(Dec. 22, 1696-July 1, 1785). Social reformer and founder of Georgia. He was born in London. After education at Eton and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he entered the army in 1712. In 1729 Oglethorpe presided over a committee which brought about much-needed reforms in the prison system. From this experience came the idea of founding a new colony in North America. This new colony was to be a place where poor and unemployed debtors could start afresh, and where persecuted Protestant groups could find refuge. In 1732 Oglethorpe and 19 associates received a charter naming them "Trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America." The colony was named for King George II. The next year, 1733, Oglethorpe brought 116 debtors to Georgia, and founded Savannah. In 1738, with the outbreak of war with Spain, he conducted a vigorous defense of the colony. His campaign to capture the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine was unsuccessful. In 1743 Oglethorpe returned to England and resumed his parliamentary career as a social reformer. The Church of England was established in Georgia in 1758.
Oglethorpe, James Edward
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.