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In Their Own Words

June 02, 1740

Oglethorpe Mortgaged Estate to Pay Georgia Bills

Because of inadequate support from the Trustees and the British government, James Oglethorpe mortgaged his entire estate in England in order to pay many of the colony’s bills. On this day, the Earl of Egmont wrote in his diary about a meeting with Trustees’ accountant Harman Verelst on this matter:

“… Mr Verelts [sic] also showed me a letter of attorney sent him by Gen. Oglethorpe to raise money on all his estate, real and personal, without limitation of the sum, as also to employ all his [military] salary from the Government for answering the bills he should draw on him for the service of the public. A real instance of zeal for his country! It seems the Province of South Carolina, after they had passed the act for raising £15,000 sterling to pay troops, &c. for the taking of Augustine, passed a second act, allowing 8 per cent. interest for raising the money, being not able to raise it among themselves; and out of hopes of procuring it in England, so low is their credit, General Oglethorpe undertook to find it on his own credit, by offering his whole estate, real and personal, for security to such English merchants as should advance the money, or to Sir Robert Walpole.”

Source: U.K. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. III, p. 146.