Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

conflicted with the jurisdiction exercised by Georgia within her state limits, and occasioned much difficulty. A treaty was finally concluded at New Echota, in May 1836, with some of the principal chiefs of the nation, whereby all their lands which they claimed east of the Mississippi River, were ceded to the United States.

Georgia is bounded N. by parts of Tennessee and North Carolina, E. by South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean, S. by Florida, and W. by the Alabama. It extends 300 miles from north to south, with an average breadth of 200 miles, and includes an area of 58,000 square miles, Lat. 30° 22', to 35 N.: Long. 80° 50', to 85° 40' W. Georgia has every variety of surface, from the mountain of the north, to the alluvial flats on the sea coast. From the ocean, for a distance of seven miles, there is a series of islands intersected by rivers, creeks, and inlets, communicating with each other and forming an inland navigation for steamboats along the whole coast. These islands produce cotton of a superior quality. The coast on the main land, from three to five miles in width, is a salt marsh. Back of this, the land continues level, and the pine barrens reach from 60 to 90 miles from the coast. Beyond these is the country of sand-hills, 30 to 40 miles wide, interspersed with fertile tracts. The Upper Countryis that part of the state above the falls of the rivers, and is generally a strong and fertile soil, producing cotton, Indian corn, wheat, etc. The northern part of the state is rich in mineral wealth, gold, iron, coal, copper, etc. Georgia is rich in the natural elements of wealth; and in the enterprise of her citizens, she stands first among the states of the south: also in the number and extent of her railways. In the production of sweet potatoes, Georgia is first, and in cotton and rice, the second state in the Union.

Population of Georgia in 1790, was 82,548; in 1840, 691,392; in 1850, 906,185, of whom 381,682 were slaves.; in 1860, 1.075,977.

SAVANNAH, the largest city in Georgia, and one of the most thriving in the state, is situated on the south-east bank of Savannah River, on a sandy bluff 40 feet above low-water mark, 12 miles in a direct line from the Atlantic Ocean, and 18 miles by the course of the river. It is 90 miles from Charleston; 120 from Augusta, and 158 from Milledgeville. The safety of the channel, in entering the harbor, much enhances its commercial importance; vegsels requiring 13 feet of water can load at the wharves of the city. Population is about 28,000.

Savannah was founded by James Oglethorpe, who landed here with about 40 families of emigrants, Feb. 1, 1733; on that day four large tents were erected on shore sufficient to hold all the people, who, the ensuing night, slept on land. The first week was spent in making a crane and unlading their goods, after which Mr. Oglethorpe divided the people; employing part in clearing the land for seed, part in beginning the palisade, and the remainder in felling trees. The first house was begun on the 9th; on this day Mr. Oglethorpe and Col. Bull marked out the square, the streets and 40 lots for houses of the town, and the settlement, after the Indian name of the river which ran by it, was called Savannah.

"On the 7th of July, the settlers assembled on the strand (the bay), for the purpose of designating the lots. In a devotional service they united in thanksgiving to God, that the lines had fallen to them in a pleasant place, and that they were about to have a goodly heritage.' The wards and tithings were then named: each ward consisting of four tithings, and each tithing

of ten houses, and a house and lot were given to each freeholder. After a dinner provided by the governor, the grant of a court of record was read, and the officers appointed. The session of the magistrates was then held, a jury impanneled, and a case tried. This jury was the first im panneled in Georgia.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Ancient view of Savannah. 1. The stairs going up. 6. The house for strangers.

11. The fort. 2. Mr. Oglethorpe's tent. 7. The public oven.

12. The parsonage house. 3. The crane and bell. 8. The draw well.

13. The pallissadoes. 4. The tabernacle & c't house. 9. The loft for the church. 14. Guard house & battery. 5. The public mill. 10. The public stores.

15. Hutchinson's Island. The above is copied from a large engraving published, it is believed, in London, at the time of the first settlement of Savannah. The following is conspicuously engraved upon the plate. “To the Hon. the Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia, in America, this view of the town of Savannah is humbly dedicated by their Honours obliged and most obedient Servant, Peter Gordon.

"The town was governed by the three bailiffs, and had a recorder, register, and a town court holden every six weeks, where all matters civil and criminal were decided by grand and petit juries, as in England. No lawyers were allowed to plead for hire, or attorneys to take money, but (as in old times in England) each could plead his own cause. In October, 1741, the government of the colony was changed from that of the bailiffs to trustees. In 1750, the number of white persons in Georgia was computed at about 1,500. The first royal governor, John Reynolds, Esq., arrived in Savannah in October, 1754. The first printing press was established in 1763, and the Georgia Gazette printed on the 7th of April of that year. In 1766, the city consisted of four hundred dwelling-houses, a church, an Independent meeting-house, a council-house, a court-house, and a filature. In 1770, the city extended on

the west to what is now Jefferson-street, on the east to what is now Lincolnstreet, and on the south to what is now South Broad-street, and contained six squares and twelve streets beside the bay."*

The site of Savannah “is a sandy terrace, some forty feet above low water mark. It is regularly built, with streets so wide and so unpaved, so densely shaded with trees, and so full of little parks, that but for the extent and eleyance of its public edifices it might seem to be an overgrown village, or a score of villages rolled into one. There are no less than twenty-four little green squares scattered through the city, and most of the streets are lined with the fragrant flowering China tree, or the Pride of India, while some of them, as Broad and Bay-streets, have each four grand rows of trees, there being a double carriage-way, with broad walks on the outsides, and a promenade between them."

The engraving annexed embraces the whole length of Bull-street, showing the two monuments, which are about three-fourths of a mile apart. The view is taken looking southward from the Exchange, a public building in Bay-street, situated on the verge of the elevated bank of Savannah River. Most of the public edifices are on or near the four or five squares embraced in the view. On the left is seen part of the Custom-house, the lower story being the Post-office; on the right is the Pulaski House, beyond which rises the spire of the Independent Presbyterian Church, one of the most splendid buildings

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed]

View in the Central Part of Savannah. in the city. It was erected of light colored granite, at a cost of nearly $120,000. In the central part of the view is seen the monument in Johnson

Hist. account of Savannah in the "Southern and Western Journal of Progress."

square, erected in memory of Gen. Greene, the corner-stone of which was laid by Lafayette during his visit to this country in 1825. The Pulaski monument is just discernible, at a distance of three-fourths of a mile, at the southern limit of the city.

The city has 14 Protestant and 1 or 2 Catholic churches, 1 Hebrew synagogue, 5 banks, the Georgia Historical Society, several reading-rooms, and a public library of about 6,000 volumes. Five daily newspapers are published. The private schools are numerous, and liberal provision is made for the education of the poor. There are also numerous charitable institutions. The hall of the Georgia Historical Society is a beautiful building, and well adapted for the purposes for which it is intended. The society is in its infancy, but it has published two volumes of interesting collections, and has a valuable collection of manuscripts and rare books. Among the relics collected is a drum used at the battles of Eutaw, Saratoga and Cowpens; Gen. Greene's medal; a sword taken from the side of a slain Tory officer at the battle of King's Mountain, made from a saw plate; a piece from the keel of the ship Endeavor, etc.

The annexed engraving is a representation of a house in South Broad-street, said to be the oldest brick dwelling-house in Savannah. Governor Martin, about three weeks after the evacuation of Savannah by the British, in 1782, called a special meeting of the legislature, which assembled in this house. The session was short, but marked by decision and energy. On the first Monday in January, 1783, the constitutional session com

menced at the same place. “EvANCIENT HOUSE IN SAVANNAH.

ery branch of the new govern.

ment was speedily organized, and the free and independent state of Georgia began its career.'

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

The first attack on Savannah by the British during the revolution was in March, 1776. It ended in the defeat of the regulars under Majors Maitland and Grant. On the 29th of December, 1778, Savannah was taken by the British. The following account of this event is from Holmes' Annals: Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell

, an officer of courage and ability, embarked on the 27th of November from New York for Savannah, with about 2,000 men, under the convoy of some ships-of-war, commanded by Commodore Hyde Parker, and in about three weeks landed near the mouth of Savannah River. From the landing place a narrow causeway of 600 yards in length, with a ditch on each side, led through a swamp. At this causeway a small party was posted under Capt. Smith, to impede the passage of the British, but it was almost instantly dispersed. General Howe, the American officer to whom the defense of Georgia was committed, had taken bis station on the main road, and posted his little army, consisting of about 600 continentals and a few hundred militia, between the landing place and the town of Savannah, with the river on his left and a morass in front. While Colonel Campbell was making arrangements to dislodge his adversaries, he received intelligence

from a negro of a private path, on the right of the Americans, through which bis troops might march unobserved; and Sir James Baird, with the light infantry, was directed to avail himself of this path, in order to turn their right

wing and attack their rear. As soon as it was judged that he had cleared his passage, the British in front of the Americans were directed to advance and engage. General Howe, finding himself attacked both in rear and in front, ordered an immediate retreat. The British pursued, and their victory was entire. Upward of 100 of the Americans were killed, and 38 officers, 415 privates, the town and fort of Savannah, 48 pieces of cannon, 23 mortars, the fort with its ammunition and stores, the shipping in the river, and a large quantity of provisions, were in a few hours in possession of the conquerors. The whole loss of the British, during the day, amounted to no more than 7 killed and 19 wounded. That part of the American army which escaped retreated up the Savannah River to Zubly's Ferry, and crossed over into South Carolina

The monument erected in 1854 to the memory of Pulaski is situated

near the pine grove, on the southern border of the city. It is 55 feet in hight, of stalian marble, erected at an expense of $17,000. The remains of Pulaski, who was buried at Greenwich, on Augustine creek, five miles from Savannah, are deposited in a case, with various articles and documents, underneath the monument. The northern side has a representation of Pulaski falling from his horse when he had received his fatal wound. The monument itself is surmounted by a statue of liberty.

In the assault on Savannah, Gen. Pulaski was with the regular cavalry, and other mounted corps, but was unable to participate in the fight, being in reserve for a charge as soon as a breach could be effected in the enemy's works. His penetrating eye having discovered an opening through which he believed an entrance could be effected, and thereby gain the enemy's rear, he communicated this fact to Gen. Lincoln, with his plan of operation; that officer

sanctioned the movement. At the head North view of Pulaski MONUMENT, SAVANNAK. of his brave and dashing cavalry, he

led off the charge, but "ere the point he gained" a fatal grape-shot pierced his groin, and in a moment he lay prostrate within a few yards of the enemy's battery. This spot is about one hundred rods from the present depot of the Central Railroad. The following account of the assault is from Holmes' Annals:

On the morning of the 4th of October, 1779, the batteries of the besiegers were opened with 9 mortars, 37 pieces of cannon from the land side, and 15 from the water. It being at length ascertained that considerable time would be necessary to reduce the garrison by regular approaches, it was determined to make an assault. In pursuance of this determination, on the 9th of October, while two feints

[graphic]
« ZurückWeiter »