Page images
PDF
[graphic][subsumed]

holders, and in case of any Attack from the Indians, French or Spaniards, the Township would be less able to make a Defence. And as it was not thought proper to Grant Estates in Tail General, it appeared to be more inconvenient to Grant them in Fee Simple; which Estate would have been attended with all the Objections before mentioned incident to Estates in Tail General, and to several other besides; for the Right of Alienation being inseparable from an Estate in Fee, the Grantee might have Sold, Mortgaged, or Aliened his Lands to whomever he thought fit, which was a Power not to be intrusted with the People sent over, for the following Reasons:

1. From Considering their Condition.

2. From Considering the Purposes they were sent for.

3. From Considering the Persons to whom Lands might be Alienated. And,

4. From Considering that it might Occasion a Monopoly of Land contrary to the Intent of the Charter.

As to tiie First, The Persons sent over were poor indigent People, who had for the most part so indiscreetly managed what they had been Masters of here, that it did not seem safe to trust so absolute a Property in their Hands, at least in the Infancy of the Colony, and before they had by a careful and industrious Behaviour given some Reason to believe they would prove better Managers for the future.

As to the Second, They were sent over to inhabit, cultivate, and secure, by a personal Residence, the Lands Granted to them within the Province, and they voluntarily engaged so to do; And in expectation that they would perform those Engagements, they were Maintained at the Expence of the Publick during their Voyage, and their Passage was paid for them, and they were provided with Tools, Arms, Seeds, and other Necessaries, and Supported from the Publick Store, many of them at • least for four Years together from their first Landing, in which respect the Publick may be said to have Purchased those People for a valuable Consideration, their Personal Residence, and all the Industry and Labour they could bestow in the Cultivation of this Province, and to have given them even Pay for the Hazard they might run in the Defence of it.

As to the Third, It was thought unsafe to Grant them such an Estate as might be the Means of introducing such sort of People as might Defeat what the Trustees had always at Heart, viz. The Preservation of the Protestant Religion in that Province, which was necessary to be taken Care of, both on a Political and Religious Account, the French lying to the West and the ^mwiiards, to the South of the Province of Georgia.

As to the Fourth, A Monopoly of several Lots into one Hand

[graphic][subsumed]

Years Clear and Cultivate one fifth part of the Land granted them, and within the next ten Years Clear and Cultivate three fifth parts more of the said Lands, and plant one thousand white Mulberry-Trees upon every one hundred Acres thereof when Cleared. And that they should not at anytime hire, keep, lodge, board or employ any Negroes within Georgia on any Account whatsoever without special Leave. Which Conditions were readily approved of, and Counterparts executed by them all; and to those who desired to name their Successor on failure of Issue Male, special Covenants were entered into by the Trustees for that Purpose, agreable to their own Propositions. And for an encouragement for their Men Servants to behave well, like Covenants were entered into, to Grant to every such Man Servant, when requested thereunto by any Writing under the Hand and Seal of the Master, Twenty Acres of Land under the same Tenure.

The Trustees were induced to prohibit the use of Negroes within Georgia, the Intention of his Majesty's Charter being to provide for poor People incapable of subsisting themselves at Home, and to settle a Frontier to South Carolina, which was much exposed by the small number of it's White Inhabitants. It was imposible that the Poor who should be sent from hence, and the Foreign Prosecuted Protestants, who must go in a manner Naked into the Colony, could be able to purchase or subsist them if they had them, and it would be a Charge too great for the Trustees to undertake; and they .would be thereby disabled from sending White People. The first Cost of a Negro is about Thirty Pounds, and this Thirty Pounds wouM pay the Passage over, provide Tools and other Necessaries, and defray the Charge of subsistence of a White Man for a Year, in which time it might be hoped that the Planter's own Labour would grant him some subsistence, Consequently the Purchase Money of every Negro (abstracting the Expence of subsisting him as well as his Master) by being applied that way, would prevent the sending over a White Man who would be a Security to the Province, whereas the Negro would render that Security Precarious.

It was thought the White Man, by having a Negro Slave, would be less disposed to Labour himself; and that his whole Time must be employed in keeping the Negro to Work, and in watching against any Danger he or his Family misrht apprehend from the Slave, and that the Planter's Wife and Children would by the Death or even the Absence of the Planter, be at the Mercy of the Negro.

It was also apprehended, that the Spaniards at St. Augustine would be continually enticing away the Negroes, or encouraging them to Insurrections. That the first might easily be accomplish

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »