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In Their Own Words

May 30, 1772

Habersham Supported Orphanage

James Habersham was not only one of the leading merchants of colonial Georgia but also an influential supporter of the orphan house begun by George Whitefield, as evidenced by the following letter he wrote to royal governor James Wright:

“I thank you for undertaking the Cause of the Orphan House, now truly an Orphan, which I find by your letters, as also another from Lord and Lady Huntingdon, lately received - It was sometime ago industriously rumoured here, that it was to go to Mr Whitefield’s Heirs, and indeed by a Letter I received from Her Ladyship, about the same time she wrote to me almost in the same Terms, and in a Strain, I did not relish, and understand, and have not answered it, but Her Ladyship’s last Letter is kind and affectionate, and therefore I shall as kindly reply - I am between 2 and 300 pounds in Advance for that House – When this report first prevailed, there were about 16 Boarders, and every thing appeared to go on agreeably, but on Mr. Lowton’s proposing to keep a School, and it being propogated, that the Scheme of a College or School wou’d come to nothing, the Children were by Degrees withdrawn, untill reduced to Mr. Graham’s and Clay’s Sons… .”

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1904), pp. 180-181.