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in the said colony, all and every grantee therein named, not doing or suffering any act, matter or thing whereby his or her estate therein may be forfeited or determined, shall have good right, full power, and lawful authority to give and devise the same by his or her last will and testament in writing, duly executed in the presence of three or more credible witnesses, in manner and form following ; that is to say, every grantee of lands not exceeding eighty acres, to any one son or any one daughter in tail male; and every grantee of lands exceeding eighty acres, the whole, or any part thereof, but not in lesser lots or portions than fifty acres to any one devisee, to his or her son or sons, daughter or daughters in tail male; and in default of such devise as aforesaid, then that such lands and tenements shall descend to the eldest son in tail male ; and in default of issue male, to the eldest daughter in tail male; and in default of issue male and female, then that such lands and tenements shall be holden in tail male, if not exceeding eighty acres, by any one such person; and if exceeding eighty acres, by any one or more such person or persons, but not in any smaller lot or portion than fifty acres to any one person as such grantee shall by bis or her last will and testament in writing, executed as aforesaid, 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 grantee; subject nevertheless to such right of the widow (if any) as aforesaid, provided always, that no son, daughter or other person shall be capable of enjoying any devise which may thereby increase his or her former possession of land 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. Provided also, that such son or sons, daughter or daughters, and all and every such person or persons entitled to hold and enjoy any such lands and tenements, do within the space of twelve months after the death of such grantee, or of those under whom they claim, 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 such death; and in de. fault 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 forever. And provided also, that all and every such estates shall be subject and liable to the like rents, reservations, provisos and conditions, as in the former grants of lands heretofore made, save and except so much thereof as is hereby altered, or intended to be altered, upon the failure of issue male.
“ And it is hereby required, that public notice of these resolutions be forth with given by the magistrates of the respective town courts in Georgia, and also by the Secretary of the said trustees in London, that all and every the grantees of lands or tenements within the said colony, may enter their respective claims, either at the Georgia office, near Old Palace Yard, in Westminster, or in any of the town courts in Georgia, within the space of twelve months from the date hereof, to the end that they may receive the benefit hereby intended, and that proper grants and conveyances in the law may be forthwith prepared and executed for that purpose. And it is hereby expressly declared, that no fee or reward shall be taken for the entering of any such claim, directly or indirectly, by any person or persons whatsoever. Signed by order of the said common council.
“ BENJAMIN MARTYN, Secretary.”
We believe this paper will perplex most people, who have not thoroughly studied the law, to make sense of it; and as there were no lawyers in Georgia, it would seem as if it had been sent over with no other end, than that it should not be understood; and, indeed, it rather tended to add to the confusions in the colony, than to promote the benefit of it. We can only assure the reader, that it had no good effect in Georgia, and that it was kept up there as much as possible from the people, only a fictitious abridgment thereof, with the same title and the same way signed, being publicly exhibited in writing ; but this was a needless caution, for not one in twenty of them would have understood any one paragraph of it. In October, 1739, the General issues out his proclamation for granting letters of marque and reprisals; and the inhabitants being called together, in the court house, he there makes them a very elaborate speech, and, amongst other things, tells them, that he was designed against St. Augustine, and if he did not take it, he would leave his bones before the walls thereof. But he is now at Frederica, and, as we have too much reason to believe, this castle is still in the hands of the Spaniards. A little after this we had another instance how much our benefactors had our interest and welfare at heart; for at this time it was given out, that all the cattle that were unmarked, belonged to the trustees as lords of the manor; and orders were given that they should be marked accordingly; but people strenuously insisting to the contrary, the design was dropt for that time. On the 4th of November, Mr. Oglethorpe departed from Savannah, and he now seems to bave entirely forgot it; and it is certain, that ever since the affair of the representation, according to his own words, the very name of the place is become hateful to him, as are all those who he thought were ringleaders in that affair; some of whom he endeavored to threaten and bribe to a recantation, but to little purpose ; two or three being the most (to the best of our knowledge,) that he could gain, and even those, we believe, never gave anything under their hands. One flagrant instance of the indirect practices he used to draw people into his measures was as follows: *In summer, 1739, (when it was thought the representation would have succeeded, Messrs. Grant, Douglass, Stirling and Bailie, who had been old settlers in the colony, and who had in a manner ruined themselves, as others had done, either by planting or building, wrote to the trustees for an island, and at the same time applied to Mr. Oglethorpe for it; he appeared mighty glad at their resolution, and told them, that if they would agree to what he had to propose, the granting of an island should be nothing in respect to what he would do for them. They told him they would do anything that was consistent with their knowledge and conscience. Then they were dismissed, and the next day they were to know his mind; that being come, two of his emissaries were sent separately with proposals, which they afterwards wrote in order to be signed, but refused a copy thereof. These proposals were to the following effect, viz.: To acknowledge they were in the wrong for having any hand in the making or signing the representation ; to ask the General's pardon for so doing; and to assert, that they believed the colony might flourish according to the then present constitution. These things complied with, they should have
what money they were pleased to ask for, with horses, cattle, and every thing else they wanted, together with the General's perpetual friendship and assistance. If not complied with, they might expect nothing but his highest resentment. They answered, that they never expected, nor did they think they ever asked for any favors, from the General, and as for his resentment, they believed they had already felt the utmost of it. In whatever shape the General wrote home of this affair, is not known; but however, from what he wrote the trustees thought fit, at first, positively to deny their request, in a letter which came to their hands in July, 1740, of which this is an exact copy.
“ To Messrs. Grant, Douglass and Bailie, at Savannah, in
Georgia-Office, March 25, 1740. “GENTLEMEN,—The trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia, have received and read your letter of May 26, 1739, by which they find you have abandoned your settlements upon the Ogechee river, for the following reasons; because you are not allowed to have black servants to cultivate your lands, and because you disliked the tenure of your grants.
“ As to the first, you must have seen by the trustees' answer to the representation of some of the people, that they cannot and will not break into the constitution of the province, by such an introduction of slavery in blacks; and that upon the most mature deliberation, and for the strongest reasons; which, indeed, are obvious to every considering man, and which they are confirmed in by the danger which has lately threatened South Carolina by the insurrection of the negroes, and would be more imminent in Georgia, it being a frontier.
“ As to the last, relating to the tenure of lands, the trustees suppose you may have seen the alteration which they have made since the writing of your letter, and they have no doubt but you are satisfied therewith, as the rest of the colony are. “ The trustees have likewise received and considered
your petition to General Oglethorpe, for a settlement on Wilming
ton island, and his answers thereto, which they think are of great force, and therefore they cannot make you a grant there, but hope you will go on improving your settlements on the Ogechee river, which they perceive by your letter May 26, that you had made a great progress in.
I am, gentlemen,
BENJ. Martin, Secretary.”
To this they returned the following answer.
“ To the Honorable the Trustees for Establishing the Colony
of Georgia, in America, at their Office near Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
“ HONORABLE GENTLEMEN,—We have received a letter signed by your secretary, of the 25th March last, owning the receipt of ours to the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia, dated the 26th May, 1739, in which we set forth the expense we had been at in prosecuting our settlement on the Ogechee river, together with the impossibility of carrying on any settlement with success in this colony, according to the present constitution; as an additional confirmation of which, we then presented your Honors with an account current, carried on from the commencement of our settlement on the Ogechee, and continued till we were drove thence by the strongest appearances of destruction, arising from the having expended our all in the strenuous prosecution of an impracticable scheme. And here we must beg leave to observe, that it appears to us, you have neither considered our letter or account; otherwise you never would have advised us to return to a place on which we have already in vain consumed so much time and money.
“We have seen and seriously considered every paragraph of a printed paper, entitled, “The Answer of the Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America, to the Rep. resentation from the Inhabitants of Savannah ;' which, in our humble opinion, is no answer at all; but rather an absolute refusal of demands to which we are legally entitled, under the specious pretences of guardianship and fatherly care ; without having answered one sentence, or confuted by strength of argument, any part of our assertions.