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This Day in Georgia History

April 15, 1741

Georgia Divided into Two Counties

In London, the Georgia Trustees divided the colony into two counties - Savannah and Frederica. William Stephens, who had served as the Trustees’ secretary in Georgia, was designated president of the county of Savannah, which consisted of all settlements on both banks of the Ogeechee River northward to the Savannah River. Although they may have intended James Oglethorpe to serve this role to the south, the Trustees did not name a president for Frederica, which consisted of all lands south of the county of Savannah. In any event, Oglethorpe was more concerned with the defense of Georgia. The division of Georgia into two counties only lasted a year, as the Trustees made Stephens president of the entire colony in 1742. After turning back the Spanish invasion of St. Simons Island in 1742, Oglethorpe unsuccessfully tried to take St. Augustine in 1743. Afterwards, he returned to England - never to return again to Georgia.