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Local History Notes:
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
GEORGIA, one of the original states of the United States of North America, is bounded on the N. by Tennessee and North Carolina; E. by South Carolina, (from which it is separated by the Savannah river,) and by the Atlantic ocean; S. by Florida, and W. by Florida and Alabama, from which it is partly separated by the Chattahochee river. Georgia lies between 30° 21' 39" and 35° N. lat., and between 81° and 85° 53' 38" W. lon., being about 300 miles in length from N. to S., and 256 in its greatest breadth from E. to W., including 58,000 square miles, or 37,120,000 acres, of which only 6,378,479 are improved, showing that this already great and flourishing state is but in the commencement of developing leer resources and wealth.
Population: The original settlers of Georgia were English, Scotch, and Germans, with the usual admixture of other nations, (as shown by the figures below,) as the peopling of the state progressed. Up to 1838, the Cherokee Indians, one of the most civilized, intelligent, and numerous of the aboriginal tribes, formed a considerable part of the population of Georgia. In 1790 the number of inhabitants was 82,548; 162,101 in 1800; 252,433 in 1810; 340,987 in 1820; 516,823 in 1830; 691,392 in 1840, and 906,101 in 1850, being a ratio of increase greater than any of the original states since the first census in 1790. This population is divided into 91,471 families, occupying 91,011 dwellings. Of the population in 1850, 266,183 were white males, 255,395 females; 1379 free colored males, 1552 free colored females; 188,838 male slaves, and 192,844 female slaves. Of the free population, 402,582 were born in the state; 115,413 in other states of the Union; 679 in England; 3202 in Ireland; 380 in Scotland and Wales; 108 in British America; 974 in Germany; 177 in France; 514 in other countries, and 597 whose places of birth were unknown: In the year ending June 1, 1850, there died 9920 persons, or about 11 in every 1000 persons, showing a ratio of mortality less than that of any Southern state except Florida, and of the entire Union except 3. In the same period, 1036 paupers received aid, of whom 58 were foreigners, at an expense of about $30 to each person. There were 252 deaf and dumb, of whom 41 were slaves; 309 blind, of whom 5 were free colored, and 80, slaves; 306 insane, of whom 2 were free colored, and 23, slaves; 577 idiotic, of whom 3 were free colored, and 98, slaves. This state is divided into 97 counties, viz. Appling, Baker, Baldwin, Bibb, Bryan, Bullock, Burke, Butts, Camden, Campbell, Carroll, Case, Chatham, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clinch, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dade, Decatur, De Kalb, Dooly, Early, Effingham, Elbert, Emanuel, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Glynn. Gordon, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Harris, Heard, Henry, Houston, Irwin, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Jefferson, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Lincoln, Lowndes, Lumpkin, McIntosh, Macon, Madison, Marion, Meriwether, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Murray, Muscogee, Newton, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pike, Pulaski, Putnam, Rabun, Randolph, Richmond, Scriven, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Tatnall, Taylor, Telfair, Thomas, Troup, Twiggs, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whitefield, Wilkes, Wilkinson. Milledgeville is the capital.
Savannah had nearly 19,000 by a local census in 1852
Cities and Towns: The towns of Georgia have received a new impetus since the completion of her railways; and places that were mere cross-roads a few years ago, with their tavern, store, and smithy, have become flourishing manufacturing villages. Savannah,1 the principal city, had 16,060 inhabitants in 1850; Augusta, 9559; Columbus, 5942; Athens, 3795; Atlanta, 2572; Griffin, 2320; Milledgeville, 2216.
Face of the Country: Georgia has every variety of surface, from the mountains of the north, through all gradations of rough, hilly, and undulating country, to the alluvial fiats which begin about 100 miles from the sea, to which they extend. We learn from White's "Statistics of Georgia," from which we are obliged to condense, that "commencing at the Atlantic ocean, and spreading out from 100 to 150 miles westward, we have an extensive plain of a tertiary formation, gradually swelling up to a height of 500 feet, at a line passing near the head of navigation of the Savannah, Ogeechee, Oconee, and Ocmulgee rivers, where it meets a primary formation." An angle of cretaceous formation, underlying the tertiary, enters Georgia from Alabama, between Fort Gaines and Columbus, and extends, with its apex, to a point between Macon and Knoxville. The N. side of this triangle is about 50, and the S.E. about 100 miles in length. The primary formation crosses the state in a S. W. direction, above the falls of the rivers named, with a breadth of 160 miles at the northern, and 100 miles at the southern limit. A second plain above the falls succeeds, of about 60 or 70 miles in width, beyond which, on the N. W. side of the primary belt, and running nearly parallel with it, we come upon the Blue Ridge mountains, which reach an elevation varying from 1200 to 4000 feet. The N. W. of Georgia consists of transition rocks, except in the extreme N.W. counties, which are carboniferous in their formation. In the S. E. is Okefonokee swamp, or rather series of swamps, which have a circuit of about 180 miles, filled with pools and islands, and covered with vines, bay-trees, and underwood. Alligators, frogs, lizards, cranes, &c. find a congenial home in this region.
Minerals: Previous to the discovery of the gold mines of California, Georgia was one of the Eldorados of America; but though her mines are almost swept out of mind by the richer yields of the new state on the Pacific, a soberer time may come again, when slow and patient industry may be content to develop the golden treasures of this region. The tract containing the gold mines has its centre in Lumpkin county, in the northern part of the state; and at Dahlonega, in this county, a branch mint has been established, which coined in 1851, $351,592 in gold. Besides this precious metal, Georgia contains some silver copper, iron, lead, manganese, titanium, graphite, antimony, and zinc; also granite, marble, gypsum, limestone, coal, sienite, marl, burrstone, soapstone, asbestos, slate, shale, tripoli, fluorspar, barytes, tourmaline, arragonite, kaolin, epidote, porcelain clay, ruby, opal, augite, cyanite, emerald, prase, cornelians, chalcedony, agate, jasper, amethyst, precious garnets, schorl, zircon, rose quartz, beryl, and even diamonds. Fossils are found in abundance in the S. E. counties near the sea.
Rivers, Bays, &c: Georgia is abundantly supplied with rivers, both for the purposes of navigation and for propelling power. To the central plateau which forms the falls or rapids, the rivers are mostly navigable for steamers, and among and above them they furnish advantageous sites for mills. Of the 36 cotton factories in Georgia in 1851, 34 were driven by water. The Oconee and Ocmulgee rise in the N. of the state, pass through its centre to within 100 miles of the ocean, where they unite to form the Altamaha, which flows eastward into the Atlantic ocean. The Altamaha is navigable to Darien for vessels drawing from 11 to 14 feet water, and its confluents to Macon and Milledgeville for steamboats. The Savannah, which forms the greater part of the eastern boundary, dividing Georgia from South Carolina, is formed by the Tugaloo and Seneca rivers. It is about 500 miles in length, is navigable for ships to Savannah, and for large steamboats to Augusta. The Ogeechee, a river flowing S. E. about 200 miles, drains the country between the rivers named above. It is navigable for sloops 30 or 40 miles, and for keelboats to Louisville. Cannouchee, a western branch, is navigable 50 miles. The Santilla and St. Mary's drain the south-eastern counties, and the Flint, Oclockonee, and Suwanee, with their branches, the south-western. The Santilla and St. Mary's are navigable for sloops about 30 or 40 miles, and for keel-boats perhaps as much more. The Flint, a branch of the Chattahoochee, is about 300 miles long, and is navigable to Albany for steamboats. The Chattahoochee rises in the N. E. of Georgia, crosses the state in a S. W. direction till it strikes the W. boundary, which it follows for about 150 miles to its union with the Flint, at the S. W. extremity of Georgia, where their united floods form the Appalachicola. The Chattahoochee is navigable to Columbus for steamboats. The Tallapoosa and Coosa, head waters of the Alabama, and the Hiawassee, one of the sources of the Tennessee river, take their rise in the N. of this State. The Suwanee and the Oclockonee pass S. into Florida. Alias run through the middle of the state from S. to N. would nearly divide the waters flowing into the Atlantic from those flowing into the Gulf of Mexico; but this line would trend to the E., both in the N. and S., and to the W. in the centre. The waters of the Hiawassee, however, reach the gulf through the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Georgia has about 80 miles of seacoast, which is lined by small islands, on which grows the celebrated sea-island cotton. These islands are cut off from the mainland by narrow sounds, inlets, or lagoons.
Objects of Interest to Tourists: The geologist will find in the alluvions of the southeastern counties of Georgia extensive fossil remains, while her minerals and mountains will offer much for his examination; and the antiquarian too may find objects, even in this new country, to baffle his most ingenious theories. In Hancock county is an Indian mound, of a semioval form, 2000 feet long and 37 high, and surrounded by a ditch. Human bones have been found here. About 9 miles E. of Macon is a mound, covering about 300 acres at its base and 50 at its top, which seems to be a natural elevation, but is covered on the summit with the ruins of a limestone fortification. There are several artificial mounds in the same neighborhood, and in other parts of the state. One in Case county is 1114 feet in circuit and 75 feet high, in which has been found large quantities of pottery. To the lover of the picturesque, Georgia offers many grand scenes, and among them the Stone mountain, in De Kalb county, 7 miles in circuit, and 2226 feet in height; the falls of Tallulah, a branch of the Tugaloo, in Habersham county, where it passes through a ridge of mountains, forming cliffs from 200 to 500 feet, and descending in a succession of four falls through the space of a mile; Toccaco falls, in the same stream, 185 feet high; Amicolah fails, in Lumpkin county, with a descent of 400 feet in as many yards; the Towaligo falls, in Monroe county; the Eastatoah and Stockoa falls, in Rabun county, (thought by many to surpass the Toccaco;) a series of falls in the Hiawassee, sometimes with a descent of about 100 feet; Nicojack cave, opening into the Racoon mountains, near the N. W. extremity of the state, extending for miles into the mountain, which it enters by a portal 150 feet wide, and 60 high: through this passes a stream, up which the visitor must be boated for three miles, when further progress is stopped by a cataract; (Wilson's cave is described in the same neighborhood, by Scars; whether or not it is the same cave under a different name we have no means of determining ;) Nix's cave, in Floyd county; Track Rock and Pilot Mountain, (1200 feet high,) both in Union county?are all worthy of a separate description in a work of a different character.
Climate, Soil, and Productions: "While the inhabitants (we quote De Bow's Resources of the South and West) of Southern and Middle Georgia are being parched with heat, frequently so intense as to prevent comfortable rest, even at night, the more northern climate, among the mountains, is such as to render necessary a blanket in order to comfortable repose. A more lovely heaven does not simile upon the classic land of Italy than upon the favored inhabitants of Georgia." According to meteorological observations made at Savannah by Dr. Posey, during the year ending May, 1852, the maximum in June, at 2 P.M., was 97°.4; minimum, 70; mean for the day, 77°.10: maximum for July, 99°.3; minimum, 90°.5; mean, 81°.7: maximum for August, 93°; minimum, 82°.5: mean, 79°.70: maximum for September, 88°.1; minimum, 66°.2; mean, 67°.7: maximum for October, 85°.6 minimum, 56°.9; mean, 66°.25: maximum for November, 77°.1; minimum, 50°.1; mean, 56°.12: maximum for December, 58°.5; minimum, 43°.3; mean, 47°.27: maximum for January, 75°; minimum, 29°.5; mean, 41°.75: maximum for February, 81°.7; minimum, 60°; mean, 55°.45: maximum for March, 84°; minimum, 43°.9; mean, 61°.30: maximum for April, 86°.7; minimum, 67°.9; mean, 63°.27; and maximum for May, 94°.9; minimum, 69°.9; and mean, 75°.52. There were 85 rainy days in the year, viz. 13 in June, 12 in July, 10 in August, 4 in September, 5 in October, 5 in November, 7 in December 4 in January, 5 in February, 7 in March, 8 in April, and 5 in May. The thermometer was highest, July 30th, 2 P.M., 99°.3, and lowest, January 20th, 7 A.M., 13°.8. The peach blossomed February 20th, and the plum on the 23d. Snow falls sometimes, but does not lie long.
The diversity of soil is not less than that of climate, from the rich alluvions near the seacoast and rivers, to the thinner soil of the pine barrens (not so sterile by far as their name implies) and the rougher mountain regions. The good and bad lands of Georgia are so intermingled, that it is difficult to describe them by districts. In the south, we have on the coast the islands with their light sandy soil, but fertile in sea-island cotton; and on the mainland are the rich alluvions, but interspersed with swamps, which, however, yield rice in abundance. The bottom lands of the Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaba, and the smaller rivers, are exceedingly fertile, and produce rice, cotton, Indian corn, and sugar. Farther west, about 60 miles from the coast, commence the pine barrens, at present mostly valuable for their timber and naval stores, but easily cultivable and productive, should occasion require. In the south-west the soil is light and sandy, but fertile, and productive in cotton. The sugar-cane is also sometimes cultivated successfully. The soil, though fertile, is easily exhausted, and requires manuring to restore it. The middle region consists of a red loamy soil, once productive, but, owing to a bad system of culture, much impoverished. Its products are cotton, tobacco, and the various kinds of grain. We now come to the Cherokee country in the north, once in possession of the Indians of that name, and containing lands among the most fertile in the state, particularly in its valleys, which, though worked by the Indians for ages past, are still capable of producing from 50 to 75 bushels of grain to the acre. This region is not so well adapted to the culture of cotton, though it can be raised successfully, but yields wheat, corn, Irish potatoes, peas, beans, &c. abundantly. Here, too, are to be found gold, iron, coal, marble, granite, limestone, and other minerals, valuable in building and the industrial arts. The iron is represented as being of very superior quality. Our summary of the natural resources and the physical characteristics of this flourishing state, bring us to the conclusion that it is surpassed by no Atlantic or Gulf state, to say the least, in the elements of a rapid growth in agriculture, manufactures, and commerce. With a soil capable of yielding most of the great staples of the country, and some tropical fruits, with a mild climate, yet cold enough in the north for the restoration of health to the enervated inhabitant of the south, and for the production of the winter rains; with rivers that can be navigated by steamboats to her centre, and whose branches furnish water-power in abundance, what element of prosperity does she lack, if she be true to herself? The prime articles of cultivation in Georgia are cotton, rice, sweet potatoes, and Indian corn, besides which large quantities of live stock, wheat, oats, tobacco, wool, peas, beans, Irish potatoes, fruits, market products, butter, cheese, hay, sugar, molasses, beeswax and honey, and some rye, barley, buckwheat, wine, grass seeds, hops, flax, and silk are produced. Georgia is first of the states of the Union in the amount of sweet potatoes raised, and second in that of rice and cotton. In 1850 there were in this state 51,759 farms, containing 6,378,475 acres of improved land, averaging about 120 acres to a farm, and producing 1,088,534 bushels of wheat; 53,750 of rye; 30,080,099 of Indian corn; 3,820,044 of oats; 1,142,011 of peas and beans; 227,379 of Irish potatoes; 6,986,428 of sweet potatoes; 11,501 of barley; 38,950,691 pounds of rice; 432,924 of tobacco; 199,636,400 of cotton; 990,019 of wool; 4,640,559 of butter; 46,976 of cheese; 23,449 tons of hay; 1,644,000 pounds of cane sugar; 732,514 of honey and beeswax; 216,150 gallons of molasses; live stock valued at $25,728,416; orchard products, at $92,776; market goods, at $75,500; and slaughtered animals, at $6,339,762.
Forest Tree: There are extensive forests of pine and live oak in the South; the swamps afford cedar and cypress, and the middle country oak and hickory. The other forest-trees are walnut, chestnut, poplar, sycamore, beech, maple, ash, gum, elm, fir, spruce, magnolia, laurel, and palmetto.
Animals: Bears, deers, wolves, panthers, foxes, gophers, rabbits, among quadrupeds; alligators, terrapins, lizards, scorpions, rattlesnakes, among reptiles; and turtle, rock, black, and flying-fish, trout, bass, drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, porgey, and mullet, among fish, are the leading objects of animated nature in Georgia.
Manufactures: Georgia has recently made great advances in the establishment of manufactures, for which she enjoys great facilities, in the abundance of her water-power and fuel, in the nearness of the raw material to the manufacturer, and in the number of her navigable rivers and iron roads ready to carry her fabrics to market. In 1850 there were in Georgia 1407 manufacturing establishments, each producing $500 or upwards annually; 35 of these were cotton factories, employing $1,736,156 capital, and 873 male and 1399 female hands, consuming raw material worth $900,419, and producing 7,209,292 yards of stuffs, 4,198,351 pounds of yarn, valued at $2,135,044; three woollen factories, employing $68,000 capital, and 40 male and 38 female hands, consuming raw material worth $153,816, and producing 340,600 yards of stuffs, valued at $88,750; 10 forges, furnaces, &c., employing a capital of $70,200, consuming raw material worth $43,776, and producing 1405 tons of pig, wrought, and east iron, valued at $118,884; 140 tanneries, employing $262,855 capital, consuming $185,604 worth of raw material, and producing leather valued at $861,586, and homemade manufactures of the value of $1,838,988.
In Hunt's Magazine of May, 1852, it is stated that there were 36 cotton mills in Georgia, employing a capital of $1,611,100, and 1266 male and 771 female hands, and consuming raw material worth $805,648, and producing stuffs valued at $1,626,485.
Internal Improvements: Georgia takes the lead of the Southern States in the number and extent of her railways, which cross the middle and north of the state in all directions, connecting her commercial centre with all the important towns other own interior, with Alabama on the W., and with Tennessee and the great Ohio and Mississippi valleys to the N. and N.W. In January, 1853, there were in Georgia 857 miles of railway in operation, and 311 in course of construction: 1053 miles of railway, either already made or in course of construction, centre in Savannah, which is connected with Macon, Columbus, and Montgomery, in Alabama; with Augusta, Oglethorpe, and Atlanta; and with Chattanooga and Charleston, in Tennessee. Augusta is also connected indirectly with the same places. A continuous line of railway through Georgia is now completed from. Charleston, South Carolina, to Nashville, Tennessee. This forms an important artery in the trade between the North and the South-western States, and has entirely diverted a large portion of it from its ancient channels. Branch roads diverge to Athens, Rome, West Point, Milledgeville, Muscogee, Florida, Eatonton, Rome, and other places, which are either wholly or partly completed. There are only a few short canals in Georgia, one connecting the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers, another from Brunswick to the Altamaha, and a canal round the falls in the Savannah, at Augusta, making a total of about 50 miles: See TABLE OF RAILWAYS AND CANALS, Appendix.
Commerce: Georgia is favorably situated for internal trade, having a number of navigable rivers which may be ascended by steamboats from 200 to 300 miles from the sea, and still farther for keel-boats. She has an active coasting trade with her sister states, and beside sailing-vessels, has lines of ocean steamers running regularly between Savannah and New York, and the same port and Philadelphia. The principal exports of Georgia consist of her great staple cotton, and of rice, lumber, and naval stores. Her exports to foreign countries amounted, in 1852, to $4,999,090, and her imports to $474,924: tonnage entered, 49,994; cleared, 62,875. Georgia exports also largely of her rice, lumber, and cotton to other states of the Union. According to De Bow there were received at the different ports of Georgia, in 1851-2, 325,714 bales of cotton, most, if not all of which, was doubtless exported. The tonnage of the state, in 1852, was 25,785 25/95, of which 8295 40/95 was steam tonnage; the number of vessels built was only 2, whose tonnage was 3229 92/95.
Education: Georgia is celebrated for her female institutes, which are said to be conspicuous objects as the traveller passes through her territories; but her public schools are less patronized; they had, however, in 1850, 29,675 pupils in attendance: there were 13,493 pupils attending other schools. Among the numerous high schools and academies, we may mention the Georgia Female College, at Macon, which (White says) is generally attended by 140 pupils, who go through an extensive course of study. The number of volumes in school libraries in 1850 was 1800. There are 5 colleges in Georgia, with an aggregate attendance, in 1852, of 596 students, and 23,800 volumes in their libraries; and one theological school with 6, and one medical college with 115 students. The school fund amounted in the same year to $263,310. As an evidence of increasing interest in the subject of education, a common-school journal has been established at Columbus, in this state.
Religious Denominations: of the 1723 churches in Georgia, in 1850, 821 belonged to the different sects of Baptists, 19 to the Episcopalians, 735 to the Methodists, 92 to Presbyterians, 8 to the Roman Catholics, and 16 to the Union Church. The rest were owned by the Bible Christians, the Christians, the Congregationalists, the Free Church, Friends, Independents, Lutherans, Moravians, and Universalists, making one church to every 525 persons. Value of church property, $1,269,159.
Public Institutions: There is a state lunatic asylum near Milledgeville, which went into operation in 1842, and up to 1849 had received 204 patients, of whom 95 were in the institution at the date named. Up to the same period the whole amount expended by the state on the institution was $94,201. There is also an asylum for the deaf and dumb at Cave Springs, in Floyd county, which received, in 1852, $17,000 from the state. The state penitentiary at Milledgeville is a three-story granite building, 200 feet by 30. The convicts are employed in manufacturing leather, wagons, shoes, pails, and many other articles, the sale of which leaves a small balance over the expenses of the penitentiary. There were, in 1850, in Georgia, 24 public libraries, with an aggregate of 35,632 volumes.
Government: This state is similar in its governmental divisions to the other members of the confederacy. The legislature meets biennially. The governor is elected by the people for two years, and receives a salary of $3000 per annum. The senate consists of 47 members, and the house of representatives of 130, both elected for each session of the legislature, and receiving $5 per diem. Every white male, who has paid a tax the previous year, and resided in the county where the election takes place 6 months before the election, is a legalized elector. The state of Georgia is entitled to 8 members in the national house of representatives, and to 10 electoral votes for president of the United States.
The judiciary is composed: 1. Of a court of errors and appeals, presided over by three judges, elected for 6 years by the legislature; 2. Of a superior court, held in every county in the state twice a year, and presided over by judges elected for 4 years by the legislature; 3. Of an inferior court, consisting of 5 justices in each county, elected by the people for 4 years, and holding 2 sessions a year; and 4. Of justices' courts, consisting of 2 justices for each militia district, elected by the people of their respective districts. The state is divided into eleven judicial districts. The judges of the superior court are elected by the legislature for 4 years. The judges of the supreme court receive $2500 per annum.
The public debt of Georgia in 1852, was $1,995,724.22. Sources of revenue (which averages about $300,000 a year) are a general tax, and a special tax on bank stocks. The expenditures, for the pay of legislators, civil establishments, judiciary, public charities, &c. are about $130,000 a year. Time public debt consists of bonds issued for the construction of railways. In 1852 there were 18 banking institutions in the state, with an aggregate capital of $5,629,315, a circulation of $4,300,000, and $1,700,000 in coin.
History: Georgia was the last settled of the original thirteen states of the American confederacy, the first colony having been planted by Oglethorpe at Yamacraw Bluff, now called Savannah, in 1733, more than 100 years after the settlement of most of the original colonies, and 63 years after that of South Carolina, her nearest neighbor. Three years afterwards, some Germans rounded Ebenezer on the River, about 25 miles above Savannah. The settlement of Darien was commenced about the same time by some Scotch Highlanders. The infant colony was involved in some severe contests with the Spaniards of Florida, who claimed the Country as far the 33d degree of north latitude. In 1789, Oglethorpe invaded Florida, took Fort Diego, and besieged St. Augustine, but was obliged to raise the siege and return. The Spanish in turn invaded Georgia in 1742, but being alarmed by a stratagem of Oglethorpe's, they retreated without coming to blows. Slaves were first admitted into the colony in 1749. The proprietors, harassed by the difficulties that surrounded them, gave up the province to the crown in 1752, when Dr. Franklin was appointed its agent near the British government. In 1761 the Cherokee Indians were attacked by Colonel Montgomery, on which occasion the savages so bravely resisted, that, though Montgomery claimed the victory, he thought it advisable to retreat. The following year Colonel Grant burned their towns, laid waste their country, and reduced them to sue for peace. Georgia entered warmly into the Revolution, and during parts of 1778, 1779, and 1780, was in the hands of the British troops. Savannah was captured by them December 29th, 1778, and the combined American and French armies were repulsed in an attempt to retake it in October, 1779, with a loss to the allies of 1100 men. In 1838 the Cherokee Indians were removed from the state to the Indian territory, beyond the Mississippi, and Georgia came into possession of the long-coveted Indian reservation.
Joshua Hill - A Biography
Joshua Hill, senator, was born in Abbeville district, S.C., Jan. 10, 1812. He received a liberal education, studied law, and was admitted to the South Carolina bar. In 1840 he removed to Madison, Ga., where he practised law and was a delegate to the Whig national convention of 1844. He was a representative in the 85th and 36th congresses, 1857-61, and served on the committees on public lands and foreign affairs. He was opposed to secession, and when his state passed the ordinance he resigned his seat in the senate, as he could not honestly represent his constituents, and during the civil war he took no part in the conflict. He opposed Joseph E. Brown as governor of Georgia in 1863, and was defeated in the election. In 1865 he again entered politics as a Republican, and used his influence in the state constitutional committee of 1866 to secure for the freedmen, suddenly made citizens, their rights before the law. He was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. senator in 1866; was named as collector of the port of Savannahby President Johnson the same year, and in 1867 as register in bankruptcy, both of which appointments he declined. He was elected U.S. senator in July, 1868, for the term expiring March 4, 1873, by the legislature of Georgia, but was not permitted to take his seat till Jan. 30, 1871. He was made a member of the committee on privileges and elections and on pensions, and opposed Charles Sumner in debate on the civil rights bill. On leaving the senate he retired from public life, except to serve as a member of the state constitutional convention of 1877. He died in Madison, Ga., March 6, 1891.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
Biography of John Brown Gordon
John Brown Gordon, governor of Georgia, was bore in Upson county, Ga., Feb. 6, 1832; son of the Rev. Zachariah Herndon and Malinda (Cox) Gordon. His great-grandfather was one of seven Gordon brothers who emigrated from Scotland to North Carolina and Virginia and were soldiers in the Revolutionary war. He matriculated at the University of Georgia in 1851, but was not graduated. He was admitted to the bar and practised in Atlanta, Ga., with his brother-in-law, Logan E. Bleckley, afterward chief-justice of Georgia. He was married in 1854 to Fanny, daughter of the Hon. Hugh Anderson Haralson of La Grange, Ga. He engaged with his father in mining coal in Georgia and Tennessee, joined the Confederate army as captain of volunteers in 1861, and was promoted major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, brigadier-general, major-general and acting lieutenant-general, commanding a wing of Lee's army at the close of the war. At Sharpsburg in 1862 he was five times wounded, four rifle balls passing through his body. The fifth passed through his face and rendered him unconscious. He was carried from the field and was nursed back to life by his wife who accompanied the army to be near her husband during the four years of war?nursing in the hospitals of Richmond when the army was around that city. He commanded an infantry division at Gettysburg and led the attack, July 1, 1863, where in the midst of a charge he humanely succored Gen. Francis C. Barlow of New York and sent a message from the apparently dying soldier to his wife at Meade's headquarters. For Spottsylvania, where he repulsed Hancock's corps, May 12, 1864, he was promoted major-general and was commander of the 2d army corps of the Army of Northern Virginia as successor to Lieutenant-General Jackson. He held the last lines at Petersburg guarding the retreat from that city, and at Appomattox was assigned to the command of 4000 troops (half of Lee's army), with the intention of cutting his way through Grant's line. He made the last charge and was taking the Federal breastworks and capturing artillery widen the movement was annulled by the surrender of his chief. After the farewell to the army of Northern Virginia had been Spoken by General Lee, Gordon addressed the 2d corps and exhorted his men to "bear their trial bravely, to go home, keep the peace, obey the laws, rebuild the country and work for the weal and harmany of the republic." After this he settled in Atlanta Ga. He was a member of the Union national convention at Philadelphia in 1866: chairman of the Georgia delegation to the Democratic national convention of 1868; was, according to the claims of his party, elected governor of Georgia in 1867, but was counted out by reconstruction machinery; was a delegate-at-large to the Democratic national convention at Baltimore in 1872; U.S. senator, 1873-79; was re-elected in 1879, and in 1880 resigned to promote the building of the Georgia Pacific railroad. He was governor of Georgia, 1886-90; U.S. senator, 1891-97, and declined in 1897 a re-election to the senate, thereafter devoting his time to lecturing and literary work. In the U.S. senate his speeches on finance, civil service reform and in defence of the south were conservative in tone and exerted a powerful influence in allaying the strained conditions of affairs. In the Louisiana troubles of 1876 the Democrats of congress selected him to draft an address to the people of the south, in which he counselled patience, endurance and an appeal to a returning sense of justice to cure their present wrongs. In 1877 Governor Hampton empowered him to look after the interest of South Carolina and he secured the withdrawal of Federal troops from the state. In 1893 at the time of the Chicago strike, he made a speech in the U.S. senate in which he pledged the south to maintain law and order. He became well known in the lecture field and under his historic theme, "The Last Days of the Confederacy," he gave the story of the war a new color and corrected many false impressions that had served to keep at variance the people of the two sections for a whole generation.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
A Short Biography of James Edward Oglethorpe
James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of the colony of Georgia, was born at Westbrooke Place, near London, England, Dec. 21, 1688; son of Sir Theophilus and Eleanor (Wall) Oglethorpe. He matriculated at Corpus Christi college, Oxford, in 1704, but entered military service about 1706, being commissioned ensign in 1710. He was attached to the suite of the Earl of Peterborough, ambassador to Sicily, in 1713, and was promoted lieutenant in the Guards of Queen Anne in 1714. He was aide-de-camp to Prince Eugene at the defeat of the grand vizier Ali at Peterwaradin, Austria, Aug. 5, 1716, and at the siege and capture of Belgrade in August, 1717. He returned in 1719, and resumed his studies at Oxford. He succeeded to the Westbrooke estate in 1722, and was a member of Parliament from Haslemere, in Surrey, 1722-54. About 1728 he turned the attention of Parliament to the relief of unfortunate debtors, large numbers of whom were imprisoned in London and cruelly treated, and was appointed chairman of a committee to visit the prisons. He proposed to establish a colony for the permanent relief of about 700 persons confined for debt, believing that on their liberation from prison, they would need new surroundings and opportunities. The scheme found especial favor with the king, because it was proposed to make the new colony a refuge for the persecuted Protestants of Germany and other countries in Europe, and he granted to Lord Percival, James Oglethorpe, Edmund Digby and others on June 9, 1732, a charter of incorporation, giving them title to the land on the coast of America between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers. The colony was named Georgia in the king's honor, and Parliament granted the proprietors ?10,000. A large sum was also raised by subscription for provisioning, arming, clothing and transporting such poor people as should be selected. Oglethorpe, with the power of a colonial governor, reached Charleston, S.C., with the members of 35 families, numbering 150 in all, Jan. 13, 1733. A settlement was made at Yamacraw Bluff on the Savannah river, and shortly afterward a treaty of peace was concluded with the several tribes of Indians. Oglethorpe laid out the side of Fort Argyle in June, 1733, his object being to secure Georgia from invasion by the Spaniards of Florida. He returned to England in April, 1734, accompanied by the chief of the Yamacraws, together with his wife and his nephew, the war captain of that tribe, five chiefs of the Creeks, and a chief from Palachicolas, all of whom were presented to King George and Queen Caroline at Kensington Palace, Aug. 1, 1734. Oglethorpe sent the Indians back, with 150 Scottish Highlanders to protect the colonists, and they reached Georgia in December, 1734. Oglethorpe came back to Georgia in December, 1735, bringing with him nearly 300 immigrants, and John and Charles Wesley, who preached and established missions in the colony and among the Indians. The colony progressed rapidly under his management, but early in 1736 was attacked by the Spaniards. Convinced that war was inevitable, Oglethorpe hastened to England, raised a regiment of 600 men, secured the sum of ?20,000, and was appointed colonel of a regiment to be raised in Georgia. He arrived in September, 1738, and in October, 1739, war was declared against Spain by England. In the meantime Oglethorpe was diligently employed in erecting defensive works, in training his men, and in strengthening his Indian alliances. In obedience to orders received in January, 1740, he invaded Florida. He made an unsuccessful attack on St. Augustine in the summer of 1741, and in May, 1742, learned that the Spaniards planned to drive the English from Georgia and South Carolina. He defeated the Spaniards at Frederica, St. Simons, Jekyl Island, St. Andrews, Fort William and Fort Moosa, forcing them to retire. Oglethorpe went back to England in April, 1743, by order of the king and never returned to Georgia. He was married, Sept. 15, 1744, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nathan Wright of Cranham Hall, Essex, England. He was commissioned major-general in 1745 and lieutenant-general in 1747, and was sent to Scotland to oppose Charles Edward, the pretender. He complained to the Duke of Cumberland of cruelties practised upon the people of Scotland, who were adherents of Prince Charles, and was honorably acquitted by a court martial for his failure to pursue the Pretender's retreating forces at Carlisle. He resigned his charter of Georgia to the British government in 1752; withdrew from Parliament in 1754, and was commissioned general of his majesty's forces in 1760. He was placed on half pay in February, 1765, and in 1775, being the senior officer to Sir William Howe, was offered the command of the British army in America, which he declined, because authority to assure justice to the colonies was denied him. He was one of the first to pay his respects to John Adams, U.S. minister, and his family in London in 1783. He published: An Account of the St. Augustine Campaign (1742). His New and Accurate Account of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia and his letters to the trustees of the colony are printed in the "Collections" of the Georgia Historical society. He died at Cranham Hall, England, July 1, 1785.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
George Handley - A Biography
George Handley, governor of Georgia, was born near Sheffield, England, Feb. 9, 1752; son of Thomas Handley. He emigrated to America in 1775, arrived in Savannah, Ga., in May, and the next year joined the Continental army and was commissioned captain. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel and colonel and served actively in Georgia and South Carolina in repelling the encroaching British and Tory forces. When Augusta, Ga., was captured he was taken prisoner and confined at Charleston, S.C. He was married at the close of the war to Sarah Howe, a niece of Gen. Samuel Elbert and made his home in Augusta, where he was sheriff of Richmond county; representative in the state legislature; commissioner to the proposed new state of Franklin in 1786; inspector-general of Georgia, 1787, and last governor of the commonwealth before its admission as a state, 1788. President Washington appointed him collector of the port of Brunswick, Ga., in August, 1789, and he served till his death, which occurred at Rae's Hall, Ga., the home of Gen. Samuel Hammond, Sept. 17, 1793.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHIES AVAILABLE:
Biographical Sketch of John Clarke
Biographical Sketch of Augustin Smith Clayton
The Biography of Judson Claudius Clements
The Biography of Duncan Lamont Clinch
The Biography of Thomas W. Cobb
Biography of Alfred Holt Colquitt
The Biography of Benjamin Conley
Biographical Sketch of George Washington Crawford
A Biography of Samuel Elbert
A Biography of John Erskine
A Biography of William Few
Biographical Sketch of James Gunn
A Biography of James Habersham
Samuel Hammond Biography
Biography of John Houstoun
Jared Irwin Biography
Biography of James Jackson
Biography of Charles Jones Jenkins
A Biography of James Johnson
A Short Biography of Henry Dickerson McDaniel
A Short Biography of Charles James McDonald
Local History and Genealogy Links:
Tree: live oak
Bird: brown thrasher
Flower: Cherokee rose
Nickname: Empire State of the South, Peach State
Motto: Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation
Area (sq. mi.): 58,876
Admitted: 2 Jan 1788