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A white oak tree in Georgia is 'The Son Of The Tree That Owns Itself'. Confused yet. The tree legally owns itself and the 8 feet land around its base. Though there have been some talks about the deed being legal or not, the Athens-Clarke County Government does recognize that the deed indeed is legal. The tree has now become a national monument.
Facts from Wikipedia.
The tree has been located on the property of Colonel William Henry Jackson. He had great memories of the tree, the original tree, from his childhood and wanted to make sure that the tree was preserved.
The first article about the tree came out in the front-page article of the Athens Weekly Banner on August 12, 1890, named "Deeded to itself". Though we cannot be sure, the transition of the deed took place between 1820 and 1832.
According to the newspaper article, the deed read, "I, W. H. Jackson, of the county of Clarke, of the one part, and the oak tree... of the county of Clarke, of the other part: Witnesseth, That the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed, and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all the land within eight feet of it on all sides."
Colonel William H. Jackson was no ordinary man. He was the son James Jackson, a soldier in the American Revolution as well as a congressman, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Georgia, father of James Jackson, a Congressman and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and also the brother of Jabez Young Jackson, also a Congressman.
The tree we see now is not the original tree of the 1800s. In 1942 the original tree died, but a man took one its acorns and planted it in the same place. Thus now it is called "The Son Of The Tree That Owns Itself".
There are many talks that the deed is not legal or that William did not even own the land. There is only one person, actually the anonymous writer of "Deeded to itself" article seen the Deed. But, all this does not matter as the Athens-Clarke County confirms that the tree is in the right-of-way
The local government and the owners of the adjacent property jointly care for the tree and the Athens' Junior Ladies' Garden Club are the "primary advocate".
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