James Oglethorpe (1696–1785) founded the State of Georgia as a haven for those in debtors' prison in England. Oglethorpe himself had served 5 months in an English prison for killing a man in a fight. He had also fought, at the age of 17, in the Austrian army against the invading Muslim Turks on the Hungarian frontier.
He was elected to Parliament after his own release from jail, where he opposed slavery and defended the rights of American colonists.
His own experiences and the death of a friend in debtors' prison inspired him to found a colony in American for those in debtors' prison. He also made Georgia a safe haven for those who suffered from religious persecution.
James Oglethorpe obtained the charter for Georgia in 1773. The Charter of Georgia, 1732, stated: "There shall be a liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God ... and that all such persons, except papists, shall have a free exercise of their religion." The colony was named after King George II.