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In Their Own Words

May 07, 1768

Early Signs of Revolt Expressed in Letter

In Savannah, James Habersham wrote to William Knox in London. His letter shows the seeds of revolt are beginning to flourish, though far from ripened yet. Habersham also mentions one of the central figures in early American history and, as many others also did, complains of the oppressive Georgia heat:

“Our Assembly was dissolved about three weeks ago, and writs are issued for electing a new one. The spirit of opposition was never more violent, than now, and every election hitherto, … have [sic] been carried against, what are now called, the Governor and his party, or more properly the friends of Government…to compromise with the Assembly, they (the Upper house) agreed to appoint Mr. [Benjamin] Franklin the Philadelphia Agent, ours likewise… .” Later in the letter Habersham discusses his son, who is to deliver the letter: “This I hope will be handed you by my second son named Joseph, who has not his health here, and goes to England hoping to attain it there… . He was at a College in New Jersey about 61/2 years, and has been returned here about 16 or 18 Months, and I wish I could say his native air was as favourable to his Health, as I understand the Northern air was, tho’ even there He tells me, some days in the Summer were very distressing to him. He is very well all the Winter here, but in the hot summer months, and perhaps its as hot here as in any part of the Globe, He is daily attacked with a violent Head Ach [sic], which is accompanied with such a relaxation of his Nerves, as almost to render him incapable of Business, and therefore wishes to spend a few years in a more temperate climate… .”

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), pp. 64-65.