American History and Genealogy Project

State of Georgia

Georgia, one of the Southern United States, is bounded N. by Tennessee and N. Carolina; n. e. by S. Carolina; e. by the Atlantic; s. by Florida; and w. by Alabama. It is between 30° 30' and 35° n. lat., and between 80° 50' and 86° 6' w. Ion., and between 3° 52' and 8° 47' w. from W. It is 300 miles long from n. to s., and 240 broad from e. to w., containing 58,000 sq. miles, or 37,120,000 acres. The population in 1790, was 82,584; in 1800, 162,686; in 1810, 252,433; in 1820, 348,989; in 1830, 516,567; in 1840, 691,392, of which 280,944 were slaves. Employed in 30 agriculture, 209,283; in commerce, 2,428; in manufactures and trades, 7,984; mining, 574; navigating the ocean, 262; do. canals, rivers, &c, 352; learned professions, 1,250.

This state is divided into 93 counties, which, with their population in 1840, and their capitals, were as follows:

County, Population, Capital

Appling, 2,052, Holmesville Jones, 10,065, Clinton
Baker, 4,226, Newton Laurens, 5,585, Dublin
Baldwin, 7,250, Milledgeville Lee, 4,520, Starkeville
Bibb, 9,802, Macon Liberty, 7,241, Hinesville
Bryan, 3,182, Bryan C. H. Lincoln, 5,895, Lincolnton
Bullock, 3,102, Stateshorough Lowndes, 5,574, Troupsville
Burke, 13,176, Waynesborough Lumpkin, 5,671, Dahlonega
Butts, 5,308, Jackson Macon, 5,015, Lanier
Camden, 6,075, Jefferson Madison, 4,510, Danielsville
Campbell, 5,370, Campbellton Marion, 4,812, Tazewell
Carroll, 5,252, Carrollton McIntosh, 5,360, Darien
Cass, 9,390, Cassville Meriwether, 14,132, Greeneville
Chatham, 18,801, Savannah Monroe, 16,275, Forsyth
Chattooga 3,438, Summerville Montgomery, 1,616, Mount Vernon
Cherokee, 5,895, Canton Morgan, 9,121, Madison
Clarke, 10,522, Athens Murray, 4,695, Spring Place
Cobb, 7,539, Marietta Muscogee, 11,699, Columbus
Columbia, 11,356, Applington Newton, 11,628, Covington
Coweta, 10,364, Newnan Oglethorpe, 10,868, Lexington
Dade, 1,364, Trenton Paulding, 2,556, Van Wart
Decatur, 5,872, Bainbridge Pike, 9,176, Zebulon
De Kalb, 10,467, Decatur Pulaski, 5,389, Hawkinsville
Dooly, 4,427, Vienna Putnam, 10,260, Eatonton
Early, 5,444, Blakeley Rabun, 1,912, Clayton
Effingham, 3,075, Springfield Randolph, 8,276, Cuthbert
Elbert, 11,125, Elberton Richmond, 11,932, Augusta
Emanuel, 3,129, Swainsborough Scriven, 4,794, Jacksonboro
Fayette, 6,191, Fayetteville Stewart, 12,933, Lumpkin
Floyd, 4,441, Rome Sumpter, 5,759, Americus
Forsyth, 5,619, Cumming Talbot, 15,627, Talbotton
Franklin, 9,886, Carnesville Talliaferro, 5,190, Crawfordsville
Gilmer, 2,536, Ellejay Tatnall, 2,724, Reidsville
Glynn, 5,302, Brunswick Telfair, 2,763, Jacksonville
Greene, 11,690, Greensborough Thomas, 6,766, Thomasville
Gwinnett, 10,804, Lawrenceville Troup, 15,733, Lagrange
Habersham, 7,961, Clarksville Twiggs, 8,422, Marion
Hall, 7,875, Gainesville Union, 3,152, Blairsville
Hancock, 9,659, Sparta Upson, 9,408, Thomaston
Harris, 13,933, Hamilton Walker, 6,572, Lafayette
Heard, 5,329, Franklin Walton, 10,209, Monroe
Henry, 11,756, McDonough Ware, 2,323, Waresboro
Houston, 9,711, Perry Warren, 9,789, Warrenton
Irwin, 2,033, Irwinville Washington, 10,565, Sandersville
Jackson, 8,522, Jefferson Wayne, 1,258, Wayne C. H.
Jasper, 11,111, Monticello Wilkes, 10,148, Washington
Jefferson, 7,254, Louisville Wilkinson, 6,842, Irwinton

 From the ocean, for the distance of 7 miles, there is a margin of islands, intersected by rivers, creeks, and inlets, communicating with each other, and forming an inland navigation for vessels of 100 tons burden, along the whole coast. These sea islands consist of salt marsh, and land of a gray rich soil, which produces sea-island cotton of a superior quality. The natural growth of this soil is pine, hickory, and live oak. The principal islands are Tybee, Ossabaw, St. Catharines, Sapelo, St. Simons, and Cumberland. The coast on the main land, for 4 or 5 miles, is a salt marsh. Back of this there is a narrow margin of land, nearly resembling that of the islands; and back of this commence the pine barrens, interspersed with numerous inland swamps, on the margin of the creeks and rivers. These are partially or wholly overflowed at the return of the tide, and constitute the rice plantations. The pine barrens reach from 60 to 90 miles from the coast. Beyond this commences the country of sand hills, 30 or 40 miles wide, interspersed with fertile tracts, and extending to the lower falls of the rivers. The part of the state, above the falls of the rivers, is called the Upper Country, and has generally a strong and fertile soil, often inclining to a red color, and further back, mixed with a deep black mold, producing cotton, tobacco, Indian corn, wheat, and other kinds of grain. Black walnut and mulberry trees grow abundantly in this soil. The forests also produce oak, pine, hickory, and cedar. The fruits are, melons, figs, oranges, pomegranates, olives, lemons, limes, citrons, pears, and peaches. The pine barrens produce grapes of a large size and excellent flavor. The country on the N., near the boundary of Tennessee, becomes mountainous.

In this state there were in 1840, 157,540 horses and mules; 884,414 neat cattle; 267,107 sheep; 1,457,755 swine; poultry to the value of $449,623. There were produced 1,801,830 bushels of wheat; 12,979 of barley; 1,610,030 of oats; 60,693 of rye; 20,905,122 of Indian corn; 371,303 pounds of wool; 19,799 of wax; 1,211,366 of potatoes; 16,969 tons of hay; 10 of flax and hemp; 162,894 pounds of tobacco; 12,384,732 of rice; 163,392,396 of cotton; 2,992 of silk cocoons; 329,744 of sugar. The products of the dairy were valued at $605,172; and of the orchard, $156,122; of lumber $1 14,050. There were made, 8,647 gallons of wine.

The staple commodities of this state are cotton and rice, of which great quantities are exported.

Copper and iron have been found in this state, and there are several valuable mineral springs, but much the most valuable mineral production is gold, which is found in the n. part of the state, in considerable quantities.

The exports of this state in 1840, amounted to $6,862,959; and the imports to $491,428. There were 4 commercial and 62 commission houses engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $1,543,500; 1716 retail drygoods and other stores, with a capital of $7,361,838; 442 persons were employed in the lumber trade, with a capital of $75,730; 194 persons were employed in internal transportation, who, with 17 butchers, packers, &c, employed a capital of $12,885.

The amount of homemade or family goods was $1,467,630. There was 1 woolen manufactory employing 10 persons, producing articles to the amount of $3,000, with a capital of $2,000; 19 cotton factories with 42,539 spindles, employing 779 persons, producing articles to the amount of $304,342, employing a capital of $573,835; 14 furnaces, producing 494 tons of cast iron, employing 41 persons, and a capital of $24,000; 130 smelting houses employed 405 persons, and produced gold to the amount of $121,881, with a capital of $79,343; 55 persons manufactured hats and caps to the amount of $22,761, with a capital of $7,950; 132 tanneries employed 437 persons, and a capital of $127,739; 102 other leather manufactories, as saddleries, &c, produced articles to the amount of $123,701, with a capital of $60,932; 6 potteries, employing 12 persons, produced articles to the amount of $2,050, with a capital of $790; 184 persons produced machinery to the amount of $131,233; 19 persons produced hardware and cutlery to the amount of $7,866; 555 persons produced bricks and lime to the amount of $148,655; 2,633 persons made 764,523 pounds of soap, and 111,066 pounds of tallow candles, with a capital of $27,126; 393 distilleries produced 126,746 gallons, which with 22 breweries employed 218 persons, and a capital of $23,606; 461 persons manufactured carriages and wagons to the amount of $249,065, with a capital of $93,820; 114 flouring mills produced 55,158 barrels of flour, and, with other mills, employed 1,581 persons, producing articles to the amount of $1,268,715, with a capital of $1,491,973; 95 persons manufactured furniture to the amount of $49,780, with a capital of $29,090; 38 brick or stone houses, and 2,591 wooden houses were built by 2,274 persons, at a cost of $693,116; 24 printing offices, and 5 binderies, 5 daily, 5 semiweekly, and 24 weekly newspapers, and 6 periodicals, employed 157 persons, and a capital of $134,400. The whole amount of capital employed in manufactures was $2,899,565.

The climate of Georgia is generally mild. In the low country it is unhealthy during the months of July, August, and September, excepting portions of the islands; but the upper country is salubrious and healthy. Snow is seldom seen, and cattle subsist with very little food but what they obtain from the woods and savannahs.

The rivers are the Savannah, 600 miles long, bounding the state on the n. e., navigable for ships 17 miles to Savannah, and, a part of the year, for steamboats, 250 miles to Augusta; the Altamaha, which is navigable for large vessels, 12 miles, to Darien, is formed by the junction of the Oconee and the Ocmulgee; and is navigable for sloops of 30 tons, by the former, to Dublin, 300 miles from the ocean; the Ogeeche, 200 miles long, and navigable for sloops 40 miles; Flint river, which rises in the n. w. part of the state, and, after a course of more than 200 miles, joins the Chattahoochee, forming the Appalachicola; the Chattahoochee, on the w. border of the state, which is navigable 300 miles by steamboat to Columbus; the St. Marys River, in the s. w. part of the state, rises in Okefinokee Swamp, and is navigable, 70 miles, for vessels drawing 14 feet of water. Okefinokee Swamp is about 180 miles in circumference, and has in it several fertile islands. Savannah, on the Savannah River, is the largest and most commercial place in the state. Augusta, at the head of steamboat navigation on the same river, is a place of extensive trade, in the interior. Macon, Columbus, Milledgeville, and Darien are considerable places.

The University of Georgia is located at Athens, and is designed to have an academic branch in each county. A few only of these have been opened. It was founded in 1783, and has been well endowed. In this institution and its branches, there were in 1840, 622 students. There were in the state, 176 academies or grammar schools, with 7,878 students; and 601 common or primary schools, with 15,561 scholars. There were 30,717 free white persons over 20 years of age who could neither read nor write.

The Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians are the most numerous religious denominations. In 1835 the Baptists had 583 churches, 298 ministers, and 41,810 communicants; Methodists, 80 travelling preachers, and 25,005 white, and 8,436 colored communicants; Presbyterians, 75 churches, 45 ministers, and 4.882 communicants; Episcopalians 4 ministers; Protestant Methodists, 20 congregations and 15 ministers. Besides these there were a number of Christians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Scots Presbyterians, Friends, and Jews.

In 1810, this state had 37 banks and branches, with an aggregate capital of $15,119,219, and a; circulation of $3,017,343. At the close of 1840 the state debt amounted to $500,000.

This state has a penitentiary at Milledgeville.

The first constitution of Georgia was formed in 1777; a second, in 1785; and the present, in 1793. The governor is elected by the people, and holds his office 2 years. One senator is elected for each county. The representatives are proportioned to the population, including three fifths of the people of color, but each county is entitled to at least one, and one to more than 4 members. The general assembly meets annually in November, at Milledgeville. 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.

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 for 4 years by the people.

This state has several important works of internal improvement. The Savannah and Ogeechee canal extends 16 miles, from Savannah to Ogeechee River, completed in 1829, at an expense of $165,000. The Brunswick canal extends from tide water on the Altamaha, 12 miles to Brunswick, at a cost of $500,000.

The Georgia railroad extends from Augusta, 165 miles, to De Kalb County. The Athens Branch extends from the Georgia railroad, 33 miles, to Athens. Cost of the whole, including the Athens branch, $3,300,000. The Western and Atlantic railroad continues the Georgia railroad from De Kalb County, 140 miles, to Chattanooga, on Tennessee River, at a cost of $2,130,000. The Central railroad extends from Savannah, 197 miles, to Macon, estimated to cost $2,300,000. The Monroe railroad extends from Macon, 101 miles, to Whitehall. The Ocmulgee and Flint River railroad, 76 miles in length, is designed to connect the navigable waters of these rivers, so as to form a communication from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1732 the country between the Savannah and Altamaha was granted by George II. to Gen. Oglethorpe and others. He, with 40 others, landed at Yamacraw Bluff, and founded Savannah. Feb. 1st, 1733.

This state suffered much, in its earlier periods, from wars with the Spaniards in Florida. In 1752 the trustees surrendered the province to the king, and a general court was established in 1755. In 1763 George III. annexed the country between the Altamaha and the St. Marys to the province. Savannah was taken by the British in the revolutionary war, December 29th, 1778. The town and state were evacuated by the British, in July, 1782. In convention, this state adopted the constitution of the United States, Jan. 2d, 1788, by a unanimous vote.

Table of Contents

Source: A Complete Descriptive And Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith, 1843

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