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In Their Own Words

March 04, 1762

Act Declared Sundays for Worship and Rest

The Georgia General Assembly hoped to make Sundays a time for worship and rest, as indicated by an act passed on this day:

“That all and every person and persons whatsoever, shall on every Lord’s day … having no reasonable or lawful excuse on every Lord’s day shall resort to their Parish Church, or some meeting or Assembly of Religious Worship, Tolerated and allowed by the Laws of England, and there shall abide, orderly and soberly during the time of prayer and preaching, on pain of forfeiture for every neglect, of the sum of Two shillings and six pence Sterling.

“No … Person whatsoever shall Travel on the Lord’s day … except it be to the place of Religious Worship, and to return again, or to visit or relieve any sick person or unless the person or persons were belated the Night before, and then to Travel no further than to some convenient Inn or place of Shelter for that day, or upon some extraordinary occasion, for which he, she, or they shall be allowed to Travel under the hand of some Justice of the Peace of this Province.”

Source: Allen D. Candler (ed.), Colonial Records of the State of Georgia (Atlanta: State of Georgia, 1910), Vol. XVIII, pp. 508=515.