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In Their Own Words

August 07, 1775

Letter Reported Patriot Activity

Gov. James Wright again wrote to Lord Dartmouth, British secretary of state for the colonies, of the breakdown of royal authority in Georgia:

“It gives me great concern that every letter I now write to Your Lordship is to give you accounts of the very illegal, insolent and dangerous transactions of the Liberty People here. On the 2nd instant a complaint was made to the Chief Justice against Ebenezer McCarty, Florence Mahoney and William Davis… . McCarty had been enlisting men in this town for one of the Carolina regiments. On a warrant being issued and the parties being apprehended, the said McCarty was by the Chief Justice committed to jail as not bailable. On the 3rd instant a great number of people assembled together and went to the jail and forced it open and took out the said McCarty, who was immediately set at large. On the 5th instant he went through the town with a drum beating up for men and passed close to the Chief Justice’s door, also came very near my house. Unparalleled insolence, My Lord! And this is the situation His Majesty’s government is reduced to in the province of Georgia.

“I omitted to mention before that they took possession of the public magazine to put the gunpowder in and appointed a guard to protect it, an officer who they call Captain, and, I am told, twenty men, and who still continue to guard it day and night.

“Throughout the province every method has been used to compel the people to sign the Association. Those who decline they threaten to proscribe, and for fear of that and losing their property or having it destroyed, great numbers have been intimated to sign, and I suppose by far the greater part of the province have signed it. Indeed it is said there are few in the county who have not.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 34.