Oglethorpe was founded in 1838. It was located in the Black Belt of Georgia, where slaves outnumbered whites and did the work to support cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop. Oglethorpe was incorporated as a town in 1849 and as a city in 1852. In 1857, the seat of Macon County was transferred to Oglethorpe from Lanier.
State Route 300 (Georgia-Florida Parkway) The Cordele Inland Port is operated by a private company, Cordele Intermodal Services, which offers rail service via the Heart of Georgia Railroad and Georgia Central Railroad, from their rail ramp in Cordele to the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah.