October 18

Scottish Highlanders

October 18, 1735 - Darien, Savannah, St. Simons Island

On this day in 1735, a group of Scottish Highlanders sailed from Inverness, Scotland aboard the Prince of Wales, bound for Georgia.

They disembarked on the northern bank of the Altamaha River, where they founded New Inverness—later named Darien—60 miles south of Savannah.

The Scots were among the finest soldiers in the world and had been recruited by General James Oglethorpe to provide a buffer between the English Colony and the Spanish in Florida.

The Scots built a fort to replace Fort King George at the mouth of the Altamaha River, which had been abandoned in 1732.

During the conflict with Spain in 1740, known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear, the Scots served with Oglethorpe at the Siege of St. Augustine. They played a critical role in the Spanish defeat at Fort Frederica on St. Simon’s Island in 1742, which solidified English claims on the North American continent.

Georgia might have been a Spanish colony had it not been for the Scottish Highlanders who sailed from the Old World  on October 18, 1735, Today in Georgia History.