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GEORGIA was chartered in 1732 to save South Carolina from the French and Spanish, yet South Carolina begrudged the people of Georgia a share in the Indian trade. Georgia, on the other hand, being a prohibition province at that early day, objected to the sale of rum to the Indians, and expressly charged that the difficulties between the English and the Creeks arose from the failure of South Carolina to render "satisfaction for injuries done by their pedling traders." General Oglethorpe, who was the early guide of affairs in Georgia and who in 1738 was appointed commander in chief of His Majesty's forces in both Georgia and South Carolina, made it his first care to win the friendship of the Indians. On the 15th of June, 1739, he wrote the Georgia Trustees: "I have received frequent and confirmed advices that the Spaniards are striving to bribe the Indians, and particularly the Creek nation, to differ with us; and the disorder of the traders is such as gives but too much room to render the Indians discontented; great numbers of vagrants being gone up without licenses either from Carolina or us. Chigilly, and Malachee, the son of the great Brim, who was called Emperor of the Creeks by the Spaniards, insist upon my coming up to put all things in order, and have acquainted me that all the chiefs of the nation will come down to the Coweta town to meet me, and hold the general assembly of the Indian nations; where they will take such measures as will be necessary to hinder the Spaniards from corrupting and raising sedition amongst their people. 

"This journey, though a very fatiguing and dangerous one, is quite necessary to be taken; for if not, the Spaniards, who .have sent up great presents to them, will bribe the corrupt part of the nation; and, if the honester part is not supported, will probably overcome them, and force the whole nation into a war with England. The Coweta town, where the meeting is to be, is near 500 miles from hence1; it is in a straight line 300 miles from the sea. All the towns of the Creeks2 and of the Cousees and Talapousees,3 though 300 miles from the Cowetas, will come down to the meeting. The Choctaws, also, and the Chickasaws, will send thither their deputies; so that 7,000 men depend upon the event of this assembly. The Creeks can furnish 1,500 warriors, the Chickasaws 500, and the Choctaws 5,000. I am obliged to buy horses and presents to carry up to this meeting."4

The 16th of the following month he wrote the Trustees from Savannah: "The French and Spaniards have used their utmost endeavours to raise disturbances amongst our Indians and the not deciding clearly in the Act relating to them has given such Insolence to the Carolina Traders that the Indians have declared, if I do not come up to them they will take Arms and do themselves Justice and have ordered a General Assembly of all the Nations to meet me. I set out this night."5 

Regarding the success of his trip Oglethorpe wrote from Augusta, September 5, 1739: "I am just arrived at this Place from the Assembled Estates of the Creek Nation. They have very fully declared their rights to and possession of all the Land as far as the River Saint Johns and their Concession of the Sea Coast, Islands and other Lands to the Trustees, of which they have made a regular Act. If I had not gone up the misunderstandings between them and the Carolina Traders fomented by our two neighboring Nations would probably have occasioned their beginning a war, which I believe might have been the result of this general meeting; but as their complaints were reasonable, I gave them satisfaction in all of them, and every thing is entirely settled in peace. It is impossible to describe the joy they expressed at my arrival they met me forty miles in the woods and layd Provisions on the roads in the woods. The Express being just going to Charles Town, I can say no more but that I have had a burning fever of which I am perfectly recovered."6

While at Augusta Oglethorpe received a communication from England informing him of the declaration of war against Spain and instructing him to "annoy" the Spaniards. The Ranger's Report is an account of his travels with Oglethorpe to the Indian Assembly at Kawita (Coweta) on the Chattahoochee River and in attendance upon Oglethorpe during his operations against Saint Augustine and in defense of the Georgia coast from Spanish invasion. 

The Report is among the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, and a transcript which was made from this is in the Library of Congress.

Little is known of Captain Fitch prior to his discharge of this mission. He succeeded Colonel Chicken as Indian Commissioner and held that post in 1733-1734. In the latter year he was appointed a justice of the peace in Berkeley County.

There is a manuscript copy of his Journal in the Public Record Office, London: C. O. 5, 12, if. 35-55, and a transcript made from this is in the Library of Congress.

Source: Travels in the American Colonies

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