Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Timeline
Timeline Home Page
home
Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Establishing the Georgia Colony, 1732-1750
The South Carolina Assembly's Representation on Defense, 1734

In the following excerpt from the Assembly of South Carolina's "representation" to the English King, the Assembly discusses other aspects of colonial defense. What is the Assembly's overall view of colonial defense? What are the "Intestine Dangers" to which the Assembly refers? Why do the Spanish and French seem so interested in South Carolina and Georgia?

View the original document from The Capital and the Bay. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


To the KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. The Humble Memorial and Representation of the State and Condition of Your Majesty's Province of South-Carolina, from the General Assembly of the said Province.

Besides the many Dangers which by Land we are exposed to from so many Enemies that lie on the back of us; we further beg leave to represent to your Majesty, the Defenceless Condition of our Ports and Harbours, were any Enemies of your Majesty's Dominions may very easily by Sea Invade us, there being no Fortifications capable of making much Resistence. Those in Charles-Town Harbour are now in a very ruinous Condition, occasioned by the late violent Storms and Hurricanes which already cost this Country a great deal of Money, and now requires several Thousands of Pounds to Repair the old and Build new ones, to Mount the Ordnance which your Majesty was graciously Pleased to send us, which, with great Concern, we must inform your Majesty we have not yet been able to accomplish, being lately obliged for the Defence and Support of this your Majesty's Province and Government, to Raise, by a Tax on the Inhabitants, a Supply of above Forty Thousand Pounds Paper Currency per Annum, which is a considerable deal more than a Third Part of all the Currency among us; a Charge which your Majesty's Subjects of this Province are but barely able to Sustain. Since your Majesty's Royal Instruction to your Majesty's Governour here, an intire Stop has been put to the Duties which before accrued from European Goods Imported; and if a War should happen, or any thing extraordinary, to be farther Expensive here, we should be under the utmost Difficulties to provide additionally for the same, lest an Increase of Taxes with an Apprehension of Danger, should drive away many of our present Inhabitants, as well as Discourage others from coming here to Settle for the Defence and Improvement of your Majesty's Province, there being several daily moving with their Families and Effects to North-Carolina, were there are no such Fears and Burdens.

We must therefore beg leave to inform your Majesty, that, amidst our other perilous Circumstances, we are Subject to many Intestine Dangers from the great Number of Negroes that are now among us, who amount at least to Twenty Two Thousand Persons, and are Three to One of all your Majesty's White Subjects in this Province. Insurrections against us have been often Attempted, and would at any Time prove very Fatal if the French should instigate them, by artfully giving them an Expectation of Freedom. In such a Situation we most humbly Crave leave to acquaint your Majesty, that even the present ordinary Expences necessary for the Care and Support of this your Majesty's Province and Government, cannot be provided for by your Majesty's Subjects of this Province, without your Majesty's gracious Pleasure to Continue those Laws for Establishing the Negroes and other Duties for Seven Years, and for appropriating the same, which now lie before your Majesty for your Royal Assent and Approbation; and the further Expences that will be requisite for the Erecting some Forts and Establishing Garrisons in the several necessary Places, so as to form a Barrier for the Security of this your Majesty's Province, we most humbly Submit to your Majesty.

Your Majesty's Subjects of this Province, with fullnes of Zeal, Duty and Affection to your most Gracious and Sacred Majesty, are so highly sensible of the great Importance of this Province to the French, that we must conceive it more than probable, if a War should happen, they will use all Endeavours to bring this Country under their Subjection; they would be thereby Enabled to Support their Sugar Islands with all sorts of Provisions and Lumber by an easy Navigation, which to our great Advantage is not so Practicable from the present French Colonies, besides the facility of gaining then to their Interest most of the Indian Trade on the Northern Continent; they might then easily unite the Canadees and Choctaws with the many other Nations of Indians which are now in their Interest. And the several Ports and Harbours of Carolina and Georgia which now enable your Majesty to be absolute Master of the Passage thro' the Gulph of Florida, and to impede, at your Pleasure, the Transportation home of the Spanish Treasure, would then prove so many Convenient Harbours for your Majesty's Enemies, by their Privateers or Ships of War to annoy a great Part of the British Trade to America, as well as that which is carried on through the Gulph from Jamaica; besides the Loss which Great-Britain must feel in so considerable a Part of it's Navigation, as well as the Exports of Masts, Pitch, Tar and Turpentine, which, without any Dependance on the Northern Parts of Europe, are from hence plentifully supplied for the Use of the British Shipping.

This is the present State and Condition of your Majesty's Province of South-Carolina, utterly incapable of finding Funds sufficient for the Defence of this Wide Frontier, and so destitute of White Men, that even Money itself cannot here raise a sufficient Body of them.

With all Humility we therefore beg Leave to lay ourselves at the Feet of your Majesty, humbly imploring your Majesty's most gracious Care in the Extremities we should be reduced to on the breaking out of a War; and that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to extend your Protection to us, as your Majesty, in your great Wisdom, shall think proper.
top of page


View the original document from The Capital and the Bay. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.