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James Oglethorpe
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Military Personnel
    (December 22, 1696-June 30, 1786)
    Born in Godalming, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
    Fought in the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18 under Prince Eugene of Savoy's command, the War of Jenkins' Ear (1738-48), the Jacobite Rebellion (1745), and the Seven Years' War (1756-63)
    Joined Parliament as part of the House of Commons (1722)
    Campaigned for prison reform since the imprisonment of his friend Robert Castell for debt and subsequent death from smallpox (1729)
    Founded the colony of Georgia as a debtor's colony (April 21, 1732)
    Promoted to brigadier general (September 1743)
    Inherited his brother Theophilus's title of Baron Oglethorpe (1737)
    Died in Cranham at East London
    He dropped out of Corpus Christi College at Oxford University to fight against the Turks.
    His campaign to improve prison conditions earned him national notoriety at first.
    Despite his vision of Georgia as a haven for debtors, only a few of its first colonists were formerly jailed debtors, as he focused on recruiting the 'worthy poor' (poor but skilled tradesmen, artisans, and refugees) instead.
    He sometimes broke the law to achieve his ends.
    His lofty ideals for Georgia to be an egalitarian society was met with opposition from settlers, who chafed at his prohibition of slavery as unprofitable and called him a misguided 'dictator'.
    Georgia's position as a military buffer from Spanish encroachment also threatened his vision.
    He ended up having to mortgage his landholdings back in England to finance Georgia, as he always received too little support from Parliament and the Trustees.
    His weak military leadership contributed to the failed siege of St. Augustine. (June 13-July 20, 1740)
    He wanted Georgia to be a place for the poor to start a new life and various religious groups to worship freely.
    He opposed slavery and prohibited it in Georgia when he was in charge.
    He gave up the comforts of home life to accompany Georgia's first settlers into the colony.
    He respected the customs of Georgia's Native American population and strove to protect them from encroaching white traders.
    He befriended Chief Tomochichi of the Yamacraw tribe.
    He successfully raided Spanish forts during the War of Jenkins' Ear.
    He repelled a Spanish invasion of Georgia at the Battle of Bloody Marsh, ending future Spanish invasions to the American East Coast. (July 7, 1742)
    He championed the causes of the American colonists and had deep respect for the United States.
    Many places in Georgia are named after him, including Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

Credit: Big Lenny


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