General Oglethorpe's emigration plans - North American Colonies

Taken from The British Empire in the Nineteenth Century (1898) by Edgar Sanderson

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Carolus, the Latin form of "Charles". The province was to be directly subject to the Crown, with liberty of conscience for all the people, the proprietors, in other respects, having absolute power for making war and raising money by taxation. Some emigrants from Virginia were already in the land, when settlers from England arrived in 1670, and afterwards founded the city of Charleston. The colony grew fast, from the fertility of the soil and the genial climate, which attracted many Dutchmen from New York. Persecution in France drove thousands of Huguenots across the Atlantic, where they proved to be, as elsewhere, most valuable acquisitions, in their moral conduct, marked by charity and thrift, their polished manners, and their political, artistic, and agricultural skill. The mulberry and the olive were planted in a new soil, and the descendants of these Huguenots furnished three presidents, in the revolutionary time, to the Congress of Philadelphia.

Georgia, the last of the thirteen colonies, belongs alone, in its origin, to the eighteenth century, having been founded in 1732, the year of Washington's birth. Its name was given from the reigning British king: its first settlement was due to the benevolent General Oglethorpe, a man who had served on the Continent under Marlborough's famous friend and colleague, Prince Eugene. It was when he was M.P. for Haslemere, a Surrey borough at that time, that Oglethorpe planned a new American colony, as a place where the debtors then leading a miserable and useless life in the noisome jails of the period, might enter on a new course of profitable and healthful toil. He also designed the provision of a refuge for certain German Protestants who were suffering bitter persecution from the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, and who were driven into exile, to the number of thirty thousand, as described in Goethe's famous story, Hermann und Dorothea. The sum of ten thousand pounds was furnished by Parliament, and George the Second made a grant of land. In 1733 the good general took out a body of more than a hundred emigrants, and founded the town of Savannah. Two years later he went out with a party of three hundred fresh settlers, including John and Charles Wesley, who preached there for a time. The Indians were conciliated by presents, and, better still, by Oglethorpe's kindly spirit. One of their chiefs gave him a buffalo's skin with the head and feathers of an eagle painted upon it. His explanation was that the eagle signified swiftness and the … continue reading »

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