Georgia’s human history begins thousands of years before February 12, 1733, when James Oglethorpe arrived with the first settlers on the banks of the Savannah River. The available sources from this period present a challenge for students of Georgia’s history. How do we study societies without written languages? What can we learn about early Spanish activity in Georgia when there are no remains and few records left behind? What can we trust from early accounts of European explorers? Historians have faced these challenges by integrating archeological research with a careful examination and scrutiny of the written material existing from Georgia’s earliest human history.
Georgia has a complex and interesting story in the American Revolution. Georgia had experienced growth and prosperity as a royal colony and its citizens were deeply divided over issues of independence. Even the Whigs who supported independence from Great Britain had an internal struggle between the radical and conservative leaders. Relations with the Creek and Cherokee population on the Western frontiers added another layer of complexity to Revolutionary War Georgia. Letters, official documents, journals, newspaper articles, and other primary sources offer an opportunity to gain a richer more varied understanding of this volatile time in Georgia’s history.