When the colony of Georgia was first founded, slavery was banned. The board of trustees that oversaw the new colony wanted to avoid creating a plantation-based society dependent on slave labor. The decision was one of practicality and not moral imperative. Georgia would serve as a barrier against Spanish encroachment in the new world and it was felt that a Spanish offer of freedom to those who were enslaved would put the colony at risk.
As history has shown, the slavery ban did not last. The lure of big money from large-scale crop production was too great and wealthy landowners in the colony successfully lobbied to lift the slavery ban. Georgia became a slave state and Atlanta, when it was created, a slave city, albeit with a few modifications as we’ll see in this week’s Stories of Atlanta.