Azilia Land Grant
1717 Azilia Land Grant by the Carolina Proprietors
Note: The first effort to establish an English colony south of the Savannah River occurred in 1717 when the Carolina Proprietors granted to Sir Robert Montgomery the land between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers to create a separate colony. Within this land grant, Montgomery proposed to create the Margravate of Azilia. [A “margravate” was a German military colony, while “Azilia” was fanciful name of unknown origin.] Montgomery, however, was not able to live up to the terms of the grant, and the land reverted to South Carolina.
Text of Land Grant:
The underwritten Palatine and Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina, do on the Considerations herein after mention’d, grant, sell, alien, release, and confirm to Sir Robert Mountgomery, Baronet, his Heirs, and Assigns, for ever, all that Trace of Land, which lies between the Rivers Allatamaha [sic], and Savanna [sic], together the Islands, Ports, Harbours, Bays, and Rivers on that Part of the Coast, which lies between the Mouths of the said two Rivers to the Seaward; and moreover all Veins, Mines, and Quarries of Gold, and Silver, and all other whatever, be they of Stones, Metals, or any other Things found, or to be found within that Trace of Land, and the Limits aforesaid; With Liberty over and above to make Settlements on the South Side of Allatamaha River, which Trace of Land the said underwritten Lords do erect into a distinct Province, with proper Jurisdictions, Priviledges [sic], Prerogatives, and Franchises, Independent of, and not Subject to the Laws of South Carolina, to be holden of the said Lords by Sir Robert, his Heirs, and Assigns for ever, under the name and Title of the Margravate of Azilia; at and under the yearly Quitrent of one Penny Sterling per Acre, or its Value in Goods, or Merchandise, as the Land shall be occupied, taken up, or run out; Payable yearly to the Lords Proprietors Officers at Charles-Town, but such Payment not to commence, till three Years after Arrival of the first Ships there, which shall be sent over to begin the Settlement; over and above which Penny per Acre, Sir Robert, his Heirs, and Assigns, shall also yield, and pay to the Lords Proprietors, one fourth Part of all Gold, or Silver Oar [sic], besides the Quota reserv’d to the Crown out of the said Royal Minerals; Distinct Courts of Judicature to be erected, and such Laws enacted within the Margravate, by and with the Advice, Assent, and Approbation of the Freemen thereof in Publick Assembly, as shall be most conducive to the Utility of the said Margravate, and as near as may be conveniently agreeable to the laws, and Customs of England, but so as such Laws do not extend to lay Duties or Custom, or other Obstruction upon the Navigation of either of the said Rivers, by any Inhabitant of South, or North Carolina, or their free Commerce and Trade with the Indian Nations, either within, or to the Southward of the Margravate, which at this Time stands charg’d on such Skins in South Carolina, and appropriated to the Maintenance of the Clergy there, so long as that Duty is continued in South Carolina, but the said Duty shall not be encreas’d [sic] in Azilia, tho’ the Assembly of South Carolina shoul’d [sic] think fit to encrease it there, nor shall it longer continue to be paid, that while it shall remain appropriated, as at present to the maintenance of the Clergy only: In Consideration of all which Powers, Rights, Priviledges, Prerogatives, and Franchises, Sir Robert shall Transport at his own Expence [sic] a considerable Number of Families with all Necessaries for making a new Settlement in the said Tract of Land, and in Case it be neglected for the Space of three Years, from the Date of this Grant, Then the Grant shall become void, any Thing herein contain’d to the contrary nothwithstanding. Dated June the Nineteenth, 1717.
Ja. Bertie for the Duke of Beaufort.
John Colleton, &c.
Source: [no author or editor cited], The Most Delightful Country of the Universe: Promotional Literature of The Colony of Georgia, 1717-1734 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1972), pp. 6-8.