Establishing the Smyrnea Settlement; the First Thirty Months (July 15, 1768-January 9, 1771)

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, July 15, 1768

Turnbull had just “arrived from our settlement on the Hillsborough River. Our people are fixing as fast as possible on the line of our tract which makes the banks of the Hillsborough where we have 8 miles in front. This will be all settled in a few days more with families whose houses are about 70 yards one from another. The lots of land they are to cultivate run back. As the land on the banks is very proper for the culture of vines, cotton plants and mulberry trees for feeding silk worm, I think it will become not only a very advantageous settlement but well equal in beauty to some of the finest prospects on the Nile and as our great expense is now over I hope in two or three years to fix a second range of families on the meadows nigh the great swamp, about two miles backward from the first line. A ridge of pine lands between the first and second range will be a common to both. The edges of the extensive meadows on the side of the swamp farthest back will be a proper situation for a third range, and the banks of the St. Johns River immediately behind the last swamp, will be very proper situation for a fourth. These four lines may have a thousand farms on them in seven or eight years hence and then it will be one of the best and most advantageous tracts in America.”

“Expense would be too great except we have the government in maintaining the first importation by allowing us from six pence to nine pence a day a head for three-fourths of the year until their labor furnishes them some pat of their food. As to other importations, it will be easy to maintain them from the present establishments now made which will be a trifle of expense to which I am now obliged to for all our provisions are brought from Carolina and Georgia. As no minister knows the advantages of settling a country in this manner better than Lord Hillsborough I flatter myself that he will take us under his protection and assist us in the spirited manner which he is remarkable for when he sees the true interest of Great Britain is advanced by it. Seven of our ships are arrived. The eighth is a strong good ship with plenty of provisions on board so I'm not worried. As soon as I finish business here, I plan to take up my residence on the plantation and will only be in town when it can't be avoided.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, July 17, 1768

“I came here lately from our Plantation to settle accounts with the captains who brought our People from Europe, and also to provide many things wanted for our colony. I have begun to fix the families on the banks of the Hillsborough where we have eight miles in front. This will be all settled in farms in a few days. Each family to have about seventy yards in front on the River and to run back to as many acres as the family can cultivate. By this disposition every family or farm house will be about two hundred feet one from another and as lands on river are not only good but fit for vines, cotton plants, and mulberry trees for making silk, I flatter myself that it will not only be very advantageous settlement to the proprietors, but it will also form a fine Nilotic prospect. The Increase of families from these now imported will soon admit of furnishing a second range on the sides of the meadow nigh the swamp, about two miles back from River line. A ridge of Pine Lands may be left as a common between both. The sides of the back swamp about five miles from the river will be a proper place for a third line of farms, and a fourth may be formed on the edges of the rich marshes on St. Johns River. I mean that part of it behind and contiguous to our tracts.

“If we can have aid of government in maintaining these people for nine months or one year, I can engage with that help and the sum we agreed on to be laid out, that these four lines shall have above a thousand families or farms on them in seven or eight years, which would make our Tracts become the most valuable ones in America. I only mention the maintaining these first People, for others brought afterwards would cost little, from supplies being easy from the first settlers. Consequently this first expense would be the only one necessary for Peopling this Province. This aid to us becomes the more reasonable as the want of labouring hands to raise provisions obliges us to fetch every thing from Georgia and Carolina, which almost doubles the price by expense of freights and other charges.

“In a letter from Mahon I mentioned the expedient of an annual ship to bring people from that island to this place, which would be a great help to peopling this province, and I hope that will be done, if nothing is given to us for the maintenance of the Greeks and others now imported. This however would be expensive to government and in a short time would cost more money than what I think ought to be granted us. I presume, Sir William, that you might mention this to Lord Hillsborough, no minister knows the advantages which arise to a nation from this manner of people better than he does, and I flatter myself that he will assist us in that spirited manner which is remarkable, for in the advancement of the commercial interest of the nation, which is certainly the case at present, this province will soon furnish more valuable articles of commerce and in greater quantities than all the northern colonies together. But if no assistance is given to defray a part of the great expence of this first importation tho' it will damp the peopling of this country, and discourage me from future attempts towards it, I will not however, [limit] our present settlement, where our people are at work and in high spirits. Seven of our ships are arrived, the eighth and missing is the largest and stoutest of them all. The East Florida Schooner is now loading provisions for us at Savannah in Georgia, and another large schooner is freighted to bring corn and rice for us from Charlestown in South Carolina.

“I have desired Col. Laurens to draw on you, Sir William, for the amount which I flatter myself you will order to be punctually paid. I believe that Gov. Grant laid out more money on cattle and Negroes than I intended. The expence for the cattle is a necessary and advantageous one, but I grudge that of the Negroes, as I see that it does not succeed in the extraordinary measures of it. Besides a Negro plantation is of all things the most unpleasant, and instead of peopling a country, often risks unpeopling it. Governor Grant from spending two years in South Carolina, where they cultivate with Negroes, had prejudices in favour of that way of cultivating. But I think he will soon become a convert to our system from seeing the alertness, and quick manner of working of our people. I said nothing to Gov. Grant about what he had done as he takes great pains to do us service.

“I wrote you three or four days ago almost in the same words with the first part of this letter, and I propose also to trouble you with a copy of this, which I will send by another ship. The delays of letters by sea makes it in some measure necessary to send copies.”

July 27 addendum to “acquaint you that the last ship is arrived with the People in good health and Spirits, tho' they have been now four months onboard without setting a foot on shore. The ship proceeds with them tomorrow to land them at the mouth of Hillsborough River.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, August 2, 1768

Turnbull promised to get all his accounts ready to permit his partners to see how the money was disposed of. “In your last letter of the 11th March you thought it right that I avail myself of the advantages which come from furnishing People for the provinces in America. I intend it and expect to reduce the expenses we have been at for these first settlers to a moderate price. It is very just that every grantee who brings settlers here through me should contribute a part of the expense we have been at to begin this affair.”

Turnbull intended to write to Lord Adam Gordon in London to acquaint him with the conditions under which Mediterranean people could be transported to East Florida. Gordon, or so Turnbull thought, would communicate the news to the East Florida Society at their next meeting at the Shakespeare Head Tavern. Turnbull wrote: “I had resolved on sparing some of the people now with me to Mr. John Murray, about as many as would cost a thousand pounds, having drawn on him for the sum, which was laid out with our money, but on proposing it I found it impossible to be done without raising a discontent from separating them. This made me desist from it and consequently I have kept them all on our account. It is imagined by some people that these foreigners will soon leave us. This is so far from being the case that I believe the greatest part of them will never remove from this spot they now settled on which it shall be my care to make them as comfortable as the circumstances will admit of. Our last ship is departed for the mouth of Hillsborough River to land the people he brought and I hope they are ashore by this time.

“I have been detained here, chiefly in settling my accounts with the captains. Some endeavored to give me trouble, but they have lost their labour. I've just received your letter of 6th May and am very happy that you are paying my bills. Any demur that way would have ruined me and our scheme absolutely....

“The freight of the ships are the heaviest expense we have got to pay. Providing also for so many people for almost one year will also cost a good deal, but not so much by two-thirds as maintaining the same number of people from Great Britain or Ireland, but this need not be mentioned as I flatter myself that maintaining them for six, nine, or twelve months will be at the expense of government. Governor Grant has wrote to Lord Hillsborough about it...I've now laid in and ordered provisions for at least four months, some or rather the greatest part of which is landed and forwarded to our settlement and some of it not yet ship't at Carolina. I'm now going to our plantation.”
Bills totaling approximately £2,000 Sterling were sent to Duncan on August 2 and 10. These were followed with another cluster of bills totaling £929.6.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, August 20, 1768

The last ship of the ships from Gibraltar had arrived in St. Augustine by this time and was putting passengers ashore at the settlement when Turnbull wrote this letter on August 20th. Turnbull planned to leave St. Agustine the next day “for the settlement where as yet everything goes on well, though we arrived here in the worst season of the year and in the most rainy weather imaginable. Which is not only inconvenient but has retarded our work.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Orange Grove [James Penman's plantation; today at Daytona], August 22, 1768

“I have the honour to inform you that Mr. Toronty's schooner was retaken here this day after the East Florida had fired one gun at her, and she is now aground in going up to the store to unload. About thirty people on got off. Some of them went of on Sir Charles Burdett's boat, some in Mr. Macdougal's canoe, and others went ashore on the South Beach, without water and bread. The chief mutineers are among the last fugitives, and therefore I intend to offer here twenty dollars a head for every one of them who shall be brought to me, and I beg your Excellency would be pleased to desire Mr. Skinner to put up such an advertisement in St. Augustine, which I think the more necessary as I immagine that most of them will cross the Mosquito Inlet and make for towns. I have one Carlo Forni by me here. He is accused of being the ringleader in this affair. Mr. Watson, Captain Rogers, Mr. Earl, and the soldiers I brought from Mahon surprised him at the store on Friday night and drove a boat away from thence. This store they kept possession of and by that means got to the south point of the Inlet from whence I ordered some good marksmen to annoy the boats employed in [sweeping]? out the schooner which I found them doing yesterday morning early when I went down to the Inlet.

“I came up here late this evening to meet Captain Rainsford, and to prevent the party with him going any farther if consistent with his orders, but as he is not yet arrived, I intend to go to the store to dispose of the prisoners, having ordered them to be confined on board the shore vessels till my going to them tomorrow morning. As I was on the beach at the Inlet this morning when the sloop and schooner appeared, I observed the surprise of the mutineers, which were so great that fifteen of them jumped into a boat and went ashore at a point on the south side of the Inlet without arms, provisions or anything other. Certainly nothing was ever more expeditious than this success or more on trial for the schooner was then within a cables length of the Bar. The villains are so much the more culpable, as they have stove all the puncheons of rum some etc, which they could not carry off....

“All the wounded are recovering. Cutter almost well. Two of the mutineers were killed on Friday night and Saturday morning.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 75-77

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

[No place, possibly Orange Grove], August 23, 1768, early in the morning.

“I trouble your Excellency with this to acquaint you that I thought it best to send the Carlo Forni, I mentioned in my letter of last night, and not to put him among the other prisoners as he was one of the chief mutineers. I ordered him here from Earls apprehending that his adherents and accomplices might attempt his rescue if they had been informed of his being so nigh as Earls, he arrived since yesterday about the time the others were taken prisoners by your sloop and Mr. Drayton's schooner. This Carlo pretends that the fourteen or fifteen Greeks and Italians who made their escape in Sir Charles Burdett's boat were the first promoters of the disturbance and the most active in every part of it. They have not provisions to carry them to the Havannah, so that they will certainly be obliged to put ashore on the coast to the southward.

“As to the others who went off in Mr. Macdougals canoe, they cannot be far off; as that boat cannot live in a swell. I hope that the hunters will find them and the others who went away in such a fright that they did not even take a bit of bread with them or anything to subsist on. I hope the reward offered will produce most of them. If possible I'll come to town seven or eight days hence to settle with Mr. [Lorans] ? and Duncan. I recollect also that the New York man has not been paid for his rum, his never having come nigh me was the reason for my forgetting that piece of business....”

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 78-80

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

New Smyrna, August 25, 1768

“I have the honour to acquaint your Excellency that I am now endeavouring to settle everything as before, by sending the families back to their plantations which they had left to form a body here. On examining some of the chief plotters I find that Carlo Forni has been the sole cause of all this disturbance by flattering some of the most unruly of the Greeks and Italians with hopes of great things at the Havannah. These had several consultations when at work in the woods, but the time of the execution of their scheme was not even concluded on till the morning they mutinied.

“Carlo Forni then took on him to command, saying these gentlemen had done him the honour to chuse him as their chief. They seem to me to have been about twenty at most at first only, but being masters of all the firearms they obliged all the rest, I mean Italians and Greeks, to join them, ordering their sentries to shoot every man who attempted to go off. They then began a general plunder not only of every thing in the stores, but also of what the Mahonese had of effects here. This booty engaged many others to join in plundering, especially after they had given leave to all to take as much rum as they pleased.

“Many, however, made their escape to the woods and from thence to Earls, and many from the schooner. All that tribe of pilferers I think of punishing here. As to the plotting men, I send six of them prisoners with Captain Rainsford to take their tryals, and I hope that some of their bodies will be hung in chains in this river as pyrates.

“As to Carlo Forni, he is an execrable villain. When he was taken he came on shore to ravish two young girls. I do not, however, condemn him of any intentions of murder. On the contrary, he seemed always inclined to spare every body; except one of the overseers who he ordered to be murdered, but it was not done by the refusal of the person who was to execute the orders. The loss suffered by this affair by their staving of casks of rum , wine and oil amounts to about a hundred pounds, but that of sloops is more considerable, for there was so much corn and bread with them on board that they threw most of them overboard, when they stuck on the barr on Monday morning. I cannot yet tell how much this loss may amount to but I hope it will be under two hundred pounds, which I hope to get out of the sweat of these pilferers brows before they leave me. I am sorry I cannot come to town to settle with Mr. Toronti, Mr Gordon and Duncan, as Mr. Cutter is still confined to his bed by a wound in the groin, another in the head behind the ear, and a third which carried away three fingers of his right hand and almost cut off the other. He is now in good spirits and desires his respects to your Excellency.

“Two of the mutineers were killed. One in retaking the store and another in pilfering from the Mahonese. Several are wounded but none mortally. The Greek priest was forced onto a boat with some other Greeks with whom the boat sunk and the priest was drowned. Some of the Corsican clan of Greeks were persuaded into the plot by their understanding Italian and were active in the mischief of destroying and plundering, but they were not arrived in this place when this was first thought of.

“I have desired Captain Rainsford to leave twenty men, as thirty of the mutineers were lurking about the Inlett. A detachment of six with a corporal may be necessary now and then to bring some of them in. We are nigh to three of them today.

“Poor Stork died yesterday morning about three hours before I got here. He seemed to be better when we left him, but they tell me that he fell into convulsions when the mutiny began and lost his senses two days afterwards.

“We endeavour to come to Town next week to settle with Mr. Toronz, Mr. Gordon and Duncan. You will see, Sir, that this is wrote in a hurry, which I can not avoid at present....

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 78-80

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

New Smyrna, August 29, 1768

“Your Excellency's letter came to hand yesterday afternoon. I observe what you are so kind to advise about my staying a few days till everything is settled which I intended to do as you will see by my letter of the 26th which Captain Rainsford carried to town. I thought of being in town next Sunday if possible, to settle with Mr. Torontz, Duncan and others, but I am afraid it will be a day or two later as I intend to stay till Mr. Cutter is able to go about as usual. All his wounds are in a fine way.

“I gave you a very long account of this disturbance in my letter to Captain Rainsford, therefore shall not trouble you with anything further at present. Only that twelve of the most capable of the mutineers are to come to stay in Captain Regal's Schooner. The others were punished yesterday morning at the whipping post. They are all now at work and I dare say will behave well for the future.

“Though this affair carries a loss with it, yet I think it a kind of lucky accident to the colony for at present it not only clears us of villains but it will keep the others in awe for the future. As to the people who are fled I intend to send some hunters after them. I have already spoke to Tompkins, he promised me three days ago to be here tomorrow. I think of sending London with him and a small party of soldiers. Davis went to St. Johns the day of the mutiny and is not yet returned.

“I am much obliged to your Excellency for advertising the premium for catching these fellows. I think that most of them will be starved for want of food, but if any of them attempt to escape by land that reward for catching them will probably have a good effect. I am very sorry for six of my best rowers who the mutineers obliged to embark in Sir Charles's boats as the wind was favorable for three days after that boat went out and the weather moderate, I am afraid these people are far to the southward. But whatever is the fate of these people. I think we had great luck in stopping the schooner which was owing entirely to your Excellency having dispatched the sloop and schooner so soon, for a few hours delay would have lost her. When the two vessels came off the bar, the schooner was then behind it, and would have certainly got out next tide or in six hours after they appeared.

“Mr. Cutter desires his respects to your Excellency and is sorry that the cheese he intended for you is diminished to a lump, which, however, he sends forward as it is much better than none, even that lump is something. He sends it by Captain Regal who sails down today or tomorrow with the prisoners and soldiers on board. Mr. Delachery also goes with him....

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 92-94

Governor James Grant to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, August 30, 1768

“A vessel sails in the morning for Charlestown, Dr. Turnbull is at New Smyrna and of course can't profit of this opportunity to inform you of the State of his affairs and yours in this country. The Mutiny or Riot which was raised in the settlement by the Italians and Greeks will probably make a noise and get into the newspapers with many additions to what really happened. The affair is crushed and I'm convinced no such attempt will be made in future as they were luckily overpowered the third day notwithstanding the distance, but that you may be particularly informed of every circumstance of the affair which has come to my knowledge, I take the liberty to send you for your information only, a copy of my letter to His Majesty's Secretary of State upon that subject, in which for the future security of your settlers and other inhabitants of that part of the country I propose building a fort and establishing a garrison at Mosquito Inlet. I have pointed out a fund to defray the expense, and as
Lord Hillsborough is exceedingly exact as to business I make no doubt of receiving immediate orders and directions upon it, if the plan meets with his Lordship's approbation, which probably will be the case, seems to have attention to the Greek settlement and recommends it to my care, that indeed was not necessary for my Friend the Doctor may always depend upon all the aid and assistance I can give him, and I am vastly happy that I succeeded in bringing him out of distress, in this last unlucky affair, which must have hurt the settlement if the mutineers had succeeded.

“When I received the Doctors express with the first account of the riot, I was ill of a fever, but I was so uneasy at the Doctor's situation and so anxious to send him assistance, that I forgot the sickness, moved about for some hours, and employed every boat and every man civil and military who I thought could be of use in getting the two vessels in order and readiness to sail. My anxiety about the poor Doctor, was of more use to me than any medicine he could have given me, for I have been in perfect health ever since, yet take the liberty to trouble you with a new account of a cure for fever as it succeeded better with me than bark.

“In the Scuffle at New Smyrna Mr. Cutter, the Doctor's principal manager, was confined as a prisoner and wounded in three places in the Head, the right hand and the groin, the poor man has lost three of his fingers but is in a fair way of Recovery, he is very clever, very intelligent, and at the same time active, sober and faithful, his Death would have been an irreparable loss to your affairs, for he speaks all languages, and from the account I have of him from Mr. Turnbull, and from the Carolina planters who were for some days on the spot and admired Cutters management. I do not believe another man could be found to conduct such a number of people collected together from so many different countries and nations.

“Poor Stork the Florida author went to New Smyrna with Mr. Turnbull, where he was taken ill and was left to come round to this place by sea, he fell into convulsions when the mutiny began, lost his senses two days after and died the 24th instant about three hours before Mr. Turnbull got back to New Smyrna.

I had the honour of receiving your letter of 5th February but I did not think it necessary to trouble you with an answer as I did not have anything in particular to communicate to you, about your East Florida affairs, and as I at that time look't every hour for Dr. Turnbull's arrival.

“The Embarkation and Importation of so many people must run high, many incidental charges as I expected which the doctor could not foresee, and of course could not enter into his calculations. ‘Tis no doubt an immense undertaking but the Doctor is so assiduous, so active, so attentive and in fact so fit in every respect to conduct the whole that I am very sanguine in my expectations of success from his settlements, but the Inhabitants must be kept in order and prevented from playing tricks in future, and as so large a settlement becomes an object of government you surely should be assisted in subsisting the settlers for a certain time, that is till they can reasonably be supposed to raise provisions for themselves. Such a measure I should imagine might be agreed to, tho' government may not think it advisable to pay for the importation of Inhabitants as such an aid should be apply'd for as you are precluded from any Bounty except for Greeks and they are so few in number that it is not worth taking.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 2, File 131-132

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, September 10, 1768

Turnbull informed Duncan that he had just arrived in St. Augustine from the settlement, where a riot instigated by Carlo Forni “had thrown things into some confusion.” Fortunately, the riot had been quelled, and measures taken to prevent “disturbances” in the future. Turnbull acknowledged that Governor Grant had already alerted Duncan to the event, and assured him that the loss was not above one-half of what it at first appeared to be.

“The Chief of the riot had engaged about twenty to second him, these seized the arms, and compelled above 200 men, women and children to join them, most of whom escaped from them next day, and returned to the plantations. This Carlo Forni intended to carry them all to the Havannah, where he intended to sell them as servants. This was the reason of his compelling such a number to go with him, which he effected the easier by giving them Rum in great Plenty. The Families, then fixed on their Farms, continued there ‘till they heard of my being in the neighborhood; they then assembled and were preparing to join me in order to attack the Rioters, which in the meantime was done by the two armed vessels the governor sent to our assistance, as he has already acquainted you.

“Everything is now quiet, and the Families are hard at work, on their Farms which make a line of eight miles on Hillsborough River, each farm having two hundred feet front on the River, with leave to run back as far as they can cultivate. I have begun a second line with twenty Families farther back in the tracts. All these new settlers are hard at work, and ensure such success to our undertaking by their activity and Intelligence, as will certainly reimburse us of the whole of our Expense, both Capital and Interest, before my contract is finished.”

Turnbull acknowledged the receipt of letters from each of his partners, Mr. George Grenville and Duncan, and said that he was sorry it happened, but not surprised that they were limiting his spending to an additional £2000 Sterling, each man to pay half of that amount. “I am very sensible that I deserve this and though I've far exceeded our bounds, tho' not intentionally, if I had thought they would run so high, I would have taken other measures.” But as many things happened that resulted in his enlarging the scheme, the expenses consequently mounted. Turnbull, however, expressed confidence there would be no new expenses. All that was currently needed was subsistence food for the settlers until they could provide for themselves from cultivation at the settlement. “
“All other expenses were put a stop to as soon as I arrived here. But in this I cannot stop. I must either supply them or starve them,” and so he sent bills for a cargo of provisions (£376.5.4) which he expected to reimburse from produce sold in 1770, not before “as next year must be entirely employed in raising provisions for the year, and that following it....What may be wanted more ought indeed to be reimbursed by me, as I have not yet supplied my share having laid out of my own money no more than £3,400, as you see by the enclosed note drawn out hastily from the general accounts....

“If a memorial in my name is necessary, please order it. I mention in my name along, because I immagine you would not choose to appear in it, it may seem to the world that I contracted with you to just such a number of People on your lands here at so much a head. This would make this aid have the appearance of being given to me alone, tho' it must be added to the mass of Expenses, and would be a great help to us. Our Olive Trees are sprouting out very well but most of the vines perished by the long voyage. But this is already partly supplied by the cuttings of the Madeira and other vines. Vineyards will render ten pounds an acre at least in this country.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, September 12, 1768

Turnbull complained of the many bills for provisions he had been receiving from merchants in Georgia and South Carolina. Everyone, he said, was pressuring him for payment. The settlers, however, were adjusting well: “I have letters from Smyrna, all are well and housing themselves for the winter in the best manner they can. I am very impatient to be among them again, but am detained supplying them with many things....

“Dr. Stork had been [ailing] or some time when he desired to go to Smyrna with me. The fatigue of the journey made him worse, notwithstanding he would not return, but went on with me. He complained of lowness of spirits, had a small but quick pulse, and complained of a dull heavy pain under his right ribs. He said his liver was affected, and despaired of recovery, four days after his getting to Smyrna, he fell into convulsive quakings and spasms, and died three days after. I buried him there as decently as I could. I believe his affairs were not in good order which probably affected him. He died the 30th of August.”

In another letter written on September 12, 1768, the second day back in St. Augustine, Turnbull sent the latest news of the aftermath of the riot that had occurred the previous month. Four more runaways had been captured on the eighth of September, and one of his overseers in command of a party of six armed men was in pursuit of still other runaways. “This country is so much intersected with large rivers that it is difficult for runaways to escape.”

Turnbull's anxiety about his partners failing to honor bills continued. He said the settlement would be stopped and he would be personally ruined if this were to happen. He again apologized for not contributing an equal share of the expenses, but lacked the financial resources to do so. He pledged to contact the London merchant, Thomas Nixon, “to desire him to find money for me if he can at eight percent which is the interest here. I have proposed to give my bond for it, or a mortgage, on which I have here ‘till I can get some more of my own money together.”

“I intend to write to the [East Florida] Society to acquaint them on which terms I can bring settlers into this Province from the Southern parts of Europe. I intend this as an assistance to our affairs for I will not take the trouble except I can have from ten to fifteen in every hundred for our plantations. Income without expenses, this may help to make our way cheap at last. Tho' very dear at present. I do not however tell them that I propose this advantage which is little enough considering the trouble, fatigue and expense we have been at in settling this affair.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, September 21, 1768

The colonists were “getting on well,” Turnbull said and he was then “much employed in supplying their many wants....The continual attention necessary for this and for the unavoidable necessity of providing for them daily hinders me from feeling, except at times, the apprehensions which hang over me, of your not accepting my bills. You must see the necessity of going on. Else all lost. People would not only dispense but starve for want of provisions and neglect....

“When I arrived here the governor told me that he trembled for me when he considered the difficulty and expense of maintaining such a number of people in a province where everything must be broght from abroad, his apprehensions eased on my laying before him my mode of victualing, and the precautions I had taken not to be distressed for want.” The governor was providing great assistance finding food, but Turnbull was still in hopes of a subsidy from government to help with the expense of feeding the settlers for the first six or nine months, until the provisions fields at Mosquito Inlet were supplying the food needed.

“Before I arrived in this country the governor had given the name of New Smyrna to our settlement. I have only changed it to Smyrnéa which is bad Greek for New Smyrna. This is only of one particular spot; I'll name the rest afterwards.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, September 22, 1768

Turnbull wrote that the settlers were doing “as well as can be wished and as they are sensible that I spare no pains to procure them every supply of provisions and convenience in my power, they put up with the want of some things without a murmur. The number of People we brought into the province being more than double the Inhabitants of this place and of the settlers in the province obliges me, at much expense and small trouble, to supply our provisions from the northern colonies, at extraordinary expense and inconvenience. This won't be felt by future settlers. Government should help maintain for at least six or nine months.”

Turnbull argued that great advantage for the colony could result from introducing settlers from Southern Europe because it wold bring along “different modes of culture into the province, many of which seem superior to which is generally practiced in America; and we have now a prospect before us of bringing many valuable articles of commerce to market, as cheap if not cheaper than the French and Spaniards. I mean indigo, cotton and wines. Of these, however, and other prospects which now open to me, I shall not say much more for the future until the bringing of them to market carry a confirmation of what I now flatter myself of.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, October 3, 1768

A bill from Henry Laurens, a Charles Town merchant, for 1,000 bushels of corn carried on the Juno schooner had just arrived, along with bills for other provisions: Indian corn, barrels of salt and flour, seeds for gardens and agricultural fields, and miscellaneous. Another bill for 400 bushels of corn from Beaufort, South Carolina, and a third bill for “sundries for our people,” and sixteen barrels of flour and other provisions from Providence, Bahamas, had also arrived. Turnbull discussed his continuing concern about whether or not his partners would pay the bills.

“I set out today for Smyrnéa, and do not intend to return for six weeks or two months except the want of something for our People compel me.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, October 11, 1768

“I have the honour to acquaint your Excellency that the Black Captain Cesar of the Batchelor schooner brought in here last Thursday seventeen of the runaways with Sir Charles's [Burdett] boat. I have taken out nine of them and send the other eight to town to take their tryal, as these eight were rather more culpable than those in Town except Carlo Forni.”

. . .

James Grant Papers

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, October 30, 1768

“...The principal Italian and Greek mutineers who I mentioned in my Letter no. 9 to have made their escape in boats have since been retaken at the Florida Keys in their way to the Havanah. There are now above twenty of them in goal, ‘tis hard to fix upon the most guilty but circumstances will no doubt appear at the tryal, to determine which of them should suffer as examples to the rest, two or three will be sufficient for they'l hardly make such another attempt as not one of them has escaped.

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, October 22, 1768

Turnbull was alarmed that a sloop from Providence with flour and bread supplies for the settlers had wrecked three miles from Smyrnéa. The provisions had been spoiled, forcing him to travel to St. Augustine to order more food. “Our People tried to get everything out of her,” he wrote, and they found the “flour not much damaged, bread all lost, and I was in great want of bread.”

This was the first such disaster the settlement had suffered. Turnbull purchased more flour, nine barrels, and bread in St. Augustine from Spencer Man, and expected delivery by October 23rd. With this bill, Turner also sent another for three horses and corn mills he had previously purchased.

“On my arrival at Smyrnéa 18 days ago I found our People sickly and many much disgusted from that sickness having carried off some of the oldest People and several children. This was caused by a sudden and violent storm of wind followed by incessant rain for three days. The Blast of wind uncovered some part of most of the Houses and Hutts, by which the families were exposed to wet and dangers which brought on a violent bloody flux, and carried off such as were afflicted with the scurvy, which manifested itself on many of them sometime after their arrival. An Hospital of 80 foot long was immediately built and I left them all recovering, I mean the sick, the others seeing that the Disorder proceeded from the weather, and that it was accidental recovered their Spirits and activity. Many of them now eat french Beans, pease and other vegetables of their own planting. The quick vegetation of this climate encourages them much.

“Our Olive trees had new shoots of fifteen inches long in two months from their being put into the ground, this is reckoned extraordinary by the Olive men. I have also sown much seed for mulberry trees and am preparing land for our first vineyard, but as they do not give immediate profit I intend to plant provisions and cotton only next year, and shall not think of many articles of produce until the vineyards come up. The planting of cotton will be one of the most advantageous articles of cultivation.

“Almost all of the Rioters who ran away for fear of punishment are now come in or brought in. Five or six of the most guilty are to take their tryals the next assizes, the other less guilty are at work and promise better behavior, their sufferings in the woods for want of food will I think deter them from future attempts to get off and the more as they found it unprofitable to get away. The many swamps and large rivers in this country make it improbable to strangers, and to those not familiar with proper conveniences for such traveling.”

“[Despite horrible rain,] most of new planters make great crops of provisions, and the Indigo and Rice made this year is very good....In looking over our Tracts the last time I was at Smyrnéa, I examined 5000 acres of marsh land which lies before our Tracts. This will be worth five pounds an acre yearly the second year after it is dyked and ditch'd in. This spot is the most valuable part of Hillsborough River.

“The rains have been so violent at St. Augustine that none of the Houses held it out. This caused more sickness and fevers here than ever was known before. Now the Sky is clear and every disorder is going off.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, October 28, 1768

This letter again expresses the great anxiety Turnbull experienced over the threat of his bills being refused for payment by his partners. If that were to happen, no merchants in America would trust Turnbull again. He–Turnbull–would immediately become a debtor, and in the North American colonies the “Debtor is immediately thrown into jail until he pays the money or finds Bail.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, November 8, 1768

Turnbull wrote to advise Duncan of bills that had arrived, and to announce that he was “setting out for our settlement, where I have sent two small vessels loaded with provisions, and seeds for planting. I have just received advice that seven of our missing People are in prison on the Island of Providence. Five of them were young men forced away by others, they are all to be sent here by the first opportunity. This affair of the Riot has ended so well, and with so little loss that I do not think that it has hurt us much, but rather the contrary, as it is now evident to the runaways that they cannot get away for wherever they go they are cast into prison and sent back again, measures having been taken to this effect everywhere in this neighborhood and in the Islands near us.”

Turnbull had suffered a “severe fit of ague” that took two days to recover from. He speculated the illness was caused by his being wet for two days and two nights in the journey from Mosquito Inlet to St. Augustine. “If Roads are not made in the country, the swimming of Rivers and wading up to the middle to get through the swamps will not only be a great hindrance but will certainly kill some of us.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

From Smart's Mill, November 10, 1768

“I am sorry that Mr. Humphry's takes the alarm so easily; I can hardly think the people can be so mad as to think of running themselves into certain danger, and as to Priest and the other dear suspects, I immagine that things are exaggerated by the Tall Tale Performers. I am much obliged to Your Excellency, however, for sending another sergeant with some healthy men. It may be necessary to keep up some force there, till I can get them supplied more regularly than I have yet been able to do. I fancy that the want of flour has appeared hard to them. I depart tomorrow morning at day break and will endeavour to get among them as soon as possible, and shall certainly stay some time as you advise....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 15, 1768

“I have the pleasure to acquaint your Excellency that the late apprehensions here were caused by murmurings which might have been of troublesome, rather than serious consequences had they gone further without being taken notice of. The confinement of the two chief chatterers has struck a panick in the rest, and there is not so much as a whisper of discontent. I have put some of the stoutest hands to make a road of six or eight feet wide in the front of the farms that the overseers may visit the workers with more convenience, and other [uses] than has been practicable yet.

“A scurvy which brought on gangrene mostly in the mouth, is almost the only disorder among us at present. The weather is fine and without a drop of rain since the 18th of last month.

“I am sorry the Black Captain does not appear. Mr. Wilson promised to drive him out of that port, if he is still there I should be obliged to Mr. Skinner if he wold put Mr. Wilson in mind of his promise. The sergeant was soon sensible of his error and now accounts himself at one for former faults. He keeps his command in good order, and lends me provisions, however, as he seems to have a spirit of avarice, I hope the other sergeant will still be obliged to concur, if [word not legible] departed from this place.

“Mr. Macdougal, Penman and everybody on the River area are well, a Talk which met Captain Bisset have acquainted that his cotton look't very fine. Mr. Cutter and Humphreys present their respects to your Excellency. They are to be in St. Augustine about the middle of December. I don't know whether I shall come to town before that or not, as I intend to be here before they go to town.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 233-235

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 21, 1768

“I have the honour to inform you that Captain Taylor with command arrived here last Wednesday. Penman, Bissett and Macdougal were here yesterday to take away what they had on board the Diamond. They are well.

“We are all covered in white this morning with hoar frost, the thermometer was half a degree below the freezing point at sunrise, and ice as thick as a crown. We wanted a bracer, but this is a shocker. I can hardly hold the pen to write this, for our House is very summer....”

James Grant Papers

Governor James Grant to William Knox

St. Augustine, November 24, 1768

The governor reported that the Greek colonists have been quiet of late, but they have been sickly, suffering from “a virulent scurvy contracted during their long voyage is their only remaining disorder.” The settlement has lost by death since landing 300 people, chiefly the old and young children.

Grant felt that if given government support Dr. Turnbull would form a fine settlement, but the expenses have been so high and so many People were involved that it appears to be too great a project for private pockets. Therefore, the government should help the proprietors. Turnbull and his partners had already laid out at least £20,000. “He must look to the Public for assistance to enable him to prosecute his plan.” The settlers were expected to raise a little this year but they will have to be fed for many months yet, at great expense when so many people were involved.

Grant noted that he had given great assistance to the settlement: “I saved a great quantity of garden seeds for him, of which, a grain does not fail here, when the greens grow up they will be of use to the poor people, who suffer from the scurvy, but our gardens [in St. Augustine] only begin to get in order [whereas] to the Southward at Smirnea they are in greater forwardness. The Doctor is now there.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 2, File 168-170

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, December 1, 1768

“The Greeks and Italians are quiet, but they have been sickly, a seasoning no doubt was to be expected upon their landing, but it has been attended with worse consequences than I looked for. They have lost above three hundred, chiefly old people and children. Mr. Turnbull writes me that they now begin to recover fast, and that the only disorder remaining among them is a scurvy which brings on gangrenes mostly in the mouth. When their gardens are got into order, ‘tis to be hoped vegetables will effectually remove the bad effects of a long and tedious voyage from the Mediterranean, the remedy is not distant as our gardens at present are much in the same situation with those in England about the end of April. At New Smyrna they should rather be farther advanced, and as seeds from England and the other parts of America are not to be depended on, I took care to save a considerable quantity for Mr. Turnbull from my own garden, of which a grain does not fail here, and of course he runs no risk of being disappointed in point of vegetables.

“Twenty thousand pounds sterling at least, my Lord, have already been laid out fo the embarkation of provisions and clothing of these people, so large a sum is not to be recovered but by perseverance, and a farther expense. The settlers may do a little for themselves in the course of the winter and spring, but they must be assisted for many months and clothed at least for two years before returns can reasonably be expected. Tho' they are supplied with economy and good management there is no trifling article of expence, where twelve hundred people are concerned, even salt and Indian corn exclusive of every other species of provision run high. ‘Tis true they have fish the year round, oysters and shell fish in plenty during the winter months, but not withstanding those helps, till they can raise the necessaries of life for themselves, I am much afraid that the expence of supporting so large a settlement, will be found too considerable for private pockets.

“I give Mr. Turnbull every little assistance in my power, and I can safely say that I am as anxious about his success as he can be himself; but unless your Lordship is pleased to take the Greek settlement under your protection and include it in the estimate for 1769, I am apprehensive that Mr. Turnbull will find great difficulty in carrying the projected plan into execution. It is upon a larger bottom than was concerted with his friends at home, and has already far exceeded double the sum which they agreed to advance, for which reason, my Lord, I am under some uneasiness about the future conduct of those gentlemen. They may probably tire of paying the large and frequent bills, which Mr. Turnbull is under an absolute necessity of drawing upon them. Their affairs certainly could not be in better hands, the Doctor is active, intelligent, and assiduous, but his friends tho' they have the highest opinion of Mr. Turnbull's integrity and ability, may possibly be alarmed at risking such large sums in a New World without a more immediate prospect of returns for their money.

“What I now mention to your Lordship is entirely from private opinion for tho' I am sure the Doctor is convinced of my friendship and good wishes, he has never expressed a doubt to me of his correspondents going on, and therefore I believe he does not doubt of it. But in my situation, my Lord, I cannot avoid having many serious thoughts about a settlement which is of such consequence to this infant colony and tho' I have no reason to suspect that Mr. Turnbull's bills will meet with dishonour, I cannot help considering the dreadful situation which the Doctor and his Greeks would be reduced to if such a misfortune was to happen. A single bill being returned, My Lord, would put a total stop to his credit, and the people in that case must unavoidably perish for want, if I do not support them.

“Your Lordship knows that I have no publick money, and indeed if I had a fund in my hands, I have no power to apply it for their situation. But it would be impossible to think of their starving. In such a case of necessity I must run the risk, draw upon the Treasury for the subsistence of these adventurers, and depend upon Your Lordship's protection to support me in what I do. Altho' this affair, My Lord, has hung heavy upon my mind since the landing of so great a number of people at a time, without any previous provisioning made for them, and without the consent of the other parties concerned, as the Mahonese crowded in unexpectedly upon Mr. Turnbull, I was unwilling to express the most distant doubt of his credit or success. But mentioning the circumstances to your Lordship in the manner I have done cannot hurt Mr. Turnbulls affairs....”

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, December 3, 1768

Turnbull listed a number of bills in this letter, saying he had returned to St. Augustine to buy flour and provisions and would be returning immediately to be with the settlers as much as possible. The bills included charges of $14 per barrel for forty barrels of Irish pork, and charges for flour, rum, bread, and other provisions. Turnbull observed that the expenses were diminishing daily.

“Our People are now recovered from an Indisposition which has been general in Carolina, Georgia, and this province. It seems to me to proceed from the astounding quantity of rain which fell this autumn, and was computed here to be at least twenty times more than last year. It carried off some of our very old People and a few of the youngest children, although it was not so violent among us as in this place, and it was more so still in Georgia. I left everybody at work in clearing to plant in the Spring. We shall think of nothing this year but provisions and a few cottons, in the mean time our vines and olives will be coming on.”

The tremendous rainfall experienced at the settlement had not sunk the spirits of “the People.They are all now cheerful and contented; most of them declare that they will never leave their present settlements, and I am positive that if they are properly managed not one in ten will ever remove their present situation, both for advantage and convenience and pleasure being very engaging: every man has a large oyster bank before his door, on the side of a River alive with Fish and he finds that his land throws up an increase of every thing he puts into it. It shall be my care to make them sensible of every advantage and to profit from them....“People have not only laid the foundation of peopling the province, but also for supplying other newcomers....”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to John Graham

St. Augustine, December 3, 1768

Turnbull alerted Graham, a Savannah merchant, that all of the Mosquitoes planters needed corn delivered, naming himself, James Penman, Captain Bissett, and Macdougal. Items ordered by Turnbull included forty barrels of coarse flour (or Carolina flour), 150 bushels of sweet potatoes, red peas, black peas, “a few firkins of hogg's lard, a box of green candles and fifty pounds [probably S.C. currency] worth of green wax in cakes, and you will do one a particular service in shipping half a dozen breeding sows, with a boar, and all the poultry the vessel can conveniently take on board. It is to be understood, however, that my commissions are not to be executed except the cargoes discharged at the Mosketo's, for freights are higher from this place to the Mosketoes than from Charlestown here. Of the Captains of the schooners not acquainted with the Mosquito bar, on his anchoring about a mile from it, hoisting a flag, a boat with a pilot will be sent to bring him over the bar. All masters of the vessels who have been there lately think that there is rather more water than on the St. Augustine bar, and better anchorage when over. It is meant that these commissions for provisions are to be executed and sent as soon as possible for we shall all be soon in want of them by the way of Carolina or any other opportunity will be satisfactory....”

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 255-257

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, December 10, 1768

In this letter, the governor sent instructions for ordering supplies from Charles Town merchants, and for making arrangements with ship captains. He also chided Dr. Turnbull for naively making arrangements with untrustworthy adventurers: “Bills are come back protested upon [Charles] Bernard, which I have long expected, as I was absolutely certain that he he had no power to draw upon Mr. Lillingston. Joe Gray, who is deep in the scrape, has laid hold of the Negroes which Bernard hired to you, they tell me that you have advanced £25 Sterling to Bernard upon that account. If so, I am sorry for it, for you certainly will lose every shilling of the money, and if you have bought the Negroe wench from him, depend upon it she will be claimed and seized by Lord Moira's agent when he arrives, for Stanhope O'Shannon has no right to dispose of her to Bernard, and he has as little right to sell her to you, and I have just been saying to Major Moultrie who called in to tell me that Mrs. Turnbull had some thoughts of sending an Express to acquaint you that Joe Gray had laid hold of the Negroes hired to you, that you might come to town in order to recover the £25 Sterling from Bernard, which I have said would be unnecessary trouble for if you was upon the spot Bernard could not pay you a penny.

“Mrs. Turnbull, Mrs. Dames, Moultrie, Box, and Catherwood dine with me tomorrow. I shall have conversation with the Greek about Bernard, she will not approve of the loss of the £25 and will say the Doctor make very bad bargain.”

James Grant Papers

Earl of Hillsborough to James Grant

Whitehall, December 10, 1768

“I have received and laid before the King your dispatches by the Grenville packet numbered from 8 to 13. “It has given His Majesty great concern to find that the settlement carrying on under the direction of Doctor Turnbull, which His Majesty considers as an undertaking of great public utility and advantage, has met with obstruction and the proprietor sustained so considerable a loss from the mutineers behavior of a part of those colonists which had been collected at so large an expense and that they should have made so ungrateful a return for the kindness and tenderness with which they appear to have been treated. The assistance you afforded Dr. Turnbull was very reasonable and you conduct upon this occasion has met ith His Majesty's approbation.

“I entirely agree with the Board of Trade in the opinion they gave in 1766 of the utility of a fort at the Mosquito Inlet, and am sorry that there were any motives to deter you from carrying their Directions into execution, but as it seems highly necessary from the present state of the settlement in that neighborhood that this business should be no longer delayed I will make immediate inquiry into the agents hands and hope by the next opportunity to be able to send you His Majesty's order for carrying on this necessary work.

“I am very sorry that the claimants under the pretended Spanish purchases have thought fit to decline the mode of bringing their claims to an issue, which is pointed out in His Majesty's order in council of the 3rd of December 1766 which order appears to have been calculated to give every facility to a fair trial of the right, that could in reason or justice have been desired.

“It will be my duty to lay your letter upon this subject and also the paper transmitted with it, before His Majesty in council, in order that such further steps may be taken as shall be thought expedient to get rid of claims so discouraging to the settlement of East Florida, which His Majesty is well pleased to find has notwithstanding made so great a progress.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 16, File 261-263

Henry Laurens to James Grant

Charles Town, December 14, 1768

Laurens listed items shipped to the Turnbull settlement. Items included forty barrels of rice, eighteen barrels of Indian corn, twelve barrels of Irish beef, 2,500 bushels of corn in bulk from Crooked River in Georgia, eight casks of salt and live hogs. “This beef, I presume, will be sufficient to serve the expected Greek settlers until I can ship the pork by some future vessel. We have seldom any quantities of pork in barrels brought to market before Christmas and this fall having been remarkably warm and moist hath been a discouragement to people to kill their hogs. Salt also in uncommonly dear and hopes of large importations is an additional hindrance....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, December 26, 1768

“John Davis not coming to drive up the cattle as he promised, puts me to great inconvenience. I do not know what to do with that fellow, but in the meantime I have desired Mr. Humphrey to send me black Sandy, to enquire of the Indians hunting in the neighborhood of the Cowpens, for the cattle. I am afraid these Hunters mistake a steer now and then for a deer. But it will be no wonder as they see them dispersed and many of them without being marked.

“My people are now almost all well, and work cheerfully. Mr. Penman's people tell me his great drain is now in the swamp, and that it is two feet deeper than the level of the water.”

In this letter Turnbull commented about cold weather at New Smyrna, with the thermometer reading only 28 degrees at sunrise. He also enclosed the following note for a ship captain named Tucker: “If you can bring me a cargo of corn to this place, I engage by this to pay you four shillings more Carolina currency for it than the Charlestown price at the time of loading. With this condition however, that you take in eighty barrels of flour for me, at the usual freight from Carolina to this province. That flour is to be ship't by Colonel Laurens at Charlestown, and to be delivered here with the corn.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, January 8, 1769

Turnbull lamented in this letter that his bills were being protested by his partners, who he thought seemed determined to not advance more money for the settlement. Turnbull said it meant “famine for our people, for they can not subsist here as yet, nor can anything be removed from hence, but by Sea, and at a great expense, therefore they must perish. As to me, I feel nothing for myself, for I could live, and even amuse myself among Wild Arabs, Savages or Hotentots, if I was drove to such Retreats. It is for these People and for the total loss of all that has been laid out...that I am concerned for.”

Turnbull said he dreaded the thought of having “to abandon these People destitute of their daily supply, without which they can not subsist. They now go on cheerfully, being convinced of the fertility of the soil of their Lands....This dread of starving being only in my Breast has no effect on our affairs. I keep everything going on with Spirit and am resolved to continue until I am forced to stop.”

He begged Sir William to keep paying the bills until the colony was established. As to his own fate he commented: “as to mine it will be jail.” He predicted that he would be forced to give up everything but that he would still carry on. But if his credit was called in question “the People must starve.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to the Earl of Hillsborough

[Smyrnéa], January 7, 1769

Turnbull acknowledged that the expenses incurred for the settlement exceeded his calculations, but says that was no way to avoid it. Because of extreme weather conditions it took four months to sail from Turkey to Minorca, whereas the normal travel time is fifteen days. As a result of the delays, provisions for the prospective settlers ran low, and he had a difficult time obtaining a sufficient supply at Minorca because of extreme shortages there. Thus, prices for provisions were high.

In addition, the voyage from Minorca to Florida consumed four and one-half months rather than the forty days which is generally required for that travel. After the settlers arrived, the Mosquito Inlet area was plagued by heavy rains for three months, which prevented them from working at full speed and damaged their provisions, hampering planting of provisions. Thus, the expenses mounted. “This colony needs people or it fails,” Turnbull stated. Roads were also needed, but people were of major importance.

“The Banks of this River, which a few months ago were only marked by the different basking places of tygers, wolves, snakes, and alligators, are now covered with an industrious and cheerful People, for not only the vines and olives trees they have planted come on faster than in Europe, but every seed and plant yet tried come up and thrive.”

Dundee City Archive

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, January 14, 1769

. . .

“Carlo Forni, the Ring Leader of the Mosquetto Riot, and Guiseppi Massadoli, alias Bresiano, who wounded Mr. Cutter, Doctor Turnbull's principal manager, have been condemned and suffered as examples to others. I have reprieved and set at liberty Clatha Corrona, George Stephanopoli and Elia Medici until His Majesty's pleasure is known. Several others were tryed and acquit (sic) for want of proper evidence, which in fact was not material as two examples were quite sufficient.

Doctor Turnbull has been for some time past with his settlers, they are all in good humor, get into health, and he writes me that they go to work chearfully. If they can only raise provisions for themselves next year, my Lord, everything will be well. Produce must follow, and if Mr. Turnbull can once begin to send Rice, Indigo, Cotton, Silk, Wine or Sugar to market he and his friends may be reimbursed the expence they have been at, which runs very high indeed.”

. . .

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnea, January 24, 1769

“I have the honour to inform you of the spirit of our affairs here. My former letters were so full of apprehensions that they must have been troublesome to you, but as my fears were grounded on what you wrote me that apologies for them tho' these still hang over me, they have not abated the spirit of our affairs here.

“We have not only cleared a great deal of land but have carried on other things in the meantime. The want of conveniences for unloading our provisions pointed out to us the necessity of a wharfe. This we have provided for by building a very solid stone one forty five feet breadth, and carried one hundred feet into the River. It is said to be the best in America, and I find the advantage of it already both in time and labour as we can load or unload at all times of the tide. The want of such a convenience at St. Augustine was not only a great expence to me lately from the loss of time, but also a continual Risk of staving casks, and wetting dry provisions, for there is not a wharf there at which it is possible to load or unload but two hours in twenty-four, when it is high water. The wharfage for goods brought into this part of the country will soon amount to something, for its being the most convenient place in the Southern parts of this Province for shipping, all the produce of south and north Hillsborough with that of Halifax must come here. But without a view to this, we could not have gone on without it.

“Another necessary work was a Road to all the Farms, not only for the convenience of the settlers, but also that we might daily and hourly visit them all. The Road I have made for this purpose is broad enough for carriages and is carried along the front of the two tracts which is nigh eight miles. This enables us to see our workers at all hours.

“As to buildings all we have as yet is a store of forty five feet long, an Hospital of eighty, and a house thirty six feet long, in which I live with the Clerks. I do not mention ovens, smiths, forges, etc. The mending of Tools, and making what cannot be found for present use employs four Smiths of whom we have very good ones, as well as every other trade necessary in a new colony which enables us to carry on everything as easily, and with as much regularity as if we had been settled for twenty years. I have every [thing] almost ready for two magazines of eighty foot each, and 6 houses of forty foot long each all of which I hope to have up this summer.

“As to our farmers, they are comfortably lodged in small houses with palmetto leaves, which makes a good kind of thatch, but I intend to lodge them in very neat houses as soon as possible to engage them to remain with us always, which they are inclined to do at present. I'll endeavor to keep them in that way of thinking.

“Our chief employment at the present is cutting the woods on the lands we intend to plant this spring, and we begin to burn the cut down timber the first part of next month and then we prepare the ground for planting. All the land we now clear to be laid out in vineyards, though most of it must be in provisions for two or three years, till I can colect (sic) vines enough to plant it all. That range of vineyards to the north of the town will be about five miles in length, that to the south almost three miles. I intend also to begin the planting of olive trees to shade them in the eastern taste. We have many other little things in hands too tedious and trifling to mention.

“Marriages go on fast among us, and I observe that most of the women grow bigg apace. The bad weather we met with on this coast before our arrival made many of our pregnant women miscarry. That loss is now in a fair way of being made good....

“I think I mentioned in a former letter that I had taken measures to have some Indigo makers from New Orleans and the Mississippi. The Indigo made there is much better than that of Carolina. This proceeds from the Carolina People not being familiar with the proper manner of making it. They have no standard rules but go by guess work in a very uncertain and slovenly manner.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, February 3, 1769

“I came here late last night after being five days on my journey between this and Smyrnea. The Roads are so bad that I got through with difficulty. [Better roads] are “Absolutely necessary....

“I left all our People in high Spirits and hard at work.”

Dundee City Archives

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

[Smyrnéa], February 18, 1769

The need to purchase provisions in September is the main reason for the current extraordinary expenses. It was necessary to purchase all our provisions “for the coming summer until a new crop will be in store in May at furthest.” Until then, he was forced to purchase on credit. Thus, he sent along a bill for £2,500 Sterling.

“As to my family, they have lived rather penuriously, this was partly of necessity as I was out of the Province, and from a Resolution which I have carried into practice which is that my salary and perquisites as Secretary [of East Florida] shall maintain my house in Town. As the perquisites increase I shall be able to do more, that is the reason that I have not asked the governor nor any of my friends here to take a dinner with me or drink a glass of wine at my House, which is the custom here....”

The governor told Turnbull that he, Governor Grant, kept a good table to “entertain newcomers and strangers because he knows they cannot find a dinner anywhere else.” Turnbull was worried that Duncan would think him to be extravagant, “which that wrong headed man [Denys] Rolle had reported of the settlers here.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, February 19, 1769

Another case of severe fever had debilitated Turnbull and detained him. He had been out “twenty miles away from any covering or habitation” while traveling several hours. He had since recovered, and expected to leave for Smyrnéa the following day. He indicated his desire that the governor would soon issue an order for the military to begin making roads.

The health of Turnbull's settlers had been much on his mind. He wrote that “seasoning to the climate has been severe on our old People and young children. The fatigue of a long voyage had weakened them too much, that they cold not stand the shock of such an uncommon bad season as that of last autumn....It gave me pain, and I endeavoured to save them but could not. We have lost about 300 of them, the rest are now in health and spirits.

“Two of the chiefs of the August mutiny at Smyrnea were executed here last month, others were reprieved under the gallows, all the fugitives who ran away at that time are brought in to a man, eight of the last arrived here from Providence a month ago, they all seem to be willing to atone for past misconduct. They shall pay every half penny of the Damage sustained in that affair before they get out of my hands.”

Dundee City Archive

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, March 4, 1769

. . .

“Doctor Turnbull's settlers get into Health, he writes me that they have cleared seven miles in front upon the river, that they have got gardens and work chearfully, but I shall never be easy in my mind about that settlement ‘till they raise subsistence for themselves. Mr. Turnbull, to avoid drawing bills upon his constituents in London, runs to near [empty] in point of provisions. I have always recommended to him to have six months provisions constantly in store, and have often told him that if he at any time had less than four he might from the disappointment of a vessel run the risk of starving the settlement by not following my advice, and by persisting in too nice computations, which won't do when a thousand people living in a wilderness may be deprived of subsistence by an error in calculation.

“Mr. Turnbull, just as I expected, finds himself at the moment very much pinched for provisions, as his supplies have not arrived exactly to the time, and he writes me that he has only Indian corn for a month at the Mosquettos. I shall take care to prevent his being distressed, tho' I have no objection to his being a little uneasy, and therefore without telling him or anybody else, I have sent the East Florida to Charles Town with directions to my correspondent to load her with Indian corn, and with private orders to the captain to proceed directly from Charles Town to New Smyrna, tho' I give out here that the vessel is going to Savannah for lumber and other things which are wanted.”

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, March 5, 1770

“I had the honor of your letter last Friday by Moncrief. His going away immediately for fear [of] losing the tide did not give me time to answer it by him.

“Debrahm's refusing his Betsy is of a piece with every thing he does and I think consistent with his character, which is mean, proud, dirty and disobliging.

“I have calculated the expense of having provisions brought by land and find that it will run high. A horse cannot carry more than three or four bushels of corn. Each horse will cost two dollars a trip besides as much for a man to drive every two or three. I shall want forty loads of corn or flour a week which would cost a hundred dollars at least besides the expenses of carrying it to Smarts, and taking it away from Major Moultries. I am much obliged to you Sir for the offer of your flat to carry it to Smarts, but as the pilot boat will carry one hundred and fifty bushels of corn or flour in proportion, I beg the favor of her if she can be spared.

“I would have sent Humphreys to town for the business of loading her if he had been well. He has had a return of his fever and is now in bed with it. This also prevents my coming to town and obliges me to trouble Major Moultrie to dispatch her. I have wrote to him that I would have ten barrels of pork put on board of her and to fill up with corn but if none is to be had, to fill up with flour. It will be as much as I can do to hold out three weeks longer. I have therefore desired the major to dispatch that supply as soon as possible. But if a larger vessel with a thousand or more bushels of corn should come in and if the corn can be purchased on condition of delivering it here, or of another vessel can be hired to bring it here, I have desired the Major to proffer a supply this way to that by the pilot boat.

“As to writing to Charlestown or Savannah, my wants do not admit of the tardy way of doing business. In these places I must endeavor to make a shift till either the Georgia vessel, [Captain] Ryal, or [Captain] Buckle brings me a supply. The provisions I have in town will be sufficient for me till the latter end of May. The six hundred bushels of corn and peas which I am to have by the Georgia vessel would enable me to hold out a month longer. I look on their vessel as the most certain for I have a letter from John Graham in which he says that he will dispatch her in the beginning of February.

“Woodside came to anchor on Thursday last to the northward of this bar, but so much [wide of] the land that he was not seen by the two men who were looking out for him. He came [nearer] the bar next day, was seen, and the pilot sent on board, but a northeaster threatened and he having only a very small rope with a grappling to ride by for he lost the only anchor he had at St. Augustine, got under sail and wrote me that having sprung a leak the night before, if the wind came northerly he would run for the Keys and as soon as he found black Caesar he would send the cargo by him to this place. Such a broken reed to trust to, that I do not depend on what I had on board. The five barrels of pork I was to spare to the soldiers is gone with the rest and the sergeant tells me that they have only one week's provisions. He sends a soldier to town to devise a supply. This letter goes by him. I am with the greatest respect....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, March 18, 1769

“I have the honor of your letter by the pilot boat and am much obliged to you for her. She, with the Georgia vessel came to anchor off the bar on Tuesday morning. The sloop came in the next day, but the schooner did not get in till yesterday afternoon. The westerly winds had almost filled up our inlets and as our best pilot here was sick, we durst not venture her in ‘till some of the cargo was unloaded. Our wants also demanded an immediate supply, consequently no time was lost in taking out part of the cargo with our two large boats, but as this way of unloading her was slow I desired Jemmy Smith to go out to unload some of the corn with the pilot boat. He went out on Thursday morning and came in that afternoon with above two hundred bushels besides some barrels. He objected against this ship as your orders to him were to return to St. Augustine as soon as possible, however he went on my telling him that I would take the blame of it, & did not hesitate, Sir, to take that liberty with you being persuaded that the friendly assistance you mean to us all here is not confused in such circumstances.

“If the pilot boat can be spared once more, it would be doing me a singular service to bring me seed potatoes. I laid by a quantity of those I had by Buckle but they sprouted before the time of planting came. I ordered one hundred and fifty bushels by the Georgia schooner and have twenty only on board her. Mr. Graham had engaged for that quantity but when they came to be loaded they were so bad that they could not take them. I expected red peas from him also but he sent me none, though there was room in the schooner for more than she brought from Georgia. He has not observed neither what I wrote him about the flour. Much business often hinders a merchant from doing things well when they are attended with a certain detail. My commissions being trifling probably came in the way when things of greater consequence requiring all his attention Perhaps there may also be a Yankee agitation which infects everybody in America. The merchants do not seem to me to do business with that attention which the orders given require. Perhaps I may be wrong and blame without reason. I send a copy of the letter I wrote him with his answer that you may judge whether he has fallen under the censure here mentioned or not. It is, however, of no consequence as to the other article except the potatoes. It was strange that only twenty bushels of seed potatoes could be found. I can now hold out two months longer. The loan paid me enables me to do this, and I can borrow as much as will serve me one month more. I have a letter from Ryal, he said he would be with me before this time, but had been delayed by Mr. Stephen Drayton's being at Charlestown.
“By what I have wrote about John Graham I would not be understood that I mean to blame him so much as to excuse myself for giving you the trouble of lending the Pilot Boat to bring me seed potatoes....I had provided some, these were hurt by the frost. This loss I flattered my self would have been replaced by the hundred and fifty bushels from Georgia, but this resource also failing me I have no other [recourse] but that of having some from St. Augustine, for twenty bushels of seed [potatoes]...would hardly be a mouthful for us. I intend to be in town about the latter end of the week. My stay will be short. I have little business there but much here in this season....The pilot boat could take in one load of wood only. I have put four small turtles on board of her for your Excellency. I am sorry I had no larger for these four were all I had.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, March 22, 1769

A ship from Georgia brought flour, pork, and other provisions, and Turnbull enclosed a bill sent out for James and John Graham and Co. Of Savannah. Turnbull was in St. Augustine at the time on business, but was pleased to report that “All of our People are in good health and spirits” and had planted 1,000 grape vine cuttings, in addition to their other work.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, March 28, 1769

Turnbull was unexpectedly back in St. Augustine on urgent business to find a vessel to carry food to his settlement. A small vessel carrying provisions and seed corn to Smyrnéa had an accident and sprung a leak in sight of the settlement. The accident forced the captain to sail quickly for Providence for repairs, leaving the settlement extremely short of food supplies. Governor Grant immediately sent the provincial schooner, the East Florida, to Charles Town for supplies.

“Our People [are] busy and eager” and working at raising crops. In addition to that, their chief other work of late had been planting vines--21,700 had been, many were already bearing grapes. Turnbull intended to plant four times that many vines in the next spring season and more in future years.

The “People” were also building magazines, houses, and boats, all much needed. In a few years we shall pay off every penny laid out and have a fine estate. “Our Farmers find that the soil is excellent for vines...coming on very fast.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, May 10, 1769

A letter from Duncan to Turnbull written December 2, 1768, had come into Turnbull's hands only a few days before this May 10 letter was written. Duncan was insisting on another contractual agreement between the partners because of the huge sums laid out for the settlement. The new agreement would divide profits and land into shares according to the amounts the partners had contributed. Turnbull responded that he was in agreement, and that he had always intended such a division appropriate. He pledged to travel to St. Augustine to consult with a lawyer on how to give security, but that could not go immediately as he was busy managing the planting of provisions for the next year's food supply.

“Everything comes on well. Our vines have shoots this spring of above 12 foot long already, and other growths are in proportion.” A vine planter from Europe, at another grantee's estate, had visited the previous week and said that the soil at Mosquito Inlet and the general situation was good.

“4,000 vines [are] generally planted on one acre and one man looks after five acres,” Turnbull reported, whereas “1,000 vines makes a pipe of wine at least, although I think ours will do more. Within three to five years vines give good wine grapes.”
Turnbull said he was concentrating on items of more immediate profit to pay off the debts. “The sums disturb me and start me from my bed at peep of day.”

Duncan had been pressing Turnbull for copies of all accounts of the business. Turnbull said that the delays in sending the accounts resulted from the loss of the first clerk who died last month after illness from fatigue at Mahon and Gibraltar. Then the last clerk left had fever twelve times since arriving here, Turnbull said, and he had been too busy to do the accounts himself.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, May 17, 1769

A large schooner had recently brought provisions, but already the settlement was in need of more pork, red peas, seed for planting, Indian corn, nineteen bars of iron, salt beef, twenty barrels of rice, and indigo and cotton seed.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to George Grenville

St. Augustine, May 30, 1769

“I readily agree with you in opinion that it is just and equitable that the division of lands cultivated and uncultivated, of Families, and of all other improvements whatever should be made after the term of our contract is elapsed in proportion to the Funds furnished by each of us, and I likewise agree that the revenue arising from the labor of our settlers during the time of our contract should be divided in like manner annually in proportion to the capital sums advanced by the three parties concerned.”

Turnbull also agreed that the sums expended greatly exceeded what the partners had first agreed on. He apologized for the sums advanced to date: £22,261.2.10.

Nevertheless, he asked for another £1,738.17.2 to raise the total to £24,000 Sterling. He pledged to add £600 of his own money to bring his capital contributions to £4000. With these amounts, and the bounty contribution of £1000 from government he felt the settlement could continue.

The proportional contributions would then stand at £12,000 each for Grenville and Duncan and £4,000 from Turnbull, who said he would willingly do more but for losses in Turkey that hurt his financial situation. Accordingly, Turnbull waived the 1/2% of the nett annual produce to which he had been entitled, and proposed to divide the net annual profit of the plantation into 5 equal parts, 2 to go to Grenville, 2 to Duncan, and 1 to Turnbull. At the end of the contract he proposed to divide assets the same way.

Turnbull indicated that he would continue managing after the 7th year, when the original contract terminated, “without fee or reward, and to prolong the Deeds of Covenants” to as long as his partners wanted. If partners would not agree to 2-2-1 proportional split, he proposed a seven part division (3-3-1) for both produce, people, and land.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

St. Augustine, May 30, 1769

Because of complaints about the New Smyrna settlers being foreigners and “Catholicks,” Turnbull said “I can engage to make than anything I please, and I would make them Turks tomorrow if I thought it would make them better planters for it, but this I do not intend nor to turn apostle nor act a Luther to reform them, Tho' I will answer that this will be very soon a Protestant settlement if a Clergyman is sent among them. A hundred pounds was set aside by the Board of Trade for a Greek Priest for our settlement, I brought a Priest with me but he was drowned by accident. That amount, yearly, would be a sufficient salary for a clergyman for Smirnea. But I should be sorry if a person I did not point out was named for it. An awful person might do much mischief.”

. . .

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, June 1769

Turnbull was pleased to report that provisions planted in 1769 showed promise, and he hoped the yield would be large enough to feed the settlers in the following year. “But as the season has been droutly I have been obliged to use Egyptian methods of watering some of our fields, which succeeds well, tho' this and many other helps in Husbandry are new in America. They know no mode of watering but by overflowing, which can not be done but in particular low lands.”

Dundee City Archives

James Grant to William Knox

St. Augustine, June 26, 1769

This letter discusses a number of problems and events then current in East Florida. The governor announced the illness of his assistant secretary, Dr. David Yeats, the malfeasance of the provincial surveyor, W.G. DeBrahm, and the marriage of DeBrahm's daughter to a “genteel young man,” Frederick George Mulcaster, a member of the Royal Engineers. He also discussed the subsidy of £2,000 Sterling for provisions for the New Smyrna settlers that the Earl of Hillsborough had authorized. To Dr. Turnbull, he said:

“Gentlemen at home, are heartily tired of large and frequent draughts coming upon them, which are unavoidable, and the poor Doctor from the letters he receives becomes uneasy about the fate of his bills. But in fact ‘tis no wonder if his copartners are sick of the business as they have already expended £28,000. The little mite thrown in [by government] should be laid to as much advantage as possible for the good of the settlers. Provisions shall be bought at a proper season of the year, and at the cheapest possible [price], which has not hitherto been the case, for my friend the Doctor to save his correspondents runs frequently too near, and is then obliged to pay what was asked, which in fact increased the evil he was most anxiously endeavoring to avoid.

“The original error and the cause of his distress was running rashly into numbers at Minorca, and as the embarkation, feeding and future support of fourteen hundred evidently exceeded three times the funds he was allowed by agreement to carry on his plan of settlement, if Lord Hillsborough had not taken up the affair heartily upon receiving my letter, and if Mr. Bradshaw had not thought of an expedient without making this money a charge in the estimate, we should have got nothing. Of course the settlement could not have carried on, and God only knows what would have become of the Mahonese. We could not have fed them and they must have fed upon us. I talk upon the supposition that the partners in London would have stop't payment, which I think must have happened, and will I dare say still happen if government is not induced to continue the same Bounty at least for two years more....”

James Grant Papers (C.O. 5/550)

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, June 28, 1769

“My letter of the 1st of December to the Earl of Hillsborough upon the subject of your settlement has produced an order to me to supply your colonists to the extent of two thousand Pounds Sterling, specifying service, and drawing bills accompanied with proper vouchers to the account, upon the Treasury. This subsidy is not sufficient and yet it was obtained in consequence of my representation, though the Duke of Grafton and Lord North opposed the measure, to avoid precedents of a like nature. Mr. Bradshaw thought of a method without including it in the estimate.

“I had a letter from Sir William Duncan, which is kind with regard to you, but he is tired of the bills, tho' he says he'l endeavor to go on till your proposals arrive, but he informs me that he must do it alone as his copartner will advance no more ‘till affairs between you are put upon another footing. I rather hope that your last bills will be paid.

“If you will send me a list of provisions which will be wanted for your settlers, I shall order them to be contracted for, and sent when the proper season comes, I mean Rice and Flour, Pork and Rum, Corn and Peas ‘tis hoped you'l have enough of.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

[Smyrnéa], July 1769

Turnbull confirmed that he had received letters from Duncan dated March 9 and April 21 of 1769, along with news from Governor Grant that Lord Hillsborough had agreed to supply the New Smyrna settlement with a £2000 subsidy. He noted, however, that he was deeply disappointed that specific limits had been placed on how the subsidy could be spent.

Dr. Turnbull also announced that he had been confined to bed with fever.

Dundee City Archive

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, July 21, 1769

“The £2000 allowed by His Majesty for the support of the settlement under Mr. Turnbull's direction comes very seasonally for the relief and subsistence of these adventurers. The money shall be lain out in the manner which is thought best adapted to the circumstances and necessities of the colonists, and when I draw for the amount or any part of the fund upon the Treasury, the accounts and proper vouchers shall be laid before your Lordship.

“This undertaking has already cost Mr. Turnbull and his associates about £28,000. He was hurried into numbers at Minorca and had no idea of the expence and difficulties he was running himself into. His friends in London had only agreed to pay six thousand pounds and had no intention of laying out such large sums as have since been expended. They are, at this hour my Lord, £24,000 in advance if the Doctor's bills are paid, of which I have some doubt, as I have been informed that the gentlemen in London are most heartily tired of paying such large and frequent bills, which Mr. Turnbull now embarkt cannot avoid drawing. If those gentlemen should stop as I have long expected, the bounty which has been allowed will not be sufficient to maintain and clothe these colonists till they can raise provisions and other produce for their own support.

“I therefore think it my duty to inform your Lordship that if Mr. Turnbull's correspondents stop payment the settlement must absolutely perish for want, if His Majesty is not most graciously pleased to continue the bounty, and even that will but just barely supply them with salt and Indian corn. If Mr. Turnbull's bills should return protested I will pay no money upon that account, the whole of the bounty shall be laid out to supply the present necessities of the colonists, for I apprehend I have nothing to do with any debt contracted prior to the order with which your Lordship has honored me.

“I send your Lordship the names of the three persons reprieved, ‘till His Majesty's pleasure is known, with an account of the crimes for which they were condemned. I was at a mistake and apprehended, my Lord, that His Majesty's approbation of the reprieve was sufficient, without a full pardon, according to the practice of armies abroad, and therefore omitted mentioning the crimes to your Lordship.

List of the names of the three Greeks reprieved by Governor Grant till His Majesty's pleasure is known.

George Stephanopoli–found guilty of felony for forcibly taking and carrying away a boat belonging to Sir Charles Burdett, Baronet.

Clatha Corona–found guilty of felony, for breaking open the warehouse of Doctor Turnbull and stealing from thence linnen, blankets, flour, etc.

Elia Medici–found guilty of felony, for killing a cow, the property of Doctor Turnbull.

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, August 2, 1769

Turnbull reports that he has been dangerously ill with fever but has been recovering and will soon be strong enough to journey to Smyrnéa. He is still disgruntled by the Board of Trade's decision to limit expenditures of the £2000 subsidy from parliament to purchases of corn and other provisions to feed the settlers in the future.

In response to requests from for more detailed information on expenditures, Turnbull reported that accounts were sent promptly but must have been lost in transit. He speculated that Thomas Nixon's merchant house would probably accept his bills but on condition that the funds would be reimbursed with proceeds from the coming Indigo crop.

His partners' letters had also expressed doubts about the wisdom of his plans for the settlement, which apparently troubled Turnbull. “[You say] I'm planning too great things in having laid out so much land for vineyards. Although these extend between seven and eight miles it was impossible for me to take up less room for the families or farmers. Each has a front of 211 feet only, which is no more than one side of a square acre notwithstanding they take up seven miles and a half, and are rather confined there. Otherwise tho' they can run back some acres.”

About his partners' objection to Turnbull's construction of a wharf at the settlement, he protested: “that was so necessary, I could not load and unload my provisions without [a wharf] but at a great expense and risk....I never had more than eight masons employed on it, and sometimes half that number. These masons are still employed in building smith's shops, ovens and in plastering the new magazines we have built.”

Turnbull also defended his decision to bring an indigo maker from New Orleans to the settlement, saying it was based on the “Principle of Oeconomy,” and his lack of experience with making indigo and need for someone to instruct him. Although indigo makers from South Carolina generally demanded between £40 to 50 Sterling a year for their services, the New Orleans man came to New Smyrna for £5 a year. Furthermore, Turnbull believed that French indigo makers were better than Carolinians.

In response to questions asked by Duncan in previous letters, Turnbull answered that he didn't know the exact number of acres planted because the seed would not be sown until the planting season began, between the end of February and the end of June. As to the number of cattle at the settlement, he was not able to give a precise number because the man he hired to tend the cattle “behaved so ill” that, out of fear of Turnbull's reaction, “he absconded and has not appeared since. I have two able hunters looking for him....”

Turnbull was unable to bring any poultry to the settlement until six months after he arrived, the voyage from Gibraltar having “destroyed all my hoggs, sheep and poultry which I intended to breed.” But since then, he had acquired “a very good stock and begin to distribute them among the Farmers' wives. I had one sow with piggs when I came into the province,” but they were beginning to breed and he now had one hundred.

His efforts at Indigo cultivation had not gone well at first, when he focused on raising provisions planted indiscriminately on any spot that had been cleared. At present, however, he was supervising planting of indigo to obtain a stock of seed for the subsequent year. Corn planting season had ended but the settlers continued to plant peas. Turnbull said that he had personally directed the labor and had followed a steady plan: “I defy anybody to find many faults.”

He had decided that indigo was to be the chief crop until grape vines succeeded, “but the misfortune is that gentleman in England expect returns from hence before there is a possibility in Nature of producing them.” Everyone “blames the manager tho' perhaps his fatigues are incredible, and even to hurt his health, which is too much the case with me for I have got the better of an excellent constitution since I came into this province.”

“I have 500 acres of land planted with provisions of different sorts, the drouthy months of June and July have hurt the last planting, but as we now have rains I hope that part of the crop will soon come on again.”

Dundee City Archive

Sir William Duncan to Andrew Turnbull

London, August 4, 1769

“I have received all your letters to the 27th of May, with the bills you have advised us of along with them; I can not help observing that the letters we receive from you are seldom above two months in coming, often under it. You have acknowledged the receipt of the letters we wrote to you the second of December, but none since that time though I wrote to you the beginning of January, of March, and middle of April. We have accepted all your bills to the 27th of May and I will continue to accept them for the £300 you have advised us of, more you cannot want as before that time you must have been informed of the £2000 the government has given us, either by the letters I wrote to you or Governor Grant a great many months ago; or even by the letter sent by the Board of Trade which went in April. In order to save our colony and hinder your bills from being protested, I have exceedingly distressed both Lady Mary and me and ruined all our Schemes of Amusement; and I give you fair warning that I will not accept one bill more after the £300, happen what will. I think I have already advanced 13 or 1400 more than our partner; wherefore if you should want more money at any time for the future, which I scarcely think is possible, you must write to our friend beforehand and persuade him to pay up his share, till that is done I repeat it again, I will not advance one shilling more.

“The best method to reconcile both him and myself with the disagreeable situation you have brought us to, if you have not time to send us over accounts how such great sums are expended; at least let us know exactly what you have done for them. Send us over plans of the lands that are cultivated and what productions of all kinds you expect from them. Send us over exact lists of the number of inhabitants both white and black, cattle and [livestock] of all sorts, and what perhaps may have more effect, prevail on Governor Grant to send me over his real opinion of the situation of our affairs in East Florida. You ought not to be surprised to find we are hurt. We have advanced £16,000 more than we had agreed to, and indeed more than in common prudence we ought to have done.

“You, my Dear Sir, have your enemies, we all have, and though I have too good an opinion of your good heart and even of your good sense, to give credit to any insinuations in your prejudice whatever; yet the situation between our friend and me is very delicate. You know it was I that recommended you to him, wherefore for God sake make things as clear as you can to him, when he sees your care and diligence, If our settlements thrive, your fortune then becomes our affair as well as it is your own.

“I have sent you the part of his last letter related to you enclosed. You will judge from that what you ought to do. I had a bill drawn on me for above £100 by one Toriano in Minorca, so you will be so good as to settle that affair with him, as I could by no means accept it.

“Lady Mary and I join in our best compliments to you and Mrs. Turnbull....”

Dundee City Archive

George Grenville to Sir William Duncan, Baronet

Wotton, July 20, 1769 [Enclosed in Duncan to Turnbull, August 4, 1769]

“I was very sorry to find by your letter of the 17th which I received last night, that Dr. Turnbull has drawn fresh bills upon you for so large a sum as £1031.17, and still sorrier to see that by his letter of the 17th of May he lays in a claim for another draft of about 300 beside some trifling sums to balance his assets with the storekeepers in St. Augustine and for what running expenses he may be at which can neither be foreseen nor avoided so that I see no end to these drafts nor does Dr. Turnbull, yet [I] seem to be convinced of the absolute necessity there is to put an immediate stop to them.

“I cannot help observing that all of the last drafts, great as they have been, are almost entirely for provisions. We were repeatedly assured that after the first crop the settlers wold raise provisions fully sufficient, at least for their own support. They've now been there above a year and in the course of this summer will be able to have raised two crops since their arrival, notwithstanding which I find that they are in a great degree to be supported at our expense till next year and then perhaps to the year after. What is Dr. Turnbull's agreement with the settlers themselves upon this article?

“I am sorry to see so much of his attention given to the article of wine which as sanguine as he is, he does not hope to bring to perfection under three or four years, and which has never yet succeeded in any part of America. I heartily wish that instead of this he had at first turned his thoughts entirely to cotton and indigo and etc. which would have been of immediate profit and have defrayed some part at least of the enormous expense he has been at. He might afterwards have tried this project of wine at a less hazard.

“I have already paid since our joint letter to him of the 2nd of December, which he acknowledges the receipt of, £1000: the same sum paid by you makes £3200: add to this the £2000 granted by Parliament, the £1200 you have already advanced to him, £1031:17 now drawn for & £300 of which he has given you notice of, and the sums advanced to him in this year exclusive of any sums furnished by himself and by the labor of the people, will amount already to near £8000. This I leave to your consideration who are equally interested in it with myself. You know my repeated declarations that I would upon no account go any farther after the last sums which I advanced and if I would, I really cannot do it at present without great inconvenience to myself.

“The consequences of Dr. Turnbull's imprudence in drawing in this manner after the frequent notices given to him will I am sensible be very dangerous to the settlement and possibly fatal to it, but I cannot prevent it if there is no other way of raising the £1031.17 which he now draws for and of £300 which we must expect by his next letter, except by my advancing those sums. The only consideration which could prevail upon me to advance one shilling more than I have done is Dr. Turnbull's consent in his last letter that another agreement should be made between us, by which each partner may reap advantages in proportions to the sums he advances which he admits is highly reasonable and just and says is what he always intended and is willing to give every security in his power to insure those advantages in proportion to our risks and advances.

“This is certainly fair in him and after his consent to it in this letter I apprehend that he would be bound to carry that agreement into execution. In return for this behavior, which is fair and candid in him, I should be very sorry to put him under the distress or disgrace of having these bills returned to him, if I could possibly help it, for which purpose therefore I will go as far as I really can do and will advance £650, that is to say half the sum now drawn for, and of the £300 draft expected from him, if you can strain a point for saving him from this dishonor, by raising the £650 which is the other half of these drafts. This is all that is in my power to do and if after the £1200 which you have already advanced you cannot consent to this, the bills must be protested unless Dr. Turnbull's own correspondents in the city will advance the money to prevent it. Whatever is done I think you must write to him immediately to represent the great difficulties which he has already brought both upon himself and us and to put an absolute stop to any other drafts upon us upon any accounts whatever for the future. He will then have the rest on the scrap of paper inclosed.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, August 31, 1769

As my family will live here [at the settlement], “I have desired that some household furniture should be sent by the pilot sloop if you give leave for it, and if there is any room after taking all the provisions for the party [military garrison] here, and the other things wanted on the river.

“Notwithstanding all the power of drought, and Egyptian swarms of worms, we shall have some thousands of bushels of peas and corn, if no other plague attacks us. I have planted about twenty-five acres of indigo for seed, it is all come up. Our sesamun also looks well.

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her complements to your Excellency. She has had one severe fit of a seasoning fever, but it is now quite recovered, she thinks that the fatigue of the journey from town was the cause of it, which will probably make her apprehensive of taking another jaunt.

“Rolle says that Ross would have made fifty pounds of Indigo an acre, the first cutting, if he had had his vatts ready. Much of the leaf was fallen before he began. Bisset had thirty bushels of corn per acre. Macdougal's corn looked as well as his, I should immagine that he will have as much. Penman will have some good rice, but his first planted will not yield above half a crop. Perhaps the later rains will give him a life in the second crop. He is resolved on indigo next year. “Mr. Humphreys is going to London by his father's desire, he is to take a look at St. Johns River before he goes. He inclines to come out again, which I shall be glad of....

James Grant Papers

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, September 1, 1769

Governor Grant notified Turnbull that supplies of provisions from South Carolina would soon be arriving at New Smyrna. He again encouraged Turnbull to plan the purchases more carefully, allowing lead time to negotiate reasonable prices as seasonal commodities fluctuated from reasonable to expensive costs. He also praised John Gordon, a Charles Town merchant, for negotiating reasonable prices as a favor to Turnbull's settlers, and for donating his commission.

“I am glad to hear that Mrs. Turnbull has got the better of the indisposition with which she was vexed upon her arrival at Mosquitoes. I beg leave to assure her of my best respects. I wish she may like the place.

“Mr. Fraser, the clergyman destined for St. Marks, arrived here a few days ago on board Capt. Fuller. Mrs. Fraser increased the family at sea. I have not seen her, but she is well spoke of and will be a good addition to your society. I shall send Mr. Fraser to New Smyrna as soon as he can conveniently leave this place, but I must beg your assistance to help him to a house when he goes there to prepare for Mrs. Fraser's protection.

“There are eighty settlers on board Fuller for the village of Rolle, but the Esq. [Denys Rolle] and the Capt. [Fuller] differed, and the Member of Parliament [Rolle] was left behind to complain and protest. He will probably follow in another vessel with more adventurers.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, September 9, 1769

“The news of the cargo of corn being in such forwardness gave me great satisfaction. You have my hearty thanks, Sir, for the great trouble you take in conducting these affairs, which to me is of such consequence....

“We keep a good lookout for the schooner. Barber brought in at eleven feet on the barr at half flood. The pilot here never misses it....I will get a house ready for the clergyman as soon as possible. I should be glad if he staid in town a couple of months till the house is ready. My own house is not yet finished, however, if Mrs. Fraser...[several words not legible] she shall not wait long without doors.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 18, File 321-323

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, September 24, 1769

A letter from Mr. Nixon arrived with an account of £4030.4 he disbursed for ships from Mahon to Florida. Nixon demands payment, which Turnbull cannot accommodate, therefore he asks Duncan to take care of, along with another draft for £1,500 in expenses incurred in Florida.

Turnbull also sent to Duncan a letter by Mr. Humphreys who came with Turnbull from Smyrna, Turkey, and shared in the work and management along with Turnbull, even managing during Turnbull's absences. Humphreys was returning to London at the request of his father. Turnbull encouraged Duncan to ask Humphreys “anything about this colony.” Since Humphreys wanted to return to East Florida to manage a tract in return for a one-third interest in the settlement, Turnbull recommended he contact Mr. Bradshaw, who Turnbull thought owned “the best [tract] in the province for Indigo. It is six hours ride from here [Smyrnéa] so I can consult and assist.”

“The best method to begin in this country is to have Negroes to clear the land and afterward to bring Europeans, not British nor Irish, to settle on it as Farmers.” Europeans did not succeed as farmers in East Florida in Turnbull's opinion, because the “confined damp of the woods” hurt them and was “fatal to many, [whereas] the Negroes from guinea...are not subject to be so much affected by moist damp of the thickets as the Europeans.” They were accustomed to such conditions because “their country is covered by water much of the year.” Turnbull's advice to Bradshaw was to start with £3000 Sterling, two-thirds of it to be spent on purchasing Africans and one-third to be used for for supporting the settlement. He advised that the black slaves be landed in October to raise part of the provisions for the following year. In year two, indigo cultivation could begin, along with raising provisions for year two. During year three it would be possible to make a “considerable quantity of Indigo” and use the proceeds to bring in Europeans, after the hard work of clearing the woods is over and a food supply was established and waiting.

These Europeans should be as young as possible, Turnbull advised, and should include some families to form farms. Afterwards, boys and girls from seven to seventeen could be brought to take advantage of the “pliability of young constitutions to climate.”

Dundee City Archives

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, October 7, 1769

“I was sorry to hear from Mr. Humphreys that Mr. Bowman had reported some things about our people being starved of hunger here, which is wide of the truth. Before I came here last Mr. Humphreys had advised that the people work't hard and were healthier than formerly and therefore thought that a small augmentation of their provisions was necessary. This augmentation consisted chiefly in rice and flour which I was obliged to diminish when I came here last as our rice and flour would soon have been at an end, but I allowed them in proportions of Indian meal and peas. The quantity of provisions which was ordered for each person per week was three quarts of corn, three quarts of peas, a quart of corn meal and a pint of fine flour made into bread or biskit, a quarter of a pound of rice, a pound of salt beef and some rum, besides green peas and pumpkins when the overseers think it necessary to give them.

"What they have weekly from the store, I reckon equal to nine quarts of Indian corn, besides green peas and pumpkins from the fields and cabbages from their own little gardens. That is the allowance which has been continued to them ever since I came down last. What they had before was equal to it. The quantities mentioned above is for the families of men, women and children, which makes the share for grown people greater, as few children eat above a half of what is allowed. The pound of beef a week may seem little, notwithstanding they divide it into five parts for five days of the week. They are not fond of meat, but as a relisher within soups and pottage. They were served half a pound of meat a week in the passage from Mahon to St. Augustine, even that they did not eat sometimes. The single working men have a larger allowance, than that mentioned, especially in meat.

“Captain Bisset rode throughout our plantation with me last week. He told me he was glad to see our people look so healthy and well, I am sensible, Sir, that you do not give credit to idle reports, however I thought it necessary to trouble you with this, that you may judge whether there is a foundation for such a report or not. I observed Mr. Bowman had some very large arguments in a most barbarous hard talking French, with a very worthless fellow, who I had often chastened for his laziness and groveling. I immagine it was from him that he had this extraordinary information. I did not interrupt his talk for I could hardly hear his French, tho' we saw he could speak easier than in English, and that he thought quicker and had more ideas in French than in his own language. This speech of his afforded some diversion for Bisset and me. I thought him a little weak brained.

“I have received letters from Mr. Duncan lately, but Nixon wrote me that my letter with the proposals not being got to hand has made them think that I have got on their saddle horse, and am riding out of their reach. They talk of procuring orders from the Lord Chancellor and I don't know what more. I have wrote them. I have told them there will be no occasion for such orders, and that if they are resolved to employ the means of Law, they will find that the Laws of England are in full force in this Province, and vigorously put in execution. They are also very anxious about accounts not being sent on time. I have told them more than once that that department was under the care of Mr. Cutter, whose long sickness and death afterwards had distressed me in that point, but that I would get them in order as soon as I possibly could. The letter with proposals was sent to Georgia by Mr. Murray, as there was no opportunity for Charleston direct. Mr. Graham wrote me that he forwarded that packet to Colonel L [Laurens] whom was desired to forward the originals and copies by the first ships for England. These are not arrived, and this delay is put down to the account of bad intentions in me, tho' chiefly owing to the long passage of this letter by Johnston. This is not using me well, and as they are not diffident of me, I will endeavour to bring about a separation of goods and chattels. We shall never be friends again. Diffadent like jealousy is hardly ever eased. I immagine that somebody has been intimating some suspicions of my intending to wrong them, which is wide of my intentions.

"I have always owned myself in the wrong for bringing so many people into the Province, but, tho' this was more from accident than intention, I resolved to devote my whole time, intentions, and endeavours to make up for that error, and I even flatter myself of beginning to reimburse them next year. But while I am doing my utmost on this, they are thinking that I have intentions of keeping everything to myself, which is just the reverse of my plan. They talk't to Nixon of very violent proceedings in [England] if the proposals did not arrive before, tho' they could not be in England before the latter end of August or beginning of September....

"October 9th. As the corn vessel from Charlestown does not appear I am more and more apprehensive that some accident has happened to her, and therefore beg your Excellency would please to order the December ship with corn may be hastened. Our own corn and peas will hold out two months more. Our consumption is nigh four hundred bushels of corn per month, and rather more of red and green peas. The rice being almost gone obliges me to give more corn and peas than formerly, as I have already mentioned in this letter.

I wish to have new corn, for the old we had lately was so emptied by the weevils that it was a mere shell and it did not give so much meal as the new corn does, by thirty percent. I flatter myself that new corn may be shipped in November. I have flour enough for all my people for one month at least, without making use of other corn or peas. This in case of necessity, might carry me on to the middle of January, but I shall be sorry to use it all at once, not only as it is a very expensive food, but it would be inconvenient for me to provide more. I have gathered in some fine corn but the worms have destroyed at least nine ears out of ten. My peas got a knock from the last bad weather. Notwithstanding I have a prospect of about a thousand bushels more which I reckon on, and the provisions of peas for two months.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 18, File 350-355

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, October 12, 1769

Much of the governor's letter contained details of purchases and prices of provisions in Charles Town and the three vessels currently arranged to deliver the supplies to New Smyrna. Juggling the purchases, arranging transport, avoiding storms, and providing adequate food for the settlers was obviously a major addition to the governor's duties, and a constant source of worry lest the vessels be delayed or crashed and the settlers be hungry.

“I have had the pleasure to receive your letters up to the 7th current from Smyrnea and am glad to hear that Mrs. Turnbull is well pleased with her house and the prospect of a good garden....

“My good Doctor don't be hurt by what Mr. Nixon writes you. Your friends in England have advanced you a great deal of money, nearly twelve thousand pounds apiece, ‘tis natural for them to be anxious about so large a capital, which from your being hurried into numbers at Mahon, has been laid out without their concurrence. Far from having a diffidence of you, they have had more confidence than most men have in the money way. You must not differ with them, you are too far embark't. I mean well in what I say, they are strangers to me. I have no connection with them, my concern is and always has been for you.

“The division of goods and chattels does not admit of a thought and the interposition of the Lord Chancellor could be of no utility to them, and they will easily be convinced that is not the case. They may in time have returns from the settlement if it continues under your management, but certainly the plan for future emoluments vanishes the moment you quit the direction. Of course the risk of your friends is considerable as the whole depends upon the life of a single man. We are all mortal my Dear Doctor, and if an accident happened to you there would be an end of the business, nobody would undertake or could conduct it. And there is nothing to sell. Your settlers in a body are of value, but separate them and in place of finding people to buy them you could not find people to take them off your hands, and if your friends should think of proceeding to extremities, which I am convinced will not happen.

“I shall hear from the Secretary of State upon the subject, and my answer to him and to them will just be or nearly what I have now said.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 2, File 216

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, October 27, 1769

“In looking over the list of things ship't in the Cannon schooner, I observed that there are four whip saws which immagined would be a sufficient number for me with the four I have, but on summing up the number of feet of boards and scantlings which I intend to have for vatts, I found that I must have fifteen or sixteen saws continually at work. Fewer saws would do if my people were broken in to sawing. As they are not, I cannot expect that they will be able to do more than one-half the work of old sawyers for the first three or four months. Two of the saws I have now are almost wore out so that with sixteen more I shall not have too many, as two or three of them will be always under the file to be sharpened. If you think, Sir, that the account of tools will mount too high, the first article of falling axes in Mr. Gordon's account may be left out in another order....

“I have planted fifty acres of Indigo....Bisset's Indigo begins to set out lately and he is going to do a few vatts from it this year....”

James Grant Papers, Roll 18, File 401-406

Earl of Hillsborough to James Grant

Whitehall, November 4, 1769

The letter concerns three of the rebels of August 1768 who were convicted of crimes. Governor Grant decided against executing the three men. It was decided by King George III that the three men should be shown mercy. Lord Hillsborough wrote: “The crimes of George Stephanopoli, Clothia Corona, and Elia Medici having been convicted were such as were left to your own power under the authority of your commission to have pardoned them; but as you have not thought fit to do so, I am now to signify to you that His Majesty considers these persons as fit objects of mercy and that it is his pleasure that you should grant them a free pardon.”

James Grant Papers, Roll 18, File 418-420

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, November 9, 1769

Duncan's letter of August 4 arrived on November 8th. In response Turnbull wrote that he was pleased that his partners realized he was willing to renegotiate the terms of their contract in order to reflect the proportions of money each partner had invested. Duncan apparently recommended that Turnbull pay less attention to planting grape vines and put more emphasis on Indigo culture. Turnbull said that he agreed, that he had already planted 21,700 vines that only covered five acres. The vines were planted in four rows, stretching more than seven miles, and were slow to establish. The norm, according to Turnbull, was to plant 4,000 vines to an acre. From these, cuttings could be made every autumn. After the first two years the cuttings would be ten times the number of vines first planted. Turnbull pledged to plant no more than thirty acres in vines, until he was able to make wine, at which time he would decide how much additional land would be planted.

The settlers were then at work planting indigo, and had already planted more than fifty acres. Turnbull said: “In the meantime I go on Indigo. On January 1st I will put fifty men to building of indigo vats and have twelve sets of vats at least at work in June next when the first cutting of the weed will occur, sooner if carry over planting makes it through the Florida winter.” At each processing station several separate vats would be located, including a steeper, a beater, and a lime vatt, and one for drying the indigo mud. Steepers and beaters were generally sixteen foot square each, the others were smaller, but the total project would require a large amount of timber and labor.

“I asked Mr. Humphreys to show you a sketch of our lands and to give an account. More accurate plans will be sent to you later, after I engage a surveyor. Also, I plan to do an exact account of the number of our People for you, and inventory the cattle as well.

“You mentioned Silk in your letter. I agree it can make money. Mulberry trees are propagated by cuttings of branches, like willows.” An experimental acre of cotton had been planted at the cowpen, apparently because the price being paid for cotton was high at the time. In addition, “some acres of Sesamun are planted and succeed, it [makes an] oil, when fresh, is as sweet and wholesome as Florence oil, it will be of great use to our People. I have tried guinea corn and find it gives the greatest increase of any grain I know. It is foody and strengthening and it makes a good mixture with Indian corn.”

Enclosure: Bills from Fraser and Richardson, St. Augustine, November 6, 1769, for “700 pair of shoes for your people, at a price of £95.5.4 1/2,” and another bill for £92.5.4 1/2 for shoes previously ordered.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 10, 1769

“I have the honour to acquaint your Excellency that the Cannon, Captain Smyth, arrived here on Tuesday last. His cargo in good condition, is out except some trifles. I shall dispatch a plan on Monday...with the receipts agreed upon for the cargo. This [letter] goes by way of a Boy of Cracker Johnstons who is now selling out....

“I intend to begin as soon as possible to prepare for vatts, and shall think it well worth while to come to town, next first cutting in the Spring, to take some lessons from you about Indigo making.

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to you, Sir, and will be glad of more seeds. A villainous worm has eat all the cabbages and many other things.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 13, 1769

Dr. Turnbull informed the governor that he was sending several sheets of receipts for items received from John Gordon, merchant of Charles Town. “As to what Mr. Gordon said about the barr, I am so far following his advice that I am getting two Beacons ready for it, also so you can get to them on foot. I'll acquaint Mr. Gordon with it. Captain Smyth of the schooner did not see the efforts the pilot made to get out, he endeavoured first to go out by a force of oars, finding that would not be, he made sails, but the gale of wind so strong he split his sails and was obliged to [anchor]. “Smyth of the Cannon immagined the pilot was as far out as the barr, and said that if the oars had been held up as a signal he would have come in. This the pilot intended to have done, but he never was within a half-mile of the barr. Many hours labour did not gain him one hundred yards.

“I have received a letter from Mr. Duncan of the 4th of August. One of my letters which acquaints him with my readiness to enter into a new agreement, has got to his hands. This seems to have given them a different [outlook] from what they had when Nixon wrote....

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her humble respects to your Excellency. One turnip is the only thing I have yet seen from her garden. There is an appearance of something, but how it will turn out is very uncertain....

“I was up at Bissets last week, he hopes to make six or seven vatts. He is ditching his land to drain it, he begins to look for land. He thinks I have some of the right sort, but perhaps not as white as that in the Environs of St. Augustine.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, November 13, 1769

Turnbull had contracted for 1000 pair of shoes to arrange a cheaper price than was possible when smaller amounts were purchased. He also paid £12 to Mr. Delaire to pay off an old debt for surveying work.

“In the future I plan to do business through Mr. Robert Payne, who was sent to St. Augustine as a merchant by Mr. Thomas Nixon. He will supply cheaper than others. Produce will exceed expenses and our incomes will increase every year. The bounty from Lord Hillsborough will be only for provisions purchased until we can raise our own food. Governor Grant arranged this and will hold us to the letter of the order.

“Oswald, Taylor, and Elliott all will tell you that even plantations with young Negroes will not raise their own food at first. Their estates started up before ours did, and with Negroes bought at £40 Sterling each on average, yet none raised a sufficiency of food.

“Potatoes are indeed a great food for here. If Negroes specially chosen can't raise own food at first, then you can't expect families–with one in three at least not fit to work, and many with one-half children, some more, to be self-sufficient. Still, we hope to raise what we need and to also raise extra to sell.”

Dundee City Archives

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, November 15, 1769

“The Pilot Boat sails in the morning with six months provisions for your detachment [soldiers stationed at New Smyrna] which is to be relieved....I have sent a little to everybody–saws and bottled liquor for you, with three bottles of garden seeds for Mrs. Turnbull. As soon as the little vessel arrives, send to Carey for turtle for in this cold people are glad to eat them....

“I am glad you have heard from Sir William Duncan. Things turn out from that quarter just as I expected, they are embarked and must have patience, and you'l do your best to make them returns, but they must give you time. I have wrote to Mr. Bradshaw that a second year's allowance is absolutely necessary to prevent your people from starving and eating up their neighbours. I have told him that I have applied to Lord Hillsborough and that my application will undoubtedly be laid before the Treasury, and I have mentioned Sir William Duncan's mentioning to me how much you were all obliged to him last year for forming a plan of supply. If we can carry this point I think Doctor you'l get the settlement upon a good footing without further support from your friends, who I think have behaved handsomely. You must not think of their late fears. People will be anxious about property.

“My respects to Mrs. Turnbull. I have stopped Parson Fraser from going bodily to Smyrnea, don't encourage him to take such a step for he pleads authority from you. He must live in a separate house, when that is ready tell me and I'll send him, but you must not let a man, his wife and children into your house.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 18, 1769

“I enclose here the letters I mentioned in my last. The paragraph in question is from a letter I wrote at this place in answer to that in which they desired me to send a proposal for a new agreement. I also acquainted them in that letter that I was going to town to draw up proposals, and that I would forward them to their hands by the first opportunity. The bills mentioned are for [Captains] Ryals and Buckles cargo. Sir William in one of his letters some time ago seemed to think it needless and partly blamed me for sending to New Orleans for Indigo makers. He now hopes I have [got rid of] them, none would be engaged, which I am glad of, for now I think them needless.

“He desires a plan of the lands. Mr. Humphreys carries one with him, and other information. I wrote them about the cattle and shall give them every other satisfaction possible as soon as I can. You also see, Sir, that they would be glad to have some account of this settlement and affairs from your [observations]. Your not having been here may be an objection. Penman has been here lately and Bisset frequently. They may be able to give you some information, however, I shall not mention it to them.

“I do not know where Mr. G [Grenville] got his information about using of provisions after the first year. I never said it, tho' Stork affirmed it a thousand times to Sir William, nor can I conceive how he has been led into belief that we are to have two crops with [the end] of this summer. He also seems to think that I give too much attention to vines. The twenty-one thousand I planted do not cover five acres of land, five thousand is the usual number to an acre. This vine land bears more proportion to what I have already planted with Indigo much less than to what I intend to plant next year. I ordered a barrel of Indigo seed from Charlestown...last February. It came to me in May and it is not only planted but almost as much more which Mr. Macdougal lent me, so that I can before hand with that advice in that you see, Sir, that they think that the £2000 bounty comes to be in my hands. If Sir William had asked Pownal about it, he must have told how it was ordered to be disposed of. I have wrote them more than once, that as you had solicited as a provision support for the settlement, you kept that in view, and the more so as the Secretary of State's were pointed as to its being laid out in that way, and that it was mostly to be employed in purchasing provisions, a small part only [for] nails and cloathing. In the whole, however, they seem to come around again, Sir William says that I have enemies, whether this is an excuse for what he desired Nixon to write to me or is really so, I do not know, nor is it any great matter, and therefore I have mentioned nothing of Nixon's letter.

“Sir William says that if we succeed my foresight shall be their care. I have no ambition that they can serve me in. I am only ambitions at present to reimburse them the sums they have laid out, which probably will require some years. I then shall think of retiring and not [venture] out into the world again.

“Though I am desired to prevail on your Excellency to give them an account of our affairs, I certainly would not have mentioned it could it have been avoided [and apologize for giving] you unnecessary trouble. They have been giving credit to some insinuations against me, and would be glad to see it contradicted under your hand. If the spite of such a fool as the malevolent Rolle has been suggesting anything against me they ought to have wrote me about it. I would have answered every article of it without troubling your Excellency about it.

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to you, Sir. She begins to think about the Indigo schemes engage you so much this winter that we shall not have the honor of seeing you this year. We must flatter ourselves of it next winter. It has been cold here this week but it has not hurt the Indigo. It is with the greatest respect that I am....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 20, 1769

“I have the honour of your, Excellency's letter of the 15th Instant. The pilot boat and Warner's schooner came in here on Saturday. I sent a boat up to [Ross's?] for turtle, he lost all of his at the time I lost mine. He has caught five since which he has delivered this evening to Wallace. I have received all the saws and liquor bottles by the pilot sloop. Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to you, Sir, and returns your thanks for the oranges and seeds. With your help her garden gets on. We have salad and greens from it in small quantities.

“I am obliged to you for stopping the Parson, I will follow your advice and will lodge him in a separate house. I had heard enough of the family before to have induced me to this. I think he is lucky in not coming at present. He would have risked a dangerous fever. The party of soldiers here have been attacked, to a man, by a violent fever. Three of them died, and the rest escaped with difficulty. Clerk's family have been all ill also, one seems to be dying. For some months past, in the time of that sickness, I had not one in a hundred of my people sick, and have only lost one man for a month past, he died of consumption of a long standing. For this and other reasons January will be a better month for Mr. Fraser. As for pressing him to come soon, so far from it that I have been fighting off thro' Mr. Forbes, which he will tell you. Fraser has been plaguing me with letters, I have always begged him not to put himself to the least inconvenience but to take his own time. This was always in answer to his apology for not coming down which he was a fool for making to me, because he is to be here, he thinks himself, I believe, entirely under my direction, if you don't put him right as to that I shall acquaint him that I am only one of his parishioners, and not the person from whom he is to receive instructions or orders.

“Jemmy Wallace is one of the best Indigo Crackers I have met with, he has certainly studied under an able master. He carrys some of your Indigo in his pocket, which he seems to accidently think of, he takes it out, breaks it with his nail in altar to the sunshine, then puts it under his nose with an air of certain applause. I declared that it was very fine. He swears you have much, a great deal better. He is very happy having found a piece of bad Indigo here, and is in such a hurry to get away, that I suspect he is impatient to exhibit this bit of bad Musketo Indigo in Town. I keep a little of yours to welcome Bissett with, and for John Ross to smell at, he knows from the stink when the vatt is sufficiently beat. We are in hopes of employing two or three more of the senses as auxiliaries in this operation. I immagine we are at least this, of the nose, before the northern[er]s of the Province. We refine much here, but we make little Indigo.

“I acquainted Smyth of the Cannon with what your Excellency wrote to me. He says that the officers of the custom house at Charlestown assured him that a certificate of his having landed his cargo was sufficient....

“Bissett is here. He thinks your Indigo is very fine. He is looking at it every minute and declares the colour is charming. He seems to be more in love with it than with Mrs. Gordon.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

[Smyrnéa], November 24, 1769

“Your boat being still here, I trouble you with this, to mention what I wrote before to your Excellency about desiring a third or a half of our corn provision in peas. I meant this a convenience then to assist in making your cargo for a vessel, if corn was scarce I know becomes a necessity to have part, if possible, in peas. My People have been on two thirds corn and one peas for some days past. This greater quantity of corn than peas does not agree with them so well as nigh an equal mixture, which has been their diet for about four months, except the last month when peas were more scarce than corn. This mixture agreed well with them, and they liked it. Now the quantity of Indian meal being one half more, it gripes and purges them. They are all so sensible of this inconvenience that they beg of me to augment the proportion of peas, and to take it off in Indian meal. For this I should be glad if your Excellency ordered at least a third peas if in time for the next cargo, and also in the last cargo of corn we are to have. I hope this will facilitate the loading of the schooners, for it is reported here that the crop of peas have been good in Carolina and Georgia. I believe the red pea is generally in abundance, for my agreement with Buckle last May was to have red peas at two shillings currency per bushel cheaper than corn, and black eyed peas at the same price of corn. Either of them go as far with me as corn without the trouble and waste of grinding.

“I forgot to mention to your Excellency that I am almost always obliged to put my sick on a rice diet. Tho' we have very few ailing, yet there are continually some, which makes a daily consumption of rice. I have but two barrels left, therefore wold be glad of between twenty and thirty barrels, if it can be done. The small rice which is sold at half price might also be purchased, if corn is dear, it would help out in victualing, but I apprehend that rice will rise as corn is dear. All this I submit, however, to your better judgment and am sorry to be so troublesome, but your Excellency will easily perceive that the unforseen circumstances mentioned have obliged me to alter my opinion in those parts of provisions.

“I have desired Mr. Gordon to provide thirty bushels of Indigo seed for me, and as I have only got twenty bushels from Mr. Fairlamb. I intend to desire Mr. Gordon to send me fifty in all, for fear of being obliged to a second planting which may perhaps be the case in a dry season. I have desired him to charge the cost of the Indigo seed to my account.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 30, 1769

“The pilot boat is still detained here by Southeast winds. I sent the launch up to help them out today, but the wind and sea being against him he was obliged to return. We have had very blowing weather with much rain. Wallace has been on the barr to sound it. He found between five and six feet of water at the lowest ebb, in the hollow of a very high sea then running. There are always ten feet at least when nigh high water notwithstanding. I think the bar was better last year. Ross was here two days ago. He continues making Indigo and I think the best that he has yet made. He steeps now thirty-six hours. I put some of yours into his hands, he thinks it equal to his best of late, he has not much.

“I forgot to mention to your Excellency that when I was preparing to make some Barilla, I discovered that I have not got as much of this plant within eight miles of me as will make twenty barrels of Barilla. What DeBrahm calls a Barilla marsh of 5000 acres at least, happens to be about eight or nine hundred acres of marsh grass, not a sprig of Barilla in it.

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to your Excellency and returns you thanks for your oranges. I troubled you with a letter by Captain Wallace that I am apprehensive you will think a long argument.”

James Grant Papers

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, December 14, 1769

“I should have great pleasure in complying with any request of yours, but I cannot take the pen in my hand to give to Sir William Duncan an account or opinion of his affairs in this Province which are under your immediate care and management. You reside on the spot, direct the works which are carried on. The people are constantly under your eye, and as you speak their language and are acquainted with every individual, you can now judge with some degree of precision of what may reasonably be expected from their future labor. Of course information from you to Sir William Duncan must be better found and will be more satisfactory than anything which I could pretend to say upon the subject.

“Sir William is probably alarmed and uneasy at the large sums of money which have already been expended by you in forming the Smyrnea settlements, you should not be surprised at that, for tho' your friends place great confidence in you, ‘tis natural for men to be anxious about property laid out in a remote uncultivated world, but the money is gone, and ‘tis too late for them to chuse or expect you give up the whole of your time to the business and will no doubt use your utmost endeavors to make proportional returns for the money which has been advanced, and your constituents must live in hopes and wait in patience for the event. Easing them of any further charge for the supply of provisions will relieve them in some degree from their apprehensions, and if you can continue to make a tollerable [sic] remittance of Indigo next year, it will be an encouragement and inducement to assist you in prosecuting your future plans of cultivation.

“‘Tis not pleasing to interfere in explaining the transactions of one friend to another. I have great respect for Sir William Duncan and great regard for my friends at Smyrnea, but if I was to write as you say he desired all I could say would be that anxiety, application and attention have not been wanting on your part, but that you was hurried into numbers at Minorca by your zeal for colonizing and by peoples crowding unexpectedly in upon you, that the experience of the embarkations from Mahon and Gibralter was greater than you had formed an idea of and that the subsisting such a number of people after they landed in Florida has been attended with more expense and difficulty than you foresaw or expected. To which I should add that the worst is over, that your settlers have got into health, and that Major Moultrie, Bisset, Penman and the other Mosquito planters all agree that your people of late have done wonders.

“As I make no difficulty in telling you my sentiments freely, and as I flatter myself that you are convinced of my sincere good wishes for your success, I must take the liberty to advise you to state things just as they are to Sir William Duncan: the plan at first starting was too extensive to be carried on in a wilderness, and the funds agreed upon by the parties were not adequate to such an undertaking, but you acted to the best of your opinion and ‘tis to no purpose to consider whether the steps were proper or prudent. The money is gone. The measure has been carried into execution. You may, and I dare say will get on, but ‘tis impossible to retreat. The settlers united in a body are like a great family under your care and may raise considerable estates to you and your friends, but separately those settlers have no intrinsic value. You can neither transfer them or carry them to market, nobody would either employ or buy them. This circumstance may not be pleasing to your constituents, tho' ‘tis attended with great advantage and security to their property, for by this means you may keep them as long as your please. They cannot leave you as the indented Palatines do their masters all over America. And they have got so much into your debt, that I consider their servitude according to their term of agreement to be unlimited.

“It was lucky that a bounty was obtained from His Majesty for the support of your colony for this fear that additional charge for provisions would have been discouraging, but if government had not given the money your constituents must have paid the money, or have given up every thing which has already been advanced, for as your provision crop failed, if the two thousand had not been thrown in your people must have starved, and as corn is so uncommonly dear in Carolina and Georgia, that money will barely carry you on to next crop. You know I have made a second application to Lord Hillsborough who is well disposed to assist the province, and your settlement in particular, but your friends should wait of His Lordship, and they should at the same time solicit the bounty at the Treasury.”

James Grant Papers

James Grant to Andrew Turnbull

St. Augustine, December 16, 1769

“You'l easily see from the style of my letter of the 14th that I mean you to make what use of it you please, you may transmit the original to Sir William Duncan if you think proper The contents are as far as I can judge a true state of the situation of your affairs, and if they see them in the light I do it will save you the trouble of many explanations. Your people as I have said when united may raise risks to you and your partners, tho' separately they have no intrinsic value, of course in a great measure the whole depends upon you, who from inclination and in justice to your friends will do every [thing] in your power to forward the plan, but they on the other hand must live in hopes, wait with patience, and look to you for the issue, and ‘tis right for them and you that the thing should be so understood, for as matters stand inquiries made from reports and information given by a Rolle or any other idle travelers can answer no end, but to distress and make you uneasy, perhaps hurt your health and of consequence obstruct the business. Think of your provisions in the first place, that is certainly the great object. Indigo and other items of produce must follow.

“I have ordered Capt. Wallace to take Smyrnea in this way to Charles Town. He carries eighty barrels of flour, some bottled liquor, a cask of shoes, Mrs. Turnbull's clothes, and other articles for your settlements. But I could not admit the hogsheads of vinegar which Gaspar would have been glad to put on board, as I was obliged to help all the other Mosquito crackers. Fairlamb is in need of many things, he had nothing to drink but water when Penman passed, that's a poor account of the living at Mount Oswald. But I have desired Alert to put port wine and porter on board. Bisset, Makdougal and Ross will fare the better for this trip of the East Florida, she may in this way be of some use to my friends, but she is an unprofitable thorn to me, after Laurence Dundas had not made better contracts with the Treasury. He would have been sorely hurt by his late loss of seventy thousand pounds Sterling in the East Florida stock. MacLean's differences amounted to £79,000 which he declared he could not pay and waddled out of the mess. Poor Colonel Clark paid all his differences with all his fortune and is gone abroad. Barre is not mentioned to me, and ‘tis to be covered by MacLean.

“Doran arrived a few days ago after a passage of twelve days from Ch. Town. I received a letter from him by Mr. Gordon of the 27th November acquainting me that he had agreed to pay a hundred pounds sterling for the Wanché schooner which carried three hundred barrels of rice, she was to proceed to Savannah, take in a load of corn for you and should sail by Mr. Gordon's account about this time with three thousand bushels of corn for Smyrnea. You'l be kind enough to order a good look out to be kept for her and send all your craft to help her, for the misfortunes of the Cannon have raised freights amazingly. There is another cargo to be in readiness at Savannah, which will nearly amount upon the whole to the bounty. By Mr. Gordon's agreement the Wanché is to return to Savannah to take in the second loading for the same freight of a hundred sterling if you chuse it, or to proceed upon another voyage to a different part of the world, your determination will depend upon the state of your storehouses and the state of your provisions. If the Wanché should arrive before the East Florida leaves you, write to Mr. Gordon by Wallace what you fix upon for the Wanché; if she does not arrive before Wallace sails acquaint me by express what you wish to have done. The master of the Wanché has orders to follow your directions.

“I have agreed with a Rhode Island man to deliver eight hundred bushels of corn and peas to Fairlamb at the Mosquitoes for three shillings a bushel. I wish your supplies from Carolina and Georgia may come as cheap. I doubt it much, but there is no help for it, we must take it as the market runs. I wrote to Mr. Gordon by the post express to send you some small rice and a portion of peas if they could be [got].

“Buckle was applied to and would not go under a hundred. The Wanché carries fifty barrels of rice more than Barton, which was the reason for the preference exclusive of that of Buckles raising the price of freight.

“Bisset arrived in perfect health and quite a young man. He never heard of five blankets. Makdougal got wet and is ailing. Indigo has been examined and talked of; Ross mentioned as a model of perfection in his works of December, more northern planters say little but do not give up the point. Wallace may still have a piece in his pocket for the use of his friends in Carolina we venture at times to talk to the Major, and do not always consider him as an oracle. Young Levett in his report mentioned his having seen the ruins of Major Moultrie's vatts. I say some part of them must have been standing like those of Palmers. The Major has been explaining it to Sutherland since dinner.

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, December 23, 1769

“One of Mr. Penman's people tells me that a Negro sets out from the Orange Grove for Town tomorrow morning. He only goes to acquaint your Excellency that the East Florida came to an anchor off this barr on Wednesday morning early. The launches went off and brought off some of the cargo, but the wind being westerly she did not get in till four in the afternoon. Everything was out at Noon today, and as he is in a hurry to get away I have set two or three masons to raise some stones for him for ballast. He will be ready tomorrow, and if the wind comes around will go away immediately. Everything came well and safe. My twenty-five barrels of flour is a comfortable circumstance. I am much obliged to you, Sir, for it, and for the many other things for me by the East Florida.

“Mrs. Turnbull desires her respects to you and returns many thanks for the seeds and etc. With such lifts as you give our garden it will get on. I keep a good lookout for the Wanché and shall observe what you write about her and the provisions.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

[Smyrnéa, circa 1769]

“This will be delivered to you by Captain Barber. You will please to satisfy him as far as forty pounds Sterling for two voyages of his schooner, the Industry. I have desired Mr. Humphreys to make out the receipts in the manner you direct, a boy on horseback will bring them here, that I may certify or sign them. I wish with all my heart that I could avoid giving your Excellency much trouble in this affair.

“Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to you, Sir, and all my family as well. We have had terrible weather here. The tides were a foot higher than our wharf. They did not affect me; but I am sorry to hear that they have hurt the Major [Moultrie]...”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, January 2, 1770

In Duncan's last letter he asked to have Gov. Grant give you an opinion of the settlement. His answer is enclosed [see date of letter] Thus, disregard whatever Denys Rolle says.

Turnbull was bothered by reports from Mr. Nixon “that you had conceived a distrust of me that I planned to appropriate more of the Estate than entitled to. Your being diffident hurt me much.” Since Duncan's letters had not arrived for some time, Turnbull was anxious to receive one. He predicted that he would be able to send Duncan £2000 pounds in profits from the produce of the plantation in 1770, perhaps double that amount the following year, and an additional £1000 every year thereafter. He boasted that he had turned down several offers to serve as an agent for other grantees, even though only two visits a year were required of agents. Lord Egmont paid his agent, Francis Levett, £500 a year for twice yearly visits, and also paid Martin Jollie and another man £240 each for overseer duties. Turnbull, however, turned down the offers. His focus was “solely attached to this place and business.”

Workers at Smyrnéa were busy preparing fields for planting indigo, and in preparation for processing the weed, Turnbull planned to “send to town for six horses to draw the heavy timber down for our vats.” The cost of the horses was expected to run to between £50 and £60 Sterling. He also sent an order to Charles Town for ten pumps to fill the steepers, at £3 each, and for fifty bushels of Indigo seed, 30 shillings each. In the future he expected to raise all the seed needed at New Smyrna, and to have his laborers “bore our own pumps.” He also ordered “coarse linnen cloth for shirts for our People, this was absolutely necessary for warmth and cleanness. The Negro cloth, called Plains, bought out of the bounty will nigh cloath the People in want of cloathing.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, February 8, 1770

Turnbull sent along with this letter bills for £50 Sterling for “draught horses” purchased from Thomas Woolridge, and for £32 to pay George Mills for caring for Turnbull's cattle the previous year. William Fleck, master of a vessel owned by Richard Oswald, a London merchant and absentee planter in East Florida, was expected to depart for London soon.

It has been a “severe and frosty winter,” Turnbull wrote, which forced him to purchase £130 worth of necessary goods from St. Augustine merchant, Mr. Payne. But the cold had not killed the indigo, and he hoped to plant more. He told Duncan he was “impatient to hear from you”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, February 13, 1770

Bills were enclosed in this mailing, and news that the settlers were in need of clothing, for which check and oznaburgh cloth had been ordered, and of food, for which flour and potatoes had been ordered. The food shortage resulted from a drought that burned the previous year's planting of provisions. Turnbull defended his practice of ordering flour, saying it was necessary to have flour to make fine bread for sick people at the settlement, and that it was better to incur this expense than to lose even one man. It was Turnbull's opinion that light food such as fine bread was important for recovery from illness.

Turnbull was pleased to report that the settlement had not had prevailing sickness for one year, although with so many people working so hard daily ailments–colds and other illnesses common to the season but not mortal sickness--were to be expected. But it was important to Turnbull that it be recognized that the workers needed care and medicine and proper diets.

“We continued decreasing in numbers until two months ago, we now increase. Our births are double our burials.”

Mr. Watson. £50 due to Spencer Mann to pay “Mr. Watson, the foreman of our builders for wages for three years at £24. He well deserves it indeed.”

Turnbull had himself been confined to bed for ten days the previous month. He was still sickly, suffering from a nervous disorder which affects the stomach, and was taking “pills made of three drams of myrh and one dram of aloes, and the tincture of the bark ague [that works] best with me.” He was also suffering from “anxiety and uneasiness” caused by worry about paying the bills of the settlement, for if they were not paid “every man of our settlers would go where he pleased as soon as they are left without a commander, without support, contracts with them are at an end.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, February 15, 1770

Your Excellency's letter of the 11th came to hand today at noon. I thank you Sir, for desiring John Gordon to throw in the whole of the provisions as soon as possible. I am sorry there are no peas to be purchased. I have reason, however, to be thankful that I have plenty of corn. I wish you had supplied yourself from the live oak, it does not, as you will see by the account, cost three shillings per bushel. As to the pork, indigo seed, pumps, etc., I will send bills for them. I wrote for six pump borers or rather six sets of pump borers from England in August. I have no answer of that letter therefore I durst not risk my crop of Indigo on that uncertainty.

As the insurers do not make good the damage, except there is a total loss, I think it indeed is needless expense and am glad your Excellency ordered that to be saved. If the vessels come within our reach we will make a shift to get them into port. I have already lent a little corn to Ross's people to prevent their being starved, and shall supply him with more till he gets his five hundred bushels.

I am apprehensive I shall not be able to come up to the quantity of Indigo you estimate. I will, however, struggle hard for it....I am much better...[and] think myself recovered, and as to weather, we have had a most plentiful rain that set the indigo a going. Notwithstanding I am still afraid of putting corn and indigo seed into the ground yet. I believe I shall defer planting of either till the beginning of next month.

Mrs. Turnbull presents her respect to you Sir. Her garden got a knock by the January frosts, but is coming on again. She brought some fine jonquils and other flowers from it yesterday. In the eating way greens and [ ? ] with a little salad was all that her effort could exhibit....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to James Grant

Smyrnéa, March 5, 1770

“I had the honour of your letter last Friday by Moncrief, but going away immediately for far of losing the tide did not give me time to answer it by him.

“DeBrahm's refusing of his Betsey is of a piece with everything he does, and I think consistent with his character, which is mean, proud, dirty, and disobliging.

“I have calculated the cost of having provisions brought by land, and find that it will run high, a horse can not carry more than three or four bushels of corn, each horse will cost two dollars a tripp (sic), besides as much for a man to drive every two or three. I shall want forty load of corn or flour a week, which would cost a hundred dollars at least, besides the expences of carrying it to Smart's, and taking it away from Major Moultries. I am much obliged to you for the offer of your flatt to carry it to Smarts, but as the pilot boat will carry one hundred and fifty bushels of corn or flour in proportion, I beg the favor of her, if she can be spared. I would have sent Humphreys to town for the business of loading her, if he had been well. He has had a return of his fever and is now in bed with it. This also prevents my coming to town, and obliges me to trouble Major Moultrie to dispatch her. I have wrote him that I would have four barrels of pork put on board of her, and to fill up with corn, but if none is to be had, to fill up with flour. It will be as much as I can do to hold out three weeks longer. I have therefore desired the Major to dispatch that supply as soon as possible. But if a larger vessel with a thousand or more bushels of corn should come in, and if the corn can be purchased on condition of delivering it here, or if another vessel can be hired to bring it here, I have desired the major to gather a supply this way....”

The shortage of provisions, Dr. Turnbull says, was accentuated when a recent delivery by a schooner from Savannah was aborted when the ship sprang a leak and had to sail to the Keys for repairs. The result was that the soldiers stationed at Smyrnéa were also nearing the end of their store of provisions.

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan and to George Grenville

Smyrnea, March 6, 1770

Turnbull's partners wrote on October 4, 1769 concerning applications they had made for additional grants of land in East Florida. Turnbull advised them to purchase land instead, “as such are available contiguous to our current estates, and few better are here. When Creeks cede more land on west of upper St. Johns River, that is good land but a distance from st. Augustine and lack of water carriage and roads” represent difficult problems.

Two tracts in particular were recommended to Duncan and Grenville, each of 20,000 acres. The first was twenty-seven miles north of Smyrnéa, and the second was twelve miles to the south, both with water communication. The one to the south was granted to Mr. Faucett, who was not intending to cultivate it. The other was surveyed for the late Charles Townshend, but the grant process not complete when he died. Governor Grant sent the papers to his widow, Lady Grenwich, to rescue it, but she has no interest in developing it. Turnbull estimated that Fawcett's tract could be bought for two hundred guineas, and that Lady Grenwich would probably accept an offer of £60 Sterling, although it had good soil, perhaps the best in province, and was easily worth 1000 guineas. Charles Townshend sent out an agent [Thomas Woolridge] and people, “and 500 Sterling, but not a penny was spent developing it. The People ran away and the money was sunk. If you two don't buy it, I intend to do so for myself.”

In a second letter written to Duncan and Grenville on March 6th, 1770, Turnbull wrote: “Thank you for trust in me. I will endeavor to deserve it.” Turnbull had already signed the new agreements, and sent two of them to St. Augustine. He stated that he had no objections to restrictions placed on him in the new partnership agreement: “That which binds against separate settlements is agreeable.” The yearly produce of the settlement, as stipulated by Duncan and Grenville, would be shipped to London. Turnbull thanked his partners for permitting him “employ as much of it as is necessary for the use of the settlement.” As specified, provisions would be consumed on the spot; at the moment the settlement had a surplus of provisions.

“As to importing any more settlers, you may depend on my not taking that step” without your consent. Turnbull pledged to grow indigo only in 1770, as it provided the “quickest returns” and the Smyrnéa “soil is very proper for it, [whereas] cotton does not produce much” here. Silk production would have to wait for a later time of leisure. “Rice is rather too laborious and unhealthful for new settlers, it being cultivated in swamps and wet grounds.” As to grape vines, Turnbull protested that he had not planted more than five acres in four rows in the front, or eastern, part of the settlement–near the settler's cabins and the Hillsborough River. “The sun burned most of the vines last summer before they were thoroughly rooted. We experiment more without hindering our other work.”

Olive trees had also been planted, three hundred trees of one year's growth had been planted in the spring. The trees had been only twig size when they were planted in a field at a distance of twenty feet from one another. “One man planted them in a short day. Making oil may be more certain income than making wine.”

Bills totaling £230 Sterling drawn on Sir William Duncan were included in this mailing, covering purchases of cart wheels, and seed for indigo, rye, peas, and beans, and for seventy barrels of pork from Carolina. Turnbull viewed pork as a “necessary part of our food. I should be loath to deprive our People of it.” Consumption of pork in the past year was 130 barrels, forty of which were salted and preserved “from our own breed. Pigs were being bred at Smyrnéa which Turnbull expected to provide the entire supply needed for the following year. He said he started with “only one sow when I came here. Her two pigs, two sows, produced what we now have: 140 hogs, 40 of which are now breeding.”

Black cattle had not fared well at Smyrnéa due to “bad management during my absence from the province [which] scattered them and made them wild....The man who had the care of the cattle ran away and has since been arrested.” [The man hired to care for the cattle was John Davis, a planter on Doctors Lake, and the woodsman who served as guide for John and William Bartram during their journey up the St. Johns River in 1765-1766].

“I am now getting rid of another very troublesome old fellow, I mean one Earl, who I left here when I went to England to manage our Negroes, erect buildings, and prepare every thing for my arriving here. He not only neglected everything but has been a burden to us ever since. His contract with us is out the 22nd of this month. As soon as I get our Negroes and other things out of his hands, I will transmit you very exact lists of the numbers of our People, cattle, & [etc]. This Earl is the last American I will ever employ. Even the best of the American-born are in general of little and narrow minds, limit'd in their views and understandings; and as obstinate as self conceit and ignorance can make them. The common People are an idle, lazy, talking crew, neglecting every thing to set down with anybody who will hear them bragg of their great doings as planters. I have suffered much from two of them, I mean this Earl, and the man who had the care of the black cattle, but I am not the only one, everybody who has employed them have been sufferers. I would not give one of our People for a dozen of them.”

Turnbull said the workers at Smyrnéa were planting indigo and corn “as fast as possible. The land is in fine order, cleared and hoed for planting.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnea, March 7, 1770

In answer to a request from Duncan for information about the birds of East Florida, Turnbull said he had not seen “rare birds, so much felling of trees drives them away. Clamorous and destructive black crows pull up acres of corn seed in a few hours. Of rare woods, we have none here. We have red bay, a mahogany species, that will saw when seasoned. He pledged to send Duncan, but judged it acceptable for making chairs and other furniture but too small for tables.

“Mrs. Turnbull is raising poultry and gardening, she has raised about 500 head of poultry, which are mostly distributed among the Farmers.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, March 10, 1770

The cattle keeper at Smyrnéa appeared in St. Augustine's court, common pleas, which forced Turnbull to travel to St. Augustine. “He is run off again,” Turnbull reported, after threatening to sue Turnbull for £50 Sterling for back wages. Instead of paying him, Turnbull sued him for damages for more than £200 Sterling.

While in town Turnbull contracted for a stallion and ten mares to breed in order to produce horses needed for plowing the cleared land at the settlement. The land already cleared would be ready to plow in three years, Turnbull predicted, and with a plow, “one family can do the work that three families do now. The horses we have now are used for powering corn mills and pulling carts.

He also bought eight strong draught oxen for hauling timber to the saw pits. Eight of the horses at the settlement were doing that work, but there were “a wild breed and they don't train for plowing” as horses must be young trained for plowing. He expected the stallion to cost £20 Sterling, the mares £6 each, and the oxen five guineas each.

On the eighteenth of April Turnbull wrote again about the horses, telling Duncan they were greatly needed since, as “our plan of this settlement is in small farms, we must have every help to lighten Labour.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, March 12, 1770

I have no other apology for troubling your Excellency with the enclosed for Mr. Gordon, than that of its enclosing bills for the amount of pork, indigo seed, cart wheels, pumps, & etc. I was afraid of its miscarrying through other hands.

I have received the deeds from England. I have signed them and send them to town to go by Mr. Oswald's vessel if she is not gone. The letters which accompanied them from both my partners were friendly and compliment.

All the corn I plant this month is in the ground and almost all of it appears. I am planting Indigo very busily. Penman, Bisset and Mack are all employed at the same work. I shall have boards and scantling here this week for six sets of vats. I intend to go no farther than ten or twelve at most this year.

About two hundred and sixty pounds worth of things are at St. Augustine from London for me among which are indigo, sickles, checks, oznaburggs [sic] and other necessary things, which I should be sorry to lose. Therefore I beg the favor of the pilot boat if she can be spared. I would rather be at any expense for her than trust them to Warner's cockleshell, besides I have no opinion of the man. But if she cannot be spared I have ordered Payne to send her down or another larger vessel if he can get one and to put her up on freight. I have almost a cargo myself.

Mrs. Turnbull presents her respects to your Excellency. Gardening is the hobby still. You have lent her a lift to mount that horse. She brought a turnip from the garden the other day for a crock. It measured nineteen inches round, but Bisset told her he had seen one at Mt. Oswald double that size. That was a lowering talk....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, March 19, 1770

I am honored with your letter of the fifteenth of this month. The East Florida made a tedious voyage indeed. It is well she is in your hands, she would ruin a poor man. I am sorry Payne neglected sending me the things from London. I intend to give him a standing order to forward everything for me in future, by the first opportunity which offers after the goods are in his hands. If he is puzzled I shall direct him to trouble you for advice. If Porter comes back and calls at St. Augustine he will bring all he can. The New York man will be a resource if the other should fail. Gaspard is much mistaken about the indigo. I imagined he means planting.

The indigo put into the ground last year in August is now from six inches to a foot high. I mean the new shoots from the old root. Some of the last planted begins to peep out of the ground, but this is very little. The rest I am afraid is dying in the ground. The drought of last week obliged me to leave off planting. I have seed in about two hundred acres, with every fourth row of corn. This reduces the indigo to one hundred and fifty acres. I want moister weather to plant the rest. Penman writes me that he will have sixty acres planted this week. Bisset works day and night. Mak goes on with spirit also. But Ross has been making more leeway by a marriage between his overseer and the coarsest piece of woman I ever saw. Bishop Bisset performed the ceremony, found himself drowsy or something else before night, went to bed, and slept till next morning. The old gentleman likes to take a siesta in an afternoon but this was lethargy. I am afraid that neither Ross nor I will be able to come up to your calculate. He has already laid a foundation of failure by his stay in town. Mine will be certain and determined if the drought continues. I heard nothing of the North Carolina vessel which is to take in red bay. I thank you, Sir, for the chronicles. The letter you sent is an extraordinary one. If his threats are not treason they are very nigh it.

La Jardiniere du Vilage presents her respects to your Excellency. She has hundreds of young sweet orange trees just come out from the seed of the oranges you sent her. I think she rather gets on in that way. She beat the highlander hollow in a wager about green peas. They have wagered their melon grounds against one another....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, April 18, 1770

“Inclosed I send you the number of our People with their ages. Our arrival here in the worst and wettest season ever seen in this Country bore very heavy on us. But even this bad season would not probably have proved so mortal, if a previous poor living in the countries where these People came from had not impoverished their Blood. The long voyage added to that bad state, and reduced them so low that they could not stand the shock of such a great change, as that from a dry Mediterranean air to a very moist one. The air of this Country is generally dry and wholesome, but unluckily for us, it was quite the contrary for many months after our arrival. Our loss, which is about half, fell most on the very young and the oldest People. I would have sent you a list of them long ago, but waited till the health of those behind was so much confirmed, as to ensure an increase rather than a decrease in future. This is now the case, and I am very certain of making fine Estates even with these left. When our Debts are paid and every account balanced, it will be easy for me to increase our numbers without stirring from this place, and without such Expenses and Risks as were incurred by our first Tryal. I mean that if it is found expedient, and for our Interest such a step may be taken, I shall not, however, do any thing either in this, or in things of much less moment, without the full consent and approbation of the gentlemen concerned with me in this settlement.

The ages and number of People belonging to the Settlement of Smyrnea in East Florida this 18th of March 1770.

Under one year old-----------------12
From one year to four years old-----25
From 4 to 8-------------------------47
From 8 to 12------------------------63
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Andrew Turnbull

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, April 19, 1770

Since my return here I have planted all the indigo land which I thought wanted it. The rainy Sunday at St. Augustine scarce produced a shower here. I am not, however, in doubt about a crop. Penman's indigo in his marsh land is very green, healthy, and strong. I hope it will succeed well with him. In the mean time an old uncle at Shrewsbury has left him about two thousand five hundred pounds, most of it in East India Annuities. Bisset and Mack are driving on the Indigo planting. I do not know what John Ross is about. I dare say he is very busy.

I am almost in distress for my checks and oznaburggs (sic). Most of my people are without a shirt to their backs. If Platt is not arrived at St. Augustine I have ordered Gasper to come here and to leave the shipping of the things to Payne who I have desired also to ship some [new tables ?] from the house in town for use here. I cannot spare anybody to make us chairs and tables till our indigo vats are up. If I had even a spoon maker I would employ him in making buckets and ladles for beating and [tamping ?] the indigo. As we have not enough of chairs for our family here, I send for these from town. I dare say, Sir, you understood the English of this, a word from you to Platt or to any other person who may be sent would make us sit easier.

Mrs. Turnbull desires her respects to your Excellency and talks of adding sulfur [powder?] to her garden, but all these idle operations were suspended by the grand object, indigo. It may be done in a time of some leisure....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, April 30, 1770

Turnbull was pleased to report that the indigo were “pushing up daily” and that the artisans were busy preparing vats to prepare it in. Cutting of indigo plants that had survived the winter (“carry over week”) would begin about the 20th of April. Plants from seed planted in 1770, however, “will not be cut until July at soonest; it measures two inches above the ground. Last year's indigo is two feet above the ground.”

Duncan had indicated that he wanted to visit Smyrnéa, prompting Turnbull to invite Sir William and his wife, Lady Mary Duncan. “Winter here is agreeable,” with summer-like temperatures and sea breezes, “Mrs. Turnbull and our children having their best health ever.”

In a second letter written that day, Dr. Turnbull reported that the settlement's head carpenter, Mr. Watson, had a valid claim for three years' back wages that he desired paid in “two Negro boys from Mr. Fairlamb, agent to Mr. Oswald.”

The workers at the settlement were “healthy and do good work,” in indigo production, Turnbull reported. He planned to let some of the weed grow and go to seed to establish a supply for the following year. He expected a drought suffered earlier in the year to reduce the eventual harvest, nevertheless he planned to begin cutting the weed in the next week and to process it in the eight sets of vats that were ready. Before the year ended, however, he wanted fifteen or sixteen sets of vats to be in operation. The field workers were preparing another one hundred acres for planting after the first rain. “Next year we will work twenty-four sets of vats, so we will plant as much as possible this year.”

Turnbull said that his recent bout of sickness was caused by anxiety, but by going on a “milk diet and exercise” he had regained his normal “robust state of health.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, May 6, 1770

Mr. Penman, who is just now arrived here, acquaints me that you Excellency has prevailed on Captain Dundass to call here with some things for us. I send Gasper to ship the packages from England on board of his schooner and the cumbersome furniture on board of Platt. I should be glad [if] Mrs. Turnbull's burcan purchased of Captain Dundass also [was aboard]. I have some papers of consequence in it which were packed among her things instead of being put among mine.

Our land is very white here and the greatest part of our Indigo seed laying idle in the ground for want of rain; notwithstanding we are preparing our vats. We began to set up Wednesday overnight, and have now three sets up. We aim at fourteen to be all up in July but if this weather continues we shall not work four. Mrs. Turnbull desires her best respects to you.

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, May 31, 1770

“I have been plagued with Body Plat. He wanted more freight for Mr. Fraser's family and furniture than you wrote me, pretending that he did not make any agreement. I insisted on not giving him any more than the eight Guineas for the whole as you desired. He says he will send an account to Dr. Cunningham for the freight of the soldiers provisions, which he says were not mentioned.

“His corn was delivered in good condition. Ross left bills with me for his 200 bushels. Mr. Fairlamb settled with Plat himself at Mount Oswald. His hogg's lard is yellow, nasty, and bad, nor is it melted down, but salted as it comes from the hogg, which is not properly hoggs lard, but leaf fat. All these objections hindered me from taking it which he did not insist on as he found it worse than he expected. Penman wanted some, but on opening all the barrels, could not find one fit for use, Mr. Fairlamb got the only one tolerable. We parted good friends this morning as the pilotage in [and] out of this place is not to cost him anything. The truth is I was glad to get rid of him, for he is tedious, teasing and suspicious in business.

“We have a bad prospect of indigo. We had an hours rain when Captain Dundass was here and some very slight showers three days afterwards, all which did not go an inch deep into the ground. We have not had one drop since. My first planted indigo is gone except a stalk here and there. I planted the whole land a second time, that came up as well, but is now disappearing, and I think one week more without rain will burn us up. Bisset has about seven acres of forty. Mack and Ross not more in proportion to what they have planted. Bisset desponds, Ross swears that there is white dry salt in the middle of his field. Mack is plagued with [purslain?] and I am blind with looking for indigo in dry white sand. Rain would ease us all. Penman's low ground holds out well. I intended to have indigo out [of the ground] long ago, but on finding my first and second planting like to fail, I left my earliest weed go to seed, for I am resolved on planting a third time, if the first and second do not come on. I shall begin to cut a second last year's field on Monday. Our heats have been excessive and even wither and wilt the corn at midday.

I hear the English papers are at Penman's. We are obliged to your Excellency for them. I am glad that Major Mackenzie and four companies of the 31st are returned. I have no letters from England. I wish to hear something about the bounty, and beg the favor of an express if it is granted. I shall be glad to pay the expense. I am not afraid, however, of having provisions this year, notwithstanding should be glad of the bounty that would give plenty. My crop will not afford more than sustenance. I am preparing one hundred acres more of land for indigo, no hopes of having a third of a crop from the four hundred. I have not a prospect of having one hundred acres at present. These hundred acres of new land may be thrown into guinea corn and peas if the bounty is not obtained. If it is I'll plant it with indigo. Mr. Drayton has offered me some indigo seed. I have accepted his offer and will send for it when I want it....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, June 15, 1770
“Platt went to sea the first of this month, as our bar has more water on it now than for some time past. He did not touch [bottom] coming in nor in going out. He desired me to speak to the settlers on this river to order a cargo of provisions by him this winter. He says he will bring Indian corn, flour, pork, rum cheaper than anybody. I have promised to write to him if a quantity to make up a cargo is wanted. It would be convenient for us if we could induce vessels to come here direct. Pork, flour, and rum will always be wanted. Though I did not take his leaf fat instead of lard we parted good friends. I did not charge him pilotage and gave him some cuttings of red bay. I have won his heart. He talked of bringing carpenters with him next voyage to cut ship lumber. He was very solicitous with me to pay twenty shillings which he said you owed him for lumber and having made a mistake in the account he gave into your hands. I need not tell you, Sir, that I did not pay him that twenty shillings. He was angry because I would not pay him a separate freight for the soldiers provisions and demanded them [back] to reship and sell them at vendue. This was dropped on my telling him that he must fight the soldiers for them. He owned that you told him he was to have eight guineas for what was on board to which he said he neither objected to nor agreed to. I was plagued with such argumentation as this, till he saw that I would not pay him one farthing more than the eight guineas which he received, and afterwards made out an account for the freight of the provisions sent to the [soldiers]....

“I wish to hear from John Gordon, I have had no letters from him since Tucker went away. I wrote by him to send another cargo before the end of this month and not later. I can hold out longer, but should be glad that it is in forwardness. Penman sent me the papers. We are all obliged to you for them.

“We had a smart shower of rain the fifth of this month. It rained all the sixth and showered on the seventh eighth and ninth. We have had none since. Much of the indigo on this land was burnt up before these rains came, and much of what had been planted above three months appeared. We still wish for a little rain to help the indigo to strike a root. I observe that it is easily burnt up before it gets its root out of the reach of the drought. I have much as yet in this ticklish state. I have made some indigo but it is not dry yet. Bisset, Ross, and Mackdougal were here last Saturday, all pleased with the weather. One weeks drought more would have set me to hoeing and planting again. Our corn promises well. I am with the greatest respect....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnea, June 17, 1770

Turnbull was pleased to report to Duncan that he was sending samples of indigo dye, “the first produce of our lands.” He was also able to report that provisions crops were growing well and would probably be sufficient to feed the settlers for the coming year. The people at Smyrnéa were in need of clothing, however, and Turnbull was still hoping the Board of Trade would approve a bounty for another year.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, June 23, 1770

“I troubled you with a letter last week by a man of Penman's. We had then a bad prospect of indigo. It is better since the rains of this week. I have been at Mr. Oswald to see some of the indigo vats beat. If I knew when you begin to cut I would attend your vats a couple of days, but am afraid I shall be hindered by being obliged to look after my own.

“I keep a sharp look out for a corn vessel from John Gordon. A lame Indian called Alakalataki has stole three of my best cart horses. I sent two hunters after him, but they could not come up with him. He stole two from me before, but I got them again before he hid them and recovered one of Penman's which he stole three months before. What shall I do with this thieving fellow. If I catch him I had resolved to send him to you. He is a noted horse stealer, and the other Indians say one of the greatest villains among them.

“Ross has begun to cut his last years indigo. Bisset begins ten days hence, Penman about the same time, Mack and I not this fortnight yet....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

[Smyrnéa], July 1, 1770

Turnbull said he was learning more about their tracts of land. As soon as “grubbing up of roots of trees and better clearing of fields” was finished he planned to begin using horses and plows so that fewer hands would be needed for the labor, which would make it possible to extend the settlements. “I intend to remove one-half of our Families a mile and a half backward to cultivate the swamp land which runs in a parallel line with the settlements on the bank of the Hillsborough. The Lands of these settlers will be on the dry pine barren contiguous to the swamp, which I intend to drain first by opening the water run which is now in it.”

This move would not be possible in less than three years because the land would not be ready plow until then. Turnbull asked Duncan to “look into the plat which I left with you.” The land currently being cultivating was hammock land on the west of the Hillsborough River “which extends to some of the branches of Halifax River opposite the Inlet of these two rivers.” The swamp land he planned to cultivate, however, ran parallel to the hammock, but was separated from it by a pine barren that stretched for one and one-half miles. “Mr. Delaire, a deputy surveyor, was hired to survey what we cleared and cultivated and it will be sent to you. Mr. Funk promised to traverse the swamp and other of our land.”

“The disposition of the above mentioned [land] will form two compleat Lines of small farms and will double the produce of what we can now do.” Swamp land in East Florida, Turnbull felt, was “richer and never wears out as do hammock lands.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

St. Augustine, July 14, 1770

“Oznaburgh and checks” [cloth] are made up into clothing in East Florida, Turnbull wrote, and at the time he had not enough cloth to make clothing for more than one in three of the settlers. This shortage prompted him to travel to St. Augustine to buy more cloth immediately.

“The mosquitoes and sand fleas trouble and tease them so much when at work, that they not only hinder the labour from going on, but fret and vex them into disquietude and uneasiness, to remedy this I give each of them a frock buttoned at the neck and wrists with a pair of long trousers that cover the body and are loose, cool, and easy to work in. I can only give them 2 frocks and 2 pair trousers each, one to wash while the other is in use.” Since nineteen yards of cloth was required to make clothing for one person, it was necessary to buy more cloth.

“I [also] came to see the governor's overseer make Indigo. I staid two days at his plantation [and was] much pleased with his method.” He planned to depart for Smyrnéa that day and to “be there tomorrow if the horses can hold out.”

Mr. [Peter] Taylor's partner [James Penman], was with Turnbull at Governor Grant's indigo plantation, but he was suffering from fever. Turnbull judged if of great importance that good roads be built “to lessen the fatigue and danger.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, July 25, 1770

Turnbull enclosed a bill from Charles Delaire for £20 Sterling for a survey he did of the settlement. Bills from St. Augustine merchant Robert Payne were also sent to Duncan; items included: fishing nets, nails, a canoe, and miscellaneous. Turnbull stated that the settlers were in great need of fish nets: “it has cost us sixty pounds since our settling here for nets, tho' we have saved above a thousand pounds worth of provisions by them”

Turnbull said he was in “our second year of settling, we are drying samples of indigo. I go out of the house at four in the morning and don't return until the night. Take many pains with the People and indigo manufacturing, and have instructed four overseers in the management of the whole of this culture and work.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, July 28, 1770

Enclosed is a letter from Mr. Bradshaw, it came in that of mine from Sir William Duncan, recommended to your care. “Sir William desires me to thank you, Sir, and says he has applied to the treasury. His words are ‘I beg you will present our best compliments and thanks to governor Grant, and let him know in the best manner you can how sensible we are of his protection and assistance to our settlement. I have not neglected to solicit the Treasury in our behalf and have sent enclosed a second letter to Governor Grant from Mr. Bradshaw, which you will be so good as to deliver.' Both Sir William and Mr. G [George Grenville] seem to be satisfied now. The latter is desirous of having more land in this province. They have sent me out two King's orders for five and ten thousand acre tracts, and desire me to purchase another five thousand or more. I think Mr. G intends making other settlements soon. If Cumming's two fives [two at 5000 acres] are to be disposed of, I will endeavor to purchase them. Or if the grants do not pass the offices...I beg the favor of having the preference....I find I am to direct the settling of them [and] it will be difficult to do it if they are at a greater distance.

“I have desired Mr. Penman to give you a bit of the best indigo which I have made. I cannot [make] flora, I fall through the true blue into a purple. I wish to be with Mr. Skinner to ask him how I am to avoid that Episcopal color. My indigo weed in general is so thin and so backward that I shall not come to half of your calculate. Ross makes worse indigo than last year. He has two or three wrong notions from the Indigotier which run away with him. Bisset has made some very good [indigo]. He is apprehensive of the heat and badness of the roads [and] does not go to town as he intended. He grows old.

“I have been obliged to gather some corn not quite ripe and to dry it in the sun. I fancy John Gordon has forgot us, his not sending a vessel distresses us. Now I am past the worst of it, for my corn is coming on fast.

“Mrs. Turnbull desires her compliments to your Excellency. She succeeds in the watermelons, but not so well in the other kind. Her garden has a shabby withered look at present. In short she has not one thing to brag or crack of, but the watermelons, of which she cuts twenty in a day sometimes.

“This cursed purple or violet in the indigo I make stares one in the face every minute, and obliges me to mention it again. Mr. Skinner would much oblige me in telling me how I am to keep it out of my vats. The samples I brought of his makes it look like bad slate....”

James Grant Papers

Lord Adam Gordon to James Grant

London, August 6, 1770

Only a small portion of Lord Gordon's letter concerned Turnbull. Mainly he sent news of his efforts to develop his lands in Scotland. He also informed Governor Grant that he could not afford at the moment to clear and plant his Florida properties, specifically referring to Tinian Island in the St. Johns River, but he thanked the governor for a sketch of the land and said “I like the Baronry of Huntly very well.” Mrs. Francis Kinloch had written him that the executors of her late husband's estate had “retired the Negroes” from his St. Johns River properties after making £500 Sterling in two years. Perhaps, Lord Gordon hinted, if his business affairs in Scotland improved he would be able to invest £1000 or £1500 Sterling in Africans and put his lands under a competent agent like Mr. Alexander Gray.

About Turnbull, he wrote: “I shall be very happy if our friend Turnbull brings things to a bearing, but if he does will greatly surprise some people who neither know him as well or esteem him as highly as I have ever done, since our first acquaintance. Lady Mary Duncan dreams of the thousands, nor is it a wonder that she should, seeing she talks of nothing else all day long. I mean to write to the good doctor....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, August 8, 1770

“...Stewart arrived here yesterday with your favor of the 1st of this month. Enclosed is a list of the clothing, tools & etc. which I shall want this winter. The amount is as you desired. You will please alter or cancel in that list what you think proper. I leave the mode of Mr. Nixons acting in this affair entirely to your direction to him. I shall write to Sir William what you say also about his mode of help on this business. I hope this scheme of an indent which you have thought of will succeed.

“I am going on in indigo making and get more into the good purple of Flora, but sometimes fall into copper, but of the best kind. I endeavor to get at the flora... [and] make many experiments, but can ascertain nothing with precision as yet. As I see the over year's indigo [planted at least one year earlier] gives considerably more than that of this year, I am planting and supplying to establish four hundred acres for next year and intend in the spring to add vats to make twenty four sets in all. I have cut last year's indigo twice and shall cut it a third time in the beginning of next month. I hope to have five cuttings from it [but] unluckily I have little of it. The indigo of this year's planting is so thin that it gives few vats. I see it will be better the next cutting though drought of the months of April and May burnt up nine tenths of it and if we had not had rain in the beginning of June, not a stalk would have escaped.

“Ross has got out of his prejudices now makes good indigo. Bisset was ill of a fever last week. I went to his place last Sunday and brought him away bodily with me. He is now recovering. Mackdougal will not make much indigo this year, not from any fault of his for he has taken much pains. I have not been at Penman's lately. Mrs. Turnbull desires her respects to your Excellency....”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, August 17, 1770

“A large sloop appeared off this bar last Saturday, and has kept hovering in sight ever since, till yesterday. I had a boat with seven hands at the bar with orders if he came within three or four miles to go on board of him, but he always kept at such a distance as made it dangerous to venture a boat so far out. We made fires by night and signals by day, but he never came nigh enough to see what he was. If it was a vessel bound for this place the Master did not do well in not coming nigher. When we lost sight of him last he stood to the northward. If he puts into St. Augustine and is bound to this place, I doubt not of his being sent here immediately. I have been in some distress for corn. I fed the people with flour and rice as long as they lasted. I am now reduced to all corn, which I am obliged to gather before if is ripe and hard. I began at first with one meal a day of it, having flour bread for the morning and evening. Even this small quantity of corn food brought on disorders of the bowels and swellings. I have lost two men by these disorders, but flatter myself of not losing any more. I built a kiln twenty feet in diameter, which dries one hundred bushels at a time. This kiln drying makes the corn easier to grind and makes it wholesome. So far I have got partly over the inconvenience of soft corn, but am badly off for flour and rice. I have not any rice and but very little flour, consequently I am at a loss for a proper diet for my sick, which is the reason of my troubling you, Sir, with this, to beg that part of last years bounty, if not too late, may be changed from corn into flour and rice, five or six barrels of the latter, and between twenty and thirty of the former would be sufficient for the present. If this cannot be done, you will oblige me much in ordering John Gordon to send these quantities here by the first opportunity. I will send him bills for the amount as soon as I know how much it is. The hopes of having their supply as part of provisions from the bounty is the reason of my not sending bills with this for it. I am loathe to draw if I can avoid it.

“Holroyd who brought corn to Mr. Fairlamb last year is to bring me two pair of millstones to St. Augustine in September. If he has provisions on board he will find a market in this river for twenty or thirty barrels of flour, a dozen puncheons of northward rum, and some corn. Everybody wants one or other of these articles. I think Mr. Fairlamb will want some hundreds of bushels of corn.

“I continue making indigo. The four overseers tell me that I have not made one bad vat except two which were beat during a storm of wind and rain on the sixth of June. Ross made a four ounce vat
that day. He is now making excellent indigo and seems...into a good way. Bisset is still here, not yet recovered, but better. We are not much troubled with ague nor any kind of fever this year. If it had not been for my want of dry corn, I should have had a very healthy set of people during this season. These who keep their health work well, however, and I intend to have seventeen sets of vats a going in October. It is not from the quantity of weed that I am obliged to have so many, but from the [distance from the field to the vat]. What I planted in March will not be fit to cut for the first time till October. I am now supplying and planting to establish four hundred acres complete for next year. Tho' the dry spring has thrown me so far back I can see by what I have done in the making of indigo, that the land will give more weed and cuttings when planted over year, than could be expected. If the latter part of the year is favorable, I shall cut some of last years weed five times. I am sorry, sir, to give you all this trouble for our provisions, and can only plead necessity. I am with the greatest respect....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, August 31, 1770, In the evening.

[Captain] Tucker appeared off here at noon. He is now unloading. He brings one thousand six hundred and seventy three and one-half bushels of corn in bulk, [plus] barrels of the same, and fifty two bushels of peas. He also brought half the salt ordered not having room for any more. The rest will be sent by the first opportunity. Mr. Gordon has forwarded some pump borers to me from London with some other trifles. Corn is so much demanded for the Spaniards at La Vera Cruz that it was with much difficulty he found a cargo. The packet which I send with this came by Tucker. John Gordon desires me to forward a packet for you, but Tucker tells me that is gone by Doran or is to go by him....

James Grant Papers

John Gordon to Governor James Grant

Charlestown, September 1, 1770

I wrote to your Excellency a few lines by Mackenfuss acknowledging the weight of your several favors of the 9th, 14th July and 3rd [August], with sundry packing letters for Great Britain. The originals are on their passage to Falmouth and the duplicates, and letters for Pensacola, wait the first convenience for their several destinations.

The disappointments and bad success I have met with these three months past have made me so unhappy that I have been almost distracted. The thoughts of Doctor Turnbull's people being in want of provisions until I had a prospect of relieving them now is really intolerable. In Georgia where I had placed my chief dependence, an act of their assembly overset my hopes. I had agents all over this province to no purpose until the crop in the ground was out of the reach of accident. At last I thought myself secure of 3500 bushels in store at Georgetown as I had made an actual purchase of it and had it from under the hands of two substantial men whose words I will no more value, that it would be ready for Captain Tucker whenever he could arrive, but a Spaniard from Campeche shipped in and offered few pence more and Tucker returned here with only 800 bushels on board. My situation was then easier conceived than described and I must drop the subject to preserve my temper.

I am much obliged to your Excellency for settling the difference between Carolina and Burlington pork with the “Deputy commissary of stores and provisions.” He may now keep Mr. Murphy's except which he promised to deliver to the person I should send the provisions or the £38.7.6 Sterling by. We have had no opportunity but the express to St. Augustine for a long time past except a small vessel of Mr. DeBrahm's that the Reverend William Henderson acquainted me had orders not to carry a letter for any person by her. We had advice that Augustine was almost filled up and the long stay of Doran and Bachop seemed to confirm it. I am rejoiced to hear of the kind of prospects of your East Florida planters and that even your Excellency's own expectations will be succeeded in spite of the traitor Johnson, that fellow should be transported to Carolina. As to my friend [Lorsy ?], I suppose he has corn food by. Ross undertakes to convince your Excellency that there is more difficulty in building a whole set of indigo vats than the East Florida planters are aware of and I wish that matter had been seen through sooner for it must hurt the elderly Captain much to see such quantities of fine weed lost for want of steepers.

By all accounts Mr. Fairlamb is the most attentive planter in your province. I have not heard anything of Ross, Penman, Bisset & etc. that way, except that Mr. Ross had lost his crop entirely, which I am sorry for. I ordered some guinea grass seed to be sown in the country here but do not know whether it is come up or not. I have volunteers in my town garden that's come up from the seed of some that grew last year and is amazingly fine. It is in general upwards of six foot high. I have cut a few bunches at different times and the second growth is so quick that it started from ten to twelve inches in three days time. I wish to know if you have thought the seed I sent worth your attention at the Mosquitoes. I think it cannot fail.

“I have acquainted Mr. Roupell with that paragraph concerning him. He mutters but I think he ought to be thankful, as I am certain the good Doctor is, for all your actual and intended services to him. His constituents or connections may also pray for Governor Grant. I do think upon my honor, that that settlement would have failed and that man been ruined under any other influence. If the main tracks that your Excellency has laid, and I hope nothing will disappoint it, the Doctor may stand firm. It is said here that he will make nigh twenty thousand bushels of corn, but if he comes up to your mark it is as much as I expect and a remittance in indigo will be no ways unwelcome at home.

“I wish you would be so good as to send me a sample of indigo to brag with. I have seen some sent to Doctor Moultrie that is very fine. I hope our late dropping season which still continues has extended itself southward. If so your crops may turn out well. I have been much afraid that periodical droughts and inundations were becoming the natural enemies of the province.
. . .

James Grant Papers

James Grant to the Earl of Hillsborough

St. Augustine, September 1, 1770

“In my letter no. 30 I had the honor to lay before your Lordship, an account of the helpless and distressed state of the Greek Settlement at Smyrnea, and took the liberty to observe to your Lordship the necessity there was of continuing His Majesty's most gracious Bounty for the support of those adventurers.

“Last year's bounty has been laid out entirely for their subsistence, and has actually saved them from starving, for without that well timed help from Government, there must have been an end of that numerous promising settlement.

“Doctor Turnbull is diligent and assiduous, he resides constantly with his Greek colonists, and does as much as a man do to repair the first fault of exceeding the number of people to be imported and of corse the funds which his constituents had agreed to advance. In place of six thousand which was the stipulated sum, they have actually my Lord, paid £24,000, and are determined to go no farther.

“The Greek settlers having been well fed last year have got into health and spirits. They work well, have cleared a great deal of ground, which the Doctor has put in very good order. The Greeks this year have raised a considerable quantity of provisions, such as Indian corn, pease, potatoes and greens of all kinds, and if supported they will soon get into a comfortable state, and be able to supply themselves with every necessary of life. Produce, and ‘tis to be hoped useful produce to Great Britain, will of course follow.

“But at present they are destitute of every convenience, they are ill clothed, many of them almost naked, and are obliged to live in small hutts put up in a hurry to shelter them from the weather upon their first arrival. Doctor Turnbull has neither money nor credit to supply them with clothes, and has not the necessary tools and materials to build houses for them. In that distressed situation he can only look up to His Majesty for His most gracious support by ordering the Royal Bounty to be continued to enable him to carry an extensive and usefull undertaking into execution with success. He presses me to lay his case before your Lordship, and to transmit for your Lordship's consideration an indent of such things as are absolutely necessary for the existence of the settlement.

“The indent amounts to £1000 if the bounty is continued, and your Lordship so pleased to order Mr. Nixon, the Doctor's agent, to receive that money at the Treasury, he will be very carefull in the purchase and package of the assortment, which may be sent to Charles Town if no vessel offers for this port. The remaining thousand if your Lordship approves of the method, I shall continue to draw for upon the Treasury for the support of the settlement in the same manner as I drew for the Bounty of last year.”

“Indent of clothing, tools, etc., wanted for the distressed Greek Settlement under the direction of Andrew Turnbull Esquire at Smyrnéa, East Florida.
Best blue plains 3000 yards at 1/4 per yard £200
Best white plains 500 yards at 1/4 per yard 33.6.8
Checkt Linnens 3000 yards at 1/4 per yard 150
Stript Linnens 2000 yards at 1/? per yard 100
Stript Cottons 500 yards at 1/3 per yard 31.5
Scots Osnaburggs 4000 yards at 6 per yard 100
Negro Blankets 600 at 5/ each 150
Mens shoes of different sizes 600 pr 3/4 a pair 100
Indigo Sickles 60 Doz. At 8/6 pr. Doz. 25.10
Broad Hoes, Crowley's of a middling size 60 doz
at 20/ per dozen 60
Building Nails the greatest part sixpenny 100

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

John Gordon to James Grant

Charlestown, October 5, 1770

I did myself the honor to write your Excellency a few times by the post on Tuesday last and this morning have received a packet with your favor of the 1st of last month and the letters contained therein shall go by the Swallow packet. In one of my former letters I think I requested a sample of the North River indigo, which I shall be glad to have. Here we have had a black frost, by report within these fine days and the weather is still cold enough to sit by a fire in the middle of the day. By this opportunity you will receive two pipes of essence of [ ? ] from on board of Captain Dundass who I presume will write to your Excellency.

I am sorry on Mr. Drayton's account to advise that his creditors here either stimulated by resentment of his political [?] or resentment, did last Saturday take out attachments against his estate and as I had information from one of the gentleman of the law that there attachments were to a very considerable amount. I judged it prudent to take the benefit of the term not from any suspicion of the ability of his security, but if Mr. Bull has nit been provident enough to take a counter security, Mr. Drayton will certainly thank me for taking care of his friend. If I had been a creditor of Mr. Drayton myself, I would not have taken the step, but in an affair of trust I do not think myself at liberty to disguise anything.

This affair was first agitated by Mr. Charles Pinckney Senior. Mrs. Drayton herself alarmed the rest of the creditors as soon as she knew his resolution and they afterwards came to an agreement and got Mr. Linckney to join them in it, not to move the matter any farther, but a Miss St. Julien who had about £1500 currency of her fortune in his hands became inexorable and all the rest followed her example. Should any of the creditors move the court for an order to sell, it may be necessary for your bond to be on the spot with a full power of attorney to act for principle as well as interest.

As I found some flour and rice of an inferior quality and under market price I have added ten barrels of such to the quantity you commissioned and as soon as I receive an account of the corn to be shipped I shall furnish your Excellency with a state of the whole agreeable to your directions. I judge that this vessel load will exceed the money in my hands by some trifle. There is no pork in the province at this season. I could only ship six hogsheads of home spun rum at 10 per hogshead and some that I have ordered to be taken out in case there should not be room enough for that and the corn too. I have charged it to the bounty account, but if any is landed in this province that account shall have credit for it.
Captain Tucker has been returned from the mosquitoes long ago. If your Excellency has an opportunity I request you will be pleased to direct Doctor Turnbull to order a good look out for this schooner that is bound to Mosquittoes. I hope she will sail in all next week.

. . .

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, October 22, 1770

Turnbull rejoiced that “1000 guineas worth of indigo” had been processed and was in a store house. He judged it of excellent quality, better than Spanish flora.

Turnbull talked again of his plan to divide settlers in half, one group to stay on hammock land next to the Hillsborough River to raise indigo; the other to go to the west to raise sugar, and yet others to the lowest [and thus wettest] land to raise rice. He was pleased that a conversation Duncan had had with Richard Oswald had prompted him to suggest sugar cultivation at Smyrnéa. Turnbull wanted to try sugar before, but refrained “because of fear that you would think me not steady. I'd not like to abandon Indigo because the People are now familiar with it....Indigo required less labor than sugar, and provides a quicker return on investment.” Turnbull judged indigo a more profitable crop than sugar, and thought that Oswald had made a mistake at his Timoka River plantation by not continuing indigo cultivation until it repaid his investment. Turnbull planted an experimental twenty-four hills of sugar cane the previous year, which produced enough cane stock to plant another fifty to one hundred acres. “I engaged an intelligent sugar planter a few months back, he had to leave Jamaica for health reasons, he had managed plantation and sugar works there for some time. I hired him the same as my other assistants, to make indigo and cane for a few sugar hills. He is a good worker, and should soon be able to become the manager for this settlement if I falter. The land I chose for sugar should do well, it seems very fit for it.”

Sketches of the plantation were being sent to Duncan which Turnbull expected would satisfactorily explain “all our intended cultivation.”

Work horses were needed for the corn mills at the settlement. Those purchased before had not done well, and they “don't breed well here. Those from Georgia don't tolerate the heat and flies here. We lost seven of nine mill horses this summer.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, October 22, 1770

In a letter of the 29th of June from Sir William Duncan, he says that the bounty of this year is entirely owing to Mr. Bradshaw, and that it is to remind him of the permission he gave to governor Grant to draw for it, which has engaged him to stay another winter in London. No doubt Sir William means that paragraph of Mr. Bradshaw's letter, which cannot be called a permission warranted in an official way. It seems like a private opinion, but if Mr. Bradshaw means it as a permission so much the better, the indent will be completed. I do not wish to have the money laid out in any other way than that which your Excellency proposed and has already forwarded.

Mr. Ross came here last night much alarmed by a piece of news which his overseer brought from town. He says that one Foster who lived among the Indians was ordered from among them as they had declared war and had already killed two traders. I laughed at Ross for his fears, alleging that if such a thing was suspected you would find means of averting it, or at worst an express would be sent so as to advise us to be on our guard. If there are any such apprehensions I flatter myself your Excellency will send a reinforcement to this port, and if arms can be borrowed from the troops or king's stores I should be glad of them that I may militia a hundred of our youngest men as a kind of a guard for the rest.

I am in distress for want of flour, having only one barrel left of two I borrowed from Mr. Penman and not one grain of rice. When that barrel is done, I shall be very badly off for my ailing people and lying in women. I have nothing else but corn and peas. As I dare not trust to Payne in such an emergency I beg your Excellency will please to order him to form some conveyance by water to send me a few barrels. There is no thinking of having anything by land. The horses which come from town here even without loads are so fatigued that they cannot recover till after a long time; they even die, of three bought for me in town lately one is dying having been bogged in the Matanzas, another is lame, and the third is still in a weakly state. Two months ago I also lost two of five I sent to Smarts for oznaburggs, the others were recovered with difficulty though they carried it to the Timoka only. I am sorry to be so troublesome to your Excellency, but cannot tell how to be relieved but by you.

We make better indigo every day. I have made about three hundred and fifty vats. We shall go on as long as the weather permits. I shall think myself high if I can get to five hundred vats. Mrs. Turnbull desires her best respects to your Excellency.

I had almost forgot to mention that Mr. Oswald has been with Sir. William Duncan to persuade him to abandon indigo and plant sugar....Oswald advises me to it also, on a foolish plan of the poor Danish settlers of Santa Cruz. I am resolved not to involve myself in any new scheme. When indigo have paid the expenses we have been at and also brought such sums as will enable us to undertake another scheme, it may be tried. I think sugars will do in this province but I am not persuaded that it will be a more profitable culture than indigo....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, October 27, 1770

“...I am glad to see by your letter that the bounty is to be given this year. Governor Grant, not thinking himself sufficiently authorized to draw for it, desired me to give him a list of what we wanted from London, and desired that application might be made to Mr. Bradshaw for the money to execute that commission. The rest of the Money is intended to be laid out in Provisions from Charlestown.

“I observe, Sir William, what you say about locating the last 15,000 acres to the west of St. John's River. As soon as the warrants for these tracts came to my hands, I sent the deputy surveyor Funk to locate them on the west side of that River, tho' not nigh its banks, where the lands are poor, but on the high lands, rather towards St. Marys and Nassau River. I hurried the locating of them as the best of the lands will be soon taken up. He is not yet returned with the surveys. Sir Richard Temple's tract is southwest from this place, on the east side of St. Johns. The back line of that land, and the back line of this I am now on, are about eight or nine miles distance from one another. I have Governor Grant's leave to take up the vacant land between them, if good, but it is mostly pine barren. I have not been at the expence of surveying any of it yet, nor will it probably be worth our while for anybody to be at that expence. I intend, however, to secure it by taking up some of it, if it is found to be tolerably good. As Sir Richard Temple's tract gives us a front on St. Johns it will insure us the convenience of shipping our goods from the inner parts of our tracts, either by that river or by this. The best tracts to the west of St. Johns will produce Rice and annual Indigo, but they will not be so valuable as the lands here where Indigo stands the winter. If two or three five thousand acre tracts more could be obtained I would endeavour to locate them to the south of this, perhaps nigh Cape Canaveral, where the lands and climate are very proper for the culture of Indigo and Sugar, I will endeavour to get them, however, on family right to be thrown into the Mass.

“You desire, Sir William, to know what care I have taken of my Family and you in case of any accident to me, and what agreement I have made with our people, and where I have deposited these contracts. As to my family, my will was made many years ago. I have not yet altered it, waiting till our affairs got on to a point of division of produce, which is now very nigh.

“As to the care of the settlement in case anything happens to me, I endeavored to provide for that before I left Mahon. I wrote from thence for a Son of my Brother. I had seen him and fixed on him in my mind, as a person whose relationship to me and partly a dependance would attach to my interests. He came to me here above two years ago. He was not of much service to me the first six months, being chiefly employed in learning the languages of the People here, which he easily and soon attained. After that he was my storekeeper for about five months more, in which time I had frequent opportunities to observe him. His care and abilities were to my Mind.

“I then put him on the command of our People next to myself, and I can justly say that he is a very fit person to have the care of this settlement. He had the management of it twice last summer in my absence. I being then obliged to go to St. Augustine. I did not find any thing to find fault with on my return, on the contrary, I saw that he was equal to anything of that nature, being resolute, steady, and judicious, with all the care and foresight of age and experience, tho' he is not yet twenty three years of age. I think him in every respect the most proper person to manage your affairs here. However as a further security and satisfaction to you, I think that Governor Grant, William Drayton, Esq., and Captain Robert Bisset might be desired to take the general direction, subject this Andrew Turnbull, my nephew, to their orders. These three gentlemen will not refuse me this favour. They are not only men of the strictest probity, but also the most intelligent in agriculture of any in this country. Mr. Drayton is Chief Justice of this Province. Col. Faucett will inform you what you may want to know of Captain Bisset, his advice has often been of use to me here. As for my part, I should be glad to have my share entirely in the management of these gentlemen, but if any other you think of, are more to your mind, I will very willingly agree to it.

“As I have mentioned my nephew, I think is proper to acquaint you on what terms we have him. I agreed to give him twenty pounds a year for the first two years, which was not much considering that his passages by the way of Liverpool, Virginia and Georgia, cost him above fifty pounds, besides he lost six months on this round. I must in conscience have given him forty or fifty pounds this year, but was sorry to add to our Expences. Luckily the governor hearing a very satisfactory account of his conduct and abilities, and being acquainted with the small salary I gave him, contrived to give him the salary of Schoolmaster which is twenty five pounds a year. I added five pounds more to the twenty I gave him before, which makes fifty. He is contented with it because the proposal comes from me, but he is worth four times that money to us. Even the most sorry overseers have forty and fifty pounds a year in this province. We have no school here, otherwise my nephew could not have that salary. His occupations are as many as most men could go through.

“As to the agreements with our People, we are to be at the expence of bringing them into the province, but every other expence of settling, & etc., is to be paid from the produce of their labour. That debt liquidated, the profits of the lands on which they are settled are to be divided between proprietor and the farmer the first year after the debts are paid, which equal division of profits is to continue for ten years more after that first dividend is made. They, the Farmers, being as much subject to the Proprietor or his agent as a servant to a master, and this both in regard to what is to be cultivated, as to what they are to cultivate, and also in what mode or manner the Proprietor pleases. This agreement is a very advantageous one to us, and makes every Expence of the settlement fall on the labourers, which is one reason why I wish to establish many things before the debts are liquidated, which our funds do not admit of. When the Farmers are free of their debts, we must bear half the expense of every thing. But our immense expences already hinder me from doing some things which the People themselves desire me to do, alleging as an argument, that I ought to do it, as it is their desire and as they are to pay for everything, which is certain now they will soon do. They wish rather to be a year or two longer in debt than be punished in any thing. The longer we have them before the 11 years partnership comes on the better for us. One year's time from hence is better than three at present. When I send you the plan & etc. I will explain to you further the advantages of this agreement, and how it may be more so, and useful for the people at the same time. As to the contracts with these settlers I have them in my custody, but I think I should have registered them in the Registers' office. This, I own, did not occur to me, but it shall be done the first time I go to St. Augustine.

“If the Disposition I mentioned above is to your mind, please to order an able Lawyer to draw it out, and send me two copies of it here. I will deposit one in the Registers' office, and send the other back to you after signing them. I wish this to be done as soon as possible, for tho' I have now recovered my health so perfectly, that it is equal to me whether I am out in the midday heats, or midnight damps, yet I think my life is a bad one. I am more exposed to the causes of sickness and accidents than any man on the settlement.

“Mr. Delaire is just come in from measuring our cultivated lands, which has employed him for some days. He found it nine hundred and seventy acres. I shall add some hundreds to it next spring. He is now taking a plan of our Houses here. As soon as these plans are done I will forward them to you. I can justly add that our land is in as high order as the Roots of Trees and such like embarrassments admit of. This Estate may be carried to a very high point of Emolument to the Proprietors, and that without extraordinary abilities in the manager, if the plan now begun is carried on.

“I forgot to mention in the above that single men, I mean unmarried men, are engaged to us for seven years at five pounds sterling wages a year, one half to be paid to them in necessary clothing, and the other half at the Expiration of that term of seven years. My best Tradesmen are engaged at the same price. Thirty pounds a year are given for English tradesmen in this province, I would not give two of our five pound ones for three of them. Ours are sober and more under command.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnea, October 29, 1770

From evidence in this letter, it appears that Duncan had written to Turnbull encouraging him to take advantage of a war in Turkey to add people to the settlement. Turnbull warned that it would be difficult to do without “giving umbrage to the Ottoman port. Dangers and difficulties would deter many Greeks [who are] hopeful Russians will succeed with the Turks and they would then be free, few wanted to Emigrate when I last there Empress of Russia had emissaries among them who promised great things. It would be great for Americans.

“If I could leave I would engage to bring many of them away. Better for this settlement if I stayed here for some years. I want to stay until stability is assured.” Another way would be to appoint an agent at Port Mahon to receive all Greeks who come, giving them four pence a day, and when the number of colonists fills the ship, bring them to Florida. A stock of provisions, enough to last for one year, should be in storage prior to their arrival.

“Theodore Alexiano, a Greek at Mahon, to whom all the Greeks come for assistance,” would be a proper agent. “He has a copy of the agreement which I have with the Greeks here.” Turnbull said his name could be used among the Greeks, and that it would be wise to ask the Governor of Minorca to provide protection.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, October 30, 1770

Turnbull reported that his “People had made by now some hundreds of vats of indigo, many equal to Spanish Flora or fine Guatemala.” He had learned that the best kind was difficult to keep from spoiling, one approach seemed to be to steep the weed less.

Two days later, on November 1, 1770, Turnbull wrote again to announce the probable departure of Governor James Grant from the province. “I'm heartily sorry that Governor Grants intends to leave us. He says he leaves for two years, but I doubt his ever coming back, as the family estate is now fallen to him. [So expect] two years at least of a lieutenant governor, who may trouble us here. New settlements need the support of the governor of the province.” It was Turnbull's belief that governors could do favors and assist his settlement, and gave as an example Governor Grant's use of the provincial sloop to transport goods to and from New Smyrna without charge. Grant had always been frugal of public money, “to a fault” Turnbull said, although never when New Smyrna was concerned. Instead, he treated Smyrnéa as “if it had been his private property. He could not have been more attentive to it.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 4, 1770

“I return you thanks for your congratulations on Mrs. Turnbull's being brought to bed of a son. That piece of news was so old to me that when I wrote to your Excellency on the 22nd of last month I had quite forgot it. I in return congratulate you, Sir, most heartily, on the family estate falling into your hands. I think that you will have enough to do to defend yourself against matrimony now. I require also that you have obtained his Majesty's leave to go to England. My joy, however, is only because it is for your convenience and advantage. My wishes are rather that your stay among us was to be longer than you mention. I am apprehensive that when you are on the other side of the Atlantic the effects of pride and jealousy, which are at present only inconveniences to the owners, will then be felt by others.

“I am sorry, Sir, that you troubled yourself when you favored me with the paragraph of Mr. Bradshaw's letters. I saw that the only thing to be done was what you planned and forwarded. We are much obliged to you for intending to solicit another years bounty. If obtained, it will be more than ever we could flatter ourselves of. I will apprise Sir William of your intentions, that he may give all the help he can.

“The weather here was so cold the week before last that our weed did not steep, nor could we get above a third of the quantity of weed we generally had before. Besides the indigo was of an inferior quality to any we had made. The weather came round the fifth day, and now we make some floras and purples as before. We have made nigh four hundred vats, and I am afraid from the weather which set in today that we still should be able to make much more. The advice of a vessel for us was very agreeable. I sent the pilot to the bar yesterday to look out for him, but I am apprehensive that this gale of wind will make him keep in the offing.

“I never thought the Indian affair a serious one and am glad to find by your letter that it is less so than I imagined. The coming of the East Florida to take away our produce will be doing us a great service as I intend to ensure, I should be glad to know if she is to carry it straight to Carolina or only to St. Augustine. If her destination is determined I beg your pardon, Sir, for troubling you with this question, but you see it is on account of the insurance. Mrs. Turnbull presents her best congratulations to your Excellency and wishes you joy of your estate....”

James Grant Papers

Richard Oswald to James Grant

Auchincrue, November 7, 1770

. . .

Concerning Sir William Duncan and his massive investments in East Florida, Oswald writes: “He is the mildest, best-natured man in the world.” Oswald had a conversation with Duncan a few days previous, and Duncan he felt his affairs in East Florida “would all work out well in the end. I therefore most heartily wish Mr. Turnbull may continue to give some [good reports] to the project in the end, if it was only to dispel the cloud that has hung over the reputation of those concerned in this particular and uncommon adventure.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, November 10, 1770

“This goes by Mr. Fraser who I imagine takes this jaunt to settle a correspondent to furnish him with provisions. He came here with very little. I supplied him as long as I had any, but he is not well pleased now, I believe because I do not give him what I have not. He thought it hard that I did not let him have fifty pounds of flour a week when I had only one barrel left. I gave him ten which with one third hominy as I make my bread at present, I thought enough for his family a week. I give him as much corn meal and peas as he wants. He has not said anything to me, but when he gets his grog aboard he has murmured a little. I have never taken notice of this nor shall not, as you may easily imagine, Sir. I wish him well, and shall always assist him with anything I can spare. I thought proper, however, to acquaint your Excellency with it that if he should say anything in town about my not furnishing him with what he wanted, you might be apprised of the reasons.

“We make indigo still, three and four vats a day, but the weather does not let us get into the colors we had six months ago. I keep a sharp lookout for the vessel. Bisset has another bad fever on him. He is clearing in his swamp and wet himself very much. It threw a gout into his head with a fever of no good kind. This is the second time he has been marked with these disorders lately. He would fain be young.”

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, November 12, 1770

“My last letter acquainted you that Mr. Delaire was measuring our cultivated land, that I might send you plans of that and of our buildings. Two copies of these accompany this, they are in a box with some pieces of our Indigo. You see by the ground plan, that we have nine hundred and seventy acres cleared and cultivated. It appears from the manner it is laid down in, to be but a slip, being the front of one of the narrowest sides of our land, because of its being on a navigable River. I intend to carry on the clearing and cultivation in the same breadth, which is nigh seven miles, except when a bad piece of land comes in my way. I am sorry I have not a large plan of the two tracts to send you, but if you cast your eye on the small plan of them, which I left with you in London, you will see that the ground plan I now send you is of a part, or rather of a large half of the front of these two tracts on Hillsborough River. It is called in that plan Hummock Land, & is divided in some places by Savannahs and meadows running in the same paralel (sic) with the River. The whole of that front of Hummock, including its' Savannahs, makes about sixteen hundred acres of which we now have in cultivation the nine hundred acres and seventy I mentioned above.

“I have cut a canal thro' the Ridge on the river side, you see it in the ground plan almost a mile from this Town. This is to drain the meadows, and the lowest part of the Hummock. My intentions are to put this front of sixteen hundred acres into a state of plowing as soon as possible, that I may then remove half of our People to the east side of the Swamp, about a mile and a half to the west southerly from this hummock. You will see by the plan of the tracts, in your hands, that the large Swamp I speak of runs in the same direction with this River, which will be a great conveniency, as the Farmers on this side of it will not only be contiguous to the Settlements here, but be also in the same line with them, and divided by a pine barren with many savannahs, which will afford good pasture for the cattle of both settlements. When that line of Farms is compleated, another may be begun on the west side of the Swamp, which will be more convenient to them in one, for it is so wide that it will admit of two very well.

“The Drain in the Swamp, which must be wide enough for boats of ten ton's burden, will cut it lengthways, and be a boundary between the two lines of Farms. The other great Swamp two miles behind that, and westward from it, may be settled with Farms on the same plan. This seems to me to be the best disposition for these two Tracts. Perhaps no part of America admits of a more regular laying out, and convenient settling than this we are upon. Every new Range of Farms will be within the Reach of aid and support of another. The high lands of all of them will answer well for Indigos, the lower for Sugars, and the lowest for Rice, but as Sugars promise to be a more profitable culture than Rice, the making the drain a little deeper than for Rice will fit the lowest Lands for Sugar. I have taken much pains lately in examining the swamps nearest us, and find it a most promising soil, when I can get a traverse survey of it taken, I shall be better able to tell you what proportion the high lands must bear to the lower. It seems to me that about half of it will be fit for Indigo, the other half may be made fit for Sugars.

“These, Sir William, are the plans of cultivation I intend to pursue, if approved of. It may be expected that I should say something of the best and most expeditious method of carrying on these cultures. The People we have will in time settle the whole of what I mention, but it will be a long time. If you wish to have it done in fewer years, we must put more people on it, which might be begun in the autumn of the year 1772, by setting aside for this purpose, a fourth, fifth, or sixth of the amount of the yearly produce of this Settlement, this to be funded in London, and drawn for as wanted by an agent in Mahon, who would easily find a sufficient number of young People there to load a small vessel every autumn, he having orders to ship young People only, except when the young part of the family makes it advantageous to accept the aged also. These would probably be mostly Greeks and Foreigners. I mean not, however, that this having of more settlers supplied them from London direct, than purchasing what they want in America as I am obliged to do now, tho I know that I pay from thirty to fifty percent profit for many things I purchase for them, even more than that, for the greatest part of the goods sent to America are bought in England at one year's credit, which to American merchant is at least ten per cent more.

“I think it would be better that they were supplied by us at thirty per cent profit which would not only be a gain to us, to whom of right it belongs, but would do our People a service at the same time. They would be twenty percent at least in pocket by it, if we purchased for ready money. By this means we shall have sixty five percent [of the produce] of their labor for many years. One half of the produce of this labour or fifty in a hundred, is ours by agreement, which with fifteen on their fifty, the other half will make sixty five in the hundred. This seems not only to be worth our while attending to, but I think we ought to do them this service, that they may be supplied better and cheaper than they can be otherwise. If a third years bounty is granted, it will be time enough to begin this in 1772, as that money will amply supply us with every common wear and necessaries until that time, and perhaps longer. But if a third years bounty is not given, it may be begun next winter, and if any extraordinary Expence is incurred by this, or by any other charge which I cannot immediately answer, I shall be glad to pay eight percent, the interest of this country, til I can reimburse it.... But I would not be understood that I am impatient or pressing for more People. I am contented with these we have, and should not have proposed this, if you had not been particular in desiring me to acquaint you with my plan of cultivation. I have added a view of the advantages which might more speedily arise from an Increase of strength thrown into these tracts, which at present would be much more to our Interests, than settling others: one thousands pounds thrown into this, in the way I mentioned above, would render us more profit, than double that sum on a new settlement. I do not object, however, to the securing more Land in the Province....

“Delaire measured our cultivated land. Two copies of his survey are enclosed in a box with pieces of indigo. You can see that we have 970 acres cleared and cultivated”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, November 12, 1770

This is a fragment of what may have been a second letter written on November 12, 1770. In the letter, Turnbull proposed “a necessary step to be taken. I propose it only as a means of settling our tracts more speedily, that the proportion of Expence for each may be less, and that the value of our lands may be raised. We shall also reap more advantage from newcomers in proportion to their numbers than from those we have. When provisions, lodgings, and every thing convenient for them on their landing is provided, the Expences will be less, their health better, and their labour more than from those we brought before, who were obliged to set down in a desart, and to feed them with provisions purchased at a very dear rate. But to explain more particularly what I mean, in saying, that by throwing us of more settlers, the expence on the whole will be less in proportion on each. I think that we may yet set down people here for five pounds sterling each, eight or nine pounds more would be the cost of settling and maintaining them till the [produce] make us returns by their labour. This is not above a fourth of what those now with us cost. Our having lost the greatest part of them has more than doubled the Expences on these left, but as that loss was measured by circumstances, which, tho' they were unavoidable at that time, we may shun them in future, and consequently not subject ourselves to a like loss on any other adventure of this nature.

“That of our landing here in the sickly season of the year was the principal cause of all our Desarters (sic). Our long passages by sea would not have been much felt by us, if the consuming our provisions and the bringing on of a scorbutic Habit among our people had been the only consequence of these delays, but our misfortune was that we were thrown back in time, and obliged to land in the most sickly season which had been known in the province, so that we were attacked by those disorders of the season before we had recovered from the languor and low spiritedness of a scorbutic habit. This caused the great loss we had. Our better acquaintance in the seasons and climate will enable us to shun these inconveniences in future.

“If this proposal of bringing in of more people is approved of, I would be understood that it should not be begun ‘till the autumn of the year 1772, when the profits arising from this settlement will be more ascertained than at present, and the Expences of feeding a few more people will not be so much felt by us as now. I think that one thousand pounds laid out yearly in bringing people here is not only enough to begin with, but also to continue it for some time....”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, November 13, 1770

Turnbull reported that Lord Egmont wanted to establish a port of entry at his plantation on Amelia Island in the extreme north of the province. Turnbull, however, warned against establishing such an office at Mosquito Inlet. “Customs officers could be troublesome. I wouldn't permit contraband goods, but an idle set of people with nothing to do but meddle with others is something we don't need.” He feared they might draw tradesmen into “dissenting parties.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, December 3, 1770

When Mr. Delaire [a deputy surveyor] is at leisure another plan of the farmhouses and plantations, and of building timbers and other trees, which are intend for the River front of this land will be sent to Duncan.

Land near the settlement that is fit for planting is filled with large trees, but none of it produces lumber appropriate for building, thus Turnbull uses timber that must be cut and brought by water from twenty miles away. Cutting the trees and transporting them to the creek is very hard labor, and clearing the creek so it is navigable by boats of ten tons to load the timber is more hard labor.

On the geometrical plan the only planting done was a row of orange trees on each side of the road, set out twenty-five feet distant from one another each way. That way the trees have room for the branches to spread out so that breeze can pass through and also provide ornament and utility. The orange trees at all times provide a pleasing evergreen appearance, and have a cheerful and rich look when in flower and fruit. In time they will both shade the road and be conducive to good health for the settlers because the cooling juice of the fruit “is not only a wholesome acid to be used with the fish our People eat, but also one of the best remedies we have for the bilious disorder to which this country, with other hot countries, is subject.”

“Since the plan was sent to you I planted some Magnolia trees on each side of the great street which goes to the westward from the large middle wharfe (sic). [They are] planted in two rows, each 25 foot from the houses, with 40 foot clear between the rows, and 30 foot asunder in the line. I have also made 2 large ranges more of these trees, from North to South, beginning at the sides of the large middle wharfe on the banks of the River, these extend a half mile either way, and are at 30 foot distance from one another. I have gone no farther with them than to where this Town will probably extend. I think of extending these River Ranges to the side lines of the Tract, but not in magnolias, rather in mulberry trees, with some clumps of cedars, pines and other useful trees...”

Magnolia is used for ship building, pines and cedars for houses, mulberry is used for silk worms. Plantings the trees will also prove beneficial for the settlers and for the proprietors as “Moments of leisure and as a profit, useful, also for laborers relaxation from daily labor.”

Cold weather stopped the indigo making, but Turnbull was hopeful it would turn warm again as he still had enough weed to fill another forty vats.

Dundee City Archives

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

Smyrnéa, December 3, 1770

The schooner Active, John Hawkins, Master, arrived here on Saturday night after a passage of twenty days from Charlestown. He will be unloaded today. Mr. Gordon had sent him to Winyaw for corn but could not get any, therefore filled him up with a coarse Carolina flour, at 47 shillings currency a hundred, the best flour is at 80 shillings. It is fresh and good and will be of equal service with corn. He has also sent twenty seven barrels of rice instead of what you ordered all to fill up. He says this cargo nigh balances the account. I wrote for some west India rum, which is come by the Active. He sends me six hogsheads more of northward rum, which he did in consequence of your order, though he says you did not mention the quantity. This, however, is very apropos and is a two years stock with the five I ordered. I am now as easy as I can wish. I shall not want any of the articles he now sends for one year at least, if not more, and as for corn I think I have enough till another crop. We shall find room, however, for the supply from the second bounty, for which I shall be very thankful especially to you Sir.

John Gordon desires me to forward the enclosed for you. He tells me that it contains a letter from Mr. Arthur Gordon. I guess the contents from one I have from him though I never saw him, nor know anything of him, he desires my interest for his being attorney general. God help him if he has no other interest than mine. I have none that I know of, besides if I had he certainly would not imagine that I would solicit for anything under your government without having your leave and knowing that it was for a person you wished to have. Indeed, I think I could not even ask this question for I do not think it a fair one. I have answered Mr. Gordon this morning by the way of Charlestown and have wrote to this purpose that he may not trust to such a broken reed as my interest. Bisset, Mack, and Ross talk of going to town next week. Fraser brings down news of a Spanish war, as I have no letters from England, I cannot tell what credit to give to this. Mrs. Turnbull desires her respects to your Excellency....

James Grant Papers

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, December 10, 1770

Turnbull felt strongly that European migrants to Florida were inferior to indentured laborers from the Mediterranean. Irish and English laborers he felt were particularly unattractive compared to the people he imported, saying “I wouldn't trade one for ten. South Europeans are the most valuable for this climate. But to manage such the manager has to have language facility.” In contrast, he said about planters who purchased enslaved Africans, “they choose Negroes who are obliged at expense of Skin to learn the language of the overseers. Our own Negroes were not one penny advantage to us for three years, on the contrary a heavy expense partly caused by the manager.”

In Turnbull's estimation, Smyrnéa, with Mediterranean laborers, was better than the Negro settlements favored by Lord Egmont, Francis Levett, Patrick Tonyn, John Tucker, Richard Oswald, Peter Taylor, and Robert Bissett. At Smyrnéa “we are not only peopling the province with most useful subjects but also farming an Estate...which a solid and permanent establishment, while the Negro plantation neither peoples the country nor can be farmed....”

“Summer here has been hard on the eyes,” Turnbull wrote: “I now must wear spectacles.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Governor James Grant

St. Augustine, Tuesday at four o-clock in the afternoon [otherwise undated, probably December 1770]

“I desired Mr. Penman to acquaint you yesterday that [I had] some business in the city and a desire I had to see my son did not admit of my paying my respects to you before today when I hurried to your home on my return from the country, but did not find you at home. I was so desirous to see you that I desired the servant to acquaint you that I would call again tomorrow morning. I am the more solicitous to wait on you as I understand from Mr. Penman, that you think I am hurt by your recommendations of Mr. Moultrie. I beg, Sir, to assure you that I was hurt only by you having wrote that it was incompatible with the interest of the Smyrnea settlement, having had good reason to convince me soon after your leaving the province, that it would have been the reverse.

“As to the affair of the sloop I was obliged to acquaint my partners in England with my reason for not sending the indigo to London as they desired in a pressing manner. I was also then in distress for provisions and other necessaries from St. Augustine and would have given any freight for a vessel to bring to me what was intended to be sent by Bachop if he had not been cast away. That accident obliged me to go to St. Augustine, where there was not then even a boat to hire. In these distressing circumstances, I applied for the sloop, but was answered that I could not have her then nor afterwards. I pretended to no right nor do pretend to any, but asked this service as the greatest favor that could be done to me. More pressing letters and threats of protested bills if I did not send home the indigo drew from me a justification of myself, by acquainting my partners with the efforts I had made. I also meant to let Sir William Duncan see that he ought to have exerted himself in favor of our settlement in regard to the lieutenant governorship, which however, I never pointed at till experience convinced me that it would have been of advantage to the settlement and that I should be exposed to many losses, expenses, and inconveniences from its having gone into other hands. I will do myself the honor, Sir, to wait on you tomorrow morning. I am with the greatest respect....”

James Grant Papers

The Earl of Hillsborough to James Grant

Whitehall, December 11, 1770

“Your despatches No. 38 & 39 have been received and laid before the King & I am very glad to find you have so good hopes that the improvement of the important colony under your government will not be impeded by any real difficulty attending the navigation into its ports.

“I am very sensible of the advantage which the public may derive from the success of Dr. Turnbull's Settlement at New Smyrnea, but as the £2000 which His Majesty was most graciously pleased to grant for that purpose upon a former application from you, was at the time declared to be in consideration of the then distress of that colony and by no means intended to encourage any expectation of a further bounty. I cannot take upon me to authorize any further expence to the public on that account. I will, however, transmit your letter to the Lords of the Treasury and shall be very glad if it shall have the effect to obtain some further bounty in support of so meritorious an undertaking.

. . .

Colonial Office Papers (C.O. 5/550)

William Forbes to Andrew Turnbull

Mount Oswald, December 18, 1770

William Forbes was the sugar planter and plantation manager from Jamaica that Turnbull hired to work at Smyrnéa. Forbes wrote that he went to John Moultrie's plantation on Timoka River, the site of the “only canes I saw in the province.” Moultrie's fields appeared poorly cared for. The black driver owned by Moultrie told Forbes that the sugar fields had never been cleared. Moultrie was not at the plantation when Forbes visited, and no other white person was there at the time.

Later, Forbes saw sugar cane being grown elsewhere, but also poorly cared for and in need of weeding despite the fact that he found “extraordinary good cane among them.” Trees shaded them, but he found thirty-four cane stocks in each of several hills measuring 7 feet long, all capable of making sugar which is more than he remembered seeing in Jamaica.

Forbes volunteered to make sugar and rum for Moultrie, but his estate was without a mill to grind the cane. Improvising, he found three small rollers of ten-inch diameter, along with some iron pots, and conducted three experiments. “I had to guess at the amount of lime juice to add. Still, from ten gallons of juice I made seven pounds weight sugar, although it had a little black in it. On the second experiment, from seventeen gallons I made seven and one-half weight of superior quality to the first batch. The third batch, from sixteen gallons again, made seven and one-half weight... of ‘good' quality.”

Forbes worried that frost might come too early in Florida and may hurt sugar making. He was aware that James Penman's sugar had been killed by frost, but that it had not hurt the stalks of the cane. Forbes told Turnbull that if he was to be given permission he (Forbes) would stay in Florida over the winter and watch the change of seasons, but he predicted that spring would be the best time to plant canes. And it was his opinion that planting cane on drained swamp and marsh would produce abundant and high quality sugar. At Richard Oswald's Mount Oswald Plantation at Timoka River, called the Swamp Settlement, the canes rooted in three weeks.

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnéa, December [no date given] 1770

Turnbull informed his partner that the indigo yield was only half of what he had expected for 1770, but that it was of superior quality. “I have been experimenting with steeping, beating, and liming, and now know the right way to make indigo dye. The lack of drying houses hurt us some.”

“I sent two samples of sugar along with the last letter. Rum here is as good as that made in Jamaica. Mr. Forbes, maker of rum says it is fine. I enclose his letter to you. He is back at Smyrnéa and is still enthused about prospects for sugar and rum in East Florida.”

Dundee City Archive

Andrew Turnbull to Sir William Duncan

Smyrnea, January 9, 1771

Turnbull was supervising preparation of fields for planting indigo for the coming year, and providing timber for an additional eight sets of vats and between two and three hundred acres more for planting indigo seed.

Crop invoice:
#1 First Flora 224 pds 9.6 £106.8
2nd Flora 340 9 153
Third Flora 59 8 25.1.6
#2 fine purple 579 8 228
#3 2nd purple 458 7 160
3d purple 48 6 74.8
#4 Purple/soft
Blues 317 5 79.5
Moot Purple 33 5 8.5
Fine coppers
& some good
purples 71 4.6 15.9
2320 £850.12.6

Dundee City Archive