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in the affairs of this province, changed the forma of its government from regal to representative, and united it with the other colonies in the establishment of freedom and independence.
E.W.D OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
OF THE LIFE OF
JAMES EDWARD OGLETHORPE, was the son of sir Theophilus Oglethorpe of Godalmen in the county of Surry, lieutenant-colonel of the duke of York’s troop of the king’s horse-guards, a major-general of the army, and a member of parliament, by Eleanora his wife, daughter of Richard Wall of Ragane, in Ireland. He was born in the parish of St. James's the 21st of December 1698:* his father and two of his brothers being in the army, he was educated with a view to that profession, which he afterwards embraced. He was appointed an ensign in 1711, and in 1713 performed duty with that rank, at the proclamation of the peace at Utrecht. He was promoted to a captain-lieutenancy of the queen’s guards in 1715: he afterwards employed himself in acquiring the art of war, under the famous prince Eugene, and other eminent commanders. He was patronized by the dukes of Argyle and Marlborough, by whose recommendations he acted as secretary and aid-de-camp to the prince, though at an early period of life, and stored up much useful knowledge. It was said that he was offered some preferment in the German service, where he might have acquired the station which his companion, marshal Keith, afterwards obtained: but with a man of his sentiments, the obligations due to his country, and the services . it required, were not to be dispensed with. From the time of prince Eugene's campaigns, the pacific disposition of the powers of Europe, prevented the exercise of Oglethorpe's military talents for a considerable time: at length a field was opened in the western world, where he had an opportunity of displaying them, and giving evidence of the feelings of his heart. He was appointed colonel of a regiment the 25th of August 1737, with the rank of general and commander in chief over all the king's forces in Georgia and South-Carolina. It is said that
* In 1707, a pamphlet was published in England, entitled Frances Shaftoe’s narrative, containing an account of her being a servant in sir Theophilus Oglethorpe's family; and with all the illiterate simplicity of her station, states that the pretended prince of Wales was sir Theophilus's son; that she was sent to France and barbarously used to make her turn papist and nun, in order to prevent a discovery, but she made her escape to Switzerland, and from thence returned to England. She says, “Ann Oglethorpe told me that the first pretended prince of Wales died of convulsion fits at the age of five or six weeks; but her mother had a little son some days older than the prince, and her mother took her little brother James, all in haste, and went to London, that her little brother and the prince were both sick together, and her little brother died, or was lost, but that it was a secret between her mother and queen Mary.” It is something extraordinary, if true, that there is no record of Oglethorpe's birth oil the parish register, in conformity with a long established custom of Great-Britain; and I am indebted to the Encyclopædia Perthensis, and the journal of a private gentleman in Georgia, where his birth day was celebrated, for the date which I have inserted,
he commanded the first regular force that was ever stationed in America, and that he was the first general to whom a chief command had been given over two provinces. He was appointed brigadier-general in the British army, the 30th of March 1745, and major-general, the 13th of September 1747. He was elected member of parliament for Haslemere in Surry, in 1722, 1727, 1734, 1741 and 1747; and during that. period many regulations in the laws of England, for the benefit of trade and for the public weal generally, were proposed and promoted by him. In 1728, finding a gentleman, to whom he paid a visit in the Fleet prison, loaded with irons and otherwise barbarously used, he engaged in a philanthropic inquiry into the state of the prisoners and gaols in England; where upon investigation, facts, disgraceful to humanity, were developed. He moved in the house of commons, that a committee should be appointed to inquire into the state of the prisoners confined in the gaols of Great-Britain. A committee was accordingly appointed, and Oglethorpe who was its chairman, reported in 1729, several resolutions, which induced the house to attempt a redress of many flagrant abuses. Oglethorpe suggested a project for the consideration of a number of gentlemen, principally members of parliament, who lately had occasion to observe the miserable condition of prison
ers, confined in gaols for debt : moved with compassion for their relief, they judged that if they were settled in some of the new colonies in North America, they might, instead of being a burthen and disgrace, be made beneficial to the nation. On the 15th of July 1732, he was vested with the functions of governor of Georgia, and in the ten succeeding years he crossed the Atlantic ocean six times, without fee or hope of reward, to forward his laudable design of settling the province. When he returned to England for the last time, in 1743, he took with him an Indian boy, son of one of the chiefs, who received a pretty liberal education and returned to Georgia a polished man ; and when he went into the Creek nation, considerable expectations were entertained from his influence in planting the seeds of civilization amongst his countrymen ; but he soon returned to his native habits. General Oglethorpe, complimented colonel Noble Jones with his portrait in a neat frame, representing his Indian pupil standing by his side reading: it was lost when Savannah was captured by the British forces in December 1778. In 1745, he accompanied the duke of Cumber. land into Scotland, which was his last military expedition. On the 29th of August 1744, he