James Oglethorpe

Picture of James Oglethorpe

This article on  the biography and life of James Oglethorpe provides facts and information about:

  • Who was James Oglethorpe?
  • What was his involvement in the early colonization of America?
  • Social reformer & leader of the Georgia Colony
  • Life and Biography of James Oglethorpe
  • Interesting facts and fast information about James Oglethorpe
  • Educational resource for teachers and kids about James Oglethorpe and the Georgia Colony
  • The philanthropist and humanitarian
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Short Biography about James Oglethorpe
This article contains a short biography and fast facts and information about the early American colonist, James Oglethorpe (1696-1785). Who was James Edward Oglethorpe and why was he famous? James Oglethorpe was famous as a leader of the Georgia Colony. James Oglethorpe was a British general, member of Parliament, philanthropist, humanitarian, was the founder of the colony of Georgia in America in 1733. He was a social reformer in England founding Georgia, after a grant from King George II, to resettle Britain's poor, especially those in debtors' prison. He established a small group on the Savanna River hoping to create a debtors colony that was free of vice. The establishment of the Georgia colony was based on three motives: philanthropic, commercial, and military.

Facts about James Oglethorpe

 James Oglethorpe Fact 1James Oglethorpe was famous as the leader and founder of the Georgia Colony

 James Oglethorpe Fact 2When was James Oglethorpe born? He was born on December 22, 1696

 James Oglethorpe Fact 3Where was James Oglethorpe born? He was born at Westbrook Place in  Godalming, Surrey, England

 James Oglethorpe Fact 4James Oglethorpe was the third and surviving son of Sir Theophilus and Lady Eleanor Wall Oglethorpe.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 5His family were wealthy members of the landed gentry and Royalists, supporters of the crown and kings

 James Oglethorpe Fact 6James Oglethorpe received an excellent education first at Eton and then at Oxford University

 James Oglethorpe Fact 7He chose to follow a career in the military and served in the British army where he gained an excellent reputation as a highly competent soldier and commander

 James Oglethorpe Fact 8Following the death of his father James inherited the family estates and left the army to attend to his business interests

 James Oglethorpe Fact 9He was elected to the British Parliament in 1722 and served as a Tory member. His entry into politics led James Oglethorpe to take an interest in Humanitarian pursuits which were sparked by the experiences of a friend who was incarcerated in a Debtors prison. This started a life-long interest in the cause of Penal Reform.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 10His humanitarian interests also encompassed an antipathy to black slavery, the practice of impressments and campaigns against drinking.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 11His beliefs led to the idea of creating a place in the New World where debtors could be rehabilitated and start a new life

 James Oglethorpe Fact 12King George II was sympathetic to his ideals but also wanted to expand the colonies and the opportunity for trade and to provide additional military support to counteract  the threat of Spanish encroachment on British lands in America. 

Facts about James Oglethorpe
of the Georgia Colony

Facts about James Oglethorpe
The following facts about James Oglethorpe provide interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the early colonization of America and the Georgia Colony.

Facts about James Oglethorpe

 James Oglethorpe Fact 13James Oglethorpe and 19 friends and associates were granted a royal charter in 1732 to found a colony between Spanish Florida and South Carolina. The colony was to be governed by trustees for 21 years, after which time the colony would revert to royal control.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 14The new colony was called Georgia and named in honor of King George II.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 15Catholics were banned from the new colony. 
 James Oglethorpe Fact 16Oglethorpe and the first colonists left for America on the ship Ann in late 1732, and settled near the present site of Savannah, Georgia on 12 February 1733.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 17The government of the new colony of Georgia proved to be extremely difficult due the three differing objectives:
  • The philanthropic objectives were based on ideals of a better life for debtors but expansion of the colony with additional settlers suffered due to restraints on the size of land allowed and a restriction on inheritance
    • Few debtors ended up in Georgia
    • Georgia's new settlers consisted of poor English tradesmen and artisans and religious refugees from Switzerland, France and Germany, as well as a number of Jewish refugees.
  • The military objectives were given the greatest attention due to the threat of war with Spain
  • The commercial objectives were not met because of the problems associated with the other objectives
 James Oglethorpe Fact 18The war of Jenkin's Ear erupted between England and Spain in 1739 and the English colonies in Carolina and Georgia laid siege to the Spanish in St. Augustine, Florida. James Oglethorpe made two unsuccessful attempts to conquer St. Augustine in 1740 and 1743.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 19James Oglethorpe returned to London in 1743 and rose steadily through the ranks of the British Army

 James Oglethorpe Fact 20In 1743 he married wealthy Lady Elizabeth Wright

 James Oglethorpe Fact 21James Oglethorpe led a command in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, but did not distinguish himself either in battle or as a commander.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 22In 1785, Oglethorpe, sympathetic to the America cause, visited John Adams in London during his capacity as the first US ambassador to Britain.

 James Oglethorpe Fact 23James Oglethorpe died on June 30, 1785 (aged 88) in Cranham, Essex, England

Facts about James Oglethorpe
of the Georgia Colony

James Oglethorpe

The life and biography of James Oglethorpe is presented in a short, easy fact file format that is highly suitable for kids. The facts about  are a fast and accurate way to gain a good understanding of the life of this famous man who played a major role in the early colonization of America. The facts include the major events in the life of James Oglethorpe together with important dates and details of the colony.

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