George Fife Angas

George Fife Angas (1789-1879) was a wealthy merchant, banker and landowner, who played a significant role in the foundation of South Australia. He was a committed member of the Baptist Church, campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade and was a member of many philanthropic associations. He developed an interest in Australia in the 1820s and in 1832 joined the committee of the South Australian Land Company, but was discouraged by early British Government indifference.  However after the passage of the South Australia Act in 1834 he was persuaded to become a Colonization Commissioner. When land sales failed to reach the total of £35,000 required by the Government, Angas was instrumental in forming the South Australian Company, a joint stock company that purchased the remaining land at a reduced price. With partners Henry Kingscote and Thomas Smith he purchased 13,770 acres, or two thirds of the unsold land. His purchases required Angas to resign as a commissioner, but not before he had persuaded the Commission to insert a regulation that allowed large capitalists willing to buy 4,000 acres to select their land anywhere in the province.  Angas took an intense interest in South Australian affairs from London and famously organized the emigration of a large group of German Lutherans in 1838. He eventually sailed for South Australia himself in 1850.  He pursued an active career in public life, including serving in the Legislative Council, and died in Angaston in 1879.

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