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Origin of Georgia - James Edward Oglethorpe --- His character and merits Object of the colony --- Error of
judgment at the first - Oglethorpe at the head of the colony ---- Founding of Savannah-Emigration of Lutherans from Salzburg - Moravians --- Jews - Highlanders - Charles and John Wesley in Georgia -- Discontent among some of the colonists ----Slavery desired -- When introduced ---- Spanish claims to the territory -- Oglethorpe's plans — Resists Spanish pretensions -- Attack on St. Augustine - Unsuccessful ---- Spanish expedition against Georgia and Carolina -- Oglethorpe's trial ---- Charges against him - His complete vindication Whitfield in America -- The great revival Changes in the government- Slow progress of Georgia -- Expensiveness of the colony - Royal governor appointed -- The people hospitable -- Value of the land not yet known.
SOME years before the breaking out | nah, to be settled for the purpose just of the third intercolonial war, the named. Liberal contributions were colony of GEORGIA was planted in that made by the nobility and clergy; parwaste and unproductive portion of liament also made a grant; and the Carolina, between the Savannah and warmest interest was excited in favor
the Alatamaha rivers. Its ori- of the plan. They who thought of
gin was due to kindly and be political advantages, favored the pronevolent motives and desires, notwith- ject because of the service Georgia was standing the errors of judgment into likely to prove as a barrier on the which its founders fell; and the name south against the Spaniards; merchants of James Edward Oglethorpe will were attracted by promises of wine and always be held in deserved honor and silk as staples for the new colony; Proesteem. This philanthropic man was
testants looked hitherward as a refuge earnestly intent upon mitigating the for their persecuted brethren on the evils connected with imprisonment for continent; those who desired to labor debt, and hoped also to provide season- for the conversion of the Indians, had able relief for the struggling poor of here opened to them a wide field;
England, who might desire to live everything, in short, seemed to favor
soberly and industriously, and reap the the undertaking. And the official seal fruits of their efforts. In conjunction had on one of its faces a group of silkwith Lord Percival and other noble-worms with the motto, "non sibi, sed men and gentlemen, Oglethorpe ob- aliis,"_“not for themselves, but for tained a charter* from parliament of a
others." part of Carolina, south of the Savan- The great error of judgment at the
beginning was in confining the emigra
tion to that helpless, inefficient, queru* See the “ Historical Collections of Georgia," by
lous class of the community, who, by
Rev. Geo. White, for the Charter of the Colony.
misfortune and ill success at home, were colonization and settlement. A small little fitted to encounter the toils and battery commanded the river; a paliprivations of a new country; the very sade was erected; an experimental sort of persons needed as pioneers, such garden was laid out for vines, mulberry as husbandmen, artificers, and laborers, trees, etc.; and a storehouse was built. were the ones excluded from the bene
Soon after, a body of German Luthefit of the charity. But this error was rans, from the valleys of the Western not of long continuance.
Alps, within the archbishopric of SalzOglethorpe offered to endure the fa- burg, who had been exposed to persetigue of planting the colony himself. cution at home, obtained the sympathy Accordingly, with thirty-five families, and assistance of the English parliaabout a hundred and thirty-five per- ment, who furnished the means for sons--a clergyman, having with him enabling them to emigrate. Headed Bibles, Prayer Books, and Catechisms, by their ministers, they left the home a person to instruct in cultivation of of their fathers on foot, and walked silk, and several officers of justice, to Rotterdam, their place of embarkOglethorpe set sail from Deptford, ation, chanting as they went hymns
November 17th, 1732, reached of thanksgiving for their deliverance.
Charleston early in 1733, where They touched at Dover, where they he and his company were hospitably had an interview with their English entertained, and soon after landed on patrons; and on reaching Georthe shores of the new province. On gia, in March, 1734, formed, at ascending the Savannah River, a pine- a distance above Savannah, a settlecovered hill, somewhat elevated above ment, piously called Ebenezer, where its level shores, the Yamacraw Bluff, they were shortly after joined by other was fixed upon as the seat of the capi- members of their community. To these, tal, which was laid out in broad aven- early in 1735, were added several Moues and open squares, and named SA- ravians, the disciples of Count ZinzenVANNAH, after the Indian name of the dorf. A company of about forty desriver. During these operations, Ogle-titute Jews had also been furnished by thorpe pitched his tent under a canopy some of their wealthier brethren with of lofty pine trees. He found the spot, the means of emigrating to Georgia,
on his arrival, occupied by a small where, though not encouraged by the
body of the Creek Indians, who trustees, they were allowed to establish were easily induced to surrender it and themselves in peace. to yield to the settlers an ample extent Oglethorpe returned to England in of territory." Immediate steps were April, 1734, and carried with him setaken for setting forward the work of veral Creek chiefs, and some
mens of Georgia silk. The Indians
were treated with great attention, and, who acted as interpreter, and the Rev. Mr. Bosom
deeply impressed with the power and " Historical Collections of Georgia," pp. 21-31.
wealth of the English, were ready to
* For the interesting history of Mary Musgrove,
worth, her husband subsequently, see Mr. White's
JOHN WESLEY IN GEORGIA.
promise perpetual fidelity. By means ably well contented with their posiof an additional parliamentary grant tion; industry and frugality brought of £26,000, steps were taken for occu- their proper reward; but the class of
pying the region lying near to settlers spoken of above, soon became
Florida. Early in 1736, a body clamorous for the privilege of having of Scotch Highlanders founded New rum to use, and the keeping of slaves, Inverness on the Alatamaba. Ogle- | both of which had been expressly forthorpe returned to Georgia with these bidden from the first by the trustees. settlers, having in his company John Discontent, and factious language and and Charles Wesley, afterwards cele- action, became quite prevalent among brated for their connection with the these; and by constant agitation, durMethodist movement. Charles Wes- ing ten years or so that followed, their ley was appointed secretary to Ogle- wishes were yielded to, and slavery thorpe, and John was chosen the parish was introduced into Georgia. minister of Savannah. At first he was Oglethorpe, aware of the importance very popular, and was listened to with of strengthening his position, took meagreat devotion by all classes in the sures to fortify the colony against the community; but his zeal ere long in- neighboring Spaniards. Afort was volved him in difficulties, which led to erected on an island near the mouth his leaving Georgia. He had formed of the Alatamaha River, where a town an attachment for a young lady, whose called Frederica was regularly laid out piety at first appeared unquestionable, and built; and ten miles nearer the but proving afterwards not quite equal sea, on Cumberland Island, was raised to what Wesley and his religious asso- a battery, commanding the entrance ciates required, he had been led by into Jekyl Sound, through which all principle to break off the connection, and ships of force must pass to reach Fredthe lady was married to another per- erica. The Spaniards took umbrage son. Becoming now more “worldly" at these proceedings on the part of the than before, she was refused admission English, and sent a commissioner from to the Lord's Supper by Wesley, as Havana to demand an evacuation of unfit to partake of that solemnity," all the territory south of St. Helena an exclusion for which her husband Sound, as belonging to the King of brought a suit, and claimed damages Spain. Oglethorpe, of course, resisted to the amount of £1,000. Wesley, such a demand. He had acquired the charged beside with a number of other veneration of all classes by his benevo
abuses of authority, and find lent labors, “nobly devoting all his
ing the public feeling decidedly powers to serve the poor, and rescue against him,“ shook off the dust of his them from their wretchedness;" and feet," as he phrases it, and left Georgia though he himself possessed no share in disgust. He never afterwards re- of territory in Georgia, he determined visited America.
to shelter it, if needful, with his life. The Germans and Scotch were toler- “To me,” he said to Charles Wesley,
“ death is nothing. If separate spirits plaints against the trustees in general, regard our little concerns, they do it which, having been duly examined by as men regard the follies of their child- the House of Commons, were prohood." Having proceeded to England, nounced to be “false, scandalous, and he raised and disciplined a regiment, malicious.” Oglethorpe himself,
and returned to Savannah in soon after, went to England, to
answer charges brought against his pointment of military commandant of character, which he so effectually sucGeorgia and the Carolinas, and with ceeded in vindicating, that his accuser, directions to “repel force by force.” Cook, who was his own lieutenant
In August of the next year, Ogle-colonel, was deprived of his commisthorpe travelled some three hundred sion. Marrying presently and accept
miles through the forests, and ing a home appointment, the founder
met the Creeks, near the site of Georgia never afterwards revisited of the present city of Columbus, who America ; but he lived long enough to promised to maintain amity and con- see the establishment of the indepencord with the English, and also to ex- dence of the United States. Ogleclude all others. Having raised a large thorpe died, July 1st, 1785, at the
force, Oglethorpe laid siege to great age of ninety-seven.
St. Augustine ; but the expedi- Directly after Wesley's return to tion was not successful.
England, the equally celebrated George Anson's undertakings in despoiling Whitfield embarked for Georgia, and Spanish commerce and colonies, as well labored very effectively in many ways as Vernon's efforts in the same line, to set forward the cause of charity and
having proved failures, the Spa- religion. The orphan house near Sa
niards, in 1742, determined to vannah owed its origin to the labors attack Georgia and Carolina with a of Whitfield. Mr. Hildreth devotes a force of three thousand men. Nothing number of pages in his second volume, but the ignorance of the Spanish com- to an account of the “Great Revival" mander saved the colonies from im- in New England, consequent upon pending and fearful disaster; and Ogle- Whitfield's preaching and influence, thorpe was enabled to repel an attack aided by such men as Jonathan Edupon Frederica without serious diffi- wards, David Brainerd, and others. culty. Notwithstanding, however, his On the whole, we deem Mr. Hildreth's devotion to the interests of Georgia, account a fair one, though probably not Oglethorpe experienced much the same entirely acceptable to any of the partrials as other men placed in the like ties whose names he freely uses. positions, and was exposed to a large ligion, so conspicuous hitherto as the share of petty meanness and ingrati- glowing, sometimes lurid, atmosphere tude. The discontented colonists first of our historical pictures, fades hencesent over Thomas Stevens as their forth, almost vanishes away :" because, agent to England, laden with com- | thenceforth, men were content to give
66 THE GREAT REVIVAL."
up the idea, which is now scouted at lar business. Other discourse than of by almost all, that religion and politics the things of religion would scarcely must go together, Men now care not be tolerated in any company. They whether a man has any religion what seemed to follow their worldly business ever, so far as political and civil rela- more as a part of their duty, than from tions are concerned. May not the any disposition they had to it. The question be worth considering, whether, temptation now seemed to lie on this in departing from the extreme theocra- hand, to neglect worldly affairs too tic views of the Puritans, we have not much, and to spend too much time in reached the opposite extreme? Is the the immediate exercises of religion. atheistical indifferentism of our day a But although people did not ordinarily better thing for the good of the com- neglect their worldly business, yet there munity than the stern denunciation of then was the reverse of what comthe world, and all connection with it, monly is; religion was with all the of former times?
This state of feeling The reader, however, who takes note spread rapidly during the following of the important effect upon a people seven years through many of the New of all extended religious movements, England States, and in some of those like the one now under consideration, of New York and New Jersey. "This will, we think, not be displeased to see work,' says Dr. Trumbull,* was very what Mr. Hinton* has to say in regard extraordinary on many accounts.
It to the 6 Great Revival."
was much beyond what had been the " It was in the year 1735, that the common course of Providence. It was first very decided indication of a revi. more universal than had before been val spirit manifested itself at North- known. It extended to all sorts and ampton, Massachusetts, under the minis characters of people, sober and vicious, try of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, af- high and low, rich and poor, wise and terwards president of the college in unwise. To all appearance, it was no New Jersey. It appears to have com- less powerful in families and persons of menced among the young people of his distinction, in the places which it visited, congregation. ‘Presently,' says Dr. than others. In former works of this Edwards, "a great and earnest concern nature, young people had generally about the things of religion and the been wrought upon, while elderly peoeternal world became universal in all ple and children had been little affected, parts of the town, and among persons if moved at all. But at this time old of all degrees and ages. All the con- men were affected as well as others.' versation in all companies, and upon all \ 'People, in a wonderful manner, flocked occasions, was upon these things only, together to places of public worship, unless so much as was necessary for not only on the Lord's Day, but on lecpeople to carry on their ordinary secu- ture days, so that the places of worship
* " History of the United States," p. 134.
* “ History of Connecticut," vol. ii., p. 141.