March 23

Georgia Indians in England

March 23, 1734 - Savannah, London

Georgia Indians traveling to London in 1734 was hardly an everyday thing.

One year after James Oglethorpe founded the Georgia colony, he returned to London to report to the Trustees–and took a group of Georgia’s Yamacraw Indians with him. Led by Chief Tomochichi, they wanted to make requests for education and fair trade directly to the king and the Trustees. Tomochichi traveled as both negotiator and diplomat, determined to protect his people from abuse, but he also wanted to assure the British of his concern for Georgia’s welfare.

The natives spent a successful six months in England, becoming celebrities in London, visiting with the trustees and posing for portraits. Their big moment came when they met with King George II and Queen Caroline.

One of the natives died of smallpox and was buried at St. John the Evangelist Church. He lies there still, the last tangible relic of a remarkable meeting between the old world and the new on a journey that began on March 23, 1734, Today in Georgia History.