Friday, March 17, 2017
Exploring the Georgia Colony by Brianna Hall: Book Review
Exploring the Georgia Colony
Author: Brianna Hall
Publisher: Capstone Press, 2017
Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl
Ages: 8 to 11, Middle Grade
Georgia became a colony in 1733, as the last and most southernmost of the thirteen colonies established in North America. Named after England’s King George II and founded by James Oglethorpe, the colony began as a dream to help the poor. One hundred fourteen English settlers arrived from England’s poorest communities to farm the new colony, each settler given supplies and fifty acres of land as a start. Most Georgians, however, remained poor.
Malaria in the summer, crops that didn’t thrive in blistering heat, rural lack of education, and the initial ban on slavery (unlike in colonies to the north) threatened their survival. Crops grown were cotton, tobacco, rice and indigo. Despite the hardships, some colonists became wealthy after the slavery ban was lifted.
Similar to other colonies, Georgia’s relationship with nearby Native Americans varied. Among the tribes were the Cherokee, Yamasee, Hitchiti, Yamacraw, and Creek nations. Hall includes stories of their struggle for peace, conflicts, and recruitment during war. The Creek, for example, fought alongside the colonists in the War of Jenkin’s Ear, started when a British sea captain had his ear sliced off by Spanish pirates.
During the Revolutionary War Georgians fought again, but at first debated entry in the war. Many were loyalists. Eventually Georgians joined other patriots in the fight for independence, enduring a long siege when Savannah fell to the British. In 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to sign the constitution and join the newly formed nation.
Research tools include “did you know” side notes, mini bios, illustrations, quotes, glossary, index, and “Critical Thinking with Primary Sources.”