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June 9, 1732, King George II of Great Britain granted a Royal Charter for a colony to James Oglethorpe.

Oglethorpe

That colony became Georgia.

Oglethorpe, an Englishman, was on a prison reform committee and decided that urbanization was the cause of much of England’s crime.  He also decided that the prisons of England were horribly run.

Oglethorpe brought the first colonists to what would eventually become Savannah.  A few of them were newly released from debtor’s prison.

The rest consisted of European religious refugees, people with a knowledge of farming, and one English Baronet.

His plan for an agrarian economy demanded that land grants consist of 45 acre farms, a lot and a garden plot in the city.

Colonists who were self supporting could purchase larger grants, but could not obtain more land through inheritance.  And indentured servants received their land parcel UPon completion of their indenture.

There were no Catholics.

There were no slaves.

Oglethorpe returned to Europe in 1743, and all that changed!

So, Happy Unofficial Birthday, Georgia!

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