Page images

fore become humble suppliants to your Majesty, on the behalf of your subjects settled in the province of Georgia, that your Majesty would be pleased to take their preservation into your royal consideration, that, by a necessary supply of forces, the province may be protected against the great dangers that seem immediately to threaten it.

All which is most humbly submitted to your Majesty's great wisdom.

Signed by order of the trustees, this 10th day of August, 1737.

Bend. MARTYN, Secretary.




The necessity of some historical institution had long been felt by literary men, but no regular effort had ever been made for its establishment. The splendid Autographical Collection of I. K. Tefft, Esq. together with the many valuable documents in his possession pertaining to the colonial and revolutionary history of Georgia, suggested the importance of such a so• ciety, and it was immediately determined by Mr. Tefft, and William B. Stevens to proceed without delay in its formation. This measure was first decided on towards the close of April, 1839, and at the suggestion of Mr. Tefft, the latter endeavored to prepare the way and awaken attention to the subject by two articles on this topic which appeared in the Savannah Georgian of May following. These individuals were now joined by a third, Richard D. Arnold, M. Ď., and after many conferences as to the best method of procedure they resolved to address the following Circular to a few gentlemen whom they thought would be interested in their design.

Savannah, May 22, 1839. “Dear Sir, – You are respectfully requested to attend a meeting to be held at the Savannah Library Society's Room, on Friday evening next, at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of devising measures to organize a Georgia Historical Society. As an efficient beginning is of the utmost importance, you are earnestly desired to be present if compatible with your engagements. An answer addressed to either of the undersigned would oblige, yours, &c. I. K. Tefft, R. D. Arnold, Wm. B. Stevens.”

This Circular was sent to fifty-one individuals, and in evidence of the coöperation of those invited, it may be stated, that forty-nine replies were received, all highly comrnending the effort and promising a cordial support. A meeting was held at the place appointed and was organized by calling Judge C. S. Henry to the chair, and electing I. K. Tefst, Secretary. The Chairman briefly explained the object of assembling, after which Judge James M. Wayne offered the following resolution, which was unanimously passed.

Resolved, That we will associate ourselves for the purpose of forming an Historical Society, the primary object of which shall be to collect and diffuse information in relation to the history of Georgia and of American History generally.” On further motion of the same, it was proposed, that if any one had prepared a constitution, it should be submitted without the usual formality. Whereupon, Dr. R. D. Arnold stated, that Mr. Tefft, Dr. Stevens and himself, who had called the meeting, had prepared a constitution to be submitted to its' action. He accordingly laid it before the meeting, and it having been considered article by article, was, on motion of Judge J. C. Nicoll, referred to a committee of six for revisal, whose further duty it should be to report by-laws for the government of the Society. The chair appointed as that committee, Judge John C. Nicoll, Dr. R. D. Arnold, Hon. J. M. Berrien, I. K. Tefft, M. H. McAllister and Dr. William Bacon Stevens. On motion of Judge Wayne, seconded by Col. Myers, it was resolved, that this committee be requested to report at an adjourned meeting to be held in this place on Tuesday evening, 4th of June, at 8 o'clock. Agreeably to this resolution, another and still larger meeting was held, before which body the committee made the following report of Constitution and by-Laws.


Art. I. The society shall be called, The Georgia Historical Society.

ART. II. Its object shall be, to collect, preserve, and diffuse information relating to the History of the State of Georgia, in all its various departments, and of American History generally.

Art. III. This Society shall consist of Resident and Honorary Members - Resident Members embracing those within the State — Honorary Members, those distinguished for their literary attainments, particularly in the department of History, throughout the world.

Art. IV. The officers of the Society shall be a President, two Vice Presidents, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, and seven Curators; who shall be elected by ballot, at each annual meeting. Should a vacancy occur in any of said offices, by death, resignation, removal, or otherwise, it may be filled up by ballot, at the next regular meeting of the Society, and if it shall happen in an office other than that of President or Vice President, it may be filled up until the next regular meeting, by the presiding officer, and the Curators, or a majority of them.

Art. V. The annual meeting of the Society shall be held on the 12th day of February, and on the second Monday of every other month a Monthly meeting shall be held.

Art. VI. The President, or in his absence, either of the Vice Presidents, may call an extra meeting of the Society, upon the request of the majority of the Curators present in the city, or of five Resident Members.

Art. VII. The admission of members shall be by ballot — their names having been first propounded at a previous meeting - and a majority of two-thirds present, shall be required to elect; the Resident Members pay. ing ten dollars for the first year, and a subsequent annual contribution of five dollars.

Art. VIII. Seven Resident Members, including at least two of the offi. cers, shall constitute a quorum, and be empowered to transact the regular business of the Society, except at the annual meeting, when fifteen shall constitute a quorum.

Art. IX. This Constitution can be altered or amended only by a vote of two-thirds of the Resident Members present at the annual meeting, and a notice to that effect having been made at a previous meeting.


1. The President, or in his absence, the highest officer present, shall preside at all meetings of the Society — regulate the debates, give, when required, the casting vote, preserve order, and be ex-officio, Chairman of the Board of Managers.

2. The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct all the correspondence of the Society, his letters having previously received the sanction of the presiding officer. He shall preserve on file the originals of all communications addressed to the Society, and keep a fair copy of all his letters, in books furnished for the purpose. It shall furthermore be his duty, to read at each meeting the correspondence, or such abstracts from it, as the President may direct, which he has sustained since the previous meeting.

3. The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Society, and at the opening of each one, shall read those of the preceding one. He shall have the custody of the Constitution, By-laws, and Records of the Society ; and shall give due notice of the time and place of all meetings of the Society.

4. The Treasurer shall collect, receive, and disburse all moneys due and payable, and all donations and bequests of money, or other property, to the Society. He shall pay, under proper vouchers, all the ordinary expenses of the Society, and shall deposite all its funds in one of the Banks of the city, to the credit of the Society, subject to his checks, countersigned by the presiding officer; and at the annual meeting shall make a true report of all moneys received and paid out by him, to be audited by the Committee on Finance, provided for hereafter.

5. It shall be the duty of the Librarian, to preserve, arrange, and keep in good order, all books, MSS., documents, pamphlets and papers, of every kind, belonging to the Society. He shall keep a catalogue of the same, and take especial care, that no book, MS., document, paper, or any property of the Society, confided to his keeping, be removed from the room. He shall also be furnished with a book, in which to record all donations and bequests, of whatsoever kind, relating to his department, with the name of the donor, and the time when bestowed.

6. The Curators, with the President, Vice Presidents, Corresponding and Recording Secretaries, Librarian and Treasurer, shall constitute a Board of Managers, whose duty it shall be, to superintend the general concerns of the Society. The President shall, from this Board, appoint the following Standing Committees, viz:- On the Library, on Printing and Publishing, and on Finance.

7. The Committee on the Library shall have the supervisory care of all the printed publications, manuscripts, and curiosities. They shall, with the Librarian, provide suitable shelves, cases and fixtures, by which to arrange and display them. The printed volumes and manuscripts shall be regularly numbered, and marked with the name of the “Georgia Historical Society.” They shall propose at the regular meetings, such books or MSS. pertaining to the object of the Society, as they shall deem expedient, which, when approved, shall be by them purchased, and disposed of as above directed. They shall be required to visit the Library at least once each week, officially — and shall provide a book or books, in which the Librarian shall keep a record of their proceedings - and be entrusted, in

general, with the custody, care and increase, of whatever comes within the province of their appointed duty.

8. The Committee on Printing and Publishing, shall prepare for publi. cation whatever documents or collections shall be ordered, by the Society -shall contract for, and supervise the printing of the same, and shall furnish the Recording Secretary and Librarian, with such blank notices, summonses, labels, &c. as may be deemed requisite.

9. The Comınittee on Finance shall consist of at least one member of each of the former Committees, and shall have the general oversight and direction of the funds of the Society. They shall once in three months examine the books of the Treasurer, vouch all accounts of moneys expended, and audit his annual report. · 10. The order of proceeding at the regular meetings shall be as follows : - 1st. Reading the Minutes of the last meeting, and confirming them. 2d. Reading the correspondence of the Corresponding Secretary. 3d. Nomination of new members. 4th. Ballotting for those already propounded. 5th. Overtures or reports from the Board of Managers, or from the Standing Committees. 6th. Communications or addresses from members. 7th. Miscellaneous business.

11. The Board of Managers shall appoint one of the Resident or Hon. orary Members of the Society, to deliver an historical discourse, at each annual meeting, together with such other exercises as shall be appropriate to its celebration.

12. Any failure on the part of the members, after due notice from the President, to pay their annual dues, for two consecutive years, shall be considered a forfeiture of membership. And no person thus expunged, can be eligible to readmission, without the strict payment of his arrears.

Their report having been adopted and signed by the gentlemen present, the balloting for officers took place and resulted as follows.

Officers of the Georgia Historical Society, elected June, 1839. President - John MACPHERSON BERRIEN. Vice Presidents - JAMES M. WAYNE, M. H. M'ALLISTER. Corresponding Secretary-I. K. TEFFT. Recording Secretary - WILLIAM B. STEVENS. Treasurer - GEORGE W. HUNTER. Librarian - HENRY K. Preston. Curutors — WILLIAM THORNE WILLIAMS, CHARLES S. HENRY, John C. NicoLL, WILLIAM LAW, ROBERT M. CHARLTON, RICHARD D. ARNOLD, A. A. SM ETS.

Standing Committees.

On the Library - J. M. WAYNE, William Law, J. C. Nicoll, R. M. CHARLTON, WILLIAM B. STEVENS, and HENRY K. PRESTON. On Printing and Publishing - W. T. WILLIAMS, I. K. TEFFT, R. D. ARNOLD. On Finance – M. H. M'ALLISTER, C. S. HENRY, William Law, William T. Williams, A. A. Smets, and GEORGE W. HUNTER.

Thus was constituted the Georgia Historical Society, and we trust that it will long continue in its high and useful career. The meetings of the Society have generally been quite interesting, and have elicited much information relative to the historical materials of the State. The Library already contains many rare and choice works and a number of very val. uable manuscripts, constituting the nucleus of what we hope will ere long be a rich historical collection. In the cabinet are some interesting curiosities and a few coins and medals. VOL. II.


« PreviousContinue »