Province of Georgia
Map of the Province of Georgia, 1732–1777
|Status||Colony (Kingdom of Great Britain)|
|Common languages||English, Mikasuki, Cherokee, Muscogee, Shawnee, Yuchi|
|Religion||Church of England (Anglicanism)|
|James Oglethorpe (first)|
|James Wright (last)|
|Legislature||Commons House of Assembly (lower)|
General Assembly (upper)
|Historical era||Colonial Era|
|Today part of|
The Province of Georgia(also Georgia Colony) was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original American colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States. In the original grant, a narrow strip of the province extended to the Pacific Ocean.
The colony's corporate charterwas granted to General James Oglethorpe on April 21, 1732, by George II, for whom the colony was named. The charter was finalized by the King's privy council on June 9, 1732.
Oglethorpe envisioned a colony which would serve as a haven for English subjects who had been imprisoned for debt. General Oglethorpe imposed very strict laws that many colonists disagreed with, such as the banning of alcoholic beverages.He disagreed with slavery and thought a system of smallholdings more appropriate than the large plantations common in the colonies just to the north. However, land grants were not as large as most colonists would have preferred. Oglethorpe envisioned the province as a location for the resettlement of English debtors and "the worthy poor."
Another reason for the founding of the colony was as a buffer state and a "garrison province" which would defend the southern British colonies from Spanish Florida. Oglethorpe imagined a province populated by "sturdy farmers" who could guard the border; because of this, the colony's charter prohibited slavery.The ban on slavery was lifted by 1751 and the colony became a royal colony by 1752.
Although many believe that the colony was formed for the imprisoned, the colony was actually formed as a place of no slavery and respect to Native Americans. Oglethorpe did have the vision to make it a place for debtors, but it transformed into a royal colony. The following is an historical accounting of these first English settlers sent to Georgia:
A committee was appointed to visit the jails and obtain the discharge of such poor prisoners as were worthy, carefully investigating character, circumstances and antecedents.
Thirty-five families, numbering one hundred and twenty persons, were selected.
On the 16th of November, 1732, the emigrants embarked at Gravesend on the ship Anne ... arriving January 13th  in the harbor of Charleston, S. C. ...
They set sail the day following ... into Port Royal, some eighty miles southward, to be conveyed in small vessels to the river Savannah.
Oglethorpe continued up the river to scout a location suitable for settlement. On February 12, 1733, Oglethorpe led the settlers to their arrival at Yamacraw Bluff, in what is now the city of Savannah, and established a camp with the help of a local elderly Creek chief, Tomochichi. A Yamacraw Indian village had occupied the site, but Oglethorpe arranged for the Indians to move. The day is still celebrated as Georgia Day.
The original charter specified the colony as being between the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers, up to their headwaters (the headwaters of the Altamaha are on the Ocmulgee River), and then extending westward "to the south seas." The area within the charter had previously been part of the original grant of the Province of Carolina, which was closely linked to Georgia.
The Privy Council approved the establishment charter on June 9, 1732, and for the next two decades the council of trustees governed the province, with the aid of annual subsidies from Parliament. However, after many difficulties and the departure of Oglethorpe, the trustees proved unable to manage the proprietary colony, and on June 23, 1752, they submitted a deed of reconveyance to the crown, one year before the expiration of the charter. On January 2, 1755, Georgia officially ceased to be a proprietary colony and became a crown colony.
From 1732 until 1758, the minor civil divisions were districts and towns. In 1758, without Indian permission, the Province of Georgia was divided into eight parishes by the Act of the Assembly of Georgia on March 15. The Town and District of Savannah was named Christ Church Parish. The District of Abercorn and Goshen, plus the District of Ebenezer, was named the Parish of St. Matthew. The District of Halifax was named the Parish of St. George. The District of Augusta was named the Parish of St. Paul. The Town of Hardwick and the District of Ogeechee, including the island of Ossabaw, was named the Parish of St. Philip. From Sunbury in the District of Midway and Newport to the south branch of Newport, including the islands of St. Catherine and Bermuda, was named the Parish of St. John. The Town and District of Darien, to the Altamaha River, including the islands of Sapelo and Eastwood and the sea islands north of Egg Island, was named the Parish of St. Andrew. The Town and District of Frederica, including the islands of Great and Little St. Simons, along with the adjacent islands, was named the Parish of St. James.
Following Britain's victory in the French and Indian War, King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763. One of its provisions was to extend Georgia's southern boundary from the Altamaha River to the St. Marys River. Two years later, on March 25, 1765, Governor James Wright approved an act of the General Assembly creating four new parishes –St. David, St. Patrick, St. Thomas, and St. Mary –in the recently acquired land, and it further assigned Jekyll Island to St. James Parish.
The Georgia colony had had a sluggish beginning. James Oglethorpe did not allow liquor, and colonists who came at the trustees' expense were not allowed to own more than 50 acres (0.20 km2) of land for their farm in addition to a 60 foot by 90 foot plot in town. Those who paid their own way could bring ten indentured servants and would receive 500 acres of land. Additional land could neither be acquired nor sold. Discontent grew in the colony because of these restrictions, and Oglethorpe lifted them. With slavery, liquor, and land acquisition the colony developed much faster. Slavery had been permitted from 1749. There was some internal opposition to slavery, particularly from Scottish settlers, but by the time of the War of Independence, Georgia was much like the other Southern colonies.
During the American Revolution Georgia's population was at first divided about exactly how to respond to revolutionary activities and heightened tensions in other provinces. When violence broke out in 1775, radical Patriots (also known as Whigs) stormed the royal magazine at Savannah and carried off its ammunition, took control of the provincial government, and drove many Loyalists out of the province. In 1776 a provincial congress had declared independence and created a constitution for the new state. Georgia also served as the staging ground for several important raids into British-controlled Florida.
In 1777 the original eight counties of the state of Georgia were created. Prior to that Georgia had been divided into local government units called parishes. Settlement had been limited to the near vicinity of the Savannah River; the western area of the new state remained under the control of the Creek Indian Confederation.
James Wright, the last Royal Governor of the Province of Georgia, dismissed the royal assembly in 1775. He was briefly a prisoner of the revolutionaries before escaping to a British warship in February 1776. During the American Revolutionary War Wright would become the only royal governor of the Thirteen Colonies to regain control of part of his colony after British forces captured Savannah on December 29, 1778. British and Loyalist forces restored large areas of Georgia to colonial rule, especially along the coast, while Patriots continued to maintain an independent governor, congress, and militia in other areas. In 1779 the British repelled an attack of militia, Continental Army, and French military and naval forces on Savannah. The 1781 siege of Augusta, by militia and Continental forces, restored it to Patriot control. When the war was lost for Britain, Wright and British forces evacuated Savannah on July 11, 1782. After that the Province of Georgia ceased to exist as a British colony.
Georgia was a member of the Second Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the tenth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778,and the fourth state to be admitted to the Union under the U.S. Constitution, on January 2, 1788.
On April 24, 1802, Georgia ceded to the U.S. Congress parts of its western lands, that it had claims for going back to when it was a province (colony). These lands were incorporated into the Mississippi Territory and later (with other adjoining lands) became the states of Alabama and Mississippi.
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State of Georgia
The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.
This section of the timeline of United States history concerns events from before the lead up to the American Revolution.
The Southern Colonies within British America consisted of the Province of Maryland, the Colony of Virginia, the Province of Carolina and the Province of Georgia. In 1763, the newly created colonies of East Florida and West Florida would be added to the Southern Colonies by Great Britain until 1783 when the Spanish Empire took back Florida. These colonies would become the historical core of what would become the Southern United States, or "Dixie".
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S. state of Maryland. Its first settlement and capital was St. Mary's City, in the southern end of St. Mary's County, which is a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay and is also bordered by four tidal rivers.
The Province of Carolina was an English and later a British colony of North America. Carolina was founded in what is present-day North Carolina. Carolina expanded south and, at its greatest extent, nominally included the present-day states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, and parts of modern Florida and Louisiana.
The Battle of Bloody Marsh was a battle that took place on July 7, 1742, between Spanish and British forces on St. Simons Island, part of the Province of Georgia, resulting in a victory for the British. Part of a much larger conflict, the War of Jenkins' Ear, the battle was for the British fortifications of Fort Frederica and Fort St. Simons, with the strategic goal the sea routes and inland waters they controlled. With the victory, the Province of Georgia established undisputed claim to the island. It is now part of the U.S. state of Georgia. The British also won the Battle of Gully Hole Creek, which took place on the island the same day.
British America included the British Empire's colonial territories in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. After that, the term British North America described the remainder of Great Britain's continental American possessions. That term was used informally in 1783 by the end of the American Revolution, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), called the Durham Report.
Slavery in Georgia is known to have been practiced by the original or earliest-known inhabitants of the future colony and state of Georgia, for centuries prior to European colonization. During the colonial era, the practice of Indian slavery in Georgia soon became surpassed by industrial-scale plantation slavery.
Fort King George State Historic Site is a fort located in the U.S. state of Georgia in McIntosh County, adjacent to Darien. The fort was built in 1721 along what is now known as the Darien River and served as the southernmost outpost of the British Empire in the Americas until 1727. The fort was constructed in what was then considered part of the colony of South Carolina, but was territory later settled as Georgia. It was part of a defensive line intended to encourage settlement along the colony's southern frontier, from the Savannah River to the Altamaha River. Great Britain, France, and Spain were competing to control the American Southeast, especially the Savannah-Altamaha River region.
The city of Savannah, Georgia, the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, Georgia, was established in 1733 and was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia. It is known as Georgia's first planned city and attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city's architecture and historic structures such as the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First African Baptist Church, Congregation Mickve Israel, and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex. Today, Savannah's downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.
The Wormsloe Historic Site, informally known as Wormsloe Plantation, is a state historic site near Savannah, Georgia, in the southeastern United States. The site consists of 822 acres (3.33 km2) protecting part of what was once the Wormsloe Plantation, a large estate established by one of Georgia's colonial founders, Noble Jones. The site includes a picturesque 1.5 miles (2.4 km) oak avenue, the ruins of Jones' fortified house built of tabby, a museum, and a demonstration area interpreting colonial daily life.
Trustee Georgia is the name of the period covering the first twenty years of Georgia history, from 1732–1752, because during that time the English Province of Georgia was governed by a Board of Trustees. England's King George II, for whom the colony was named, signed a charter establishing the colony and creating its governing board on July 7, 1732. His action culminated a lengthy process. Tomochichi was a Native American that resides along the savannah river that allowed Oglethorpe to settle on the Yamacraw Bluff.
Lachlan McIntosh was a Scottish American military and political leader during the American Revolution and the early United States. In a 1777 duel, he fatally shot Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America, or simply the Georgia Trustees, was organized by James Edward Oglethorpe and associates following Parliamentary investigations into prison conditions in Britain. The organization petitioned for a royal charter in July, 1731, which was signed by George II in April, 1732. After passing through government ministries, the charter reached the Trustees in June, 1732. Oglethorpe personally led the first group of colonist to the New World colony, departing England on November, 1732 and arriving at the site of present-day Savannah, Georgia on February 12, 1733 O.S. The founding of Georgia is celebrated on February 1, 1733 N.S., the date corresponding to the modern Gregorian calendar adopted after the establishment of the colony.
James Edward Oglethorpe founded the Georgia Colony, and the town of Savannah, on February 12, 1733. The new Georgia colony was authorized under a grant from George II to a group constituted by Oglethorpe as the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America, or simply the Georgia Trustees. The new colony was bounded by the Savannah River on the north and the Altamaha River to the south, while the western boundary reached almost to the Mississippi River and lands claimed by France as part of Louisiana. Not until 1763 did the French formally cede this territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain, but Spain still claimed a considerable portion of it. Much of the territory ultimately became American in 1795, when the United States resolved its West Florida boundary dispute with Spain.
James Edward Oglethorpe was a British soldier, Member of Parliament, and philanthropist, as well as the founder of the colony of Georgia. As a social reformer, he hoped to resettle Britain's worthy poor in the New World, initially focusing on those in debtors' prisons.
Fort St. Andrews was a British colonial coastal fortification built on Cumberland Island, Georgia, in 1736. The fort was built by the British as part of a buffer against Spanish Florida and the colonies to the north. The fort was abandoned and later destroyed by the Spanish in mid-1742.
Lebanon Plantation is a state historic site near Savannah, Georgia, in the southeastern United States. The address is 5745 Ogeechee Rd, Savannah. The site is over 500 acres (2.0 km2) consisting of a large estate granted to James Deveaux in 1756, and was named for the many cedar trees on the property. An additional 500 acres were granted to Phillip Delegal in 1758 and eventually became part of the plantation. The site was purchased by Joseph Habersham in 1802. Habersham sold it in 1804 to George W. Anderson who built the main house that was rebuilt and added on to after the American Civil War. Anderson's son, George Wayne Anderson, JR Commanded Fort McAllister in the Civil War, and after the fort fell, Lebanon became his prison and the headquarters of the Fifteenth Army Corps of the US Army.
All which lands, countries, territories and premises, hereby granted or mentioned, and intended to be granted, we do by these presents, make, erect and create one independent and separate province, by the name of Georgia, by which name we will, the same henceforth be called.
...[from] the Savannah [to] the Altamaha sic, and westerly from the heads of the said rivers respectively, in direct lines to the south seas.
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