James Oglethorpe was born in Surrey and attended Corpus Christi College in Oxford, but he had not remained at the school a year before he left to join the army of Prince Eugene of Savoy. He soon became aide-de-camp to the prince, serving with distinction during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716, and upon his return home he was elected a Member of Parliament. While in office, he proposed the improvement of debtor’s prisons and the settlement of a colony in America for bankrupt citizens and oppressed Protestants. His first reform came about in 1728, but the results were not optimal; many of those in prison were simply released without any means of financial support, further intensifying Oglethorpe’s larger problem of urbanization. In order to combat the issue, James and his associates petitioned in 1730 to form the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America. The petition was approved two years later, and Oglethorpe immediately set out for the New World with a group of colonists.
In 1835, Oglethorpe travelled to England to meet George II, bringing with him a group of Cherokee men. Some English nobles originally opposed his work in Georgia, but they soon relented, even choosing to support the colony. Back in America, Oglethorpe carried out several impressive raids during the War of Jenkins Ear between Georgia and Spanish Florida, a component of the larger War of the Austrian Succession. During the battle, he failed to take St. Augustine but later commanded British forces in their victory at the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Oglethorpe later returned to England, where he served in the British Army. During this time, he had been steadily creating a force of rangers to protect Georgia from future Spanish attacks, but when he heard news of Scottish Jacobite risings in northern England, he immediately offered his troops for service. He and his men forced the Jacobites to retreat, but they were unsuccessful in capturing them, and Oglethorpe was court-martialed for not pursuing his targets with enough aggression. He was acquitted and given the rank of general, but he never served again.
In 1785, Oglethorpe met with U.S. Ambassador and future president John Adams during the latter’s visit to London. Oglethorpe died later that same year, and he was buried at All Saints’ parish church.
|Entered Corpus Christi College.
|Joined the army of Prince Eugene in Savoy.
|Served during the Autro-Turkish War.
|Elected a member of the English Parliament.
|Led a committee to discuss prison reform.
|Petitioned to form the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America.
|Sailed to America with a group of colonists.
|Established Georgia's first Masonic Lodge.
|Visited England with a group of Cherokee.
|Led several raids during the War of Jenkins Ear.
|Returned to England.
|Failed to capture retreating members of the Jacobite Rebellion in England.
|Was court-martialed for his failure but later acquitted.
|Georgia's ban on slavery was lifted.
|Met with John Adams.
|Southern Indians in
|Indian History for Young Folks by Francis S. Drake
|The Carolina Pirates in
|Story of the Thirteen Colonies by H. A. Guerber
|Founding of Georgia in
|This Country of Ours by H. E. Marshall
|How Oglethorpe Saved Georgia in
|Historical Tales: American II by Charles Morris
|James Oglethorpe in
|Heroes of Progress in America by Charles Morris
|Other Colonies in
|American History Stories, Volume I by Mara L. Pratt
in Indian History for Young Folks
in Indian History for Young Folks
in Builders of Our Country: Book I
|Second President of the United States. Worked tirelessly to help establish the republic on steady footing.
|One of the Greatest generals of the Hapsburg Empire. Led Austria during the War of Spanish Succession.
|Second Hanoverian Monarch of Britain.