Benjamin Franklin Papers

Ordinance of Georgia Reappointing Benjamin Franklin as Agent, 27 February 1770

Ordinance of Georgia Reappointing Benjamin Franklin as Agent9

Copy:1 American Philosophical Society

[February 27, 1770]

Whereas leave was Given by the late house of Assembly to bring in an Ordinance for reappointing Benjamin Franklin Esquire to be agent for Soliciting the affairs of this Province in Great Britain And Whereas the Dissolution of the said Assembly immediatly following prevented the said Ordinance from going through its regular forms And Whereas the said Benjamin Franklin notwithstanding the Want of Such an Appointment hath Continued to Transact the Business of this Province in Great Britain, Be it therefore Ordained And it is hereby Ordained by his Excellency James Wright Esquire Captain General and Governor in Chief of his Majestys Province of Georgia by and with the Advice and Consent of the Honourable Council and Commons house of Assembly of the said Province in General Assembly met and by the Authority of the same that the said Benjamin Franklin be and he is hereby declared Nominated and Appointed Agent to represent sollicit and Transact the affairs of this Province in Great Britain.

And be it further Ordained that the said Benjamin Franklin shall be and he is hereby fully Authorized and empowered to follow and pursue all such instructions as he shall from time to time receive from the General Assembly of this Province or from the Committee herein after appointed to Correspond with him.

And be it further Ordained That the Honourable James Habersham, Noble Jones, James Edward Powell, Lewis Johnson and Clement Martin Esquires, The Honourable Noble Wimberly Jones Esquire John Mullryne John Milledge Archibald Bullock, William Ewen, Charles Odingsall, Philip Box, William Young, and Richard Cunningham Crooke Esquires2 untill others shall be Appointed or any Seven of them two of Which to be of the Council Provided Nevertheless that after being Summoned in Consequence of an Order from any of the Committee by the Clerk or other person appointed by them for that purpose to meet the Committee they shall refuse or Neglect to attend then any Seven of the persons before named shall be and they are hereby Nominated and appointed a Committee to Correspond with the said Benjamin Franklin and give him such orders and Instructions from time to time as they shall Judge to be for the service of this Province.

And be it further Ordained That there shall be Allowed and paid unto the said Benjamin Franklin for his Agency the sum of One hundred pounds Sterling money of Great Britain over and above his reasonable Charges and disbursements on his Application to the several Offices and Boards in Negociating the affairs of this Province.

And be it further Ordained That the said Benjamin Franklin shall be and Continue Agent for this Province untill the first day of June in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Seventy

By Order of the Commons house of Assembly

N W Jones Speaker

By Order of the upper house of Assembly

James Habersham President

Council Chamber 27th February 1770  Assented to

Ja Wright

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s initial appointment in 1768 had been for a year, until June 1, 1769. Governor Wright had dissolved the Assembly at the end of 1768, and a new one had not convened until the following October. Hence the appointment had legally lapsed, and the present ordinance renewed it for the remainder of the second year.

1The first page of the copy is omitted. It gives the date when the ordinance became law; the dates when it passed its three readings in the Commons House, Dec. 15, 19, and 20, 1769, signed by the clerk, John Simpson; the dates when it passed the Upper House, Jan. 15 and 16, 1770, signed by the clerk, Charles Watson; and a certification that the copy is a true one, dated May 21, 1770, and signed by the deputy secretary of the province, Thomas Moodie. For Simpson, a former member of the Assembly Committee of Correspondence, see above, XV, 95. Watson, a Georgia attorney, had been clerk of the Council and Upper House since 1757; see Candler, ed., Ga. Col. Recs., VII, 89, 282, 506; XV, 174. Moodie had been deputy secretary of the province since 1765; in 1776 he was restrained as a dangerous Loyalist. Ibid., XV, 184, 295–6; Allen D. Candler, ed., The Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia … (3 vols., Atlanta, 1908), I, 146.

2The first ten names listed have already been identified above, XV, 95 n. Charles Odingsell was a South Carolinian by background, who represented Great Ogechee and St. Philip’s parish; he was probably the same Odingsell who died in Rhode Island the following November. Philip Box, the Savannah postmaster, represented Acton and Christ Church parish; he was later a member of the first Provincial Congress and treasurer of Georgia. William Young, a Savannah representative, became Speaker in 1772 and was also a member of the Provincial Congress in 1775, shortly before his death. Richard Cunningham Crooke, after losing to Odingsell in 1769 as representative of Great Ogechee and St. Philip’s, was returned for Augusta and St. Paul’s; in 1771 he replaced Simpson as clerk of the Assembly. These biographical details have been gathered from the following sources: Candler, ed., Ga. Col. Recs., X, 858, 884; XIV, 137; XV, 6, 13, 35–6, 67, 303, 338; S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., XVI (1915), 132; XVII (1916), 121; Ga. Hist. Soc. Collections, V (1901), 1, 15, 19, 44.

Index Entries