Georgia and South Carolina court declarations
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Georgia and South Carolina court declarations

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Unknown..
Title: Georgia and South Carolina court declarations
Dates: 1746-1796
Extent: 3.86 cubic feet (1 oversize box)
Identification: MS 0491

Biographical/Historical Note

From its creation until 1752, the colony of Georgia was governed by the Trustees of the Georgia Corporation. William Stevens was appointed "Secretary for the Affairs of the Trust within the Province of Georgia, a position he held until 1750. The offices of President and Council served as the governing body. The Charter was surrendered to the English crown on June 23, 1752. As a royal colony, Georgia was governed by a Royal Governor and the Governor's Council. The governor held the power to establish courts of justice and judges at his discretion, while the Governor and Council acted as a Court of Appeals. Three judges and a chief justice from England comprised the General Court of Savannah. Within the court system were an attorney-general, provost marshal, justices of the peace, and constables. After the Revolutionary War, Georgia established a Provincial Congress. While there was little change to the judicial structure, the court system in Georgia modified into a Superior Court system for each county, without an overarching Supreme Court.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a volume of copies of court declarations from Georgia and South Carolina. The earliest document is dated 1746; the last is dated 1796. Many of the cases concern debts between people and businesses, settlements of wills, and ship manifests. In most instances initials are used instead of full names for people involved, although some cases do list witnesses and other names, such as James Mossman, Moses Nunis, Hugh Ross, and Matthew Roche. One case concerns the ship Savannah and its voyage between the port of Sunbury, Georgia, and Kingston, Jamaica. Another is regarding James Ducker's debts owed for trading with the Native Americans without a license. Another case concerns the ship Penguin. Some records concern cases pertaining to slaves; the slave cases list the name of the slave (two records list slaves named Bristol, Jenny, and Leo), although all other parties involved are noted by their initials.

A loose page inside the front cover states, "one of the Judges of the Superior Court of the State of Georgia this ____ day of _____ one thousand seven hundred and ninety six."

Index Terms

Georgia--Politics and government--1775-1865.
Georgia--Politics and government--To 1775.
Indians of North America--Georgia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Georgia and South Carolina court declarations, MS 491, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information



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

Volume 1: Court declarations, 1746-1796