Georgia had little to do with the government of the United States after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation and the British evacuation in 1782. The state was not represented in Congress in 1783 nor during the first half of 1784. Thereafter, despite appeals from Congress, the state seldom sent more than two delegates; with the result that, when one was absent, the state had no official vote.
Throughout most of the 1780s, Georgia also ignored proposals for strengthening Congress. In September 1782, Congress asked Georgia for $14,400 out of a total requisition of $1,200,000 on the states, and continued to assign the smallest quotas to Georgia despite its rapid growth. The Georgia Assembly ignored such requests until 1786, when it resolved to pay its quota, but no payment followed.
Georgians were ambivalent about the new Constitution. Generally they favored a stronger central government that would continue to assist them with arms, ammunition, and supplies that would help the Georgians fight Indians and acquire their land. But, like many Americans, some Georgians had fears of a stronger national government created under the Constitution. In addition to the traditional “Whig” fears of big government, Georgians also worried that the new “imperial” government would stand as a buffer between them and the acquisition of Indian lands. The desire for a stronger central government won out as Georgia became the fourth state to ratify without a dissenting vote in the state convention. French consul Ducher reported that it was to the state’s interest “to appear federally inclined in order to obtain help from the present Union.” The Georgians fears of an intrusive federal government materialized in 1790 with the Treaty of New York that guaranteed various protections to the Creek Indians.
- Governor George Mathews to Governor John Sevier, Augusta, 10 October 1787 (pdf)
- Extract of a Letter from Augusta, 15 October, Charleston Columbian Herald, 22 October 1787 (pdf)
- Governor George Mathews to William Pierce, Augusta, 16 October 1787 (pdf)
- Joseph Clay to John Pierce, Savannah, 17 October 1787 (pdf)
- Governor George Mathews to the Speaker of the Assembly, Augusta, 18 October 1787 (pdf)
- John Jay to Thomas Jefferson, New York, 3 November 1787 (pdf)
- Nicholas Gilman to New Hampshire President John Sullivan, New York, 7 November 1787 (pdf)
- William Grayson to William Short, New York, 10 November 1787 (pdf)
- George Washington to Henry Knox, Mount Vernon, 10 January 1788 (pdf)
- George Washington to Samuel Powel, Mount Vernon, 18 January 1788 (pdf)
- G.J.A. Ducher to Comte de la Luzerne, Wilmington, North Carolina, 2 February 1788 (pdf)
- Governor George Handley to the Governor of South Carolina, 19 February1788 (pdf)
- Governor George Handley to Abraham Baldwin, Augusta, 24 March 1788 (pdf)