Henry Ellis (politician)

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Henry Ellis (born August 29, 1721 in County Monaghan , Ireland , † January 21, 1806 in Naples ) was a British researcher, author and colonial politician.


Henry Ellis was the son of Francis and Joan Ellis, nee Maxwell. He studied law at the Middle Temple Bar Association . In 1746 and 1747 he took part in an expedition to discover the Northwest Passage . The expeditions were unsuccessful, but Ellis wrote a book about it called Voyage made to Hudson's Bay in 1746, by the Dobbs Galley and The California, to discover a Northwest Passage . After publication, he was inducted into the Royal Society .

Between 1750 and 1755 Ellis operated as a slave trader, transporting slaves from Africa to Jamaica and selling them there. After John Reynolds was recalled as royal governor of the Province of Georgia , he was appointed his successor. He took up his new office on February 16, 1757 as Lieutenant Governor, although he was already exercising this office de facto in the absence of a governor. On May 17, 1758 he was officially given the post of governor. He held this until November 2, 1760. This time was marked by the events of the Seven Years' War in North America . He managed to make peace with the Indians. Even so, the threat of military attack from both the French and their allied Indians remained.

Ellis also published a literary treatise on Georgia entitled Heat of the Weather in Georgia . In the end, it was the climatic conditions that forced him to give up his office for health reasons. On the way back to England he called for more military support for the British colonies in the south of the American east coast. On his return his advice on the taxation of the colonies was sought in London. In doing so, he influenced the further development of the colonies which eventually led to the War of Independence . For his services to the British crown, he received a number of paid titles with no actual area of ​​responsibility (sinecure). This also included the office of governor of Nova Scotia , which he held between 1761 and 1763 without actually exercising it. Henry Ellis spent his later years in Italy, where he devoted himself to scientific research. He saw the British loss of the 13 colonies in America and the emergence of the USA . Henry Ellis died in Naples on January 21, 1806.

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