual academical course. In 1710 he entered the army with the commission of ensign, and he continued in the service till the war was closed by the treaty of Utrecht. Iminediately after the peace, we find him in the suite of the Earl of Peterborough, ambassador to the court of Turin. Here he enjoyed the company of Berkeley, afterwards the celebrated Bishop of Cloyne, who was chaplain and secretary to the embassy.
Oglethorpe's personal and military accomplishments had attracted the notice and secured the patronage of the Duke of Marlborough, by whorn he was introduced to the Duke of Argyle. He was promoted to the rank of Captain-Lieutenant of the Queen's guards. At this time all the world resounded with the fame of Prince Eugene, who had won so many laurels in the wars with the Turks and other powers of Europe, in the employment of the Emperor of Austria. He had recently made a visit to England, where he was received and caressed by the Queen and other great personages, with every mark of distinction, which was due to the first general
His renown, and the urbanity of his manners, were peculiarly fitted to captivate a mind like Oglethorpe’s. Through the influence of the Duke of Argyle he was recommended to Prince Eugene, by whom he was employed, first in the capacity of his secretary, and afterwards of bis aid-de-camp, and whom he joined just in time to take part in the new war, which the Emperor was about to wage against the Sultan. He was present at the victorious battle of Peterwaradin and the successful siege of Temeswaer; and was in active command at the siege and battle of Belgrade, “where he acquired a bigh and deserved reputation.'
These events were soon followed by a peace between the Emperor and the Sultan, and, there being no longer a prospect of active employment, Oglethorpe withdrew from the staff of his friend and patron Prince Eugene. He likewise declined an offer of preferment in the German service, and returned to England.
Having succeeded his elder brother in the inheritance of the family estate at Godalming, Oglethorpe obtained, in the No. 113.
of his age.
year 1722, a seat in Parliament for Haselmere. He was the representative of that borough, by successive elections, for thirty-two years. Dr. Harris gives a brief sketch of bis parliamentary career during that time. Within the same period be was engaged abroad nearly ten years in carrying forward his great and benevolent scheme of founding a colony in America. Many of his speeches have been preserved in the Parliamentary History. In these he is proved to have been an active member of the House of Commons, and to have taken a conspicuous part in important measures, showing on all occasions an independent spirit, intelligence, and a steady consistency of character. A circumstance, which appealed strongly to his feelings of humanity, led him 10 turn his attention to the condition of the prisons. He brought the subject before Parliament, and was appointed chairman of a committee of the House of Commons to make an inquiry into the state of the jails in the metropolis. This duty he faithfully performed, and laid open in his report to the House such scenes of wretchedness and oppressive treatment, such instances of cruel abuse, mismanagement, and neglect, especially towards those confined for debt, that measures were immediately adopted not only for punishing some of the inhuman jailers, but for preventing a recurrence of needless severities. “Oglethorpe thus became," says Dr. Harris, "the precursor of Howard in the cause of humanity, as it regards the amelioration of prison discipline in general, especially the rigors of close confinement for debt or petty offences, and that among felons and convicts. The impression then made on his mind and heart led him afterwards to other and more extensive and efficacious measures for the relief of poor debtors from the extortions and oppressions 10 which they were subjected by jailers, and from the humiliation and distress in wbich they were often involved without any fault of their own, or by some conduct which deserved pity rather than punishment.”
His sympathies were keenly touched by another class of sufferers. The subject of the impressment of seamen for the public service came before Parliament. He spoke against the practice as arbitrary, unjust, and unhuman. He moreover argued the point in a pamphlet, which he published, entitled “ The Sailor's Advocate.” Why should a seaman be compelled, against his will and against his interests,
to endure the hardships of military discipline, and hazard his life, for the benefit of others; and this, too, upon such terms as his oppressors shall prescribe? War is a calamity that concerns every individual of a nation, and its burden should be borne equally. If the sailor's services are valuable or necessary to bis country, let them be rewarded in proportion to their value, and they will be voluntarily rendered. If bis valor and skill are requisite to defend the lives and property of his fellow countryinen, a wise and just government will pay him such wages as will draw him from other employments. This small boon he has a right to claim, as much as an artificer, a soldier, or even the officers under whom he serves. Let this equitable course be adopted, and the odious and wicked system of impressment, wbich is only another name for kidnapping, would no longer disgrace the annals of maritime warfare.
When colonial questions were discussed in Parliament, we find Oglethorpe opposed 10 a narrow policy and unequal discriminations. He regarded the colonists as possessing all the rights of British subjects, and as being entitled to a legislation which should put them, as far as circumstances would permit, on an equal footing in their relation to each other and to the mother country. His principles were liberal and comprehensive, neither biased by prejudice nor cramped by local preferences. He exhibited the same expansive sentiments in matters of toleration. On iwo occasions he supported petitions in behalf of the Moravians and other foreign Protestants in the colonies, who asked for privileges and modifications of the laws adapted to their religious scruples. In both cases their application was successful.
For some time Oglethorpe was a director and deputy-governor of the Royal African Company. In this situation he was made acquainted with the circumstances of an African slave, who was then in Maryland, and whose story is fraught with a lively and romantic interest. Ayoub Ibn Soliman Ibrahim, (Job, the son of Solomon the son of Abraham,) for such was the slave's name, was a native of Bunda in central Africa. His father was governor of Bunda. While on a journey to the river Gambia, Job had been captured by a party of Mandingoes, and sold to the Captain of a British slave vessel. Thence he was transported to Annapolis, in Maryland, where it was his fortune to fall into the hands of a kind master.
Job was a Mahometan, and strict in observing the forms of his religion. Slips of paper were found in his possession, on which he had written strange characters. His master furnished him with paper, and indulged him in writing whatever be pleased. He took advantage of this favor, and wrote a letter to his father. It was forwarded to England, and was ascertained by the learned men at Oxford to be written in the Arabic character and language. A translation was procured, which came to the knowledge of Oglethorpe as a Director of the African Company. His compassion was so much awakened by the contents of the letter, that he immediately took measures to have Job redeemed and brought to England at his own charge. This was effected, and Job remained in England, known by the name of “the African Prince," till he had acquired a competent knowledge of the language, and then he returned to his native country. Letters were asterwards received from him by Oglethorpe and some of his other benefactors in England, filled with grateful acknowledgments for the kindnesses they had rendered, and containing some valuable information respecting the African trade. One of these letters was communicated by Sir Hans Sloane to the Royal Society. Many of the particulars of the story of Job are brought together by Dr. Harris, which, at the same time they illustrate the benevolent character of Oglethorpe, make a curious and entertaining digression in his narrative.
We come now to that portion of Oglethorpe's life, which has mainly contributed to give celebrity to bis name. For several years a project had been suggested of founding a new colony on the frontier of South Carolina. The Spaniards had settlements in Florida, and a fortified town at St. Augustine. The political relations between England and Spain were such, as to excite frequent border troubles in these remote provinces, and as almost to throw them into a state of mutual bostility. The negroes were tempted away from Carolina, and protected in Florida, even against the claims of their owners, and the more formal remonstrances and demands of the government. The powerful tribes of Creek and Choctaw Indians, and their tributaries, under the influence of the Spaniards, made frequent incursions, committing outrages and murders. The boundaries were neither established nor defined, and the Spaniards pretended that even