John Houstoun letters
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John Houstoun letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Houstoun, John, 1744-1796.
Title: John Houstoun letters
Dates: 1775-1784
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0397

Biographical/Historical Note

John Houstoun was a delegate to the Georgia Provincial Congress, delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776 (he was unable to attend in 1776), member of the Executive Council, governor of Georgia, 1778 and 1784-1785, chief justice of Georgia, justice for Chatham County, mayor of Savannah, and judge of the Superior Court of the Eastern Circuit of Georgia.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of letters to John Houstoun from Peter Taarling, Benjamin Lincoln, George Walton, James Habersham, David Rees, and John Hill. The letters are concerned with conditions in 1775, Native American affairs, the land lottery of 1784, bounty grants, and the town of Houstounborough. Two letters from John Houstoun to Benjamin Lincoln and John Jay discuss military matters and the capture of Savannah in 1779. Also, there is a transcription of a talk given by a Native American call the "Fat King."

Index Terms

Georgia--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Habersham, Joseph, 1751-1815.
Houstoun, John, 1744-1796.
Houstounborough (Ga.)
Indians of North America--Georgia.
Land grants--Georiga.
Land speculation.
Letters (correspondence)
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810.
Savannah (Ga.)--History--Siege, 1779.
Taarling, Peter, active 1775-1794.
Walton, George, 1749 or 1750-1804.

Location of Originals

Original letter from John Houstoun to the President of the Congress, 1779,In the original papers of the Continental Congress, No. 73, folios 236-238 in the Library of Congress.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Item 2 was purchased from Forest H. Sweet, Battle Creek, Michigan.

Preferred Citation

[Item identification], John Houstoun letters, MS 397, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of A.A. Lawrence, 1953 (Item 4); Lyman Draper, 1878 (Item 8). Purchased, 1951 (Item 2).


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

Item 1: From Peter Taarling to John Houstoun. Savannah, Georgia, 1775 October 24 ( 3.0 p. )
In answer to a letter from John Houstoun in Philadelphia. Talks about the state of feeling in Savannah and complains about the lack of warlike spirit and overbearing Tories.
Item 2: From John Houstoun to Major General Benjamin Lincoln. Savannah, Georgia, 1778 December 19 ( 2.0 p. )
Regarding British plundering and perilous situation of state.
Item 3: From John Houstoun to the President of the Congress John Jay. Georgia, 1779 January
Typed copy. Tells of capture of Savannah by the British. Original papers of the Continental Congress, No. 73, folios 236-238, Library of Congress.
Item 4: From George Walton to John Houstoun. Augusta, Georgia, 1779 ( 1.0 p. )
Photostat. Walton requests the great seal of the State from Houstoun and for Houstoun to take his seat in Congress as soon as possible.
Item 5: A talk delivered by the Fat King to other Indians of the Creek Nation...Augusta, Georgia, 1784 April 5 ( 4.0 p. )
Talk taken down and signed by William Cozens. Re lands which Indians ceded for promise of goods and the state's failure to deliver these goods.
Item 6: From James Habersham to John Houstoun. Augusta, Georgia, 1784 April 10 ( 4.0 p. )
Informs Houstoun that the Land Court has opened and discusses bounty certificates issued to soldiers by their commanding officers. Also, tells about the Fat King being in Augusta to demand satisfaction for the murder of one of his people and a talk delivered by the Fat King, a copy of which is enclosed with the letter (Item 5).
Item 7: From David Rees to John Houstoun. Augusta, Georgia, 1784 June 2 ( 9.0 p. )
Also a typed copy. Regarding housing for Governor and the Assembly, and a land lottery drawing and riot which occurred, fees for drawing and reading petitions, and disagreement over fees.
Item 8: From John Hill to John Houstoun. Houstounborough, Georgia, 1784 December 2 ( 3.0 p. )
Asks for a garrison, arms, and ammunition to protect settlers of Houstounborough against Indian attack. Also talks about petition from people in Wilkes County to alter the constitution for the continuation of the governor being annually elected.