« PreviousContinue »
lations of that kind ; and were always afterwards harassed by all means whatsoever, several instances of which will appear to the reader in the sequel.
Our late retreat from that confinement, to a land of liberty, puts it in our power to speak the truth; and though our endeavors are too late to relieve the dead, the dying, and those many now dispersed in all the corners of bis Majesty's dominions, yet they may be the means of ushering in sympathy and assistance to the survivors, and to multitudes of widows and orphans of the deceased, from the humane and generous.
As our sole design is to give a plain narrative of the establishment and progress of the colony of Georgia, from its rise to its present period, we shall court no other ornaments than those of truth and perspicuity, and shall endeavor to carry the reader's attention regularly, from the first to the last motions we make mention of.
In the year 1732, his Majesty was pleased to erect, by bis royal charter, into a separate province, distinct from South Carolina, that space of land lying between the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, under the name of Georgia.
As this gracious charter is the basis and foundation of all the transactions relating to this province, which have so much amused and perplexed the world, and which our endeavor is to set in a true light, we cannot dispense with inserting the charter at large, which we are confident, for many reasons, will be acceptable to the reader.
“ GEORGE THE SECOND, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas we are credibly informed, that many of our poor subjects are, through misfortunes and want of employment, reduced to great necessity, insomuch as by their labor they are not able to provide a maintenance for themselves and families; and if they had means to defray their charges of passage, and other expenses incident to new settlements, they would be glad to settle in any of our provinces in America ; where, by cultivating the lands at present waste and desolate, they might not only gain a comfortable subsistence for themselves and families, but also strengthen our colonies, and increase the trade, navigation, and wealth of these our realms. And whereas our provinces in North America have been fre
quently ravaged by Indian enemies; more especially that of South Carolina, which in the late war, by the neighboring savages, was laid waste by fire and sword, and great numbers of the English inhabitants miserably massacred; and our living subjects who now inhabit there, by reason of the smallness of their numbers, will, in case of a new war, be exposed to the late calamities ; inasmuch as their whole southern frontier continueth unsettled, and lieth open to the said savages; and whereas we think it highly becoming our Crown and royal dignity, to protect all our loving subjects, be they never so distant from us; to extend our fatherly compassion even to the meanest and most infatuate of our people, and to relieve the wants of our above mentioned poor subjects; and that it will be highly conducive for accomplishing those ends, that a regular colony of the said poor people be settled and established in the southern territories of Carolina ; and whereas we have been well assured, that if we would be graciously pleased to erect and settle a corporation, for the receiving, managing and disposing of the contributions of our loving subjects; divers persons would be induced to contribute to the purposes aforesaid. Know ye therefore, that we have, for the consideration aforesaid, and for the better and more orderly carrying on the said good purposes, of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, willed, ordained, constituted and appointed, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do will, ordain, constitute, declare and grant, that our right trusty and well beloved John Lord Viscount Purcival, of our Kingdom of Ireland, our trusty and well beloved Edward Digby, George Carpenter, James Oglethorpe, George Heathcote, Thomas Tower, Robert Moor, Robert Hucks, Roger Holland, William Sloper, Francis Eyles, John Laroche, James Vernon, William Beleiha, Esqrs., A. M., John Burton, B. D., Richard Bundy, A. M., Arthur Beaford, A. M., Samuel Smith, A. M., Adam Anderson, and Thomas Coram, gentlemen, and such other persons as shall be elected in the manner herein after mentioned, and their successors to be elected in the manner herein after directed, be, and shall be one body politic and corporate, in deed and in name, by the name of The Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America; and them and their successors by the same name, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, really and fully make, ordain, constitute and declare, to be one body politic in deed and in name forever ; and that by the same name, they and their successors, shall and may have perpetual succession, and that they and their successors, by that name, shall and may forever hereafter, be persons able and capable in the law, to purchase, have, take, receive and enjoy, to them and their successors, any manors, messuages, lands, tenements, rents, advowsons, liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, franchises, and other hereditaments wbatsoever, lying and being in Great Britain, or any part thereof, of whatsoever nature, kind or quality, or value they be, in fee and in perpetuity ; not exceeding the yearly value of one thousand pounds, beyond reprises; also estates for lives and for years ; and all other manner of goods, chattels and things whatsoever they be; for the better settling and supporting, and maintaining the said colony, and other uses aforesaid ; and to give, grant, let and demise the said manors, messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels and things whatsoever aforesaid, by lease or leases, for term of years, in possession at the time of granting thereof, and not in reversion, not exceeding the term of thirty-one years, from the time of granting thereof; on which in case no fine be taken, shall be reserved the full ; and in case a fine be taken, shall be reserved at least a moiety of the value that the same shall reasonably and bona fide, be worth at the time of such demise; and that they and their successors, by the name aforesaid, shall and may forever hereafter, be persons able, capable in the law, to purchase, have, take, receive and enjoy, to them and their successors, any lands, territories, possessions, tenements, jurisdictions, franchises and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being in America, of what quantity, quality or value whatsoever they be, for the better settling and supporting, and maintaining the said colony; and that by the name aforesaid they shall and may be able to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended in all courts and places whatsoever, and before whatsoever judges, justices and other officers, of us, our heirs and successors, in all and singular actions, plaints, pleas, matters, suits and demands, of what kind, nature or quality soever they be; and to act and do all other matters and things in as ample manner and form as any other our liege subjects of this realm of Great Britain, and that they and their successors forever hereafter, shall and may have a common seal
to serve, for the causes and businesses of them and their successors; and that it shall and may be lawful for them and their successors, to change, break, alter and make new the said seal, from time to time and at their pleasure, as they shall think best. And we do further grant, for us, our heirs and successors, that the said corporation and the common council of the said corporation hereinafter by us appointed, may from time to time, and at all times, meet about their affairs when and where they please, and transact and carry on the business of the said corporation. And for the better execution of the purposes aforesaid, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant to the said corporation, and their successors, that they and their successors forever, may upon the third Thursday in the month of March yearly, meet at some convenient place to be appointed by the said corporation, or major part of them who shall be present at any meeting of the said corporation, to be had for the appointing of the said place; and that they or two thirds of such of them that shall be present at such yearly meeting, and at no other meeting of the said corporation, between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon of the same day, choose and elect such person or persons to be members of the said corporation, as they shall think beneficial to the good designs of the said corporation. And our further will and pleasure is, that if it shall happen that any person hereinafter by us appointed, as the common council of the said corporation, or any persons to be elected or admitted members of the said common council in the manner hereafter directed, shall die, or shall by writing under his and their hands respectively resign his or their office or offices of common council man or common council men; the said corporation, or the major part of such of them as shall be present, shall and may at such meeting, on the said third Thursday in March yearly, in manner as aforesaid, next after such death or resignation, and at no other meeting of the said corporation, into the room or place of such person or persons so dead or so resigning, elect and choose one or more such person or persons, being members of the said corporation, as to them shall seem meet: and our will is, that all and every the person or persons which shall from time to time hereafter be elected common council men of the said corporation as aforesaid, do and shall, before he or they act as common coun
cil men of the said corporation, take an oath for the faithful and due execution of their office; which oath the president of the said corporation for the time being, is hereby authorized and required to administer to such person or persons elected as aforesaid. And our will and pleasure is, that the first president of the said corporation is and shall be our trusty and well-beloved, the said John Lord Viscount Purcival; and that the said president shall, within thirty days after the passing this charter, cause a summons to be issued to the several members of the said corporation herein particularly named, to meet at such time and place as he shall appoint, to consult about and transact the businesses of the said corporation. And our will and pleasure is, and we, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, grant, ordain and direct, that the common council of this corporation shall consist of fifteen in number; and we do, by these presents, nominate, constitute and appoint our right trusty and wellbeloved John Lord Viscount Purcival, our trusty and beloved Edward Digby, George Carpenter, James Oglethorpe, George Heathcote, Thomas Laroche, James Vernon, William Beletha, Esqrs., and Stephen Hales, Master of Arts, to be the common council of the said corporation, to continue in the said office during their good behavior. And whereas it is our royal intention, that the members of the said corporation should be increased by election, as soon as conveniently may be, to a greater number than is hereby nominated; Our further will and pleasure is, and we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors, ordain and direct, that from the time of such increase of the members of the said corporation, the number of the common council shall be increased to twenty-four; and that the same assembly at which such additional members of the said corporation shall be chosen, there shall likewise be elected, in the manner herein before directed for the election of common council men, nine persons to be the said common council men, and to make up the number twenty-four. And our further will and pleasure is, that our trusty and well-beloved Edward Digby, Esq., shall be the first chairman of the common council of the said corporation ; and that the said Lord Viscount Purcival shall be and continue president of the said corporation; and that the said Edward Digby shall be and continue chairman of the common council of the said corporation, respectively,