On February 12, 1733, the first English settlers arrived at Yamacraw Bluff on the Savannah River. The site is now the historic city of Savannah.
James Oglethorpe has secured the charter from the King’s privy council the previous summer and then led the movement for a colony based on Christian charity. Many of the settlers were seeking a new life. Contrary to reports, Georgia was not a penal colony but rather a second chance for debtors who had little chance of improving their lot in Britain. With legal prohibitions placed on slavery and attorneys, Oglethorpe established a colony for small landowners, especially farmers. It was hoped that Georgia would be a contrast to the wealthy planters of South Carolina.
Oglethorpe relied on cooperation with the local tribe of Native Americans, the Yamacraw, led by Tomochichi. In a spirit of friendship, Oglethorpe and Tomochichi worked together to help both groups succeed together. Tomochichi even returned to Britain with Oglethorpe to meet the King.
By the 1750s the original plans had been discarded and Georgia continued onto the path where we find ourselves today. We still look for the opportunity to get back to our roots. We hope to see a Georgia that offers opportunity and second chances to the little guys. May Oglethorpe’s original dream never be fully abandoned.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire