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Georgia Highlanders

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1735 to 1748
Location: Province of Georgiamap
Surnames/tags: Darien, Georgia McIntosh County, Georgia
Profile manager: Sandy Patak private message [send private message]
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To view Profiles on WikiTree: Category:Georgia Scottish Highlanders
This is part of the Space:US_Southern_Colonies_Province_of_Georgia_Team

The goal of this project is to identify and categorize the distinct group of immigrants and their children from the Highlands of Scotland. Their contribution to the founding of the Colony of Georgia is significant to that colony and helped protect and defend. Their acceptance by Oglethorpe and the British government was part of the plan to create a strong and loyal colony to counteract the Spanish influence just a few miles to the south.

The sticker for Immigrants of Georgia Highlander Profiles:

Profile Sticker Code Produces
{{Migrating Ancestor | origin = Scotland | destination = Province of Georgia | origin-flag = Flags-5.jpg | destination-flag = US_Southern_Colonies_British_Georgia-4.jpg }}
Flag of Scotland
... ... ... migrated from Scotland to Province of Georgia.
Flag of Province of Georgia
{{US Southern Colonist Sticker|Georgia}}
U.S. Southern Colonies Project logo
... ... ... was a Georgia colonist.


On October 18, 1735, a group of Scottish Highlanders sailed from Inverness, Scotland aboard the Prince of Wales, bound for Georgia.

These men were recruited by the trustees of the colony and military governor James Oglethorpe, who wanted settlers who were accustomed to hardship, militant in nature, and willing to become frontier farmer-soldiers. In this respect, the Highlanders fit the bill perfectly through training and tradition.

They disembarked on the northern bank of the Altamaha River, where they founded New Inverness—later named Darien—60 miles south of Savannah.

The Scots were among the finest soldiers in the world and had been recruited by General James Oglethorpe to provide a buffer between the English Colony and the Spanish in Florida.

The Scots built a fort to replace Fort King George at the mouth of the Altamaha River, which had been abandoned in 1732.

Scottish immigrants to the colonies in the eighteenth century outnumbered all others (the Germans were second). Of the Lowland, Highland and Ulster Scots, the Highlanders had the reputation of being the best soldiers. Oglethorpe and the Highlanders established the town of Darien along the Altamaha River and the settlement provided a company of infantry to Fort Frederica on St. Simon’s Island.

The Darien Scots maintained many of their cultural practices including their reliance on clan leaders, the Gaelic language, and their plaid attire for several years. Although the Highlanders served Oglethorpe well in defending against the Spanish, some of their most important contributions to the new colony were economic. This was in large part because they retained and adapted their Scottish heritage. Hard work and agricultural experience combined to make Darien a successful settlement. When the Highlanders found most of the soil unsuitable for crop growing, they quickly adapted themselves to timber production and cattle raising. The timber industry in Darien continued to be a staple in the local economy for over 150 years.

At the time, Georgia was anti-slave. Originally, Oglethorpe and the Trustees banned slavery and alcohol in Georgia. It was not a matter of principle. They banned slavery in Georgia because it was inconsistent with their social and economic intentions. By the mid-1740s the Trustees realized that excluding slavery was rapidly becoming a lost cause. The Highland Scots along with the Georgia Salzburgers were against slavery. This Scots sent a petition to Oglethorpe and the Trustees detailing their reasons. It was for naught. In 1751, the ban of slavery was lifted.

Eventually distinctions between Scottish immigrants disappeared as they arrived from all areas of Scotland. Scots as a whole played important roles in the politics, economics, and military of colonial Georgia. Their influence as merchants and planters grew most during the royal period of the colony. Their success stemmed from accepting that Georgia’s economy could not compete with its northern neighbor, South Carolina, without the use of slaves.

Passenger List for the Initial Transport of Highland Scots to the Province of Georgia: Prince of Wales, arrived January 10, 1736

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