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This Day in Georgia History

July 23, 1743

Oglethorpe Left Georgia for Final Time

In Savannah, Gen. James Oglethorpe boarded a ship to return to England. [Some sources say Oglethorpe sailed from Georgia on July 22, though the more persuasive date seems to be the 23rd.] Oglethorpe’s trip to England was prompted by two reasons. Inadequate funding from the Trustees and Parliament over the years had caused him to borrow heavily to pay the colony’s unfunded expenses. He had used Westbrook, his family home in Godalming, plus his other holdings in Surrey as security for the loans. Now, unless he could persuade Parliament to reimburse him for his huge loans, he stood to lose everything. A second reason for returning was to answer charges that an unhappy officer in his British regiment had leveled against him with Britain’s war office. Likely, Oglethorpe had no idea that he would never again return to the colony he founded.

Oglethorpe Left Georgia for Final Time View large image
Source: Photo: Ed Jackson