James Oglethorpe was angry after a friend of his died in debtors' prison and he called for an investigation into the conditions of British jails. He also formulated a plan to obtain the release of people from debtors' prison and to establish a new colony, south of Carolina, to be inhabited by the "worthy poor" of London. The "worthy poor" included the debtors and other homeless people. In the Royal Charter (June 20, 1732), granted by King George II for the colony of Georgia, a board of Trustees was established to fulfill this goal. As it happened, however, this plan was never fully realized. When the ship Anne sailed for the new colony on November 16, 1732, not one of the 114 colonists aboard had been released from debtors' prison to make the voyage.
By early February, 1733, a small group of settlers was headed up the Savannah River. They landed at Yamacra Bluff on February 12th and Oglethorpe began the process of laying out lots for Savannah, Georgia. General James Oglethorpe's colony was the only U.S. colony founded as a refuge for the "poor and deserving". February 12, 1998 marked 265 years since Oglethorpe and his shipload of settlers founded Georgia.
Since that time, Georgia has become the commercial leader of the region. The state now ranks first in the production of peanuts, pecans, lima beans and pimiento peppers. Savannah has been called "this nation's most beautiful city" and Atlanta has become the leading transportation center of the southeast.