GEORGIA. (1808), Daniel Sturges, Surveyor General (Manuscript)

GEORGIA. (1808), Survey Plan Certified by Daniel Sturges, Surveyor General of Georgia April 21,1808 to Bohl Bohlen, Merchant of Philadelphia and related Archive of 13 Manuscript American Letters (1795-1808).
Robert Sturges, Surveyor
Daniel Sturges, Surveyor
Bohl Bohlen, Author
hand drawn and hand colored ink drawing on period Dutch laid paper, watermarks "J. Honig" and "Shield with JH & Z"
Unrestored original condition
as found, very good condition, manuscript drawing with strong colors, highly legible manuscript text, on period Dutch laid paper, crisp watermarks "J. Honig" and "Shield with JH & Z", some toning to paper but otherwise a clean complexion, minor paper loss at intersection of original folds, one instance of abrasion to paper, otherwise a well preserved antique document
21.25 × 16.75 inches
Sale Status: 

The Georgia Plan (1808) and the Sturges/Bohlen Archive (1795-1808) are a remarkable set of newly discovered historic documents centering on Georgia and Philadelphia that personalize Georgia's complex land accession and land survey history, and highlight major land fraud schemes of  1795 to 1808.  Sturges' Georgia Plan (1808) and the Sturges/Bohlen Archive are first person reminders of America's fraught creation myth, and highlight the competing forces of private investment in land, mercantile speculation, government channeling of such forces and the role of the courts, all with provocative relevance for the unfolding American story of land acquisition, fraud and government complicity as recent as the 21st century. [19]

For clarity, this complex lot is presented in separate sections. The Georgia Survey of 1808 is in one section. The  related archive of  letters between Georgia Surveyor General Daniel Sturges and Bohl Bohlen, Philadelphia merchant et alia dated 1795 to 1808, and three later documents  are presented separately. Part I contains a precis of the Georgia Plan (1808) further developed by historic research and analysis. There is a transcription of the Certification to Bohl Bohlen written on the  Georgia Plan (1808). Part II presents the Sturges/Bohlen Archive with its own historic research and analysis. The close relationship of the archive to the survey is illustrated with certain excerpts of letters.  These letters tell Bohl Bohlen's individual story and  introduce Daniel Sturges, while Georgia Surveyor General, in his own voice writing about issues such as surveying standards that pertain to his office as Georgia Surveyor General. There is at the end of this archive section a chronological list of letters by date and author. Numbered Notes to the text in Section I and Section II appear in Part III and deserve a good read. Finally, Part IV is a reference list of Georgia Maps and a Bibliography to assist the reader and suggest further research. There is much left to discover in this historic lot.

Part I


Manuscript, instrument survey, hand colored,  titled Georgia. based on work dated March 26, 1808 by surveyor Robert Sturges,  bearing a manuscript and dated surveyor's opinion to Bohl Bohlen and a manuscript Certification signed and dated April 21, 1808 by Daniel Sturges (b. 1765 - d. 1823), Surveyor General of Georgia (elected 1797-1809 and 1817-1823) for client Bohl Bohlen of Philadelphia. The Georgia Plan (1808) shows earlier surveyed lots as well as a newly surveyed large parcel of land in Washington County (later Montgomery County) in an area known as the Georgia Pine Barrens , such latter parcel purportedly conveyed by deed dated February 14, 1795 from George Naylor of Atlanta, Georgia, as grantor to Philadelphia merchant Bohl Bohlen, as grantee consisting of 63,000 acres of land. (the "Georgia Plan (1808)") [See full transcription of the Certification below]

The Georgia Plan (1808) is a legal document as well as mapping. Georgia Surveyor General, Daniel Sturges' certifying the plan on its face as a matter of law determines Bohl Bohlen's legal interest in the purported 63,000 acres of land in Washington County, Georgia later Montgomery County as conveyed by Bolen's 1795 deed. As shown on this 1808 survey plan, Bohlen's real estate interest is deemed to be naught.[1]  Sturges' Certification affirms surveyor Robert Sturges' opinion that Bohlen's deed describes a nonexistent parcel based on a fictitious or at best illegal survey. The locus, just south of Milledgeville, Georgia's then capitol, is Georgia's Pine Barrens, a large expanse of sandy pine woods. Surveyed lots of other land owners and abutters are identified by first and last name, the Waters of  the Ohoopee River are located, there is a Mill on land of Herren, and named trails,Randalls Trail, Renfro's Trail, Cox's Trail whose origin merits research.  A decorative compass rose is overlaid with the surveyor's scale indicating Scale of Chains, 40 to an inch. Tree species are located on the Georgia Plan (1808), possibly drawn from the earlier surveys where hard wood tree species might have been used to mislead buyers from realizing that the actual location was a sandy, pine strewn barrens.[2]

Surveyor Sturges identifies the earlier "pretended survey of 63,000 acres of land made, for Joseph Cooper in Washington, now Montgomery County", likely recognizing Cooper as a principal perpetrator of Georgia's Pine Barrens Land Fraud. [2] This fraud, to which Bohl Bohlen fell victim consisted of individuals obtaining warrants for Georgia land grants that were traded as securities, and when exercised by the holder, resulted in Georgia land office issued grants based on illegal or fictitious surveys of already settled property, or lands already in Georgia's public domain. Most significantly, Georgia land in Creek and other Indian dominion were also taken by these fraudulent means.  This fraud reached its peak in 1794-1796.  By some account, warrants were traded and land grants issued for more acreage than existed in the state of Georgia and constituted the largest land fraud in America.[3] According to Cadle, the Georgia Pine Barrens Land Fraud is an undeveloped area of research to which these documents contribute new material.

The Pine Barrens Land Fraud relied for its execution on three factors.  First, there was top to bottom corruption in Georgia's local courts, land offices, state surveyors, legislature and the Governor's office who all fueled this money machine with warrants, land grants, fake surveys and cash.  Second, unlike the 12 other early American states, Georgia's new government lacked the surveys and land records developed systematically from first settlement by the prior English Colonial Government who had removed these essential land records at the outset of the American Revolution and sent them back to England.  The new Georgia state government had barely any county or statewide baseline surveys of land in Georgia against which to verify the thousands of piecemeal surveys submitted both by legitimate land claimants,  and by fraudulent claimants such as  Cooper and his cohorts. Georgia land survey records were chaotic. Finally, 18th and early 19th c. American real estate investor markets in America's growing mercantile centers, primarily Philadelphia, followed by New York City and Boston and the Northeast were eager to buy the millions of acres offered to them by Cooper and other Pine Barren Fraud perpetrators and their agents specifically sent north from Georgia to these northern markets to sell "cheap" land. Wealthy American and European merchants realized that Georgia was on  America's post-Revolution frontier and in the early path of America's first westward expansion from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi River. This meant that Georgia land looked to many like a good investment.

Enter the Sturges Certification and the Georgia Plan (1808) which together are rare examples of this complex history.  Through these materials, as original source material, we learn about the work, challenges and goals of Daniel Sturges as Georgia Surveyor General in this fraught period. Locally he is being asked to address a problem arising out of  a conveyance originating in the Georgia Pine Barrens Land Fraud. While the land shown is of Georgia, the scope of the matter extends to Philadelphia, New York and possibly further abroad.  The Sturges/Bohlen Archive is remarkable and may constitute the only set of  Daniel Sturges professional papers composed during his tenure as Georgia's Surveyor General. [See Parts II  below]  Correspondence  by Bohl Bohlen , Philadelphia merchant in partnership with his brother John Bohlen is equally scarce. It is not merely the scarcity of these materials but their date that has cartographic importance: Georgia was at the beginning of establishing a legal and reliable foundation for its land records system and mapping. Daniel Sturges is the surveyor who both in his offical role as Georgia's early two-term Surveyor General, and as the self-appointed private surveyor and cartographer who made Georgia's first statewide survey and map laid this foundation.

Correspondence about the Georgia Plan (1808) by Daniel Sturges  as Surveyor General  addressed to Bohl Bohlen forms part of the archive. Sturges in his April 23, 1808 correspondence to Bohlen explains the meaning of the 1808 plan prepared to address Bohlen's inquiry about the location and status of his land holdings in Georgia:

"You will observe by the plan herewith sent, that not only the courses but the form varies essentially from the original representation__so much so that it would be next to impossible to establish your claim the small remnant embraced within the red lines even against subsequent part of this body of land is clear of incumbrance__and the people regardless of the date of speculating surveys, have obtained and located warrants on every spot of pine land where vegetation could be promoted by manure in the smallest degree..."

We hear a note of Sturges' humor here that carries over 211 years. Sturges adds that on the lot in the name of Herren,

 " is erected a Grist Mill, and the only one for 26 miles around, which Grinds throughout the year."

an example of his practical, local and historic knowledge of Georgia. Sturges also provides  Bohlen with a  technical explanation as to why Bohlen is actually empty handed.

The Georgia Plan (1808) is a newly discovered and most likely unique manuscript document  in the early American history of Georgia land surveying. No example of the Georgia Plan (1808) has been located in the Georgia State Archive, Georgia Historical Society or in other public collections, including the Library of Congress in the course of this research. If the surveyor drew other copies of this 1808 plan, or if Daniel Sturges made more than one certified copy of the Georgia Plan (1808), these appear not to have survived. One unanswered question is the identity of Robert Sturges, surveyor, whose name also appears as agent or trustee in certain Georgia court records of this era. Perhaps he is a brother or cousin of Daniel Sturges and therefore trusted by the Surveyor General to perform this delicate assignment.

Another part of the historical importance of the Georgia Plan (1808) is that it was prepared for Philadelphia merchant Bohl Bohlen (1765-1834) of the prominent shipping firm Bohlen & Bohlen. This document is a direct link to Philadelphia, in 1795 America's largest city and the marketplace where perpetrators of the Georgia Pine Barrens Fraud went looking for wealthy merchants and other investors. By 1795 there were a few published American maps of Georgia that an investor might consult when confronted with papers advertising these fictitious Georgia lands for sale but none with survey data or sufficient detail to reveal the fraud presented. [See Georgia Historic Maps, below.] Until Daniel Sturges' completed his own 1818 Georgia state survey, no systematic surveys of lands in the state of Georgia existed. [4]

The Georgia Plan (1808) is equally a historic social and economic document about late 18th century Philadelphia and its prominent citizens. The Pine Barrens Land Fraud of 1795, not to be confused with Georgia's better known and overlapping land fraud arising under the 1795 Yazoo Act reflects the speculative fervor in the new United States for land. Investors also lived in Europe. The Pine Barrens Land Fraud relied on fictitious or defective "surveys" and land promotions outside of Georgia  to wealthy real estate investors and speculator markets in Philadelphia. Bohlen's letters in the Sturges/Bohlen Archive are to find out whether the land he bought was still his, where it was located and what steps he should take to recover money lost in another sale. Bohlen was understandably nervous.  Bohlen could have read contemporary 19th c. American and European newspaper stories about Georgia land fraud schemes. By 1803, Bohl Bohlens' considerable anxiety about the status of his land title as expressed in every one of his letters in the Sturges/Bohlen Archive may have been triggered or amplified by such press coverage and from press coverage of Fletcher vs. Peck, (1803-1810) an American 19th century legal case arising out of the 1795 Georgia's Yazoo Land Act fraud and the 1796 Georgia Rescission Act that retroactively canceled land contracts and grants fraudulently issued. American and European press coverage of the 1796 public burning by Georgia's government on the Georgia State House steps of all Yazoo public records and land records to effectuate the goal of this legislation and to restore legitimacy to Georgia's land grant process reported a spectacle that might also have unnerved Mr. Bohlen.  

In 1808, Surveyor General Daniel Sturges concluded the matter with Bohl Bohlen when he delivered the letter containing his advice and the Georgia Plan (1808) for which it appears Bohlen did not pay his fees. Perhaps Mr. Bohlen was blaming the messenger for his bad news. By this date, Daniel Sturges in his additional role as private surveyor was in the early stages of his decades long project to complete the first statewide, systematic instrument survey of Georgia [5] and to draw and publish the first survey based map of Georgia. Daniel Sturges completed this work in 1818 with financial assistance from his brother in law Early who had the map published.  Daniel Sturges is the author of  Map of the State of Georgia, [6] the foundation of Georgia's American cartographic record.

There is more to discover about Bohl Bohlen and his land investments in Georgia, and what impact these losses may have had on him. There are also questions to answer regarding his political connections and relationships with both the other correspondents and colleagues. This limited description is only the beginning of following threads suggested by these new Georgia materials connecting a variety of themes in late 18th and early 19th c. American history and culture.

Georgia Plan, (1808), transcription of Surveyor's text:

"THIS PLAN represents, between the corner A.B. & C. all the lines which were originally run and marked on a pretended survey of 63,000 Acres of land made, for Joseph Cooper in Washington, now Montgomery County. The surveys coloured are of a prior date to the above, and such as could be designated by name: The remainder, where settlements could be formed, has been legally surveyed and Granted under Head right warrants.
THERE is however no doubt from the number of lines crossing this Body of land in various directions, & evidently of anterior date, that not a foot of it was Vacant at the time the survey under which Mr. Bohlen claims, was made: And, as the courses also of the lines actually run, differ materially from those on the original representation, as well as the form or shape, it would be extremely difficult to establish Mr. Bohlens survey so as to eject subsequent Grantees; admitting there were none of an older date. The line from C. to D. is open; and from D, the beginning corner,  to A., the line was called for only; no chain being used on the lines, as I was informed by William Renfro, who, attended at the original and resurvey. Accomplished on 26th day of March 1808.
By Robert Sturges Surveyor
"Surveyor Generals Office Milledgeville Truly Copied and Certified the 21st day of April, 1808. By Daniel Sturges S.(urveyor) Gen'l (General)."


Part II
Archive of  Sturges and Bohlen Correspondence and Documents, dated 1795 - 1808 Pertaining to the Georgia Plan (1808); three related documents of 1856.

Daniel Sturges'  Georgia Plan(1808) is brought to life by this integral archive of seventeen (17) documents, 14 of which are manuscript correspondence dating from 1803-1808 (the " Sturges/Bohlen Archive"). (See below, List of Documents by Title and Date) These letters are newly discovered historical documents in the first person voice Daniel Sturges, Bohl Bohlen and certain other authors about whom few other primary materials exist. This correspondence includes certain of Bohlen's associates or agents, namely Isaac Benedix, and Myndert Van Yeveren, and Georgia's James Jackson, a public figure who contributed to Georgia's first state constitution, was elected as Georgia's first U.S. Senator,  volunteered as a very young man in the Georgia Militia during the American Revolutionary War attaining the rank of Major, served as Georgia Governor and served as a Georgia state legislator.[7] The Sturges/Bohlen Archive also includes one reference to Brig. General Peter Muhlenberg (1746-1807).

The Sturges/Bohlen Archive  letters are written on a variety of period, 18th c. American and Dutch, watermarked papers, that are date line the nation's capitals, Philadelphia (1790-1800), Washington, D.C. (1800 to date) and  Georgia's early capitals, Augusta (1785-1795), Louisville (1796-1806) and Milledgeville (1804-1868). Certain printed materials also in the archive. [See the list organized chronologically by date and then name below.]

Bohlen's earliest letter is dated 1803 to then U.S. Senator James Jackson, seeking advice concerning the status of his Georgia lands[8] . Bohlen makes written inquiries of certain other individuals, in Georgia, Washington and New York.[9] Together with his brother John Bohlen, Bohl Bohlen had social and professional entree and interacted at the highest levels of American government[10] .Whether there are or were other Bohlen letters related to his Georgia lands is a matter of conjecture. None on this land topic have been located during this research. I located a single Bohlen letters on another topic. [10] The Sturges/Bohlen Archive, therefore offers newly discovered materials for historians of 18th and early 19th c. American mercantile history. [11] These letters also document land speculation in America's first post-Revolution frontier.

Daniel Sturges' professional correspondence in this archive in his capacity as Surveyor General of Georgia had been lacking from the record. This primary source material reveals Daniel Sturges' temperament, character, skills and broad knowledge and explains his role serving the public. By contrast, Georgia land survey expert Cadle gives certain examples of Sturges' official, internal written instructions and professional standards for the Office of Surveyor General . [12]  The Sturges letters provide Daniel Sturges'  first person account of pressing matters in the office of the Georgia Surveyor General, e.g. new cession lands and county layouts, border disputes with neighboring states, and his professional opinions about the destructive impact on Georgia's land surveying records and the public interest caused by Georgia's recent and still resonating Pine Barrens and Yazoo Land Frauds.[8]  This Sturges professional correspondence was not found during this initial research in the University of Georgia library collections, the Georgia Archives, the Georgia Historical Society. None was located in the Library of Congress. The one  Sturges letter located is a routine cover letter for Sturges' 1808 Certified Plan of Milledgeville. [13]

Sturges' July 10, 1807 second letter to Bohlen is of particular note as it demonstrates Sturges' overall expertise in land transactions and the legal system. In this letter, Sturges is responding to Bohlen's request for advice on another Georgia land "purchase" in 1795 consisting of 30,000 plus acres in Camden County, Georgia (also part of a fraudulent scheme). By implication,  other correspondence on this topic existed.  Sturges reminds Bohlen in this 1807 letter of the legal advice he previously proffered on how Bohlen could seek recovery in court of his purchase price for this purported land. In a lawyerly manner, Sturges reminds Bohlen of affidavits Sturges obtained and previously forwarded to Bohlen as documentary evidence of the fraud of which Bohlen had been a victim:  an affidavit of a Camden County surveyor stating why no legal survey could have been run describing Bohlen's deeded land;  field survey affidavits  of the chain carriers who hauled the metal measuring chains

"Lindsey and Mickler, the persons who are named as chain carriers in those certificates setting forth they have no knowledge of such land etc. etc."

There is an affidavit likely hard won by Sturges of a state surveyor acknowledging he

"would have done well had he made some discrimination__for the original  Certificates filed in my Office, prove that he certified the surveys comprehended within your claim that part of the 50,000 acres being found by him on entering into Office, uncertified by his predecessor (sic) Jackson...."

Sturges offers a philosophical comment about the outlook of those involved from 1780 to 1795 in Georgia's massive land fraud and land speculation,

 "During the land mania future consequences were not regarded, as they were viewed at a distance too remote in the recesses of time, for any injury or disgrace to recoil on themselves__ and under the sanction and agency of the Law; the way was too well understood how to frustrate the decree of the Sins of Fathers visiting the Children...."

From this correspondence we learn of Sturges' role as an adviser and advocate for those who had suffered the consequences of fraudulent land sales.

We learn of other matters occupying the mind of the Georgia Surveyor General in this July 1807 letter.  Sturges apologizes to Bohlen for his delay in answering Bohlen's questions regarding his Montgomery County land, the subject of the Georgia Plan (1808). Sturges explains the delay is due to not being able to obtain the needed services of the surveyor Sturges had promised Bohlen to conduct the research and extensive field survey required for Bohlen to ascertain the status of his lands. This individual curiously is not named. Sturges writes that the surveyor was called off "to lay out our late acquired Territory into districts".  We do not know the identity of this Territory but possibly it is the 1802 Creek Land Cessions. [14] As Georgia's Surveyor General, Sturges was at that moment building Georgia's first foundation for a systematic state survey.

In an especially memorable passage in this letter's closing paragraph Sturges politely asks Bohlen for professional assistance on a personal matter of his own:

"...Excuse me for putting you to the trouble of procurring me if possible, in the City of Phila. an Astronomical Quadrant, a Case of the best platting instruments, and a Circular Protractor...the balance which may remain after deducting the cost of these articles, ...."

Sturges must have been unable to procure reliable surveying instruments in Georgia. Disappointingly, we learn in Sturges' final letter to Bohlen that Bohlen had still not paid his bill and had not delivered surveying instruments either.

Letters written between Bohlen and his contacts in this archive are equally intriguing on questions both professional and personal. Further study is needed to analyze whether any of these correspondents straddled the line between investors and land agents. Some time New York lawyer Myndert Van Yeveren writes from his home in Georgia. One wonders how Bohl Bohlen met certain of his far flung  Georgia contacts, such as Isaac Benedix.  We learn that Bohlen travels on business back and forth from Europe. This matches with shipping operations conducted by the Bohlen firm. Finally, there is limited correspondence between Bohlen and Senator James Jackson, and a curt note from Jackson to Sturges.  That curt note came at the time of a well documented 1803 incident between Jackson and Daniel Sturges concerning a personal real estate matters. The negative fallout from their personal contact may have led to Jackson taking political and financial revenge against Sturges, a course of action for which Jackson was well known.   We know that Sturges was not reelected Surveyor General, and that having been forced from his Georgia government  position became impoverished able only to rely on work as a private surveyor for his family's support.[15]

Together, the Sturges/Bohlen Archive  and the Georgia Plan (1808) mark that moment when the paradigm of post Revolution land rights and Indian dominion in the American Southeast was in flux, driven by Georgia government at all levels using its influence to effectuate the complete displacement of the Creeks, Cherokees and other Indian tribes from their homes and lands from the southeastern Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi River.  Millions of acres, by some estimates exceeding the land acreage of Georgia itself, were put in play by 1795 by Georgia land fraud sponsors issuing worthless paper to land speculators outside of Georgia such as Bohl Bohlen, primarily in mercantile Philadelphia and the Northeast. We hear in Daniel Sturges' letter his frustration with the internal governmental toll the land speculation had taken and the difficulties of establishing a reliable land records system in Georgia under these ongoing circumstances.

Two years after the date of the last letter in this archive, on March, 1810 this fraud and displacement of Creek and other Indians from their territory and seizing of their lands for sale to out of state investors was legalized as new  federal constitutional law in the United States Supreme Court landmark decision Fletcher vs. Peck . While Fletcher vs. Peck [16] did not on its facts pertain to the parties in the Sturges/Bolen Archive  and the Georgia Plan (1808) regarding the Pine Barrens Land Fraud, the economic, legal and political fallout of the case  gave cover to perpetrators of the Pine Barrens Land fraud. This landmark case tied the hands of state government from taking remedial action on behalf of defrauded buyers and removed any judicial standing and thus legal recourse for the Indian tribes in the Georgia territory. The result was total Indian displacement as a result of fraudulent purchases and public land accessions by Georgia. [17] The era of the Sturges/Bohlen Archive followed by Fletcher vs. Peck were the final phase of Georgia's Indian displacement that can be traced to 1732 when the Englishman Oglethorpe landed with settlers among the welcoming Creek tribes at a location he named Savannah, Georgia and by treaty with the Creeks Oglethorpe was permitted to establish a town. Oglethorpe's settlers, funded by an English charitable trust organized to bring refugees of limited means from Europe via London to America without indentures or servitudes also brought Georgia's first Jewish community. [18] To my surprise, Bohlen's  elderly correspondent Isaac Benedix  is the son of one of these original Savannah settlers bringing Georgia's founding to the fore.  

The Georgia Plan (1808) and the Sturges/Bohlen Archive are a remarkable set of newly discovered historic documents centering on Georgia and Philadelphia that personalize Georgia's complex and land survey history from 1795 to 1808 and impacts thereafter.  Sturges' Georgia Plan (1808) and the Sturges/Bohlen Archive are first person reminders of America's fraught creation myth, and highlight the competing forces of private investment in land, mercantile speculation, government channeling of such forces and the role of the courts, all with provocative relevance for the unfolding American story. [19]

    Sturges/Bohlen Archive, List of Documents by title and date in chronological order

1.    Release of Dower by Henrietta Naylor wife of George Naylor, August 8, 1795 to Bohl Bohlens for 63,000 acres of Land in Washington County, Georgia.
2.    Letter from Daniel Sturges, dated June 7, 1803, Jacksonville, Georgia, Surveyor     General to likely Georgia Senator James Jackson.
3.    Letter, writer not identified, perhaps a note to personal files, no date c. 1803. Likely author Bohl Bohlen.
4.    Letter dated March 24, 1804 from James Jackson, Washington to Mr. B. Bohlen
5.    Letter from Bohl Bohlen, Philadelphia, dated April 6, 1804 addressed to Mr.     M. Van Yeveren, Sunbury, Georgia.
6.    Letter dated April 7, 1804 Philadelphia (likely from Bohl Bohlen) to Isaac Benedix, Savannah; dated April 10, 1804 as copied by Bohlen and sent again to Isaac Benedix by post.
7.    Letter, no date. c. 1804 Postmarked Savana Ga Jun 19 to Mr. B. Bohlen, Merch Philadelphia
8.    Letter from Daniel Sturges dated May 29, 1804, Louisville (Georgia) Addressed to General Peter Muhlenberg Philadelphia
9.    Letter likely from M. van Yeveren dated June 10 (6), 1804, Sunbury, Georgia to Bohl Bohlen (likely)[see Item 5 and 6 above.]
10.    Letter dated March 5th, 1805, Louisville (Georgia) In red ink "Copy" top left corner. Very elegant handwriting. Possibly Sturges.
11.    Letter dated July 10, 1807, Daniel Sturges, Louisville, Georgia addressed to Bohl Bohlen Esquire, Merchant – exceptional letter
12.    Communication, dated November 2, 1807, printed, pp 5-8, likely part of a     longer document, reporting on comments by Georgia Governor Jared Irwin     (1750-1818) to State Legislature, regarding matters taken up by the     legislature in the prior year's administration.
13.    Letter dated April 23, 1808, Daniel Sturges, Milledgeville, Georgia to  Bohl Bohlen Esquire Merchant Philadelphia by Post
14.    Franklin Pierce, U.S. President, Appointment of  G. K. Ziegler as Consul of the     Netherlands for the State of Pennsylvania & Delaware to reside at     Philadelphia, dated June 28, 1856.
15.    Wilhelm III, in Dutch or German, Consular Document dated 1856, pertaining to Consul to the Netherlands G. K. Ziegler of Philadelphia Manuscript. Signed by ?
16.    Decorative Letterhead (?), partial page, engraved by H.W. Couwenberg, black     and white on wove paper, three royal lions comprising the coat of arms of the     Netherlands with motto "JE MAINTIENDRAI." likely mid-19th c.

Part III. Notes

Notes to Part I.

[1]      Naylor Release of Dower dated 1795

[2]     For the authoritative discussion of Georgia land survey law and history, see Farris Cadle,  Georgia Land Surveying History and Law, The University of Georgia Press,   Athens and London, 1991, p.85 hereafter cited as Cadle.
Cadle explains that the Pine Barrens land fraud was enabled by two- term Georgia Governor George Mathews who issued land warrants for millions of acres, aided by staff in Georgia's county justice courts, certain county surveyors and agents.[Cadlep.88] The land warrants exceeded the total acreage in the counties themselves. The Pine Barrens Land fraud is notable also as the largest land fraud in the history of the United States. The Pine Barrens land sale scheme relied on misappropriation of Creek Lands and Cherokee Lands in violation of treaties and also ignored preexisting lawful settler land claims.  Much of the land described in these fraudulent grants simply did not exist.

[3]     Cadle, p.88.

[4]    Daniel Sturges served a second term as Surveyor General of Georgia  beyond 1808 until his death in 1823. Georgia lagged behind several of the new American states in finalizing its own borders.Sturges worked on this survey problem.  During Daniel Sturges' first tenure as Georgia Surveyor General from 1797 to 1809, Georgia's borders were both disputed and in flux. Therefore a complete survey of the state could not be made.  Nonetheless, Sturges was building a foundation to permit public surveying of complete boundaries to memorialize the physical, political and legal landscape of Georgia with an officialstate survey.  Notably, it is Daniel Sturges who completes Georgia's first statewide survey 20 years in the making from approximately 1796 to 1816, a period that overlaps both this 1808 Georgia survey of Bohlen's purported 63,000 acre tract and the accompanying Archive.

[5]    This project duration is not unusual in early 19th c. American map making for producing the first state map. Sometimes these projects were privately financed or partly and irregularly state financed and organized, with major responsibility and cost often resting on the surveyor and cartographer himself. Philip Carrigain experienced similar trials in making  what is now known as the Carrigain Map of New Hampshire 1803-1816, New Hampshire's first map of that state to show its American boundaries.

[6]     Map of the State of Georgia,               
    Eleazur Early and John Melish
    Samuel Harrison, 1818
Savannah, Ga., Philadelphia, Penn.

    Eleazur Early was Sturges' brother in law and provided the impoverished Sturges with financing to complete and publish his Map of the State of Georgia. The project is described as 20 years in the making.

Notes to Text: Part II.

[7]    For a full history of James Jackson, see William O. Foster, James Jackson (1757-1806).
[8]    Letter dated June 7, 1803 from Daniel Sturges likely to Sen. Jackson; Letter, nd, logically written by Bohlen to files, c. 1803 ; Letter dated March 24, 1804 from James Jackson to Bohl Bohlen.
[9]    In 1804 correspondence, we meet, Myndert van Yeveren, a New York lawyer writing curiously from within Georgia, who counsels Bohlen to protect his land against being sold at Georgia county tax auction,  even including a 1798 newspaper clipping of a Georgia tax sale notice for certain land of George Naylor, Naylor being somehow known to van Yeveren as Bohlen's 1795 grantor on the Georgia Plan(1808). Sundry other individuals are named in the Archive and remain to be researched.

[10]    See, American Philosophical Society, Thomas Jefferson letters, Grabbe and Covart for John Bohlen (1766-1850) and Bohl Bohlen, and their Philadelphia firm Bohlen & Bohlen, and respective business and philanthropic roles. John Bohlen was elected Director of the Second Bank of the United States in 1816.
    Dutch born Bohl Bohlen, an importer of fine Dutch gin, also provided passage in the late 18th c. for indentured immigrants from Europe to Pennsylvania, invested in real estate and likely other business. He moved in social, political and prosperous commercial circles in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Savannah and in Europe. Bohlen was active in Philadelphia philanthropy and the arts, a correspondent with Thomas Jefferson over a proposed sculpture commission in honor of Jefferson, and Bohlen was an early member of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

[11]     See Covert, Grabee.

[12]    According to Cadle, Sturges' work as Surveyor General changed the paradigm in the office of Georgia Surveyor General from piecemeal subdivision of Georgia land by headright, into comprehensive, instrument surveys and platting by county. This rigor underlay his approach to both the management of his office, the records kept and the standards of survey work performed. Cadle gives the example for 1804 of Sturges' practice for selecting and hiring new state surveyors, who he swore under oath and instructed to fulfill their duties "agreeably to the tenour of the law and my  Instructions hereunto annexed" and "with the utmost precision" and to administer an oath to their chainmen to appreciate their "solemn render a just and true account of the admeasurement of all lines as directed...."

[13]     The only other example of published graphic survey work by Sturges of which I am aware is in the Georgia State Archives titled "A Plan of Milledgeville the Capital and permanent seat, of the Government of the State of Georgia" certified and copied by Sturges in 1808 from the survey and plan completed by Benjamin Easley, surveyor.[see also Cadle p. 284, n.1]. I have been advised by the Georgia Archive that it has no indexed Sturges correspondence. To date, I have found one published record of a Sturges letter on an isolated topic in the files of the Georgia Historical Society.]

[14]    In 1802 the Surveyor General's assignment was to survey the new Creek land Cessions pursuant to the 1802 treaty with the U.S. Government and to lay out new counties and districts for Wilkinson and Baldwin Counties. Cadle explains that Sturges advised his appointees that with respect to district maps they were required to plat by a scale of 40 chains to an inch, " returns will be received which are not intirely free of erasures."[Cadle, p. 187] Sturges' Instructions included the requirement "Let me advise you to compare your Instruments with that used in laying out your districts; in order that you may thereby trace with the utmost precision the same lines;..." referring to the absolute requirement to adjust for magnetic north.

[15]    There is a well discussed Daniel Sturges personal letter published in 1803 in certain Georgia newspapers (e.g. the Museum) to make his case publicly that State Sen. Jackson's threat to have Sturges removed from his position as Georgia Surveyor General misstated the facts concerning a personal surveying matter between them as neighbors. Sturges explains that he did not commit ay of the acts Jackson asserts occurred.  Daniel Sturges eloquently appeals to fairness and public opinion to protect him from Jackson's threat to cut off Daniel Sturges only source of income to support for his family. Sturges states this is an act of bullying by Jackson that abuses Jackson's superior political office and wealthy social status. Sturges published Jackson's letter to him containing these allegations, as well as some other matters. Perhaps this incident contains the seeds of Sturges' later financial ruin and subsequent loss of his position as Georgia's Surveyor General given Jackson's lifelong reputation for taking fatal revenge against perceived insult.

[16]      The U.S. Supreme Court held that under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution the Georgia legislature's 1796 Rescission Act was unconstitutional,  ruling on the inviolability of private contracts from state action. Millions of acres of Georgia land, located primarily in Creek and other Indian tribe territory purchased through fraudulent means were now deemed legally held by American citizens, primarily Georgians and Northerners.  Chief Justice Marshall in Fletcher vs. Peck gave no legitimacy to preexisting Creek and other Indian Tribe land rights. While legal historians may parse Marshall's reasons for his ruling in Fletcher vs. Peck, the literature lacks  critical theory of what alternative path the Supreme Court could have taken to achieve both a new reading of the Commerce Clause and legal acknowledgement of Indian land interests and legal recourse to related judicial remedies.

[17]    Fletcher vs. Peck raised a legal challenge to Georgia's Yazoo Rescission Act of 1796 ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Georgia's Rescission Act of 1796 was of particular interest to out of state land speculators because it voided fraudulent and presumed fraudulent titles to real estate purchased in the 1794-1795 era and threatened their investments.

 [18] See, McCormick.

[19]    The 2007-228 American mortgage foreclosure scandal that dispossessed millions of Americans of their homes, involving the securitization of mortgages and undocumented investor claims to ownership, constitutes one of the largest unprosecuted fraudulent real estate wealth transfers of the 20th century. Americans of average means lost their homes to wealthy corporate financiers. An American banking crisis, credit crisis and recession ensued. Millions of individuals never recovered financially. There are numerous parallels between these recent events and the two 19th centuryGeorgia land frauds and their aftermath discussed here and represented in part by Bohl Bohlen's fraudulent land deals. In 1810, State and federal courts and state legislatures, as well as state and federal law enforcement did not ultimately prosecute the Georgia land fraud perpetrators, although these individuals were known.  Nor were structural changes made to prevent its recurrence.

Part  IV.  Bibliography and List of Georgia Maps:


Cadle, Farris W. -     Georgia Land Surveying History and Law
            The University of Georgia Press, Athens and London, 1991
            cited as Cadle.

Foster, William O.    James Jackson, Duelist and Statesman 1757-1806
            Univ. Georgia Press
            Athens, 1960
            Paperback Edition 2009

Bishop, Abraham     Georgia Speculation Unveiled; In Two Numbers
            Hartford: Printed by Elisha Babcock, [Copy-Right Secured.] 1797
            Readex  Microprint, 1966

Covart, Elizabeth M.    "Trade, Diplomacy, and American Independence
            Cuyler, Ganesvoort & Co. and the Business of Trade During the Confederation Era"
            Journal of Early Am. History
, vol. 5, Issue 2, Sept. 10, 2015

Elsmere, Jane        "The Notorious Yazoo Land Fraud Case"
            The Georgia Historical Quarterly, vol. 51, No. 4 (Dec.1967)
            Georgia Historical Society, publ.

Grabbe, Hans Jurgen    "Before The Great Tidal Waves: Patterns of Transatlantic Migration at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century"
            Amerika studien/American Studies, vol. 42, No. 3
            Transatlantic Migration, pp. 377-389
            Universitats verlag Winter Gmbh, (1997)

McCormick, Kyle L.  "Father and Servant, Son and Slave: Judaism and Labor in Georgia, 1732-1809"
            Masters Thesis, History Department, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln
            May, 2016

New York Times  July 31, 2019, Patricia Cohen, "Flooding of Biblical Proportions", (concerning the Yazoo Basin,  lower Mississippi Delta)

Institutional Collections and Resources:

American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia
Georgia Archives
Georgia Historical Society

Georgia Historic
see: Savannah Advertiser, Nov. 5, 1803 Sturgis article
see: Georgia Republican and State intelligencer, Nov. 15, 1803.
see: the Museum
Library Company of Philadelphia

Historical New Hampshire, vol. 52, Nos. 3 & 4, Fall/Winter 1997
"The Making of the Carrigain Map of New Hampshire", 1803-1816, pp. 79-95.

List of Georgia Historic Maps:

Tanner, Benjamin    "Georgia from the Latest Authorities",
                Publ. J. Reid, L. Wayland & C. Smith, Benj. Tanner, engr.
                New York, 1796
                [this is what Bohl Bohlen could have viewed]

Pownall,  Thomas "A New Map of North America with the West India Islands According to the Preliminary Articles of Peace Signed at Versailles 20 Jan. 1783 wherein are particularly Distinguished THE UNITED STATES...Laid Down according to the Latest Surveys and Corrected Materials of Gover. Pownall, Mem. of Paria. 1783. Printed for Robert Sayer, London ", 1786 ed.

Joseph Scott   "Georgia"
                The United States Gazetteer
                F. & R. Bailey, Phila. 1795

Aaron Arrowsmith    "Georgia"  from Samuel Lewis A New and Elegant Atlas
                Philadelphia, et al. 1804

Sturges, Daniel     Map of the State of Georgia,  Savannah, Ga., Philadelphia, Penn.
                Eleazur Early and John Melish
                Samuel Harrison, 1818

Item Type Taxonomy: 
Geographic Scope: 
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