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Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Establishing the Georgia Colony, 1732-1750
The South-Carolina Assembly's Representation on Indian Relations, 1734

In 1734, the Assembly of South Carolina sent a "representation" to the English King. Among other things, the Assembly assayed English Indian Relations with respect to both South Carolina and Georgia. From the following excerpts, what does the Assembly suggest about the state of Indian relations? According to the Assembly, how were the activities in the region of the French and Spanish getting in the way of better English relations with the Indians?

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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.

. . . Encouraged by such views of your Majesty's Wise and Paternal Care, extended to your Remotest Subjects, and Excited by the Duty we owe to your most Sacred Majesty, to be always Watchful for the Support and Security of your Majesty's Interest, especially at this very critical Conjuncture, when the Flame of a War breaking out in Europe, may very speedily be lighted here in this your Majesty's Frontier Province, which, in Situation, is known to be of the utmost Importance to the General Trade and Traffick in America: We therefore your Majesty's most faithful Governor, Council and Commons, convened in your Majesty's Province of South-Carolina crave Leave with great Humility to Represent to your Majesty the present State and Condition of this your Province, and how greatly it stands in need of your Majesty's Gracious and Timely Succour in case of a War, to Assist our Defence against the French and Spaniards, or any other Enemies to your Majesty's Dominions, as well as against the many Nations of Savages which so nearly Threaten the Safety of your Majesty's Subjects.

The Province of South-Carolina, and the new Colony of Georgia are the Southern Frontiers of all your Majesty's Dominions on the Continent of America, to the South and South-West of which is Situated the strong Castle of St. Augustine, Garrison'd by Four Hundred Spaniards, who have several Nations of Indians under their Subjection, besides several other small Settlements and Garrisons, some of which are not Eighty Miles Distant from the Colony of Georgia. To the South-West and West of us the French have erected a considerable Town near Fort Thoulouse on the Moville-River, and several other Forts and Garrisons, some not above Three Hundred Miles distant from our Settlements: and at New-Orleans on the Mississippi River, since her late Majesty Queen Anne's War they have exceedingly increased their Strength and Traffick, and have now many Forts and Garrisons on both sides of that great River for several Hundred Miles up the same . . . the several numerous Nations of Indians that are Situate near the Mississippi River, one of which called them Choctaws by estimation consits of about Five Thousand Fighting Men, and who were always deemed a very Warlike Nation, lies on this side the River not above Four Hundred Miles distant from our Out-settlements, among whom, as well as several other Nations of Indians, many French Europeans have been sent to settle, whom the Priests and Missionaries among them encourage to take Indian Wives, and use divers other alluring Methods to Attach the Indians the better to the French Alliance, by which Means the French are become thoroughly acquainted with the Indian Way, Warring and Living in the Woods, and have now a great Number of White Men among them, able to perform a long March with an Army of Indians upon any Expedition.

We further beg leave to inform your Majesty, that if the Measures of France should provoke your Majesty to a State of Hostility against it in Europe, we have great reason to expect an Invasion will be here made upon your Majesty's Subjects by the French and Indians from the Mississippi Settlements: They have already paved a Way for a Design of that Nature, by Erecting a Fort called the Albama Fort, alias Fort Lewis, in the middle of the upper Creek Indians, upon a Navigable River leading to Moville . . . The Creeks are a Nation very Bold, Active and Daring, consisting of about Thirteen Hundred Fighting Men (and not above One Hundred and Fifty Miles distant from the Choctaws) whom, though we heretofore have Traded with, claimed and held in our Alliance, yet the French on Account of that Fort and a superiour ability to make them Liberal Presents, have been for some time striving to draw them over to their Interest, and have Succeeded with some of the Towns of the Creeks; which, if they can be Secured in your Majesty's Interest, are the only Nation which your Majesty's Subjects here can depend upon as the best Barrier against any Attempts either of the French or their Confedrate Indians.

We most Humbly pray Leave farther to inform your Majesty, that the French at Moville perceiving that they could not gain the Indians to their Interest, without buying their Deer-Skins (which is the only Commodity the Indians have to purchase Necessaries with) and the French not being able to dispose of those Skins by reason of their having no Vend [market] for them in Old France, they have found Means to incourage [English] Vessels . . . to Truck those Skins with them for Indian Trading Goods, especially the British Woollen Manufactures, which the French dispose of to the Creeks and Choctaws, and other Indians, by which Means the Indians are much more Alienated from our Interest, and on every Occasion object to us that the French can supply them with Strouds and Blankets as well as the English, which would have the contrary Effect if they were wholly supplied with those Commodities by your Majesty's Subjects Trading with them. If a Stop were therefore put to that pernicious Trade with the French, the Creek Indians chief Dependance would be on this Government, and that of Georgia, to supply them with Goods . . . and thereby be invited in a short Time to Enter into a Treaty of Commerce with us, which they have lately made some Offers for, and which, if Effected, will soon lessen the Interest of the French with those Indians, and by Degrees Attach them to that of your Majesty.

The only Expedient we can propose to Recover and Confirm that Nation to your Majesty's Interest, is by speedily making them Presents to withdraw them from the French Alliance, and by Building some Forts among them your Majesty may be put in such a Situation, that on the first Notice of Hostilities with the French, your Majesty may be able at once to reduce the Albama Fort, and we may then stand against the French and their Indians, which, if not timely prepared for before a War breaks out, we have too much Reason to Fear we may be soon over-run by the united strength of the French, the Creeks and Choctaws, with many other Nations of their Indians Allies: For, should the Creeks become wholly Enemies, who are well acquainted with all our Settlements, we probably should also be soon Deserted by the Cherokees, and a few others, small Tribes of Indians, who, for the sake of our Booty, would readily join to make us a Prey to the French and Savages. Ever since the late Indian War the Offences given us then by the Creeks have made that Nation very Jealous of your Majesty's Subjects of this Province. We have therefore concerted Measures with the Honourable James Oglethorpe, Esq; who, being at the Head of a new Colony, will (we hope) be Successful for your Majesty's Interest amongst that People. He has already by Presents Attached the Lower Creeks to your Majesty, and has laudably undertaken to endeavour the fixing a Garrison among the Upper Creeks, the Expence of which is already in part provided for in this Session of the General Assembly of this Province: We hope therefore to prevent the French from Encroaching farther on your Majesty's Territories, until your Majesty is graciously pleased further to Strengthen and Secure the same.

We find the Cherokee Nation has lately become very Insolent to your Majesty's Subjects Trading among them, notwithstanding the many Favours the Chiefs of that Nation received from your Majesty in Great-Britain, besides a considerable Expence which your Majesty's Subjects of this Province have been at in making them Presents, which inclines us to believe that the French by their Indians have been tampering with them. We therefore beg leave to inform your Majesty, that the Building and Mounting some Forts likewise among the Cherokees, and making them Presents will be highly necessary to keep them steady in their Duty to your Majesty, lest the French may prevail in Seducing that Nation, which they may the more readily be inclined to from the Prospect of getting considerable Plunder in Slaves, Cattle, &c. Commodities which they very well know they have among us. . . . The Expence of our Safety on such an Occasion, we must, with all Humility, acquaint your Majesty, either for Men or Money, can never be Effected by your Majesty's Subjects of this Province, who, in conjunction with Georgia, do not in the whole amount to more than Three Thousand Five Hundred Men, which Compose the Militia and wholly consist of Planters, Tradesmen and other Men of Business.
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