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In Their Own Words

July 29, 1775

Letter Described Rebellious Attitude

From Savannah, Gov. James Wright wrote Lord Dartmouth, British secretary of state for the colonies, about the near state of rebellion in Georgia. His letter included reference to the tar-and-feathering of a Savannah loyalist:

“The [Whig] Council of Safety, as they call themselves, have in a solemn manner forbid the rector of the parish to preach any more in the church, and he has been so much threatened that on the 25th instant he left the town. The reason given for this is because he refused to preach a sermon and observe a fast which had been directed by the Continental Congress to be observed throughout all the colonies … .And, My Lord, on the 24th instant, about 9 o’clock at night I heard a very great huzzahing in the streets and on sending out found they had seized upon one Hopkins, a pilot, and were tarring and feathering him. And soon after they brought him in a cart along by my house and such a horrid spectacle I really never saw. They made the man stand up in a cart with a candle in his hand and a great many candles were carried ‘round the cart and thus they went through most of the streets in town for upwards of three hours. On inquiring what he had done, I was informed that had behaved disrespectfully towards the Sons of Liberty and drank some toasts which gave offence [sic].”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 31.