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Lazaretto Creek

Georgia’s original charter had an antislavery provision, based on founder Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe’s opposition to the “peculiar” institution. But Georgia’s planters, seeing the profits made from the use of slave labor by their South Carolina plantation neighbors, overruled Oglethorpe’s wishes and in 1749 repealed this provision and passed an act permitting the establishment of slavery in the young colony. This act ordered the erection of a lazaretto, or quarantine station, on Tybee Island. In 1767, approximately 100 acres on Tybee’s extreme western tip at the mouth of what became Lazaretto Creek were purchased from Josiah Tattnall to build the quarantine station. The next year, several hospital buildings were completed. Here, voyagers who arrived ill were treated and those who died were buried in unmarked graves. The lazaretto was in continuous use until 1785, when the buildings were in disrepair and a new station was built on Cockspur Island.

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