ANTOINE BONNEFOY seems to have left no other record of himself than this Journal, and interest in this centers in the Cherokee treatment of him as a prisoner and in his "Pierre Albert" who was instrumental in enabling him to escape. Since Colonel Chicken's visit in 1726 the English traders from Charleston had carried to the Cherokees the germs of smallpox, which in 1738 proved fatal to nearly one half their number. They complained that they had been poisoned, and some of their towns began dealing with the French. Oglethorpe met a delegation of them at Augusta in September, 1739, on his return from the Creek assembly at Kawita, and in a measure healed the breach.

The French, however, were no less active than the English. In 1736 they engaged Christian Priber, a German Jesuit, to alienate the Cherokees from the English. Priber, a man of culture who spoke Latin, French, Spanish, German, and English, took up his residence at Tellico, donned Cherokee dress, adopted the Cherokee manner of living, learned to speak their language, rendered himself generally useful, and won confidence and esteem. When thus strongly intrenched, he began to inspire hatred of the English and love of the French. He brought about the coronation of a Cherokee chief as king of the "Cherokee Confederacy," secured for himself the office of royal secretary, and projected the establishment of an unbridled communistic society at Kashita, in the Creek country. Learning of his activities, the authorities of South Carolina demanded his surrender, but the Cherokees refused to give him up. In 1743, however, while he was passing through the Upper Creek country on his way to Mobile, he was captured by some traders and taken to Frederica, Georgia, where he died after a brief confinement in the barracks. Priber was none other than Bonnefoy's "Pierre Albert" who was sorry for the French prisoners, who spoke English and French "quite fluently," who "wrote German, Latin, English, and French with equal correctness," who was wanted by the Governor of Carolina, and for whose communistic project the prisoners "agreed to feign enthusiasm" as a means of promoting their plan of escape.

A manuscript copy of Bonnefoy's journal (French) is in the Archives Nationales, Paris : Colonies F. 3:24, ff. 361-371. The translation which is here printed is by Dr. J. Franklin Jameson. 

Source: Travels in the American Colonies

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