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James Habersham (1712-1775)

James Habersham was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, the son of a merchant. He moved to London at an early age to go into business and was converted to Methodism in 1737 by the sermons of George Whitefield.

In December 1737 Whitefield persuaded Habersham to accompany him to Georgia where he used his business expertise in taking on responsibility for the erection and management of the Orphan House.

Habersham resigned his position at the Orphan House in 1744 but remained in Georgia and prospered in business, becoming one of the largest planters in the colony.

He maintained a close interest in Orphan House affairs and used his position as one of the most respected citizens in the colony to help Whitefield in every way possible.

Habersham filled a number of important public positions including provincial Secretary; President of the Council for Georgia, and acting Governor between 1771and 1773.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)

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