[Petition] 1793 July 6, Liberty County, [Georgia] to Edward Telfair, Governor [of] Georgia, Augusta / [citizens] of Liberty County, [Georgia]

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July 6, 1793
To his Excellency Edward Telfair esqr. [esquire] Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State of Georgia --
We the subscribers Inhabitants of the County of Liberty, conceive it our duty to Address your Excellency on a subject of much importance to the State in General, & this County in particular
The situation of Liberty, cannot be unknown to you, entirely a Frontier from Canouchie, to the Alatamaha, almost the whole Western boundary of the County consists of unlocated Land, which the subscribers had previous to the late Alarm the pleasing expectation of seeing settled by poor industrious people, who would, not only have cultivated the Ground, but have protected the interior settlements (of so much consequence to Georgia) from future ravages of the Indians. This Class of people were daily comeing [coming] in & settling, even to the banks of the Alatamaha. The Subscribers notwithstanding the present Alarm, had not given up the idea of settling this frontier in the Manner before represented, untill [until] the first Instant, when at the instance of a few Individuals a Land Court was convened at Sunbury, at which Eleven Magistrates attended, & when to the concern of all present, but those interested in the Speculation Three [added text: 3 ] persons only required a renewal of Land Warrants from other Counties, to the enormous amounts of Eight Hundred thousand Acres of Land, to be located on the vacant Lands your Subscribers had depended on for protection through its Settlers -- A Majority of the Magistrates however viewing the Speculation as destructive & not warranted by Law, to the Number of Eight of Eleven, on the voice of the Court being demanded by the Honble [Honorable] Joseph Woodruff Senior Assistant

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Justice, declared against such renewal, which by Law was final. For the Law of the State "to repeal & amend some parts of the act for Opening the Land Courts" passed the
1 August 1783 which Law declares "And be it further [deleted text: [illegible text] ] [added text: enacted ] By the Authority aforesaid that the Justices of the several Counties or any five of them, as hereafter mentioned, shall meet in the respective Counties, on the First Monday in each Month, and for as many days following as they shall find it necessary to hold a Court, at the place where the Superior Courts of such Counties respectively are held, and the Justices [unclear text: so mett [meet] ], or any number of them not under five (and of which five, or a greater number one or more of the Assistant Justices of the County shall be a part) shall constitute a Board, and be competent to do, and transact all and singular the Business pointed out and required by the Act to be done by a Board of Justices"
This Clause gives the authority to a board of five if no more convened Justices. [deleted text: [illegible text] ] [added text: That Were ] Given to a Majority of all the Justices in the act for Opening the Land Office, but still admitts [admits] the whole to sitt [sit] if present
[deleted text: That ] [added text: Another ] clause of the above recited Act says "And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be construed to extend, to Authorize and empower the Justices (in number above mentioned) who shall be mett [met] and convened for the purpose of Granting Lands, to hold more than one Court at one and the same places & [deleted text: [illegible text] ] time, And the Assistant Justice then present, who shall be the senior, either by an older Commission, or by being first named in the said Commission with others shall preside in the said Court and shall be invested with all and singular the powers given to, and be under the directions pointed out for the president of the board of Justices in an [added text: by the ] Act for opening the Law office before mentioned"
The Clause in the Act "entitled a Supplement to the Several Land Laws of this State" is thus, "And be it further enacted, That any three or More Justices of the peace in the respective Counties shall use and exercise the powers given to four Justices and an Assistant Justice by an act entitled "An Act to repeal and amend some part of an Act entitled An act for opening the Land Office passed the
first day of August 1783. Provided [added text: the said ] three or more Justices shall each of them sign all Warrants for

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Land by them Granted"
Thus it appears that by the first Law for opening the Land Courts, all the Justices of a County or a Majority of them might preside, the second Act, says all or five, and the Supplemental act gives the power to three to do Business if no more present but yett [yet] by the words " Three or More " does not preclude the whole from sitting when attending, but only confirms the two former, And if but three convenes gives them the power of the whole, And agreeably to to [to] the Law if the whole of the Magistrates of the County chose to attend they might, under the words " or more ", and if so attending, a Majority we conceive must and ought to be the Board. Yett [Yet] not withstanding this final determination of the Court, in contempt of its Authority, a new system of decision was adopted & those Magistrates only declared themselves a Majority of eleven. For the said Honble [Honorable] Joseph Woodruff, John Cooper & George Foster esquires, did continue to hold the said Court at the said time and place, after the aforementioned decision was taken, and their proceedings protested against by the aforesaid eight Magistrates, and did renew & sign the aforemention'd [aforementioned] warrants, together with an additional number to the amount of Nearly One Million of Acres, which will include every acre of unlocated land in the County, & effectually destroy the wishes of the subscribers as to Settlement, to this Measure the eight Magistrates, the majority of the Court protested, as before expressed, a Copy of which protest certified by the Clerk is herewith transmitted
We wish to recommend to your Excellencys attention the evils attendant on this proceeding. Wealth & strength to a County are the companions of population. Monopoly has ever been destructive to it, and for twenty years to come the subscribers may be in their present situation, exposed to the ravages of a savage enemy, without the means of strengthening their Frontiers. We here remark that the chief plea of Applicants, is the Sum the State receives in Fees [added text: & [deleted text: Taxes ] ] but we submitt [submit] it to your Excellency, whether this can be an object to the State, at the risque [risk] of breaking up one of her most Valuable Counties, & drawing down annual expenditures for defensive Operations -- Exclusive of these reasons [deleted text: [illegible text] ] [added text: thus are ] the County numbers of Citizens who have head rights never taken up, & who posses stocks of Cattle which at presen [added text: t ]

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Graze on those unlocated lands, those Citizens will be debarred from rights which nature and their Country have entitled them to, or be obliged to the Courtesy of speculators for a range. Which ought to have the preference our Excellency will determine, those who have borne the brunt of Indian War & [unclear text: inroad ], or some of the applicants, who are residents of other Countries & come into this for no other purpose than [unclear text: private ] interest, and leave it as soon as that interest is accomplished. Speculating on public property [deleted text: property ] is the worst of injuries to a community, & Monopoly is repugnant to the principles of Republican equality
Haveing [Having] given your Excellency a general sketch of this [unclear text: ruinous ] business. We with confidence apply to you as the chief Executive Magistrate, of the State to put your veto to the surveys. And if your Excellency do not feel yourself authorized to put a total stop to this procedure, We request as Citizens too Deeply interested, that you delay all further proceedings of the County Surveyor, untill [until] the Sense of the Legislature be had thereon --
Liberty County
6th July 1793
[Signed] Thomas Stevens J.P. [Justice of the Peace]
[Signed] John [unclear text: Croft ]
[Signed] Matthew [illegible text]
[Signed] James Wilson
[Signed] William Baker Senr. [Senior]
[Signed] [unclear text: Jas. [James] ] Quarterman
[Signed] Jno. [John] Stacy
[Signed] Saml. [Samuel] Jones
[Signed] Joseph Joyner
[Signed] Robert Oswald
[Signed] [unclear text: N. ] Bacon
[Signed] [unclear text: J. ] Way Jr.
[Signed] Henry Wood
[Signed] Dan Stewart
[Signed] Willm. [William] H. Baker
[Signed] John Jones
[Signed] James Cashen
[Signed] [unclear text: W. ] Quarterman J.P. [justice of the peace]
[Signed] John [unclear text: Bette [document damaged] ]
[Signed] [unclear text: Jons. Fabian ]
[Signed] Thos. Cater
[Signed] Jno [John] Whitehead
[Signed] Jacob Wood
[Signed] Audley Maxwell
[Signed] J Robarts
[Signed] N Baker
[Signed] Elijah Baker
[Signed] Wm [William] B Baker
[Signed] William Gerardeau
[Signed] John [unclear text: Allgood ]
[Signed] Saml [Samuel] [unclear text: Spinur ]
[Signed] Geo. [George] Law
[Signed] Richd [Richard] Norman
[Signed] William Sillavant
[Signed] Wm [William] Norman
[Signed] [unclear text: Jos. ] Andrews
[Signed] Jas. [James] Stacy
[Signed] Wm. [William] Way
[Signed] Andw. [Andrew] Walthour
[Signed] Peter [unclear text: Winn ]
[Signed] Thos [Thomas] Mell Junr. [Junior]
[Signed] James Witherspoon
[Signed] [illegible text]
[Signed] Thos [Thomas] Elliott
[Signed] Rd. [Richard] Girardeau
[Signed] James Girardeau
[Signed] J. Way
[Signed] Phillip [unclear text: Wooters ]
[Signed] John Spears
[Signed] Wm [William] Spinur
[Signed] Elias [illegible text]
[Signed] Saml [Samuel] Stevens
[Signed] Jos. [Joseph] Stevens
[Signed] James Corker
[Signed] William price
[Signed] Joseph Winn
[Signed] Palmer Goulding
[Signed] Ben Raynes

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To His Excellency Edward Telfair Esquire Governor & Commander in cheif [unclear text: & ] of the State of Georgia. at Augusta To the particular care of Major General James Jackson. Savannah.

Petition of Number of Citizens
Liberty County
Order taken
13 July 173. --