History 2111 – Stan Brown Ena A. Carson August 23, 2010 Trustees and Malcontents: The Colonial Controversy over Slavery and Georgia’s Future The charter by King George II to give Georgia to James Edward Oglethorpe was used as a means to lower the population of England by transferring the Poor Subjects of Misfortune but yet those who want employment to Georgia.
King George II would pay the way of the Poor Subjects of Misfortune provided they agreed to occupy and work the 50 acres of land provided to them and their family upon arrival to Georgia.This would give England a stronghold between Carolina and the Spanish occupied Florida. After seeing how the Carolina’s use of slavery over took the general population of Carolina, King Georgia II and James Oglethorpe agreed that no slaves would be allowed in Georgia. This would provide a strength to the other 12 colonies in that the Poor Subjects would be willing to fight for the King and protect Georgia as their new home.As a loving father would, the trustees felt that by guaranteeing the transfer of land to only the eldest son would be protection from further poverty and stop any temptation for the unfortunates.
In order to guarantee that Georgia ‘s mission remain true the trustee’s passed two laws: (1) no liquor and (2) no slaves. The first documented was written by a well known Scottish Physician, Patrick Talifer, explaining the medical need for slavery. It is noted that the heat of Georgia has a stronger effect on the white servants and it points out that the Negros are already accustomed to the heat.The second document is the Trustee’s response to the first document by Patrick Talifer, reminding everyone that Georgia is to be a settlement of people who subsist themselves and provide protection for South Carolina who is already exposed to be overthrown easily due to the small number of white settlers. It notes that this would make the white man lazy and that he would always be on guard for any danger from the Negros. Another point made relates to the Spaniards enticing the Negros to run away to their Florida and how easy it would be for the Negros to simply get across a river or two in order to find freedom in Florida.It would put the landowner back into debt and that is what caused his misfortune to begin with so that borrowing against the land in order to purchase a negro would eventually lead to the negro merchant owning all the land. Again the document reemphasized the need for a barrier between the Carolinas and Spainard’s Augustine.
The third document is a passage taken from “The Hard Case of Distressed People of Georgia” written by Thomas Stephens.Stephen’s agreement for slavery is that without the help of the Negros the planters spend all their time working and still barely have enough to live on. The Negros would be a huge benefit allowing the planters to match the market prices with the other colonies and that without the Negro they could only harvest enough to survive. He contends that if the Negros are well taken care of there will be no want from the Negro to leave. He tells them that the white servants of five to one have already left Georgia because of hunger and oppression and have fled to Augustine.He vies that the experiment of not having Negros has already failed and that the sums to the Trustees would certainly increase. The fourth document is a petition from the inhabitants of New Inverness outlining their reasons that Georgians should not be allowed to have slaves.
It is the same reasoning that Oglethorpe addresses from the very beginning but adds the human rights issue that no man should be sentenced to a life of slavery. The fifth document is a letter from General Oglethorpe in rebuke of the petition from New Inverness.It simple reminds them of why Georgia was founded as a relief of the distressed and to strengthen the frontiers of American.
He requested their expediency in making this decision once and for all so that those who wait for their decision can get back to work. Having very little knowledge of Georgia history I found these documents fascinating yet very intriguing. It certainly gave way to understanding the debate over slavery. I would have to agree with the petition from New Inverness that no man should be sentenced to a life of slavery.