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Colonial Settlement, 1600s-1763
Establishing the Georgia Colony, 1732-1750
The Georgia Trustees: Rules for 1735

In many respects, the founders of the Georgia colony embarked on the enterprise as a charity. One of the concerns was the growing number of unemployed and homeless persons in England. Georgia was one possible solution to this problem. As concerned and charitable citizens, the Trustees were also paternalistic. In the Rules for 1735, what evidence is there of paternalism? How would you categorize the rules set down by the Trustees? How were potential colonists likely to feel about these rules?

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THe Trustees intend this Year to lay out a County and Build a new Town in Georgia. . . .

And the said Persons are to enter into the following Covenants before their Embarkation, viz.

That they will repair on Board such Ship as shall be provided for Carrying them to the Province of Georgia, and during the Voyage, will Quietly, Soberly and Obediently demean themselves, and go to such Place in the said Province of Georgia, and there obey all such Orders as shall be given for the better Settling, Establishing and Governing the said Colony.

And that for the first Twelve Months from their Landing in the said Province of Georgia, they will Work and Labour in Clearing their Lands, making Habitations, and necessary Defences, and in all other Works for the common Good and publick Weal of the said Colony, at such Times, in such Manner, and according to such Plan and Directions as shall be given.

And that they from and after the Expiration of the said last mentioned Twelve Months, will, during the Two next succeeding Years, abide, settle and inhabit in the said Province of Georgia, and Cultivate the Lands which shall be to them and their Heirs Male severally allotted and given, by all such Ways and Means as according to their several Abilities and Skills they shall be best Able and Capable.

And such Persons are to be settled in the said Colony, either in new Towns or new Villages.

Those in the Towns will have each of them a Lot Sixty Feet in Front and Ninety Feet in Depth, whereon they are to Build an House, and as much Land in the Country as in the whole will make up Fifty Acres.

Those in the Villages will each of them have a Lot of Fifty Acres, which is to lie all together, and they are to Build their Houses upon it.

All Lots are Granted in Tail Male and Descend to the Heirs Male of their Bodies for ever: And in Case of Failure of Issue Male Revert to the Trust, to be Granted again to such Persons as the Common Council of the said Trustees shall think most for the Advantage of the Colony. And they will have a special regard to the Daughters of Freeholders, who have made Improvements on their Lots, not already provided for by having Married, or Marrying Persons in Possession or intitled to Lands in the Province of Georgia in Possession or Remainder.

All Lots are to be preserved separate and undivided, and cannot be united, in order to keep up a Number of Men equal to the Number of Lots, for the better Defence and Support of the Colony.

No Person can Lease out his House or Lot to another without Licence for that Purpose, that the Colony may not be ruined by Absentees Receiving and Spending their Rents elsewhere, therefore each Man must cultivate the same by himself or Servants.

And no Person can Alienate his Land or any part, or any Term, Estate or Interest therein, to any other Person or Persons, without special Licence for that Purpose, to prevent the uniting or dividing the Lots.

If any of the Land so Granted, should not be Cultivated, Planted, Cleared, Improved or Fenced with a Worm Fence or Pales six Feet High, during the space of Ten Years from the Date of the Grant, then every part thereof not Cultivated, Planted Cleared, Improved or Fenced as aforesaid, shall belong to the Trust, and the Grant as to such parts shall be void.

There is reserved for the support of the Colony, a Rent Charge for ever, of Two Shillings Sterling Money for each Fifty Acres; the Payment of which is not to Commence 'till Ten Years after the Grant.

And the Reversion or Remainder expectant on the Demise of such Persons without Issue Male, shall remain to the Trust.

But the Wives of the Freeholders in case they should Survive their Husbands, are during their Lives intitled to the Mansion House and one half of the Lands Improved by their Husbands, that is to say, inclosed with a Fence of Six Feet High.

All Forfeitures for Non-Residence, High Treason, Felonies, &c. are to the Trustees for the Use of the Colony.

Negroes and Rum are Prohibited to be used in the said Colony, and Trade with the Indians, unless Licensed.

None are to have the Benefit of being sent upon the Charity in the manner above-mentioned, but,

  • 1. Such as are in Decayed Circumstances, and thereby disabled from following any Business in England, and who if in Debt, must have leave from their Creditors to go.
  • 2. Such as have Numerous Families of Children if Assisted by their respective Parishes, and Recommended by the Minister, Church-Wardens and Overseers thereof.

The Trustees do expect to have a good Character of the said Persons given, because no Drunkards or other notoriously vicious Persons will be taken.

And for the better to Enable the said Persons to Build the new Town, and Clear the Lands the Trustees will give leave to every Freeholder, to take over with him, One Male Servant or Apprentice of the Age of Eighteen Years and upwards to be Bound for no less than Four Years, and will by way of Loan to such Freeholder, Advance the Charges of Passage for such Servant or Apprentice, and Furnishing him with the Cloathing and Provision hereafter mentioned, to be delivered in such proportions, and at such Times, as the Trust shall think proper . . .
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