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GEORGIA (Fanning's, 1853)

Gazetteer/Almanac

Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States.... (New York: Phelps, Fanning & Co., 1853), 136-137.

GEORGIA, so called in honor of its royal grantor, George II. of England, and the most southern of the original thirteen States, lies between 30° 19' and 35° north latitude, and 80° 50' and 85° 40' west longitude from Greenwich; and bounded north by North Carolina and Tennessee, northeast by Savannah river, which separates it from South Carolina, southeast by the Atlantic, south by Florida, and west by Alabama. Its superficial area is 61,500 square miles.
Physical Aspect. — This state occupies a large proportion of the great inclined plain, from which the peninsula of Florida protrudes, and down which several rivers flow into the Atlantic and the Mexicam gulf. From the Atlantic border of this state, this acclivity gradually rises to an elevation of 1,200 feet above the level of the sea, without estimating the mountain ridges. Like the Carolinas, it may be divided into three zones. First, the flat sea-border, including numerous small islands; second, the sand-hill zone; and third, a hilly and partly mountainous tract, beyond the lower falls of the rivers. The soil on the islands, called hummock land is very rich, producing the celebrated S'ea-island cotton. The seacoast on the main land counts of a belt of salt marsh, four or five miles in widrh. In the rear оf this margin commence the "pine barrens," which extend 60 to 90 miles from the ocean. The river and creeks are generally bordered with swamps, or marshes, which at every tide, are either wholly or partially overflowed for 15 or 20 miles from the coast. These constitute the principal rice plantations. Beyond the pine barrens the country becomes uneven, diversified with hills and mountains, of a strong rich soil. The northwestern part of the state is mountainous, and abounds in beautiful scenery. The soil of Georgia, though varied, is a large portion of it, productive. At a distance from the sea it changes from gray to red; in some places it is gravelly, but fertile : and farther back in the country its color is gradually deepened, till it becomes what is called the "mulatto soil," consisting of black mould and reddish earth. This is succeeded in its turn by a soil that is nearly black, and very rich. In the southwest portion of the state is Okefenokee swamp, about 170 miles in circumference.
Mountains. — This state is traversed on the north by a spur of the Alleghanies, among which are Yonah and Currahee mountains. Pine mountain lies near the western boundary.
Rivers and Sounds. — The principal rivers are, the Savannah, Ogeechee. Altamaha, Satilla, Ocmulgee, Oconee, St. Mary's, Flint, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa, and Coosa. The coast of Georgia is indented by numerous sounds and inlets, which occur at the mouths of the principal rivers.
Islands. — Along the Atlantic coast there is a chain of islands, which are separated from the main by rivers, creeks, and inlets, forming an inland navigation of more than 100 miles. The principal of these islands are Ту-bee, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St. Catherine's, Sapelo, St Simon's, Jykill, and Cumberland.
Climate. — The climate, from the difference of elevation, is varied, one section producing wheat, and another sugar-cane. The winters are usually mild and pleasant; snow is seldom seen, nor is vegetation often interrupted by severe frosts. The temperature of winter usually fluctuates from 40° to 60° Fahrenheit, although it occasionally falls as low as 16°. In the low country, in the vicinity of swamps, fevers and bilious attacks are common, owing partly to the badness of the water, but principally to the noxious vapors which arise from stagnant water, and putrid matter in the rice swamps. In the "upper country" the air is pure and salubrious throughout the year, and the water is abundant and good.
Productive Resources.—The staple products of this state consist of horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, silk, wool, butter, cheese, cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar, wine, wheat, rye, oats, barley, potatoes, and Indian corn. Among the mineral resources are, copper, iron, and gold. The latter occurs in considerable abundance in the northern part of the state, on both sides of Chattahoochee river, as far north as the Blue Ridge.
Manufactures.
— The people of Georgia arе more engaged in manufactures than those of any other southern state. It has quite a number of large cotton factories, which are worked by slave labor. It has also extensive tanneries, and mills of various descriptions.
Railroads and Canals. — There are about 1,000 miles of railroad already in successful operation in Georgia, and more in process of construction. T he cost of the railroads already completed in this state is over $15,000,000. T he principal canals in Georgia are, one from Savannah to the Ogeechee river, 16 miles, and another from Altamaha to Brunswick, 12 miles.
Commerce. — The foreign commerce of Georgia amounts to about $9,000,000 annually. The coasting trade is also considerable.
Education. — The university of Georgia, founded in 1785, in Athens, is the principal literary institution in the state. There are also, the Oglethorpe university, at Medina, near Milledgeville. The Mercer university, at Penfield, the Georgia Female college, near Macon, and the Georgia medical college, at Augusta. There are about 250 academies scattered through the state, and some 1,500 primary and common schools.
Population — In 1749, 6,000; in 1790, 82,584; in 1800, 162,686; in 1810, 252,433; in 1820, 348,9899; in 1830, 516,567; in 1840, 692,392; in 1850, 905,999. Number of slaves in 1790, 29,264; in 1800, 59,404; in 1810, 105,218; in 1820, 149,656; in 1830, 217,531; in 1840, 280,944; in 1850, 381,681.
Government. — The governor is elected by the people, and holds his office two years. The senate consiets of 47 members, elected from forty-four districts of two counties each, two districts of three counties each, and one district comprising but a single county. The house of representatives is composed of 130 members : the 35 counties having the largest number of inhabitants are entitled to two members each, and the remainder one each. State election biennially, first Monday in October. The legislature meets biennially, on the first Monday in November (odd years), at Mllledgeville. The judges of the superior court are elected for three years by the legislature, and the judges of the inferior courts and justices of the peace are elected quadrennially by the people. All the free white male inhabitants, who shall have resided within the county in which they vote six months preceding the election, and shall have paid taxes in the state for the year previous, have the right of suffrage.
History. — The state of Georgia embraces a part of Virginia, as granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1584; or a portion of South Virginia, as granted by James I., of England in 1606. A portion of its present territory also embraces a part of the ancient Georgia colony, chartered in 1732, to a corporation "in trust for the poor," for twenty-one years, including the country between the Savannah and Altahama rivers, extending westward from their sources to the "South sea;" also a portion of the northern part of Florida, as claimed at the time by Spain. The first permanent settlement in Geargia was made under this çrant at Savannah, by Oglethorpe, in 1732, who brought out a band of colonists, collected from among the poor and vicious population, as an experimental effort for their reformation, by providing them with the means of self-support. This benevolent design failing of success, the trustees of the colony sent out a better class of emigrants in 1735 from Scotland, Switzerland, and Germany. In the year following Oglethorpe extended his settlements as far south as St. John's river, in Florida, but was repulsed by the Spaniards. He retained his fortification at the mouth of the St. Mary's, and this river afterward became the boundary between Georgia and Florida. In the year 1752, the trustees of the colony surrendered their charter to the king, and their province was forced into a royal government. А general representative assembly was established in 1755; and in 1763, all the territory between the Altamaha and St. Mary's was annexed. In 1775, Georgia acceded to the union of the colonies, and sent deputies to Congress. When military operations were transferred to the southern states, from 1779 to 1781, Georgia became a portion of the bloody arena. It was at the siege of Savannah, Sept. 23, 1779, that Count Pulaski, the brave and patriotic Pole, was killed. In 1777, the first state constitution was adopted, and the parishes then existing were formed into counties. A second constitution was adopted in 1785, and the one now in force in 1708. In 1788, it adopted the constitution of the United States by a unanimous vote. By different conventions, all of the new states, Alabama and Mississippi, lying north of thirty-one degrees, have been yielded to the general government. Motto of the state seal of Georgia, "Constitution" supported by "Wisdom," "Justice," "Moderation," and " Agriculture and Commerce."

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