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This Day in Georgia History

October 29, 1754

John Reynolds Arrived in Savannah

British naval captain John Reynolds arrived in Savannah as Georgia’s first royal governor. He was enthusiastically greeted by local officials and residents, who looked forward to a period of progress and prosperity now that the colony at last had an official chief executive. While Reynolds may have been effective as a naval commander, he proved to to have little understanding of politics and public administration in the non-military world. By 1756, complaints against Reynolds’ actions as governor led the Board of Trade in London to order an investigation and sent Henry Ellis to serve as royal governor while Reynolds returned to London to answer the complaints that had been raised against him. As a result of the investigation, Reynolds was forced to resign his commission, after which he returned to naval duty. Eventually, he would rise to the rank of admiral in the British Navy. A year after that promotion, he died in London on Feb. 3, 1788.