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In Their Own Words

March 12, 1739

Oglethorpe Opposed to Slavery

James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees in opposition to a petition being circulated in Savannah asking the Trustees to revoke their ban on slaves on the grounds that white men could not work in Georgia. In his letter, Oglethorpe noted:

“This Assertion I can disprove by hundreds of Witnesses, all the Salzburgers, the people of Darien, many at Frederica, and Savannah and all the Industrious in the Province. The idle ones are indeed for Negroes.”

Oglethorpe urged fellow Trustees to remain firm on the ban, predicting the ruin of the colony if it was lifted.