Gone to Georgia

Free Land (1780 to 1785)

Geographically, Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi. During the Colonial Period, Georgia also had the smallest population. [Georgia Migration Map]

. . . [A]t the start of the Revolution, Georgia " had about 18,000 whites and 15,000 Negro slaves. If every Georgian has cast his lot with the Revolution, she could not have afforded more than 3,000 fighting men." It is a recognized fact that a very large percentage of the Georgia colonists continued to be loyalists or Tories up to the evacuation of Savannah by the British in 1782.

    Alex M. Hiltz, "Georgia Bounty Land Grants," Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 4, December, 1954 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/rs/gblg.htm> 9 June 2004.

The war cost the lives of many Georgians on both sides. Not only casualties from battles, the flight of refugees reduced the population from its prewar height. With the British defeat, Georgia Tories departed for the Mother Country and her colonies in the New World, further depopulating the state. 

After the Revolutionary War, individual states gained sovereignty over the backcountry. Exercising hegemony, the many states concluded treaties with Native American tribes which pushed the boundaries of settlement ever westward, increasing territory while diluting the population. This created an opportunity for free land. 

By the acts of January 23, 1780, February 17, 1783, February 25, 1784, and February 22, 1785, emigrants from other states were encouraged to come into Georgia and take out free headright grants, but Revolutionary soldiers were not given any favor or consideration over any other prospective settler. Ex-soldier and civilian stood on the same footing, and each was granted a quantity of land commensurate with the number of heads (meaning wife, children and slaves) in his family, the minimum grant being 200 acres to a bachelor, and the maximum grant being 1,000 acres.

    Alex M. Hiltz, "Georgia Bounty Land Grants," Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 4, December, 1954 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/rs/gblg.htm> 9 June 2004.

Unfortunately, the land grant system was not well regulated. Disreputable persons perpetrated frauds by forging multiple applications, amassing large tracts of land which were divided and sold to unsuspecting settlers. As these new lands had yet to be surveyed, agents issued warrants for lands not within the grant boundaries, adding to the confusion. By 1795 new Georgia residents were clearing settlements and building homes on land they were destined to lose. And, the Nathan Smith Settlement of Franklin County serves as an example of the chaotic situation in Georgia in the newly opened Cherokee Lands.

The Nathan Smith Settlement of Franklin County, Georgia c. 1795

Nathan Smith was born in about 1725 in North Carolina. By 1751 Nathan settled in Bladen (now Moore) Co NC where he began raising his family. Nathan Smith, et. al., migrated in about 1791 from North Carolina to an area thought to be Franklin Co GA. [Georgia Migration Map]

The Cherokees complained that several settlement were on their land. Benjamin Hawkins, an Indian Agent, was sent to Georgia to determine who was right, the settlers or the Indians; and, he decided in favor of the Indians.

"The first settlers of what is now Habersham County were those settlers of Franklin County, whose lands were granted by the State of Georgia between 1783 and 1788, lay north of the Indian Boundary fixed by the treaty of 1785. These lands were granted under the impression that they lay south of the agreed boundary line.

When this line was surveyed, it was found that these lands lay north of the boundary line and in the Cherokee Nation, the Indians demanded their immediate removal. In 1798, these settlers petitioned Governor James Jackson to have the line re-run or to take such other action that would protect them in the possession of their homes. This resulted in the "Four Mile Purchase" of 1804, when the Indians ceded a strip of land four miles wide and twenty miles long which included these lands. This strip of land was then added to Franklin County, but now lies in Banks and Habersham Counties. [1798 Petition]

"The First Settlers," Lavonia Times and Gauge, 23 February 1934.

In 1798, the original grants/purchases were surveyed and a report was forwarded to the agent at Ft. Southwest Point, delineating the extent of the problem and listing the names of settlers who were found to be beyond the boundary and intruding on Cherokee lands.

Summary of a Report of Colo. William Wofford, made to Colo. Return Jonathan Meigs, agent to the Cherokee Indians, Southwest Point, regarding the number and condition of the Settlers living in and near the "Wofford Settlement", on the Frontier of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation of Indians – lying between the Currahee Mountain and the headwaters of the Oconee River.

Territory by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins Line, 1st February 1798

  1. Colo. William Wofford  12. Amos Bowling (R)
  2. Luca McCray (R)        13. Samuel Reid (R)
  3. Benjamin Wofford       14. Charles Wells (R)
  4. Thomas Barnard (R)     15. Richard Burkes
  5. Moses Halcom           16. Equiea McCracken (R)
  6. William Bright (R)     17. James McCracken
  7. Nathaniel Wofford      18. John Collins (R)
  8. George Hopper          19. Jesse Austin
  9. Thomas Hopper (R)      20. Augustine Brown (R)
 10. Richard Lay (R)        21. John Straun (R)
 11. William Weatherspoon   22. Garrat Smethers (R)

Due to intermarriages, etc; Among original settlers of Wofford's

 23. Robert Brown           32. Robert Mahan
 24. William Brown          33. Jesse Dean
 25. William Alred          34. William Taylor (R) 
 26. William Hartgrave (R)  35. Garland Lean
 27. Robert Little (R)      36. Charles Crawford
 28. Samuel Bright          37. David Clark
 29. Hugh Hartgrave         38. Matthew Alexander
 30. William L. Croy        39. Jacob Loughridge
 31. Lucas L. Croy          40. John Bland

Nathan Smith's Settlers - Original Settlers left outside of Colo. Hawkins line 1st. February 1798:

 41. Nathan Smith           48. Thomas Warren
 42. James Minyard          49. Joseph Halcom (R)
 43. Michael Oliver (R)     50. Charles Warren (R)
 44. Stephen Smith (R)      51. William Thornton(R)
 45. Nicholas Smith (R)     52. Johnson McKinney(R)
 46. Owen Carpenter         53. Lewis Dickenson
 47. Jack Parker (R)

New Settlers to Nathan Smith's Settlement:

 54. Isham Smith           65. James Brown
 55. John Smith            66. Temple Carpenter    
 56. Adam Sheffield        67. John Warren
 57. James Keys            68. James Hamilton
 58. Joseph Shelton        69. Nimrod House
 59. Samuel Spencer        70. James Alred
 60. William Spencer       71. Thomas Bullen
 61. Richard Jacks         72. William Newton
 62. John Huitt            73. ______ Snow
 63. Jacob Hollingsworth   74. Asa Walker
 64. Moses Alred           75. Morgan Guest
 76. William Smith         78. George Morgan
 77. Averitt Smith         79. Reuben Warren

Capt. John Little's Settlement. Original Smith's group.

 80. John Little (R)       83. James Huitt (R)
 81. William Little (R)    84. Solomon Huitt (R)   
 82. Samuel Little (R)

New Settlers in Smith's settlement.

 85. Garrot Watts          90. Peter Bougress
 86. Jesse Scarborough     91. Lewis Williams
 87. Lewis Phoebus         92. Mastin Williams
 88. Jesse Dodd            93. Gideon Cantlebury   
 89. William Dodd          94. Stephen Williams

Joshua Darnigan's Settlers. Original settlers Darnigan's group.

 95. Joshua Darnigan (D)   98. William Lawrence (R)
 96. Joseph Dunnagon       99. Robert Montgomery(R)
 97. James Cunningham (R) 100. William Tansey (R)

Darnigan's new settlers.

101. Ezekiel Dunagan      104. Isaiah Dunagan
102. Thomas Wafer         105. John Peak
103. Joseph Wilson        106. Solomon Peak (T)    

N. B. Interim Changes
(R) - Removed
(D) - Deceased
(T) - Tenant - lives in Georgia.

New Settlers - Intruders after the 1798 line was run - None are connected to Wofford.

107. Otwell         120. Megee       131. Shepherd 
108. Carroll        121. Holland     132. Cavender
109. William        122. Dunman      133. Myers
110. McKinney       123. Nations     134. Myers
111. Grissett       124. Nations     135. Manning
112. Rooks          125. Reed        136. Robinson
113. Hill           126. York        137. Lindsey
114. Brogdon        127. York        138. Cornwell
115. Castleberry    128. York        139. Mullens
116. Warren         129. Gray        140. Mullens
117. Strickland     130. Heath       141. Mullins
118. Armstrong                       142. Young
119. Bevin

Additional known settlers.

143. John Martin Russell  144. ______ Vickery      

"1804 Franklin Co., GA," Georgia Genealogist, 1790-1798.

The land dispute went on for many years, and the settlers became discouraged. On 9/13/1798, members of the Nathan Smith Settlement sent a petition to the Governor of Georgia, requesting some sort of relief.

13th September 1798
His Excellence James Jackson, Gov. of Georgia.

We are induced from the peculiarity of our situations as Frontier citizens of Jackson & Franklin Counties to address your Excellency and implore your interposition in our favor. - We beg leave to represent that we hold titles derived from Grants issued by the State of Georgia for Lands which have proven to lie beyond the temporary boundary line, lately extended under the Superintendence of Colo. Hawkins, Agent of Indian affairs for the United States; that these lands, which we have honestly paid for, which we have been at great Labour and expence to improve and on which (exposed to savage depredations for Several years) we have hazarded the lives of ourselves and our families, we are now forbidden to occupy. - Thus after exhausting all our resources in the purchase & improvement of Lands, we are now told that we must abandon these homes, destitute (as we are) of the means of providing others for our families.

The lands we hold were granted between the years 1783 & 1788 which we need not remark to your excellency was anterior to the Treaty concluded to New York.- We think it proper also to observe that evident inaccuracies have been commited in running of the line from the Currawhee Mountain to the source of the Appalachee, by which that line has been thrown much further in upon the inhabitants than it would have gone if it had been carried direct from one of these points to the other.

We pray that your excellency will have the goodness to signify to us by letter addressed to Capt. John Little to the care of  Daniel Beall Esq. At Franklin Court House, or in any other way that your Excellency may deem proper and expedient, your opinion.

If your excellency has the power of affording us relief we count with great confidence on receiving it.  If your Excellency has not that power, we beg that you will represent our situation to the next Ligislature and implore for us that redress which your excellency may think our cases entitled to.

We have the honor to be with profound respect,

Your Excellencies Most Obedt Servts, (Signed)

Philip Thomas, John Thomas, Wm. Thomas, Philip Thomas Jr., Abednego Downing, Geo. Waters, Levi Taylor, James Huit, Solomon Huitt, Wm. Alexander Tansey, Jesse Austin, Tho. Barnard, Lucas LeCroy, Thomas Lean, Equila McKrakin, James McKrakin, Holcom, Geo. Hopper, Wm. Weatherspoons, Hugh Hartgrove, Nathaniel Wofford, Richard Burkes, Benjamin Wofford, Richard Lay, Nicholas Smith, Nathan Smith, O(w)en Carpenter, James Minnerd, Nicholas Nuton, Stephen Smith, (an illegible signature of the original document), Lewes Dickeson, Joseph Halcom, Jno. Parker, John Ratley, Thomas Warren, Robert Shipley, John Shipley, Nathaniel Shipley, William Little, Joseph Dunnegame, Ande Dunnegane, E. Dunnegame, Moses Terell, Jno. Little.

History of Franklin Co. GA, page 107.  

With the "Four Mile Purchase" of 1804, the boundary of the Cherokee Purchase was extended northwest to Currahee Mountain and west to the Upper Ford of the Oconee River. What is now Alto, Georgia. And, these lands were added to then Franklin Co GA. Although the newly purchased lands included a majority of settlers in the previously disputed territory, many settlers of the Nathan Smith Settlement were either out of luck or had already moved on.

The result was the “Four Mile Purchase” of 1804. The Indians ceded a strip of land four miles wide (from the Habersham – Banks County line on Baldwin Mountain, to Line Baptist Church on old Hwy. 441) and 23 miles long (extending from Currahee Mountain to the head waters of the South Oconee River) which included the Wofford Settlement. A line of felled trees some twenty-feet wide originally marked the line, which became a “no man’s land.” The United States agreed to pay the Cherokees $5,000 and $1,000 per annum for the property rights.

    Fort Hollingsworth, Webpage for historical site <http://forthollingsworth-whitehouse.com/about/> 12 April 2015.

As some awaited final resolution, other members of the settlement sold their lands "warranted against all but the Indian Claims," continuing their southern and western migration. Four of Nathan Smith's sons and many of their neighbors migrated by 1813 to what would become the Fair River, Bahala, Bogue Chitto, and McCall Creek settlements of Lawrence and Franklin Counties in Mississippi. Nathan and his wife are believed to have lived the remainder of the lives at the original settlement, and are buried somewhere in what is now Banks Co GA.

Locating the Nathan Smith Settlement

After the 1798 survey, Col. William Wofford enumerated the inhabitants of his settlement and others who were proven to be beyond the Hawkins Line, including the inhabitants of the Nathan Smith Settlement. By 1804 this list of inhabitants was updated to show additions to and deletions from the original families and new intruders. Of note, the letter "R" denotes those who removed/migrated from the territory by 1804. Further research shows that #44 Stephen Smith and #45 Nicholas Smith, both of whom migrated to Mississippi, had a letter "R" annotated behind their names, indicating that they migrated from the settlement before 1804.

The removal/migration of settlers before 1804 indicates that some of the residents of the Nathan Smith Settlement, who were beyond the boundary, feared they would lose their land. As most of the residents did not remove, evidently a substantial portion of the settlement was not beyond the new boundary after the 1804 Four Mile Purchase.

The dimensions for the 1804 Four Mile Treaty are taken from the 1899 map created by Charles C. Royce for the Library of Congress which shows the cession extending almost twenty-five miles.

    Indian Land Cessions, GenWeb Site <http://www.tngenweb.org/cessions/18041024.html> 13 April 2015.

The Nathan Smith Settlement was located in the vicinity of Holllingsworth, Franklin (now Banks) Co GA near where Fort Hollingsworth still stands. Evidence for locating the Nathan Smith Settlement at Ft. Hollingsworth comes from Jacob Hollingsworth, Resident #63 on the list, who is cited as a New Settler to Nathan Smith's Settlement and a deed showing James Minyard, Resident #42 on the list, owning property on Mountain Creek. This property is located approximately 1/4 mile south of Hollingsworth GA.

Banks Co GA Road Markers

INDIAN BOUNDARY
Location: US 441 at Mile Marker 15, immediately south of Hollingsworth

The [old] boundary between the State of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation established by the Treaty of Augusta, May 31, 1783, ran along here. The line ran “from the top of Currahee mountain to the head, or source, of the most southern branch of the Oconee river, including all waters of the same.” The boundary line was re-affirmed by the Treaty of Hopewell, Nov. 28, 1785. It was originally marked by a line of felled trees at least twenty feet wide, which became a sort of No Man’s Land.
006-1 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1953

LINE BAPTIST CHURCH
Location: US 441 1/4 mile S of Mile Marker 15 south of Hollingsworth

The Line Baptist Church was constituted Sept. 13, 1802. . .This church was just over the line between Georgia and Cherokee lands. Meetings couldn’t be held at night, because all white people had to be off Indian lands by sundown. . .This building, about 70 years old, is the second one on this site. It has stood in Franklin, Habersham and Banks counties.
006-3 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1953  

HAWKINS LINE
Location: US 441 1/2 mile south of intersection with US 23

This line, sometimes called “The Four Mile Purchase Line,” was the boundary between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation from 1804 to 1818. It was established when Georgia bought a four mile strip from the Indians so as to take in Wofford’s Settlement on Nancytown Creek. . .It formed the boundary between Jackson Co. and the Cherokees; later Franklin Co. and the Cherokees, and is now [a small portion of] the line between Habersham and Banks Counties.
006-2 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1953

Georgia Land Lotteries

How did the State of Georgia solve the problem of having the lowest population per mile/acre after the Revolution? Beginning with the 1805 Land Lottery and continuing through the 1832/33 Gold Rush Lotteries, the Georgia Legislature established a system where immigrants and residents were allowed to draw lots for free land in the newly opened Indian lands. Each family drew one lot for each person over age 18, and the lucky winners would pay a nominal fee for the winning lots they drew.

What's important to history is that these lotteries were phenomenally successful. From the meager population of the other twelve States, thousands of settlers flocked to Georgia in search of a new start. Particularly from the Blue Ridge of Virginia and the Carolinas, many of these settlers simply abandoned rented lands, leaving whole counties depopulated. And, this mass exodus from the back country became known as "Gone to Georgia."

1. 1805 Land Lottery

This initial lottery encompassed Creek Indian lands just west of the Oconee River ceded to the state in 1802 and a small strip of land in the southeast section of the state.

Authority: Act of May 11, 1803
Date of Drawing: 1805
Counties
  • Baldwin: 5 Districts (1-5)
  • Wayne: 3 Districts (1-3)
  • Wilkinson: 5 Districts (1-5)

Size of Land Lots

  • Baldwin: 202 ˝ acres
  • Wayne: 490 acres
  • Wilkinson: 202 ˝ acres

Grant Fee

  • $ 8.10 per 202 ˝ acre lot
  • $19.60 per 490 acre lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 21 years or over, 1 year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife and/or child, 1 year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Widow with child under 21 years, 1 year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan or family of orphans under 21 years, with father dead and mother dead or remarried – 1 draw

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

2. 1807 Land Lottery

This lottery included additional Creek lands on the western edge of settlement in Georgia.

Authority: Act of June 26, 1806
Time of Drawing: August 10, 1807-September 23, 1807
Counties
  • Baldwin: 15 Districts (6-20)
  • Wilkinson: 23 Districts (6-28)

Size of Land Lots

  • Baldwin: 202 ˝ acres
  • Wilkinson: 202 ˝ acres

Grant Fee: $12.15 per 202 ˝ acre lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 21 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife and/or child under 21 years, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Spinster, 21 years or older, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw 
  • Orphan under 21 years, father and mother dead, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family of orphans under 21 years, father and mother dead, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan under 21 years, father dead, mother living, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family of orphans under 21, father dead, mother living, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in the previous land lottery.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

3. 1820 Land Lottery

After the Creek War (1814), Andrew Jackson demanded the secession of the southern third of present-day Georgia. A second section of land in northeast Georgia was included. This defined the eastern end of the Cherokee Nation for 12 years. This lottery also included additional Creek lands.
Authority: Act of December 15, 1818; Act of December 16, 1819
Date of Drawing: September 1, 1820-December 2, 1820
Counties
  • Appling: 13 Districts (1-13)
  • Early: 26 Districts (1-23; 26-28)
  • Gwinnett: 3 Districts (5-7)
  • Habersham: 10 Districts (1-6; 10-13)
  • Hall: 5 Districts (8-12)
  • Irwin: 16 Districts (1-16)
  • Rabun: 5 Districts (1-5)
  • Walton: 4 Districts (1-4)

Size of Land Lots

  • Appling: 490 acres
  • Early: 250 acres
  • Gwinnett: 250 acres
  • Habersham: [Districts 1-4; 10-13] 250 acres; [Districts 5-6] 490 acres
  • Hall: 250 acres
  • Irwin: 490 acres
  • Rabun: [Districts 1; 3-5] 490 acres; [District 2] 250 acres
  • Walton: 250 acres

Grant Fee: $18.00 per land lot either size

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen United States – 1 draw
  • Soldier of Indian War, residence in Georgia during or since military service – 1 draw
  • Invalid or indigent veteran of Revolutionary War or War of 1812 – 2 draws
  • Invalid or indigent veteran of Revolutionary War or War of 1812 who was a fortunate drawer in either previous land lottery – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife or minor son under 18 years or unmarried daughter, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw 
  • Widow, husband killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws 
  • Family of one or two orphans under 21 years, father dead, mother living, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family of three or more orphans under 21 years, father and mother both dead, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Family of one or two orphans under 21 years, father and mother both dead, 3-year residence in Georgia, 1 draw
  • Orphan under 21 years, father killed in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Invalid or indigent officer or soldier in the Revolutionary Army who had been fortunate drawer in either previous lottery – 1 draw

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in either previous land lottery, except families of orphans consisting of more than one person and such other persons as indicated above.
  • Citizens of the state who were legally drafted in the War of 1812 or the Indian War and refused to serve a tour of duty in person or by substitute.
  • Any person who resided upon the lottery territory previous to the extinguishment of the Indian title to the same.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

4. 1821 Land Lottery

This lottery included further Creek cessions.

Authority: Act of May 16, 1821
Date of Drawing: November 7, 1821-December 12, 1821
Counties
  • Dooly: 16 districts (1-16)
  • Fayette: 4 districts (6,7,9,14)
  • Henry: 18 districts (1-18)
  • Houston: 16 districts (1-16)
  • Monroe: 15 districts (1-15)
  • 37 undrawn lots remaining from the 1820 lottery

Size of Land Lots: All new (1821) counties: 202 ˝ acres

Grant Fee: $19.00 per Land Lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or older, 3-year residence in Georgia, 3-year citizen United States – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife or son under 18 years or unmarried daughter, 3-year residence in Georgia, 3-year citizen United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family of minor orphans, father dead, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of orphans under 21 years, father and mother dead – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of orphans under 21 years, father and mother dead – 2 draws
  • Widow, husband killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan, father killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War – 2 draws
  • Child or family of children of a convict, 3-year residence in Georgia – entitled in the same manner as orphans

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in any previous land lottery.
  • Citizens of the state who volunteered or were legally drafted during the War of 1812 or Indian War and refused to serve a tour of duty in person or by substitute.
  • Any convict in the penitentiary.
  • Any tax defaulter or absconder for debt.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

5. 1827 Land Lottery

This lottery effectively ended Creek Indians habitation of Georgia.

Authority: Act of June 9, 1825
Date of Drawing: 1827
Counties
  • Carroll: 16 districts (1-16)
  • Coweta: 9 districts (1-9)
  • Lee: 13 districts (1-13)
  • Muscogee: 24 districts (1-24)
  • Troup: 12 districts (1-12)

Size of Land Lots: All counties: 202 ˝ acres

Grant Fee: $18.00 per Land Lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States - 1 draw
  • Married man with wife or son under 18 years or unmarried daughter, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Wife and/or child, 3-year residence in Georgia, husband and/or father absent from state for 3 years – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two ) of orphans under 18 years whose father is dead, 3-year residence in state or since birth – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of orphans under 18 years, 3-year residence in state or since birth – 2 draws
  • Widow, husband killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War - 2 draws
  • Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian War, unable to work - 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War – 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous Lottery – 1 draw
  • Child or children of convict, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Male idiots, lunatics or insane, deaf and dumb, or blind, over 10 years and under 18 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Female idiots, insane or lunatics, deaf and dumb, or blind, over 10 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Child or children of a convict whose father had not drawn in any of the former land lotteries – entitled to a draw or draws in the same manner they would be entitled if they were orphans

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in any previous Land Lottery.
  • Citizens who volunteered or were legally drafted in the War of 1812 or the Indian War and who refused to serve a tour of duty in person or by substitute.
  • Anyone who may have deserted from military service.
  • Any tax defaulter or absconded for debt.
  • Any convict in the penitentiary.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

6. 1832 Land Lottery

This lottery coincided with forced evacuation of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma and opened the remainder of lands to Georgia settlers, sparking the Southern Trail of Tears.
Authority: Act of December 21, 1830; Act of December 24, 1831
Year of Drawing: 1832
Counties: 
The original Cherokee Indian territory became Cherokee County by an Act of December 26, 1831. A law passed on December 3, 1832, divided original Cherokee County into ten counties: Cass (renamed Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union. In the drawing of tickets and in the granting of the land, the area was treated only as Cherokee territory. It was divided between land lots distributed by the sixth land lottery and “gold” lots that were distributed by the seventh land lottery.

Sections and Land Districts:
The territory was so expansive that Cherokee County was divided into four sections, and each section was divided into districts. There were a total of 60 land districts, and each was divided into land lots. Fractional lots of 100 acres and more were counted as whole lots.

First Section
Districts 6-10, 16-19
Second Section
Districts 4-14, 20, 22-27
Third Section
Districts 5-16
Fourth Section
Districts 4-15, 18-19

Size of Land Lots: 160 acres

Grant Fee: $18.00 per Land Lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of the United States – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife and/or minor son under 18 and/or unmarried daughter, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Wife and/or child, 3-year residence in Georgia, of husband and/or father absent from state for 3 years – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of orphans under 18 years, residence since birth in state – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of orphans under 18 years, residence since birth in state – 2 draws
  • Widow, husband killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian Wars, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War – 2 draws
  • Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian Wars, unable to work – 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War – 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous lottery – 1 draw
  • Child or children of a convict, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Male idiots, lunatics or insane, deaf and dumb, or blind, over 10 years and under 18 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Female idiots, insane or lunatics or deaf and dumb or blind, over 10 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 2 draws

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in any previous land lottery who has taken out a grant of said land lot.
  • Any person who mined—or caused to be mined—gold, silver, or other metal in the Cherokee territory since June 1, 1830.
  • Any person who has taken up residence in Cherokee territory.
  • Any person who is a member of or concerned with “a horde of Thieves known as the Pony Club.”
  • Any person who at any time was convicted of a felony in any court in Georgia.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

7. 1832 Gold Lottery

By the time of the gold lottery Georgia's Gold Rush was winding down. The state did not guarantee that gold existed on the lot. This act mandated that approximately a third of the 160-acre land districts to be laid out under the act of December 21, 1830, be designated as gold districts of 40 acres each and to be distributed in a separate lottery.
Authority: Act of December 24, 1831
Date of Drawing: October 22, 1832-May 1, 1833
Counties: The original Cherokee Indian territory became Cherokee County by an Act of December 26, 1831. A law passed on December 3, 1832, divided original Cherokee County into ten counties: Cass (renamed Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union. In the drawing of tickets and in the granting of the land, the area was treated only as Cherokee territory. It was divided between land lots distributed by the sixth land lottery and “gold” lots that were distributed by the seventh land lottery.

Sections and Land Districts:
The territory was so expansive that Cherokee County was divided into four sections, and each section was divided into districts. There were 33 gold districts, and each was divided into gold lots.

First Section
Districts 1-5, 11-15
Second Section
Districts 1-3, 15-19, 21
Third Section
Districts 1-4, 17-21
Fourth Section
Districts 1-3, 16-17

Size of Gold Lots: 40 acres

Grant Fee: $10.00 per lot

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 1 draw
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family of orphans, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Married man, head of family, 3-year residence in Georgia (officers in the army of navy of the United States, 3-year residence not required), citizen of United States – 2 draws

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in any previous land lottery who has taken out a grant of said land lot.
  • Any person who mined—or caused to be mined—gold, silver, or other metal in the Cherokee territory since June 1, 1830.
  • Any person who has taken up residence in said Cherokee territory.
  • Any person who is a member of or concerned with "a horde of Thieves known as the Pony Club."
  • Any person who at any time was convicted of a felony in any court in Georgia.

    "Land Lottery," Secretary of State Cathy Cox, 2005 <http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/what_do_we_have/land_lottery/default.htm> 20 September 2005.

8. 1833 Land Lottery

This lottery included additional gold lots and lands not previously sold from the other seven lotteries.

Authority: Act of December 24, 1832
Date of Drawing of Land Lots: December 6 and 7, 1833
Date of Drawing of Gold Lots: December 9-13, 1833

Counties: Original Cherokee territory and a handful of land lots not placed in the prize wheels during earlier lotteries.

Sections and Districts
  • Fractional lots of fewer than 100 acres from the 60 land districts and 33 gold districts.
  • Twenty-two undrawn lots from the previous Cherokee lotteries.

Tickets representing lots and fractions from the 1832 Land Lottery were placed in the land wheel and those from the 1832 Gold Lottery in the gold wheel. They were distributed in separate drawings. It is likely that the whole lots from earlier lotteries also were placed in the land wheel.

Size of Land Lots and Gold Lots:
Lots varied in size, but the fractional lots from the 1832 Land Lottery were fewer than the 100 acres specified in the laws authorizing that lottery. Fractions result from irregular boundaries that prevent measurements in square lots.

Grant Fee: $18.00 per lot

Person Entitled to Draw:
The remaining tickets bearing participants’ names from the 1832 Land Lottery were drawn to match tickets drawn from the Land Wheel, and remaining tickets bearing participants’ names from the 1832 Gold Lottery were drawn to match tickets drawn from the Gold Wheel.

 

Caveat

This site is provided for reference only. Except where specifically cited, information contained is conjecture and should not be considered as fact.
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