George Gilman Smith.

The story of Georgia and the Georgia people, 1732 to 1860 online

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1732 to i860





Macon, Ga.




Printed by

The Franklin Printing and Publishing Co.

Atlanta, Ga.






« ^90 t L.


Entered according to Act of Congress by


I am my own publisher, not of choice, but of necessity.
There are no publishing houses North or South that are
willing to risk the publishing of State histories by whom-
soever written. I have confidence in the Georgia people
and have acted in accordance with it. The book is not as
fully illustrated as I would have preferred. Some hand-
some churches and court-houses would have appeared if
the parties concerned had complied with my request for
half-tones. Many have, and I am under obligations to
them for the use of their plates.

Vineville, Macon, Ga.



I have tried to write the Story of Georgia and the Geor-
gia People from 1732 to i860. I have rather aimed to give
a series of pictures than a mere detail of events. I have
freely used the labors of those who have gone before me,
and have endeavored to put a fair estimate on their work.

Hewitt, the dignified and careful old Loyalist, who wrote
a History of South Carolina, which was afterward repub-
lished by Mr. Carroll in his Historical Collections, gives an
account of the Georgia Colony up to the Revolution. His
story of the early Colony is very accurate. Major McCall,
who wrote the first History of the State of Georgia, drew
page after page from Hewitt, making no acknowledgment
of his source of information, and all that is valuable in his
account of the colony is found in Hewitt's History. McCall
participated actively in the revolutionary struggle, and had
a Scotchman's hate for all opposed to him, and his account
of revolutionary matters is to be taken somewhat cautiously.

Bishop Stevens,* who wrote the second History of Geor-
gia, is very painstaking and reliable. His style is classic
and his pages are stately, his stateliness becoming some-
times almost ludicrous. Colonel Charles C. Jones, j- whose
two portly octavos reach to the close of the Revolution, has
left no stone unturned in his effort to discover everything
which could interest the student of Georgia history. Geor-

* Stevens's History of Georgia, Vol. I. D. Appleton & Co., New York.
1847. Vol. II., 1859. E. H. Butler, Philadelphia.

t History of Georgia. By Charles C.Jones, Jr., LIv.D. Boston. Hough-
ton, Mifflin & Co. 186S. 2 vols.

VI Preface.

gia was in her swaddling clothes when his story reached its
conclusion. His somewhat untimely death was a great loss
to Georgia, and the completion of the work he had laid out
for himself was left to other hands.

Colonel Avery begins his history fifty years after Stevens
ends his, and has given in a large octavo a full and graphic
story of a stirring time.*

Professor Lawton B. Evans has written a school history
of Georgia, which is very full and reliable. I have used
the first edition of it very freely, and find it to be very trust-
worthy. A second and improved edition is now used in the
Georgia schools. Professor Evans has added to my obliga-
tions by putting the collection of illustrations used in his
first edition at my disposal, •j- and his obliging publishers,
the University Publishing Co., have done the same.

Colonel Charles H. Smith has written an excellent sketch
of Georgia, which has been published by a Northern firm.
It is a mere sketch, but, like everything from the pen of the
gifted writer, sprightly and valuable.

I have been much indebted to Adiel Sherwood, who pub-
lished the first Gazetteer of Georgia in 1829, and who fol-
lowed it by a new and improved edition in 1837.;!; ^^^
little book published in 1829 was the first effort to show the
progress of the young State along industrial lines. It is
thoroughly truthful. Mr. George White, § who has done so
much for Georgia history, has drawn largely from Mr.
Sherwood, not always giving him proper credit.

Mr. White's two books are invaluable, and I am very

*The History of the State of Georgia from 1S59 to ^SSi. Brown &
Derby, New York.

t A Student's History of Georgia. By Lawton B. Evans. J. W. Burke
& Co., Macon, Ga.

i Sherwood's Gazetteer, Washington, D. C, 1S37.

§ White's Statistics. W. T. Williams, Savannah. 1849. White's His-
torical Collections, New York. 1856. Pudney & Russell.


largely indebted to him. lie devoted much attention to
Biography, and his personal sketches are excellent.

I am under special obligations to the Georgia Historical
Society of Savannah for the use of its rare and valuable
collection of books and newspapers, as well as of MSS. bear-
ing on Georgia history. And I must render publicly my
thanks to the courteous and well-informed Colonel Harden,
the librarian, who has given me very valuable assistance.

My friends of the Macon bar have given me free access
to their collections of Georgia law books, and Colonel J. R.
Saussy and Colonel S. B. Adams of Savannah have given
me access to some very rare and important works not to
be found elsewhere.

I have tried to be strictly non-partisan in my statements,
for I can but think the bitter animosities of the Revolution
and the fiery heat of early politics have in some degree
prevented a fair treatment of those who were under the
public ban.

I have aimed to make a book of moderate size and to
give prominence to facts to a large degree overlooked by
other histories of Georgia, and I have been much less mi-
nute in my account of the first years of the Georgia Colony
than I would have been had not those who preceded me
given it such attention.

The aim I set forth at the beginning of this preface I
have kept constantly before me, and have used a homeliness
of treatment and a particularity of statement that would
not have been warranted if I had designed to write a com-
plete history for general circulation and reference.

The interesting story of De Soto in Georgia, which has so
fascinated the early historians, has been so well told by
Pickett, Jones and Stevens, that it was not necessary that I
should tell it again, even if I regarded it, as I do not, as a
part of the story of the Georgia people. It is an incident
in the history of the Spaniards which is of very great in-

VIII Preface.

terest, and the account given by the Spanish chronicler is
an amusing illustration of the temptation, never resisted in
those days, to draw largely on the fancy for facts. To find
bushels of precious pearls, wonderful princesses and great
cities in the Georgia forests was possible only to those
Spanish romancers.

A glance over the Bibliography appended will show my
sources of information. I have in almost every instance
referred to the original copies of the books referred to, and
have been compelled in only one instance, that of DeBrahm's
account of the province of Georgia, to take my facts at
second-hand. I am indebted to Colonel C. C. Jones for the
facts recited by this German engineer.

I have found the work of preparing this volume a diffi-
cult one, not because I had no sufficient supply of material,
but because of the difficulty of bringing into a moderate
compass so much of interest to the Georgia people.

The good ladies of the Atlanta Chapters had prepared
and put at my disposal, at their expense, as full a roster of
the Georgia troops as could be secured. The well-informed
and untiring Captain B. F. Johnson did the work, with the
cooperation of the Secretary of State, Colonel Cook. In
the Appendix is found the result of this labor.

George G. Smith.

Vi?ieville, Macon, Ga.


1. Journal of Wm. Stephens, Esq., 3 vols., London, 1744.
This very rare and very valuable book is to be found in

the library of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah.
It has been freely drawn upon by Hewitt, McCall, Bishop
Stevens and Colonel Jones. It is very full and very reli
able. It covers the period between 1738 and 1741.

2. Bartram's Journal of a Botanist.

3. Journal of John Wesley, Wesley's works, vol. I., Eaton
& Maines, New York. Journal of Charles Wesley, in
Jackson's Life. Whitefield's Letters and Journal as
found in his life by Gillies, and in his works. London,

These books are of great service, especially the Journal
of John Wesley, in which he gives much valuable informa-
tion about the first days of Georgia and the Letters of White-
field, which extend over thirty years.

4. Hewitt's History, as found in Carroll's Collections.

Dr. Hewitt was a Presbyterian minister of Charleston,
and an intense Loyalist.

5. Bancroft's History, 2 vols.

6. Memorials of Oglethorpe, by Dr. Harris of Boston.

This biography, the only one we have of Oglethorpe,
is, as far as the facts go, a valuable work. As is not
unusual with biographers, he aims to magnify the subject
of his story unduly.

X Bibliography.

7. Oglethorpe's Letters. Georgia Historical Society,
vol. 3.

These are very valuable and cast much light on the early
days of the colony.

A NevT and Accurate Account of the Province of South
Carolina and Georgia. London, 1733.

A Voyage to Georgia, by Francis Moore, 1744.

An Impartial Inquiry, 1741.

Reasons for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, 1733.

The State of the Province of Georgia, 1740.

A Brief Account, a Tract against the Trustees, 1741.

Tailfer's Narrative, antagonistic to Oglethorpe. Pub-
lished in Charleston, S. C, 1741.

The Trustee's Statement. London, 1742.

Governor Wright's Letter.

8. McCall's History of Georgia, 181 i.

9. Stevens's History of Georgia, vol. i. D. Appleton &
Co., 1847. Stevens's History of Georgia, vol. 2. E. H.
Butler & Co., 1858.

10. History of Georgia, by Colonel Chas. C. Jones, 2 vols.,

As far as Colonel Jones goes he has left nothing behind
him. Fair, non-partisan, graceful in style, his two large
volumes are invaluable.

11. Life of James Jackson, by Judge T. U. P. Charlton,
1809. Reprint of Thomas Meghan, 1896. A full account
of General Jackson's army life.

12. Pamphlets of Georgia History, by A. H. Chappell,

This series of j)amphlets, which were published in Co-
lumbus in 1873, and republished by Thos. Meghan in

Bibliography. xi

Atlanta in 1896, are very valuable and I have drawn freely
on them.

13. History of Savannah, by Lee & Agnew.

14. History of Savannah, by C. C. Jones.

15. History of Augusta, by C. C. Jones.

16. History of Atlanta, by E. Y. Clarke.

17. History of Macon, by J. C. Butler, have all aided me
in making up my history of the cities. Mr. Butler's
book is especially valuable in recovering everything
which concerns Macon's infant history.

18. Memoirs of Georgia, published by the Georgia His-
torical Association.

Two large volumes, to which contributions were made
by Colonel Avery, Mr. J. Chandler Harris, Mr. W. P.
Reed, Chas. N. West, Esq., General C. A. Evans, Dr.
Foster and others, and in which there are a great many
biographical sketches. There is much in this book which
is very valuable.

19. King Alcohol in the Land of King Cotton, by
Professor Scomp.

It is a very voluminous, accurate and carefully written
story of the temperance reform. It is a v^^ork of great re-
search, but is unreadably minute in its statements.

20. History OF Georgia, 1850 to 1881. Avery. This is
a full and sprightly account of a stormy time.

CoLOiNiAL Laws of Georgia. Lewis Johnson, 1771.

There are only three volumes of this collection of which
I have knowledge, one in the Historical Society in Savan-
nah, and two owned by J. R. Saussy, Esq., that city.

XII Bibliography.

The Egmont Papers, published by Mr. DeRenne, which
shed much light on colonial history.

Watkins's Digest of Georgia Laws to 1800. R. Aiken,
1st Ed., Philadelphia.

Marbury's Georgia Laws. R. Aiken, Philadelphia.

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by Augustine S. Clayton,
to 1 8 10.

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by L. Q. C. Lamar, Sr., to

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by W. C. Dawson, to 1825.

Digest of Georgia Laws, by O. H. Prince, 1837.

Sherwood's Gazetteer of Georgia, ist Ed., 1829. Second
edition, Washington, D. C, 1837.

It is difficult to speak too highly of this unpretending
work. It casts a flood of light over the second period of
Georgia history.

White's Statistics. Mr. White was largely indebted to
Sherwood, but was a laborious and patient investigator
himself, and his Book of Statistics, somewhat inaccurately
called such, is invaluable. His larger work. Historical
Collections, gives a very great amount of valuable matter
out of which a history can be made, and has been of great
service to me.

Georgians, by Governor Gilmer, is a rare book, full of
reminiscences, very interesting and generally reliable.

Bench and Bar of Georgia, a series of biographical
sketches of distinguished lawyers, by Stephen F. Miller, is
a very carefully prepared, trustworthy and somewhat diffuse
-account of some of the leading lawyers of the State. It
was published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.

Reminiscences of a Georgia Lawyer, by Judge Garnett
Andrews, is a pamphlet which aims at showing some of the
ludicrous things in early Georgia, but casts some light on
the early history of the period.


Georgia Scenes, Wm. Mitten; by Judge A. B. Long-
street, These books are invaluable for the information they
give of the social life of the second generation of Georgians.

Asbury's Journal, giving an account of early Methodism.

Bishop Stevens's Centennial Address, presenting a sketch
of the Episcopal Church in Georgia.

Campbell's History of the Baptists. J. W. Burke & Co.,
Macon. History of Baptists, Christian Index Pub. Co.

Wilson's Necrology of the Presbyterian Church, Atlanta,

Smith's History of Methodism in Georgia. J. W. Burke
•& Co., Macon.

Life of Edmond Bottsford. Mallary.

Life of Jesse Mercer. Mallary.

Life of James O. Andrew. Smith.

Life of Geo. F. Pierce. Smith.

Life of Robert Toombs. Stovall.

Life of B. H. Hill. Hill.

Life of Alex. H. Stephens. Brown & Johnson.

Life of Linton Stephens. Waddell.

Memorial of Howell Cobb. Boykin.

Georgia Gazette, from 1765 till its suspension.

The Augusta Chro?iicle, from i 796.

The Georgia Messenger ami Telegraph, in Macon

The Milledgeville Federal Union, from 1825.



Georgia under the Trustees — 1732 to 1754. — Preliminan — Carolina.
Settled — Mr. Oglethorpe Plans a Benevolent Colony — A Board of
Trustees Organized — The King Makes a Grant of Territory West of
the Savannah River — Proposal Made to Immigrants — Immigration of
Thirty-five Families — Dr. Herbert First Clergyman — Immigrants Ar-
rive at Charleston and Beaufort — Colonel Bull and Mr. Oglethorpe
Select a Place for the Settlement of the Colony — Tomichichi and his
People — Savannah Laid Out — Coming of the Salzburghers — Coming^
of the Highlanders — Second Immigration of English People, Salz-
burghers and Moravians — Troubles with the Spaniards — Mr. Ogle-
thorpe Commissioned a Colonel, Raises a Regiment and Commands
the British Forces — ^The Spanish War — The War Over — Mr. Oglethorpe
at Frederica — Trouble with Malcontents — Mr. Oglethorpe's Return to
England — Number of Immigrants up to his Date of Departure — The
English Settlement — Allowance to Immigrants — Beneficiaries of the
Trustees — Rum Forbidden -Slavery Prohibited — Reason for the Pro-
hibition of Slavery — Difiiculties Encountered by First Settlers — Failure
of the Attempt to Make Wine and Silk — Discontent of the Colonists
— Controversy — The Side of the Trustees — The Side of the Malcon-
tents — List of the Malcontents — The First Office-holders and their
Occupation — Mr. Oglethorpe's Treaty with the Creeks — The Scotch
Settlement — Origin of the Immigration — John More Mcintosh — Pastor
McLeod, the First Presbyterian Minister in Georgia — New Inverness
Founded — Partial List of the Colonists in New Inverness in 1740 —
Change of Name to Darien — Breaking up of the Scotch Settlement —
The German Settlement — The Coming of the Salzburghers and their
First Settlement at Ebenezer — Failure of the Settlement — Second
Settlement — Partial List of the First Immigrants — Coming of a Second
Colony of Germans — Frederica — Description of St. Simons Island —
Settlement of Frederica — Rapid Growth of the City — Its Rapid Decline
— Mr. James Spalding — Augusta Settled in 1735 — A Sketch of its First
Years — George Galphin — Indian Slave Trade — Results of the Efforts
of the Trustees — Change of Laws — Slavery Permitted — Practical Fail-
ure of the Colony — The First Assembly Called — Surrender of the
Charter — Amount of Land Granted — Religious History of the Colony
for the First Twenty Years 1-37'

XVI Contents.


Under the Royal Governors. — Governor Reynolds — Some of his Dif-
ficulties with the Colonists. — Dr. Little — Clement Martin Removed
from the Council — Governor Reynolds Asks to be Recalled — Georgia
as it Appeared in his Time — The Dorchester Settlement — The English
Emigration to Dorchester, Mass. — The Settlement of Dorchester, S. C.
— Removal to Georgia — List of the First Patentees — Midway Church
Built — Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett — The Land Grants Made
by Governor Reynolds — Slavery in the Colony — Native Africans — The
Condition of the New Negroes — Laws for Regulation of the Slaves —
Governor Ellis — His Administration — Church of England Established
— Episcopal Churches in Georgia — The First Presbyterian Church —
The Congregational — The Lutheran — The List of Parishes — Governor
James Wright — The Capital Settled in Savannah — Governor Wright's
First Assembly — Condition of Affairs in the Colony — Troubles Im-
pending in Consequence of the Stamp Act — Collision between Gov-
ernor Wright and the Assembly — The Newly Ceded Lands and the
Middle Georgia People — General View of the Colony to 1774 — Mr.
Whitefield's College Plan— The Moral Tone of the Colony— Sabbath
Laws — Governor James Wright's Administration — Education in the
Colony — Advance of the Colony among the English, the Scotch, the
Germans, in St. George's Parish, Augusta, and St. Paul's Parish —
Social Changes — Religious Movements — Baptists Enter the State. .38- 72


.'■Revolution. — The Call for a Meeting of the Disaffected — Appointments
of the Revolutionary Committee — Passage of Resolutions — Governor
Wright's Counter Movement — Call of a Congress — Failure — Dissatis-
faction of St. John's Parish — Lyman Hall — Increase of Excitement —
Stealing Gunpowder — War Begun at Lexington — Call for a Congress
■ — Members of the Congress — Archibald Bulloch the President — Dr.
Noble Wimberly Jones, John Glen, John Houston, Edward Telfair,
Dr. Zubly. Wm. Gibbons, John Adam Truetlen, Geo. Walton — Organ-
ization of the Council of Safety — Governor Wright Virtually Deposed
— The Formation of the Battalion of Georgia Troops — Lachlan jNIc-
Intosh, Samuel Elbert, John Habersham, James Jackson — Mr. Bulloch
Elected Temporary President — Convention Called — Expedition to St.
Augustine a Failure — Peaceful Condition of Affairs in the Colony
1 776-1 778 — Constitutional Convention — List of Members not to be
Found — Constitutional Provisions — Formation of Counties — Act of
Confiscation and Amercement — Truetlen Elected Governor — Gwin-
nett's Duel with Mcintosh — Both W^ounded — The War in Earnest 1779
— Triumphant March of the British — Capture of Savannah — Flight of
-Legislature — Trouble witli Tories — Capture of Augusta — Colonel

Contents. xvii -

Twiggs, the Fews, Wm. Candler, Elijah Clarke — Sir James Wright at
Home Again — Act of Proscription — The Battle of Kettle Creek — De-
feat of General Ash — Exode to North Carolina — The Itinerating Capi-
tal — The Loyalists and the Tories — Bloody Days — The War Drawing
to a Close — Return of the Government to Augusta — Governor Brown-
son — Assembly in Session — Act of Confiscation and Amercement —
Condition of Things in 1783 — Religious Affairs — The Quakers — The
Baptists — Marshall, Mercer, Bottsford — Characteristics of the People
— General View of the Churches — Social Conditions just after the
War 73- 1 1 c


1782 TO 1789. — Georgia a Free and Independent State — Governors Hous-
ton, Elbert, Handley, Telfair, and Mathews — Gloomy State of Affairs
— College Projected — The Decision to Remove Capitol to Louisville —
The State Government Temporarily in Augusta — Military Land Grants
Issued — Rapid Settlement of the State — Indian Troubles — Oconee War
— Paper Money Issued— Call for a Convention to Form a more Perfect
Union — Delegates Appointed — Ratification of the Constitution of the
United States — State Conventions — History of the Counties of Chat-
ham, Etlfingham, Burke, Richmond, Liberty, Camden, Wilkes, Franklin,
Washington, and Greene 11 1-165 .


1789 TO iSoo. — George Walton Governor — Convention 1789 — Some of its
Provisions — First General Thanksgiving Day Observed— Governor
Telfair — General Washington's Visit to Georgia — Governor Mathews
— New Counties — Educational Advancement — The Old Field School
— Shooting Matches — Gander-pulling — Dancing — Fighting in the
Ring — Horse-swapping — Drinking Habits — General Character of the
People — The Yazoo Troubles — General Jackson's Course — Rescinding
of the Act — Convention of 1795 — Convention of 1798 — General Jackson
Governor — Pine-barren Frauds — History of Elbert, Columbia, Screven,
Oglethorpe, Hancock, Bulloch, Bryan, Mcintosh, Jackson, Montgom-
ery, Lincoln — Georgia in the Federal Union 166-227 ■


1800 TO 18 1 2. — The New Century and the New Era — Political Bitterness
— Duel between Van Allen and Wm. H. Crawford — Duel between
John Clark and Wm. H. Crawford — Jackson Elected Senator — Josiah
Tattnall Governor — David Emanuel — John Milledge — Jared Irwin —
David B. Mitchell — Sale of the Yazoo Lands to the United States —
New Counties Opened — Baldwin, Wilkinson and Wayne Formed —
New Settlements Made — The Cotton Gin — Rapid Growth of Cotton
planting — Virginia Immigrants — North Carolina Immigration — Re-

XVIII Contents,

moval of the Capital — Flush Times in Georgia — The University-
Opened — Great Religious Revival — Christ Church, Savannah — The
Independent Church, Savannah — The Roman Catholics — The Bap-
tists — Dr. Holcombe — Judge Clay — Jesse JNIercer — Mt. Enon Acade-
my — The Methodists — Stith Mead — Camp-meetings — Lorenzo Dow
— Jesse Lee — The Embargo — The Alleviating Acts — Establishment
of the First State Bank — First Cotton and Wool Factory — First Stage
Coach Line — River Communication. 228-295


1S13 TO 1S20. — Peter Early — William Rabun — Matthew Talbot — Great
Increase in Production — Advance in Population — First Steamboat Line
— Improvement of Rivers — First Transatlantic Steamship — Roads —
Character of the Productions of the State — Inflation — Change Bills —
New Banks — Bank of Darien — Academies — Religious Progress — So-
cial Conditions — The Low-Country People — The Low-Country Slaves
— Life among the Cotton-Planters — Drinking Habits — The Cross-
Roads Whisky Shop — The Georgia Yeomanry — The Georgia Cracker
and his Origin — Trouble with the Creeks — Massacre of Friendly
Indians — Political Antagonisms — Newspapers in Georgia — New Coun-
ties — General Description of the Mountaineers — The Hill Country and
its People — The Piny Woods Counties and the People — Emanuel —
Irwin — Appling — Early — Walton — Habersham — Rabun 296-337


1S20 TO 1829. — John Clarke — George M. Troup — The Treaty — John For-
syth — Purchase of the Lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint — Great

Online LibraryGeorge Gilman SmithThe story of Georgia and the Georgia people, 1732 to 1860 → online text (page 1 of 51)