Following the establishment of Georgia's first settlement at Savannah in 1733, General James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the colony, learned of a thriving trading village on the Carolina bank of the Savannah River located near the head of navigation and protected by Fort Moore.
Indian foot trails met at the Fall Line where rocks in the riverbed formed a natural bridge for safe crossing. As deerskin traders from South Carolina pushed further into the wilderness, the area around the river developed into a well known trading center.Oglethorpe recognized that winning the allegiance of the Indian tribes in the backcountry was crucial to the survival of his colony. He persuaded Parliament to bind the western Indian trade to Georgia rather than South Carolina by requiring licenses for all traders.
General Oglethorpe issued an order in 1736 that a town be marked out on the Georgia bank of the river, deep in Indian country, which he named Augusta in honor of the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha,wife of Frederick, the Prince of Wales.
A small fort was constructed on the edge of the settlement and garrisoned with a detachment of soldiers to protect the village from possible attack by Spaniards from the south, French from the west, and hostile raiders, all of whom claimed territorial rights to the area.