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The Proclamation of 1763's impact on colonial boundaries is sometimes misunderstood. By 1763, the official boundaries of British colonies were set by treaties and royal charters, commissions, proclamations, and other documents issued by the king. British policy in America was to first establish a political claim for a particular region in light of rival European powers, and then to negotiate actual internal boundaries through treaties with the different Indian tribes living on the land. This meant there were two types of colonial boundaries: (1) official boundaries to be defended from rival claims by other European powers, and (2) internal boundaries negotiated with Indian inhabitants to determine where white settlement would be permitted.
The Proclamation of 1763 made changes to both types of boundaries. With respect to Georgia's official boundaries, the proclamation expanded Georgia's southern boundary by giving the colony all lands between the Altamaha and St. Marys rivers. Previously, the Altamaha had served as Georgia's southern boundary. On Feb. 10, 1763, in the Treaty of Paris ending the French and Indian War, Britain had relinquished its claims to any territory west of the Mississippi River. So, the impact of the Proclamation of 1763 was to set Georgia's official southern boundary as the St. Marys River from its mouth to the headwaters, then north to the Altamaha River, then north to the headwaters of that river, and then westward to the Mississippi River. Georgia's northern boundary was the Savannah River from its mouth to its headwaters, then westward to the Mississippi River. The proclamation created four new British colonies. Two of these – East Florida and West Florida – were located south of Georgia. Between the two Floridas and Georgia was a vast area of undesignated territory.
Three months after the Proclamation of 1763, on Jan. 20, 1764, King George III would redefine Georgia's boundaries giving Georgia all the territory that had been undesignated by his October 7 proclamation.
Five months later, on June 6, 1764, King George III would again redefine Georgia's boundaries – this time by expanding West Florida's northern boundary. These would be Georgia's official boundaries through the end of the American Revolution.
The Proclamation of 1763 also affected the internal boundaries open to land grants and settlement in Georgia and most sister colonies. The document established the Eastern Continental Divide as the western-most boundary for granting land in Britain's Americans colonies. The Eastern Continental Divide is the roughly north-south line marking the ultimate headwaters of any river (including tributaries) that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. For most of the American colonies, the highest crest of the Appalachian Mountains marked the Eastern Continental Divide and served as the western limit for white settlement, with all lands to the west reserved to the Indians living there.
However, the Appalachian Mountains only extend into the northern section of Georgia. From there, the Eastern Continental Divide travels southward through Georgia along a line east of the Chattahoochee, Flint, and Alapaha river basins to the head of the St. Marys River.
1866 Famous Georgia educator Martha Berry was born in Rome, Georgia.
1891 The Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth opened in Savannah.The school had been authorized by an act of the Georgia General Assembly approved on Nov. 20, 1890, and operated on a temporarily basis in Athens in 1891. That fall, it moved to a permanent home in Savannah. In 1950, the school's name was changed to Savannah State College, and in 1996 to Savannah State University.
1897 Elijah Poole, son of former slaves, was born in Sandersville, Georgia. He would later move to Detroit and change his name to Elijah Muhammad and become the leader of a black separatist religion known as the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims). He died in Chicago on Feb. 25, 1975 at age 77.
1916 Georgia Tech's football team under coach John Heisman defeated Cumberland College by a school (and maybe collegiate) record of 222-0. Tech accumulated 978 rushing yards without throwing a single pass.
1918 Acting upon a recommendation from the U.S. Public Health Service, the Atlanta City Council declared all public gathering places closed for two months as a precautionary measure against the epidemic of Spanish influenza sweeping the nation.
This ban included schools, libraries, churches, and theaters.
Street cars were directed to keep all windows open – except in rain. In a precautionary move, the University of Georgia announced it was indefinitely suspending classes.
North of Atlanta, Camp Gordon officials on this day ordered soldiers to sleep under the stars.
By now, most soldiers and civilian employees were wearing gauze masks during the day.
No one was allowed on base except close relatives, and soldiers were restricted from going to Atlanta without a special pass.
1940 In first-day-of-issue ceremonies in Savannah, the U.S. Post Office issued a 1-cent Eli Whitney commemorative stamp.
Savannah was chosen because of its nearness to Mulberry Grove plantation, where Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1792.
Georgia towns and cities incorporated by acts approved on Oct. 7:
1885 Gordon (Wilkinson County), Norwood (Warren County), Roopville (Carroll County), and Tallulah Falls (Rabun County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1738 Georgia was supposed to be a land of milk and honey, where colonists not only provided for themselves but sent silk, wine, and other goods back to England. However, the Trustees quickly found that Georgia colonists were continually in need of money and provisions, as indicated by this letter from James Oglethorpe to the Trustees about the critical situation at Frederica on St. Simons Island:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), pp. 353-354.
1779 During the siege of Savannah, a French force unsuccessfully tried to take the city from the British. John Jones, an American fighting with the French, wrote to his wife of the unfortunate death of many of Savannah's residents due to French shelling of the city:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 41-42.
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