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In Their Own Words

February 01, 1766

Increased Resistance to Stamp Act

Resistance to the Stamp Act in Georgia was now reaching the potential for violence, as royal governor James Wright wrote the British Board of Trade:

“Since my last to your Lordships on the 22d of Janry. Some Incendiaries were Sent here from Charles Town of South Carolina, full Fraught with Sedition, and have been about the Country and Inflamed the People to Such a degree, that they were assembling together in all Parts of the Province, & to the Number of about 600 were to have come here yesterday, all armed, and as I have been Informed were to have Surrounded my House & Endeavoured to extort a Promise from me, that no [stamped] Papers should be issued till His Majesties Pleasure is known on the Petitions Sent from the Colonies. And if I did not Immediately Comply, they were to Size upon & destroy the Papers & Commit many acts of Violence against the Persons & Property of those Gentn. who have declared themselves Friends to Government. On this last alarm I thought it advisable to Remove the Papers to a Place of greater Security, and accordingly ordered them to be Carried to Fort George on Cockspur Island, where they are Protected by a Captain 2 Subalterns & 50 Private Men of the Rangers. But I have the Satisfaction to Inform your Lordships that I have been happy Enough with the assistance of Some well disposed Gentn. to get a great Many of them dispersed who were actually on their way down here, but many of them are Still under arms, and within 7 miles of the Town & the Issues of this matter is yet uncertain. My Task is rendered much more difficult by the Carolinians going the Lengths they have done, & Still do, & Spiriting up the People here to follow their Example… . I Still hope there is a Possibility of bringing the People to Reason. But Really my Lords Such of His Majesties Servants in America as are firm in their Opposition to the Present Seditious Spirit, to Call it no Worse, have a very Uncomfortable time of it… .”

Source: Kenneth Coleman and Milton Ready (eds.), Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. 28, Part II (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979), pp. 135-136.