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In Their Own Words

September 05, 1767

Letter Described Colonial Government

In trying to convince Samuel Lloyd to be Georgia’s agent in England, Savannah merchant James Habersham gave a glimpse of how Georgia’s colonial government operated:

“… [T]he Legislature here consists of the Governor, Council & Assembly, who must respectively concur in every act of legislation, having some resemblance to the Legislature of Great Britain of King, Lords & Commons - The Council are appointed by the Crown, and act in two capacities namely, as a council of state to the Governor and as an Upper House in General Assembly - The Assembly (by which you will understand, I mean throughout this letter, the house of Representatives) are chosen by the Majority of the Freeholders, and claiming the sole right of granting Money, as the Commons of Great Britain do, they also claim a right of nominating an Agent, because they say, they must provide for his Salary and for all other Expences in transacting the Provincial Business - The provincial Agent has hitherto been Annually appointed, and consequently but for one year, by an Ordinance, in which the Council concur, and the Governor assents to it, and therein a Committee of twelve persons are named and appointed to correspond with him, namely five of the Council & Seven of the Assembly; and this I suppose to be the only legal way of constituting an Agent… .”

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah, Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p. 59.