Georgia Ratifies the US Constitution and is the 4th State Admitted to the Union
Wednesday, January the second, one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight: To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.
Whereas the form of a Constitution for the Government of the United States of America, was, on the seventeenth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, agreed upon and reported to Congress by the Deputies of the said United States convened in Philiadelphia; which said Constitution is written in the words following, to wit;
And Whereas the United States in Congress assembled did, on the twenty-eighth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, Resolve, unanimously, That the said Report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several Legislatures, in order to be submitted to a Convention of Delegates chosen in each State by the People thereof, in conformity to the Resolves of the Convention made and provided in that case.
And Whereas the Legislature of the State of Georgia did, on the twenty-sixth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, in pursuance of the above recited resolution of Congress,
Resolve, That a convention be elected on the day of the next General Election, and in the same manner as representatives are elected; and that the said Convention consist of not more than three members from each County. And that the said Convention should meet at Augusta, on the fourth Tuesday in December then next, and as soon thereafter as convenient, proceed to consider the said Report, letter and resolutions, and to adopt or reject any part or the whole thereof.
Now Know Ye, That We, the Delegates of the People of the State of Georgia in Convention met, pursuant to the Resolutions of the Legislature aforesaid, having taken into our serious consideration the said Constitution, Have assented to, ratified and adopted, and by these presents DO, in virtue of the powers and authority to Us given by the People of the said State for that purpose, for, and in behalf of ourselves and our Constituents, fully and entirely assent to, ratify and adopt the said Constitution.
Done in Convention, at Augusta in the said State, on the second day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight, and of the Independence of the United States the twelfth. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.
and Delegate for the County of Richmond.
Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence, despite a large population of people loyal to the crown. Since Georgia was a relatively new colony at the time compared to the other twelve colonies, Georgia was not as active in the war. Also, the Georgian militia was not fully developed, which led to the capture of Savannah by British forces in December of 1778. American forces under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln combined with French forces under the command of Charles Henri Comte d’Estaing to lay siege to Savannah in 1779. The attempt was incredibly unsuccessful, and Savannah remained in British hands until the end of the war. During the war, nearly one-third of the slaves, more than 5,000 enslaved African Americans, exercised their desire for independence by escaping and joining British forces, where they were promised freedom. Some went to Great Britain or the Caribbean; others were resettled in Canada provinces. Other estimates show an even greater impact from the war, when slaves escaped during the disruption. "The sharp decline between 1770 and 1790 in the proportion of the population made up of blacks (almost all of whom were slaves) [went] from 45.2 percent to 36.1 percent in Georgia."
Following the war, Georgia became the fourth state of the United States of America after ratifying the United States Constitution on 2 January 1788. Georgia established its first state constitution in 1777. The state established new constitutions in 1788, 1799, 1861, 1865, 1868, 1877, 1945, 1976, and 1983, for a total of 10 — more constitutions than any other state, except for Louisiana, which has had 11.
The State of Georgia became the fourth state in the Union to ratify the Constitution, signed by Georgia delegates Abraham Baldwin and William Few, on January 2, 1788