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itants; and that by giving them a power to alien their lands, the colony would soon be too like its neighbors, void of white inhabitants, filled with blacks, and reduced to be the precarious property of a few, equally exposed to domestic treachery, and foreign invasion ; and therefore the trustees cannot be supposed to be in any disposition of granting this request; and if they have not before this signified their dislike of it, this delay is to be imputed to no other motives, but the hopes they had conceived, that time and experience would bring the complainants to a better mind. And the trustees readily join issue with them in their appeal to posterity, who shall judge between them, who were their best friends; those, who endeavored to preserve for them a property in their lands, by tying up the hands of their unthrifty progenitors; or they, who wanted a power to mortgage or alien them. Who were the best friends of the colony, those who with great labor and cost had endeavored to form a colony of his majesty's subjects, and persecuted protestants from other parts of Europe, had placed them on a fruitful soil, and strove to secure them in their possessions, by those arts which naturally tend to keep the colony full of useful and industrious people, capable both to cultivate and defend it; or those, who, to gratify the greedy and ambitious views of a few negro merchants, would put it into their power to become sole owners of the province, by introducing their baneful commodity; which, it is well known by sad experience, has brought our neighbor colonies to the brink of ruin, by driving out their white inhabitants, who were their glory and strength, to make room for black, who are now become the terror of their unadvised masters. “Signed by order of the trustees,
this 20th day of June, 1739.
“ BENJ. MARTYN, Secretary.”
We shall not in this place detain the reader, to show the absurdity and insufficiency of the reasons made use of in the above paper, or how improperly it is called an answer to the representation ; but refer them to the whole tenor of this narrative. With this paper came over new commissions for magistrates, viz. Messrs. Thomas Christie, first, John Falfowfield, second, and Thomas Jones, third, bailiffs, and Mr. William Williamson, recorder. And, as if the inhabitants
had not been sufficiently punished before, by the arbitrary government of Causton, the two offices of store-keeper and magistrate were again joined in one person, which infallibly renders him (whoever he is) absolute in Savannah ; and indeed, if the miseries and hardships of the people could have received any addition, they must have done so from the person appointed to execute those offices, namely, Mr. Thomas Jones, third bailiff, as before mentioned, who surpassed Mr. Causton in every thing that was bad, without having any one of his good qualifications; and that he might the more easily govern at pleasure, Mr. Oglethorpe thought proper to supersede the commissions of Messrs. Thomas Christie and William Williamson, and continued Mr. Henry Parker as first magistrate, being sure he was a person that would always be in the interest of whoever was store-keeper, and having no other magistrate to cope with but Mr. Fallowfield, they were certain of overruling him, though his sentiments were never so just; and when the General heard that some people justly complained, that the trustees' commissions were of none effect, he threatened an armed force if they refused to comply.
William Stephens, Esq.; Messrs. Thomas Christie and Thomas Jones, were likewise appointed to inspect into Causton's accounts; but Christie was altogether rejected by the other two; nor did they ever do any thing to the purpose; indeed, Jones would sometimes hector and domineer over Causton, in as haughty a manner as ever he had formerly done over the meanest person in Savannah.
Although the trustees say in their answer to the representation, that they should think themselves very unfit for the trust reposed in them, should they by an irrational attempt alter the entail of lands; yet not one month after we had received the aforesaid answer, over comes the following pa
“ The Resolutions of the Trustees for establishing the Colo
ny of Georgia, in America, in Common Council assembled this 28th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1739; relating to the grants and tenure of lands within the said Colony.
“ Whereas the common council of the said trustees, as
sembled for that purpose, in the name of the corporation of the said trustees, and under their common seal, have, in pursuance of his majesty's most gracious letters patent, and in execution of the trusts thereby reposed in them, granted and conveyed divers portions of the lands, tenements and hereditaments in the said letters patent mentioned, to many of his majesty's loving subjects, natural born, and denizens, and others willing to become his subjects, and to live under allegiance to his majesty in the said colony, to hold to them respectively, and to the heirs male of their respective bodies, lawfully begotten, or to be begotten, under the several rents, reservations, conditions and provisos therein contained ; and whereas it hath been represented to the said trustees, that many of the persons to whom such grants have been made, have no issue male of their respective bodies, and that an alteration in the grants and tenure of the said lands, upon failure of such issue, and likewise a known certain provision for the widows of tenants in tail male, would not only encourage all such persons cheerfully to go on with their several improvements, but also be an inducement and means of inviting divers other persons to resort to, and settle in the said colony, and greatly tend to the cultivation of the lands, the increase of the people, and the defence, strength and security of the said colony; which the said trustees most earnestly desire to promote, as far as in them lies: It is therefore this day unanimously resolved by the common council of the said corporation, assembled for that purpose, that the grants of lands or tenements within the said colony · heretofore made and hereafter to be made by the said trustees to any person or persons whatsoever, shall be altered, made and established in manner and form following; that is to say, that
“ If tenant in tail male of lands or tenements in the said colony, not having done or suffered any act, matter or thing, whereby his estate therein may be forfeited or determined, shall happen to die, leaving a widow and one or more child or children; that then, and in such case, the widow of such tenant shall hold and enjoy the dwelling-house and garden (if any such there be) and one moiety of such lands and tenements for and during the term of her life; the said moiety to be set out and divided, in case the parties interested therein do not agree within the space of three months,
by the magistrates of the town-court in Georgia nearest thereunto, or any one of them. And in case such division be made by one of such magistrates only, then any person or persons finding him, her or themselves aggrieved thereby, may, within the space of three months, appeal to the other three magistrates of the said town-court, whose determination thereof shall be final. And if such tenant shall happen to die, leaving only a widow, and no child or children, then that such widow shall hold and enjoy the said dwelling. house, garden, and all such lands and tenements, for and during the term of her life. And in case the widow of any such tenant, whether he die without issue by her or not, shall marry again after his decease, then such person to whom she shall be so married, shall. within the space of twelve months after such marriage, give security to the said trustees, and their successors, whether personal or otherwise, agreeable to such instructions as shall be given by the common council of the said trustees, for maintaining and keeping in repair, during such marriage, the said dwelling-house, garden, and other the premises to which she shall be so entitled in right of her former husband: and if such security shall not be given in manner aforesaid, within the space
of twelve months after such marriage, that then, and in such case, the provision hereby made, or intended to be made for the benefit of such widow, shall cease, determine and be absolutely void, to all intents and purposes; and the said dwelling-house and garden, and all and singular the premises, shall be and enure to such child or children or to such other person or persons, who would be entitled to the same, in case the said widow was naturally dead.
“ And if tenant in tail male of lands or tenements in the said colony, not having done or suffered any act, matter or thing, whereby his or her estate therein may be forfeited or determined, shall happen to die, leaving one or more daughter, or daughters, and no issue male; then that such lands and tenements, if not exceeding eighty acres, shall be holden in tail male by any one of the daughters of such tenant; and if exceeding eighty acres, by any one or more of the daughters of such tenant in tail male, as such tenant shall by his or her last will and testament in writing, duly executed in the presence of three or more credible witnesses, direct and appoint; and in default of such direction or appointment, then
that such lands and tenements shall be holden in tail male by the eldest of such daughters; and in default of issue male and female, either born in the life-time of such tenant in tail male, or within nine months after his decease, then that such lands and tenements, if not exceeding eighty acres, shall be holden in tail male by any one such person; and if exceeding eighty acres, by any one or more such person or persons, as such tenant in tail male by his or her last will and testament, in writings executed as aforesaid, shall direct and appoint, and in default of such direction or appointment, then that such lands and tenements shall be holden in tail male by the heir at law of such tenant; subject nevertheless, in all and every the said cases, to such right of the widow (if any) as aforesaid ; provided that such daughter or daughters, and all and every such person or persons so entitled to hold and enjoy any such lands and tenements, do within the space of twelve months after the death of such tenant, personally appear, if residing in America, and claim the same in any of the town-courts in Georgia; and if residing out of America, then within the space of eighteen months next after the death of such tenant. And provided also, that no devise or appointment shall be made by any such tenant of lands exceeding eighty acres, in any lesser or smaller portion or parcel than fifty acres to any one daughter, or other person. And that no daughter, or other person shall be capable of enjoying any devise, which may thereby increase his or her former possession of lands within the said colony, to more than five hundred acres; but such devise to be void, and the lands thereby given, to descend in such manner as if no such devise had been made. And in default of such appearance and claim, as aforesaid, that all and singular the said lands and tenements shall be and remain to the said trustees, and their successors for ever. Provided also, that all and every such estates hereby created or intended to be created, shall be subject and liable to the several rents, reservations, provisos and conditions, as in the original grants thereof are particularly mentioned and contained; save and except so much thereof as is hereby altered, or intended to be altered, in case of failure of issue male, and the provision hereby made or intended to be made for widows.
“And that in every grant hereafter to be made by the said trustees or their successors, of any lands or tenements