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Chatham County Historical Markers

James Edward Oglethorpe

  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: James Edward Oglethorpe
  • Location: Chippewa Square, Savannah, Ga.



The monument in this Square to James Edward Oglethorpe – the

great soldier-philanthropist who founded the colony of Georgia –

was erected by the State of Georgia, the City of Savannah and

various Patriotic Societies. Impressive ceremonies marked its

unveiling in 1910.

The 9 foot bronze statue of Oglethorpe is the work of one of

America’s foremost sculptors, the celebrated Daniel Chester French.

He has depicted the Founder of Georgia in the full dress of a

British general of the period. Oglethorpe is portrayed with

sword in hand: alert and ready for council or action. At his feet

is a palmetto frond. The statue faces southward symbolizing the

threat of Spain’s imperial ambitions to the young colony.

The pedestal and base of the monument were designed by Henry

Bacon, the eminent New York architect whose collaborations with

Daniel Chester French include the Lincoln Memorial. The four

lions at the corners of the lower base hold shields on which ap-

pear, respectively, the coat of arms of Oglethorpe and the great

seals of the Colony of Georgia, the State, and the City of

Savannah. On the pedestal of the monument is carved a portion of

the text of the charter which was granted by Parliament in 1732

to “the Trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America.”