"So sweet the air, so moderate the clime,
None sickly lives, or dies before his time;
Heaven, sure, has kept this spot of earth uncurst.
To show how all things were created first."


Charles WesleyAfter an absence of fifteen months Oglethorpe resolved to visit England. He invited Tomochichi, his wife, and nephew, and several chiefs to go with him. When they reached England, Oglethorpe was welcomed by the Trustees and people with every mark of affection and regard. The Indians excited a great deal of interest and were well cared for. They were given suits of clothing and presents of many kinds, were entertained by the nobility, and were presented to the king. Tomochichi gave the king a bunch of eagle feathers, saying: "These are the feathers of the eagle, which is the swiftest of birds, and which flieth all around our nations. These feathers are a sign of peace in our land, and have been carried from town to town there, and we have brought them over to leave with you, O great King! As a sign of everlasting peace." The Indians were much impressed with the riches of the people of England, and especially with the strength of their houses. Tomochichi said that he could not understand why people who would live so short a time should build houses that would last so long.

After a visit of four months the Indians returned to Georgia, but Oglethorpe stayed in England to attend to some business for the colony. In January, 1735, Oglethorpe sent over a colony of Swiss and Moravian emigrants, who settled near Fort Argyle on the Ogeechee River. He also decided to found a town for a number of Scotch Highlanders who wanted to come to Georgia. A band of these hardy mountaineers sailed from Scotland in January, 1736, and settled on the Altamaha River. They named their town New Inverness and the district Darien. Upon their arrival in Savannah some of the Carolinians had tried to dissuade them from going so far south, saying: "The Spaniards from the houses in their forts will shoot you upon the spot chosen for your future home." The brave Scotch replied: "Why, then we will beat them out of their forts, and shall have houses ready built to live in."

In 1736 Oglethorpe returned, bringing two hundred and twenty-five persons and two ship-loads of supplies. One hundred and twenty-five settlers were Germans, and were sent to Ebenezer. Twenty-five Moravians were added to the settlement of Fort Argyle on the Ogeechee River. John and Charles Wesley came with Oglethorpe on his return to Georgia for the purpose of preaching the Gospel. Both of them went back to England after a short period.

A colony was established in February, 1736, on St. Simon's Island, at the mouth of the Altamaha River. It was called Frederica, in honor of Frederick, Prince of Wales. A fort was built there for the defence of the colony on the south.

Oglethorpe went up to Ebenezer to visit the Salzburgers. They had moved to a new place called New Ebenezer, nearer the Savannah River, where he found their colony in fine order. These Germans were a hard-working people who were sure to prosper. He went over to New Inverness to visit the Scotch Highlanders. As a compliment to them he wore a plaid suit. The captain of the settlement wanted Oglethorpe to sleep on the bed in his tent, but Oglethorpe excused himself and though the weather was cold, lay down in front of the guard fire all night.

coastal islands map Wishing to know more of the coast of Georgia, Oglethorpe and a party of friends, with several Indians, explored the islands south of St. Simon's. They visited Jekyl Island, and built a fort on its northern side. The next island an Indian of the party wished named for the Duke of Cumberland. A fort was built here also and turned over to the Highlanders. The next was a beautiful island, which Oglethorpe named Amelia. The knowledge of the coasts served Oglethorpe well in troubles with the Spaniards, which came on soon afterwards.

By orders of Oglethorpe, a military post was marked out and established far up the Savannah River in 1735. It was called Augusta in honor of one of the royal princesses. This was the beginning of the present city of Augusta. Roger de Lacey, an agent among the Indians, was the first settler. This place soon grew into importance as a centre for Indian trade.

Four years had now passed. The Trustees had sent to Georgia over one thousand persons. Fifty-seven thousand acres of land had been granted. Five principal towns had been built, viz.: Savannah, New Ebenezer, New Inverness, Frederica, Augusta. Forts had been erected on the islands of the coasts, and along the Altamaha River. Treaties had been made with the Indians, and their friendship obtained. So far all was going well with the new colony of Georgia.

Let us turn aside from the thriving colony of Georgia, and take a view of the general condition of the New World at this time. We see a narrow semicircle of scattered European settlements stretched along the Atlantic Ocean. The vast interior of America was all a wild, unknown country, inhabited by tribes of Indians. Over a hundred years before Georgia was founded, the English made their first permanent settlement at Jamestown, Virginia; the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and founded Massachusetts; Maryland was also occupied by the English, as well as New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island. The Dutch landed on Manhattan Island and laid the foundations of the State of New York. The Danes and Swedes settled in New Jersey and Delaware, and the Quakers, led by William Penn, founded the State of Pennsylvania. Explorers from Virginia crossed the border and began the colony of North Carolina, which followed thirty years later by the settlement of South Carolina. To these twelve colonies Georgia was joined as the thirteenth, and on that account has been called "the last of the Original Thirteen"

[The voyage of Oglethorpe with the Salzburgers and Moravians was long and stormy. On one occasion the sea broke over the vessel from stem to stern, burst through the windows of the state cabin, and drenched the inmates. A week later another storm occurred, and one of the waves came near washing John Wesley overboard. In all these storms and dangers the Moravians were calm and unterrified. The tempest began on Sunday, just as they had commenced their service. The sea broke over the ship, split the mainsail, and poured down into the vessel. The English screamed, but the Germans sang on. "Were you not afraid?" said Wesley to one of them. "I thank God, no," "But were not your women and children afraid?" "No," he replied; "our women and children are not afraid to die." Mr. Wesley afterward said that the example of these Moravians exerted so good an influence over him as to make him doubt if he were really converted before he met them.]

[Previous to the establishment of Augusta, as early as 1716, there was near this point a Carolina trading-station called Fort Moore, or Savannah Town. It was named for the tribe of Sawanno or Savannah Indians, living near by. It was on the Carolina side of the river, about four miles below the present town of Hamburg. Goods were brought by land and water from Charleston. A laced hat was exchanged with the Indians for eight buckskins; a calico petticoat for twelve buckskins; and so great was the desire for salt, gunpowder, kettles, rum, looking-glasses, that the traders were allowed to exact of the savages all they were willing to give in exchange.]

History of Georgia

Main page

You are visitor since Dec 2014 -- thanks for stopping by!

There were 1416 visitors, at our previous host from 23 Jun 2004 to 9 Aug 2011.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2015

© Copyright 2002 - 2015 - Tim Stowell