Land and Allegiance in Revolutionary Georgia

Leslie Hall

A study of self-interest and practicality in an age of dissent and idealism


"Hall is to be applauded for guiding the reader seamlessly through the maze of governing factions, political feuds, and wartime upheaval toward a better understanding of the seminal importance of land in shaping the events of the American Revolution in Georgia."
Georgia Historical Quarterly

"This is the most thorough, comprehensive treatment of the American Revolution in Georgia ever written."
—Edward J. Cashin, Director Emeritus, Center for the Study of Georgia History, Augusta State University

"Georgia is a fascinating case of wartime disruptions and accommodations, and Hall presents a very detailed analysis of the effects of war in an important addition to the small but growing literature on Colonial Georgia and the Revolution in the South."

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This history of the American Revolution in Georgia offers a thorough examination of how landownership issues complicated and challenged colonists’ loyalties. Despite underdevelopment and isolation, eighteenth-century Georgia was an alluring place, for it promised settlers of all social classes the prospect of affordable land--and the status that went with ownership.

Then came the Revolution and its many threats to the orderly systems by which property was acquired and protected. As rebel and royal leaders vied for the support of Georgia’s citizens, says Leslie Hall, allegiance became a prime commodity, with property and the preservation of owners’ rights the requisite currency for securing it.

As Hall shows, however, the war’s progress in Georgia was indeterminate; in fact, Georgia was the only colony in which British civil government was reestablished during the war. In the face of continued uncertainties--plundering, confiscation, and evacuation--many landowners’ desires for a strong, consistent civil authority ultimately transcended whatever political leanings they might have had. The historical irony here, Hall’s study shows, is that the most successful regime of Georgia’s Revolutionary period was arguably that of royalist governor James Wright.

Land and Allegiance in Revolutionary Georgia is a revealing study of the self-interest and practical motivations in competition with a period’s idealism and rhetoric.

Page count: 256 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about James Wright at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $46.95

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Leslie Hall is on staff at the Wilson Library, Western Washington University.