Quakers in the Georgia Colony?

The original charter of the colony of Georgia encouraged the settlement of Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends. Few Quakers, however, came to the province in the early years. In 1768 more than 70 families from the area of Orange County, N.C., began settling in a special reserve set aside for them by the Georgia colonial government in present-day McDuffie County. Less than one-fifth of the landholders in this reserve were actually Friends. A fort was erected near the settlement.

During the Revolution some in Wrightsborough actively supported the king's cause. Bandits and rebel partisans committed robberies and murders in Wrightsborough, and by May 1781, 35 people in the area had been murdered, including 11 in their own beds.

In the autumn of 1781 a quarter of the families of Wrightsborough were refugees in British-occupied Savannah. After the war they were allowed to return peacefully to their homes.

Wrightsborough's Quakers were adamantly opposed to slavery, even more so than most American Friends. They finally left Georgia mostly for Ohio between 1805 and 1809 because of the growing slavery controversy. Wrightsborough survived as a village until the 1920s, but little remains physically of the settlement in McDuffie County. The Historic Wrightsboro Foundation promotes the heritage of this lost settlement.

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