Having been granted a charter by the King of England to establish the colony of Georgia, General James Oglethorpe arrived on a site near the present day city of Savannah on February 12, 1733 with a group of original settlers onboard The Ann. It was Oglethorpe's hope to establish a colony where the many citizens of Great Britain who had been thrown into debtor's prison for their inability to repay their debts could start life anew with their families. The king of England viewed the establishment of Georgia as a good way to create a "buffer zone" between his Spanish enemies in St. Augustine, Florida to the south and the English city of Charlestown, South Carolina to the north. Savannah was founded as Georgia's first city and also has the distinction of being the first "planned" city in America, having been designed by General Oglethorpe, himself.
In the end, there were not as many rescued from debtor's prison and brought to Georgia as Oglethorpe had envisioned; but the new English colony became a place of hope for a multitude of other peoples looking for liberty and a fresh start. Along with English settlers, there were also German Salzburgers who brought with them the introduction of vineyards and silk worms, Moravians who were seeking a place of religious freedom, and a great number of Scots Highlanders who proved to be the fiercest defenders of the new colony during subsequent Spanish attacks. Georgia began as a place of hope for many people and Oglethorpe's original laws barring rum, slaves, and lawyers caused the young colony to prosper immediately through the hard work and industry of its early colonists.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans believe that it is fitting in these trying times of 2012 that all Georgians remember the vision of our founder James Oglethorpe and the hard work of Georgia's earliest settlers who each sought to make our dear state a place dedicated to "wisdom, justice, and moderation" as established in our state motto.