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CORRESPONDENCE, PROCEEDINGS, &c., JULY, 1776.
that Colony and the mode of putting it in the best posture of defence against all enemies, external and internal, are of opinion, that it is evident that Province is in a most weak and defenceless situation ; and besides the intrinsic value of the lands and other property in the Province, its situation as a frontier, its fine inlets, harbours, and rivers, and plenty of provisions, make it of the utmost consequence, perhaps equal to any other on the Continent, in the great cause of America. That as it is not only liable to be attacked by sea on the east, in common with the other Colonies, but from the south and west, by the garrisoned Province of the Floridas, and the most numerous tribes of Savages in North America, and far less able than any of them to bear it: the Deputies sent from Georgia, by desire of his Excellency General Lee, to confer with him upon the state of the Colony, in order to devise the best method of putting it in a proper posture of defence, beg leave to represent, that from the weak and defenceless situation of the Colony, surrounded as it is with enemies, it stands in immediate need of assistance from the General Congress. And when they consider, that however small the Colony may be of itself, in a comparative point of view, yet that from the great plenty of provisions, numerous stocks of cattle, excellent inlets, harbours, and rivers, perhaps equal to any upon the Continent, with which the Colony abounds, and above all, the firm attachments of its inhabitants to the American cause, they are led to trust that the protection and security of that Colony will be held an object of considerable importance. Not one of the thirteen United Colonies is so weak within or so much exposed from without. To the east, the inhabitants suffer the ravages of British cruisers. Their negroes are daily inveigled and carried away from their plantations. British fleets may be supplied with beef from several large islands, well stocked with cattle, which line their coasts, and round which large ships may sail. To the south, they have the Province of East Florida, the inhabitants and soldiers of which must of necessity make inroads upon Georgia for the article of provision with which they have been heretofore chiefly supplied. Georgia here stands as a barrier to South Carolina, and effectually secures that Province against the like depredations. The southern parts of Georgia contain vast stocks of cattle, and our most valuable rice plantations lie that way. By some late computations, there are said to be upwards of thirty thousand head of black cattle in the Province, and hogs without number. We have certain accounts of there being at this time upwards of one thousand British troops in Saint Augustine. To the west, and almost down upon the Georgia line, are the most numerous tribes of Indians now in North America, viz: the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, and a number of small tribes, in the whole at least fifteen thousand gun-men. All these nations have been much tampered with by the emissaries of Government, and without the utmost exertions of prudence on our side it is feared may be brought to act against us. They are so situated as to make it extremely convenient for our enemies to supply them, from East and West Florida, with ammunition and everything that they want. Our last accounts from the Indians are rather unfavourable, and when we consider their natural principle of infidelity, and how much more able our enemies are to purchase their friendship by presents, &c, than we are, there seems to be the greatest reason to apprehend a rupture with them. In such a case the fate of Georgia may be easily conceived. Add to all these considerations the vast number of negroes we have, perhaps of themselves sufficient to subdue us. In point of numbers, the blacks exceed the whites, and the ready channel and secure retreat which Saint Augustine affords, render them much to be dreaded. The conquest of Georgia would be considered a great acquisition by Great Britain. It is a most excellent provision country, abounds with ship timber and lumber of all kinds, and is conveniently situated for a place of rendezvous to their shipping. Under all these circumstances, it must certainly appear indispensably necessary that measures be immediately taken for the defence and security of that Province. But the low situation, in point of means or ability, of its inhabitants, puts it out of their power to do it of themselves, more especially as they have been already put to a very great expense in consequence of the late descent upon them. The great objects seem to be men, fortifications, and a good understanding with the Indians. We would therefore beg leave to propose—
1st. That his Excellency General Lee be requested to state the peculiar situation of the Province of Georgia to the General Congress, and to obtain directions from them to raise and take into Continental pay so many men as may be conceived to be sufficient to defend that Province. In our opinion, less than six battalions will not answer the purpose. But we do not conceive any of these men can be recruited in Georgia. We would apprehend it full as eligible, if that can be done, to order some of the regiments already raised, to march thither ; and further, that the four troops of horse already raised be augmented to a regiment, and put upon the Continental establishment. Part of these battalions and troops may be so stationed as to serve equally for the protection of Georgia and South Carolina against the Indians ; and above all, may entirely shut up the communication between them and our enemies to the southward, which, in our opinion, will be the most effectual means of preventing an Indian war.
2d. That the sum of ——— sterling be granted by the General Congress for building fortifications and guard-boats in the Province of Georgia. The reason why we conceive this ought to be a general charge is, because it is evident the same will serve against attacks from the south, and for cutting off the communication between East and West Florida and the Indians, upon which the peace of the back inhabitants of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, depends. Besides, it seems to be a part of the plan of Administration to throw forces into the Indian country, where they expect to be joined by a considerable number of the savages ; and in that event, there is no Province or place through which they could so conveniently pass as through Georgia.
3d. It is a fixed principle with the Indians to be paid for their good offices ; and in this controversy we conceive they will expect to be well paid even for neutrality. The articles they prefer will doubtless be ammunition and clothing, but these we have it not in our power to give them. We would, then, propose cattle as a substitute, and are inclined to think, if the communication between them and our enemies was cut off they would soon be brought to be well satisfied with a present of this kind. It is therefore submitted to the General Congress whether it would not be worth while to give direction that ——— head of cattle be purchased and distributed among the Indians by Commissioners. We are of opinion this step would answer many valuable purposes, and would have a tendency not only of attaching them to our interest from gratitude, but would also be a means of civilizing them, and by fixing the idea of property, would keep them honest and peaceable with us, for fear of reprisals.
REFORMATION OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER BY THE VIRGINIA CONVENTION.
In Convention, Williamsburgh, July 5, 1776.
Resolved, That the following sentences in the Morning and Evening Service shall be omitted : "O Lord, save the King, and mercifully bear us when we call upon Thee."
That the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th sentences in the Litany, for the King's Majesty, and the Royal Family, &c, shall be omitted.
That the Prayers in the Communion Service, which acknowledge the authority of the King, and so much of the Prayer for the Church Militant as declares the same authority, shall be omitted, and this alteration made in one of the above Prayers in the Communion Service : "Almighty and everlasting God, we are taught by thy Holy Word that the hearts of all Rulers are in thy governance, and that Thou dost dispose and turn them as it seemeth best to thy godly wisdom ; we humbly beseech Thee so to dispose and govern the hearts of all the Magistrates of this Commonwealth, that in all their thoughts, words, and works, they may evermore seek thy honour and glory, and study to preserve thy people committed to their charge, in wealth, peace, and godliness. Grant this, O merciful Father, for thy dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
That the following Prayer shall be used, instead of the Prayer for the King's Majesty, in the Morning and Evening Service : "O Lord, our heavenly Father, high and mighty King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the only Ruler of the Universe, who dost, from, thy throne, behold all the dwel-
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