February 12

Georgia Colony Founded

February 12, 1733 - Savannah

After years of planning and two months crossing the Atlantic, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists climbed 40 feet up the bluff from the Savannah River on this day in 1733 and founded the colony of Georgia.

George II granted the Georgia trustees a charter for the colony a year earlier. The trustees’ motto was Non Sibi Sed Aliis—not for self but for others. Georgia would be a philanthropic and military enterprise that would provide the “worthy” poor a new start and serve as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the English colonies.

The trustees prohibited slavery and large landholdings; Georgians would work for themselves on small farms. In the end, there were no debtors among them. In November 1732 Oglethorpe and the colonists boarded the Anne in Gravesend and after stopping briefly in South Carolina, arrived safely in Georgia.

The 13th and last of the British colonies on mainland North America grew to become the largest of the United States east of the Mississippi after its founding on February 12, 1733, Today in Georgia History.