Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Province of Georgia
Founded by James Oglethorpe, the corporate charter for the Province of Georgia was signed by King George II of Great Britain on April 21, 1732 (The colony was named for George.) The original charter specified the colony as being between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers, up to their headwaters (the headwaters of the Altamaha are on the Ocmulgee River), then extending westward "sea to sea". The area within the charter had previously been part of the original grant of the Carolina Colony.
The Privy Council finalized the document on June 9, 1732. The council of trustees were unable to manage the proprietary colony so the charter lapsed and on June 23, 1752 the trustees submitted a deed of reconveyance to the crown, one year before the expiry of the charter. On January 7, 1755 official ceased to be a trustee colony and became a crown colony.
The colony's original purpose, according to Oglethorpe's plan, was as a penal colony for the resettlement of people in debtor prison. The first convicts arrived on February 12, 1733, a day still celebrated as Georgia Day. For half a century the colony was an important means of relieving overcrowding in British prisons; after the British lost control of the province they created the first colony in Australia to serve the same purpose.
From 1732 until 1758 the minor civil divisions were districts and towns. In 1758 the province of Georgia was divided into eight parishes, plus another four added in 1765; in 1777, the original eight counties of the State of Georgia were created.
In practice settlement in the colony was limited to the near vicinity of the Savannah River. The area of western area of the colony remained the territory of the Creek Indian Confederation until after the American Revolutionary War, when it was ceded to the U.S. in 1805.
- LOC: Establishing the Georgia Colony 1732-1750
- Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia: Georgia History
- Sir John Percival papers, also called: The Egmont Papers, 1732-1745. University of Georgia Hargrett Library.
- Diary of Viscount Percival afterwards first Earl of Egmont. University of Georgia Hargrett Library.
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