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This Day in Georgia History

February 16, 1757

Henry Ellis Arrived

To view a document signed by Henry Ellis, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Henry Ellis arrived in Savannah to replace John Reynolds as royal governor. His predecessor had been extremely unpopular with the colonists, and Ellis inherited a lot of resentment toward the office of royal governor. Thanks to his tact and leadership, Ellis soon earned the respect and backing of most Georgians. He realized the major problems facing the colony – need for better defense, more colonists, and better sources of wealth – and worked diligently to address them. But despite being popular with the colonists, Ellis was not happy in Georgia – primarily because of the suffocating heat, which often left him in poor health. Despite having visited equatorial Africa, Ellis believed the heat in Savannah to be worse than any place on earth, even publishing an article – “An Account of the Heats and Weather in Georgia” in London Magazine. Because of his inability to abide the Georgia weather, Ellis was replaced as royal governor by James Wright in October 1760. Despite his short tenure in the colony, Ellis was a significant factor in restoring colonial support in Georgia for royal government. After leaving Georgia, Ellis traveled extensively. He died in Naples Italy on Jan. 27, 1806.