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Oglethorpe, James Edward

Oglethorpe, James Edward (1696-1785), an English general, founded the North American colony of Georgia that later became an American state (see Georgia). While a member of parliament (1722-54), Oglethorpe had the idea of starting a colony for Englishmen imprisoned for debt, and for Austrian Protestants who were persecuted in their own country. In 1732, Oglethorpe and 120 colonists sailed to America and founded Savannah, Georgia's first settlement. He returned in 1735 and in 1738 with more colonists.

In the early 1740s during a war between England and Spain, Oglethorpe invaded Florida, then a Spanish possession, and defeated a Spanish invasion of Georgia. He then returned to England to clear himself of unjust charges. In 1745, Oglethorpe commanded the army that pursued, but failed to capture, Prince Charles Stuart after the failure of his rebellion against Britain's Hanoverian kings. Oglethorpe was born and died in England.

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