"Resolved, no man dissenting, That his Majesty's subjects in America owe the same allegiance, and are entitled to the same rights, privileges, and immunities with their fellow subjects in Great Britain." --- Resolution of Georgia Patriots.

James Habersham. GOVERNOR WRIGHT obtained a leave of absence and sailed for England in July, 1771. Hon. James Habersham, President of the Council, had been appointed by the King to discharge the duties of governor during Governor Wright's absence. His title was President. He was one of the people and sympathized with them, but as an officer of the Crown he was loyal to his trust, and felt bound by his oath to carry out the king's wishes.

One of the orders of the king was that Dr. Noble W. Jones should not be chosen speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. The Assembly elected him twice, and each time Acting-Governor Habersham refused to sanction the choice. The third time, Dr. Jones declined to serve, and the Assembly elected Archibald Bulloch. All this was put in the journal of the house, and when the acting-governor directed the Assembly to leave it out of the minutes, they refused/ For this he dissolved the Assembly.

Governor Wright returned to Savannah, February, 1773. He had been absent from Georgia for nineteen months. He was made a baron while in England, and treated with much respect. His position as royal governor of Georgia at this time was a very trying one, but his duty, as he understood it, to the king.

As soon as he returned he went to Augusta and met the chiefs of several tribes of Indians. He obtained from them the territory of the present counties of Wilkes, Taliaferro, Greene, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Lincoln --- about 2,100,000 acres in all. This was in payment of a debt of $200,000 which the Indians owed the traders. In this way, by frequent treaties the lands were being gained from the Indians and opened for the whites to settle upon. No lands were taken by force, however; the land was always bought and payment was made as promised.

The British Parliament repealed the tax on all articles except tea. They kept a tax on this in order to show their right to tax the colonies. But the American people resolved not to use tea. The tea ships were sent back from New York and Philadelphia. In Charleston the tea was landed, but was allowed to rot in damp cellars. At Boston a company of men dressed like Indians went on board the tea ships and threw the chests into the sea. The British Parliament then passed the Boston Port Bill, March, 1774.

This act was designed to close the poet of Boston, Thus keeping any ships from coming in or going out. The charter of Massachusetts was taken away, and a law was made requiring persons charged with committing crimes in America to be carried to England for trial. These measures made the people more and more discontented. Those who sided with the colonies and were in favor of liberty were called "Whigs," while those who favored the king were called "Tories. "Tory" soon became a term of bitter reproach.

August 10, 1774, a band of patriots met in Savannah, passed resolutions of sympathy for the people of Boston, and declared the acts of the mother country unjust. These resolutions declare that the Americans deserved the same rights as subjects living in Great Britain; That they has a right to petition the throne for a redress of their wrongs; that the closing of the port of Boston was an act of tyranny; that the withdrawal of the charter of Massachusetts was an invasion of American rights; that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies without their consent; that it was unjust to transport criminals to England for trial; and that Georgia would unite with the other colonies to resist these measures of oppression by the British Government. A subscription was started for the Boston sufferers, and six hundred barrels of rice were given and sent to that place. Among the patriots at this was Jonathan Bryan, again a member of the King's Council in Georgia. When Governor Wright called his Council together, a motion was made "to expel Mr. Bryan" from his seat in the Council. " I will save you the trouble," said Bryan, and at once handed his resignation to the governor and walked out.

In order that Georgia should not fall behind other provinces in resenting the action of Parliament, it was decided to hold a Provincial Congress in Savannah, in January, 1775, composed of delegates from all the parishes of Georgia. Governor Wright did all he could to prevent this meeting and thwart its designs. When the congress met, only five out of the twelve parishes were represented. One of the objects of the meeting was to elect delegates to a general Continental Congress of representatives from all the provinces, to meet in Philadelphia in May. The Georgia Provincial Congress elected three delegates, Noble W. Jones, Archibald Bulloch, and John Houstoun. These delegates did not attend the Continental Congress, however, because they were not appointed by a majority of the parishes, and hence there might be a question as to their right to represent the sentiment of the province. They wrote a letter to the Continental Congress, in which they said: "There are still men in Georgia who, when an occasion shall require, will be ready to evince a steady, religious, and manly attachment to the liberties of America."

The parish of St. John was represented in the Provincial Congress, but was not satisfied with the action of that body. Its representatives desired the Province of Georgia to take as bold and active a stand for liberty as any province in America. The parish was a wealthy and influential one, and resolved to send its own delegates to the Continental Congress. Dr. Lyman Hall was chosen, and took his seat in the Continental Congress "as a delegate from the parish of St. John in the colony of Georgia, subject to such regulations as the Congress should determine relative to voting."

For the patriotic and independent spirit of its people and this prompt and courageous movement, the legislature in after years conferred the name of Liberty County on the consolidated parishes of St. John, St. Andrew, and St. James. Governor Wright said that the head of the rebellion was in St. John's Parish.

The sentiment of the people of Georgia was divided. There were those who were anxious to act at once, throw off the yolk of Great Britain, and proclaim the liberty of the American colonies. There were others who were conservative in their views, and who hesitated to involve the province of Georgia in war. They still loved the mother country and believed that the disputes between the Parliament and the colonies would be settled in a friendly manner. This feeling was rather creditable to Georgia than otherwise, for, of all the colonies, she had least cause to complain and take up arms against the mother country.

The British General Gage was sent to Boston with a fleet and army to subdue the American colonies. By April, 1775, three thousand British troops had collected on Boston. Soon after, the battle of Lexington occurred, in which the British were defeated. To learn how these regular British soldiers were routed by the American farmers with their shot-guns and old rifles, you will have to read the history of the United States, where not only this but all the other battles of the Revolutionary war are described. The tidings of the battle of Lexington removed all hesitation, and, excepting a few members of the King's Council, united all the people of Georgia in the determination to resist the British rule. Georgia cast in her lot with her sister colonies. News of these events made great excitement in Savannah. On the night of May 11, 1775, a party of six men, led by Joseph Habersham, broke open the door of the powder magazine and took out all the ammunition. A part was sent to South Carolina, and the rest concealed in the cellars and garrets of the people's houses. Finally, some of it was sent to Boston, and was said to have been used at the battle of Bunker Hill.

The king's birthday was to be celebrated June 5, 1775. On the night of 2d, a party collected together, spiked the battery guns, and threw them off the bluff into the river. The royalists hoisted them up again, drilled new holes, and went through the ceremony, hooted and jeered at by the people. A liberty pole was afterward put up by the colonists, and a flag placed at the top. About five hundred people paraded through the town with noise and defiance.

June 22d, a "Council of Safety," of fourteen members, was elected by the people of Savannah. They had the entire control of the affairs of the parish. William Ewen was chosen president. When they began the discharge of their duties they were, of course, opposed by the royalists, who followed Governor Wright and his orders. A young man named Hopkins made sport of their meeting. For this he was taken out to the public square, tarred and feathered, and paraded through the town amid the jeers of the people. He was carried to the liberty pole, and was threatened with hanging unless he drank a toast to the success of the American arms, which he hastened to do. He was then set free.

The population of Georgia at this time was 17,000 whites and 15,000 blacks. The militia numbered 3,000 men. There were 40,000 Indians living in the interior to the west and south of the Georgia colony, with 10,000 warriors. It was fortunate that their friendship and peace were secured during the trying times of the War of the Revolution, which was fast approaching.

[In a report of the condition of Georgia in 1773, by Governor Wright, we are told that the territory of Georgia at this time embraced 6,695,429 acres. About 120,000 acres were improved and cultivated by 1,400 plantations. "The trade of the province is principally with Great Britain, from whence we are supplied with linens and woollens of all sorts; ironware of all sorts; hats; shoes, stockings, and all sorts of apparel; tea, paper, paints, and a great variety of other articles. To Great Britain we export deer-skins, rice, indigo, naval stores, and sundry other articles. We are supplied with rum and sugar from the West Indies; and also with rum, flour, and biscuit and other provisions from the northern colonies. To the West Indies we send rice, corn, peas, lumber, shingles, cattle, Horses and live-stock; also barrelled beef and pork."]

[Among the many traders interested in the cession of lands in 1773, was George Galphin, one of the influential and enterprising citizens of the early history of Georgia. His home and depot of supplies was at Silver Bluff, on the Savannah River, a few miles below Augusta, on the Carolina side. His friendship and business relations, however, were nearly all with Georgians and Georgia Indians. His trade extended to Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, Pensacola, and Mobile.

The claim of George Galphin for debts due him by Indians was not paid by Governor Wright, because Galphin sympathized with the colonists. War came on, the claim was transferred to the United States, and it was not until 1848 that the "Galphin Claim" was settled by the General Government, and paid to the heirs of the Indian trader of Silver Bluff.]

[William Ewen was a native of England, and came to Georgia in 1734 as an apprentice to the Trustees. His habits were correct, and his industry made him popular. His took an active interest in the complaints against the treatment of Georgia by the Trustees, and was brought into frequent collision with the president of the colony. When the struggle for liberty began, he was among the first to take up arms in defense of the rights of the colony. In January, 1775, he was appointed member of the Council of Safety, and shortly afterward became president of that body. He lived to see Georgia an independent State, his country free from the yoke of Great Britain.]

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