Yazoo lands records
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Yazoo lands records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Unknown.
Title: Yazoo lands records
Dates: 1798-1809
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0888

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1783, the Yazoo Land Company formed in order to purchase lands on the western edge of Georgia between the Yazoo River and the southern boundary of present-day Tennessee. Some of these lands were unsettled; others belonged to the regional Cherokee tribe. This company, created by William Blount, included Richard Caswell, John Sevier, Wade Hampton, Patrick Henry, and Joseph Martin. The company was not able to settle the land, however. In 1785, the State of Georgia made a second attempt at claiming these lands, trying to establish the County of Bourbon along the Mississippi River. Again, the effort failed. In 1789, three companies formed with the intent of buying these lands: the Virginia Yazoo Company, formed by Patrick Henry and Joseph Martin; the South Carolina Yazoo Company; and the Tennessee Yazoo Company, formed by Zachariah Cox, John Sevier, and William Blount. The first of these to form was the South Carolina Yazoo Company, which claimed they had already begun settling the lands under the Bourbon County Act on 1785. On December 21, 1789, Georgia's governor signed an act grating land to all three of these companies. The federal government, under President George Washington, vehemently opposed the sale of these lands. Washington saw this sale as a threat to the peace he was eager to maintain along the country's western border. In 1790, Washington made the Treaty of New York with the Creek Nation, forbidding the settlement of lands belonging to the Native American tribes, including the Yazoo lands.

In 1790, these lands again became a great interest to speculators. This time, instead of being the focus of Southern speculators, the companies that formed to purchase the Yazoo lands were created by Northern and European interests. Four companies formed: the Upper Mississippi Company, the Tennessee Company, the Georgia Company, and the Georgia Mississippi Company. As their land grant bill passed through governing bodies, they faced only one opponent: the Georgia Union Company, formed by interested Southern parties in the hopes of preventing the sale. The bill, which subsequently became known as the Yazoo land fraud of 1795, did pass; however, on February 13, 1796, the sale was declared invalid by the federal government, for it included the sale of Native American lands that the government had previously protected. In 1798, the Georgia government voted for the cessation of these lands to the federal government.


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of records concerning the Yazoo lands along the western border of Georgia. Included are a manuscript and a printed copy of the United States act, "An Act for an amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a Government in the Mississippi territory," dated 1798; an undated manuscript titled, "Extract from an Act, entitled an 'Act to amend and alter some parts and repeal other parts, of the several Land Acts in this State;" an undated statement addressed to Captain Saunders, "Thoughts on a Western Purchase and Settlement;" a report of the Subcommittee on the Treasury, including figures of value in silver, gold, foreign and "specie" (coin); and an 1809 record, "Sundry Papers relating to the Yazoo Claims" printed by the order of the House of Representatives in Washington.


Index Terms

Georgia--History--1775-1865.
Georgia--Politics and government--1775-1865.
Government records.
Land speculation.
Legislative acts.
Mississippi--History--To 1803.
Public land sales.
United States--Politics and government--1783-1809.
Yazoo Fraud, 1795.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Unknown.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Yazoo lands records, MS 888, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Unknown.


Restrictions

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.


Sponsorship

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

Container List

 

Fldr

1Item 1: "An Act for an amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a Government in the Mississippi territory", 1798 March 5 ( 5.0 p. ) View online.
A United States act.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
 

Fldr

1Item 2: "An Act for an amicable settlement of limits with the State of Georgia, and authorizing the establishment of a Government in the Mississippi territory", 1798 March 5 ( 2.0 p. ) (Printed.) View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
 

Fldr

1Item 3: "Extract from an Act, entitled an 'Act to amend and alter some parts, and repeal other parts, of the several Land Acts in this State'" ( 2.0 p. ) View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
 

Fldr

1Item 4: "Thoughts on a Western Purchase and Settlement" ( 12.0 p. ) View online.
unsigned. "Captn." Saunders' written on back cover.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
 

Fldr

1Item 5: Report of the Subcommittee on the treasury, undated View online.
Figures of value in silver, gold, foreign, and specie attached.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
 

Fldr

1Item 6: "Sundry papers relating to the Yazoo Claims. Printed by order of the H. of Reps. Washington, Decem. 18, 1809" ( 1.0 p. ) View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items