1793 Petition to GA Governor Edward Telfair

The 1793 Georgia Petition to Governor Edward Telfair an interesting document for anyone trying to figure out Wilkes county genealogy because it contains the signatures of county inhabitants and it helps to explain a period when counties were formed from Wilkes county and apparently inhabitants were engaged in disputes with newcomers to the region. I’ve transcribed the document below, including the signatures. Be sure to go on to the section below the document where I explain the some of the relationships of the signers to known Pryors.

First, a bit about how I came across this document. When looking at census records on Ancestry.com this document is served up as a reconstructed census substitute. It sites the source as the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia. I couldn’t find a transcript of the document online. An intrepid research librarian at Russell Special Collections looked for the document (it wasn’t in it’s designated box) and then kept looking. When she found it I was sent a copy.

Transcription of 1793 Petition to Governor Edward Telfair

1793 Telfair petition

To his Excellency Edward Telfair Esqr.
Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State
of Georgia
May it please your Excellency
We the undersigned citizens and Inhabitants of the State of Georgia, beg leave to approach your Excellence to lay before you a Statement of our situation & to pray your Excellency’s attention to it at this early stage, ere the designs of a few avaricious men involve a number of peaceable subjects in vexatious law suits.

At the laying off that part of the boundary of Washington (now Greene)an order from the then Executive Government was issued to alter the boundary line between Wilkes & Washington Countys, which alteration of the line threw a body of land lying between that & the old temporary line into Wilkes County. This land was regularly surveyed under Wilkes County Warrants and granted eight or ten years back.

At this late period come forward men who say the above mentioned order of the Executive is of no account that the County of Greene formerly part of Washington extends to the original temporary line of Wilkes County that the surveys of the land lying between the two lines having been made under Wilkes County Warrants were illegal. These men that their actions may correspond with their words are actually (under Greene County Warrants) resurveying the land above alluded to with an intention to get a second grant for the same.

Now may it please your Excellence we have to inform you that the said land is thickly settled & highly improved in years past, and regularly paid Taxes on it.

Holding the land as we have don from the first surveys made arguably to & under the sanction of the order of the Executive together with Grants for the same legally obtained our whole Industry has been employed for years past in its improvement nor has our right ever been questioned until the present time. A number of us (emigrants from other states) laid out our little active property in purchasing the fee simple in the soil. Others of us hold as original but the hardship is mutual situate at we have been the barrier of the state having borne the heat and burthen of the day and now just as we were enjoying some degree of ease & tranquility forced into unjust and vexatious lawsuits mus draw commiseration from all whose ears are not deaf to humanity and hearts steeled with avarice.

Such being our situation we have to request your Excellency to suspend signing any Grants for a certain time that the Legislature may give us some relief. Or any other steps your Excellency in your Wisdom may think proper to take to relieve us will be acknowledged with Gratitude by your Excellency’s fellow Citizens and most obedient humble servants

Wilkes County 4th February 1793

[signatures – column one]
William Swanson
William Eley
Edward Calahan
Joel Hunt
John Starkey
Holiday Newsom
George Sorrel
George Cabaniss
Jesse Clay
John McLain
John Calahan
Joshua Calahan
James Bohanan
Henry? Thompson
William Maclain
Humphrey Edmondson
Robert Armstrong
William Stoneman?
Samuel Gilbert
John Pryer
Frederick Rowland
Wiatt Whatley
Harrison Musgrove
Jos. Roberts
William Shropshire
John Collier
John Coleman
Peter Brook
Edwd Williams
Jno Shropshire
Micajah Tarver
Zach. Robertson
Jesse Bentley
Robert Crutchfield
Samuel Colran
John Cools?
Jesse Boots
John Hines

[signatures – column two]
Thomas Maclain
Royal Clay
James Whi—-
John Martin?
William Moor
Joseph More
Robert Carter Boosley
Charles Finch
Thomas Hill
Reuben Glaze?
Thomas Edmondson
Josiah Hawker
Walter Marcy
Saml Thornton
Jno —?
John Ray
Jno Coal
Joshua Brook
Jesse Lacy
Jas Houghton
Caleb Dorsey
Wm. Gibons
Joseph Daffin?
John Andres
John Chis—
Galle— Brook
Andrew McCl—
Jacob Hoge
Jonth. Page or Posey
Joseph Wheelwright
Solomon Hoge
John Garrett
James Haze
John Edwards
Howell Tatum
George Reed
Cordy Pate

[signatures – column three]
John Coats Sr
—- Starky
Wm Vesey
Gat Dunn
Wm. Langhorn
Jonathan Baird
Henry Hanes
Pitman —–kin
David Glaze
Jesse Elly
Pleasant Clay
Silas Williams
Lewis Pierce
Philemon Edmondson
James or Jonas Northington
Walter Dossey
Thomas Sikes
John Williams
Thos. Nelms
William Cal or Cab
Nath. Porter
John Zatter?
John Post
Benj Baldwin
Edwd Harrison
–by Whatley
James Smith
Thos. Thornton
James Parks
Samuel McElroy
William McGilroy

[signatures – column four]
Samuel Northington
Thomas Carter
Ihomesorms? Strong
Morgan Williams
Ornan Whatley
Henry Haynie
Joseph Buchanan
Nathan Swanson
Parmenas English
Fredk. Williams
Andrew Prey or Pug
John Westrey
Spencer Shropshire?
A. Cummins
Garland Maxey

John Pryor signature on 1793 petition to Governor Telfair

Signers and Relationships to Pryors

Peter Brook (Brooke, Brooks)
Edward Pryor deeded 100 acres in an Oglethrope County indenture to his eldest son John Pryor in 1796. The land was situated on the south side of the Augusta Road, bordered on the west side by a “branch”, and on the east side by Peter Brooke. Brook was on the 1791 Wilkes county tax list in Gresham Dist. and the 1798 Roberts Dist. tax list in the Oglethorpe county.

Since a Wiatt Whatley signed below John Pryor on this document, there may be some connection. Something I’m keeping on the back-burner for future research, an 1823 newspaper article (The Georgia Journal-September 16, 1823) mentions Willis Whatley and states “400 acres land, more or less, whereon Fountain M. Thurmond now lives, adjoining Brook and others, in the 14th dist originally Baldwin now Jasper county.”

William Elly
Edward Pryor deeded 100 acres in an Oglethorpe County indenture to his son Obadiah Pryor in 1796. The land was situated on the north side of the Augusta Road, bordered on the east side by a “branch”, and bordering Jeremiah Linsey‘s land and William Elly’s land.

Jeremiah Linsey
Linsey’s land bordered land in Oglethorpe County owned by Edward Pryor (the land Edward deeded by indenture to his son Obadiah Pryor in 1796). Linsey made his will on August 2, 1818 in Greene County, GA. George Tuggle witnessed the will (Tuggle sued Allen Pryor in Greene County in 1809 (see post)

Howell Tatum
Greene County, GA Docket in January 1794 (image 23) Howell Tatum surety and Executor of Peter Tatum, deceased, vs. David Meriweather and H. Musgrove. Edward Pryor deeded 100 acres in an Oglethrope County indenture to his youngest son Allen Pryor in 1796. This was the land on which Edward Pryor lived and it bordered the land owned by the heirs of Peter Tatum, deceased. In 1791 Howell Tatum was a first lieutenant in Alexander’s battalion of the Wilkes County militia.

Samuel Thornton
1785 Samuel and Edward Pryor witnessed a deed between Willis Whatley and Peter Tatum in Wilkes County. Samuel Thornton was granted a headright of 400 acres on Little River in Wilkes County in 1784.

Caleb Dossey
Caleb Dossey is noted in family trees on Ancestry as the head of the Dossey/Dawsey, D’Arcy, Dorcey family, husband of Nancy Beech and the father of Liddy Dossy Pryor (wife of John Pryor), Jared Dossy, Thomas Dossy, Charity Dossy Wallace, Althea Dossy Wren, and Wiley Dossy. (see prior post about the Dossey line). Caleb’s signature is to the right of John Pryor’s (see image above)

John Starkey
Signed his will on September 10, 1818 in Oglethorpe County, GA. His will was witnessed by Gilbert Brook and the estate file includes a note between Starkey and Samuel Brook.

William and John Shropshire
In 1796 when Edward Pryor made his indenture in Oglethorpe county, T or J Shropshire was a subscribing witness. Oglethorpe county estate records shows that John Shropshire was made the temporary administrator of the estate of Joshua Shropshire on November 22, 1803. William Shropshire was granted a headright of 220 acres on Shells Creek in Wilkes County in 1784.