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Oglethorpe in Perspective

Georgia's Founder after Two Hundred Years

Edited by Phinizy Spalding and Harvey H. Jackson

Publication Year: 2009

A reconsideration of James Edward Oglethorpe (1696-1785) and his successes and failures in founding and establishing of the colony of Georgia.


Published by: The University of Alabama Press

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pp. 1-4

The signs all seemed propitious. The neighbor Carolinians were happy Oglethorpe, the paterfamilias, was concerned, experienced, a known quantity. So what if the Spanish were upset by the newcomers? They would learn to accept change just as everyone did. As for the natives who preceded the newcomers on the site, their attitudes were certainly...

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1. Circles in the Sand: Perspectives on the Southern Frontier at the Arrival of James Oglethorpe

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pp. 5-21

In this opening essay, Peter Wood notes that the long-standing Anglocentrism and northeastern bias of colonial American historians has caused scholars to neglect, and therefore fail to appreciate, the complexity of the southeastern frontier from which James Oglethorpe would carve Georgia.Thus it is often forgotten that the Southeast was an "old" frontier and one whose native population had been greatly altered by nearly two centuries of...

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2. Oglethorpe and the Earliest Maps of Georgia

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pp. 22-43

Maps sent back to England by men like South Carolina's Thomas Nairne helped shape British policies toward the region that would be Georgia, and what they contained was frequently incorporated into later maps and used as evidence to support schemes for colonization and exploitation. In...

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3. Parson and Squire: James Oglethorpe and the Role of the Anglican Church in Georgia, 1733–1736

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pp. 44-65

In this study, Harvey H. Jackson assays the difficult task of determining exactly where James Edward Oglethorpe thought the man of the cloth belonged in an American frontier society. Oglethorpe was a traditionalist in spiritual matters and felt that religion played a seminal role in the...

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4. James Edward Oglethorpe, Race, and Slavery: A Reassessment

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pp. 66-79

Of all the elements of the so-called Georgia Plan, none has generated more interest than the prohibition of slavery. Why this was done and what part James Oglethorpe played in formulating the policy is the subject of Betty Wood's essay. What comes clear in Wood's analysis is that, as is...

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5. Oglethorpe, William Stephens, and the Origin of Georgia Politics

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pp. 80-98

One of the fascinating-but perplexlng-aspects of the Georgia Plan is the almost total absence of provisions for a system of government that could settle local political differences. It was as if the Trustees believed that a well-regulated colony would have no such divisions, and therefore nothing...

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6. Oglethorpe‘s Contest for the Backcountry, 1733–1749

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pp. 99-111

James Oglethorpe's Georgia was more frontier than colony, a frontier that was contested for by three European powers and numerous Indian tribes. As if French, Spanish, and Indian competition were not enough, Georgia's founder also had to face South Carolina rivals who were happy to...

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7. James Oglethorpe in Europe: Recent Findings in His Military Life

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pp. 112-121

Those interested in the life and times of James Edward Oglethorpe have often wondered what Georgia's founder did during the exciting period of the 1750s. Lacking hard evidence to prove that he engaged in any particularly stimulating pursuits, most historians and biographers have...

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8. Oglethorpe and James Wright: A Georgia Comparison

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pp. 122-130

The two Jameses-Oglethorpe and Wright-had more in common than just Christian names. Both men led Georgia during crucial times and each, according to Kenneth Coleman, deserves high marks for his achievements. Georgia may not have survived, as we know it, without the leadership of the former; Georgia might not have had the strength to join the...

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9. The Search for Authentic Icons of James Edward Oglethorpe

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pp. 131-191

If portraits and other kinds of artistic or semi-artistic representations are adequate mirrors to a man's soul, then theoretically we should know a great deal about James Edward Oglethorpe. But in spite of the many "icons" of him that are extant today, we are not at all sure precisely what he...


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pp. 193-225

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 227-231


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pp. 233-235


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pp. 237-244

E-ISBN-13: 9780817382308
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817303860

Publication Year: 2009