Patrick Telfair was one of the most outspoken critics of the Georgia trustees. Telfair worked with Thomas Stephens, son of the secretary to the Georgia Trustees William Stephens, to organize the unhappy colonists or “malcontents” in an official campaign against the Trustees. Telfair was the primary author of the tract “A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America.” Telfair wrote the tract as a reaction to William Stephens’s “A State of the Province of Georgia” which argued that there was wide support for the Trustees and their policies among the colonists in Georgia.
Telfair, Patrick, M.D., Hugh Anderson, Dr. Douglass and others. “A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America, &c.,.” (1740) In Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Volume II. Georgia Historical Society.
Benjamin Martyn was employed by the Georgia Trustees to be their official secretary. It was Martyn’s job to keep the official records for the Georgia Colony. In 1741, Martyn’s “An Impartial Inquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia” was published. The document was created for the express purpose of addressing critics of the colony.
Benjamin Martyn (1699-1763). “An Impartial Inquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia.” In Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Volume I.
As the head executive leader in the Royal Colony of Georgia, James Wright had many responsibilities, one of which was maintaining peaceful relations with the native population. The March 28, 1774, proclamation given by James Wright offers a glimpse into the office of Royal Governor, the daily life issues of the colony, and the situation in Georgia just before the American Revolution.
The Georgia Gazette, the colony’s first newspaper, started printing in 1763. It is a great resource for understanding life in Royal Georgia. The particular advertisements selected here focus on the slave trade in Georgia. Slavery was banned in Georgia until 1751. Once the ban was lifted, the slave population in Georgia quickly grew as wealthy South Carolina planters expanded to Georgia.
James Wright served as royal governor of Georgia from 1761-1782. The James Wright Papers at GHS contain letters, proclamations, and reports written by Governor Wright. A report written to Lord Dartmouth in 1773 includes a chart showing all exports and imports to the Port of Savannah the previous year.
“A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South-Carolina and Georgia…” was part of a promotional campaign led by the Trustees to encourage emigrants to sign-up for the new colony and to solicit charitable contributions for the venture.
“A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South Carolina and Georgia: With Many Curious and Useful Observations on the Trade, Navigation and Plantations of Great Britain, Compared with Her Most Powerful Maritime Neighbors in Ancient and Modern Times.” London: Printed for J. Worrall at the Bible and Dove in Bell-Yard near Lincoln’s Inn; and Sold by J. Roberts near the Oxford-Arms in Warwick-Lane, 1732. In the Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. 1.
In 1732, the British crown granted the Georgia Trustees a charter to establish the colony of Georgia in the debated territory between British Carolina and Spanish Florida. The colony was governed by a board of men called the Georgia Trustees from 1732-1752. In 1752, the Georgia Trustees gave over control of the colony to the British government and Georgia became a Royal colony. By this time, the original philanthropic goals of the Trustees had given way under the weight of harsh conditions in the Colony, and the colonists had fallen into line with South Carolina’s economic plan with production of rice, lumber, naval stores and indigo. This type of agriculture was supported by the lifting of the ban on slavery in the colony of Georgia in 1750 and the easing of land policies.
Peter Gordon’s 1734 “View of Savannah” provides a visual representation of the early settlement on the banks of the Savannah River. Peter Gordon, one of the colonies original settlers presented it to the Trustees in London as a descriptive map. This image is a watercolor on paper of the original Peter Gordon sketch. The map shows Oglethorpe’s unique design for the city. The plan was based on a system of town wards, each containing building lots, trust lots, and a central square.