Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MONTGOMERY, Sir Robert, colonist, born in Skehnorie castle, Ayr, Scotland, about 1680; died in Ireland in August, 1731. He proposed as early as 1717 to plant a colony in Georgia, between Altamaha and Savannah rivers, and to this end purchased territory front the proprietors on condition that he should occupy it within three years. Concerning his purchase, he writes in commending it to public attention: " My design arises not from any sudden motive, but a strong bent of genius I inherit from my ancestors "; and he then proceeds to describe how certain members of his family had been interested in colonizing Nova Scotia, and others in establishing a settlement in South Carolina. It was proposed to call the colony the "Margravate of Azilia," and he further says that "Carolina, especially in its southern bounds, is the most amiable country of the universe; that nature has not blessed the world with any tract which can be preferable to it; that paradise with all her virgin beauties may be modestly supposed at most but equal to its native excellencies." According to his proposition, the country was to be divided into districts as population increased, each district to be twenty miles in length and width, surrounded by a square of fortifications. These were to be defended by garrisons, who should maintain themselves and the margrave by the cultivation of a strip of land one mile in width running around the square within the walls. Inside of this another strip, two miles in width, was to be reserved to furnish the defenders with farms of their own, rent free for life, after their term of service should be over. The remaining land was to be laid out in 116 smaller squares of one mile each, excepting for the highways that were to divide them, and in the centre of each square was to be its owners' residences. In the centre of the district there was a large square for a city, and at the corners there were others for great parks, each four miles square, in which were to be kept the cattle and game, while at the central point of all was to be the margrave's house. This ingenious scheme failed to excite the admiration its designer hoped for, and no emigrants appeared, in consequence of which, after the three years had elapsed, the proprietors resumed their ownership. See "A Discourse concerning the Designed Establishment of a New Colony to the South of Carolina, in the most Delightful Country of the Universe" (London, 1717).
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