Hey there! This is your teacher Mr. H.,
and you’re watching History in a Hoodie. Today’s episode is about the Trustee Period
of the Georgia colony where we will learn all about who lived in the Georgia colony
during its early days. I can’t wait to find out!
so let’s get this show started! What are we learning about today? The standard for today’s lesson asks the
students to evaluate the role of diverse groups in settling Georgia during the Trustee Period. Before we start, let’s go over some vocabulary for today’s lesson. James Oglethorpe and the 20 other Trustees
had lofty goals for Georgia. It was to become an agricultural haven in
the New World where men who were once imprisoned for their unfortunate circumstances would
be able to provide value to England. It was to be a self-sufficient land where
people would live clean lives without alcohol and not dependent on slavery… Didn’t quite go that way. The Trustee Period, which lasted from 1733
to 1751, was an experiment that would be completely undone shortly after Oglethorpe left Georgia
to return to England. The people who remained, the English settlers
and some other welcomed groups, would greatly impact the direction Georgia would head toward
the year 1776. One of the most important goals for the Georgia
colony was to serve as a military defense outpost for the Carolina colony. James Oglethorpe himself would serve as the
military commander of the tiny colony during his years in the New World. However, the English farmers and laborers
he brought along on the Ann were anything but hardened warriors. So, Oglethorpe invited the Highland Scots
from nearby Scotland to the new colony. The Scottish Highlanders were invited based
on reputation alone – and that reputation was for being some of the best soldiers in
the world. They served well, playing leading roles in
the Battle of Bloody Marsh in the War of Jenkins’ Ear and also in attempts to siege and capture
Spanish territory in St. Augustine, Florida. The Highland Scots were granted territory
about 50 miles away from Yamacraw Bluff, and they would name their settlement Darien, Georgia. Another group who was invited to join the
new colony was the Salzburgers. King George II was a very devout and religious
king, and he became aware of this group of Austrian people who were being persecuted
for their religious beliefs. The Salzburgers, and the King, were Protestants
(which is a brand of Christianity), and the leader of Austria was a Catholic (another
brand). The King offered these Austrian citizens refuge
in the New World in the Georgia colony to escape the abuses they experienced in their
homeland. They would settle just outside Savannah as
well and found the town of Ebenezer where the oldest Christian church in the state can
still be found. In the original Charter, the Trustees did
ban certain ethnic groups of people from coming to Georgia if they found them undesirable. One such group that was out of favor with
the Trustees was the Jewish community. Without getting too deep into the racial biases
of Europe in the early 18th century, you need to understand that it would have taken a significant
need for Oglethorpe to overlook this prejudice to invite Jewish people to live in the colony. That significant need ended up being doctors
– the only doctor brought from England suddenly died amid a yellow fever outbreak in Savannah. Dr. Samuel Nunes from Portugal was credited
with saving many colonists lives. He and 42 other Jewish settlers were welcomed
by Oglethorpe to Georgia, however, they still experienced harsh treatment
So, what? How did individuals affect change in early
Georgia? Each of these groups, in addition to the English
settlers in Savannah, would go on to spread their culture, ideas, and talents across the
colony. The Salzburgers contributions can be felt
in the highly religious nature of modern-day Georgia, especially as it relates to Protestant
Christianity. Without Dr. Nunes and his medical skills,
the city of Savannah may have gone the way of Roanoke and been abandoned eventually. Oglethorpe and his regiments led by the Scottish
Highlanders were able to achieve a negotiated peace with the Spanish in Florida which solidified
the English colonies’ standing on the continent. The Trustee period was marked by control,
both in the expectations of the Charter and in the rule of the Trustees themselves. Oglethorpe and the 20 others were planners,
and they thought they had set up the perfect community for the beginning of Georgia. Over the course of the 18 years of Trustee
leadership, they began to discover how wrong they were. Colonists resented that they were unable to
buy extra plots of land if they were rich enough or successful enough to afford it. They also resented being treated like children
with the alcohol restrictions and wanted the freedom to make their own decision about drinking. Most significantly, they observed their neighbors
to the north in the Carolina colony and wanted to be just as successful. They came to the conclusion that they would
be just as effective as South Carolina if they were able to have slaves on their farms. Those colonists who spoke out against the
Trustees’ rules and leadership became known as the Malcontents. Some Malcontents left Georgia and headed towards
other colonies, and others made their voices heard in Savannah and in Great Britain until
the rule of the Trustees came to an end. A major shift in the leadership of Georgia
would come soon in the form of Governors as we transition to the Royal Colony period of
our state’s history. Now, what? What am I going to do with this information? Sometimes when I think about the Malcontents,
all I picture is whining toddlers. Their complaints, to me, seem very trivial
compared to some of the real problems of the world like racism, prejudice, abuse, killing,
cheating, stealing, and more. Writing pamphlets and demanding letters to
the King about alcohol and slavery… that I just don’t get. It sounds like my kid when he wants dessert
before he has finished his dinner. I have three problems with this episode about
the Malcontents – what they were fighting to change, how they went about fighting for
change, and how England responded to their methods. What they were fighting for was the get rich
quick scheme and some comfort items… in a colony. They’re not sitting in the middle of London
anymore… they’re in a colony. Now, at least Oglethorpe and the Trustees
had ethical reasons for why they set these rules – no alcohol to keep colonists active
and working; no slaves because the practice is immoral; land ownership limits to demonstrate
equality for all those ‘worthy poor’ who may or may not be coming over on the next
ship. Whether or not those are good reasons, the
only reason the Malcontents could honestly give for their demands is greed. As much as I don’t like the changes they
demanded, I certainly don’t like their tactics. Writing the King about these greedy demands
is like the 18th century equivalent of “I demand to speak to your manager.” What happened to persuasive language? What happened to negotiation? What happened to acting like adults? Not having lived in the 1750s, I can’t say
that the Malcontents or the Trustees were worse at listening and coming to an agreement,
but someone or everyone failed in communicating. Worst of all, to me (especially coming from
the perspective of a parent and teacher), is how the whole issue with the Malcontents
and Trustees was resolved. See enough action movies and you’ll recognize
the line: “The U.S. government does not negotiate with terrorists.” Why? Because as soon as one demand is met, then
they will demand more and more until you have nothing left. The King and Trustees gave in to the Malcontents
entirely – they gave in on alcohol in 1732, they gave in on slavery in 1750, and they
ended the Trustees’ leadership soon after. What happens to a child when the parent cannot
say no and mean it – you have a spoiled brat of a kid who eats his way through an
entire package of fudge popsicles in one night and has to stay home from school sick the
next day. When we get to the Revolutionary War in next
unit, one point that we will hit home on is that Georgia wasn’t interested in revolting
in 1776 because they were still entirely dependent on Great Britain to survive. I can’t help but think that the leadership
of the colony during the Trustee years and the response to the Malcontents is a large
reason why the Georgia colony never took off after 40 plus years and still needed the British
to hold its hand like a toddler after all that time. Wow! So, learning about the diverse groups of colonial
Georgia is really important for us to understand. I’m glad we learned it today! Are you ready for some review questions? I hope all of you learned a lot from today’s
episode of “History in a Hoodie” about the Georgia Colony’s Trustee Period If you
did, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share…. Just kidding, I don’t care about that stuff. But do make sure you study this lesson. Bye now!