Winner of two 2013 Emmy Awards from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Georgia's First Land Lottery
May 11, 1803
Georgia’s lottery is nothing new. Between 1805 and 1833, the state held eight land lotteries. Seventy-five percent of Georgia was sold to roughly 100,000 people for bargain prices. As land-hungry Georgians began migrating westward after the American Revolution, the state negotiated treaties with the Creek and Cherokee tribes—or simply took their land—and then distributed the acreage.
Georgia turned to the lottery system because of the corrupt Yazoo Land Fraud, when the legislature sold thousands of acres to speculators. Names were put in one drum, lot numbers in another. Names could be entered multiple times based on age, marital status, military service, years of residence, and success in previous lotteries. Selling the land for an average of 7 cents an acre, the lotteries had far-reaching consequences: more widespread landownership shifted political power away from aristocratic planters but increased slave-owning as well as cotton cultivation spread across the state.
Georgia’s first land lottery act was signed by Governor John Milledge on May 11, 1803, Today in Georgia History.
Georgia was the only state to distribute land via a lottery.
Chad J. DeWolf is an educator at Madison County Middle School (Comer, GA) in the Madison County School District (Danielsville, GA). This website is not affiliated with MCMS or MCSD. ETS is used as an educational tool for anyone interested and should be viewed as a resource for an awesome online learning experience. Tell your friends about this. You know you want to. Everyone is doing it. I''ll be your best friend.