Q:

Who was James Oglethorpe, and what did he do?

A:

Quick Answer

James Oglethorpe was a military leader who often sought social reform. Oglethorpe conceived and implemented the plan to establish the British colony of Georgia in North America.

  Know More

Full Answer

Oglethorpe was born three days before Christmas in 1696. After a friend, Robert Castell, was imprisoned in 1729 for failure to pay debts, Oglethorpe took great interest in prison reform. Inmates were required to pay prison fees in exchange for room and board and, unable to pay, Castell was cast into a cell with an inmate infected by smallpox. Castell contracted the disease and died, pushing Oglethorpe to launch a campaign against British jails, calling for reform that would improve conditions and restrict who would be imprisoned.

Oglethorpe and members of the prison reform committee saw a change, but noted that England still faced an issue of high poverty. To combat this, Oglethorpe looked to create a new colony in America, which led to the basis of Georgia. After a two-month journey from England to America, Oglethorpe and his settlers landed at Port Royal in South Carolina and moved south until they hit the Savannah River. There, Oglethorpe befriended chief Tomochichi of the Yamacraw tribe and began to lay the foundation that would eventually become the colony of Georgia.

Through the use of slavery, Georgia was built from the ground up to become a successful colony. Oglethorpe, who was widely considered the governor of Georgia, oversaw the colony's growth until his death just before his 89th birthday.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did James Madison do?

    A:

    James Madison served two terms as President of the United States and was one of the founding fathers of the country. Madison was one of the representatives for Virginia at the 1787 Constitution Convention and is credited with having a major hand in crafting the U.S. Constitution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were the names of James Madison's siblings?

    A:

    President James Madison’s siblings include General William Taylor Madison; Captain William Ambrose Madison, Sr.; Eleanor "Nellie" Conway Hite (Madison); Frances "Fanny" Rose (Madison); Mollie Davis; Francis Taylor Madison; Robert Cole Madison; Sarah Catlett Madison; Elizabeth Madison; Catlett Madison; Reuben Madison; and John Madison. Two of his siblings died while infants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were the major accomplishments of James Madison?

    A:

    James Madison's accomplishments include writing the Federalist Papers, playing a major role in the creation of the U.S. Constitution and serving as the fourth president of the United States of America. During his tenure as the latter, he declared war on Great Britain, leading the War of 1812.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did James Madison fear factions?

    A:

    James Madison feared factions because he felt they could lead to the destruction of democracy. He made his argument against factions in his essay, "Federalist No. 10."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore