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In Their Own Words

June 17, 1775

Letter Told of Defiance of Royal Government

In a letter to Lord Dartmouth, Georgia royal governor James Wright wrote about what now was open defiance of his authority by Georgia patriots:

“It gives me much concern to acquaint Your Lordship that on Thursday, the 13th instant, the Liberty Folks here assembled in the town of Savannah and put up a Liberty Tree and a flag and in the evening paraded about the town, I am informed, to the number of three hundred, some say four hundred. The Liberty Tree and flag were kept up from Tuesday [Thursday] morning till now and is still flying in contempt and defiance of the Court and of all law and Government and which here as well as elsewhere seems now nearly at an end… . [T]hey have entered into an Association, and whatever is agreed upon by the Continental Congress will undoubtedly be adopted and carried into execution here and will meet with little or no opposition, for those who disapprove of these things … .

“There is soon to be meetings in every part of the province and at Savannah on the 22nd instant in order to choose delegates to meet in Provincial Congress at Savannah on the 4th of July … .They presume that there is no power to prevent them and proclamations &c. are only laughed at.

“I have laid a state of the proceedings of all the Liberty People before His Majesty’s Council and desired their opinions and advice what was proper to be done, whether any legal steps or whether by proclamation to take notice of their conduct and point out the illegality and dangerous consequences of such proceedings. All that were present were unanimous in opinion that no legal steps should be taken, because, as things are circumstanced, no prosecutions would prove effectual and it would only exasperate and inflame… .This is very galling!”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.) Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 28-29.