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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Georgia's Ceded Lands

The ceded lands of St. Paul's Parish (Richmond County) was a land succession in colonial northwest Georgia in 1773. Today this land is known as Wilkes County which was created from the state constitution in 1777. But Indians were still in the area and settlers lived inside forts during dangerous times. On July 22, 1777, Tom Dooly and twenty-one men in two companies set out to recover some horses which had been stolen from their post by Creek war parties led by Emistisiguo. When they reached skull Shoals on the Oconee River, they were ambushed. Dooly was wounded in his hill and fell to the ground unable to move cried out to his fleeing comrades not to leave him to be slaughtered by the Indians. But they did. The Cherokee Indians were the chief original inhabitants of the territory which was afterwards formed into Wilkes County, but Creeks also lived there. This is the treaty which was in force in 1773/ The local tradition is that white settlers first resided in this territory as early as 1769; this fact was also verified by General Robert Toombs. The treaty made in Augusta in 1763 was made with the colonial governs of Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and hosted seven hundred Indians, chiefs of the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Cabarobas. This treaty fixed the northern boundary of the white settlements in Georgia. The line runs up the Savannah River to the mouth of Little River and then to the mouth of Williams Creek (now Taliaferro County). By 1773 the Indians were deeply indebted to the traders and could not pay. That was when another treaty was made in Augusta beween Governor Wright and the Indians which opened up Wilkes County for settlement and the new northern boundary ran from the northern part of Wilkes County (now Elbert) to Cherokee Corner as it was called. This is the territory which was ceded by the Indians to pay their debts. The debt amounted to about sixty thousand pounds sterling. The terms of this last treaty was to sell the land to white settlers and from the process pay off the traders. The land became known as Scotchtown.

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books.
Georgia Pioneers

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