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William McKissak land grant

William McKissak land grant

Descriptive Summary

Title: William McKissak land grant
Creator: Mathews, George, 1739-1812
Inclusive Dates: 1795 April 17
Language(s): English
Extent: 0.1 Linear Feet 1 oversized folder
Collection Number: ms2866
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

George Mathews, a veteran of the Continental army during the Revolutionary War (1775-83), migrated to Wilkes County from Virginia between 1783 and 1784. He quickly rose to service as a state legislator, governor, and member of the U.S. Congress. For more information see the article George Mathews in the New Georgia Encyclopedia

Yazoo land fraud "in U.S. history, scheme by which Georgia legislators were bribed in 1795 to sell most of the land now making up the state of Mississippi (then a part of Georgia's western claims) to four land companies for the sum of $500,000, far below its potential market value. News of the Yazoo Act and the dealing behind it aroused anger throughout the state and resulted in a large turnover of legislators in the 1796 election. The new legislature promptly rescinded the act and returned the money. By this time, however, much of the land had been resold to third parties, who refused the state's money and maintained their claim to the territory. The dispute between Georgia and the land companies continued into the 1800s. The state of Georgia ceded its claim to the region to the U.S. government in 1802. Finally the issue was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1810 Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in Fletcher v. Peck that the rescinding law was an unconstitutional infringement on a legal contract. By 1814 the government had taken possession of the territory, and Congress awarded the claimants more than $4,000,000." -- "Yazoo land fraud." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Academic ed. (Retrieved September 18, 2009)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a State of Georgia document from Governor George Mathews dated April 17, 1795, granting 1,000 acres in Montgomery County, Georgia, to William McKissak. A pencilled note later written on the document states: "Probably one of the fraudulent land grants which disposed of about 7,430,000 acres illegally in 1974. See Report Secy. of State 1910 p. 15-17."

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William McKissak land grant, ms2866, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Georgia -- History -- 1775-1865.
Land grants -- Georgia -- Montgomery County.
Land tenure -- Georgia -- Montgomery County.
McKissak, William
Yazoo Fraud, 1795.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1ALand grant