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In Their Own Words

September 16, 1775

Letter Detailed Independence Movement

Georgia royal governor James Wright wrote once again to Lord Dartmouth, British secretary of state for the colonies, about the success of the independence movement in Georgia and the other American colonies.

“My Lord: The Liberty People are still going on in the same way. I am informed that officers have been chosen by every company of militia in the province. Some who had commissions have been elected, and many new ones chosen, so that these people having signed the Association will not be considered by the Provincial Congress and the other bodies as under their authority and direction and not the King’s or mine. In short, My Lord, the whole executive power is assumed by them, and the King’s Government remains little else than nominally so. Your Lordship sees the great and criminal strides they are making in subversion of law and the King’s government and establishing one of their own, and this new government seems to me to be on the following plan: The Provincial Congress, a kind of legislature in the respective provinces, subjects to the control and direction of the Continental Congress, which is the supreme legislature and governing power over the whole continent. The Council of Safety seems to be the executive branch in each colony, subject to the Provincial Congress, and the general and parochial committees dispense law and exercise the powers of the several courts, just as it seems right in their own eyes.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 39.