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This Day in Georgia History

March 14, 1737

Oglethorpe Offered Commission as General

To view a publication on James Oglethorpe, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

During a lengthy visit to London, James Oglethorpe had visited with Prime Minister Robert Walpole. Walpole had offered Oglethorpe the office of governor of South Carolina –but Oglethorpe declined. On Mar. 14, Walpole announced he would appoint Oglethorpe’s preference – Samuel Horsey – as governor. Walpole also announced his willingness to commission Oglethorpe as general of the combined forces of South Carolina and Georgia. Oglethorpe, however, would decline unless also given the rank of colonel in the British Army plus a regiment of 700 soldiers under his command to take back to Georgia. [The distinction in the two positions was Walpole’s commission as general of the combined forces would have been a temporary command, while being a colonel in the British Army would have allowed permanent military status.] Several months would pass before Walpole agreed to Oglethorpe’s demand.