Beyond NGE

Trusting the Trustees

 This oil painting by William Verelst shows the founders of Georgia, the Georgia Trustees, and a delegation of Georgia Indians in July 1734. One year later the Trustees persuaded the British government to support a ban on slavery in Georgia.

Ever hear of a “trust fall”? This is a trust-building exercise for groups in which you allow yourself to fall backward, relying on your teammates to catch you. Trust can be a scary thing, and this was certainly the case for the fledgling colony of Georgia. For its first two decades, 1732–52, Georgia was governed by a Board of Trustees created by the British Parliament. The Trustees established Georgia as a buffer colony from the Spanish threat in Florida, and they enacted legislation that abolished slavery and rum, limited land ownership, and required licenses for trading west of the Savannah River. Some colonial groups, like the Protestant Salzburgers, favored such strict guidelines. Others, like the Scottish Malcontents, felt that the Trustees were preventing them from realizing their economic potential. Eventually, all of these policies were modified or overturned, and the Board of Trustees began to lose power. Parliament also failed to renew the Board's sponsorship in 1751, and the following year governorship of the colony passed from the Trustees to the earl of Halifax. Although the Trustees’ trust-fall experience didn’t work out exactly as they had planned, it did lay the foundation for a successful colony and state!

Got an idea for a post or article? Do you know something about Georgia history or have expertise you can write about? We'd love to hear from you!

Submit an Idea

NGE will read all submissions and we look forward to reading your ideas. Note these ideas will NOT appear as comments nor will they be made public. We may not be able to reply to all submissions.
From Our Home Page
Fall Line

The fall line is a geological boundary, about twenty miles wide, running northeast across Georgia from Columbus to

Read more...
Rural Education

Rural schools in Georgia are found across the state, on its rolling pastures, red clay fields, sandy coastlines, and wooded mountains.

Read more...
Olympic Games in 1996

From July 19 until August 4, 1996, Atlanta hosted the Centennial Summer Olympic Games, the largest event in the city's history.

Read more...
Rosenwald Schools

The Rural School Building Program of the Julius Rosenwald Fund provided financial grants for the construction of public schools fo

Read more...
Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries