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gence to Protestant dissenters; and all laws providing for the privileges » of the people, and security of trade; and all laws for the limitation of actions, and for preventing vexatious suits, and for preventing immorality and fraud, and confirming inheritances and titles of land, were declared to be in force in the province. The policy thus avowed was not departed from down to the period of the American Revolution; and the laws of descents, and the registration of conveyances, in both the Carolinas, was a silent result of their common origin and government.
In the same year in which Carolina was divided, (1732,) a project was formed for the settlement of a colony upon the unoccupied territory be- 1 tween the Rivers Savannah and Alatamaha. The object of the projectors 'was to strengthen the province of Carolina, to provide a maintenance for the suffering poor of the mother country, and to open an asylum for the persecuted Protestants in Europe ; and, in common with all the other colonies, to attempt the conversion and civilization of the natives. Upon application, George II. granted a charter to the company, (consisting of Lord Percival and twenty others, among whom was the celebrated Oglethorpe,) and incorporated them by the name of the “ Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia, in America.” The charter conferred the usual powers of corporations in England, and authorized the trustees to hold any territories, &c., in America, for the better settling of a colony.
The charter further granted to the corporation seven undivided parts of all the territories lying in that part of South Carolina which lies from the northern stream of a river, there called the Savannah, all along the seacoast, to the southward, unto the southernmost stream of a certain other great river, called the Alatamaha, and westward from the heads of the said rivers respectively in direct lines to the South Seas, to be held as of the manor of Hampton Court, in Middlesex, in free and common soccage, and not in capite. It then erected all the territory into an independent province, by the name of Georgia. It authorized the trustees, for the term of twenty-one years, to make laws for the province, “not repugnant to the laws and statutes of England,” subject to the approbation or disallowance of the crown, and after such approbation to be valid. The affairs of the corporation were ordinarily to be managed by the common council. It was further declared, that all persons born in the province should enjoy all the privileges and immunities of natural-born subjects in Great Britain. Liberty of conscience was allowed to all inhabitants in the worship of God, and a free exercise of religion to all persons except Papists. The corporation were also authorized, for the term of twenty-one years, to erect courts of judicature for all civil and criminal causes, and to appoint a governor, judges, and other magistrates. The registration of all conveyances of the corporation was also provided for. The governor was to take an oath to observe all the acts of Parliament relating to trade and navigation, and to obey all royal instructions pursuant thereto. The governor of South Carolina was to have the chief command of the militia of the province; and goods were to be imported and exported without touching at any port in South Carolina. At the end of the twenty-one years, the crown was to establish such form of government in the province, and s ich method of making laws therefor, as in its pleasure should be deemed meet ; and all officers should be then appointed by the crown. VOL. I.
It continued to languish, until at length the trustees, wearied with their own labors, and the complaints of the people, in June, 1751, surrendered the charter to the crown. Henceforward it was governed as a royal province, enjoying the same liberties and immunities as other royal provinces; and in process of time it began to flourish, and at the period of the American Revolution it had attained considerable importance among the colonies.
In respect to its ante-revolutionary jurisprudence, the same system prevailed as in the Carolinas, from which it sprang. Intestate Estates de scended according to the course of the English law.
GRADUAL APPROACHES TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE.
The first Congress of delegates, chosen and appointed by the several-colonies and provinces in North America, tu take into consideration the actual situation of the same, and the differences subsisting between them and Great Britain, was held at Carpenter's Hall, in the city of Philadelphia, on the 5th of September, 1774. On that occasion, delegates attended from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, from the city and county of New York and other counties in the province of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and from South Carolina. Peyton Randolph was unanimously elected president of the Congress, and Charles Thomson unanimously chosen secretary.
On the 6th of September, Congress adopted rules in debating and determining questions. According to these, 1. Each colony or province had one vote. 2. No person could speak more than twice on the same point, without leave. 3. No question could be determined the day on which it was agitated and debated, if any one of the colonies desired the determination to be postponed to another day. 4. The door was to be kept shut during the time of business, and the members to consider themselves under the strongest obligations of honor to keep the proceedings secret, until the majority should direct them to be made public. At the same time, a committee was appointed to state the rights of the colonies in general, the several instances in which those rights had been violated or infringed, and the means most
proper to be pursued for obtaining a restoration of them. A committee was also appointed to examine and report the several statutes which affected the trade and marufactures of the colonies.
The Congress was opened by prayer, a reverential formality that was subsequently observed; and, by an order of the directors of the Library Company of Philadelphia, of the 31st of August preceding, the delegates were allowed the use of such of the books of that institution as they might have occasion for during their sitting.
On the 14th of September, delegates from North Carolina took their seats. On the 19th of September, it was unanimously resolved that the Congress request the merchants and others, in the several colonies, not to send to Great Britain any orders for goods, and to direct the execution of all orders already sent to be delayed or suspended until the sense of the Congress on the means to be taken for the preservation of the liberties of America should be made public.
On the 24th of September, Congress resolved that the delegates would confine themselves to the consideration of such rights as had been infringed by acts of the British Parliament after the year 1763, postponing the further consideration of the general state of American rights to a future day.
On the 27th of September, the Congress unanimously resolved that, from and after the 1st of December, 1774, there should be no importation into British America, from Great Britain or Ireland, of any goods, wares, or merchandise, exported therefrom; and that they should not be used or purchased if imported after that day. On the 30th of September, it was further resolved that, from and after the 10th of September, 1775, the exportation of all merchandise, and every commodity whatsoever, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies, ought to cease, unless the grievances of America should be redressed before that time.
On the 6th of October, it was resolved to exclude from importation, after the 1st of December following, molasses, coffee, or pimento, from the British plantations, or from Dominica; wines from Madeira and the Western Islands; and foreign indigo. In consequence of a letter received from the Committee of Correspondence, at Boston, on the 6th of October, Congress, on the 7th, resolved to appoint a committee to prepare a letter to General Gage, representing
that the town of Boston, and province of Massachusetts Bay, were considered, by all America, as suffering in the common cause, for their noble and spirited opposition to oppressive acts of Parliament, calculated to deprive the American people of their most sacred rights and privileges, &c. On the 8th of October, it was resolved that the Congress approve the opposition of the inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay to the execution of the obnoxious acts of Parliament; and if the same should be attempted to be carried into execution by force, in such case all America ought to support them in their opposition; and on the 11th of October, the letter of remonstrance to General Gage, ordered on the 7th, was brought in and signed by the president. On the 11th, likewise, a memorial to the people of British America, stating the necessity of adhering to the measures of Congress, and an address to the people of Great Britain, were unanimously resolved on. On the 14th of October, Congress made a declaration, and framed resolves, relative to the rights and grievances of the colonies.
On the same day, Congress unanimously resolved, “that the respective colonies are entitled to the common law of England, and more especially to the great and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage according to the course of that law.” They further resolved, “ that they were entitled to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed at the time of their colonization, and which they have, by experience, respectively found to be applicable to their several and local circumstances.” They also resolved, that their ancestors, at the time of their immigration, were “ entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities, of free and natural-born subjects within the realms of England.”
On the 20th day of October, the non-importation, nonconsumption, and non-exportation agreement was adopted and signed by the Congress. This agreement contained a clause to discontinue the slave trade, and a provision not to import East India tea from any part of the world. In the article respecting non-exportations, the sending of rice to Europe was excepted In general, the association expressed a determination to suppress luxury, encourage frugality, and promote domestic manufactures. The agreement was dated the 21th of October. On the 21st, the address to the people of Great Britain was approved, as was the memorial to the
inhabitants of the British colonies, on the same day. Both these state papers contain a representation of the grievances, and a justification of the conduct, of the colonies. determined that an address should be prepared to the people of Quebec, in like manner, and letters be sent to the colonies of St. John's, Nova Scotia, Georgia, and East and West Florida. On the 22d of October, Peyton Randolph being unable to attend, on account of indisposition, Henry Middleton was chosen to supply his place as president of Congress. On the same day, a letter to the colonies of St. John's, &c., was reported, approved, and signed. It recommended an immediate adoption of the measures pursued by the Congress. On the 25th of October, a petition to the king was adopted, and was ordered to be enclosed in a letter to the several colony agents, in order that the same might be by them presented to his majesty, which letter was approved and signed by the president, on the day following. This petition recited the grievances of the colonies, and asked for a redress of them. On the 26th of October, the address to the inhabitants of Quebec was adopted and signed. It set forth the rights of the British colonists, breathed a spirit of sympathy in suffering, and invited a spirit of union in resist
The Congress was then dissolved, having, on the 22d of October, passed a resolution recommending delegates to meet again at Philadelphia, on the 10th of May, 1775.
On the 10th of May, 1775, according to the recommendation of the preceding Congress, the delegates from the same several colonies, with the exception of Rhode Island, assembled at the State House, in Philadelphia ; when Peyton Randolph was, a second time, unanimously elected president, and Charles Thomson unanimously chosen secretary. On the 13th of May, Lyman Hall was admitted to a seat in Congress, as a delegate from the parish of St. John's, in the colony of Georgia ; but not considering himself as the representative of that colony, he declined voting, except on occasions when the Congress did not vote by colonies. On the 15th of May, Lemuel Ward, a delegate from Rhode Island, appeared and took his seat. On the 16th of May, Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the state of America. On the 17th of May, it was unanimously resolved that all exportations to Quebec, Nova Scotia, the Island of St. John's, Newfoundland, Georgia, (except