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It would naturally be expected that in a state which dates its origin but one hundred and seven years back, ample materials might be found to illustrate its early history, and form a regular documentary series from the landing of Oglethorpe to the present time. But such unfortunately is not the case. The harassing disturbances, and often the actual war. fare, of this most southern colony, with the Spaniards, and the Indians, from its settlement, antil the breaking out of the war of the Revolution ; together with the belligerent attitude which it maintained during that meinorable contest, as a frontier State, scattered the principal families, and the burning, plundering and confiscation consequent on this condition, caused the destruction of many private and public records, and strewed ruin and devastation throughout the province. There yet remain with some individuals, papers of great worth and interest, which in time will probably be deposited in our library. In the archives of the State are many mis. cellaneous documents, the casual survey of which encourages the hope that from this source much information may be gleaned. By a reference to the last section of our charter, it will be seen that the legislature, with a liberality worthy of all praise, have confided to our care the invaluable documents obtained in England by Rev. Charles W. Howard, at a large expense to the State. These are comprised in twenty-two volumes, folio. Fifteen are from the records of the Board of Trade ; six from the State Paper Office, and one from the King's Library, forming a body of historical information full of the most interesting statements, letters, and reports, relating to the colonial period of Georgia.
An Act to incorporate the Georgia Historical Society.
Whereas, the members of a Society instituted in the city of Savannah for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and diffusing information relating to the history of the State of Georgia in particular, and of American history generally, have applied for an Act of Incorporation.
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in general assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That J. M. Berrien, James M. Wayne, M. H. McAllister, 1. K. Tefft, Wm. B. Stevens, Geo. W. Hunter, H. K. Preston, Wm. T. Williams, C. S. Henry, J. C. Nicoll, Wm. Law, R. M. Chariton, R. D. Arnold, A. A. Smets, J. W. Anderson, Wm. B. Bulloch, J. H. Bur. roughs, J. Balfour, Wm. H. Bulloch, T. B. Bartow, Jas. Barnard, Morgan Brown, G. B. Cumming, Solo. Cohen, Jos. Cumming, D. C. Campbell, J. H. Couper, W. A. Caruthers, W. H. Cuyler, Edw. Coppee, Wm. Crabtree, Jr., Arch’d. Clarke, Wm. Duncan, Wm. C. Daniell, George M. Dudley, J. De La Motta, Jr., J. S. Fay, S. H. Fay, W. B. Fleming, J. F. Griffin, Robl. Habersham, W. Neyle Habersham, J. C. Habersham, E. J. Harden, S. L. W. Harris, Geo. Jones, J. W. Jackson, P. M. Kollock, - G. J. Kollock, Ralph King, T. B. King, Wm. McWhir, J. B. Mallard, John Millen, W. H. Miller, J. S. Morel, M. Myers, J. F. O'Niell, E. Neuville, E. A. Nisbet, A. Porter, Thos. Paine, Willard Preston, Edw. Padelford, Thos. Purse, R. W. Pooler, Wm. Robertson, L. O. Reynolds, J. Bond Read, R. H. Randolph, F. M. Robertson, George Schley, James Smith, Wm. H. Stiles, B. C. Stiles, J. L. Shaffer, Chas. Stephens, Wm. P. While, Jno. E. Ward, George White, and such other persons as now are and may from time to time become members of said Society, be and they are hereby declared and constituted a body corporate and politic, by the name of the “Georgia Historical Society," and by that name shall have perpetual succession and be capable to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended in all courts or places whatsoever, lo have a common seal, and the same at pleasure to change or alter, to make, establish, and ordain such a constitution and such by-laws not repugnant to the constitution of this State or of the United States, as shall from time to time be necessary and expedient, and to annex to the breach thereof such penalty, by fine, suspension, or expulsion as they may deem fit, and to purchase, take, receive, hold, and enjoy, to them and their successors, any goods and chattels, lands and tenements, and to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the same, or of any part thereof, at their will and pleasure. Provided, that the clear annual income of such real and personal estate shall not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars, and provided also that the funds of the said corporation shall be used and appropriated to the purposes stated in the preamble of this Act and those only.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said Society shall have power to elect and qualify such officers as may by them be deemed necessary, to be chosen at such time and to hold their offices for such period as the Constitution or By-Laws of said Society shall prescribe, and that if the election of said officers, or any of them, shall not be held on any of the days for that purpose appointed, it shall be lawful to make such elections on any other day.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall be the duty of the governor of the State to transmit or cause to be transmitted to it a set of the Acts and also of the Journals of the present and future sessions of the Legislature, and also copies of all the documents, papers, books, and pamphlets that shall hereafter be printed under, or by virtue of, an act of legislature, joint resolution of both branches thereof, unless such act or resolution shall otherwise provide, and that the said Society may, by their agent or agents, have access at all reasonable times to the several public offices of this State and of the corporate towns and cities thereof, and may cause such documents to be searched, examined, and copied without paying office fees as they may judge proper to promote the object of said Society.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, that this Act shall be and is hereby declared to be a public Act, and shall be construed benignly and favorably for beneficial purpose therein intended, and that no misnomer of the said Corporation in any deed, will, testament, devise, gift, grant, demise, or other instrument of contract or conveyance, shall vitiate or defeat the same, provided the Corporation shall be sufficiently described to ascertain the intention of the parties.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, that the governor be and he is hereby authorized and requested to confide to the care and keeping of the proper officers of said Society the transcript of the colonial records lately
taken by the Rev. C. W. Howard in London, until further disposition of the same shall be made by the General Assembly.
Joseph Day, Speaker of House of Representatives. Robert M. Echols, Pres. of the Senate.
Assented to, 19th Dec. 1839.
CHARLES J. McDONALD, Gorernor.
The following Circular, issued by the Library Committee, is here inserted, on account of its valuable suggestions to individuals and societies engaged in historical researches.
Savannah, June 26, 1839. SIR — The Library Committee of the Georgia HISTORICAL Society, beg leave respectfully to request of those interested in its design, to transmit to the Corresponding Secretary, as soon as convenient, whatever of the following books or documents they may be disposed to contribute to the archives of the Society.
Journals of the Provincial Congress, and Colonial and State Legislatures ; Records of the proceedings of Conventions and Committees of Safety ; Journals of the King's Council ; original and later Statutes of the Province and State ; Treaties with any Indian Tribes, or with any State or Nation.
Reports of Boards of Health ; Statistics of births, deaths, the deaf, dumb and blind ; accounts of special Epidemics ; copies of Medical Journals ; Catalogues of Medical Colleges ; and members of the profes. sion are earnestly requested to prepare reports on the Medical topography of the various places where they may be located.
Sketches of the Histories of Cities, Towns, Counties ; for whom named, together with Maps, Surveys, Charters, and whatever relates to the civil history of the State.
Meteorological observations ; Reports of Geological and Mineralogical Surveys, and every thing relating to the Natural History of the State.
The earliest notices of Indian tribes within our boundaries, their manners and customs, their battles and skirmishes; the adventures and sufferings of captives and travellers in their territories; the Indian name of rivers, hills, districts, islands, bays, and other places, with the traditions attached to the same, together with their monuments and relics.
Sketches of the lives of all eminent and remarkable persons who have lived in the State, or were connected with its history ; original journals, letters, documents and papers, illustrating the same, or of our ancestors generally.
All works relating to the History of Georgia, its Colleges, Academies, and Seminaries ; minutes and proceedings of scientific and literary associations, orations, sermons, addresses, tracts, essays, pamphlets and poems, delivered or written on any public occasion, or commemorative of any remarkable event; magazines, almanacs, reviews, and newspapers from their first introduction into the colony.
Tables of exports and imports, price currents, reports of railroads, canals, banks, and insurance offices; proceedings of chambers of commerce, registers of vessels and steam boats, notices of the rise and progress of agriculture, and manufactures of every kind, and the nature and amount of fisheries.
Militia returns and regulations; the number, location, and date of incorporation of volunteer corps; the names of field, staff and general officers; description of all fortifications that have been, or now are in existence; notices of battles and battle fields, and of the invasions, and depredations, and skirmishes, by and with foreign nations, from the first settlement of the colony.
Proceedings of conventions, assemblies, synods, presbyteries, conferences and religious associations of all kinds ; sketches of the origin and progress of individual churches, names of the officiating clergy, with the date of their settlement, the sect to which they belong, and the time of the removal or death of all such as have left their charge, or have deceased.
The Committee would respectfully state, that while in the above specifications, they have regarded merely their own State, yet they by no means wish to limit the donations to, or collections of the Society, to topics purely local in their interest. They solicit contributions of books, manuscripts, pamphlets, newspapers, and every thing which can elucidate the history of America generally, as well as Georgia in particular; and they sincerely hope that this call upon the liberality of all who love the honor of our commonwealth, and desire to perpetuate the faithful records of her existence, will be responded to, with an ardor that will insure the complete success of the Georgia HISTORICAL Society.
N. B. – Whenever private conveyance can be obtained, for the transmission of books, documents, &c., it would be preferred to forwarding them by mail.
GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
ELECTED FEBRUARY, 1842.
Hon. JAMES M. WAYNE, President.
M. HALL M'ALLISTER, Esq., 1st Vice President.