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THIS is the first time that the history of that old and soHd city — Augusta, 
Ga. — has ever been written. It has been said that Americans have been 
too busy making history to write it, and the observation is true. The forma- 
tive period always precedes the preservative period ; first comes the pioneer, 
and long afterward the annalist. Romulus lived many centuries before Livy. 
Accordingly it is that American history has been late in writing. The annals 
of the States and of the general government have, it is true, been fairly well 
recorded — though this is largely due to the fact that the historian had the ar- 
chives of older nations, connected by discovery and conquest with the New 
World to resort to, but the story of American cities has been, until of recent 
years, almost a blank. Even the great metropolis of the country, New York, 
is better known, as to its early days, by the sweetly-flowing Knickerbocker his- 
tory of Washington Irving than by any actual and prosaic account. New Am- 
sterdam and its old Dutch burghers in bulbous hose and long stemmed pipe ; 
the choleric Governor Stuyvesant and his placid excellency Wouter Von Twil- 
ler, all rise before us at the very mention of the early history of the great 
American city, and yet all this is mere fancy, not fact. 

Municipal history was, until of late years, an untrodden field. The harvest 
was plenteous, but the laborers few, if any. Into this field the publishing house 
of D. Mason & Co. entered not so many years since, and of the many local his- 
tories since then published by them, it may well be doubted if any have ex- 
celled, or, perhaps equalled in scope, completeness and interest the work it is 
the office of this preface to introduce. 

Various causes have conspired somewhat to delay the production of this 
history, and yet there has been less a delay than a growth. In the additional 
time afforded them, the publishers have been enabled to amplify and enrich 
their theme. Opportunity has been afforded to explore new treasure-houses 
and thence extract fresh riches. The work has been amplified, adorned, and 
polished until it is confidently presented as a model municipal history. The 
whole career of an American city one hundred and fifty years old — older than 
the old French War, older than the rising of the Jacobites under Bonnie Prince 

History of Augusta. 

Charlie in the '45 ; older than Blackstone's famous Commentaries — has been 
thoroughly and carefully explored. 

In early days Georgia was but a strip of population on the west bank of 
the Savannah River, with one city, Savannah, at the southern, and another, 
Augusta, at its northern extremity. The growth of the commonwealth being 
for several generations in a northerly and northwesterly direction, made the 
upper metropolis a great center; and hence it is that for years the history of 
Augusta epitomizes that of the State. Here were held the great councils with 
the chieftains of the forest in the days of Indian supremacy ; here was the State 
capital during the next great Epoch, that of the Revolution ; and here the Con- 
stitution of the United States was ratified when American government. State 
and Federal, assumed permanent form. 

He who reads this history will, therefore, read more than the annals of a 
mere municipality. He can see, traced from its first foundation, the legal, edu- 
cational, financial, and industrial history of the State itself Rising from the 
perusal of the work, the reader will have acquired information for which he will 
in vain consult all the histories of Georgia that have heretofore been written. 
True, the magnificent work of Colonel C. C. Jones on the colonial period of the 
State, leaves little, if anything, to be desired as to that special epoch, but from 
that time forward the history of Georgia may be best seen in all matters non- 
political, in these pages. The history of the judicial establishment of the State 
has never been written as it is here written. To instance its completeness, it 
may be remarked that even so well informed a jurist as Mr. Justice Story in his 
great work on Equity Jurisprudence says: "In America Equity Jurisprudence 
had its origin at a far later period than the jurisdiction properly pertaining to 
the Courts of Common Law. In many of the colonies, during their connection 
with Great Britain, it had cither no existence at all, or a very imperfect and 
irregular administration." The reader interested in this particular subject, may 
therefore be surprised to find in this work a complete account of the Colonial 
Court of Chancery in Georgia, showing that Equity Jurisprudence existed here 
in full vigor years before the Revolution. The very details of the then prac- 
tice are set out and even the forms of precedents and items of the chancery fee 
bills are preserved and reproduced. 

In the all-important field of railroading will be found the history of two of 
the oldest railroads in the United States, the South Carolina and Georgia, 
centering in Augusta. The progress of the latter, in particular, is given year 
by year from the time the first meeting to organize a company was held, and 
in all the varying phases of railroad development, from the first passenger car, 
then called "coach," looking much like an old-fashioned stage coach, and pro- 
pelled by sails, down to the steel track, parlor car, and ponderous "Mogul" 
engine of the present day. 

The growth of manufactures is also traced from the time Whitney op- 

Preface. 5 

erated his first cotton-gin on a mill pond near the city to the present huge 
factories which line a canal inferior only in length to the great Erie Canal. In 
connection with the rise of the cotton industry is told the story of the old in- 
digo field and tobacco plantations. 

In the educational world the reader begins with an ancient institution of 
learning, only excelled in its antiquity by Yale and Harvard; and is thence 
brought up to the systems of the present day. Statistics never before gathered 
and grouped together on this subject in Georgia are to be found in this work. 

The physician, the divine, the banker, will find the history of medicine, 
religion, and finance in this city exhaustively treated. Particularly in the latter 
field will the work be found of more than local interest, since the theme has 
broadened into a sketch of banking in Georgia from the earliest days. 

The history proper of the city as a municipal organization, has, of course, 
received special attention. The original limits of the city are for the first time 
definitely located and described, and from that day up the extension of the 
corporate limits is carefully and accurately traced. Biographical sketches of 
the chief magistrates of the city from the earliest days are given, as also a com- 
plete list of their names and terms of office. Beside these sketches there are 
also numerous biographies of eminent judges, lawyers, physicians, divines, 
bankers, and citizens generally of the past. Still furtlier there are sketches of 
many of the living leaders of the city, this part of the work being embellished 
with steel engravings of the highest order of artistic elegance. 

In one word, this work is, as we have stated, a model municipal history. 
It has been prepared with care, diligence, research and skill, and while valuable 
now, will, as the years go on, become a priceless repository of information on 
the topics of which it treats. All the first portion of the work, up to the begin- 
ning of the municipal history proper, is from the pen of Colonel C. C. Jones, jr., 
a distinguished citizen of Augusta, author of many elaborate and valuable 
works on Georgia history, and beyond all question, the leading antiquarian and 
archaeologist of the State, if not indeed of the entire South, or of this country. 
The residue of the work is from the pen of Salem Dutcher, esq., a member of 
the Augusta bar. The biographical sketches are by various hands. 

The mechanical execution of the volume speaks for itself The skill of the 
typographer and binder has been successfully laid under tribute, and with a 
just pride in their work in all its parts, this History of Augusta is confidently 
submitted to the popular judgment by 

The Publishers. 



Physical and Social Characteristics, Customs, Manufactures, Occupations and Monuments 

of the Georgia Tribe of Indians. 17 


Savannah Town — Settlement of Augusta — Earliest Descriptions of the Place — A Trad- 
ing Post — Names of the First Traders 24 


General Oglethorpe's Visit to Augusta — His Conference with the Creeks at Coweta 
Town — Colonel Stephens's Account of the Progress of the Plantation — Oglethorpe's 
Fairness in Dealing with the Indians — Introduction of Slave Labor — Rev. Jonathan 
Copp — Distribution of Presents for the Indians — Fort at Augusta — Early Legisla- 
tion — Governor Reynolds's "Representation" — Parishes Established — Represen- 
tation and Petition from Augusta 31 


Condition of the Colony of Georgia in 1760 — Congress at Augusta in November, 1763 — 
Treaty with the Indians then Solemnized — Instructions to Indian Traders — Strength 
of Adjacent Indian Nations in 1768 — Augusta's Representation in the Provincial 
Congress — Congress at Augusta in June, 1773 — The Ceded Lands — Adjustment 
of the Claims of the Indian Traders — Trouble with the Indians — Silver Bluff 43 


Bartram's Description of Augusta in 1773 — Convention of 1774 — Protest from the 
Parish of Saint Paul — Division of Sentiment — Conduct of Governor Wright — Dr. 
Lyman Hall — Action of St. John's Parish — Progress of the Revolution 56 


Revolutionary Movements in Savannah — Thomas Brown Tarred and Feathered in Au- 
gusta — Provincial Congress of July 4, 1775 — Articles of Association — Organization 
of the Militia and of the Courts — Independence of Georgia Proclaimed — Military 
Operations 65 

History of Augusta. 


Colonel Campbell's Advance upon and Capture of Augusta — Republican Operations in 

Upper Georgia — Battle of Kettle Creek — Augusta Evacuated by the King's Forces, 72 


Military Operations — Affair near Fulsom's Fort — Augusta Designated as the Seat of 
Government — An Oligarchical Form of Government Inagurated — Political History 
of the Period Communication to General Lincoln — Governor Wright's Report on 
the Situation 81 


Posture of Affairs in the Fall of 1779 — Legislation of the Commons House of Assembly 

— Proclamation of Governor Wereat, Governor Walton, General Mcintosh and Mr. 
Glascock — Political Affairs — Movements of the Executive Council — Unseemly 
Dissentions^ — Reorganization of the State Government at Augusta. . . 90 


Augusta Evacuated by Williamson, and Occupied by Brown and Grierson — Barbarous 
Cruelties Perpetrated by Them — Colonel Clarke's Attempt to Retake Augusta — 
Narrative of the Incidents Connected with the Affair — Governor Wright's Dispatches 

— Sad Plight of the Revolutionists — Colonel Brown loi 


Colonel Williamson Invests Augusta — Arrival of Colonel Clarke — Pickens and Lee Or- 
dered to Assist in the Reduction of Augusta — Capture of Fort Galpin — The Siege 
and Capitulation of Augusta — Lieutenant-Colonel James Jackson Assigned to the 
Command — Burnet's Rascality — Governor Wright Calls Lustily for Aid iii 


Military Operations Culminating in the Surrender of Savannah — Plot to Murder Colonel 
Jackson — Celebration in Augusta upon the Acknowledgment of the Independence of 
the United States — Charge of Chief Justice Walton — Early Legislation Aftecting 
Augusta — The City of Augusta Incorporated in 1798 — Trustees, Intendants, and 
Mayors of Augusta 1 27 


Legislative Proceedings — Newspapers — Ratification in Augusta by the State of Georgia, 
of the Federal Constitution — Constitutional Convention of 1789 — Georgia Divided 
into Congressional Districts — President Washington's Visit to Augusta — Military 
Conven'ion of Augusta, 1793 137 



Cultivation of the Tobacco Plant in Georgia — Rapid Improvement in the Trade and 
Prosperity of Augusta — Introduction of Cotton — Letter of Mr. Joseph Eve — Will- 
iam Longstreet and His Steamboat — Population of Richmond County upon the 
Close of the Last Century — Sibbald's Description of Augusta in 1799 — Concluding 
Remarks '44 


Original Plan of the City — The Old Town — Limits Enlarged in 1780 — Government by 
Commissioners — Augusta's Loyal Element — The Captured Cannon — Augusta the 
State Capital — Trustees of Augusta — Limits Enlarged in 1786 — Charter of 1789 

— Popular Discontent— Charter Withdrawn — The Yazoo Freshet M9 


Augusta Incorporated —Charter of 1798 — Thomas Gumming, First Intendant — City 
Limits — Rise of the Cotton Interest — Whitney and His Gin — Price Current of 1 802 

— Intendant Murray— Intendant Hobby — Intendant Flournoy — Intendant Catlett 

— Assize of Bread — The Steamboat of 1808 — Intendant Hutchinson— Intendants 
Walker and Jones— Governor Matthews — Beards President Adams — Intendant 
Leigh — Panic of 18 14 — Intendant Called Mayor — Mayor Freeman Walker Be- 
comes United States Senator — Mayor Ware Becomes United States Senator — 
Mayors Reid and' Holt— La Fayette's Visit — Mayor Hale— Rise of the Railway 
System — Mayors Phinizy, Hook and Dye — The Algerine Law— Augusta Canal — 
Mexican War — Mayor Ford '6' 


Mayors Garvin, Miller and Dearing — Central Railroad Comes in — Mayor Conley — 
Mayor Blodgett — Augusta Water-works — The War Opens — Capture of Augusta 
Arsenal — Georgia's Wonderful Prosperity in i860— First Regiment — Augusta's 
Volunteers — Her Dead — Confederate Monuments — Ladies' Memorial Association 

— The Salt Famine — Speculation — Gun-powder Works — Fury and Suffering of 
the War — Confederate Money — Lee's Surrender — Riot of 1865 — Mayor May — 
Military Rule — Mayor Gardiner— Military Mayor— Reconstruction — Mayor Rus- 
sell—Mayor Allen — Mayor Estes — Enlargement of the Canal — Mayor Meyer - 
Mayor May — Vast Extension of Corporate Limits — Freshet of 1888 — Exposition 

— Augusta's Double Tax — Retrospect — Proud Record of a Century and a Half. . 175 


Bench and Bar — Judicial Establishment of Georgia under the Trustees - Judicature 
Court — The Rum Law — Law Against Fine Clothes — Free Labor Law — Tenure 
by Tail Mail — Surrender of the Charter — Judicial Establishment under the King's 
Colonial Government -The Royal Governor, the Chancellor -Court of Chancery 
Fee Bill — " Thirteen Chancellors " '92 

lo History of Augusta. 


Bench and Bar Continued — Common Law Courts — The Chief Justice of Georgia — 
Grover, Simpson and Stokes, Chief Justices — Commission — Fees — The General 
Court — Origin of Superior Court — Judges — Attorney-General — Provost-Marshal 
— Clerk of the Crown — Court of Ordinary — Court of Conscience — Justices of the 
Peace — Early J. P.'s in Augusta — Oyer and Terminer — Court of Admiralty — Ap- 
peals — Court of Errors — Writ of Error — Appeal lo the King — The Colonial Bar 

— Pomp, Form and Circumstances — Robes, Seals and Precedence 200 


Bench and Bar Continued — The Judicial Establishment of 1776 — Constitution of 1777 

— The Superior Court — Judiciary Act of 1778 — Reopening of the Courts in 1782 — 
Judiciary Act of 1789 — Two Circuits — Chief Justice Glen — Judge Few — Chief 
Justices Glen, Stephens and Wereat — Chief Justice George Walton — Chief Justice 
Osborne — Richmond Superior Court in 1787 — Benefit of Clergy — Branding and 

the Pillory — Grand Jury Presentments — Chief Justice Pendleton 213 


Bench and Bar Continued — Augusta's Early Bar — Abraham Baldwin — Governor John 
Milledge — Governor Telfair — William H. Crawford — Robert Watkins — T. P. and 
P. J. Carnes — Silken Robes — Robert Raymond Reid — Pathos and Humor — His 
Bar Dinner — Freeman Walker^ John P. King — Nicholas Ware — John Forsyth. . 224 


Bench and Bar Concluded— Eminent Lawyers of Augusta Continued — Richard Henry 
Wilde — " My Life is Like the Summer Rose" — George W. Crawford — Charles J. 
Jenkins — Ebenezer Starnes — Andrew J. Miller — William T. Gould — Henry H. 
Gumming — Governor William Schley — Judge John Shly — Judge Holt — Herschel 
V. Johnson — Court Roll of Judges from 1776 — Solicitors-General from 1796 — City 
Court of Augusta — Origin and History — Court Roll 237 


The Medical Profession — Augusta Physicians of 1760-1785 — First Sanitation Act — 
Medical Association of 1808 — Medical Society of Augusta Incorporated in 1822 — 
Medical Academy of Georgia — Bachelor of Medicine Degree — State Board of 
Physicians — Medical Institute of Georgia — Doctor of Medicine Degree —The 
Medical College Organized — Roll of Graduates — Yellow Fever of 1839 — Cele- 
brated Report Thereon — Non-contagiousness Demonstrated 251 


The Medical Profession Concluded — The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1854 — Portability 
of Fever Germ — Dr. Campbell's Theory of Quarantine — Board of Health — The 
Sewer System — Decrease in Death Rate — Southern Medical and Surgical 
Journal — Eminent Physicians — Milton Antony — Fendall — Cunningham — Wat- 
kins — Carter — Garvin — Newton — Dugas — Ford — Eve — Augusta's Present 
Faculty 262 

Contents. h 


The Press — The Augusta C/irom'cle — Established in 1785 — Its Editors for a Century — 
Smith (1785) — Driscoll (1807) — Bevan (1821) — A Semi-Weekly— Harmon (1822) 

— A Tn-Weekly — Hobby (1824) — Pemberton (1825) — Jones (1837) — A Daily — 
Colonel James M. Smythe (1846) — Dr. Jones (1847J — Morse (1861) — General A. 
R. Wright and Hon. Patrick Walsh (i866j — H. Gregg Wright (1877) — James R. 
Randall (1883) — Pleasant A. Stovall (1887) — The Chronicle of 1790 — Its Appear- 
ance, News, Advertisements, Etc. — Chronicles Centennial — Honorable Record — 
The Augusta Herald — The Cotisiitiitionalist — Colonel Gardner — Southern Field 
and Fireside — State's Rights Sentinal — The Mirror — The Republic — The 
Evening News — The Progress — The Free Press — The Baiiner of the South — 
The Pacificator — The Souther 7i Medical and Surgical Joicrnal — Veteran News- 
paper Attaches 278 


Social, Secret, Literary and Benevolent Societies — The Drama — Commercial Club — 
St. Valentine Club — Scheutzen — Gun Club — Irish Organizations — Jockey Club — 
Tournaments — Bicycle Club — Athletic Association — Poultry and Pet Stock Asso- 
ciations — Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — Origin and Good Work 

— Widow's Home — Women's Christian Temperance Union — Ministerial Associa- 
tion — Orphan Asylum — Library — Sheltering Arms — Hayne Circle — Confederate 
Survivors — Drummers — Grand Army of the Republic — Catholic Knights — Masons 

— Odd Fellows — Knights of Pythias — Good Templars — Miscellaneous Organiza- 
tions — Colored Organizations 291 


Educational — Early Educational System of Georgia — The University — The Academy 

— The Poor School — Early Appropriations — School Population — Academies and 
Schools of 1828 — Course of Instruction — The Educational Commission of 1836 — 
Common School System of 1837 — School Fund from 1823 to 1838 — Common 
School System Abolished in 1840 — Poor School Fund of 1843 --Large Increase of 
Fund in 1852 and 1858 — The Perfected Poor School System —Outbreak of War 
Prevents Fair Trial — The Academies — Their Number and Curious Names — "The 
Turn Out" — Codification of the Laws in i860 — Educational Benefactions in Au- 
gusta — Old Schools — The Houghton Institute — Augusta Free School — Richmond 
Academy — Educational Clauses in State Constitutions of 1861 and 1865 — Educa- 
tion During the War — Constitutional Provisions of 1868 — System of 1870 — The 
Richmond County System 301 


Banks and Banking — Two Eras, 18 10 to 1865, and 1865 to Date — The Old Bank of 
Augusta — Its Incorporators — Voting on a Sliding Scale — Old Bank Rules — Death 
to Counterfeit its Notes — Germs of Bank Examinations — The Old Bank's Good 
Showings — A Surplus Fund a Novelty — Balance Sheet of 1835 — List of Stock- 
holders — Other Old Banks — First Savings Bank in 1827 — Its Expenses $4.55 per 

12 History of Augusta. 

Annum — The Old Augusta Savings Institution — Augusta Insurance and Banking 
Company — Almost Ruined by the Fire of 1829 — President Bennoch's Tart Report 
to the Governor — Report of 1833 — List of Stockholders — Merchants' and Planters' 
Bank — Its Failure in 1833 — Legislative Report Thereon — The Mechanics' Bank 

— Report of 1833 — List of Stockholders — The Union Bank — The City Bank — 
The Georgia Railroad Given Banking Franchise — Its Capital Stock and Dividends 
from 1836 to 1847 — Its Banking Business from 1847 ta 1864 — Discounts, Deposits 
and Circulation for. Same Period — Early Banking — Banking at Will — Prohibition 
of Change Bills — Suppression of Private Banks — Severe Penalties — No Notes 
under Five Dollars — Forfeiture of Charter on Suspension of Specie Payments — Free 
Banking Law of 1838 — Analagous to National Bank Act — Land and Negroes a 
Basis of Issue — Panic of (837— Panic of 1857 — "The War of the Banks" — 
Banking Capital in 1835, in 1838, in i860 — Dividends, 1829 to 1838 — Great Pros- 
perity Just Before the War — Increase of $133,000,000 in Two Years — Wealth of 
Richmond County in i860 — Outside of Slaves $20,000,000 — War Bonds, Specie 
Suspension — The Banks Exhaust Themselves Helping the Confederacy — Banking 
During the War — Demise of the Old Banks — Banks Since the War — National 
Bank — National Exchange Bank — The State Banks — Renewal of Banking Fran- 
chise to the Georgia Railroad — Dividends from 1836 to 1861, under First Franchise 

— Dividends, 1861 to 1881 — The Commercial Bank — The Augusta Savings Insti- 
tution — Planters' Loan and Savings Bank — Banks Chartered Since the War, but 
not Organized — City Loan Association and Savings Bank — Mechanics' Savings 
Bank — City Loan and Savings Bank — Manufacturers' Bank — Citizens' Bank — 
City Bank — Savings Bank of Augusta — Name Changed to Bank of Augusta — 

Its Failure 328 


Churches — -Early Religious Discrimination in Georgia — Establishment of Religious 
Freedom — The Colony Divided into Parishes — Church of England Established — 
Parish of St. Paul — Augusta's First Clergyman — Rectors of St. Paul's Church — 
Worshipers Required to Carry Fire-arms to Church — St. Paul's Burned in the Revo- 
lution — A New Church Built — The Protestant Episcopal Society Incorporated — 
St. Paul's Rebuilt — St. Paul's Ancient Tombs— Church of the Atonement — The 
Presbyterian Churches — History of the First Presbyterian Church — Originally 
Called Christ Church — Incorporated in 1808 — List of Pastors — The Telfair Build- 
ing — A Model Sunday School- - Changes in Charter — The Pew Law — Who is a 
Worshiper — Baptist Churches — The Old Kioka Church — Daniel Marshall's Grave 

— First Baptist Church Incorporated in 1809 — Reincorporated in 1817 — Building 
Completed in 1819 — List of Pastors — Second Baptist Church Incorporated in i860 

— The Baptist Convention — Methodist Church — Early Difficulties — "The Weep- 
ing Prophet " — St. John's Established in iSoi — Rev. John Garvin, its First Pastor — 
His Distinguished Successors — St. James' Built in 1855 — Other Methodist Churches 

— Early Catholics — Catholic Society Incorporated in 1811 — The First Church — 
Diocese of Georgia Created in 1850 — List of Bishops — St. Mary's Convent Estab- 
lished in 1833 — Consecration of St. Patrick's Chnrch in 1862 — Father Duggan and 
Other Pastors — Sacred Heart Church Built in 1874 — Sacred Heart Academy in 1876 

— The Franciscan Sisters — The Christian Church — The Lutheran Church — The 
Synagogue — The Unitarian Society — Colored Churches — Quaint Observances — 
Young Men's Christian Association — Ministerial Association — Liberal Religious 
Sentiment 367 

Contents. U 


Manufactures — Eli Whitney and His Cotton Gin — Cotton Forthwith Becomes a Staple 
The Inventor's Troubles — Law Suits. Infringements and Hostile Legislation — Pro- 
test Against Extension of the Patent — Whitney's Later Invention — His Death in 
1825 — Rapid Increase in Cotton Exports— Price Current in 1802 — The Embargo 
Blunder — British Cotton — Heavy Customs Duties — Georgia Long Staple — Total 
Cotton Export in 1810— A Cotton Factory Chartered in 1798 — Europe and the 
North Manufacture, while the South only Produces — Deterrent Causes - Another 
Factory Chartered in 1810 — The Pioneer Southern Mill — Judge Shly's Factory — 
"The Live Spindle "—Bagging and Yarn the First Products— " The Dead Spindle" 

— Osnaburgs — The Mill Removed to Richmond County and Named Bellville — 
"Georgia Plains "—Checks and Denims Made-- Bellville Factory Twice Burned — 
Impetus's Given Southern Manufactures — Richmond Factory - Profuse and Omni- 
present Water Power of Richmond County --Early Factories, Mills and Gms — 
McBean Factory— The Georgia Silk Manufacturing Company— The Augusta Sugar 
Manufacturing Company -The Savannah River Utilized- Augusta Canal Projected 

— Early History of this Great Work — The Original Ordinance— The Origmal 
Route Named -Ratifying Act of the Legislature - How the Money was Raised - 
The Engineer's Report- Anti-Canal Litigation - The Canal Wins - The Enlarge- 
ment in 1872-5- Dimensions and Cost - Relative Cotton Manufacturing Advant- 
ages of North and South — Expert Testimony -The Augusta Manufacturmg Com- 
pany -The McBean Factory Charter -The Augusta Factory -Its Phenomenal 
Success- The Enterprise Factory — The Sibley Manufacturing Company — The 
John P King Manufacturing Company -The Riverside Mills -The Warwick Mills 
The Algernon Mills -The Globe Mills — Work of the Augusta Factory from 1873 
to 1878 — The Adjacent South Carolina Mills at Graniteville and Vancluse — The 
Southern and Western Manufacturers Association - The Lock Out of 1886- Other 
Manufacturing Interests- Georgia Chemical Works -The Guano Interests -The 
Augusta Ice Company of 1832-The Jackson Street Ice Company of 1837-The 
Ice Factory of 1864-The Augusta Ice Company-The Polar Ice Company -The 
Augusta Machine Works -Pendleton Machine Works- Augusta Flounng Mills - 
Excelsior Flouring Mills -The Lumber Interest -Brick Yards - Augusta as a 
Cotton Town -The Best Inland Center in the United States -Cotton Futures.. . . 3«7 


Transportation -Early Epoch -Pack Animals- Peltry Trade- Indigo -Tobacco- 
Inspection System -Tobacco Gives Way to Cotton -Wagon Trade-" The Georgie 
Cracker "-Chief Justice Stokes's Account- Wagon Yards -The River Trade- 
Hammond's Sketch of the Savannah -Neglect of this Great Waterway - Disputes 
as to Boundary -South Carolina vs. Georgia in the Continental Congress- A Fed- 
eral Court Ordered -Convention of Beaufort -First Improvement Act m 1786- 
The Savannah Navigation Company Incorporated in 1799 -Concert with South 
Carolina Solicited -Navigation Act of 1802, 1809 and 1812 - Another Appeal for 
South Carolina Co-operation -River Commissioners- Appropriation oi $30,000 m 
1818 -The River Improved -South Carolina Co-operation - The Convention of 
182V2; -Congressional Assent not Obtained - Co-operation Fails -Operations 
from 1815 to ,826.-South Carolina Prefers to Relv on Railroad Transportation- 

14 History of Augusta. 

Collapse of the Inter-State Convention — Fisheries Acts — Sketch of South Carolina 
Legislation on Savannah River — Federal Appropriation from 1826 to 1838 — The 
Anti-Internal Improvement School of Politics — The Savannah Valley Convention — 
Its History, Personnel and Action — The Augusta Chronicle Suggests such a Con- 
vention — Memorial to Congress — Hammond's Topographical Sketch — A Trip 
Down the River — Picturesque Scenes — Danger Points on the River — Regulations 
of the Pole Boat Trade — The Steamboat — William Longstreet, its Inventor — The 
First Crude Model — Steamboat Act of 1814 — The Steamboat Company of Georgia 
Chartered in 181 7 — History of the Company — Complaint of its Monopoly — South 
Carolina Competition — Legislative Investigation and Report — Hamburg vs. Au- 
gusta — The Steamboat Company Given Canal and Railroad Franchises in 1833 — 
Charter Extended in 1834 — The Iron Steamboat Company — The Savannah and 
Augusta Steamboat Company — Union Steamboat Company — Augusta, Petersburg 
and Savannah Steam and Pole Boat Navigation Company — Augusta Steamboat 
Company of 1887 — Phases of Steamboat Navigation Development — Roll Call of 
Steamboats for Seventy Years — List of Casualities — Burnt, Blown Up and Sunk. . 436 



Baker, Alfred Part i, facing 358 

Calvin, Hon. Martin V Part i, facing 318 

Campbell, Henry Fraser. . .Part 2, facing 4 

Estes, Charles Part i, facing 414 

Jones, Chas. C, Jr., LL.D.Part i, facing 148 
King, John P Part i, facing 234 


McCoy, William E Part i, facing 422 

Mitchell, Robert M Part i, facing 506 

Phinizy, Charles H Part i, facing 500 

Sibley. Josiah Part 2. facing 26 

Thompson, Jesse Part i, facing 430 

Walsh, Hon. Patrick Part i, facing 278 

Young, William B Part 2, facing Page 40 




Baker, Alfred 

Calvin, Hon. Martin V 

Campbell, Henry Fraser 

Estes, Charles 

Jones, Charles C, Jr., LL.D 19 

King, John P 3^ 

Young, William B Page 40 




McCoy, William E 24 

Mitchell, Robert M 46 

Phinizy, Charles H 25 

Sibley, Josiah 26 

Thompson, Jesse 29 

Walsh, Hon. Patrick 42 






Physical and Social Characteristics, Customs. Manufactures, Occupations and Monuments 
ol the Georgia.Tribes of Indians. 

BEFORE entering upon our contemplated sketch of the .settlement and 
early history of Augusta, a brief account of the physical and social char- 
acteristics, the customs, manufactures, monuments and occupations of the In- 
dians resident in this region at the time of the advent of the European, may 
be deemed neither inappropriate nor uninteresting. 

When Oglethorpe planted the colony of Georgia at Yamacraw Bluff, he 
was welcomed by a small tribe of Indians, who had there fixed their homes, 
led by a venerable and noted chief, Tomo-chi-chi by name. The ceded lands 
lying between the Savannah and the Alatamaha Rivers and extending from 
their head waters indefinitely toward the west, were then occupied by an Ab- 
original population the principal settlements of which were established in the 
vicinity of rivers, in rich valleys, and upon the sea islands. The middle and 
lower portions of this and the adjacent territory were claimed and occupied 
by the Muskhogees or Creeks, consisting of many tribes, and associated to- 
gether in a strong confederacy. The lands possessed by the Muskhogees com- 
prehended the seats of the Seminoles in Florida, and were bounded on the 
west by Mobile River and by the ridge which separates the waters of the 
Tombigbee from those of the Alabama, on the north by the Cherokee coun- 
try, on the north and east by the Savannah River, and otherwise by the At- 
lantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Hitchittees, residing on the Flint 


i8 History of Augusta. 

and Cliattahoochee Rivers, althouL^h originally a distinct people, spoke the 
Muskhogee dialect and formed a component tribe of the Creek confederation. 
The Seminoles or Isty Seminoles (wild men) were pure Muskhogees, and re- 
ceived that name because they subsisted chiefly by hunting and were little 
giv^en to agricultural pursuits. They inhabited the peninsula of Florida. Both 
the. Muskhogees and the Hitchittees claimed to be autochthonous; the former 
asserting that their nation, in the beginning, issued out of a cave near the Ala- 
bama River, and the latter boasting that their ancestors had fallen from the 
sky. The Uchees and the Natchez yielded obedience to the Muskhogee con- 
federacy. Of the former, the original seats are supposed to have been east of 
the Coosa. They declared themselves to be the most ancient inhabitants of 
the territory ; and it has been suggested that they were the people called Ap- 
palaches by the historians of De Soto's expedition. Early in the eighteenth 
century they dwelt upon the western bank of the Savannah River; and, as 
late as 1736, possessed the country above and below the town of Augusta. 
The name of a creek in Columbia county perpetuates their memory to the 
present day, and reminds us of their former occupancy of this region. For- 
saking their old habitat on the left bank of the Mississippi, and journeying 
eastward, the Natchez associated themselves with the Creeks not many years 
prior to the advent of Oglethorpe. The division into Upper, Middle, and 
Lower Creeks was wholly artificial, and was adopted by the English for geo- 
graphical purposes. Cussetah, Cowetah, Tukawbatchie and Oscoochee may 
be mentioned among the principal towns of the Creeks. The Muskhogee, the 
Hitchittee, the Uchee, the Natchez, and the Alibamon or Coosada, were the 
languages generally spoken by the various tribes composing the Creek confed- 
eracy. Besides the nations we have enumerated as yielding obedience to. and 
forming part of the Muskhogee confederation, remnants of the Cawittas, Tale- 
poosas, Coosas, Apalachias, Conshacs or Coosades, Oakmulgis, Oconis, Ok- 
choys, Kiokees, Alibamons, Weetumkas, Pakanas, Taensas, Chachsihoomas 
and Abekas should not be forgotten. 

North of Muskhogees dwelt the Cherokees, a brave and comely race. They 
inhabited thp hilly and mountainous parts of the country, and exercised do- 
minion even beyond the Tennessee River where they were confronted by the 
Shawnees. The entire region permeated by the sources of the Coosa, the 
Chattahooche, the Savannah, the Santee and the Yadkin, was held by them. 
Between the Cherokees and the Muskhogees the division line followed Broad 
River, and, generally, the thirt}'- fourth parallel of north latitude. 

Of the number of red men dwelling, at the date of English colonization, 
within the geographical limits accorded to the modern State of Georgia, we 
may not speak with certainty. No census was 'taken, and all estimates then 
formed were mere approximations. We question whether the total popula- 
tion e.xceeded fifty thousand. These Southern tribes, at the period of our first 

The Indian Occupation. 19 

acquaintance with them, were well organized, occupied permanent homes, and 
were large y engaged in the cultivation of maize, beans, pumpkins, melons, and 
fruits of several sorts. Of native nuts they were fond. From them was ex- 
tracted an oil, "clear as butter, and of a good taste," says the gentleman of 
Elvas. V^'ith the bow and arrow, the blowgun. the spear, and the club, were 
wild animals and birds killed for food. Fishes were captured with nets 'and 
harpoons, in wears, and by other ingenuous mechanical contrivances. 

Their plantations were located in rich valleys where a generous soil yielded, 
with least labor, the most remunerative harvest — upon islands and headlands, 
and in the vicinity of streams where the products of the fields were readily 
supplemented by the fishes of neighboring waters and the game of adjacent 
forests. The grooved stone ax was employed in girdling trees. The circula- 
tion being thus interrupted, the trees perished, and were then either consumed 
by fire, or suffered to fall down and rot piecemeal. 

While to tribes, nations, and confederacies were accorded recognized terri- 
torial limits, and while in such public domain, with its rivers, lakes and woods, 
each member exercised equal rights for the purposes of travel, hunting and 
fishing, a special or temporary ownership was admitted in lands cleared and 
cultivated by individual labor. If at first denuded of its forest by the united 
efforts of the villagers, the town plantation was subsequently parceled out 
among the adult inhabitants, who were thereafter entitled to reap the fruits of 
their personal industry. Each year, at an appointed season, under the super- 
intendence of overseers, the inhabitants of the village prepared the ground 
and sowed the seed. Upon the ingathering of the harvest, each Indian depos- 
ited in his crib the yield of his particular lot; contributing, however, a certain 
portion to the public granary, or King's storehouse. These public granaries 
served also as depositories for dried fishes, alligators, dogs, deer, bear and other 
jerked meats. From them were the chiefs supplied, and their contents were 
utilized in entertainment of strangers, for the relief of members of the commu- 
nity who might be overtaken by want, and in furnishing rations to warriors 
when setting out upon an expedition. 

Besides his lot in the general plantation, each villager cultivated a garden 
spot near his habitation, where maize, melons, beans and other vegetables were 
produced. Various were the ceremonies and festivals observed by these prim- 
itive peoples when planting and harvesting the maize, and very general was 
its adoption as an article of food. Perhaps nothing tended more surely to de- 
velop and consolidate the Southern tribes, and to render permanent their habi- 
tations, than the extensive cultivation of this important American plant. 

Their towns were usually small, and circular in outline. Not infrequently 
they were defended by stockades, enclosing spaces varying from two to fifty 
acres. The central position in the village was occupied by the dwelling of the 
mico, chief, or king. Around it. in the order of rank, were congregated the 

20 History of Augusta. 

houses of the head men. The cabins of the common people were ciicuh^r or 
parallelogrammic in plan. Their walls were made of upright poles, and their 
roofs were covered with swamp-cane, palmetto leaves, moss, or earth. Each 
village had its council-house where public deliberations were held. Some 
times, as at Talomcco, there was a mausoleum wherein were preserved the 
skeletons of distinguished kings and priests. Occasionally, too, was erected 
an armory for the conservation of weapons and treasures. If located at a re- 
move from river, lake, or natural spring, an artificial pond was excavated to 
furnish the town with the requisite supply of fresh water. 

Ephemeral in their character, these primitive structures were liable to 
early decay, and had to be constantly renewed. At certain seasons these vil- 
lages were almost deserted of their inhabitants, who repaired in large numbers 
to favorite streams and to the coast to fish and hunt. 

At the period of our earliest acquaintance w'ith' them, these people were 
dix'idcd into fomilics, tribes, and confederacies. Over the confederacy or na- 
tion ruled a king, counseled and supported by chiefs of component tribes. 
The office was elective, and the advancement to the highest gratle was usually 
accorded to him most worthy of the responsible position. As chief magistrate, 
he presided over the grand council, commanded the entire labor and obedi- 
ence of his subjects, directed public afitairs both civil and military, and, with 
powers well nigh despotic, exercised the functions of king, judge, adviser, 
master, and leader. To subordinate chiefs was conceded rank according to 
their age, wisdom, valor, and the strength of their following. Head warriors, 
high priests, and conjurers were important personages in this primitive soci- 
ety. The latter often united the callings of priest, physician, and fortune teller. 
Presumed to be in constant coniniunication with spirits both good and evil, 
addicted to numerous and extraxagant incantations, possessing charms myste- 
rious, and to the common mind inexplicable, indulging in prolonged and vio- 
lent contortions while practicing tlieir deceptions, exhibiting no inconsiderable 
knowledge of simples, philters antl medicinal herbs, administering fumigations, 
inhalations, baths, blood-lettings, scarifications, local applications and emetics, 
these medicine men imposed largeh' upon the credulitx- of the community, 
and exacted liberal rewards from tlieir patients, who, in pain and superstition, 
regarded the ravings of these quacks as the utterances of a divine tongue, be- 
held the behavior of these cunning impostors with awe, and submitted without 
hesitation to the remedies they prescribed. Beyond doubt, however, these 
medicine men excelled in the treatment of many distempers, and remarkable 
were the cures which they effected. 

Both the Muskhogees and the Cherokees were, at the time of our first 
acquaintance with them, and had been for a long time, engaged in the erection 
of tumuli of earth, stone, and shells. Some of no mean dimensions were con- 
structed within the historic period, while most of them have withstood the dis- 

The Indian Occupation. 21 

integrating influences of many centuries. Animal, bird-shaped, and em- 
blematic structures are rarely seen. Space does not permit us to attempt a 
classification or description of these prominent indications of early occupancy 
and primitive labor, and yet we cannot refrain from alluding to the existence 
of truncated pyramids, constructed of earth, rising from ten to seventy- five 
feet above the level of the valleys and plains upon which they are located, con- 
stituting elevations for temples for sun worship, and at other times foundations 
for the residences of kings, chiefs, and priests ; of conical mounds truncated, 
and placed upon commanding bluffs and hilltops, which served as signal sta- 
tions in this densely wooded region; fires kindled upon their summits with 
their glare by night and their smoke by day giving tokens which, repeated 
from kindred mounds along the reaches of rivers or on answering eminences, 
within a period much shorter than that allotted to the swiftest runner, warned 
tribe and nation of impending danger ; of artificial elevations, springing from 
the depths of extensive swamps liable to inundation, which served either as 
retreats during seasons of sudden overflow, or as foundations for the dwellings 
of those who there hunted and fished ; of grave-mounds, sometimes containing 
a single skeleton and denoting the last resting place of king or priest, and at 
other times covering the many dead of family or tribe ; and of stone-piles des- 
ignating the spots where warriors of note had fallen in battle. 

Cremation and urn- burial in some localities were in vogue. Were we not 
precluded by the general character of this sketch, it would be interesting to 
note the funeral customs observed by these Georgia tribes, and to describe the 
-various modes of sepulture adopted by them. Nor are we now permitted, in 
enumerating the proofs of early possession and combined labor, to do more 
than refer to the presence of circumvallations of earth and stone by which hill- 
tops and eminences were fortified ; to the existence of embankments of earth 
and ditches isolating considerable areas and protecting villages, temple-mounds 
and playgrounds; to the traces of fish-preserves, of chunky-yards, of pottery 
kilns, of pits whence clay was dug for the manufacture of fictile ware, of exca- 
vations where pot-stone was quarried, and of open air workshops. Among 
these indicia of primitive occupancy may also be mentioned extensive refuse 
piles and shell-heaps composed of marine, fluviatile, and lacustrine shells, upon 
the animals of which the natives fed, and from which they extracted pearls in 
large quantities. 

Aside from the profuse and fanciful ornamentation of their bodies with 
pigments of red, white, blue, yellow, and black, these Indians displaj^ed no 
inconsiderable taste in depicting signs, marks, images, and symbols on pre- 
pared skins, and on wood, bone and stone. The smooth bark of a growing 
tree, or the face of a rock was incised in commemoration of some feat of arms, 
in explanation of the strength or direction of a military expedition, or in sol- 
emnization of a treaty of peace. Upon precipitous slopes, and at points al- 

22 History op^ Augusta. 

most inaccessible have been noted carved and colored representations of the 
sun, accompanied by rude characters the significance of which is in the main 
unintelligible to the modern observer. Roughly cut intaglios in imitation of 
the human form, of the hands and feet of men, of the tracks of buffalo, deer, 
and other animals, of bows and arrows, canoes, circles, and other devices are 
still e.Ktant. Ignorant of alphabet, phonetic sign, or digit, these people by 
means of this primitive system of picture writing and intaglios sought to per- 
petuate the recollection of prominent events, and, by such visible shapes, to 
communicate intelligence. This effort was supplemented by the use of wam- 
pum. Their boldest attempts at sculpture are represented by stone images 
which encourage the impression that while they acknowledged the existence of 
a Great Spirit, venerated the sun as the source of life and heat and light, and 
entertained some notions of a future state, ihese Indians were -iven to some- 
thing nearly akin to idol or hero worship. 

Ignorant of the use of iron and bronze, and treating it as a malleable stone 
the Southern Indians hammered copper into various forms of utility and orna- 
ment. Among these may be enumerated ceremonial axes, gouges, chisels, 
knives, spearheads, ;irrovv- points, wristbands, armlets, anklets, gorgets, span- 
gles, beads, pendants, rods, and spindles for perforating pearls. 

Famous were the arrowmakers of this region. Party-colored jaspers, 
smoky, milky, and sweet water quartz, crystal, chalcedony, and varieties of 
flint and chert were the favorite materials from which spearpoints and arrow- 
heads were chipped. Every known variety here finds expression, and speci- 
mens of unusual beauty and symmetry abound. Their bows were as thick as 
a man's arm, eleven or twelve spans in length, of a single curve, and were 
capable of projecting arrows a long distance and with remarkable power. Bow- 
strings were made of stag's gut. or of deer-skin thongs, well twisted. A sup- 
ply of arrows was carried in a fawn-skin quiver whi(ili depended from the right 
hip. The light, tough river cane formed the customary arrow shaft, and to it 
the stone, bone, or wooden tip was fastened by means of moistened sinews, a 
glue made of the velvet horns of the deer, and a resinous preparation. With 
such artillery did these people wage wars and provide themselves with buffalo, 
deer, wild turkeys, game of various sorts, and large fishes. 

Of grooved axes, celts, perforated hatchets, and ceremonial axes, the varieties 
were abundant and the manufacture was most admirable. Stone hoes, adzes, 
picks, scrapers, gouges, awls, knives, cutting implements, saws, leaf-shaped im- 
plements, smoothing and crushing stones, hammer stones, spades, mortars, 
pestles, nut stones, and various objects of bone, shell and stone declare the oc- 
cupation, industries and mechanical labors of these nations. Discoidal stones 
still remind us of the famous Chungke game, and many forms of pipes revive 
the memories of the native tobacco plant, and of the esteem in which it was 
held by the natives. 

The Indian Occupation. 23 

To the pottery of this region the knight of Elvas paid high compliment 
when he described it as " Httle dififering from that of Estremoz or Monte- 
mor." Although unacquainted with the use of the potter's wheel, these sav- 
ages excelled in the ceramic art, bestowing special care upon the selection of 
their clays and their admixture with powdered shells, gravel, and pulverized 
mica, and upon the forms and the ornamentation of their vessels. Surviving 
the changes of more than a century and a half, and affording glimpses of an- 
cient tastes and customs, these fictile articles are among the most interesting 
remains which have come down to us. 

Pearls and shell ornaments were extensively worn by the members of the 
Georgia tribes, both male and female. The oysters of the Gulf of Mexico and 
the pearl-bearing unios of the Southern rivers and lakes supplied, in great 
abundance, these coveted ornaments. Through the intervention of primitive 
merchants, and by means of extensive trade relations, they were carried far 
into the interior. He who traded in them was welcomed everywhere. From 
marine, fluviatile, and lacustrine shells were manufactured beads, gorgets, pen^ 
dants. arm-guards, masks, pins, drinking cups, spoons and money. Margari- 
tiferous shells were diligently collected. They were opened by fire. The 
animals they contained were eaten, and the pearls found within them were per- 
forated and worn as beads about the neck, wrists, waist, and ankles. 

Tall, erect, copper- colored, with long, straight, black hair, with prominent 
noses and cheek bones, with regular features, arched brows, and eyes rather 
small but active and full of fire ; usually grave in deportment, reserved in con- 
versation, tenacious of natural rights, hospitable to strangers, kind to members of 
their own tribe, honest, haughty and cruel to an enemy, crafty, valiant, capable 
of great endurance, indifferent to pain, and often engaged in war, expert in hunt- 
ing and fishing, fond of music and dancing, observant of festivals, nimble of 
foot, skilled in the use of the bow and arrow, the club, the stone ax, the cane 
harpoon and the blowgun ; patient of fatigue and hunger, yet given to idle- 
ness and frequent meals; addicted to smoking; acknowledging the existence 
of a Supreme Being ; adoring the sun as the symbol of life and heat ; enter- 
taining some notions of an existence beyond the grave, plagued with visions, 
dreams, trances, and the influences of malign and lesser divinities — worshiping 
the devil and offering human sacrifices in propitiation of the spirit of evil — in- 
dulging to some extent in image worship, and perpetuating the memory of 
their distinguished dead by mounds and figures of wood and stone — excelling 
in the manufacture of fictile ware, boats of single trees, shawls, coverings, 
mantles beautifully woven and adorned with feathers, articles of dress made of 
the skins of buft'alo, bear and deer, carefully prepared, dyed and colored — fish- 
ing lines and nets of the inner bark of trees, mats and baskets of split cane, 
reeds and rushes, and laboriously constructed wears for the capture of fishes — 
extensively engaged in the fabrication, use and interchange of various articles 

24 History of Augusta. 

and implements of wood, bone, shell, copper and stone ; frequently monogam- 
ous — the contubernal relationship being dissoluble at the will of the male — the 
chiefs and principal men claiming and appropriating as many wives as fancy 
and station dictated; ornament-loving, jealous of their possessions; given to 
agriculture; obedient to kings ; thus runs a general description of these prim- 
itive inhabitants prior to the advent of the Europeans. Certain it is that the 
inroads of these foreigners violently shocked this aboriginal population, im- 
parting new ideas, introducing contagions formerly unknown, interrupting cus- 
toms long established, overturning acknowledged forms of government, impov- 
erishing whole districts, engendering a sense of insecurity until that time nnfelt, 
instigating intertribal wars, causing marked changes, and entailing losses and 
demoralizations far more potent than we are inclined, at first thought, to im- 
agine. The operation of that inexorable law which subordinates the feebler to 
the will of the stronger has compassed the utter expatriation of the red race 
from the limits of Georgia. Nevertheless, Indian memories linger among our 
hills, cling to our mountains, and are intimately associated with our noblest 
rivers. Tumuli still dot our valleys, and the plowshare upturns physical tokens 
of a former and an almost forgotten occupancy. 


Savannah Town — Settlement of Augusta— Earliest Descriptions of the Place — A Trading 
Post — Names of the First Traders. 

AS early as 17 16 Savannah Town, subsequently better known as Fort 
Moore, was located on the left bank of the Savannah River, only a few 
miles below the site at present occupied by the village of Hamburg. Its es- 
tablishment and maintenance were favored by the Carolina authorities in order 
that a profitable trade with the Creeks and Cherokees might be facilitated.' 
To this point goods were transported from Charles Town, both by land and 
water. The first agent in charge of the storehouse erected at this place was 
Captain Theophilus Hastings. He was assisted by John Sharp and Samuel 
Muckleroy. This settlement derived its name from the Sawannos, or Savan- 
nahs, a native tribe dwelling upon its banks and giving name to the river 
which flowed by. 

So rapidly did the traffic with the Aborigines increase, that before the 
close of the year'^Hastings applied for three additional assistants to aid him in 
its conduct. At Savannah Town a laced hat then readily commanded eight 
buckskins; a calico petticoat could not be purchased for less than twelve ; 

Settlement at Savannah Town. 25 

and so great was the demand for salt, gunpowder, lead, kettles, rum, looking- 
glasses, ornaments, and other articles of European manufacture, that the trad- 
ers were allowed by the commissioners to exact as much as the natives could 
be persuaded to give in exchange for them. 

Upon the settlement of Augusta and the opening of storehouses at that 
place, Savannah Town lost ground as a trading post and eventually fell into 
decay. Fort Moore, however, built of six-inch plank nailed to posts of light- 
Avood, with four towers at the angles on which small field- pieces were mounted, 
with curtains loopholed for small arms, and with wooden barracks capable of 
accommodating a garrison of one hundred men, was, for many years after- 
wards, preserved as a military establishment. 

Having confirmed the settlements at Savannah, Darien, and Frederica, 
Avith a view to extending the limits of the colonization to the northward, and 
with the intention of influencing in behalf of the Province of Georgia the ex- 
tensive Indian trade which had been monopolized by South Carolina, Mr. 
Oglethorpe, toward the close of 1735, ordered that a town should be marked 
out on the right bank of the Savannah River at the head of navigation and 
just below the falls. In honor of a royal princess he called it Augusta; and, 
during the following year, gave instructions for its population and defense. 
Warehouses were constructed, and these were supplied with such goods as the 
natives coveted. Regulations were promulgated and enforced looking to fair 
•dealing between seller and purchaser. It was the purpose of the founder of 
the colony of Georgia, in all his dealings with the savages, to do equity, and 
to permit no commercial intercourse save by licensed traders who were held to 
strict accountability. The Indians soon perceived the advantages accorded to 
them by the Georgia agents, and quickly transferred to Augusta the traffic 
which hitherto had been conducted at Savannah Town. 

At the outset the only communication with the town was by means of the 
Savannah River, which was utilized alike by traders ascending in boats from 
Charles Tow^n and Savannah, and by Indians traversing the upper portions of 
the stream in canoes. Soon, however, a road was opened between Augusta 
and Savannah, by way of Ebenezer, which materially contributed to the con- 
venience of the dwellers in those, at that time, distant localities. 

The earliest account we have of Augusta is contained in " A State of the 
Province of Georgia, attested upon oath in the court of Savannah, November 
10, 1740." 1 It runs as follows : "Seven miles above New Windsor, on the 
Georgia side, lies the town of Augusta, just below the Falls ; this was laid out 
by the Trustees' Orders, in the Year 1735. which has thriven prodigiously; 
there are several Warehouses thoroughly well furnished with Goods for the 
Indiaji Trade, and five large Boats belonging to the different Inhabitants of 
the Town, which can carry about nine or ten thousand Weight of Deer- Skins 

^ pp. 6 and 7. London, mdccxlii. 

26 History of Augusta. 

each, making four or five Voyages at least in a Year to CJiatles-Toivn for ex- 
porting to England ; and the Value of each Cargo is computed to be from \2 
to 1, 500 i," Sterling. Hither all the English Traders, with their Servants, resort 
in the Spring; and 'tis computed above two thousand Horses come hither at 
that Season; and the Traders, Pack- horsemen. Servants, Townsmen, and oth- 
ers depending upon that Business, are moderately computed to be six hun- 
dred white Men who live b\- their Trade, carrying upon Pack-horses all kinds 
of proper EnglisJi Goods; for which the Indians pay in Deer-Skins, Bever, 
and other Furs ; each Indian Hunter is reckoned to get three hundred Weight 
of Deer-Skins in a Year. This is a very advantageous Trade to England, 
since it is mostly paid for in Woollen and Iron. 

" Above this Town to the North West and on the Georgia Side of the River, 
the C/ierokecs live in the Valley of the Applachin Mountains; they were about 
five thousand Warriors ; but last year it is computed they lost a thousand, 
partly by the Small-Pox, and partly (as they themselves say) by too much 
Rum brought from Carolina. The French are striving to get this Nation from 
us ; which, if they do, Carolina must be supported by a vast Number of 
Troops, or lost : But as long as we keep the Town of Angnsta, our Party in 
the Cherokees can be so easily furnished with Arms, Ammunition and Neces- 
saries, that the Fteneh will not be able to gain any Ground there. 

"The Creek Indians hve to the Westward of the Town. Their chief Town 
is the Coivetas, two hundred Miles from Augusla, and one hundred and twenty 
Miles from the nearest French Fort. The Loiver Creeks consist of about a 
thousand, and the Upper Creeks of about seven hundred Warriors, upon the 
Edge of whose Country the French Fort oi Albamahs lies : They are esteemed 
to be sincerely attached to his Majesty's interest. 

" Beyond the Creeks lie the brave Chickesas, who inhabit near the Jlissis- 
ipi River, and possess the Banks of it ; these have resisted both the Bribes and 
Arms of the French, and Traders sent by us live amongst them. 

"At Augusta there is a handsome Fort, where there is a small garrison of 
about twelve or fifteen Men, besides Officers ; and one Reason that drew the 
Traders to settle the Town of Augusta was the Safety they received from this 
Fort which stands upon high Ground^ on the side of the River Savannah, 
which is there one hundred and forty Yards wide, and very deep ; another Rea- 
son was the Richness and Fertility of the Land. The great Value of this Town 
of Augusta occasioned the General to have a Path marked out, through the 
Woods, from thence to Old Ebenezer ; and the Cherokee Indians have marked 
out one from thence to their Nation, so that Horsemen can now ride from the 
Town of Savannah to the Nation of Cherokees and any other of the Indian 
Nations all on the Georgia Side of the River ; but there are some bad places 
which ought to be causewayed and made good, and which the General says 

1 Now occupied by St. Paul's Church and cemeter)-. 

Names of First Traders. 27 

he has not yet Capacity to do. This Road begins to be frequented, and will 
every day be more and more so, and by it the Cherokee Indians can at any 
time come down to our Assistance." 

From another contemporaneous account we learn that in 1739 above six 
thousand bushels of Indian corn, and a considerable quantity of wheat, were 
harvested by the citizens of Augusta for home consumption ; and that during 
the same year " about one hundred thousand Weight of Skins was brought 
■from thence. "1 

The two tracts from which we have quoted, pubHshed under the sanction 
of the trustees and designed to convey a most favorable impression of the 
progress of the colony of Georgia, evoked counter statements from the dis- 
affected. In one'-^ of these we find the following statements and affidavits re- 
lating to the then condition of Augusta. 

"A List of such Traders, Men, and Horses, as come from other Parts and 
only pass through or by Augusta in their Way to the Creek Nation. 

Mess Wood and Brown, from S. Carolina 8 men. 60 horses. 

Daniel Clark, from Ditto 4 " 20 '^ 

Archibald McGilvray, from Ditto 3 " '^ 

George Cossons, from Ditto 4 " 3° 

Jeremiah Knott, from Ditto 4 " 3° 

,, 3 Spencer, from Mount-pleasant 3 " '^ 

Messrs. -j Qii^Q^g^ from Ditto 4 " 20 " 

,, \ Barnett, from Ditto , 3 " 20 

^^^^^'^- ■( Ladson, from Ditto 3 ^j 20 '^• 

James Cossons, from South Carolina 5 " 3° 

George Golphin, from Ditto 4 " 25 

William Sleuthers, from Ditto 4 " 25 

49 314 

" A list of the whole Inhabitants of the Township of Augusta in Georgia. 

Mr Kennedy O Brien 5 men. 3 women. o children. 

Thomas Smith i " i '' o 

Messrs Mackenzie and Frazer 5 " ^ " ° 

John Miller 2 '' i '' i 

Thomas Goodale 2 " I " 2 

Samuel Brown 2 " i " i ^ 

Sanders Ross 2 " o " o 

A.Sadler i " ^ " ' 

A. Taylor I " i " ° " 

William Clark i ''^ i '' ° 'I 

Henry Overstreet i " ' " 4 

Locklan McBean 2 " 2 " i 

William Gray 4 " o " o " 

William Calabern o " 2 " 2 " 

29 16 12 

1 An Impartial Enquiry into the State and Utility of the Province of Georgia, p. 49. Lon- 
don. MDCCXLI. 

^ A Brief Account of the Causes that have retarded the Progress of the Colony of Georgia 
an America, <S^»t^, Q^c, pp. 37 to 41. London, MDCCXLlll. 

28 History of Augusta. 

" A List of Traders, Men, and Horses employed from Augusta in the 
Chickasaw and Creek Trade. 

George Mackay 4 men. 20 horses. 

Henry Elsey 3 " 20 

Messrs Facey and Macqueen 6 " 40 

John Wright 4 " 20 

John Gardner 3 " 20 

William Calabern 3 " 15 

Tho : Andrews, in Creek and Chickasaw Nations 8 " 70 

Thomas Daval 3 " 20 

John Cammell 3 " 20 

Paul Rundall 3 " 20 

Nicholas Chinery 3 " 20 

William Newberr)' 3 " 20 

46 305 

"Savannah, July 14, 1741. • John Gardner." 

" The Day above written Jo Jin Gardner of Augusta, Indian Trader, person- 
ally came and appeared before me, John Fallowfield, one of the Bailiffs of the 
Town of Savannah, and made oath that the said several Accounts of Traders^ 
Horses, and Men employed in the Creek and Chickasaiv Nations : and also- 
the List of the white Persons, Men, Women, and Children now living in the 
Township oi Aiignsta are, to the best of the said Deponent's Knowledge, /«.?/' 
and true ; and that the Persons residing in, and belonging to, the Fort of Au- 
gusta are not contained in the said Lists above, and on the other Side of this- 
Paper Written. John Gardner, 

" Sworn the Day and Year 

above-written, at Savannah aforesaid. 

"John P^allowfield." 

" The Deposition of Kennedy O'Brien, of Atigusta, in the Colony of Geor- 
gia, Merchant, one of the first Inhabitants of the said Township and a con- 
stant Resident therein ever since the first Settlement thereof, who, being duly- 
sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, saith : That, whereas, he 
hath been informed that a Representation hath lately been made and trans- 
mitted to the Honourable the Trustees for establishing the said Colony oi Geor- 
gia, setting forth the flourishing State and Condition of the said Colony ia- 
general, and of the said Township oi Augusta in particular, and the said depo- 
nent being willing to undeceive any or all who may be thereby induced to 
give credit to the said Representation, doth voluntarily, and of his own accord,, 
declare and maintain the following Truths to be strictly just. 

" I : That there are not more t}i\zxv forty White Men, Inhabitants and Resi- 
dents of the said Township of Augusta, save only the Soldiers in Garrison' 
there, which are about fifteen or twenty more. 

" 2 : That all, or most of the Corti that hath been 7nade and raised there,, 
hath been wrought and matiufactured by Negroes belonging to the said Inhab- 
itants, and those opposite to them on the North Side of the River in South 

" 3: That at least one third Part of the Corn reported to be raised in Au- 
gusta is raised in South Carolina, hard by the said Township. 

" 4: That there are not more thdin five hundred Horses employed in the In- 
dian Trade, that resort to Augusta, altho' it is esteemed the Key to the Creek,. 

Trading Post at Augusta. 29 

the Chickasaw, and the Cherokee Nations, and that the most of those Horses^ 
and Persons employed about them and interested and concerned in them, do 
as often go to New Windsor, in South Carolina to trade, as to Angiista. 

" 5 : That there are now in Augusta but three trading Houses, and those ia 
a State of Decay and languishing Condition ; and that through the ill Regula- 
tion of the Indian Trade 

" And this Deponent further saith that no Ojl, Wine, nor Olives, hath ever 
been produced at Augusta, or hath ever been attempted to be raised or culti- 
vated there to the best of this Deponent's Knowledge. And further this De- 
ponent saith not. KENNEDY O'Brien. 

" Subscribed and Sworn to before 
me, this 9th day of July, 1741, 

"John Pye, Recorder." 1 

Deeming it very important to obtain the consent of the natives to the set- 
tlement of Europeans within the territory claimed by them, and regarding the 
good will of the Indians as essential to the secure and peaceable residence of the 
colonists, Mr. Oglethorpe directed his earliest attention to making treaties of 
alliance with the red men. That these treaties should include agreements for 
mutual intercourse and trade seemed not only prudent, but indispensable, par- 
ticularly as Tomo-chi-chi, and the micos of the Creeks who accompanied him 
to England, had requested that stipulations should be entered mto regarding- 
the quantity, quality, and prices of goods, and the accuracy of the weights and 
measures used in determining the value of the articles offered in exchange for 
buffalo hides, deer-skins, peltry, etc. The trustees therefore established cer- 
tain regulations designed to prevent in future the impositions of which the In- 
dians complained. To carry these into effect it was thought proper that none 
should be permitted to trade with the Indians except such as should apply for 
and receive special, license, and agree to conduct the traffic according to pre- 
scribed rules, and upon fair and equitable principles. It was, doubtless, of 
these regulations, intended to protect the natives, that the affiant, O'Brien, 
complained, when he alluded to the " ill regulation of the Indian trade." The 
introduction of rum and the employment of slave labor within the confines of 
Georgia were then strictly forbidden. 

While the accounts furnished by the trustees, and those submitted by cer- 
tain of the colonists who were not in accord with their purposes in the admin- 
istration of the important trust, touching the early prosperity of Augusta, are 
not harmonious, it may not be questioned that this town, as a trading post, 
rapidly assumed an importance far beyond that which could be fairly claimed 
by any other settlement within the confines of the province. Multitudes of 
Indians flocked hither at certain seasons of the year. Hence the traders de- 

' Compare " A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America," etc. 
by Tailfer, Anderson. Douglas and Others, pp. 113, 114. Charles-Town, South Carolina, MD- 

30 History of Augusta. 

parted to exchange their goods for the peltry of the natives dweUing far in the 
interior, and here were deposited both the merchandise intended for barter 
and the skins obtained in traffic. Boats were constantly ascending and de- 
scending the Savannah River. It was a busy scene in the midst of wild woods, 
this constant arrival and departure of a picturesque trading population, this re- 
curring receipt and shipment of goods, this ceaseless exchange of commodi- 
ties. So advantageous was its situation that Augusta was, for many years, 
reckoned the most important mart for Indian traffic within the limits both of 
Georgia and of South Carolina. 

O'Brien began the settlement of the town largely at his individual charge, 
and by him was the first commodious storehouse there erected. As a reward 
for his energy and enterprise, General Oglethorpe, on the 8th of March, 1739, 
recommended the trustees to grant " him and the heirs male of his body " five 
hundred acres of land. Roger de Lacey, a noted Indian trader, was another 
prominent pioneer who materially assisted in the development of the little 
town. At an early period of its existence, a detachment of ten men, under the 
■command of Captain Kent, was sent up and supported by the trust for the pro- 
^ tection of the inhabitants of Augusta. A small fort, with wooden walls, mus- 
ket proof, and arm'ed with a few small iron field pieces, was erected upon the 
river bank where St. Paul's Church now stands. Within were quarters for the 
garrison, and the structure was mainly intended as a place of retreat in seasons 
of danger. The dwellings of the early inhabitants were limited in their capac- 
ity, and builded of wood. They were distributed along the river front. The 
land stretching away to the south was marish, covered by a dense growth of 
forest trees, and permeated here and there by sluggish lagoons. The Savan- 
nah River was then limpid, and abounded in animal life. The woods were 
filled with deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, ducks, woodcock 
and rabbits ; while, at certain seasons and at no great remove, herds of buffalo 
roamed through the interior. The soil was fertile to the last degree, and agri- 
•culture was not long neglected. Contrary to the wish and the injunction of the 
trustees, negro slaves were hired from their Carolina owners and employed in 
■clearing lands and in cultivating the cereals, among which Indian corn pre- 
■dominated. Trade, however, engrossed the general attention, and complaint 
was made of the sharp practice of some of the settlers who, in their anxiety to 
drive the earliest bargains with both incoming natives and returning pack- 
horsemen, removed from the village, and, recking neither the isolation nor the 
■dangers of their exposed situations, located their dwellings and little store- 
houses along the paths leading into the Indian country. Of schools and school- 
masters, of churches and parsons, of doctors and lawyers, there were none. 
The wants of these early inhabitants were few, and of intellectual life, for more 
than a decade, there seems to have been little. The business of the inhabi- 
tants was the procurement and exchange of duffel, salt, gunpowder, lead, ket- 

General Oglethorpe. 31 

ties, beads, rum, looking-glasses, trinkets, and other articles of European man- 
ufacture, for peltry, venison, and ponies, offered by the Indians. As Savannah 
long continued to be the capital and commercial metropolis of the colony, and 
as Frederica, before the middle of the century, became the Thermopylae of the 
Southern Anglo-American provinces, so did Augusta, for many years, main- 
tain her supremacy as the chief trading post within the confines of Georgia — 
the point through which flowed the main current of commerce between the 
English and the native population. 


General Oglethorpe's Visit to Augusta — His Conference with the Creeks at Coweta Town 
— Colonel Stephens's Account of the Progress of the Plantation — Oglethorpe's Fairness in 
Dealing with the Indians— Introduction of Slave Labor— Rev. Jonathan Copp — Distribution 
of Presents for the Indians — Fort at Augusta — Early Legislation — Governor Reynolds's 
" Representation " — Parishes Established —Representation and Petition from Augusta. 

ONLY once did General Oglethorpe visit Augusta. This was in' Septem- 
ber, 1739. He was then returning to Savannah from his perilous and im- 
portant journey to Coweta Town, where he had met in convention seven thou- 
sand red warriors and brought about a pacification of the Indian nations. The 
exposure and anxieties encountered on the expedition and while in attendance 
upon that coftference, so wrought upon his iron constitution that he was pros^ 
trated by a slow fever. In this enfeebled condition he sought repose for a few 
days at Augusta. From this place he wrote the following letter : 

" Fort Augusta in Georgia. 
" 5th September, 1739 
"Sr: I am just arrived at this Place from the Assembled Estates of the 
Creek Nation. They have very fully declared their rights to and possession 
of all the Land as far as the River Saint Johns, and their Concession of the Sea 
Coast, Islands, and other Lands to the Trustees, of which they have made a 
regular Act. If I had not gone up, the misunderstandings between them and 
the Carolina Traders, fomented by our two neighboring Nations, would prob- 
ably have occasioned their beginning a war which I believe might have been 
the result of this general meeting; but as their complaints were reasonable, I 
gave them satisfaction in all of them, and everything is entirely settled m 
peace. It is impossible to describe the joy they expressed at my arrival ; they 
met me forty miles in the woods, and layd Provisions on the roads in the woods. 
The Express being just going to Charles-Town, I can say no more, but I have 

32 History of Augusta. 

had a burning fever of which I am perfectly well recovered. I hope the Trus- 
tees will accept of this as a letter to them. 

" I am, S'", your very humble Serv' 

"James Oglethorpe. 
"To Mr. Harman Verelst."^ 

Commenting upon this remarkable mission of General Oglethorpe, Mr. 
Spalding, with equal truth and fervor, remarks : " When we call into remem- 
brance the then force of these tribes — for they could have brought into the 
■ field twenty thousand fighting men — when we call to remembrance the influ- 
ence the French had everywhere else obtained over the Indians — when we call 
to remembrance the distance he had to travel through solitary pathways, . . . 
exposed to summer suns, night dews, and to the treachery of any single Indian 
who knew — and every Indian knew — the rich reward that would have awaited 
him for the act from the Spaniards in St. Augustine, or the French in Mobile, 
surely we may proudly ask what soldier ever gave higher proof of courage? 
What gentleman ever gave greater evidence of magnanimity ? What English 
governor of an American province ever gave such assurance of deep devotion 
to public duty ? "^ 

But for this manly conference with the red men in the heart of their own 
■country, and the admiration with which his presence, courage and bearing in- 
spired the assembled chiefs, Oglethorpe could not have compassed this pacifi- 
cation and secured this treaty of amity so essential to the welfare of the 
■colony now on the eve of most serious complications with the Spaniards in 

The garrison detailed and supported by the Trust for the protection of the 
inhabitants of Augusta, and consisting of a commissioned officer and from ten 
to twenty men, was regularly maintained until 1767, when, in the language of 
Sir James Wright, Georgia's third and last royal governor, " the Rangers in 
this province were broke." 

Under date of Tuesday, September 19, 1738, Colonel William Stephens, 
writing at Savanah, enters this memorandum in his journal, kept for the infor- 
mation of the trustees:^ "Mr. Samuel Browti, one of our principal Traders in 
the Indian Nations, came to Town by way of Attgnsta, in a weak state of 
health ; and as he was a Settler also at that Place, where he had built a House 
upon a Lot granted him, he had some Stay in his Way. I was sorry to hear 
by him that they were grown extream sickly thereabouts ; that it came through 
Carolina by Degrees to their Settlement at New Windsor, and thence soon 
crossed to Augusta ; that a great many were down in Fevers at his coming 

^ P. R. O., Georgia, B. T., vol. 21, p. 162. 

' Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol. i, p. 263. Savannah, mdcccxl. 

^ A Journal of the proceedings ill Georgia October 10, 1737, etc., vol. i, p. 290. London. 

General Oglethorpe. 33 

away ; and that Lieutenant Kent was so ill that it was feared he could not live. 
At the same Time I received a Letter from one John Miller, who keeps Stores 
at Augusta to serve the Indian Traders, acquainting me that the Inhabitants 
were settling in a very irregular Manner by building Stores on five hundred 
Acre Lots some Miles distant from each other up the Path towards the Creeks: 
The Reason for which is that the Out- Parts have the Advantage and chance of 
intercepting the Customers of those who live in or near the Town o^ Augusta ; 
but consequently He under greater Danger of being cut off by Enemies of any 
Sort : Whereas a collected Body of People would be better able to defend 
themselves, or retire and take the Benefit of the Fort: Moreover it will be in 
the Power of such Indian Traders as run in Debt with the settled Storekeepers 
to go to one of those out-lying Stores and be supplied, and then return to the 
Indian Nation, thereby defrauding their former Creditors who cannot bring 
them to regular Justice. Mr. Brown confirming this, I thought it worth Notice, 
and conceive it mav be worth the Consideration of such as have Power to regu- 
late it better." 

That in the autumn this malarial region, badly drained, the atmosphere 
impregnated with noxious exhalations from a soil recently denuded of forest 
trees and subjected by the plow to the direct rays of a semi-tropical sun, should 
have been visited by fevers of a severe type excites no wonder. Exposure, in- 
difference to hygenic precautions, and sometimes insufficient food, tended still 
further to render constitutions, not yet fairly acclimated, liable to their per- 
nicious influences. 

At a remove from the cdurts established in Savanah, and with no one save 
a magistrate, holding a verbal commission, to decide in claim cases or to pun- 
ish where breaches of the peace occurred, the citizens of Augusta were, for a 
number of years, largely a law unto themselves, managing their affairs and set- 
tling their disputes in their own way. 

We marvel too that this feeble plantation did not, at the outset, encounter 
violent shocks at the hands of the natives, who, in the neighborhood, far out- 
numbered the Europeans. The truth is the Uchees, the Kiokees, the Savan- 
nahs and the Creeks and Cherokees generally, were kind and forbearing in 
their intercourse with the English. Whenever difficulties occurred between 
the races, the provocation, in most instances, could be fairly laid at the door of 
the white man. With the natives Oglethorpe's influence was overshadowing, 
and his reputation for fair dealing and generosity unquestioned. 

In nothing were the prudence, wisdom, skill and ability of the founder of 
the colony of Georgia more" conspicuous than in his conduct toward and treat- 
ment of the Indians. The ascendency he acquired over them, the respect they 
entertained for him, and the manly, generous and just policy he ever main- 
tained in his intercourse with the native tribes of the region are remarkable. 
Their favor, at the outset, was essential to the repose of the settlement ; their 


34 History of Augusta. 

friendship necessary to its existence. In the beginning, few in numbers and 
isolated in position, a hostile breath would have blown it. into nothingness. 
As claimants of the soil by virtue of prior occupancy, it was important that the 
title they asserted to these their hunting-grounds should, at-an early moment, 
be peaceably and formally extinguished. A resort to the sword in assertion 
of England's dominion over this territory would haveled at once to ambush, 
alarm, and bloodshed. Tlie adoption of a violent and coercive course toward 
tlie aborigines would h.ive aroused their hostility and imperiled the success of 
the plantation. Far better the plan of conciliation. This Oglethorpe fully 
recognized, and shaped his policy accordingly. 

In the spring of 1739 the German Jesuit, Christian Priber, endeavored, in 
the interest of the French, to prejudice the minds of the Cherokees against the 
English. A conference, however, held at Augusta in April of that year, re- 
sulted in an interchange of good will and a confirmation of the amicable rela- 
tions subsisting between the colonists and the dwellers among the mountains 
of Appalatcy.i 

While General Oglethorpe was in Augusta, in September of this year, he 
was visited by chiefs from the Chickesas and Cherokees. Those from the latter 
nation complained that some of their people had been poisoned by rum sold 
to them by the traders. They were much incensed and threatened revenge. 
Upon inquiring into the matter the general ascertained that some unlicensed 
traders from Carolina had communicated the smallpox to the Indians, who, 
ignorant of the method of treating the disease, had fallen victims to that loath- 
some distemper. He found it difficult to convince the chiefs of the true cause 
of the calamity. They were at length appeased, and departed with the assur- 
ance that they might apprehend no trouble in dealing with the licensed traders 
from Georgia, as permits were never granted to those unworthy of confidence. ^ 

In March, 1740, a complaint was lodged with the authorities in Savannah 
that in consequence of the introduction of negro slaves from Carolina, who 
performed all the manual labor, an ordinary workman could find but little 
employment at Augusta. In exercising the garrison of Fort Augusta, one of 
the iron guns burst and b^•^\' off the head of a soldier. On the 30th of the fol- 
lowing June, Lieutenant Kent, newly arrived from Augusta, informed Colonel 
Stephens that he experienced considerable difficulty in conducting the civil 
affairs of the settlement. There was so much "jangling among the traders," 
and so prone were they " to decide their controversies by force," that the 
local magistrate was greatly embarrassed in the administration of justice. 
>\^ In April, 1 741, the garrison of Fort Augusta was "augmented from twelve 
to twenty men." 

Until the removal of the prohibition respecting the introduction, employ- 

' See blephens 'Joia-nal of Proceediitgs, vol. i, pp. 455,456. London, MDCCXLII. 
"See Wright's Memoir of Oglethorpe, p. 219. London. 1867. 

Introduction of Slave Labor. 35 

ment, and ownership of slaves in Georgia, and until the enlargement of the 
tenure by which lands were holden of the crown, but slow progress was made 
in develoii ig the agricultural interests of the district of St. Paul. So soon 
however, <is the trustees saw fit to modify their restrictions in these respects, 
the colon) " had a better appearance of thriving" than at any former period 
of its existence. No two individuals were so instrumental in prevailing upon 
the Trustees to permit Georgia the right, long enjoyed by her sister English 
colonies in America, of owning and using negro slaves, as the Rev. George 
Whitefield and the Hon. James Habersham. The former boldly asserted that 
the transportation of the African from his home of barbarism to a Christian 
land, where he would be humanly tre.ited and required to perform his share of 
toil common to the lot of humanity, was advantageous ; while the latter af- 
firmed that the colony could not prosper without the intervention of slave 

In the Provincial Assembly which convened in Savannah on the 15th of 
January, 175 i, to concert measures and submit recommendations for the gen- 
eral welfare of the province, Augusta was represented by George Cadogan and 
David Douglass. 

As early as 1750 the gentlemen of Augusta built "a handsome and con- 
venient church," opposite one of the curtains of the fort, and so near that its 
guns afforded ample protection. This little wooden temple indicated the fur- 
thest advance the Church of England had thus far made into the Indian ter- 

In order to attract a minister the inhabitants of this town promised to 
erect a parsonage, cultivate the glebe lands, and contribute ;^20 a year toward 
his maintenance. The Rev. Jonathan Copp, a native of Connecticut and a grad- 
uate of Yale College, having in December, 1750, been ordained in England as a 
deacon and priest by Dr. Sherlock, bishop of London, came to Augusta the fol- 
lowing year and there entered upon'his ministry. His congregation numbered 
nearly one hundred. Among them were eight communicants. The parson- 
age, however, had not been erected, the glebe lands were uncultivated, and the 
hope of receiving prompt payment of the stipend of ^20 appeared uncertain. 
"Separated from any brother clergyman by one hundred and thirty miles of 
wilderness," on the frontier of civilization, in pro.ximity to the Indian territory, 
and daily liable to the merciless attacks of savages, "with but little to cheer and 
much to discourage, with small emolument and arduous labor," he here con- 
tinued as a missionary until 1 756, .wto, jlfi f),e£-e^ted a call to the rectorship of 
St. John's parish in South CaroHna.^ 

' He was succeeded in 1764 by the Rev. Samuel Trink. who, for three years, discharged 
the duties of rector of the parish. Removing- in 1767 to Savannah, his station for the ensuing 
three years was filled by the Rev. Edward Ellington. When he resigned the pastorate there 
were forty communicants in St. Paul's Church, and during his ministry he baptized four hun- 

36 History of Augusta. 

The Trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America having sur- 
rendered their charter and relieved themselves from the further execution of a 
trust which had grown quite beyond their management, his Majesty, King 
George, II, was pleased, on the 6th of August, 1754, to appoint Captain John 
Reynolds governor of the Province of Georgia. One of his earliest official 
acts, after his arrival in Savannah on the 29th of October, was to cause a liberal 
supply of presents to be distributed at Augusta to the Chickasaws, Creeks, 
Uchees and Cherokees whom, as he was advised by Indian traders of repute, 
the French were endeavoring to excite to hostilities against the upper settle- 
ments of Georgia and Carolina. A justice was commissioned for the district 
of Saint Paul. He was authorized to hear and determine causes where the 
amount involved did not exceed forty shillings. For punishing slaves commit- 
ting capital crimes, a commission of oyer and terminer might, upon an emer- 
gency, be issued to the justice of the district in which the offence was commit- 
ted to try the accused without a jury. If found guilty and sentenced to death, 
the justice might award execution, and set upon the slave a value which was 
afterwards to be paid to the owner by the general assembly "as an encourage- 
ment to the people to discover the villainies of their slaves." Causes of special 
moment in law and equity, in admiralty, and of a criminal nature, were to be 
tried by the courts which were established in Savannah. 

Upon the arrival of the Indian presents in December, 1755, Governor Rey- 
nolds proceeded to Augusta that he might superintend their distribution and 
utilize the occasion in confirming the amicable relations existing between the 
colonists and their red neighbors. While there awaiting the assembling of the 
chiefs, he was summoned to Savannah by a matter claiming his immediate and 
personal attention. He was therefore constrained to leave the presents, and 
the addresses he had prepared, with Mr. William Little, commissioner and 
agent for Indian affairs, who, a week after the departure of the governor, read 
those speeches and distributed the presents to some three himdred chiefs and 
head warriors. The convocation was peaceful and amicable. Well pleased 
with the royal gifts, the aborigines renewed their pledges of friendship. 

dred and twenty-eight persons, and married sixty-two couples. During the war St. Paul's 
Church, which was a small wooden structure, perished, there being no clergymen in charge, 
and no worshippers within its frail walls. In 1786 a second sacred edifice was erected on the 
site of the first, and it, in turn, gave away to the present structure, the foundations of which 
were laid in 181 8. In 1789 the Rev. Mr. Palmer was in charge of the church, and he was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. Adam Boyd, whose pastorate endured until 1798. Between this date and 
the year 1818, there appear to have been no divine ministrations under the exclusive auspices 
of the Protestant Episcopal denomination within the porciies of St. Paul's Church. The 
glebe lands, consisting of fifteen acres, to which the parish church was originally entitled, have 
been lost, or absorbed within the control and possession of the trustees ot the Richmond 
county Academy. During the last two years of the past century, and the first eighteen years 
of the present, St. Paul's Church, under the supervision of the trustees ot the Richmond Acad- 
emy, appears to have been used as a place of worshij) by all denominations of Christians. 

Early Defenses of Augusta. 37 

While in Augusta, Governor Reynolds, who, true to his mihtary profes- 
sion and instincts, was devoting, perhaps, more attention to the defenses of the 
province than to any other matter connected with its administration and de- 
velopment, made a personal inspection of the fort located at that place. Built 
■of wood, and one hundred and twenty feet square, he found it so rotten that a 
large portion of it was propped up to prevent its walls from faUing. Its eight 
small iron guns were honeycombed, and their carriages in an unserviceable 
condition. Of ordnance stores there was but a very scant supply. 

The population of Georgia, sadly dispersed, did not then aggregate more 
than sixty-four hundred souls. Of these, seven hundred and fifty-six, capable 
of bearing arms, were enrolled .in the militia and officered. Poorly equipped, 
and organized into eight companies, they were drilled six times each year. 
Widely separated, their concentration on an emergency was very difficult. 
There was, in truth, not a fortification within the limits of the province in even 
tolerable condition. 

In the elaborate "representation of the forts and garrisons necessary for the 
defense of Georgia," which, with the assistance of John Gerar, William, De- 
Brahm, one of the royal surveyors and a captain of engineers of high repute, 
the governor matured, and, on the 5th of January, 1756, submitted for the ap- 
proval of the home government, he urged that a fort should be constructed 
for the protection of Augusta, square in outline, "/. e. four Poligons each 448 
feet, with four Bastions altogether on one Horizon." For its armament he 

suggested : 

■'12, 12 Pounders/^ 

,^ , „ „ o „ r> 1 - Cannon. 

10, I, 2, 3. 6, 9 Pounders ( 

2, 10 ■ Pounders Haubices. 


The garrison was to consist of one hundred and fifty regulars, with a re- 
inforcement of three hundred men, viz., one hundred and fifty militia, and one 
hundred and fifty Indians. In addition, a captain, a sergeant, and twenty- 
nine men were to be kept on duty at this point to serve in the capacity of 
"Rangers." It is scarcely necessary to add that this extravagant scheme did 
not commend itself to the approval of the board of trade; and, peace then 
reigning within the borders of the province, but little expenditure was made in 
behalf of its fortifications. 

It was during Governor Ellis's administration that the act was passed by the 
Colonial Legislature dividing the several districts of the province into parishes, 
providing for the establishment of religious worship according to the rites and 
ceremonies of*the Church of England, and empowering the churchwardens and 
vestrymen of the respective parishes to assess rates for the repair of churches, 
the relief of the poor, and for other parochial services. This act was approved 
■on the 17th of March, 1758. 

38 History of Augusta. 

For the purpose of keeping church edifices in repair, for the care of the re- 
spective cemeteries, sacred utensils, and ornaments, to provide bread and wine 
for tlie Holy Eucharist, to pay the salaries of clerk and sexton, and to make 
provision for the poor and impotent of the several parishes, the rector, church- 
wardens, and vestrymen were authorized to levy a tax on the estate, real and 
personal, of all the inhabitants within the respective parishes, sufficient to yield 
in the parishes of Christ Church and of St. Paul ;^30each, and in the parishes 
where no churches had as yet been erected ^ lo each. The method of assess- 
ing and collecting this ta.x was pointed out. 

With the rector, churchwardens, and vestr\'men rested the power of ap- 
pointing se.xtons, and of fixing their salaries and fees. The rector was to be 
one of the vestry, and the churchwardens in each parish were directed to 
procure, at the charge of the parish, a well bound paper or paxhment book 
wherein the vestry-clerk of the parish was to register the "births, christenings^ 
marriages, and burials of all and every person and persons that shall from time 
to time be born, christened, married, or buried within the said parish, under 
the penalty of five pounds sterling on failure thereof" For each entry the 
vestry clerk was entitled to receive, as a fee, one shilling sterling. These reg- 
isters were to be adjudged and accepted in all courts of record in the province 
as furnishing sufficient proof of the births, marriages, christenings, and burials 
therein mentioned; and if any party was convicted of willfully making or caus- 
ing to be made any false entry therein, or of maliciously erasing, altering, or 
defacing an entry, ^jr of embezzling any entry or book of record, he was to be 
adjudged guilty of- a felony, and to be punished with death without benefit of 
clergy. Each vestry was instructed to nominate a proper person to keep a 
record of its proceedings, and to act as the custodian of its books and pai)ers. 
No authority was conferred upon rectors to exercise any ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion, or to administer ecclesiastical law. 

Such are the leading provisions of the act dividing Georgia into parishes, 
and erecting churches in sympathy with the tenets of the Established Church 
of England. While the patronage of the Crown and of the Colonial Assembly 
was extended in this special manner in aid of churches professing the Episco- 
pal faith, it was not designed to favor them by an exclusive recognition. The 
idea appeared to be to accord to that denomination within the limits of Geor- 
gia a prestige akin to that which the Church of England enjoyed within the 
realm, to create certain offices for the encouragment of that religious per- 
suasion and the extension of the gospel in accordance with its forms of wor- 
ship and mode of government, and to provide a method by which faithful reg- 
isters of births, marriages, christenings, and deaths might be kept and perpet- 
uated. Numerous were the Dissenters then in the province. They were rep- 
resented by Presbyterians, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Methodists, a few 
Baptists, and some Hebrews. To all sects, save Papists, was free toleration 

French Jealousy. 39 

accorded, and whenever a Dissenting congregation organized and applied for a 
grant of land whereon to build a church the petition did not pass unheeded. 
There can be no doubt, however, but that it was the intention of the govern- 
ment, both royal and colonial, to engraft the Church of England upon the 
province, and, within certain limits, to advance its prosperity and insure its 
permanency. At the same time an adherence to its rubrics was in no wise 
made a condition precedent to political preferment. 

As a salutary precaution against domestic insurrections and other sudden 
dangers, each white male inhabitant of the province "from the ages of sixteen 
years aud upwards" was, by an act assented to on the 28th of July, 1757, re- 
quired to carry with him "on Sabbath days, fasts and festivals," to the place 
of public worship within the town or district where he resided, "one good gun, 
or pair of pistols, with at least six charges of gunpowder and ball." 

The French observed, with jealous eye, the expansion of the English set- 
tlements along the line of the Savannah River, and the increasing influence 
which the colonists were gaining over the affections and the trade of the In- 
dian nations. They hesitated at nothing which might tend to interrupt this 
advancing prosperity and alienate the good will of the natives. Emissaries, 
equipped with presents and malignant tongues, were sent among them to poi- 
son their minds against the English, to disturb existing friendly relations, and, 
if possible, to incite the savages to acts of open hostility. The effect of these 
efforts became perceptible in the changed temper and morose conduct of the 
Indians. At no point was this modification of amicable word and act so appar- 
ent as at Augusta. Sharing in the apprehension of impending danger, and 
alarmed at the defenseless state of the town, the inhabitants of Augusta ad- 
dressed the following communication to Governor Reynolds : 

" Augusta, 30th of August, 1756. To his excellency, John Reynolds, esq., 
captain-general and commander-in-chief in and over his majesty's Province of 
Georgia, and vice-admiral of the same. 

" The humble representation and petition of the inhabitants of Augusta and 
the places adjacent, showeth : 

" That your petitioners by their vicinity to, and connection with Indians 
and Indian affairs, have had the opportunity to behold with concern the great 
progress the French have made for some time past in seducing the Creek In- 
dians and drawing them over to their interest. These people are indefatiga- 
ble in persuading and spurring on the Indians to a rupture with us, and had, 
within these few months, according to the best intelligence we could get, and 
from the behavior of the Indians in general, very nearly succeeded, and even 
with the concurrence of a part of the Cherokees. 

"That although we believe they have miscarried just at this present junct- 
ure, yet we have good reason to think, if some effectual methods are not taken 
to prevent it, they will very soon bring their designs to bear. That Augusta 

40 History of Augusta. 

and the places adjacent being not only frontiers, but places where the stores 
and trading goods for all the Chickasaws, Creeks, and a part of the Cherokees 
are kept, are of the greatest consequence, for in all probability tliey would, for 
the sake of the stores, be the first that would be attacked, as they, the Indians, 
would thereby be enabled, with a little assistance from the French, to carry on 
a war with the English for a considerable time. 

" That in our present helpless, defenseless condition, these places and stores, 
we are morally certain, would fall too easy a prey to them. That it is well 
known that Fort Augusta was erected here for the sake of the Indian trade, 
and the protection of those who should carry it on, and might also be a pro- 
tection to the inhabitants that might afterwards come and settle in the north- 
west division of the province, by being an asylum for the women and children, 
and a place of security for their effects in case of danger. That that fort, at 
present, cannot answer any of those wise and salutary ends, being in every 
part of it in a ruinous condition, for the truth ©f which we can appeal to your 
excellency, who had occular demonstration thereof when your excellency was 
up here ; but ever since that time it is much decayed, and would have fallen to 
the ground had it not been supported by the care of the commanding officer. 
That was the fort in proper repair, it would not answer the ends proposed ; 
the few soldiers that had been for a long time at that station, which, by re- 
peated detachments to South Carolina and elsewhere are now rendered fewer, 
being insufficient for its defense in case of an attack. 

" That if this place was destroyed, the destruction of the whole province 
would, in all probability, soon follow ; for, as we hinted before, the Indians 
would get arms and ammunition and other necessaries here, enough to enable 
them to carry on the war when and how long they pleased. 

"That although we have been informed that )-our excellency hath before 
now laid before his majesty the defenceless state of this province, and the ruin- 
ous condition of the fortifications in it, and we are sensible no person could 
take more pains to know it than your excellency, yet we hope this representa- 
tion of our particular situation, especially in time of war with France, and, as 
we have good reason to think, of immediate danger, will not be taken amiss. 

" That we also, with submission, beg leave to observe to your excellency 
that we sincerely wish there had been no settlement made on Ogeechee as yet, 
for if ever the Creeks should break out in war with us, whatever reasons they 
in their own minds might have for it, we are assured they will make that set- 
tlement one pretense, for they are continually exclaiming against it, and more 
so this summer than ever. We wish there could be a method taken of with- 
drawing the settlement by degrees, so it might not look like a public conces- 
sion of these lands. The Indians would then, at least, want that pretense of 

"We therefore hope your excellency will take this our representation and 

An Indian War Averted. 41 

petition into your serious consideration, and we cannot doubt your excellency 
will do everything in your power to remedy these evils, and to render our 
safety and protection more effectual ; but if nothing can be done here for the 
public security of these parts, we humbly beseech your excellency to repre- 
sent our situation to his majesty, from whose fatherly care we may yet, before 
it is too late, receive the assistance necessarily required. 

" And your excellency's petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc." 

This petition was signed by Patrick Clarke, John Rae, Isaac Barksdale, 
William Bonar, Daniel Clark, Edward Barnard, William Clement, Richard 
Johnson, Da Douglass, Martin Campbell, Lachlan McGillivray, John Williams, 
John Spencer, William Little, James McHenry, George Galphin, Robert Dixon, 
and Moses Nunes. 

David Douglass, who was charged with the transmission of the foregoing 
representation and petition, in forwarding the documeat deemed it proper to 
supplement its statements and requests with this communication : 

" We have sent you the inclosed representation that your excellency may 
see the sentiments of the people of this place before this unlucky affair hap- 

" I have, as in duty bound, sent you the enclosed information, by which, 
in all appearances, an Indian war is inevitable. There is nothing, in all human 
probability, can prevent it but having those people who did the injury to make 
a retaliation for the murdered Indians, and we have accordingly issued htie 
.and cry, and sent out parties to apprehend them, and we have alarmed all the 
country, both on the Carolina and Georgia side. The head men of the Chick- 
asaws are now with me. They declare they will live and die with the white 
people, provided we will give them a place for their wives and children. The 
fort is too small, neither is it in a condition to hold the people of this place, so 
I think it will be better to have one or two fortifications or intrenchments as 
near the fort as possible, where the women and children may be secured, while 
we scout out and fight the enemy. 

" I am afraid we cannot keep this place without assistance, and the loss of 
this will be an immense destruction to both provinces, as there is no people in 
this province to spare to send to our assistance. I hope your excellency will 
immediately apply to the government of South Carolina, who are equally con- 
cerned, to send an immediate supply of men, or otherwise as you think most 
proper, as I only hint my hasty thoughts, which, if not right, I beg your ex- 
cellency would excuse. I hope your excellency will, by this express, give me 
what power and instructions you think needful. If possible, we will immedi- 
ately send to the Creek nation to assure the Indians that those people who did 
the injury will be taken and secured for their satisfaction. We are afraid the 
blow will be struck in the nation." 

Matters still maintaining a threatening attitude, ana all efforts to apprehend 


42 History of Augusta. 

tbe fugitive whites who, by their violence, had offended and outraged the 
Indians, having thus far proved fruitless, Governor Reynolds laid before his 
council the following communication which had just been received: 

" Augusta, Saturday lo of the Clock in 
"the Morning, I2th September 1756. 
" May it please your Excellency : 

" We have, as in duty bound, sent this express on purpose, with the in- 
closed informations by which you will understand that Indian blood has been 
spilt, and consequently an Indian War is almost inevitable. The only thing 
in all probability that can prevent it is the having of the murderers secured for 
to make him satisfection : for which reason we issued /me ajid crys everywhere 
to apprehend them : and in case they come by the way of Savannah, we hope 
care will be taken to secure them. We are afraid we cannot hold this place 
long without speedy assistance, which we hope your Excellency will take 
into serious consideration. All the settlements on the Ogeechee are aban- 
doned. The fort cannot contain all the inhabitants, so that we shall be obliged 
to fortify some other places. Wc beg your Excellency would send us instruc- 
tions how to act as you shall think proper. There are some head-men of the 
Creeks in Charles Town, or on their way thither — on whom we have had great 
dependence, as we designed to assure them that we will take and do justice on 
the murderers, and give them all the satisfaction they required. We wish we 
could hear from your Excellency before they go from this place, for which 
reason we hope your Excellency will dispatch the express with all haste pos- 
sible. There is no match in the fort. Mr. begs, if there is any such 

thing in Savannah, that you will send him some. And we are, with the great- 
est respect, 

" Your Excellency's most humble, most obedient Servants, 

" D. A. Douglass, 

"John Rae, 

" Martin Campbell." 

The guilty whites having been finally apprehended and brought to justice^ 
the wrath of the Indians having thus been appeased, and their head men hav- 
ing been placated by a liberal supply of such articles as they coveted, a paci- 
fication ensued to the joy and relief of the inhabitants of Augusta who had 
been sorely exercised by the late hostile temper and the recent threats of their 
red neighbors. Although anxious to respond to the requisition, Governor 
Reynolds found himself powerless to supply the needs and enlarge the protec- 
tive abilities of Fort Augusta. 

Condition of the Colony in 1760. 43 


Condition of tlie Colony of Georgia in 1760 — Congress at Augusta in November, 1763 — 
Treaty with the Indians then Solemnized — Instructions to Indian Traders — Strength of Ad- 
jacent Indian Nations in 1768 — Augusta's Representation in the Provincial Congress — Con- 
gress at Augusta in June, 1773 — The Ceded Lands — Adjustment of the Claims of the Indian 
Traders — Trouble with the Indians — Silver Bluff. 

UPON the inauguration of Governor Wright, in 1760, the population of 
Georgia amounted to barely six thousand inhabitants. The returns 
showed that there were then three thousand five hundred and seventy-eight 
negro slaves owned and employed within the province. The military force of 
the colony consisted of sixty men belonging to his majesty's independent com- 
panies, of two troops of rangers, each numbering five officers and seventy pri- 
vates, and of the militia, organized as infantry and aggregating one thousand 
and twenty- five. But thirty-four hundred pounds of rice were exported in that 
year, and the entire commerce of the colony was conducted by forty-two ves- 
sels, most of them of light burthen. Scarcely anything was manufactured at 
home ; all needed supplies coming from abroad, and especially from Great 
Britain. Some of the poorer and more industrious class wove a coarse, home- 
spun cloth, and knit cotton and yarn stockings for domestic use. Here and 
there a tanner or a shoemaker plied his trade, and there was no lack of black- 
smiths. Occasionally a ship, a snow, a brigantine, or a schooner was built for 
the coasting trade. The "whole time and strength" of the colonists, as Sir 
James Wright reports to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, 
are "applied in planting rice, corn, peas, and a small quantity of wheat and 
rye, and in making pitch, tar and turpentine, and in making shingles and staves, 
and sawing lumber and scantling and boards of every kind, and in raising 
stocks of cattle, mules, horses and hogs." 

By royal proclamation, dated at St. James, October 7, 1763, his majesty, 
George III., from the extensive and valuable acquisitions in America secured to 
his crown by the definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris on the loth of 
February in the same year annexed to the Province of Georgia all lands lying 
between the rivers Alatamaha and St. Mary. The separate governments of 
East and West Florida were then organized, and the northern boundary of the 
two Floridas constituted the southern boundary of Georgia as far as the Mis- 
sissippi River. 

Thus did Georgia cease to be a frontier colony. Relieved from those anx- 
ieties so long entertained by reason of her proximity to Spanish rule at St. 
Augustine and Pensacola, and no more exposed to the annoyances of French 
intrigue and jealousies emanating from Mobile and the Alabama fort, the pro- 
vince entered upon a career of security and assured prosperity. Her southern 

44 History of Augusta. 

and western boundaries, formerly threatened by enemies, were now but divid- 
ing lines separating plantations with kindred interests and acknowledging a 
common allegiance. The change was pleasing and restful, and the effect upon 
the colony most salutary. , 

The native population, however, remained, and it became necessary to ac- 
quaint the Indians with the change which had occurred, and to adopt measures 
for the perpetuation of the amicable relations existing between them and the 
British crown. To that end the Earl of Egremont, the principal secretary of 
State for the Southern Department, at the instance of the king, addressed com- 
munications to the governors of the Provinces of Virginia, North and South 
Carolina and Georgia, directing them, in association with Captain Stuart, the 
superintendent of Indian affairs, to convene a congress of the Creeks, Chero- 
kees, Catawbas, Chickasaws and Choctaws at Augusta, or in such other central 
point as might be deemed most convenient. 

After some discussion, and upon the suggestion of Governor Wright in- 
dorsed by Mr. Stuart, Augusta was selected as the locality most suitable for the 
convocation. The congress was opened with due formality at the King's Fort, 
in that town, on Saturday, November 5, 1763. There were present on the 
part of the English, Governor James Wright, of Georgia, Governor Thomas 
Boone, of South Carolina, Governor Arthur Dobbs, of North Carolina, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor Francis Fauquier, of Virginia, and John Stuart, esq., superin- 
tendent of India-n affairs in the Southern Department. Seven hundred Indians 
were in attendance. James Colbert acted as interpreter for the Chickasaws and 
Choctaws. John Butler, James Beamor and John Watts interpreted for the 
Cherokees, and Stephen Forest and John Proctor for the Creeks. Colonel 
Ayers. the Catawba chief, interpreted for his nation. 

The Upper and Lower Chickasaws were represented by the following chiefs: 
Hopayamatahah, Poucherimatahah, Houpastubah, Pianiatah, Hopayamingo, 
Houratimatahah, Hopayamingo (Jockey's son), and twenty warriors. The 
chiefs, Red- Shoes and Chappahomah, represented the Choctaws. 

The Upper and Lower Creeks were present in the persons of their chiefs,. 
Captain Aleck, Sympoyaffee. Bohotcher, Sausechaw. Boysonecka, Hillibeesun- 
aga, Firmicho, Poyhucher, Poyhuchee, and their followers. 

Of the Cherokees, fifteen chiefs appeared, representing the Settlements over 
the Hills, the Middle Settlements, and the Lower Towns. The Over Hill chiefs 
were AttakullakuUa, Ousteneka, Prince of Chotih, Willanawah, Onatoi, Ski- 
agusta of Chotih, and Moitoi. Those from the Lower Towns were Tiftowih of 
Keehowee, the Wolf, Houkonata, Man Killer of Keehowee, Good Warrior of 
Estatowih, Young Warrior of the same place, and the Warrior of Tuscoweh. 
Will, the head man of Whatogah, led the delegation from the Middle Settle- 
ment. The Catawbas were represented by their chief. Colonel Ayers, and 
some followers. 

Treaty with the Indians. 45, 

The conference occurring within the limits of Georgia was opened by Gov- 
ernor Wright. Observing that the day was fair, and indulging in the hope that 
all the talks would not prove otherwise, he invited the Indians to heed the ut- 
terances of Mr. Stuart, as he had been selected by the governors present to 
give expression to their united sentiments. 

Thus commended, Mr. Stuart, addressing the assembled Indians as friends 
and brothers, assured them that he spake by command of the great King 
George, who, under God, the Master and Giver of breath, was the common 
father and protector both of the English and of the red men; that no conference 
was ever intended to be more general or more friendly; that, provoked at the 
repeated cruelties, insults, and falsehoods of the French and Spaniards, the king 
of England had put forth his strength and defeated both his perfidious enemies; 
that in order to prevent a recurrence of former disturbances, his majesty in- 
sisted upon the removal of tlie French and Spaniards beyond the Mississippi ; 
that all cause of trouble being now at an end, he hoped the Indians and Eng- 
lish would dwell together in peace and brotherly friendship ; " that all past 
offenses should be buried in oblivion and forgiveness ;" that the English were 
prepared to deal fairly, and to supply the Indian nations with everything they 
might require ; and that the forts recently surrendered by the French would be 
used for the assistance and protection of the natives, and for the convenience 
of a trade, which, it was believed, would prove mutually beneficial. "The white 
people," he said in conclusion, " value themselves on speaking truth ; but to 
give still greater weight to what we say, the great king has thought proper 
that his four governors and the superintendent from a great distance should 
utter the same words at the same time ; and, to remove every umbrage or jeal- 
ousy, that you should all hear them in presence of one another, and bear testi- 
mony for one another in case we should ever act contrary to our declarations." 

The responses of the chiefs and various rejoinders occupied the attention of 
the congress until the loth of November, when the following treaty was form- 
ally ratified by all parties present: 

" Article I. That a perfect and perpetual peace and sincere friendship shall 
be continued between his majesty. King George the Third, and all his subjects, 
and the several nations and tribes of Indians herein mentioned, that is to say, 
the Chicasahs, Upper and Lower Creeks, Chactahs, Cherokees, and Catawbas; 
and each nation of Indians hereby respectively engages to give the utmost at- 
tention to preserve and maintain peace and friendship between their people 
and the king of Great Britain and his subjects and shall not commit or permit 
any kind of hostilities, injury, or damage whatever, against them from hence- 
forth, and for any cause, or under any pretense whatever. And for laying the 
strongest and purest foundation for a perfect and perpetual peace and friend- 
ship, his most sacred majesty has been graciously pleased to pardon and for- 
give all past offenses and injuries, and hereby declares there shall be a general 

46 History of Augusta. 

oblivion of all crimes, ofifenses and injuries that may have been heretofore com- 
mitted or done by any of the said Indian parties. 

" Article II. The subjects of the great King George and the aforesaid sev- 
eral nations of Indians shall, forever hereafter, be looked upon as one people. 
And the several governors and superintendent engage that they will encourage 
persons to furnish and supply the several nations and tribes of Indians afore- 
said with all sorts of goods usually carried amongst them, in the manner which 
they now are. and which will be sufficient to answer all their wants. In con- 
sideration whereof, the Indian parties on their part, severally engage in the 
most solemn manner that the traders and others who may go amongst them 
shall be perfectly safe and secure in their several persons and effects, and shall 
not on any account, or pretense whatever, be molested or disturbed whilst in 
any of the Indian towns or nations, or on their journey to or from the nations. 

" Article III. The English governors and superintendent engage for them - 
selves and their successors, as far as they can, that they will always give 
due attention to the interest of the Indians, and will be ready on all occasions 
to do them full and ample justice. And the several Indian parties do ex- 
pressly promise and engage for themselves severally, and for their several na- 
tions and tribes, pursuant to the full right and power which they have so to do, 
that they will in all cases, and upon all occasions, do full and ample justice to 
the English; and will use their utmost endeavors to prevent any of their people 
from giving any disturbance, or doing any damage to them in the settlements 
or elsewhere as aforesaid, either by stealing their horses, killing their cattle, or 
otherwise, or by doing them any personal hurt or injury; and that if any dam- 
age be done, as aforesaid, satisfaction shall be made to the party injured ; and 
that if any Indian, or Indians, whatever, shall hereafter murder or kill a white 
man, the offender or offenders, shall, without any delay, excuse, or pretense 
whatever, be immediately put to death in a public manner in the presence of 
at least two of the English who may be in the neighborhood where the offense 
is committed. 

" And if any white man shall kill or murder an Indian, such white man 
shall be tried for the offense in the same manner as if he had murdered a white 
man, and, if found guilty, shall be executed accordingly in the presence of 
some of the relations of the Indian who may be murdered, if they choose to 
be present. 

" Article IV. Whereas doubts and disputes have frequently happened on 
account of encroachments, or supposed encroachments committed by the Eng- 
lish inhabitants of Georgia on the lands or hunting grounds reserved and 
claimed by the Creek Indians for their own use: Wherefore, to prevent any 
mistakes, doubts, or disputes for the future, and in consideration of the great 
marks of clemency and friendship extended to us the said Creek Indian, we, 
the kings. Head Men and Warriors of the several nations and towns of both Up- 

Treaty with the Indians. 47 

per and Lower Creeks, by virtue and in pursuance of the full right and power 
which we now have and are possessed of, have consented and agreed that, for 
the future, the boundary between the Enghsh settlements and our lands and 
hunting grounds shall be known and settled by a line extending up Savannah 
River to Little River and back to the fork of Little River, and from the fork 
of Little River to the ends of the south branch of Briar Creek, and down that 
branch to the Lower Creek path, and along the Lower Creek path to the main 
stream of Ogeechie River, and down the main stream of that river just below 
the path leading from Mount Pleasant, and from thence in a straight line cross 
to Sancta Sevilla on the Alatamaha River, and from thence to the southward 
as far as Georgia extends, or may be extended, to remain to be regulated 
agreeable to former treaties and his majesty's royal instruction, a copy of which 
was lately sent to you. 

" And we, the Catawba Head Men and Warriors, in confirmation of an 
agreement heretofore entered into with the white people, declare that we will 
remain satisfied with the tract of land of fifteen miles square, a survey of 
which, by our consent, and at our request, has been already begun; and the 
respective Governors and Superintendent, on their parts, promise and engage 
that the aforesaid survey shall be completed, and that the Catawbas shall not, 
in any respect, be molested by any of the King's subjects, within the said lines, 
but shall be indulged in the usual manner of hunting elsewhere. 

" And we do by these presents give, grant, and confirm unto his most 
sacred majesty. King George the Third, all such lands whatsoever as we, the 
said Creek Indians, have at any time heretofore been possessed of, or claimed 
as our hunting grounds, which lye between the sea, the River Savannah, and 
the lines hereinbefore mentioned and described, to hold the same unto the 
great King George and his successors forever. And we do fully and absolutely 
agree that from henceforth the above lines and boundary shall be the mark of 
division of lands between the English and the Creek Indians, notwithstanding 
any former agreement or boundary to the contrary ; and that we will not dis- 
turb the English in their settlements or otherwise within the lines aforesaid. 

" In consideration whereof it is agreed on the part of his majesty. King 
George, that none of his subjects shall settle upon or disturb the Indians in the 
grounds or lands to the westward of the lines hereinbefore described; and 
that if any shall presume to do so, then, on complaint made by the Indians, 
the party shall be proceeded against for the same, and punished according to 
the laws of the English." ^ 

The following day liberal presents were distributed by Mr. Stuart to all the 
assembled Indians. The four governors united in an explanatory letter to the 

^ See Journal of the Congress of the four SoutherJt Governors and the Superitttendent of 
that District with the five Nations of Indians at Augusta, 1763, pp. 1-45. South Carolina, 
Charles-Town. Printed by Peter Timothy. MDCCLXiv. • 

48 History of Augusta. 

Earl of Egremont, advising him of the satisfactory manner in which the king's 
commands, as signified in his lordship's communication of the i6th of March, 
had been obeyed, and suggesting the estabUshment of commercial relations 
with the Indians upon a general, safe, and equitable footing. 

In transmitting a copy of this treaty to the board of trade. Governor 
Wright, on the 23d of December, assures the Lords Commissioners that this 
accession of territory from the Indians will encourage the incoming of many set- 
tlers and promote the prosperity of Georgia. In this expectation he was not 

In order that the promises contained in this treaty respecting fair dealing 
with the Indian nations might be duly observed by the licensed traders, Gov- 
ernor Wright deemed it proper to promulgate and enforce certain stringent 
regulations. As they specially affected the population of Augusta, which 
-was still largely engaged in traffic with the natives, a synopsis of them will be 
regarded as pertinent. 

Every trader was so to conduct himself that " no offense be given to the 
Christian religion." All horses, hogs, and cattle, accompanying the trader 
were to be carefully guarded, in order that no damage should be done by them 
to the growing crops of the natives. It was expressly forbidden to compel an 
Indian, either by threats or force, to perform any labor, to carry any pack or 
burthen, or to buy or sell contrary to his will or inclination. 

The trader was not allowed to receive any present, gift, fee or reward from 
an Indian, or to credit any member of the community to a greater extent 
than one pound of powder and four pounds of bullets. The savages were to 
be informed that they were relieved from all obligation to pay debts previously 
-contracted. No arms, ammunition, or goods were to be sold to Indians ac- 
knowledging allegiance to the crowns of France and Spain. Traffic in swan- 
shot was prohibited. Any information acquired touching the movements or 
designs of the French and Spaniards was to be promptly and faithfully com- 
municated- It was not permitted to a trader, without special permission from 
the governor, to bring an Indian within the limits of the white settlements. 
Persons found trading with the natives without license were to be immediately 
reported . Matters relating to the affairs and government of the province could 
not form subjects of conversation with the natives, and the servants of traders 
were forbidden to traffic with the Indians. No servant could remain in the 
Indian Territory; and if any person in the employment of the trader com- 
mitted a capital offense, it was made the duty of the trader to take him before 
a magistrate for trial and punishment. Upon the renewal of his license each 
trader was required to submit a statement of all skins and effects purchased 
from the Indians, and of all goods sold or left at his trading-post. It was also 
incumbent upon him to hand in a journal of all proceedings during his sojourn 
in the Indian country. No free Indian, negro, or slave could, without special 

Strength of Adjacent Indian Nations in 1768. 49 

leave, be employed to assist the irader in the prosecution of his calling, or in 
rowing his boats from any garrison into the red man's territory. Rawhides 
could not be accepted in exchange for goods. The sale of rum, spirituous 
liquors, and " rifled barrelled guns," was absolutely prohibited. 

With the exception of an occasional murder, resulting from som^ personal 
quarrel, or committed under the influence of strong drink, the intercourse' be- 
tween the colonists and the Indians was for many years amicable and satisfac- 
tory. This happy state of affairs was largely due to the watchfulness, wisdom, 
and liberality of Governor Wright, who held the traders to strict accountability 
and, by apt interviews with the influential chiefs of the Creeks and the 
Cherokees, and by generous presents, inculcated and maintained friendly 

In pursuance of writs of election, issued by Governor Wright in 1 76 1, the 
town of Augusta and parish of St. Paul sent up the following representatives : 

Edward Barnard, John Graham, Williams, and L. McGillivray. No 

longer subjected to menaces at the hands of Spaniards and French, at peace 
with the Indian nations, permitted to purchase and employ slaves in the culti- 
vation of the soil, enjoying a fee simple title to lands, encouraged by the ex- 
ample and experience of a wise and energetic governor, the inhabitants of 
Georgia took fresh courage in the development of the plantation ; and, from 
this time forward, the progress of the colonization was satisfactory and unin- 

In the excitement which violently agitated Savannah when the authorities 
attempted, within her limits, to enforce the provisions of the stamp act of 1765, 
the citizens of Augusta did not share except to a limited extent. They were 
too far removed from the scene of operations, and had but small practical in- 
terest in the question and the rights involved. 

In 1767 depredations were committed by a party of Creek Indians, who 
had lately formed a settlement on the Oconee River, upon the plantations on 
Little River. Some horses were captured. Pursued by five of the inhabitants, 
the Indians fled until they regained their homes where, reinforced by their 
companions, they turned upon their assailants and compelled them to beat a 
hasty retreat. This was not the first time the Creeks had invaded this region 
and plundered its plantations. Responding to the emergency, Governor 
Wright, on the 24th of August, prepared a talk to the (^reek nation in which 
he demanded the return of the stolen animals, insisted upon a recall of the 
marauding bands, and cautioned an observance of the boundary- line stipula- 
tions as agreed upon by the Augusta Congress. The town of Augusta now 
contained some eighty houses, a church, and two wooden forts. ^ Plantations 
were multiplying to the north as far as Little River. 

Of the warlike strength of the Indian n.itions lying adjacent to, and hold- 

' See Gentleman's Magazine for 1767, p; 167. 

50 History of Augusta. 

ing commerce with Georgia, the following estimate was submitted by Gov- 
ernor Wright to the Earl of Hillsborough, on the 5tli of October, 1768: 

Gun Men. 

Upper and Lower Creeks 3.400 

Chactaws 2,200 

Chickesas 400 

Cherokees 2,000 

Catavvbas 40 

Total 8,040 

In this number are not included those whose trade relations were carried 
on with South Carolina and with East and West Florida. When we remem- 
ber the defenseless condition of the province, and its unguarded frontier, and 
when we recall the fact that the Indian Territory was frequented by traders-^ 
some of whom were supercilious, dishonest and tyrannical — we are astonished 
that these primitive peoples exhibited such tolerance towards a race which was 
surely supplanting them in the occupancy of their native wilds. 

In the recalcitrant Assembly which was finally dissolved by Governor 
Habersham in 1772, Augusta was represented by Edward Barnard, Alexan- 
der Inglis, and Thomas Shruder. While the governor was loyally seeking to 
carry out the instructions of the king and to enforce the acts of Parliament, 
the Provincial Assembly, under the leadership of Dr. Noble Wymberley Jones, 
who has been appropriately styled the " morning star " of the revolution in 
Georgia, was in active sympathy with all who esteemed taxation without rep- 
resentation as unauthorized, and jealously maintained what they regarded as 
the reserved rights of the colonists and the privileges of provincial legislatures. 

For some time the Cherokees had been increasing their indebtedness to the 
traders. Each year they became less able to discharge their accumulating 
obligations. The Creeks were in a similar situation. The traders clamored for 
payment, and the Indians offered to make a cession of lands in settlement of 
their debts. Various negotiations and talks ensued in regard to the matter, 
which was finally adjusted at a congress held in Augusta on the 1st of June, 
1773. Georgia was represented by her governor. Sir James Wright, and the 
Cherokees and Creeks appeared in the persons of several chiefs who were 
empowered to bind their respective nations. The Hon. John Stuart, his 
majesty's sole agent and superintendent of Indian affairs in the southern dis- 
trict of North America, was also present. 

By the cession then made Georgia acquired additional territory embracing 
over two millions of acres of land, most of it well watered, and adapted to the 
cultivation of indigo, cotton, tobacco, corn, wheat, etc. Wilkes, Lincoln, Tal- 
iaferro, Greene, Oglethorpe, Elbert, and other counties were subsequently 
carved out of it. Goodly was the region and offering inany attractions to 
immigrants. The aggregate indebtedness existing on the part of the Indians 

Cession of Indian Lands. 51 

to the tra ers was estimated at from ^^"40,000 to ;^50,ooo. Simultaneously 
with the fo mal execution of this cession and treaty, the Indian traders hold- 
ing claims against the Indians submitted releases by which, in consideration 
of the surrender of this territory to his majesty, and in anticipation of receiving 
partial or entire payment of the debts due to them by the Creeks and Cher- 
okees from the moneys to be realized upon the sale of these lands, they ab- 
solutely acquitted and discharged the Indians from all demands. Prominent 
among those signing these releases were George Galpin, James Jackson & Co.,' 
Martin Campbell & S^n, Woodgion, Rae. Whitefield & Co., Edward Barnard, 
Waters, James Grierson, James Spalding & Co , and Edward Keating. 

In order to engage the attention of the public and to attract settlers for 
this newly acquired and fertile domain, his excellency, on the iith of June, 
1773, issued a proclamation in which, after describing the cession and making 
known the fact that surveyors were actually engaged in running out and mark- 
ing the boundaries, he states that the territory would " be parceled out in 
tracts varying from 100 to 1,000 acres the better to accommodate the buyers "; 
that in conformity to his majesty's instructions " one hundred acres would be 
sold to the master or head of a family, fifty acres additional for the wife and 
each child, and the same number of acres for each slave owned and brought in 
by the purchaser "; that in "further encouragement of the settling of the said 
lands the masters or heads of families will be allowed to purchase 50 acres for 
each able bodied white servant man they shall bring in to settle thereon," and 
also "25 acres for every woman servant from the age of 15 years to 40 years "; 
that all persons were at liberty to come into the province and view these lands^ 
and, as soon as they were surveyed, to make choice of such of them as they 
desired to purchase and settle upon ; that grants would be executed on the 
most moderate terms, and that for a period of ten years the parcels purchased 
would be exempt from the payment of quit rents ; that the lands offered were 
"in general of the most fertile quality and fit for the production of wheat, indico, 
Indian corn, tobacco, hemp, flax, etc., etc., etc. ;" that they comprised "a pleas- 
ant and very healthy part of the province"; that they were "extremely well wat- 
ered by Savannah River, Ogechee River, Little River, and Broad River, and by 
a great number of creeks and branches which ran throughout the whole country 
and emptied themselves into the aforesaid rivers ; that there was an abundance 
of springs, and that the water was very fine ; that Little River, where the 
ceded lands began, was but t\venty-two miles above the town of Augusta ; 
that at this place ready market would always be found for all produce and 
stock ; that if Savannah was preferred as a point for trade there was easy trans- 
portation down the Savannah River, while a good wagon road led from Little 
River to that commercial metropolis of the province ; that a fort would speed- 
ily be built and garrisoned within the ceded lands for the protection of the 
immigrants, and that all vagrants and disorderly persons would be promptly 

52 History of Augusta. 

and severely dealt with ; and finally, that these lands adjoined a well-settled 
part of the province, where law, justice, and good government obtained. 

A plan of settlement was carefully arranged, and Colonel Bartlett and 
Messrs. Young, Holland, and Maddox were appointed commissioners and 
vested with ample powers to negotiate sales. They were authorized to place 
a valuation upon each tract according to its quality. Not more than five shil- 
lings per acre were to be charged in any event, and five pounds sterling were 
to be paid as entrance money for every hundred acres. To facilitate the busi- 
ness, land courts were opened in Savannah, in Augusta, and at the confluence 
of Broad and Savannah rivers. At this last named locality Captain Waters and 
his company were stationed. Here Fort James was builded. Its stockade was 
an acre in extent. Within this inclosure were officers' quarters and barracks for 
the garrison, consisting of fifty rangers, well mounted, and armed each with 
a rifle, two dragoon pistols, a hanger, a powder-horn, a shot-pouch, and a toma- 
hawk. ^ In each angle of this square stockade was erected a block-house in 
which swivel guns were posted. These structures rose one story ;;bove the cur- 
tains, which were pierced for small arms. The stockade crowned a gentle emi- 
nence in the fork of the Savannah and Broad, equi-distant from those rivers and 
from the extreme point of land formed by their junction. On the peninsula 
above the tort was located the town called Dartmouth in honor of the earl 
whose influence had been exerted in persuading his majesty to favor the cession 
of this recently acquired territory. After a short and by no means robust 
existence Dartmouth gave place to Petersburg, which, during the tobacco cul- 
ture in Georgia, attracted to itself a considerable population, and was re- 
garded as a place of no little commercial importance.'' 

Settlements were rapidly formed on the Ogeechee and north of Little River, 
and the ceded lands were eagerly sought after. The Quakers who, through 
fear of the Indians, had abandoned their homes in the southern portion of what 
is now Columbia county, returned and diligently resumed their agricultural 
operations. The outlook for the speedy population of this new domain was 
most encouraging when the pleasing prospect wa>i suddenly enveloped in doubt 
and disister by the unexpected hostility of the Creeks. 

In January, 1774, a party of Lower Creek Indians wantonly attacked Sher- 
rall's fortified settlement, in which were five white and three negro men and 
twelve women and children. Approaching stealthily, the Indians fired upon 
the men who were at work Upon the fort. Sherrall and two others fell. The 
rest retreated into the houses where, encouraged by the valor of a negro who 
rushed upon an Indian and shot him through the head, they entered upon a 
vigorous defense. Thrice did the savages set fire to the structures, and as 

' Bartrani's Fravdls through North and South Carolina. Georgia, etc., pp. 321, 322. 
London. 1792. 

"^ Dead lowns of Georgia, pp. 233. 234. Charles C. Jones, jr. Savannah. 1878. 

Trouble with the Indians. 53 

•often were the flames extinguished. Two of the neighbors, attracted by the 
firing, approached. Discovered by the Indians they were pursued. Succeed- 
ing, however, in making their escape, they notified Captain Barnard of the 
afifair. Hastily collecting about forty men, he advanced to the relief of the 
besieged and, attacking the Indians in the rear, drove them into the swamp. 
Seven persons had been killed and five wounded within the fort. Of the In- 
dians it is known that five were slain. Their wounded was carried ofT by their 

A few days afterwards a skirmish occurred between twenty-five white set- 
tlers and one hundred and fifty Indians. Grant, Weatherford, Hammond, 
and Ayres were killed, and a fifth white man was wounded who died the next 
day at Wrightsboro. Several private forts and dwellings, which had been pre- 
cipitately abandoned by their owners, were reduced to ashes by the savacjes. 
Collecting some men. Captain Few and Lieutenants Williams and Bishop 
buried the bodies of those who had fallen in the recent action. Lieutenant 
Samuel Alexander, with a few militia, attacked and dispersed a party of In- 
dians who had become separated from the main body. Two of the Creeks 
were killed. For having thus, without authority, punished these Indians, 
Alexander was rebuked by Colonel Rae, an agent of Indian affairs. Apprised 
of the circumstances, however, Rae justified Alexander's conduct, and ex- 
pressed the opinion that when the chiefs of the nation should be made ac- 
quainted with the entire transaction they would note the provocation and 
acquiesce in the propriety of the retaliation. 

This sudden and disastrous invasion of the recently settled district caused 
general alarm and distrust. Many letreated to places of security. Forts were 
constructed on Savannah and Little Rivers, and in them were deposited women 
and children, and personal property of special value. In cultivating their farms 
the husbandmen banded together for mutual protection. 

By a messenger dispatched by Mr. George Galphin, a principal agent for 
Indian affairs and a trader high in the confidence both of the colonists and of 
the savages, to ascert lin from the chiefs of the Lower Creeks whether they 
were inclined to peace or war, and to demand an explanation of the recent 
outrages, answer was returned that the incursion was unauthorized and that 
the disposition of the Creeks toward the inhabitants of Georgia was pacific. 

Big Elk, the leader of the Creeks who attacked Sherrall's fort, finding that 
his nation was averse to entering upon a war with the English, invited the 
Cherokees to join him in an invasion of Georgia. This the Cherokees declined 
to do. On his way home that chief and his party killed and scalped three 
white men. 

About the last of March, Head Turkey, ^ a leading mico of the Upper 
Creeks, accompanied by two chiefs and an Indian trader, visited the Lower 

' Called also Mad Turkey. 

54 History of Augusta. 

Creek towns to prevail upon the inhabitants to make peace with the Georgians. 
It was consented that he should wait upon Governor Wright and submit over- 
tures. On his way to Savannah he was murdered in Augusta by Thomas 
Fee, who sought revenge for a kinsman of his who, on the northern frontier, 
had been butchered by the Indians. This lawless act produced a profound 
sensation and stirred the hearts of the savages to wrath and vengeance. Fee 
fled into South Carolina and there sought protection. A reward of ;^ lOO ster- 
ling was offered by Sir James Wright for his apprehension. He was arrested 
and lodged in the prison-house at Ninety-Six. While there detained, an armed 
pa'rty came in the night-time, forced the jail, and set him at liberty. 

Learning that Fee had been apprehended, and that he was in confinement, 
several of the Creek chiefs came to Savannah to witness his execution. Griev- 
ous was their displeasure when they ascertained that he had been forcibly 
released. When assured that Governor Wright's proclamation was still oper- 
ative, that the governor of South Carolina had offered a further reward of ;^200 
for bis arrest, and that there was good reason to believe he would yet be 
brought to punishment for his crime, their wrath was measurably appeased. 
The governor then stated to the chiefs that within four months fifteen of his 
people had, without any provocation, been slain by the Creeks, and that eleven 
of the South Carolinians had, in like manner, been slaughtered on Long Cane. 
He thereupon demanded of them the blood of the Indians who had murdered 
these innocent colonists, and questioned the propriety of their asking that jus- 
tice which they failed to accord. He assured them that the king of England, 
if he made a requisition for it, would send him a military force capable of 
exterminating the whole Indian nation, and that his amicable disposition and 
forbearance were proof positive that he did not desire war. He insisted, how- 
ever, that the blood of his innocent people should no more be shed, and warned 
them that if hereafter the Indians either murdered or robbed his people, he 
would exact atonement for every offense. On the other hand he stood 
pledged to make proper reparation for every injury of which they might justly 
complain. In the future the chiefs promised that their nation should maintain 
peace with the English. When about to depart, the governor ordered Captain 
Samuel Elbert, with his company of grenadiers, to escort them through the 
white settlements that no harm might befall them at the hands of the inhabi- 

During the absence of these chiefs from their nation several war parties 
crossed the frontiers of Georgia and committed theft and murder. In a little 
while commissioners from the Upper Creek towns visited the governor and 
reported that their warriors had killed the leader and two of the men who had 
been guilty of these recent depredations. ^ 

^ McCall's His/ory of Georgia, \o\.\\,\)\). g-12,. Savannah. 1816. 

Silver Bluff. 55 

These difficulties were all happily terminated, and peace was restored at a 
■congress held in Savannah on the 20th of October, 1774. 

It excites no surprise that these incursions of the savages, and the insecu- 
rity of the New Purchase, as it was called, materially retarded for a time the 
tide of immigration which was turning rapidly towards Augusta and these 
desirable lands. Confidence, however, was restored by the covenants and the 
conclusions of the Savannah Congress. Applicants for purchase soon reap- 
peared in pleasing numbers, and those who had been driven from their par- 
tially settled homes returned and resumed their labors with renewed hope of 
safety and success. 

Of all the Indian traders and merchants prominently associated with the 
commerce and development of Augusta, no one was more influential or enter- 
prising than George Galphin. Although his home and his depot of supplies 
•were for many years located at Silver Bluff, on the Carolina side of the Savan- 
nah River, his affiliations were chiefly with Georgia, and his intercourse was 
principally with her people and with the Indian tribes dwelling within and 
upon her borders. His relations with Augusta were constant, and materially 
conduced to enhance the business of the town. By William Bartram. who 
visited him in 1774, he is described as " a gentleman of very distinguished tal- 
ents and great liberality, who possessed the most extensive trade, connections, 
and influence among the South and Southwest Indian tribes." 

Long was Silver Bluff a place of general resort and of much commercial 
importance. Hence were the annual royal presents for the Indians frequently 
distributed. Hither did the Indians, from an extensive territory, repair to 
exchange their peltry and animals for articles of European manufacture. 
From this point did traders depart amply supplied for distant expeditions and 
long sojourns among the red men. Here were storehouses, cattle pens, and 
structures erected for the accommodation of the rude visitors. Barges plied 
regularly between Silver Bluff and Charlestown and Savannah, and the landing 
place was the resort of multitudes of Indian canoes, many of them coming 
from remote points. It was a busy settlement by the swiftly moving waters 
of the tawny- hued Savannah. Over all watched the observant eye of the pro- 
prietor. So just was he in his dealings with the sons of the forest, and so 
extensive were his transactions with them, that he acquired an influence at 
once potent and far-reaching. 

The years roll on, and an increasing population, overleaping stream and 
mountain barrier, fills the hills and valleys of a distant interior. Before its 
inexorable advance the red race retires, and upon its departure the occupation 
of the Indian trader here becomes obsolete. Bereft of its importance this post 
lapses into decay, and the locality becomes the home of departed memories, 
the abode of traditions, and the dweUing-place of the phantoms of things 
that were. The same bold river with restless tide hastening onward to 

56 History of Augusta. 

mingles it waters with the billows of the Atlantic, the same overarching skies^ 
the same potent sun, kindred forests and voices of nature, but all else how 
changed ! 


Bartram's Description of Augusta in 1773 — Convention of 1774 — Protest from the Parish 
of St. Paul — Division of Sentiment — Conduct of Governor Wright — Dr. Lyman Hall — 
Action of St. John's Parish — Progress of the Revolution. 

IN the spring of 1773 the English naturalist and botanist, William Rartram, 
visited Augusta. He has left the following impression of the little town : 
" The village of Augusta is situated on a rich and fertile plain on the Savanna 
River ; the buildings are near its banks, and extend nearly two miles up to 
the cataracts or falls which are formed by the first chain of rocky hills through 
which this famous river forces itself as if impatient to repose on the extensive 
plain before it invades the ocean. When the river is low, which is during the 
summer months, the cataracts are four or five feet in height across the river^ 
and the waters continue rapid and broken, rushing over rocks five miles higher 


" It was now about the middle of the month of May ; vegetation in perfec- 
tion appeared with all her attractive charms, breathing fragrance everywhere ; 
the atmosphere was now animated with the efficient principle of vegetative 
life. . . . Upon the rich, rocky hills at the cataracts of Augusta I first 
observed the perfumed rhododendron ferrugineum, white robed philadelphus 
inodorus, and cerulean malva; but nothing in vegetable nature was more pleas- 
ing than the oderiferous pancratium fluitans, which almost alone possesses the 
little rocky islets which just appear above the water." 

Upon a second visit to this town he writes : " The site of Augusta is per- 
haps the m.ost delightful and eligible of any in Georgia for a city. An exten- 
sive level plain on the banks of a fine navigable river, which has its numerous 
sources in the Cherokee mountains — a fruitful and temperate region — whence, 
after roving and winding about those fertile heights, they meander through a 
fertile, hilly country, and, one after another, combine in forming the Tugilo 
and Broad rivers, and then the famous Savanna River; thence they continue 
near a hundred miles more, following its meanders, and falls over the cataracts 
at Augusta, which cross the river at the upper end of the town. These falls 
are four or five feet perpendicular height in the summer season, when the river 
is low. From these cataracts upwards, this river, with all its tributaries as. 
Broad River, Little River, Tugilo, etc., is one continued rapid, with some short 

Convention of 1774. 57 

intervals of still water, navigable for canoes. But from Augusta downwards 
to the ocean, a distance of near three hundred miles by water, the Savannah 
uninterruptedly flows with a gentle meandering course, and is navigable for 
vessels of twenty or thirty tons burthen to Savannah, where ships of three 
hundred tons lie in a capacious and secure harbor. 

"Augusta, thus seated at the head of navigation, and just below the con- 
flux of several of its most considerable branches, without a competitor, com- 
mands the trade and commerce of vast fruitful regions above it, and from every 
side to a great distance; and I do not hesitate to pronounce, as my opinion, 
that it will very soon become the metropolis of Georgia. "^ 

This prediction was verified by the removal, not many years afterwards, of 
the seat of government from Savannah to Augusta. 

The passage of Lord North's bill for closing the port of Boston and occlud- 
ing the commerce of a town of prime importance in the English dominions in 
America, and subsequent acts of oppression passed in quick succession by the 
British Parliament, despite the protestations of Burke, Barre, and other liberal 
statesmen who bravely raised their warning voices against these measures of 
insult and injustice, produced a profound impression upon the minds of the 
patriots in Georgia, and induced them to give early and decided expression to 
their sentiments of condemnation. 

Responding to a call, issued on the 20th of July, 1774, by Noble W. Jones, 
Archibald Bullock, John Houstoun and John Walton, a number of the free- 
holders and inhabitants of the province assembled a week afterwards at the 
watch-house in Savannah, and, after appointing a committee on resolutions and 
of correspondence, adjourned to convene again on the lOth of August The 
chairman, Mr. John Glen, was requested to communicate with the respective 
districts and parishes composing the province, with a view to securing delegates 
from all of them who should attend at the adjourned convention and thus give 
general sanction to the patriotic resolutions which it was hoped would then 
be adopted. 

Although Governor Wright issued his proclamation declaring the purposed 
assemblage to be "unconstitutional, illegal, and punishable by law," in direct 
disregard of this manifesto, and in opposition to the expressed will of his ex- 
cellency, a general meeting of the inhabitants of the province was held at 
Tondee's tavern, in Savannah, on the lOth of August, 1774. 

The following resolutions, reported by the committee raised for that pur- 
pose at the former convocation, were adopted and given to the public as an 
expression of the sentiments of Georgia with repect to the important questions 
which were then agitating the minds of the American colonists : 

''Resolved, nemine contfadicente, That his majesty's subjects in America 

' Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, etc., etc., pp. 32-35, 314-3' 5- 
London, 1792. 

jg History of Augusta. 

owe the same allegiance, ard are entitled to the same rights, privileges, and 
immunities with their fellow subjects in Great Kritain. 

''Resolved, iieminc contradicenie. That, as protection and allegiance are re- 
ciprocal, and under the British constitution correlative terms, his majesty's 
subjects in Ameiica have a clear and indisputable right, as well from the gen- 
eral laws of mankind as from the ancient and established customs of the land, 
so often recognized, to petition the throne upon every emergency. 

''Resolved, nemine contradicente, That an act of parliament, lately passed 
for blockading the port and harbor cf Eoslon, is contrary to our idea of the 
British constitution, first, for that it in effect deprives good and lawful men of 
the use of their property without judgment of iheir peers, and secondly, for 
that it is in the nature of an ex post facto law, and indiscriminately blends as 
objects of punishment the innocent with the guilty; neither do we conceive 
the same justified upon a principle of necessity, for that numerous instances 
evince that the laws and executive power of Boston have made sufficient pro- 
vision for the punishment of all offenders against persons and property. 

" Resolved, neviine eoittradicente. That the act for abolishing the charter of 
Massachusetts Bay tends to the subversion of American rights; for, besides 
those general liberties, the original settlers brought over with them as their 
birthright particular immunities granted by such Charter, as an inducement and 
means of settling the province ; and we apprehend the said Charter cannot be 
dissolved but by a voluntary surrender of the people, representatively declared. 

"Resolved, nemine contradicente. That we apprehend the Parliament of 
Great Britain hath not, nor ever had, any right to tax his majesty's American 
subjects; for it is evident, beyond contradiction, the constitution admits of no 
taxation without representation ; that they are coeval and inseparable ; and 
every demand for the support of government should be, by requisition, made 
to the several houses of representatives. 

"Resolved, nemine contradicente. That it is contrary to natural justice and 
the established law of the land, to transport any person to Great Britain or 
elsewhere to be tried under indictment for a crime committed in any of the 
colonies, as the party prosecuted would thereby be deprived of the privilege 
of trial by his peers from the vicinage, the injured perhaps prevented from 
legal reparation, and both lose the full benefit of their witnesses. 

" Resolved, netnine contradicente, That we concur with our sister colonies 
in every constitutional measure to obtain redress of American grievances, and 
will, by every lawful means in our power, maintain those inestimable blessings 
for which we are indebted to God and the constitution of our country — a con- 
stitution founded upon reason and justice and the indelible rights of mankind. 

" Resolved, nemine contradicente. That the committee appointed by the 
meeting of the inhabitants of this province on Wednesday, the 27th of July 
last, together with the deputies who have appeared here on this day from the 

Protest Against the Convention. 59 

■dififerent parishes, bs a general ominittee to act, a;id that any eleven or more 
•of them shall have full p^vver to correspond with the committees of the several 
Provinces upon the continent; and that copies of these resolutions, as well as 
-of all other proceedings, be transmitted without delay to the Committees of Cor- 
respondence in the respective Provinces." 

A committee, consisting of William Ewen, William Young. Joseph Clay, 
John Houstoun, Noble Wimberley Jones, Edward Telfair, John Smith, Samuel 
Farley, and Andrew Elton Wells, was appointed to solicit, receive, and for- 
ward subscriptions and supplies for the suffering poor in Boston. Within a 
short time five hundred and seventy-nine barrels of rice were contributed and 
shipped to that town. 

While this meeting was most respectably constituted, and while its deliber- 
.ations and conclusions were harmonious, it must not ]be supposed that there 
was no division of sentiment in Georgia upon the p )litical questions of the d ly. 
On the contrary, the royal party was strong and active, and it required no lit- 
tle effort on the part of the "Liberty Boys " to acquire the mastery and place the 
province fairly within the lists of the Revolutionists. The line of demarcation 
was sometimes so sharply drawn that father was arrayed against son, and brother 
against brother. Thus, not to multiply instances, the Hon. James Habersham 
and Colonel Noble Jones maintained their allegiance to the crowa, while their 
sons were amongst the foremost champions of the rights of the colony. The 
brothers Telfair were divided in sentiment upon the momentous issues then 
involved. The cruel effects of such disagreements, experienced during the pro- 
gress of the Revolution, were projected, not infrequently, even be/ond the final 
establishment of the republic. No cause of quarrel can be more dangerous 
than that involving a conflict of opinion touching the relative rights of the 
governing and the governed. No calamities are so appalling as those engen- 
dered in a strife between peoples of the same race, and claiming privileges em- 
anating from the same fountain head. Polybius was right when he said that 
such dissensions were to be dreaded much more than wars waged in a foreign 
country, or against a common enemy. 

The only paper published in the colony at this time was the Georgia Ga:;- 
ette. It was under the control of Governor Wright, and its official utterances 
were in support of the royal cause. In its issue of Wednesday, September 7. 
1774,1 appeared a card signed by James Habersham, Lachlan McGiUivray, 
Josiah Tattnall, James Hume, Anthony Stokes, Edward Langworthy, Henry 
Yonge, Robert Bolton, Noble Jones, David iVIontaigut and some ninety-three 
•others, inhabitants and freeholders chiefly of the tov/n and district of Savannah, 
•criticising the meeting of the 1 0th of August, and protesting that the resolu- 
tions then adopted should not be accepted as reflecting the sentiments of the 
people of Georgia. "The important meeting of the lOth of August in the de- 

' No. 570. 

6o History of Augusta. 

fense of the constitutional rights and liberties of the American subjects," these 
gentlemen affirmed, " was held at a tavern, with the doors shut for a consider- 
able time ; and it is said twenty-six persons answered for the whole province, 
and undertook to bind them by resolutions; and when several gentlemen at- 
tempted to go in, the tavern-keeper, who stood at the door with a list in his 
hand, refused them admittance because their names were not mentioned in that 
list. Such was the conduct of these pretended advocates for the liberties of 
America. Several of the inhabitants of St. Paul and St. George, two of the 
most populous parishes of the province, had transmitted their written dissents 
to any resolutions, and there were gentlemen ready to present these dissents, 
had not the door been shut for a considerable time and admittance refused. 
And it is conceived the shutting of the door, and refusing admittance to any 
but resolutioners, was calculated to prevent the rest of the inhabitants from giv- 
ing their dissent to measures that were intended to operate as the unanimous 
sense of the Province. Upon the whole, the world will judge whether the 
meeting of the loth of August, held by a few persons in a tavern, with doors 
shut, can with any appearance of truth ©r decency, be called a general meeting 
of the inhabitants of Georgia." Such is the other side of the story as told by a 
pen dipped in the king's ink. 

The following is the protest from certain inhabitants of the parish of St. Paul. 
It will be found in number 575 of TJie Georgia Gazette, under date of Wednes- 
day, October 12. 1774: 

" Georgia, Parish of St. Paul. — We, inhabitants of the town and district 
of Augusta, think it incumbent upon us in this public manner to declare 
our dissent from, and disapprobation of certain resolutions published in this 
Gazette, entered into on Wednesday, the loth day of August, as it is there 
said, at a general meeting of the inhabitants of this province, though we are 
credibly informed that the said meeting, so far from being general, was not even 
numerous, and that one of our representatives, whom we had provided with a 
protest, and our reasons-at-large why we could not agree to any resolutions 
expressive of disaffection or disrespect to our most gracious king, or the Lords 
and Commons of Great Britain, thought it improper to deliver said protest to 
a few people, met privately in a tavern, having also been told by some gentle- 
men coming from the place of meeting, that they had been refused admittance. 
"We entirely dissent from the aforesaid resolutions. First, because we ap- 
prehend that this mode of assembly, and entering into resolutions that arraign 
the conduct of the king and parliament is illegal, and tends only to alienate 
the affection, and forfeit the favor and protection of a most gracious sovereign, 
and to draw upon this colony the displeasure of the Lords and Commons of 
Great Britain. Secondly, because, if we have real grievances to complain of,, 
the only legal and constitutional method of seeking redress is, we apprehend, 
to instruct our representatives in Assembly to move for and promote a decent 

Division of Sentiment. 6i 

and proper application to his majesty and the Parliament for relief. Thirdly, 
because, if we should be silent upon this occasion, our silence would be con- 
strued into consent, and a partial act of, and resolutions entered into by, some 
individuals might be considered as the general sense of the province. 

" "We therefore, in duty to our king, our country, and ourselves, do hereby 
solemnly protest against the proceedings of the aforesaid meeting, and declare 
our entire dissent from the resolutions entered into at the same. 

"As witness our hands at Augusta this 30th day of August, 1 774." Signed 
by Robert Mackay, Andrew Johnston, Edward Barnard, William Goodgion, 
James Gordon, James Grierson, John Daniel Hammerer, Francis Begbie, 
Thomas Graham, Francis Pringle, Donald Cameron, John Frances, Daniel 
Waiscoat, George Barnard, Charles Walker, John Pratt, William Matthews, 
Robert Bonner, Benjamin Webster, Martin Weatherford, Abraham Spear, John 
Lamar, John Francis Williams, Peter Paris, John Bacon, Sherwood Bugg, Will- 
iam Bugg, Daniel Wolecon, William Johnson, Charles Clark, Moody Butt,^ 
Samuel Clark, John Howell, John Dooly, Thomas Grierson, Robert Grierson, 
Spencer Kelly and Joseph Leslie. 

In the same number of the Gazette appear two more numerously signed 
protests from the parish of St. Paul, one from the " Inhabitants of the town 
and township of Wrightsborough and places adjacent," and the other from the 
" Inhabitants of the Kyoka and Broad River settlements." 

In the absence of accurate information, we are inclined to believe that, at 
the inception of these disagreements between the mother country and her 
American colonies, the citizens of the parish of St. Paul, while divided in sen- 
timent upon the grave questions then agitating the public mind, were largely 
in sympathy with the crown, and averse to allying themselves with the Revo- 
lutionists. As a rule the office holders, the men of means, and the older in- 
habitants hesitated, by word or act, to do anything which would tend to anger 
the king and Parliament. The young men and the ardent, on the contrary, 
were inclined to be precipitate, and refrained not from enlisting themselves 
under the banner of the " Sons of Liberty." 

It excites no wonder that many of the wealthiest and most influential citi- 
zens of Georgia should have tenaciously clung to the fortunes of the crown 
and sincerely deprecated all idea of a separation from the mother country. Of 
all the American colonies this province had subsisted most generously upon 
royal bounty, and had been the recipient of favors far beyond those extended 
to sister plantations. 

To these protests from the inhabitants of Saint Paul, the committee of 
Saint John's parish, through Chairman Lyman Hall, on the 17th of October, 
1774, submitted an elaborate rejoinder.^ This evoked from a signer of the Au- 
gusta protest the following humorous retort, addressed to the printer of the 

• See the Georgia Gazette, No. 577, under date October 26, 1774. 

€2 History of Augusta. 

Georgia Gazette :^ " Give me leave to tell you a story. A gentleman, whom 
for the present we shall call Paul, had a very splenetic brother named John 
who was very apt to take fire whenever Paul took upon himself, in a friendly 
way, to remonstrate against his conduct. It happened once that, while they 
were smoking their pipes by the fire, Paul took occasion calmly to censure 
some part of John's behavior, which he thought reprehensible, at which, 
the choleric gentleman, being touched in his tender part, immediately broke 
out and abused his well meaning brother (in much the same strain as I seethe 
St. John's committee have abused their well-meaning brethren in our parish 
for daring to think differently from themselve.s) with a most impetuous torrent 
of groundless and uncharitable rancor; to which, after John had fully vented 
his spleen, and taken a little breath, Paul made no answer, but blew a mouth- 
ful of smoke, which he had very deliberately collected for the purpose, full in 
John's face, and, upon John's vehemently asking him the meaning of such be- 
havior, replied, with great indifference, " Wind for wind, John." 

Then came the answer of Miso Tyrannus,' presenting " smoke for smoke ;" 
and so the battle of words was waged in the columns of the only journal pub- 
lished in the colony. Some of these communications were caustic, and tended 
to widen and intensify the differences then existent in the public mind with 
regard to the political situation. 

The two parties in the province were already counting noses, and marshal- 
ing their forces for the impending contest. Violent altercations were not in- 
frequent, and the animosity existing between the professed adherents to the 
crown and the avowed opponents to longer submission to British rule, was 
every day becoming more pronounced. With that political sagacity which 
characterized him, Governor Wright foresaw the danger and confessed the ina- 
bility of the colonial government to sustain itself In the face of the gathering 
storm. He frankly admitted to the home authorities that it required the in- 
terposition of a power greater than that possessed by the executive, to rectify 
alleged abuses, remedy existing evils, repress present lawlessness, and subdue 
the flame of independence which was each year burning more fiercely in the 
province. In the convention of the loth of August, the expediency of send- 
ing six deputies to the proposed general Congress of the American colonies 
was discussed. The suggestion, however, did not receive the sanction of that 
assemblage, and so Georgia was not represented in that congress. 

Mortified at the apathy displayed, and the lack of prompt action on the 
part of the other parishes, the inhabitants of St. John's parish, with surprising 
unanimity, resolved independently to " prosecute their claims to an equality 
with the Confederated colonies." This parish then possessed nearly one-third 
of the aggregate wealth of Georgia, and its citizens were remarkable for their 

' See the Georgia Gazette, No. 579, under date November 9, 1774. 

''The Georgia Gazette, No. 582, under date Wednesday, November 30, 1774. 

Dr. Lyman Hall. 


thrift, courage, honesty and determination. Having adopted certain resohi- 
tions by which they obligated themselves to hold no commerce with Savan- 
nah, or other places, excepc under the supervision of a committee, and then 
only with a view to procuring the necessaries of life, and having avowed their 
entire sympathy with all the articles and declarations promulgated by the gen- 
eral Congress, the inhabitants of St. John's parish elected Dr. Lyman Hall to 
represent them in the Continental Congress. This appointment occurred on 
the 2ist of March, and no more suitable selection could have been made. 
Among the prominent citizens of the parish none occupied a position superior 
to that accorded to Dr. Hall. A native of Connecticut, he had long been 
identified with the region, and was a member of the Midway congregation. 
Owning and cultivating a rice plantation on the Savannah and Darien road, 
only a few miles from Midway meeting-house, he resided in Sunbury and was 
the leading physician in that community. When departing for the continental 
Congress he carried with him, as a present from his constituents to the suffer- 
ing republicans in Massachusetts, one hundred and sixty barrels of rice and 
fifty pounds sterling. On the 13th of May, this gentleman, who had been 
largely instrumental in persuading the parish of St. John to this independent 
course, presented his credentials in Philadelphia and was unanimously ad- 
mitted to a seat in Congress, " as a delegate from the parish of St. John, in the 
Colony of Georgia, subject to such regulations as the Congress should deter- 
mine relative to his voting." Until Georgia was fully represented. Dr. Hall 
declined to vote upon questions which were to be decided by a vote of colon- 
ies. He, however, participated in the debates, recorded his opinions in all 
cases where an expression of sentiment by colonies was not required, and de- 
clared his earnest conviction " that the example which had been shown by the 
parish which he represented would be speedily followed, and that the repre- 
sentation of Georgia vv^ould soon be complete." 

The patriotic spirit of its inhabitants and this independent action of St 
John's parish in advance of the other parishes of Georgia were afterwards 
acknowledged when all the parishes were in accord in the revolutionary move- 
ment. As a tribute of praise and in token of general admiration, by special 
act of the Legislature the name of Liberty county was conferred upon the con- 
solidated parishes of St. John, St. Andrew, and St. James. Sir James Wright 
was not far from the mark when he located the head of the rebellion in St. 
John's parish, and advised the Earl of Dartmouth that the rebel measures there 
inaugurated were to be mainly referred to the influence of the " descendants of 
New England people of the Puritan Independent sect." who, retaining "a 
strong tincture of republican or Oliverian principles, have entered into an 
agreement among themselves to adopt both the resolutions and the association 
of the Continental Congress." On the altars erected within the Midway dis- 
trict were the fires of resistance to the dominion of England kindled in bold- 

^4 History of Augusta. 

«st relief; and Lyman Hall, of all the dwellers there, by his counsel, exhorta- 
tions, and determined spirit, added stoutest fuel to the flames. Between the 
immis^rants from Dorchester and the distressed Bostonians existed not only 
the ties of a common lineage, but also sympathies born of the same religious, 
moral, social and political education. Hence we derive an explanation why 
the Midway settlement avowed, at such an early stage and so emphatically, 
entire sympathy with the revolutionists. The Puritan element, cherishing and 
proclaiming intolerance of the established church and of the divine right of 
kings, impatient of restraint, accustomed to independent thought and action, 
and without associations which encouraged tender memories of, and love for 
the mother country, asserted its hatreds, its affiliations and its hopes with no 
uncertain utterance, and appears to have controlled the action of the entire 

Since its settlement Georgia had received, by grant of Parliament, nearly 
;{J^200,000, in addition to generous bounties lavished in aid of silk culture and 
various agricultural products. This fact weighed with no little force upon the 
minds of many, and Governor Wright sought every opportunity to inculcate 
gratitude towards a sovereign whose paternal care had been so kindly mani- 

Other colonies had charters upon which to base some claims for redress. 
Georgia had none. Upon the surrender by the trustees of the charter granted 
to them by King George the Second, all chartered privileges became extinct. 
Upon its erection into a royal province, the commission of the governor, and 
the instructions of his majesty communicated through the Lords of Trade and 
Plantations and the Privy Council, constituted the supreme measure of privi- 
lege and the rules of government 

For fourteen years had Sir James Wright presided over the colony with 
impartiality, wisdom and firmness. Through his zeal and watchfulness the 
province had been delivered from the horrors of Indian warfare, and guided 
into the paths of peace and plenty. By his negotiations millions of acres had 
been added to the public domain. Diligent in the discharge of his official du- 
ties, firm in his resolves, just in the exercise of his powers, loyal in his opin- 
ions, courteous in his manners, thrifty in the conduct of his private affairs, and 
exhibiting the operations of a vigorous and well-balanced judgment, he secured 
the respect and affection of his people. Although differing from many of the 
inhabitants upon the political questions which were now dividing the public 
mind, he never suffered himself to be betrayed into acts of violence or revenge. 
He preferred to counsel, to enlighten, to exhort. Georgia was prosperous, 
and her development, year by year, was marked. Her position therefore was 
peculiar, and it excites no surprise that at the outset there should have been a 
division of sentiment upon the momentous political issues presented for her 
consideration. The period of doubt, however, was short in its duration. Be- 

Revolutionary Movements in Savannah. 65 

fore Jefferson framed his immortal declaration of independence, Georgia cast 
her lot with her sister American colonies and, through her delegates, was par- 
ticipating in the adoption of those measures which brought about the War of 
the Revolution. Of all the English provinces in America Georgia had least 
cause to take arms against the mother country. 


Revolutionary Movements in Savannah — Thomas Brown Tarred and Feathered in Au- 
gusta- -Provincial Congress of July 4, 1775 — Article of Association — Organization of the Mili- 
tia and of the Courts— Independence of Georgia Proclaimed— Military Operations. 

FORWARDED by post-riders, traveling night and day, came the news of 
the affairs at Lexington and Concord. Reaching Savannah on the even- 
ing of the loth of May, the report of this shock of arms created the profound- 
est excitement. Gage's order, promulgated on that epochal occasion by the 
haughty lips of Major Pitcairn — "Disperse ye villains! ye rebels disperse!"— - 
was answered by defiant shouts from the granite hills of New England to the 
echoing Savannahs of the South. The blood of yeomen shed on Lexington 
green cemented the union of the colonies. The thunders of the 19th of April 
awoke the Georgia parishes from their lethargy, incited to prompt action, and 
turned the popular tide in favor of resistance to Parliamentary rule. 

At a late hour on the night of the i ith of May, a party, under the leader- 
ship of Dr. Noble W. Jones, Joseph Habersham, Edward Telfair, William Gib- 
bons, Joseph Clay and John Milledge, broke open the magazine in Savannah, 
and removed therefrom some six hundred pounds of gunpowder. The tradi- 
tion lives, and is generally credited, that some of the powder, thus obtained, 
was forwarded to Cambridge, Mass., and was actually expended by the patriots 
in the memorable battle of Bunker Hill. 

On the 2 1st of June a call, signed by Noble W. Jones, Archibald Bullock, 
John Houstoun and George Walton was published, requesting the inhabitants 
of the town and district of Savannah to meet at the liberty pole for the pur- 
pose of selecting a committee to bring about a union of Georgia with the other 
colonies in the effort to achieve national independence. The convocation 
occurred at the indicated tirhe and place, and a Council of Safety, consisting of 
William Ewen, president, William LeConte, Joseph Clay, Basil Cooper. Sam- 
uel Elbert, William Young, Elisha Butler, Edward Telfair, John Glenn, George 
Houstoun, George Walton, Joseph Habersham, Francis H. Harris, John Smith 
and John Morell, members, and Seth John Cuthbert, secretary, was appointed 

66 History of Augusta. 

with instructions to maintain an active correspondence with the Continental 
Congress, with the Councils of Safety in other provinces, and with the com- 
mittees nominated in the other parishes in Georgia. One of the resolutions 
adopted at this meeting of the 22d of June provided that Georgia would not 
afford protection to, or become an asylum for, any person who, from his con- 
duct might be properly considered inimical to the common cause of American 
liberty, or who should have drawn upon himself the disapprobation or censure 
of any of the other colonies. 

In disregard of the purport of this resolution, openly proclaiming his alle- 
giance to the Crown, and actively opposing the operations of the Council of 
Safet}' in the parish of St. Paul, Thomas Brown, whom Sir James Wright calls 
^'a young gentleman of Augusta," attracted the notice and encountered the 
enmity of the "Liberty Boys" of that town. Refusing to hearken to their 
warnings, and mend his ways, he was arrested by a mob of Revolutionists, was 
tarred and feathered, hoisted into a cart illuniinafed for the occasion, was pa- 
raded for hours through the principal streets, and was finally forced to seek 
protection in South Carolina.^ Smarting under these indignities, he subse- 

1 The Georgia Gazette furnishes the tbllowing account of the affair : " This day a respect- 
able body of the Sons of Liberty marched from this place (Augusta), to New Richmond, in 
South Carolina, in order to pay a visit to Thomas Brown and William Thompson, esqs, two 
young gentlemen, lately from England, for their having publicly and otherwise expressed 
themselves enemies to the measures now adopted for the support of American liberty, and 
signing an association to that effect, besides their using their utmost endeavors to inflame the 
minds of the people, and to persuade them to associate and be of their opinion. But upon their 
arrival they found the said Thompson, like a traitor, had run away ; and the said Thomas 
Browne, being requested in civil terms to come to Augusta to try to clear himself of such accu- 
sations, daringly repeated that he was not, nor would he be answerable to them, or any other 
of them, for his conduct ; whereupon they politely escorted him into Augusta, where they pre- 
sented him with a genteel and fashionable suit of tar and feathers, and afterwards had him ex- 
hibited in a cart from the head of Augusta to Mr. Weatherford's, where out of humanity they 
had him taken care of for that night ; and en the next morning he, the said Thomas Browne, 
having publiclvxleclared upon his honor, and consented voluntarily to swear that he repented 
for his past conduct, and that he would, for the future, at the hazard of his life and fortune, 
protect and su])port tiie rights and liberties of America, and saying that the said Thompson 
had misled him, and that therefore he would use his utmost endeavors to have his name taken 
from the association he had signed as aforesaid ; and further, that he would do all in his power 
to discountenance the proceedings of a set of men in the Ninety-Sixth District in South Caro- 
lina, called Fletchell's Party ; upon which, the said Browne was then discharged, and compli- 
mented with a horse and chair to ride home. But the said Thomas Browne, that time having 
publicly forfeited his honor and violated his oath voluntarily taken as aforesaid, is therefore not 
to be considered for the future in the light of a gentleman, and they, the said Thomas Browne 
and William Thompson are hereby publisiied as persons inimical to the rights and liberties of 
America ; and it is hoped all good men will treat them accordingly. 

" N. B. The said Thomas Browne is now a little remarkable ; he wears his hair very short, 
and a handkerchief tiefl around his head, in order that his intellects by the cold weather may 
not be affected." 

In August, 1775. William Davis, for publicly declaring himself a foe to the Sons of Lib- 

Provincial Congress of 1775. 57 

quently U ok service with the king's forces, became an active officer, and, with 
hatred in liis heart, returned to Augusta and wreaked vengeance upon the in- 
habitants of the town where he had sufifered such outrage and humiHation. 

Memorable in the poHtical annals of the colony were the proceedings of 
the Provi.icial Congress which assembled at Savannah on the 4th of July, 
1775. Every parish was represented, and the delegates were fair exponents of 
the intelligence, the dominant hopes, and the material interests of the commu- 
nities from which they respectively came. This was Georgia's first secession 
convention. It placed the province in active sympathy and confederated alli- 
ance with the other twelve American colonies, practically annulled within her 
limits the operation of the objectionable acts of Parliament, questioned the 
supremacy of the realm, and inaugurated measures for the accomplishment of 
the independence of the plantation and its erection into the dignity of a State. 

The following members from the parish of St. Paul were present and par- 
ticipated in its deliberatiens: John Walton, Andrew Burns. Robert Rae. James 
Rae, Andrew Moore, Andrew Hurney, and Leonard Marbury. Joseph Mad- 
dock was also a delegate, but he declined to take his seat. 

Proclaiming in terms most emphatic their conception of the natural and 
constitutional rights which appertained to them as citizens of Georgia and sub- 
jects of Great Britain ; testifying their determined opposition to the late objec- 
tionable acts of Parliament, their admiration of the conduct of New England, 
and their resolution to share the fortunes of their sister colonies; manifesting 
their willingness to observe all orders of the Continental Congress, indicating 
their loyalty to America, and suggesting such measures as they deemed ap- 
propriate in the present perplexed condition of public affairs, the members of 
Congress 'speaking for themselves, their constituents, and for the entire prov- 
ince of Georgia, on the loth of July, 1775, passed the following preamble and 
resolutions : 

" Whereas, By the unrelenting fury of a despotic ministry, with a view to 
enforce the most oppressive acts of a venal and corrupted Parliament, an army 
of mercenaries, under an unfeeling commander, have actually begun a civil 
war in America; and whereas, the apparent iniquity and cruelty of these ob- 
structive measures have, however, had this good effect, to unite men of all 
ranks in the common cause ; and, whereas, to consult on means of safety and 
the method of obtaining redress the good people of this Province of Georgia 
have thought proper to appoint a Provincial Congress; the delegates met at 
the said Congress, now assembled from every part of the province, besides 

erty, was drummed three times round the Liherty Tree in Augusta, and published as a person 
"inimical to the rights and liberties of America." 

The Liberty Boys were then "carrying things with a high hand," and would brook no op- 
position. The flames of a revolution, once thoroughly kindled, are resistless in their onward 
sweep, attracting to their tiery emhrace'not only all that stands within the direct line of their 
passage, but whatever trembles on the verge of the heated vorte.x. 

68 History of Augusta. 

adopting the resolutions of the late Continental Congress, find it prudent to 
enter into such other resolutions as may best express their own sense and the 
sense of their constituents on the present unhappy situation of things, and 
therefore think fit and necessary to resolve as follows, viz.: 

*^ Resolved, That we were born free, have all the feelings of men, and are 
entitled to all the natural rights of mankind. 

"Resolved, That by birth or incorporation we are all Britons, and whatever 
Britons may claim as their birthright, is also ours. 

''Resolved, That in the British Empire, to which we belong, the constitution 
is superior to every man or set of men whatever, and that it is a crime of the 
deepest dye in any instance to impair, or take it away, or deprive the meanest 
subject of its benefits. 

" Resolved, That that part of the American continent which we inhabit was 
originally granted by the crown, and the charter from Charles the Second ex- 
pressly makes its constitutional dependence upon the crown only. 

''Resolved, That those who would now subject all America, or this province 
to dependency upon the crown and Parliament, are guilty of a vtry dangerous 
innovation, which in time will appear as injurious to the crown as it is incon- 
sistent witii the liberty of -the American subject. 

"Resolved, That by the law of nature and the British constitution no man 
can be legally deprived of his property without his consent, given by himself 
or his representatives. 

"Resolved, That the acts of the British Parliament for raising a perpetual 
revenue on the Americans by laying a tax on them without their consent and 
contrary to their protestations, are diametrically opposite to every idea of prop- 
erty, to the spirit of the constitution, and at one stroke deprive this vast con- 
tinent of all liberty and property, and, as such, must be detested by every well- 
wisher to Great Britain and America. 

"Resolved, That the subsequent laws, made with a view to enforce tliese 
acts, viz.: the Boston Port Bill, the Alteration of their Charter, the Act to carry 
beyond sea for Trial, and (what refines upon every species of cruelty) the Fish- 
ery Bill, are of such a complexion that we can say nothing about them for want 
of words to express our abhorrence and detestation. 

"Resolved, That the loyalty, patience, and prudence of the inhabitants of 
New England under their unparalleled pressures having been construed into 
timidity and a dread of regular troops, a civil war in support of acts extremely 
oppressive in themselves hath actually been begun, and there is too much 
reason to believe that plans have been in agitation big with everything horri- 
ble to other Provinces ; plans as rash, barbarous and destructive as the cause 
which they were intended to serve. 

"Resolved, That in these times of extreme danger, our assembly not being 
permitted to sit, we must either have been a people without all thought or 

Resolutions Passed. 69 

counsel, or have assembled as we now are in Provincial Congress to consult 
upon measures which, under God, may prove the means of a perpetual union 
with the Mother Country, and tend to the honor, freedom, and safety of both. 

''Resolved, That this Province bears all true allegiance to our own rightful 
Sovereign, King George the Third, and always will and ought to bear it agree- 
able to the constitution of Great Britain, by virtue of which only the King is 
now our Sovereign, and which equally binds Majesty and subjects. 

''Resolved, That we are truly sensible how much our safety and happiness 
depend on a constitutional connection with Great Britain, and that nothing but 
the being deprived of the privileges and natural rights of Britons could ever 
make the thought of a separation otherwise than intolerable. 

"Resolved, That in case his Majesty or his successors shall at any time 
hereafter make any requisition on the good people of this Province by his rep- 
resentative, it will be just and right that such sums should be granted as the na- 
ture of the service may require, and the ability and situation of this Province 
will admit of. 

"Resolved, That this Province join with all the Provinces in America now 
met by Delegates in Continental Congress, and that John Houstoun and Archi- 
bald Bullock, esquires, the Rev. Dr. Zubly, Lyman Hall, and Noble Wymberly 
Jones, esqs., be the delegates from this Province, and that any three constitute 
a quorum for that purpose. 

"Resolved, That a Committee be appointed whose duty it shall be to see 
that the resolutions of the Continental Congress and Provincial Congress be 
duly observed, and that every person who shall act in opposition thereto have 
his name transmitted to the Continental Congress, and that his misdeeds be 
published in every American paper. 

"Resolved, That with all such persons, except the indispensable duties we 
owe to all mankind (bad men and enemies not excepted) we will have no deal- 
ings nor connection; and we extend this our resolution also to all such per- 
sons or corporations in Great Britain who have shown themselves enemies to 

" Resolved, That we will do what in us lies to preserve and promote the 
peace and good order of this Province ; and should any person become an in- 
nocent sufferer on account of these grievances, we will do whatever we justly 
may lor his relief and assistance. 

"Resolved, That in such calamitous times as the present, every possible in- 
dulgence ought to be given to honest debtors ; that it would be ungenerous 
(unless tliere appear intention of fraud) in any gentleman of the law to sue 
without previous notice ; and any person so sued may apply to the Committee ; 
and should it appear to them that the creditor is in no danger of losing his 
money, or that he can be properly secured, they shall interpose their friendly 
offices to persuade him to drop the prosecution ; and every prosecutor that 

70 History of Augusta. 

shall appear to take advantage of the confusion of the times to distress his 
debtor, ought to be publicly pointed out and held in abhorrence. 

''Resolved, That notwithstanding in a late Bill for restraining the trade of 
several Provinces in America, this Province is excepted, we declare that we 
look upon this exception rather as an insult than a favor ; as being meant to 
break the union of the Provinces, and as being grounded on the supposition 
that the inhabitants of such excepted Province can be base enough to turn the 
oppression of America into a mean advantage."^ 

Having memorialized the General Congress, the governor, the citizens of 
Georgia, and the king; having framed a bill of rights and proclaimed the priv- 
ileges for which they were resolved to contend ; having introduced Georgia 
into the fold of the confederated provinces; having enlarged the powers and 
strengthened the hands of the Council of Safety, and appointed committees of 
conespondence and of intelligence; having provided the wa}'s and means for 
future sessions of congress; and, above all, having demonstrated the inability 
of the king's servants to control the province in the present crisis, this assem- 
bly — perhaps the most important ever convened in Georgia — adjourned on the 
17th of July, subject to further call up to the 20th of August. 

On the 13th of July the Provincial Congress unanimously adopted this 
article of association : 

"Georgia. Being persuaded that the salvation of the rights and liberties 
of America depend, under God, on the firm union of the inhabitants in its vig- 
orous prosecution of the measures necessary for its safety, and convinced of the 
necessity of preventing the anarchy and confusion which attend the dissolution 
0} the powers of government, we, the freemen, freeholders^ and inhabitants of 
the Province of Georgia, being greatly alarmed at the avowed design of the 
Ministry to raise a revenue in America, and shocked by the bloody scene now 
acting in the Massachusetts Bay, do, in the most solemn manner, resolve never 
to become slaves ; and do associate, under all the ties of religion, and honor, 
and love to our country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution what- 
ever may be recommended by the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by 
our Provincial Convention, appointed for preserving our constitution and op- 
posing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British 
Parliament, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America, on con- 
stitutional principles, which we most ardently desire, can be obtained ; and 
that we will, in all things, follow the advice of our general committee appointed, 
respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of peace and good order, 
and the safety of individuals and private property." 

John Smith, Basil Cowper, George Houstcjun, Joseph Clay, William Young, 
Philip Box, Seth John Cuthbert, William O'Bryan, George Walton, William 
LeConte, William Gibbons, Samuel Elbert, Edward Telfair and Oliver Bowen 

' See Georgia Gazette of July 12, 1775, No. 614. 

Article of Association. . 71 

were designated as a committee " to present this association to all the inhabi- 
tants of the Town and District of Savannah to be signed." Expedition was en- 
joined, and these gentlemen were requested to furnish the General Committee 
with the names of all who declined to affix their signatures. 

The article of association adopted by the Provincial Congress was indus- 
triously circulated throughout the province, and an opportunity was afforded 
to all citizens to sign it. Comparatively few there were who declined to affix 
their signatures. The revolutionists were in earnest, and it required no little 
nerve to resist their appeals, gainsay their arguments, or incur their displeasure. 
It was deemed essential to the success of the liberty cause that no officer 
should be retained in commission who refused or neglected to sign that article 
of association. Accordingly the militia was thoroughly purged of the loyalist 
element. In the organization of the battalion, raised under authority of the 
Continental Congress at the common charge of the united provinces for the 
protection of Georgia, of which Lachlan Mcintosh was colonel, Samuel Elbert, 
lieutenant-colonel, and Joseph Habersham, major, Augusta was credited with 
one company officered by Chesley Bostick as captain, and John Martin as first 

The last branch of the government over which the Provincial Congress as- 
sumed control, was the judicial. All courts of law were taken under its super- 
vision, and a committee of fifteen was appointed to hold quarterly sessions in 
Savannah as a Court of Appeals " to hear and determine between the parties, 
and sanction or prohibit processes according to the circumstances of the case." 
The erection of Georgia into a body politic, apart from and opposed to the 
government hitherto existing by authority of the crown, was now accomplished. 
The president of the Council of Safety was virtually the governor of this quasi- 
commonwealth. Such laws as were requisite for the preservation of the public 
peace, the maintenance of order, and the defrayal of current expenses, were 
promulgated as resolutions by the Provincial Congress and by the Council' of 
Safety. Courts competent for the assertion of rights and the redress of wrongs 
were in active operation. A military force had been organized for the com 
mon defense, A union with the other American colonies had been perfected. 
A royal governor, it is true, still resided in Savannah, but he was little else than 
a prisoner with a barren sceptre in his grasp. Members of the king's council 
there were, but their advice was neither asked nor allowed in the conduct of 
affairs. Other officers, holding warrant from the crown, were idle spectators 
of events. Within the entire circuit of the province there was none to enforce 
the will of his majesty. Well might Governor Wright exclaim in behalf of 
himself and the other servants of the king in Georgia, *' we shall not remain 
much longer in this distressful condition." 

From this period until the erection of Georgia into a State upon the conclu- 
sion of the Revolutionary War, there occurred but little legislation in the proper 

72 History of Augusta. 

acceptation of that term. The general assemblies, which convened at various 
times during Governor Wright's administration, had given to the statute book 
no fewer than one hundred and forty-eight acts and resolutions, covering a 
wide range of subjects, and providing for the growing wants of a province 
which had already assumed the proportions of an important, populous, and 
profitable dependency. These laws, where they did not militate against the 
newly erected government and the changed condition of affairs, were allowed 
to remain in active operation. 

The arrest by Major Joseph Habersham, and a party selected by himself, of 
his excellency Sir James Wright, the flight of the royal governor, the formation 
of a temporary constitution, the selection of the Hon. Archibald Bulloch as the 
first Republican president of Georgia, the first passage at arms at Savannah 
wherein Colonel Mcintosh frustrated the attempt of Captain Barclay and Major 
Grant to capture the rice-laden vessels lying at anchor in the Savannah River^ 
the gallant demonstration against the enemy upon Tybee Island, the futile effort 
of Captain Baker to surprise Wright's Fort on the River St. Mary, the promulga- 
tion of the Declaration of Independence in Savannah, the invasion of the Chero- 
kee territory by the column led by Colonel Jack assisted by Captains John 
Twiggs, John Jones, Leonard Marbury, Samuel Alexander and Thomas Harris, 
the adoption of the constitution of 1777, the capture of Fort Mcintosh, Gov- 
ernor Gwinnett's ill conceived project for the subjugation of East Florida, 
Colonel Baker's defeat, the bloody duel between Gwinnett and Mcintosh, Day- 
ton's vain attempt to effect a consolidation of the States of South Carolina and 
Georgia, the disastrous expedition of Governor Houstoun and General Howe 
against East Florida, Colonel Elbert's gallant capture of the Hinchinbrooke, 
Colonel Clark's brave assault upon the enemy's works at Alligator Creek, the 
transfer by the British of the theater of war from the northern to the southern 
provinces, the invasion of Southern Georgia hy Colonels Fuser and Prevost, 
the affair near Midway Meeting- House, the successful defense of Fort Morris 
at Sunbury, and the capture of Savannah by Colonel Campbell, were some of 
the important events which followed in rapid succession. 


Colonel Campbell's Advance Upon, and Capture of Augusta — Republican Operations in 
Upper Georgia — Battle of Kettle Creek — Augusta Evacuated l:)y the King's Forces. 

UPON the fall of Savannah in December, 1778, and the withdrawal of the 
remnant of General Howe's army into South Carolina, the entire coast 
region of Georgia, with the exception of Sunbury, was open to the enemy, 

Col. Campbell's Advance upon Augusta. 73 

who issued very stringent proclamations and exacted tribute most onerous. 
Never was change more sudden or violent wrought in the status of any peo- 
ple. Fort Morris soon surrendered unconditionally to General Prevost, and 
Ebenezer, without a struggle, quickly passed into the possession of the king's 
forces. Southern Georgia was now in a deplorable plight. Unable to support 
themselves amid the destitution, demoralization, and restrictions to which the 
subjugated territory was subjected, many of the inhabitants set out for Carolina, 
where, aided by the charity of strangers, they hoped to subsist until the com- 
ing season afforded an opportunity for planting and harvesting crops in their 
new homes. Others, possessing the means of subsistence, were so hampered 
by royal edicts, and were so preyed upon by foreign and domestic foes, that 
they abandoned the country in quest of peace and security. 

Augusta, alone, of all the rebel posts in Georgia, had not yet submitted to 
the royal arms. It was occupied by a provincial force under Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Williamson, and its reduction was necessary to complete the subjugation 
of Georgia. About the middle of January, 1779, Colonel Campbell was de- 
tached with a column about a thousand strong to capture this town. The 
Savannah River was now the dividing line between the contending armies. 
General Lincoln was at Purrysburg, on the north side of the river, with a force 
of some five hundred continentals and two thousand provincials. The main 
body of the enemy was at Abercora. In Savannah were one thousand Hes- 
sians. At the Two Sisters there was a detachment of six hundred men. Two 
hundred more guarded Zubly's ferry, and at Ebenezer a considerable force 
was stationed.^ So near were the two armies that, in the language of Gen- 
eral Moultrie, writing from Purrysburg, " we hear their drums beat every morn 
from our outposts; nay, hear their sentinels cough." 

Although anxious to inaugurate a movement for the relief of Georgia, the 
American commander found himself too weak to cross the river. His troops 
were in large measure undisciplined, and lacked arms. The North Carolina 
levies, under the command of General Richardson, were discontented and on 
the eve of returning home. From Georgia came no recruits. " Most of the 
inhabitants of that State," reports General Moultrie, " have submitted quietly 
to the British government, and I believe they will remain neutral unless we go 
in with a considerable body so as to insure success." All that General Lincoln 
could do, under the circumstances, was to act upon the defensive, encourage 
reinforcements, and prevent the enemy from crossing over into Carolina. 

Advancing for the capture of Augusta, Colonel Campbell sent forward Col- 
onels Brown and McGirth with four hundred mounted militiamen to make a 
forced march to the jail in Burke county, and there form a junction with Colonel 
Thomas and his party of loyalists. 

' See Letter of General Moultrie to Colonel C. C. Ptnc^ney, 'dated Purrysburg-, Januar\- 16, 



74 History of Augusta. 

Advised of this movement, Colonels John Twiggs and Benjamin and William 
Few quickly concentrated an opposing force of two hundred and fifty mounted 
men. Attacked by Brown and McGirth, they succeeded in repulsing them, 
inflicting a loss of five killed, several wounded, and nine captured. Expecting 
that Brown would speedily be supported by Colonel Campbell, the Americans 
withdrew ; maintaining, however, a close watch upon the enemy. Rallying 
his troops, and being reinforced by a party of royalists from South Carolina 
under the command of two Tory majors, and a detachment led by Major Harry 
Sharp, Brown determined to renew the attack. In the second engagement he 
and McGirth were defeated, sustaining a loss greater than that encountered 
two days before. Among the wounded was the noted Tory leader of the expe- 
dition. In this skirmish Captain Joshua Inman, commanding a troop of Ameri- 
can horse, slew three of the enemy with his own hand. ^ 

General Elbert, who had been ordered by General Lincoln to proceed to 
the upper part of Corolina, crossing the Savannah River came to the assistance 
of Twiggs and the Colonels Few, Together they disputed, but were not strong 
enough to prevent Colonel Campbell's crossing at Brier Creek. Hoping to be 
reinforced by Colonel Andrew Williamson from Carolina, and Colonel Elijah 
Clarke from Wilkes county, they retired slowly, skirmishing with Campbell's 
column as it advanced upon Augusta, Those officers, however, were other- 
wise engaged and could not respond to the expectation. Upon his appearance 
before the town the American forces retreated across the river and yielded Au- 
gusta without a struggle. Tarrying there but a few days, and leaving Colonel 
Brown in command. Colonel Campbell, early in February, marched some thirty 
miles in the direction of Wilkes county, and detached Lieutenant-Colonel Ham- 
ilton, with two hundred mounted infantry, to proceed to the frontiers of Geor- 
gia and there encourage such of the inhabitants as were attached to the British 
government. The disaffected were to be summarily disarmed. Thus, for the 
moment, was Georgia completely in the possession of the king's forces. Overt 
opposition ceased, and it was believed by Colonel Campbell that the popula- 
tion would permanently yield to this enforced submission. Wherever British 
detachments appeared, the severest penalties were meted out to those who 
refused to take the oath of allegiance. For the possessions of such as were 
absent in arms, plunder and the torch were always in store. 

So soon as it was known in Wilkes county that Augusta had passed into 
the possession of the enemy, the inhabitants who were able to remove, hastily 
collecting their household effects and cattle, fled into Carolina. Those who 
remained betook themselves to forts, and associated together in small bands for 
mutual protection. Many, having lodged their wives, children, and servants 
in places of security, assembled under Colonel John Dooly on the Carolina 
shore of the Savannah River about thirty miles above Augusta. McGirth, 

1 McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii, p. 191. Savannah. 1816. 

Military Operations. 75 

-with three hundred loyalists, was occupying a position on Kiokee Creek. Both 
parties were watching the ferries and collecting all boats found on the Savan- 
nah River. Returning to Georgia with a part of his command, Dooly was 
quickly pursued by Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, who pressed him so closely 
that he fired upon his rear as he recrossed the Savannah just below the mouth 
of Broad River. 

Having driven the rebels from that portion of the State, Hamilton en- 
camped with one hundred men on Water's plantation, three miles below Peters- 
burg. Dooly, with like force, was just opposite in South Carolina. There he 
was joined by Colonel Andrew Pickens, who brought with him two hundred 
and fifty men of his regiment. Although the senior in rank, Colonel Dooly 
yielded the command in deference to the fact that Pickens had contributed 
more than two-thirds of the troops constituting this little army. With this 
united force it was resolved to attack Hamilton without delay. Accordingly, 
on the night of the loth of February Pickens and Dooly crossed the Savannah 
at Cowen's ferry, three miles above Hamilton's encampment, and prepared to 
charge the enemy early the next morning. To their surprise and regret they 
found that the British officer, in entire ignorance of the impending danger, had 
departed on an excursion through the country to visit its forts and administer 
oaths of allegiance to such of the inhabitants as he chanced to meet. Conjec- 
turing that Carr's Fort would be the first point visited by the enemy, Captain 
A. Hamilton was directed, with a guide, to proceed rapidly to that point and 
arrange for its defense with such men as he might find there congregated. Pick- 
ens and Dooly, moving with their command, intended to fall upon the rear of 
Lieutenant- Colonel Hamilton as he should be engaged in an effort to reduce 
the fort. Captain Hamilton arrived in season to execute the order with which 
he was charged, but found that there were only seven or eight aged and infirm 
men in Carr's Fort, who, dreading the consequences, refused to undertake the 
defense of that post. The Americans were so close upon the heels of the 
British as they entered and took possession of the fort, that they were com- 
pelled to leave their horses and baggage outside the stockade. A brisk fire 
was opened on both sides, but without effect. A siege was determined on ; 
and, in order to cut the besieged off from all access to water, Captain William 
Freeman, with forty men of his company, in gallant style dashed through an 
open space exposed to the guns of the fort, and took possession of a newly 
constructed log house which effectually commanded the only source whence 
the enemy could hope to obtain a supply of water. 

Early in the evening the horses and baggage of the British were brought 
off, and every avenue of escape was occluded. The same afternoon the fort was 
summoned to a surrender. While refusing to accede to this summons, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Hamilton requested that the women and children within the 
stockade might be allowed to depart. This application was denied. Without 

jQ History of Augusta. 

food and water, it was confidently believed that the enemy could not hold out 
more than twenty-four hours. Moreover, the possession of the log house near 
the water gave the assailants command of the tops of the huts inside the fort, 
whence the most injurious fire proceeded. The happ)' anticipations of the 
Americans were doomed to disappointment. About ten o'clock at night Col- 
onel Pickens received, at the hands of Captain Ottery, a dispatch from his 
brother, Captain Joseph Pickens, informing him that Colonel Boyd, with eight 
hundred loyalists, was moving through Ninety-Six district toward Georgia, 
destroying by fire and sword whatever lay in his path. It was deemed proper, 
without delay, to raise the siege and move against Boyd.. A proposition was 
made by some volunteers to apply the torch to the fort at several points at the 
same time, and thus to compel quick surrender. In tender consideration of the 
women and children who were within, the idea was abandoned. Carrying off 
their wounded, the Americans departed leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton 
in the fort without horses or baggage. As soon as Pickens and Dooly were out 
of hearing, he quitted Carr's Fort, retreating upon Wrightsborough, where he 
occupied a small stockade for a few days and then rejoined Colonel Campbell 
at Augusta. In the affair at Carr's Fort the British lost nine killed and three 
wounded. The American casualties amounted to five killed and seven wounded. 
Retiring from Carr's F'ort the Americans recrossed the Savannah River 
near Fort Charlotte, and advanced toward the Long Cane settlement to meet 
Colonel Boyd. Hearing of his advance. Captain Robert Anderson, of Colonel 
Pickens's regiment, summoning to his aid Captains Joseph Pickens, William 
Baskin and John Miller with their companies, crossed the Savannah River with 
a view to annoying Boyd when he should attempt a passage of that stream. 
He was subsequently joined by some Georgians under Captain James Little. 
This accession increased his force so that he had, present for duty, nearly one 
hundred men. In order to avoid Pickens and Dooly, Colonel Boyd changed 
his route and approached the river at the Cherokee ford. Here, upon a com- 
manding elevation, was a block house mounting two swivel guns and garri- 
soned by a lieutenant and eight men. A quiet passage having been demanded 
and refused, Boyd proceeded up the river about five miles and there, placing 
his men and baggage on rafts and swimming his horses, effected a crossing. 
His instructions to his men were to land at different points on the opposite 
shore. This circumstance, in connection with the tall canes growing along the 
river bank, so confused the small force under Captain Anderson that it did 
not render an opposition as effectual as might have been expected. That the 
passage of the river was sharply contested, however, will be readily conceded 
when we remember that the Americans lost sixteen killed and wounded, and 
an equal number of prisoners. Among the latter were Captains Baskin and 
Miller. Colonel Boyd acknowledged a loss of one hundred killed, wounded^, 
and mjssing. 

Battle of Kettle Creek. 77 

Retreating rapidly, Captain Anderson formed a junction with Colonels Pick- 
ens and Dooly, and united in the pursuit of the enemy. On the 12th of Feb- 
ruary, passing the Savannah River at the Cedar shoal, the Americans advanced 
to the Fish-Dam ford, on Broad River. The command had now been reinforced 
by Colonel Clarke and one hundred dragoons. Captain Neal, with a party of 
observation, was detached to hang upon the enemy's rear, and, by frequent 
couriers, keep the main body well advised of Boyd's movements. 

Shaping his course to the westward, and purposing a junction with Mc- 
Girth at a point agreed upon on Little River, the enemy on the morning of the 
13th crossed Broad River, near the fork, at a place subsequently known as 
Webb's Ferry. Informed of this movement, the Americans passed over Broad 
River, and encamped for the night on Clarke's Creek within four miles of the 
loyalists. Early on the morning of the 14th, the Americans advanced rapidly 
but cautiously. Wherever the surface of the country permitted, their line of 
march was the order of battle. A strong vanguard moved one hundred and 
fifty paces in front. The right and left wings, consisting each of one hundred 
men, were commanded respectively by Colonels Dooly and Clarke. The cen- 
ter, numbering two hundred men, was led by Colonel Pickens Officers and 
men were eager for the fray, and confident of victory. Soon the ground was 
reached where the enemy had encamped during the preceding night. 

Seemingly unconscious of the approach of danger, the loyalist commander 
had halted at a farm on the north side of Kettle Creek and turned out his 
horses to forage among the reeds which lined the edge of the swamp. His 
men, who had been on short allowance for three day.'^, were slaughtering bul- 
locks and parching corn. Colonel Boyd's second officer was Lieutenant- Col- 
onel Moore, of North Carolina, who is said to have been deficient both in cour- 
age and military skill. The third in command. Major Spurgen. was brave and 

As Colonel Pickens neared the enemy. Captain McCall was ordered to re- 
connoiter his position, and, unperceived, to acquire the fullest possible infor- 
mation of the status of affairs. Having completed his observations, that officer 
reported the encampment formed at the edge of the farm near the creek, on 
an open piece of ground flanked on two sides by a cane swamp, and that the 
enemy was apparently in utter ignorance of any hostile approach. The Ameri- 
cans then advanced to the attack. As they neared the camp, the pickets fired 
and retreated. Hastily forming his line in rear of his encampment, and avail- 
ing himself of the shelter afforded by a fence and some fallen timber, Boyd pre- 
pared to repel the assault. Colonel Pickens, commanding the American center,, 
obliqued a little to the right to take advantage of more commanding ground. 
The right and left divisions were somewhat embarrassed in forcing their way 
through the cane, but soon came gallantly into position. Colonel Boyd de- 
fended the fence with great bravery, but was finally overpowered and drivea 

78 History of Augusta. 

back upon the main body. While retreating he fell mortally wounded, pierced 
with three balls, two passing through his body and the third through his thigh. 

The conflict now became close, warm, and general. Some of the enemy, 
sore pressed, fled into the swamp and passed over the creek, leaving their 
horses, baggage, and arms behind them. 

After a contest lasting an hour the Tories retreated through the swamp. 
Observing a rising ground on the other side of the creek and in the rear of 
the enemy's right on which he thought the loyalists would attempt to form. 
Colonel Clarke, ordering the left wing to folhnv him, prepared to cross the 
stream. At this moment his horse was killed under him. Mounting another, 
he followed a patli which led to a ford and soon gained the side of the hill just 
in time to attack Major Spurgen who was endeavoring to form his command 
upon it. He was then accompanied by not more than a fourth of his division, 
there having been some mistake in extending the order. The firing, however, 
soon attracted the attention of the rest of his men who rushed to his support. 
Colonels Pickens and Dooly also pressed through the swamp, and the battle 
was renewed with much vigor on the other side of the creek. Bloody and ob- 
stinate was the conflict. For some time the issue seemed doubtful. At length 
the Americans obtained complete possession of the hill; and the enemy, routed 
at all points, fled from the scene of action leaving seventy of their number dead 
upon the field, and seventy-five wounded and captured. On the part of the 
Americans, nine were slain and twenty-three wounded. To Colonel Clarke 
great praise is due for his foresight and activity in comprehending and check- 
ing, at its earliest stage, the movement of the loyalists beyond the swamp. 
Had they succeeded in effecting a permanent lodgment upon the hill, the for- 
tunes of the day would have proved far otherwise. This engagement lasted for 
one hour and forty-five minutes, and during most of that time was hotly con- 

As the guard having charge of the prisoners captured when Boyd crossed 
the Savannah River heard of tiie disaster which had overtaken the main body, 
they voluntarily surrendered themselves, thirty-three in number, to those 
whom they held in captivity, promising, if allowed to return in peace to their 
homes, to take the oath of allegiance to the confederated States. 

The battle ended. Colonel Pickens waited upon Colonel Boyd and ten- 
dered him every relief in his power. Thanking him for his civility, the loyalist 
chief, disabled by mortal wounds and yet brave of heart, inquired particularly 
with regard to the result of the engagement. When told that the victory 
rested entirely with the Americans, he asserted that the issue would have been 
different had he not fallen. During the conversation which ensued, he stated 
that he had set out upon this march with eight hundred men. In crossing the 
Savannah River he sustained a loss of one hundred in killed, wounded, and 
missing. In the present action he had seven hundred men under his com- 

Royalist Defeats. 


mand. His expectation was that McGirth, with five hundred men, would form 
a junction with him on Little River either that very afternoon or on the ensu- 
ing morning. The point named for this union of forces was not more than six 
miles distant from the place where this battle had been fought. Alluding to 
his own condition, he remarked that he had but a few hours to live, and re- 
quested Colonel Pickens to detail two men to furnish him with water, and to^ 
inter his body after death. Delivering to that officer certain articles of value 
which he had upon his person, he asked the favor that they be forwarded to 
his wife with a letter acquainting her with the circumstances of his demise and 
burial. These dying injunctions were carefully observed. He was a corpse 
before morning. 

Dispirited by the loss of their leader, and stunned by the heavy blow which 
had fallen upon them in an unexpected moment, the followers of this danger- 
ous chieftain scattered in various directions. Some fled- to Florida; others 
betook themselves to the Creek nation ; others still sought refuge among the 
Cherokees; others returned to their homes and craved mercy at the hands of 
the patriots; while a remnant, under the command of Colonel Moore, number- 
ing some two hundred, retreated to Augusta. 

Dismayed at the defeat which had overtaken Colonel Boyd, and pausing 
not to retrieve the fortunes of the day, McGirth fled precipitately to Augusta 
and rejoined the forces under Colonel Campbell. The prisoners captured at 
Kettle Creek were carried to South Carolina, tried, found guilty of treason^ 
and sentenced to death. Only five of the most noted offenders were executed. 
The others were pardoned. Departing from the field of action, the Americans 
encamped for the night in a locality near the present town of Washington, 
and, on the 15th, recrossed the Savannah River. In the aflair at Carr's Fort^ 
and in the engagement at Kettle Creek, the Americans possessed themselves 
of some six hundred horses and a large quantity of arms, equipments, and 
clothing. This accession to the scanty stores of the patriots was most oppor- 
tune and valuable. In the general gloom which was encompassing all, this vic- 
tory shone like a star of substantial hope, dissipating despair, and enkindling 
confidence in the hearts of the Revolutionists. From the banks of this insig- 
nificant stream, rendered historic by the prowess of Pickens, Dooly, Clarke and 
their valiant followers, there arose a martial shout which proclaimed the restora- 
tion of Whig ascendency in Upper Georgia and the discomfiture of the roy- 
alist cohorts. With no uncertain sound did the bugle- blasts, then blown, sum- 
mon to further feats of patriotic emprise and admonish the king's officers that 
Georgia was not wholly within their grasp. 

This battle was quickly followed by movements which, although partial in 
their character, indicated that the love of liberty and the spirit of resistance 
were abroad in the land. Advancing with a portion of his brigade and some 
of the Georgia militia, General Andrew Williamson encamped not far from 

So History of Augusta. 

Augusta, on the Carolina side of the S.ivannah River. Colonel Leonard Mar- 
bury, with fifty draf^oons and a body of militiamen, took post near Browns- 
borough. Colonel John Twiggs, having assembled the militia of Richmond 
county and passed in rear of the British occupying Augusta, surprised one of 
their outposts at Herbert's, where seventy men were stationed. In the assault 
several of the assailed were killed and wounded, and the rest forced to an un- 
conditional surrender. 

A reconnoitering party of twenty of the King's Rangers, under the com- 
mand of Captain Whitley and Lieutenants McKenzie and Hall, was sent to 
Brownsborough to ascertain if there was an American force assembling in that 
quarter. Through his scouts obtaining information of Whitley's position and 
force, Colonel Marbury detached Captain Cooper with twelve dragoons to gain 
the enemy's rear, while he advanced in front. So rapidly did Cooper execute 
this order that he surprised Whitley and his part}' at dinner, and captured the 
whole of them before Colonel Marbury came up. Hall, who was a native of 
South Carolina, iiad formerly been in the American service. While in com- 
mand of a small fort on the frontier of that State, he treacherously surrendered 
it to the Cherokee Indians, and permitted, without remonstrance, every man, 
woman and child within its walls to be butchered by the savages. He was 
now sent to the jail at Ninety-Six for safe keeping. In due season he was tried, 
found guilty of treason, and condemned to be hung. The death penalty was 
visited upon him on the 17th of April. He miserably perished, confessing his 
crimes and acknowledging the justice of his sentence.^ 

In the disturbed state of affairs, instances of personal daring and hair- 
breadth escapes were not infrequent. Desirous of acquiring a definite knowl- 
edge of the force and position of the enemy in Augusta, General Elbert sent 
Lieutenant Hawkins to obtain the necessary information. While nearing an 
outpost, he was overtaken at Bear Swamp by three Tories. To avoid them was 
impossible. Advancing resolutely towards them, he inquired who they were, 
and whither they were going. The answer was that they were on their way 
to join Colonel Daniel McGirth. Hawkins, who was wearing an old British 
uniform, responded that he was McGirth; that ho believed they were rebels, 
and that he should proceed to hand them over to his party, near at hand. 
They protested to the contrary; and, to demonstrate the truth of their assertion, 
at Hawkins's suggestion, placed their rifles upon the ground and held up their 
right hands. As they did this. Lieutenant Hawkins advanced upon them with 
pistols cocked and presented. Taking up their rifles, he ordered them to march 
in front of him, threatening to shoot the first who attempted to turn. In this 
manner did he conduct them to the American camp.- 

The Tories in Upper Georgia having been completely routed, and the 

'See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii. pp. 194,-205. Savannah. 1816. 
" See Stevens's Hisfory of Georgia, no), ii. p. 193. Philadelphia. 1859. 


Affair near Fulsom's Fort. 

Americans daily becoming more formidable in numbers and pronounced in 
their demonstrations, Colonel Campbell determined to evacuate his advanced 
position at Augusta. Accordingly, late in February, he commenced his re- 
treat, which did not terminate until he reached Hudson's ferry on the Savan- 
nah River, where Lieutenant- Colonel Prevost had constructed a fortified camp 
and mounted some field artillery. In the end, so suddenly did he quit Au- 
gusta, that he paused not to destroy a considerable quantity of provisions 
which he had there accumulated. During this retrograde movement he was 
much annoyed by the Americans, who, in small bodies, harassed his command 
in flank and rear. 


Affair near Fulsom's Fort — Augusta Designated as the Seat of Government —An Oli- 
garchical Form of Government Inaugurated — Political History of the Period — Communica- 
tion to General Lincoln — Governor Wright's Report on the Situation. 

GENERAL Benjamin Lincoln's plans for the relief of Georgia were twice 
thwarted, once by the surprise and defeat of General Ash, in the angle 
formed by the confluence of Brier Creek and the Savannah River, by Colonel 
Campbell, and a second time by General Prevost's demonstration against 
Charles-Town. Upon his retreat from Augusta Colonel Campbell had been 
pursued by General Ash as far as Brier Creek. Finding that he could not 
overtake the enemy, that officer halted and formed a camp most injudiciously 
located and carelessly guarded, from which, by a rapid counter-blow from his. 
capable antagonist, he was driven in confusion and with great loss. 

Encouraged by the signal defeat of Boyd at Kettle Creek, and the subse- 
quent evacuation of Augusta by the king's forces, the Georgians, who had fled 
from the region to South Carolina for security, returned with their families and 
personal property and reoccupied their small forts and plantations. Scarcely 
had they done so when they were alarmed by the approach of a body of Creek 
Indians, led by Tate and McGilHvray, Indian agents in the employ of the British. 
Colonel Pickens, with two hundred men of his regiment, quickly came to the 
assistance of the Georgians. Colonel Dooly was already in the field with one 
hundred mounted men, while Colonel Elijah Clarke, with his command, guarded 
the frontier. Every male inhabitant of sixteen years and upwards appeared 
with arms in his hands. At Wrightsborough Colonels Pickens and Dooly were 
reinforced by detachments from the regiments of Colonels Few and Leroy 
Hammond, and by two troops of horse under Major Ross. The Indians were 
encamped near Fulsom's fort. Approaching under cover of the night, Lieuten- 

82 History of Augusta. 

ants Alexander and Williamson, who had been detailed for the purpose, made 
a reconnoissance vvhicii led them to estimate the force of the enemy at eight 
hundred. Upon receiving their report Colonel Pickens, to whom the com- 
mand was confided, marched his column rapidly forward in the hope of reach- 
ing the Indian camp and surprising it before daylight. Some treacherous ras- 
cal advised the enemy of his approach. Unwilling to breast the attack, the 
Indians, breaking up into small parties, fled in every direction. In the pursuit 
which ensued, some of the savages were overtaken and slain. Major Ross, 
Captain Newsom and Lieutenant Bentley were killed. Quiet was restored, 
and the enemy was utterly expelled from the territory. 

Upon the capture of Savannah, in December, 1778, by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Campbell, the executive council designated Augusta as the seat of government. 
So rapidly, however, did that officer push his column up the Savannah River, 
and so quickly did he occupy Augusta with his troops, that until his evacua- 
tion of that place, late in February, 1779, it existed but in name as the capital 
of Georgia. During this period the republican government of the State was 
peripatetic. In such a condition was it frequently found during the continuance 
of the Revolutionary struggle. The public records had been sent out of the 
State for safe keeping. Until the close of the contest the proceedings of the 
executive council consisted of little more than insignificant orders and letters, a 
meager journal of its convocations, hasty deliberations and adjournments, and 
a scant memorandum of its principal acts touching the general safety. The 
treasury was empty. There was not even an attempt made to levy and collect 
taxes. Paper bills of credit, issued upon the faith of the State, had depreciated 
in value to such an extent that they possessed scarcely any purchasing power. 
All sorts of shifts were resorted to in order that the troops in the field might 
be supplied with food and clothing. Of payment in money for military ser- 
vices rendered there was often none, especially in the case of the militia. The 
currency employed in paying off" troops enlisted in the Continental service was 
almost as valueless as were the promises to pay circulated by the State. Not 
infrequently the confiscated property of royalists was utilized in discharging 
the obligations incurred in the purchase of necessaries for the soldiers in the 
field.^ Simple in the extreme was the machinery of government. The affairs 

' In illustration of this, let the following suffice : 

"In Council, April 30, 1782. 
"Captain Harris : 

" Sir : As you are appointed Agent for the County of Richmond to collect all sequestered 
property, you will please immediately to take in your possession two negro wenches, the prop- 
erty of Curtis Colwell, in possession of Oreenbury Lee and Simon Beckum, and two negroes^ 
a Boy and a Girl, in possession of Wm. Few, Sr., the property of Simon Nichols, deceased. 

" You will please, after taken the above in possession, to deliver the said Negroes to Captn 
Ignatius Few, they being appraised by Mr. Simon Beckum ; the State having purchased some 
necessarys from Captn Few, the said Negroes are to be received in payment for the articles 
purchased. Stephen Heard, Pres. Col." 

When Augusta again passed into the hands of fhe r.r. ki- 
bars of council convened .here, at the reside, ce of MattZ: Hob" .' ""7' 
a president and transact such business demanded hvtl ' 

within their power. They represented theTf J emergency as lay 

■ conduct sovernmental affairs i„ ^ '"^V' '779- Too lew to organize and 

..■on. and^et iCess^dtr. :": iryTd": '"^ '""'""r °' '"= ^<^"='""- 
son,e n,achi„ery'by which the i ^ t^ of 1 e^t! ^i^h.'b " "" ''°T"' 
the administration of its business fadlitated, on theLTh'of ,uLT""'' '"' 

t::^:^T:::-^-i^-' ^^ whiranXr:;;:^:— 

..wi, r , " ^■^'^■^'^ """^'EORGIA, Richmond County 

Whereas, from the invasion of the British forces in thl- <^t ^^""''^^- ., 
have arisen and still exist ,o Hi=f k .i ■ ^'^'^' S''«^»' ^vils 

which, in a great meas re ha 'T 2°-".>ment of the said State, and 

being carried no such full eff ^ "" ~"^"""-" °f <'- >and from 

•herein pointe ut And w f:: /• "/"^^'".'"^ T'°'" °' ^°^^™-"* 
necessary at this iuncture to adT t ",''""""" '"^'""bent and indispensably 
ducive to the elfa e ha '^ ? '""P°™^^ "°^^ ^= ""^y ^' ™°^t eon- 

the good peon etr he said S^"' '""/T'^y "^ '"= "2>^'s and privileges of 

and ^.ecti^e rutirowl ;„:t ^r; a?f rt^e'eXr oTaV^''^'^"^^ " '^^^^ 

:o'r ::rtVeXr tt:;- !:-- -r '" -'— - -"='= 

prevent, as far al 1; be a! ci;ra"nd'"'f'"™'r ^"' be acknowledged ; to 

Sta e°ar 3' d ;„ :,::"^ ""^'^'"'l ^"^ "^' - "- county of Richmond, in t le 

Of the Sr andir' ;p^l7n:rl:r:^r:^ "- P--- ^■--^ed situation 

and havinc maturelv aifd ' , P"'*"^"' """"^ "'"'^'^y "'e^to, 

the fol,owh,g p sot b aolr'H'K °"r'"'' "^ '^"'^' '° ^^~"""-^ "»' 

the supreme^'uthoTi y heTo o :, a,; Zf 'T "' "' '"" " ^'^"^'^^^ 

of their office, take the^followng oath if: I A^B rLtT "" ''7^^'""°" 

g uctui, VIZ. . 1, A. ±5., elected one of the supreme 

84 History of Augusta. 

executive council of the State of Georgia, do solemnly swear that I will, during 
the term of my appointment, to the best of my skill and judgment, execute the 
said office faithfully and conscientiously, without favor, affection or partiality ; 
that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the State 
of Georgia, and use my utmost endeavors to support the people thereof in the 
secure enjoyment of their just rights ^nd privileges ; and that I will, to the best 
of my judgment, execute justice and mercy in all judgments ; so help me God. 

" And we, and each of us, on our parts, as free citizens of the State of 
Georgia aforesaid, do for ourselves nominate, authorize, empower and require 
you, John Wereat, Joseph Clay, Joseph Habersham, Humphrey Wells, William 
Few, John Dooly, Seth John Cuthbert, William Gibbons, sr., and Myrick Davies, 
esqs., or a majority of you, to act as the executive or supreme council of this 
State; and to execute from Tuesday, the 27th inst., to the first Tuesday in 
January next, unless sooner revoked by a majority of the freemen of this State, 
every such power as you, the said John Wereat, Joseph Clay, Joseph Haber- 
sham, Humphrey Wells, William Few, John Dooly, Seth John Cuthbert, Will- 
iam Gibbons, sr., and Myrick Davies, esqs., or a majority of you, shall deem 
necessary for the safety and defense of the State and the good citizens thereof; 
taking care in all your proceedings to keep as near the spirit and meaning of 
the constitution of the said State as may be. 

"And you, the said John Wereat, Joseph Clay, Joseph Habersham, Hum- 
phrey Wells, William Few, John Dooly, Seth John Cuthbert, William Gibbons, 
sr., and Myrick Davies, esqs., or a majority of you, hereby have full power and 
authority, and are authorized, empowered and required to elect fit and dis- 
crete persons to represent this State in Congress, and to instruct the delegates 
so chosen in such matters and things as will tend to the interest of this State 
in particular, and the United States of America in general : the said delegates 
taking care from time to time, to transmit to you. the said council, or other 
authority of the State for the time being, an account of their proceedings in 
Congress aforesaid : to regulate the public treasury of the said State, to borrow 
or otherwise negotiate loans for the public safety: to regulate the militia, and 
appoint an officer, if necessary, to command : to appoint, suspend, and dis- 
charge all civil officers if it shall be found expedient: to demand an account 
of all expenditures of the public mone}', and to regulate the same, and, where 
necessary, order payments of money : to adopt some mode respecting the cur- 
rent money of this State, and for sinking the same: to direct and commission 
the chief justice of the State, or assistant justices, or other justices of the peace, 
and other officers of each county : to convene courts for the trial of offences 
cognizable by the laws of the land in such place or places as you shall think 
fit : always taking care that trial by jury be preserved inviolate, and that the 
proceedings had before such courts be in a summary way so that offenders be 
brought to a speedy trial and justice be amply done as well to the State as to 
the individuals. 

The Executive Council Organized. 85 

" You, or a majority of you, the said council, have full power and hereby 
.are requested, on conviction of ofifenders, to order punishment to be inflicted 
extending to death : and when objects deserving mercy shall be made known 
to you, to extend that mercy and pardon the offense, remit all fines, mitigate 
corporal punishments, as the case may be, and as to you or a majority of you 
shall seem fit and necessary. And you, the said council or a majority of you, 
at all times and places when and where you shall think fit, have hereby full 
power and competent authority to meet, appoint your own president, settle 
your own rules, sit, consult, deliberate, advise, direct, and carry in execution 
all and every act, special and general, hereby delegated to you, and all and 
every such other acts, measures, and things as you or a majority of you shall 
find expedient and necessary for the welfare, safety, and happiness of the free- 
men of this State. • 

" And in case any of the persons herein* appointed to exercise the supreme 
authority as aforesaid shall refuse to act, die, or depart this State, or shall by 
any other means be prevented from exercising the same, then, and in such 
case, you, the said council hereby chosen, or a majority of you, shall, and you 
are hereby authorized, empowered, and required to fill up such vacancies by 
choosing fit and discrete persons or person to act in their or his room and 
stead, which person or persons so chosen is or are hereby invested with every 
power and authority in as full and ample a manner as if they had been ap- 
pointed by this present instrument of writing. 

" And we do hereby declare all officers, civil and military, and all persons, 
inhabitants of this State, subject to and answerable to your authority, and will 
ratify and confirm whatever you may do for or concerning the public weal, 
according to the best of your judgment, knowledge, and ability. And further, 
we do hereby promise you our support, protection, and countenance. 

" In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 24th day of July, 
in the year of our Lord 1779." 

This supreme executive council organized temporarily the same day by the 
•choice of Seth John Cuthbert as president pro tempore ; and, on the 6th of 
August, perfected a permanent organization by unanimously electing John 
AVereat president. All the members then took the oath of office prescribed, 
and entered upon the discharge of their important duties. The entire transac- 
tion was abnormal. The choice lay between anarchy and this modified form 
of government. Regular assemblages of the Legislature were, for the time 
being, impracticable It was equally out of the question to evoke an expres- 
sion of the popular will, or to expect a general observance of the provisions of 
the constitution. To the republicans only a fraction of the State remained. 
Blood, turmoil, disquietude and antagonisms were everywhere. The preser- 
vation of at least the semblance of sovereignty was vital to the cause of the 
patriots. Under the circumstances the delegates doubtless acted for the best ; 

86 History of Augusta. 

and, although in this matter they exceeded their powers and proceeded with- 
out constitutional warrant, their action grew out of a condition of affairs most 
peculiar, and was intended to meet an emergency beyond the ordinary con- 
templation of law. In their selection of members of this supreme executive 
council it does not appear either that their judgment was at fault or that their 
confidence was misplaced. Nor did the erection of this temporory government 
fail to secure the endorsement of the patriots of Georgia. It was a war meas- 
ure. By this oligarchy was Georgia ruled for many months, and during the 
entire period there is not even a suggestion that those to whom were committed 
powers so comprehensive were ever guilty of peculation, injustice, infidelity, or 
despotism. Their official conduct was a tribute at once to the individual worth 
of each member of the provisional government, and to the purity, the patriot- 
ism, the honor, and the virtue of the epoch. Brigadier- General Lachlan Mc- 
intosh was now again in Georgia and in command of the forces concentrated 
for the protection of the upper portions of the State. His return was sanctioned 
by Congress in accordance with his earnest desire, approved by General Wash- 
ington, who, on the iith of May, 1779, addressed the following communica- 
tion to that august body : 

" Brigadier- General Mcintosh will have the honor of delivering you this. 
The war in Georgia — being the State to which he belongs — makes him desi- 
rous of serving in the Southern army. I know not whether the arrangements 
Congress have in contemplation may make it convenient to employ him there, 
but I take the liberty to recommend him as a gentleman whose knowledge of 
service and of the country promises to make him useful. I beg leave to add 
that General Mcintosh's conduct, while he acted immediately under my obser- 
vation, was such as to acquire my esteem and confidence, and I have had no 
reason since to alter my good opinion of him." ^ 

Second in command to General Lincoln, he was at all times most earnest 
in devising means for the improvement of the military condition of Georgia 
and in concerting plans for restraining the British forces within the narrowest 
limits. With the supreme council of safety he conferred frequently and most 
freely. The liberation of Georgia from kingly rule lay nearest the hearts of all. 

As indicating the intelligent observation of the members of this supreme 
executive council, and their anxiety to facilitate the redemption of the State, 
we submit this extract from a communication addressed by them to General 
Lincoln on the i 8th of August, 1779 : " A considerable part of the State hav- 
ing been in the immediate possession of the enemy ever since its invasion by 
them, those counties which have held out against them have been constantly 
subject to their incursions and depredations, and, of course, the few militia 
thereof, much harassed with duty ; but their spirits have been kept up with 
the idea of support from the continent and our sister State, otherwise, we 

' The National Portrait Gallery, etc., vol. iii. Philadelphia. 1836. 

Communication to General Lincoln. 87 

apprehend, a total evacuation would long since have taken place by those who 
have firmness enough to sacrifice everything to the cause of America, whilst 
the wavering would have joined the enemy and assisted them in their opera- 
tions against Carolina. 

" The arrival of the advance of General Scott's army, under Colonel Parker 
and Major Jamison, at a very critical juncture, has had the most salutary ef- 
fect that could be expected, for it has infused new spirit into the militia, who 
are now all cheerfully under arms to oppose the concerted invasions of the 
enemy's irregulars and Indians who are at this time making different inroads 
upon us. General Mcintosh has sent out a part of the Continental troops to 
support our militia, and we hope that for the present we shall be able to repel 
the enemy and to keep them from reaping any considerable advantages from 
the the attempts of small parties. But we presume, sir, that we need not 
endeavor to impress your mind with an idea of the feeble resistance we should 
be able to make to any serious attempt of the enemy to subjugate the upper 
parts of the State even with the assistance that General Mcintosh can at this 
time afford us. 

" We believe that it is generally allowed that unless the enemy are consid- 
erably reinforced, they will not make another attempt upon Charlestown ; and 
from a variety of circumstances we are led to hope that they will not receive 
such reinforcement. Should this be the case, there can scarce remain a doubt 
but that they will aim at a total subjugation of Georgia this fall; for we 
cannot in reason suppose that they will keep a considerable body of troops 
immured in Savannah, whilst the back country, so necessary to their quiet sub- 
sistence as well as their future designs, remains unconquered. The large quan- 
tities of grain made in the vicinity of this place, and the numerous herds of 
cattle through all the upper parts of the country must be very considerable 
objects with them, particularly as we know that they cannot even now get 
sufficient supplies of cattle without coming upwards and then fighting for them. 
The frequent skirmishes of our militia with their irregulars, who are employed 
as drovers, evince the truth of this observation ; and should they gain the 
upper parts of this State, we are bold to assert that Carolina would be in a 
very dangerous situation. The great defection of the upper parts of that coun- 
try is well known ; a circumstance on which the enemy found the most san- 
guine hopes, and we have every reason to believe that they continually receive 
encouragement from these people to invade the back country. Nor could the 
enemy wish for a more favorable situation to be joined by them than that by 
Augusta, or anywhere above it, where the river is shallow and the swamps all 

" Add to the circumstances already mentioned, which might induce the 
enemy to progress upwards in force, that of having no obstruction to their 
intercourse with the Indians, which is a very capital one, and which will im- 

88 History of Augusta. 

mediately be the case should they effect an entire conquest of this country; 
and unless they should do this, their intercourse will be very precarious and 
uncertain, and we shall always have it in our power to give the most consider- 
able interruption to it. We think this point worth paying the most particular 
attention to, as we are now informed that Indian goods are now imported at 
Savannah, and that the Creek Indians have had no late supply from the Flor- 
idas. Should the trade from this country with the Indians be once open and 
uninterrupted, the enemy will find not the least difficulty, whenever they have 
a mind, in bringing the savages from the frontiers of Carolina. 

" Besides our apprehensions on the above heads, we are fearful that in case 
the British troops should move up this way, the greatest part of the inhabit- 
ants, worn out with fruitless opposition, and actuated by the fear of losing 
their all, would make terms for themselves ; and as the human mind is too apt 
to be led by a natural gradation from one step of infamy to another, we have 
not the least doubt of their joining the enemy against their countrymen in any 
other State. But even should the British commander not bend his force this 
way, a great many families, harassed and unsupported, vv^ould remove far 
northwardly (for which they are already thinking of preparing), and this dan- 
gerous migration nothing but the appearance of support can prevent. 

" With minds forcibly impressed by the operation of such powerful reasons, 
we beg leave to solicit you, sir, in the most serious manner, to order General 
Scott, who, we understand, is on his march southwardly with the rest of his 
troops, immediately to this place. ^ 

" We cannot think that the lower parts of Carolina will be endangered by 
such an order ; for we may reasonably presume that the enemy will never 
penetrate far into that part of the country while a respectable force remains in 
their rear, which would be the case if General Scott and his troops were in 

The governor of South Carolina was also memorialized to assist with men 
and money in the effort to retain the possession of Upper Georgia and prevent 
the English from accomplishing the entire subjugation of the State. These 
and similar appeals were not in vain, and it may not be denied that the repre- 
sentations and efforts of the supreme executive council of Georgia had much 
to do with bringing about the co-operation between the French army under 
Count d'Estaing and the American forces under Lincoln for the recovery of 
Savannah in the fall of 1779. 

When, in March, 1776, Sir James Wright fled from Savannah and took 
refuge on board his majesty's ship Scarborough, at Tybee Roads, fear fell upon 
all the king's servants holding office in Georgia, and one by one, as opportu- 
nity occurred, they quitted the province. A few of them espoused the cause 
of the Revolutionists, but most of them departed for London. Some sought 

' Aujrusta. 

the republicans from southern cJ.^lLtw^T '"' ""= =^P"'^'°" °f 
first erected, and this was followed by he tab fshmerf'""';"r ' "" ^' 
tion under Lieutenant-Colonel ProZsTlhohM " administra- 

king'sconrmissioners as lieutenant To trl, o Geo::-;^^^ '^7 '"^ 

by Sir James Wright, who, reaching Savannah o^e ,4th ^MT'' 
resumed the gubernatorial office six days afterwa, ds > q f -^"'y- '779. 
factory condition of affairs that he felt onstTain d ,0 ,^^\^™^. "^ ""^^fe- 

would adhere to the independent scheme ' '' '"' '" °PP-'"nit3'. 

wretched situatid^, t s P ov n! s n auT'l " ""T ' .^^ ""™"^'' °^ "« 
lost while the army was carr^LI In 'Lr t ^rLTst sluTcalL^'d^ 
now, my Lord, the Rebels who went from heuce !n,n r 1 , ' "^ 

Colonel Campbell, with other Rebels of Car" na and h ^ "^ "''"' "' 
sessed of the country at and about Aulus and all aLo" 7'^; ,"" ""^ 
honor to inclose your Lordship the informat onlreceived frl ;h" K 7' "" 

BrTcTe'eVrrett " ^'^''T ■"" ^■"■°" -^^^^^^^^t::::i 

pa ys nd that tl e R 7\°\ ' .T'*''"'^ ^'"'''"»" ^^°"' '° --<^ '"<= R^be. 

'o g to est b i 1 a ' ? 7 ,?"''' "P"""^ °f ^'--^ '-"''-d -- and are 
^ ng to establish a po»t with them somewhere in St. George's Parish r 

doubt not, my Lord, however, but this Province will soon rtise ts'eTd and 
become more populous and opulent than ever T I,, j 7 

With regard to the Indians he adds, " I am sorrv tn s,v H,.^ f. , ■ 
mense expense to government on account of Se Inirthe H T """ 
.>e .0 be so hearty in the cause and so warm^Itl^tr reird-^"' '° 
_J^^:;^^^:^nns^l^^U^^ ,he gathering storm, tlfe tlunders of 


90 History of Augusta. 

which were soon to shake the foundations of the city of Oglethorpe, Governor 
Wright at Savannah, supported by the king's army, was striving to recreate 
the royal government and to lead back the inhabitants of southern Georgia to 
a complete and orderly submission to British rule. While at Augusta the 
members of the supreme executive council, invested with unlimited powers, yet 
sadly deficient in all material appliances, were endeavoring to perpetuate the 
sovereignty of a republican State just born into the sisterhood of nations, and to 
arm, feed, and clothe a patriot band, few in numbers yet brave of heart, fight- 
ing for home and property and liberty, the odds were seemingly all in favor of 
his majesty King George III. In this conflict between a Republican oligarchy 
and an English monarchy it did really appear that there was little hope for the 
ultimate independence of the bleeding, impoverished, and distracted common- 


Posture of Affairs in the Fall of 1779 — Legislation of the Commons House of Assembly — 
Proclamation of Governor Wereat, Governor Walton, General Mcintosh and Mr. Glascock — 
Political Affairs — Movements of the Executive Council — Unseemly Dissentions — Reorganiza- 
tion of the State Government at Augusta. 

THE bloody repulse of the allied army before the lines around Savannah on 
the memorable morning of October 9, 1779, was a grievous disappoint- 
ment to the Georgia patriots. They had confidently anticipated the capture 
of the town and a complete restoration of Republican rule. In a few short 
hours everything was changed from joyous expectation to the deepest gloom 
of helpless despair. After the departure of Count D'Estaing and the retreat of 
General Lincoln the condition of Savannah and the sea coast of Georgia be- 
came more pitiable than at any former period. Exasperated by the formida- 
ble demonstration which, at the outset, seriously threatened the overthrow of 
British dominion in Georgia, and rendered more arrogant and exacting, the 
loyalists set out in every direction upon missions of insult, pillage, and inhu- 
manity. Plundering banditti roved about unrestrained, seizing negroes, stock,, 
furniture, wearing apparel, plate, jewels, and anything they coveted. Children 
were severely beaten to compel a revelation of the places where their parents 
had [concealed, or were supposed to have hidden valuable personal effects 
and money. Confiscation of property and incarceration or expatriation were 
the only alternatives presented to those who clave to the cause of the Revolu- 
tionists. So poor were many of the inhabitants that they could not command 
the means requisite to venture upon a removal. Even under such circum- 
stances not a few, on foot, sought an asylum in South Carolina. Among the 

State of Affairs, Fall of 1779. 


pnncpai sufferers may be mentioned the families of General Mcintosh Colonel 
John Tw,ggs and Colonel Elijah Clarke. Georgia was under ti,e yoke and 
she was forced to pay the penalty of unsuccessful rebellion, rendered e'nfold 
more grievous because of this recent formidable attempt o expel fron t ' 
borders the cv.l and military servants of the king. The ribald lan^ul" and 
hcent,ous conduct of the soldiery, coupled with the insults of lawles^s ,lroes 

especa ly by the weaker sex, almost beyond endurance. Far and nea the 
reg,on had experienced the desolations of war. "The rage between Wh.a'd 
Tory ran so h,gh. says General Moultrie, •• that what was called a Georgia 
parole and to be shot down, were synonymous." So stringent, too were t1 e 
restr,c ,o„s upon trade, such was the depreciation of the pape cur ency a'd 

tl 'd' disr" '^"?" '^™"'""' '"' '°""""''-' ^'^'="'--. "-''pov- 
erty and distress were the common heritage. At this time sixteen hundred 

and eighteen dollars paper money, were the equivalent of one dollarin gold 1 

Fo active participation m the disastrous siege of Savannah, Count Pulaski who 

wit his legion, after General Prevosfs retreat from South Carolina, had ken' 

post on a ndge some fifty miles northeast of Augusta that he might the more 

the same time be w.thm supporting distance of either Charles Town or Savan 
nah as occasion required, was ordered to join General Mcintosh at the latter 
place. Together they moved thence upon Savannah in advance of the army 
under General Lincoln approaching from the direction of Charles Town Tt 

tt F e^ch r"' "'\^*'' °'"'°'''' '"' ^^'^"'"^-'^ communication w^; 
tne t rench troops on the coast. 

the ^cZ" ^'°u'' "'""Z f'""'""^ '" "'" possession of the Revolutionists. In 
te Commons House of Assembly, composed of members chosen under writ 

May 5, 780, there were no delegates from the parish of St Paul 

near S "' ^r""^^^. '"' ""' "^'""^ compelling all persons dwelling in and 
near Savannah and Augusta forthwith to render an account of all male sla^-es 

ZZflt f r"'"^' ""' ""^''^ '°°"^> '° -o^"^ "P°" -d complete 

tne tortihcations of those towns. 

selv!s"trr'' !"'"'"""' "■'"^ ""' °"" ^'^^" ""<= ^^'5'"-d '° '^-b-' 'hen- 
works'. "' °"""" '" ""' ^""^"--"o" °< 'l>e conten,plated defensive 

servlTlooir '"^'f^/J"' ^""'ority to impress horses, carts, and teams for 
service upon the pubhc defenses. 

.iiiiiiip?isg=§i ■ Me;no^rs of tA, A^uer^cau /;^,vo/uf^on, vol ii. p. y,. NewYork. 1802. 

92 History of Augusta. 

There was a revision of the mihtia laws, rendering them more stringent in 
their provisions and more certain in their operation. An inquiry was ordered 
into the expediency of organizing a corps of negro slaves and the propriety of 
incorporating it into the militia of the Province. 

All attempts at royal legislation in Georgia during this stormy period were 
spasmodic, partial, feeble, and in the main futile. The hold of his Majesty's 
servants upon the Province was sensibly relaxed. More and more circum- 
scribed grew the limits of royal dominion until they were finally obliterated 
upon the evacuation of Savannah in 1782. The hope of returning Georgia to 
her allegiance to the Crown, inspired by the capture of Savannah in December, 
1778, and revived by the defeat of the allied armies in October, 1779, was al- 
ways fluctuating. Although the governor retained his seat and exercised some 
of the functions of his office, his letters show that he was always oppressed 
by a sense of insecurity. Time and again did the republican forces, under 
partisan leaders, approach so closely that it was deemed dangerous for the 
king's servants to venture beyond the lines which environed Savannah. Now 
and then came a loyal address from the province assuring his majesty that his 
sorely tried, yet faithful office holders, would " use their utmost endeavors to- 
promote an attachment to his person and government and the welfare of the 
British Empire;" that they "would not fail to put up their prayers to Al- 
mighty God that He would pour down His Blessings upon his Majesty, his 
Royal Consort, and his numerous offspring, and that He would give him a long 
and happy reign and that his posterity might sway the sceptre of the British 
Empire till time should be no more." 

And this would be quickly followed by a pitiable representation of the de- 
fenseless condition of the province, and by an application for a force of five 
hundred mounted men with which to scour the country and repel the rebel 
cavalry who were plundering the governor's plantations on the Ogeechee, and- 
thundering at the very gates of Savannah. 

So divided was Georgia that the difficulty experienced by Sir James Wright 
in securing the attendance of members sufficient to form a Commons House of 
Assembly under the royal government, was also encountered by the members 
of the Republican Executive Council in their effiDrts to convene a legislature 
and elect a governor. Since his elevation to the office of president, on the 6th 
of August, 1779, John Wereat,^ in association with the Council, had been dis- 
charging the executive functions of government. On the 4th of November in. 
that year he issued the following proclamation : 

" Augusta, in the State of Georgia, November 4, 1779. 
" Whereas, from the invasion of the State by the enemy, in December last, 

' President Wereat was an active patriot, generous in his sympathies and sound in his 
financial views. He rendered important services to Georgia and her impoverished inhabitants. 
In January, 1788, he was president of the convention which, at Augusta, ratified the Federal 
Constitution. Ten years afterwards his useful career was peacefully ended in Bryan County. 

Proclamation of John Wereat. 95 

the absence of many of the members elected to represent the different counties 
in the House of Representatives for the present year, with unavoidable causes, 
several ineffectual attempts have been made to convene a Legal House of 
Representatives ; and whereas, it is essential to the welfare and happiness of 
the State that a Legal and Constitutional House of Assembly should be con- 
vened : We, therefore, earnestly recommend to such of the citizens of this 
State as have preserved their fidelity to the cause of America, and were inhab- 
itants of the counties of Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, Camden, and Efffngham 
prior to the reduction of these counties by the British forces, to repair to such 
place within this State as to them shall appear most safe and convenient, on 
the first Tuesday in December next, that being the day appointed by the con- 
stitution for a general election throughout the State, in order to elect persons 
to represent those counties in the General Assembly for the ensuing year, that 
a full, free, and equal representation may be had to proceed on business of the 
utmost importance to the community ; and it is the opinion of this Board, that 
this town would be the most eligible, in the present situation of affairs, for the 
meeting of the Assembly, which will be the first Tuesday in January next, 
agreeably to the Constitution of the State. 

" By order of the Board. JOHN Wereat, President.'" 

Upon the departure of the French and American armies from the lines 
before Savannah, many of the leading citizens removed from Southeastern 
Georgia and sought refuge in the vicinity of Augusta. Influenced by the 
persuasions of George Walton, who, released from captivity, was again at 
home, of Richard Howley, George Wells, and of others opposed to the ex- 
ecutive council, these refugees, in association with the citizens of Richmond 
County, resolved themselves into a deliberative body claiming to be the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Georgia. William Glascock, esq., was chosen speaker, and 
George Walton was elected governor of the State. It was openly charged, 
but without warrant, that some of the members of council sympathized with 
the Tories, and that all the proceedings of that body were " illegal, unconsti- 
tutional, and dangerous to the liberties of the State." This self-styled assem- 
bly, which convened at Augusta in November, 1779, also chose George Wal- 
ton as a delegate to congress, and selected an executive council. Thus, at the 
same time were two executive councils actually organized and claiming to 
exercise important functions within the limits of Georgia wasted by a common 
enemy and rent by internal feuds. Violent were the collisions of parties, and 
most confused was the administration of civil affairs. Fortunately there was 
little need for the office either of legislator or of governor. 

While the enemies of the executive council, as at first constituted, were 
thus active in creating dissensions in the body politic and in disturbing the 
general sentiment at an epoch when unity, concord, and confidence were essen- 
tial to the hopes and the plans of the Revolutionists, the members of that asso 
ciation endeavored to counteract these prejudicial influences and to restore 
public harmony by this open declaration of their powers : " Whereas some 
jealousies, natural to a people tenacious of their liberties, have arisen among 

94 History of Augusta. 

some of the citizens of this State respecting the power of this Board ; and 
whereas it behooves the rules of a free country at all times to take every step 
\v\ their power to give all reasonable satisfaction to the inhabitants thereof, and 
to put a stop to such jealousies and complaints as may take place ; and whereas 
the citizens of this State above mentioned conceive, by virtue of the delega- 
tion which authorizes this Board to proceed in the executive department of 
government, they have power to act in the judicial and legislative departments: 
We do hereby declare and make known to all whom it may concern that we 
are not inyested with any such judicial or legislative powers, and that it never 
was nor ever will be our intention to assume to ourselves any such powers by 
virtue of the above mentioned delegation, and that we mean neither to contra- 
dict nor to destroy the constitution of this State which we think must have due 
operation whenever a time of less disquiet will admit of its being adequate to 
the exigency of Government." 

The self-constituted General Assembly was largely composed of malcon- 
tents, men ambitious of power and jealous of the honors accorded to others 
who like themselves were engaged in a lethal struggle for independence. Sad 
Commentary upon human nature which, even amid the throes of empire and 
in the agonies of extreme peril, could not forget its passions or subdue its 
petty animosities ! 

It will be remembered that in consequence of the deplorable want of accord 
between the civil and military authorities in Georgia General Lachlan Mcintosh 
was induced to quit his service at home and seek military employment in a 
distant field. He had now, however, returned ; and, during the bloody as- 
sault of the 9th of October, 1779, had given fresh proof of his courage and of 
his devotion to State and country. During his absence he received a letter 
from George Walton in which he thus commented upon the unfortunate con- 
dition of affairs in Georgia : " The demon Discord yet presides in tliis Country, 
and God only knows when his reign will be at an end. I have strove so hard 
to do good with so poor a return, that were the liberties of America secure I 
would bid adieu to all public employment, to politics, and to strife; for even 
virtue itself will meet with enmity." 

It was General Mcintosh's hope that time had healed all wounds and that, 
without reproach, he would be permitted to devote his time and military talents 
to the defense of Georgia. In this he was mistaken. On the 30th of Novem- 
ber, 1779, a letter, purporting to be signed by William Glascock, speaker of 
the House of Representatives, was transmitted to the president of Congress by 
George Walton, governor of Georgia. Congress was therein assured of the 
dissatisfaction of the people of Georgia at the assignment of General Mcintosh 
to the command of the military in that State. It was earnestly suggested that 
the National Assembly should, while he remained in the service of the United 
States, indicate "some distant field for the exercise of his abilities." So thor- 

Political Dissentions. 95 

oughly did this forgery, backed by the representation of General Mcintosh's 
enemies, poison the minds of the members of that body that they voted, on the 
15th of February, 1780, to "dispense with the services of Brigadier- General 
Mcintosh until the further order of Congress." 

When informed of this communication, General Mcintosh demanded an 
explanation from its alleged author. Mr. Glascock promptly denied the au- 
thenticity of the document in the following letter, dated Augusta, Georgia, May 
12, 1780, and addressed to the president of Congress: — 

" Sir, — I am now to do myself the honor of addressing your Excellency 
on a subject of considerable importance to myself and to a gentleman whose 
character both as a citizen and an officer I esteem and honor. Indeed I take 
up the affair on a larger scale ; I may say it is also of importance to this State 
and the whole Confederate alliance, as it strikes at the very root of reciprocal 
confidence, and opens a road to misrepresentation, detraction, and malice 
which cannot be guarded against but with the utmost circumspection, and 
which, if not checked, might be productive of the most serious consequences 
to these States either in a civil or a military sense. Brigadier General Mc- 
intosh informs me that he lately received a letter from your Excellency enclos- 
ing the following extract of a letter to Congress from me, as Speaker of the 
Assembly of the State of Georgia : 

" ' It is'to be wished that we could advise Congress that the return of Brig- 
adier- General Mcintosh gave satisfaction to either the Militia or the Confeder- 
ates, but the common dissatisfaction is such, and founded on weighty reasons, 
that it is highly necessary that Congress would, whilst that officer is in the ser- 
vice of the United States, direct some distant field for the exercise of his abili- 

" I am sorry, Sir, to be informed by this extract of the extreme malice and 
rancour of General Mcintosh's enemies; but at the same time I enjoy a pecu- 
liar happiness in having it in my power to defeat their nefarious machinations 
and intentions. I do hereby most solemnly declare to Congress that the above 
extract is a flagrant forgery, of which I disclaim all knowledge whatever either 
directly or indirectly. Neither did I ever subscribe in a public or private 
capacity any letter or paper that could convey to Congress such an idea of that 
Officer with respect to his Country which he has, in my opinion, served with 
reputation, and from which he ought to receive the grateful acknowledgments 
of public approbation instead of the malicious insinuations of public slander, in 
which class I am under the necessity of ranking the forged letter which is the 
subject of this. 

" I am glad of the opportunity of informing Congress that so far is that for- 
gery from truth, that I believe there is not a respectable citizen or officer in 
Georgia who would not be happy in serving under General Mcintosh, nor one 
in either class who would be otherwise except a few who are governed by de- 
sign or self interest." 

g6 History ov Augusta. 

Mr. Glascock also furnished General Mcintosh with a copy of this commu- 

Strange as it may appear, an examination into the matter disclosed the 
fact that this letter, to which the name of the speaker of the House of Assem- 
bly was forged, was suggested, dictated, and forwarded by Governor Walton 
and certain members of his council with a design of impairing the influence of 
General Mcintosh and compassing his removal from the military command in 
Georgia. Fortunately this malevolent and nefarious scheme failed to accom- 
plish the unlawful result at which it aimed. So far from injuring the popular- 
ity of the meritorious officer whose valuable services were called in question, it 
drew down upon its authors the condemnation of all fair-minded people. 

Upon the conclusion of the Revolutionary War this whole affair formed a 
subject of review by the legislature of Georgia. On the journals of the House 
of Assembly the following resolutions are entered under date of January 30, 


" Resolved that they have examined such papers and persons as have been 
offered by the different parties, from which it appears that the resolves of Coun- 
cil, dated at Augusta, December 12th, 1779, and the letter from Governor Wal- 
ton to the President of Congress, dated December 15th, 1779, respecting Gen- 
eral Mcintosh were unjust, illiberal, and a misrepresentation of facts : that the 
letter said to be from William Glascock, speaker of the Assembly, dated No- 
vember 30th, 1779, addressed to the President of Congress, appears to be a 
forgery, in violation of law and truth, and highly injurious to the interest of 
the State, and dangerous to the rights of its citizens; and that the Attorney 
General be ordered to make the necessary inquiries and enter such prosecu- 
tions as may be consistent with his duty and office. 

" Resolved that General Mcintosh be informed that this House does enter- 
tain an abhorrence of all such injurious attempts made use of, as appears by 
the papers laid before them, to injure the character of an officer and citizen of 
this State who merits the attention of the Legislature for his early, decided, 
and persevering efforts in the defense of America, of which virtue this House 
has the highest sense." 

With remarkable inconsistency, the Legislature on the day before these 
resolutions were adopted, had elected George Walton chief justice of the State 
of Georgia. If the attorney-general ever instituted any proceedings, we are 
not advised. 

Short was Governor Walton's^ gubernatorial career consequent upon his 

1 See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 293. Savannah, 1816. 

*"It is an irrefragable evidence," says John Sanderson in his Biography of the Signers to 
the Declaration of Independence (vol. ill. p. 166, Philadelphia, 1823), " of the great talents of 
Mr. Walton and of their proper appreciation by the people of Georgia that during the remainder 
of his life he held, in almost uninterrupted succession, the most respectable appointments that 
the government could confer upon him. There are indeed few men in the United States upon 

Movements of the Executive Council. 97 

election in November, 1779. By the General Assembly Richard Howley was^ 
on the 4th of January, 1780, elected governor, and William Glascock speaker 
of the House. Edward Telfair, George Walton, Benjamin Andrew, Lyman 
Hall, and William Few were appointed members of Congress. George Wells,. 
Stephen Heard, John Lindsay, and Humphrey Wells were constituted mem- 
bers of the executive council. Of this body George Wells was chosen presi- 
dent. The office of chief justice was filled by the selection of William Stephens, 
and that of attorney-general by John Milledge. Colonel John Stark and Cap- 
tain Hardy were elected treasurers. Edward Jones was made secretary of 
State, and Joseph Clay paymaster- general. 

Composed largely of the friends of Walton and Howley, this assembly crit- 
cised severely the former council, and accused its members of "exercising 
powers and authorities unknown to and subversive of the constitution and laws 
of this State." It even went so far as to declare that "said council and the 
powers they exercised were illegal and unconstitutional." And yet, within a 
month, this assembly, which had thus pronounced null and void the action of 
the former council and denounced it as lawless in conception and operation, 
moved by the exigency of the period, and anticipating it might happen, dur- 
ing the progress of the war, " that the Ministers of government of this State 
might not be able to do or transact the business of the State within the limits 
of the same," unanimously re'solved "that his Honor the Governor, or, in his- 
absence, the President and Executive Council, may do and transact all and 
every business of government in as full, ample, and authoritative manner im 
any other State within the Confederation, touching and respecting of this- 
State, as though it had been done and. transacted within the limits of this 

Informed of the arrival of large reinforcements in Savannah, the ultimate 
destination of which was not then well ascertained. Governor Howley issued a 
stirring proclamation "commanding and requiring the people to stand firm to 
their duty, and exert themselves in support and defense of the great and glo- 
rious independency of the United States: and also to remember with gratitude 
to Heaven that the Almighty Ruler of human affairs hath been pleased to raise 
up the spirit and might of the two greatest powers in the world [France and 
Spain] to join with them and oppose and destroy the persecutor of their liber- 
ties and immunities." 

General Lincoln was censured by the legislature for withdrawing the con- 
tinental troops from Georgia, and was pronounced "answerable for all the con- 

whom more extensive and solid proofs of public confidence have been lavished. He was si.x 
times elected a representative to Congress, twice governor of the State, once a senator of the 
United States, and four times judge of the Superior Courts ; the latter office he held during 
fifteen years and until the day of his death. He was one of the commissioners on the part of 
the United States to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee Indians in Tennessee, and several 
times a member of the State legislature." 


98 History of Augusta. 

sequences which may follow that unadvised measure." The governor was in- 
structed to concentrate half the militia of the State at Augusta, and Colonel 
John Twiggs, with his command and as many volunteers as he could secure, 
was requested to take post at that point. 

Aware of the defenseless condition of this town, which " might be surprised 
by twenty men," and deeming it "unsafe and impolitic for the Governor and 
Council to remain thus exposed," the assembly designated Heard's Fort, in 
Wilkes County, as a suitable "place of meeting for transacting the business of 
the government of this State as soon after leaving Augusta as may be." 

Responding to this suggestion the executive council did, on the 5th of Feb- 
ruary, adjourn to assemble at Heard's Fort, which thereupon became the tem- 
porary capital of the State. Brief was the gubernatorial term of service of 
Governor Howley. He left Georgia to take his seat in the Continental Con- 
gress, and the Hon. George Wells, the president of council and three mem- 
bers of the board were announced as fully competent for the transaction of all 
public business. "The value of paper money," says Captain McCall,^ was at 
that time ?o much reduced that the governor dealt it out by the quire for a 
night's lodging for his party; and, if the fare was anything extraordinary, the 
landlord was compensated with two quires." 

President Wells dying, Stephen Heard, of Wilkes County was elected, on 
the 1 8th of February, president of council. He was, during the absence of 
Governor Howley, governor dc facto of republican Georgia, which, at that 
time, could practically claim the allegiance of only two counties, — Richmond 
and Wilkes. That portion of the State lying south of a line drawn from Hud- 
son's ferry on the Savannah River to the Ogeechee River was in the possess- 
ion of the British. 

"Thus was Georgia reduced to the verge of political death. The govern- 
ment, such as it was, was administered by President Heard, and a few mem- 
bers of the Council in Wilkes County; and when Mr. Heard retreated to North 
Carolina, Myrick Davies was chosen president in his place. The condition of 
the Republicans in Georgia was indeed deplorable. Driven from Savannah 
and the seaboard, compelled to evacuate Augusta, hemmed in by hostile In- 
dians on the frontier, and confined mostly to a few settlements in and around 
Wilkes County, they lived in daily peril, had almost daily skirmishes with 
Regulars, Tories, or Indians, were harrassed with alarms, were surprised by 
ambuscades, were pinched with want, and had one long bitter struggle for sim- 
ple existence, with scarcely a ray of hope to light up the future." - 

Moreover, unseemly dissensions had arisen among leading citizens, and the 
land was a prey alike to external and internal foes. Most difficult was it to 
maintain even a show of civil authority and to support a tolerable administra- 

'■ Ht'sfory of Georgia, vol. ii. ]). 303. Savannah. 1816. 

'Stevens's History of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 331. Philadelphia. 1859. 

Reorganization of the State Government. 99 

tion of justice. Many good men went into voluntary exile, bewailing the ex- 
stence of evils which they were unable either to mitigate or to remove. 

At this darkest epoch, when English arms had gained the ascendency not 
only in Georgia but also in Carolina, when the principal towns of those States 
were in the possession of the enemy, and the territory on both sides of the 
Savannah was largely subservient to British rule, it was noised abroad that a 
new commission would soon issue from the Court of St. James for the purpose 
of again sounding the temper of America upon the subject of a pacification. 
It was boldly hinted that Georgia, and perhaps South Carolina, in any nego- 
tiations would not be recognized as a part of the American Union, but would 
be excluded on the ground that they had "been again colonized to England 
by new conquest." In Europe the " ?/// possidetis" was much talked of as a 
"probable basis for the anticipated peace." Against this doctrine and its 
practical application George Walton, William F^ew and Richard Howley, then 
representing Georgia in the Continental Congress, prepared and published a 
manly and earnest protest^ which was not without influence. After represent- 
ing in their true colors the excellences possessed by Georgia, her natural re- 
sources, and the advantages which resulted from her union with sister Ameri- 
can States, they insisted that she was a material component part of the Con- 
federation, and that she could not be abandoned or given up without endan- 
gering the integrity of that union. The public was reminded that all the colo- 
nies had joined in one common cause, and had sacrificed their blood and for- 
tunes in its support. Rightly did they contend that it would be "unjust and 
inhuman for the other parts of the Union separately to embrace the result of 
the common efforts and leave them [Georgia and Carolina] under the yoke of 
a bankrupt and enraged t} rant." The suggestion shocked the sentiments of 
the allied patriots; and the doctrine of /////^i'j'/c/^'/'zjr, if seriously entertained, 
was thoroughly eliminated from all discussions and deliberations contemplat- 
ing the establishment of amicable relations between England and her revolted 

On the i6th of August, 1781, Dr. Nathan Brownson was elected governor, 
and Edward Telfair, William Few, Dr. Noble Wimberley Jones and Samuel 
Stirk were appointed delegates to Congress. The skies were biightening. Au- 
gusta been rescued from the possession of the enemy, and renewed efforts 
were being made for the recovery of other portions of the State. 

Eight days after his induction into office. Governor Brownson. with the in- 
tention of strengthening the manhood of the State, issued a p'-oclamation re- 
quiring all persons who considered themselves citizens of Georgia to return 
home within specified periods under penalty of being subjected to the pay- 
ment of a treble tax to be levied upon all lands owned by them within the limits 
of the State. Many wanderers were thus recalled who, having forsaken their 

1 Obser-vations upon the Effects of Certain Late Political Suggestions : by the Delegates 
of Georgia, pp. lo. Philadelphia. MDCCCLXXXI. 

loo History of Augusta. 

plantations in Georgia, had sought refuge in South and North Carolina, and in 

The machinery of State government was further organized by this legisla- 
ture, assembled in Augusta, — of which John Jones was the speaker, — by the 
election of John Wereat as chief justice, Samuel Stirk as attorney- general, 
James Bryan as treasurer, and John Milton as secretary of State. Provision 
was made for reopening the courts of justice, and assistant judges were elected 
for each county. It was then the duty of the chief justice to preside at the 
superior courts of all the several counties, and the terms were so arranged as 
to permit his presence. In each county he was aided by the assistant justices 
selected for the county. For the more efficient organization and control of 
the militia the following officers were chosen : 

For the County of Wilkes: Elijah Clarke, colonel; John Cunningham, lieu- 
tenant-colonel ; and William Walker, major. 

For the County of Richmond : Josiah Dunn, colonel ; Isaac Jackson, lieu- 
tenant-colonel ; and Joshua Winn, major. 

For Lower Richmond: James Martin, colonel; James McNiel, lieutenant- 
colonel ; and Archibald Beal, major. 

For the County of Burke: Asa Emanuel, colonel; James McKay, lieuten- 
ant-colonel; and Francis Boykin, major. 

For the County of Effingham : Caleb Howell, colonel ; Stephen Johnson, 
lieutenant- colonel ; and Daniel Howell, major. 

For the County of Chatham: George Walton, colonel; John Martin, lieu- 
tenant-colonel; and Charles Odingsell, major. 

For the County of Liberty : John Baker, colonel; Cooper, lieutenant- 
colonel ; and James Maxwell, major. 

To the governor was allowed a salary at the rate of £s^'^ P^^ annum ; to 
the chief justice, a salary of i^300 ; to the attorney- general, a salary of ;{J"200 ; 
to the treasurer, a salary of ^^150 ; to the secretary of State, a salary of ^loo; 
to the clerk of council and assembly, a salary of ^75 ; and to the messenger of 
council, a salary of ^,"50 The delegates to the Continental Congress were 
entitled to a sum sufficient to defray all their expenses incurred in going to, 
attending upon, and in returning from Congress. 

Governor Brownson was a leading physician of Southern Georgia, public- 
spirited, wise in counsel, and an early and earnest supporter of the plans of the 
Revolutionists. Twice had he served his people as a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress. Among the purest patriots of Liberty County will he always 
be numbered. 

In the early part of December, 1781, the council was called upon to mourn 
the loss of the Honorable Myrick Davies, recently its president, who was in- 
humanly slain by the Royalists. The headquarters of the board had for sometime 
been fixed at Howell's plantation in Burke county. On the i ith of December, 
,1781, the following minute appears in the journal of the executive council: 

Governor Martin Elected. ioi 

"Resolved, that his honor the governor be requested to take measures for 
conveying the body of the late Myrick Davies, Esqr., president of the Execu- 
tive Council, to this place, ^ and that Mr. Lewis be requested to prepare a proper 
discourse for his interment, and this Board will attend the same." 

On the 2d of January, 1782, Stephen Heard was for a second time elected 
president of council. 

By the legislature, which convened in Augusta on the ist of January, 1782, 
was John Martin, an active defender of the liberties of his country and a lieu- 
tenant-colonel in the continental line of the Georgia brigade, elected governor. 
William Gibbons was selected as speaker. This body remained in session only 
about ten days, and was subsequently, by proclamation of the governor, con- 
vened at Augusta on the 17th of April. 

Already were indications of a successful issue to the impending conflict be- 
coming apparent, and the hearts of the Revolutionists were cheered by the 
approach of a strong army for the reclamation of Georgia. 

Encouraged by the prospect, Governor Martin, in his inaugural address, 
thus felicitated the members of the legislature : " I am extremely happy in 
finding that the virtuous struggles made by the good citizens of this State 
against our cruel and unnatural enemies have at length nearly secured to us 
those blessings for which we have so long contended, and, I doubt not, but by 
a continuance of those exertions and the support we have reason to expect, 
we shall in a short time reap the happy fruits of our labors." 

It was under his administration that Georgia was rescued from British do- 
minion and the commonwealth restored to the full exercise of all legislative, 
executive, and judicial powers. He was the governor whose good fortune it 
was to behold the successful termination of the Revolution, and to witness the 
public recognition of Georgia as a sovereign State. 


Augusta Evacuated by Williamson, and Occupied by Brown and Grierson — Barbarous 
Cruelties Perpetrated by Them — Colonel Clarke's Attempt to retake Augusta — Narrative of the 
Incidents Connected with the Affair — Governor Wright's Dispatches — Sad! Plight of the Rev- 
olutionists—Colonel Brown. 

HAVING in this summary of the political history of Georgia during this 
period of uncertainty, distraction, poverty and desolation, anticipated in 
some measure the progress of events, let us turn to the military affairs imme- 
diately affecting the fortunes of the town of Augusta. 

Many of the refugees from Southern and Middle Georgia experienced great 

* Augusta, 

102 History of Augusta. 

difficulty in placing their families and personal property in localities exempt 
from danger. Some, foreseeing the privations to which their wives and chil- 
dren would be subjected, repented of their patriotic purpose and availed them- 
selves of the protection offered by the Crown. Others, unable to defray the 
charges incident upon a removal, and filled with a heroic desire to consecrate 
their lives to the military service of the Confederacy, bade farewell to their 
homes and commended their all to the chances of war and the God of battles. 

Merciless was the conflict waged between Royalists and Republicans. The 
former, inflamed with hatred and eager for rapine, spared neither age nor sex. 
Ruin marked their footsteps, and their presence was a signal for theft, torture, 
murder, and crimes without a name. Revenge and retaliation prompted the 
Republicans to many bloody deeds which can scancely be excused even in a 
defensive war, — that most justifiable of all conflicts, where life, liberty, prop- 
erty, and country are at stake. Dark is the picture from whatever light it may 
be viewed, and not a few of the scenes there depicted were, beyond controversy, 
inspired by Moloch. 

Brigadier- General Andrew Williamson, with three hundred men, was now 
encamped near Augusta. Although composed of militia, this was, numerically 
considered, the most formidable force then assembled at a single point for the 
defense of republican Georgia. While encouraging Colonel Clarke with the 
suggestion that he would accede to a concentration of forces and unite in the 
suppression of the Royalists in Upper Carolina, he held the king's protection 
in his pocket and meditated an act of infamy. Unable either to read or write, 
he entrusted the details of his command to his aid-de-canip, Malcolm Brown, 
who had long given evidence of his attachment to the royal cause. Conceal- 
ing for some time the information he had received of the fall of Charlestown, 
he subsequently, upon the approach of the British detachments, called his offi- 
cers together, expressed the opinion that further resistance would prove inef- 
fectual, and recommended them to return to their homes and there accept the 
protection offered at the hands of the king's servants. He thereupon aban- 
doned his command. For this traitorous act he was rewarded by a colonel's 
commission in his majesty's service ; and, until the close of the war. was recog- 
nized as a warm advocate of the re-establishment of the royal government.^ 

Upon the disbanding of this force Augusta was occupied by Colonels Brown 
and Grierson, two notorious partisan officers in the king's army The former 
had been a resident of that town prior to the inception of the war. His con- 
duct and language had then been so offensive and insulting to the friends of 
liberty that he was finally arrested by the parish committee, tried, tarred and 
feathered, and exposed to public ridicule in a cart drawn by three mules. This 
ignominous punishment ended, he made his escape to the British, swearing 
vengeance against all patriots. Entrusted now with the command of the town 

' McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 304. Savannah. 1816. 

Cruelties of Brown and Grierson. 103 

in the streets of which he had sufifered such gross indignities, he was resolved 
to gratify a revenge sternly cherished, and to repay, with interest, to the citi- 
zens of Augusta the ill-usage he had experienced at their hands. His first 
measure was the sequestration of the property of the Republican inhabitants. 
This was speedily followed by an order banishing, beyond the limits of Georgia, 
all Whig families. Stripped of their possessions and driven from their homes, 
exposed to insults and enduring numberless privations, these proscribed Geor- 
gians were compelled to journey even to the borders of North Carolina, where 
they arrived half famished, broken down by the fatigue and hardships of travel, 
and some of them with constitutions so sadly shattered that all hope of health 
and life had fled.^ The tyrant rejoiced in his supremacy ; and, gloating over 
the sorrows he had wrought, boasted that his 

. . . " great revenge 
Had stomach for them all." 

Emissaries were dispatched into the adjacent country with authority to 
grant protections and exact oaths of allegiance to the British Crown. A party 
thus commissioned, and led by Captain Corker, at dead of night forced an en- 
trance into the dwelling-house of Colonel John Dooly and, in the most bar- 
barous manner, murdered him in the presence of his wife and children. Thus 
perished an officer who had borne himself gallantly in many affairs and de- 
served well of the republic. 

Soon after the affair near Musgrove's Mill, in which Colonel Clarke fought 
with a desperation worthy of all praise and narrowly escaped with his life, that 
noted partisan leader — plucky and powerful, every inch a hero — returned to 
Georgia with his command. Lord Cornwallis had recently addressed a cir- 
cular letter to his subalterns, containing the following severe injunctions: 

"The inhabitants of the Provinces who have subscribed to and taken part 
in this revolt should be punished with the utmost rigour : and also those who 
will not turn out shall be imprisoned and their whole property taken from them 
or destroyed. I have ordered in the most positive manner that every militia 
man who has borne arms with us, and afterward joined the enemy, shall be im- 
mediately hanged. I desire you will take the most rigourous measures to 
punish the rebels in the district in which you command, and that you obey in 
the strictest manner the directions I have given in this letter relative to the 
inhabitants in this country." 

Under color of this authority, cruelties, the most barbarous, were practiced. 
Grievous punishments were inflicted without even the forms of trial. Condem- 
nations and executions occurred, the prisoners being unacquainted with the 
offenses with which they were charged. The morning after this sanguinary 
order was received in Augusta five victims were taken from the jail, and by 
order of Colonel Brown were publicly strangled on the gibbet.^ Confiscations 

' McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii., p. 320. Savannah. 18 16. 
" McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 320. Savannah. 18 16. 

I04 History of Augusta. 

were multiplied, and a reign of terror overspread such portions of Georgia and 
South Carolina as were under the control of the king's forces. Hoping that 
this inhuman order would rouse the manhood of the State to determined resis- 
tance and concentrate the friends of American liberty in a supreme effort for 
its assertion, Colonel Clarke, in association with Lieutenant- Colonel McCall, 
planned an expedition for the capture of Augusta. In the success of the en- 
terprise they were the more inclined to repose confidence because Lord Corn- 
wallis in mustering his forces to oppose General Gates had materially depleted 
the garrison at that point. It was hoped that they might, within a short time, 
by their joint exertions raise an army of one thousand men. With such a 
force it was believed that Brown would be compelled to evacuate his post, and 
that the northern and Avestern divisions of Georgia and South Carolina would 
be speedily restored to their Confederate allegiance. Soap Creek in Georgia,^ 
forty miles northwest of Augusta, was agreed upon as the place of rendezvous. 

Entering Wilkes County about the ist of September, 1780, Colonel Clarke 
succeeded, within less than two weeks, in placing in the field some three hun- 
dred and fifty men. After the most strenuous efforts expended in the western 
part of Ninety-Six district, in South Carolina, Colonel McCall persuaded only 
eighty men to accompany him upon the expedition. A union of these detach- 
ments occurred at Soap Creek at the appointed time. Celerity of movement 
being all important. Colonel Clarke put his column on the march without de- 
lay and, on the morning of the 14th of September, halted near Augusta and 
formed his command for action. The enemy was ignorant of his purpose until 
he appeared before the town. One division, commanded by Lieutenant-Col- 
onel McCall, was instructed to enter Augusta by the lower road. The left di- 
vision, led by Major Samuel Taylor, was ordered to approach by the upper 
road, while Colonel Clarke in person, with the center division, was to effect an 
entrance by the middle or southern road. Moving rapidly and simultaneously 
these divisions advanced upon Augusta. 

Near Hawk's Creek, on the west. Major Taylor fell in with an Indian en- 
campment which he at once carried. The savages retreated upon their allies, 
keeping up a desultory fire as they retired. This assault upon the Indian camp 
gave Colonel Brown the first intimation of the approach of the Americans. 
Taylor pressed on to gain possession of McKay's trading post, denominated 
the White House, and situated about a mile and a half west of Augusta as the 
town then stood. This house was occupied by a company of the King's Ran- 
gers, commanded by Captain Johnston. Thither did the retreating Indians 
betake themselves. Ordering Grierson to reinforce Johnston, Brown advanced 
with the main body of his troops to contest the entrance of the Americans. 
Completely surprised by the center and right divisions, the forts surrendered 
after scarcely a show of resistance. Seventy prisoners and a large quantity of 
Indian presents ^ fell into the hands of the captors. These being secured and 
' Their aggregate value was reckoned at £4,000. 

Attempt to Retake Augusta. 105 

left under the charge of a suitable guard, Colonel Clarke hastened to the assis- 
tance of Major Taylor. 

Meanwhile, Brown and Grierson had joined Johnston and the Indians at the 
White House and entered upon its vigorous defense. Taking possession of 
several small houses to the eastward, Clarke endeavored, under their cover, to 
dislodge the enemy. The attempt proved futile. From eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon until nightfall an irregular fire was maintained between the contend- 
ing parties, but without producing any material impression. It was manifest 
that the enemy could not be driven from his stronghold without the assistance 
of artillery. Sheltering themselves behind the bank of the river, and protected 
by the trees which grew along the margin, such of the Indians as could not be 
accommodated in the White House found security in that locality, and thence 
delivered a careful and an annoying fire. Hostilities ceased with the close of 
the day, and strong guards were posted to prevent the escape of the enemy. 

Under cover of the night Brown materially strengthened his position by 
throwing up earthworks round the house. The space between the weather 
boarding and the ceiling was filled with sand and clay so as to render the 
structure proof against musketry. The windows were secured by boards 
taken from the floors, and loop-holes were constructed at convenient distances. 
Every material at command was utilized in enhancing the defensive power of 
the building. 

The next morning two pieces of light artillery, a four-pounder and a six- 
pounder gun, were transported from Fort Grierson and placed in position so 
as to bear upon the White House. Their carriages not being adapted for field 
service, and their management being unskillful, these guns proved of little 
avail. Captain'^Vfartin, too, the only artillerist in Clarke's command, was un- 
fortunately killed just after the guns were brought into action. A musketry 
fire was directed during the day against the enemy, who evinced no intention 
either of abandoning the post, or of surrendering. 

During the night of the 15th Brown was reinforced by fifty Cherokee In- 
dians, who, well armed, crossed the Savannah in canoes and participated in 
the defense. Before daylight on the morning of the i6th the Americans suc- 
ceeded in driving the Indians from their shelter along the river bank and in 
completely cutting off the garrison from its water supply. Thus was the enemy 
greatly inconvenienced, and the sufferings of the wounded became intense. 
Their cries for water and medical aid were heartrending. A horrid stench, 
arising from the dead bodies of men and horses, enhanced the miseries of the 
situation. Brown, himself, shot through both thighs, was suffering terribly, 
but his desperate courage never for a moment forsook him. Ignoring the tor- 
tures of his wounds, he remained booted at the head of his gallant band, di- 
recting the defense and animating his troops by his presence and example. In 
order to atone in some degree for the absence of water, he ordered all the 


io6 History of Augusta. 

urine to be carefully preserved in earthen vessels found in the store. When 
cold, this was served out to the men, he himself taking the first draught.^ A 
more frightful illustration of the extremity of the situation cannot be imagined. 
Summoned to surrender on the 17th, he promptly refused the demand, and 
warned Colonel Clarke that his present demonstration would eventually bring 
destruction and devastation upon the western division of Georgia. The sum- 
mons was repeated in the afternoon with an avowal of a fixed determination on 
the part of the Americans to reduce the garrison at every sacrifice. Brown's 
only reply was that he should defend himself to the last extremity. Never was 
braver foe brought to bay. His wonderful resolution sustained all his follow- 
ers in their dire distress. 

Upon the appearance of the Americans, Colonel Brown had dispatched 
messengers by different routes to inform Colonel Cruger, at Ninety-Six, of his 
situation, and to urge that reinforcements should be immediately sent to his 
relief Sir Patrick Houstoun, one of these messengers, was the first to reach 
Ninety- Six. He communicated the perilous posture of affairs. Cruger lost 
no tini'^! in repairing to the scene of conflict. During the night of the 17th 
Colonel Clarke was informed by his scouts that Colonel Cruger, at the head 
of five hundred British regulars and royal militia, was advancing by forced 
marches for the succor of the besieged. In direct disobedience of orders many 
of Colonel Clarke's men had gone to Burke county to see their families and 
friends, from whom they had long been separated. Others, actuated b\- the 
love of booty, had decamped, carrying with them the goods which Brown had 
recently received to be distributed as presents among the Indians. 

About eight o'clock on the morning of the i8th the British troops appeared 
on the opposite bank of the Savannah River. In his enfeebled condition, his 
ranks depleted by wounds, death, and desertion. Colonel Clarke was compelled 
to raise the siege. The Americans retreated about ten o'clock, having sus- 
tained a loss of sixty in killed and wounded. Among the former were Cap- 
tains Charles jourdine and William Martin, and William Luckie, a brave and 
much respected }-oung man from South Carolina, who fell earl\- in the contest 
while endeavoring to gain possession of the White House. 

Such of the republicans as were badly wounded were left in the town. Thus 
did Captain Ashby, an officer noted for his bravery and humanit)-, and twenty- 
eight soldiers fall into the hands of the enem\'. He and twelve of the wound- 
ed prisoners were forthwith hung upon the staircase of the White House, where 
Brown was l}"ing wounded, that he might enjoy the demoniacal pleasure of 
gloating over their expiring agonies. Their bodies were then delivered to the 
Indians, who, after scalping and mutilating them, threw them into the river. 
Henry Duke, John Burgamy, Scott Reeden, Jordan Ricketson, Darling, and 

1 See Lee's Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department, \ ol. i. p. 207. Philadel- 
phia. 1S12. 

Incidents Connected with the Affair. 107 

the two brothers Glass, youths of seventeen and fifteen years of age, were 
choked to death under a hastily constructed gibbet. Their fate, however, was 
mild when contrasted with that reserved for other prisoners who were deliv- 
ered into the hands of the Indians that they might be avenged of the losses 
which they had sustained during the siege. Placing their victims in the center 
of a circle, they consigned them to blows, cuts, scalping, burning, and deaths 
most horrible. Seventy savages had fallen at the hands of the Americans, and 
thus did their surviving companions offer sacrifices to their names. The bru- 
talities inflicted by Brown and his followers on this occasion stagger all com- 
prehension and transcend civilized belief 

Major Carter, who accompanied the division assaulting by the upper road, 
encountered a mortal hurt at the door of the White House while endeavoring 
to prevent the enemy from gaining possession of that structure. At great 
hazard he was borne off by his comrades, who conveyed him to the plantation 
of Mrs. Bugg, where he expired a few days afterwards. To him Colonel Clarke 
paid this tribute : '* A man of more bravery than Major Carter never occu- 
pied a space between heaven and earth." 

Among the British slain were Captain Andrew Johnston and Ensign Sil- 
cox, of the Florida Rangers. Brown's command on this occasion consisted of 
two hundred and fifty loyalists, — chiefly Florida Rangers, — an equal number 
of Creek warriors, and fifty Chei.okees. 

Before retiring. Colonel Clarke paroled the officers and men whom hj had 
captured. Among them were Captain James Smith and forty- one of the 
King's Rangers, a commissioned officer and eleven men of De Lancey's corps, 
and a surgeon. In entire disregard of the obligations into which they had en- 
tered, these officers and soldiers resumed their arms immediately upon the de- 
parture of the Americans. 

No sooner had the Republican forces retreated than Colonel Brown sent 
out detachments in every direction to arrest all persons who had participated 
in the siege or sympathized in the effort to recapture Augusta. Captain Kemp, 
with a small party of rangers, surprised Colonel Jones and five companions in 
a house on Beech Island. James Goldwire was killed. Although Jones and 
two of his company were wounded, they succeeded in repelling the rangers 
and in taking refuge in a swamp. While there concealed and awaiting recov- 
ery from his wounds, Jones was discovered and made prisoner. The loyalists 
clamored for his life, which was saved through the personal exertions of Cap- 
tain Wylly, who surrounded him with a guard. 

The entire adjacent country was subjected to a rigorous search. Repub- 
lican sympathizers were dragged from their homes and crowded into wretched 
prisons. Those suspected of having belonged to Clarke's command were hung 
without even the mockery of a trial. Venerable men, beyond the age of bear- 
ing arms and standing aloof from thg contest, were consigned to filthy jails for 

io8 History of Augusta. 

no reason save that they welcomed the return of sons and grandsons who had 
long been absent in the armies of the Revolution. Witness the sufferings of 
the father of Captains Samuel and James Alexander. In the seventy-eighth 
year of his age he was arrested by order of Colonel Grierson, chained, and 
dragged at the tail of a cart forty miles in two days. When attempting to 
obtain some rest for his feeble limbs by leaning against the vehicle, he was 
ignominously scourged by the driver. 

Closely confined in Augusta, these old men were held as hostages for the 
neutrality of the country. Succumbing to the rigors of ill usage, the ravages 
of smallpox, and the privations incident to their sad situation, few survived 
to behold the eventual triumph of the patriots. Some twenty- five prominent 
persons who had been paroled in Augusta were sent to Charlestown. Among 
these may be mentioned Majors George Handley and Samuel Stirk, Captain 
Chesle)^ Bostwick, Mr. John Wereat, and several members of the executive 
council of Georgia.^ 

Thus did Colonel Brown, smarting under bodily pain and remembered in- 
dignities, make good his threat uttered in the White House. Thus did he 
satiate his revenge. The homes of the patriots were filled with blood, ashes, 
and tears. The Republicans were compelled to pass under a yoke too heavy 
for the stoutest neck. Further sojourn in this region was rendered intolerable, 
and multitudes forsook the territory dominated over by the insatiate Brown 
and his followers. 

Colonels Clarke and McCall have been severely although unjustly criticised 
for inaugurating this movement against Augusta. Had they succeeded, praise 
and not censure would have been the general verdict. By some the expedi- 
tion was denounced as an "ill-timed and a premature insurrection." Such 
language did not emanate from patriotic lips. The undertaking was well con- 
ceived and vigorously pressed. But for the lack of field artillery the White 
House would have been carried prior to the appearance of Colonel Cruger. 
That the failure of the eftort to retake Augusta inflamed the Royalists and en- 
tailed additional miseries upon the region cannot be doubted. The entire af- 
fair was a warlike mischance encountered by men patriotic in their impulses, 
zealous in their action, and eager to achieve a great good. 

After raising the siege of Augusta Colonel Clarke retreated to Little River 
and there disbanded his force that his men might visit their homes preparatory 
to service in distant fields. 

Three dispatches- touching this affair were sent by Governor Wright to 
Lord George Germain, — his majesty's principal Secretary of State. In the 
first he writes, under date " Savanah in Georgia i8th Septr 1780," as fol- 
lows : " My Lord. Yesterday I receiv'd Advice from Augusta acquainting 

' See McCall's History of Georgia, .vol. ii., pp. 320-330. Savannah. 1816. 
' P. R. O. Am : and W. Ind : vol. 237. 

General Wright's Dispatch. 109. 

me that a great Number of the Inhabitants of the Ceded Lands, together with 
some from South Caroh'na, had come to Augusta on the 14th Inst, & attack'd 
Col Brown, & that they had defeated him & He was oblig'd to retire into a 
Small Stockade Fort there — There was at Augusta about 450 Creek Indians, 
& I believe Col Brown has about 200 of his own Corps. It appears to me 
that the Attack was so sudden that Col Brown had not time to send off an 
Express, & no Accounts are as yet come from him — and it is fear'd and not 
doubted that Augusta has fallen into the hands of the Rebels. The Tempta- 
tion was certainly too great unless there had been a stronger force there. I 
am well inform'd that the Goods intended as Presents to the Indians was at 
least of ^^4000 Sterlg value — Prime Cost — which it is suppos'd must have fallen 
into the Hands of the Rebels, & the whole, such sort of Goods as the Back 
Country People esteem most. It is impossible to say as yet, what the conse- 
quences of this unfortunate Affair may be." .... 

In the second, under date of " 22nd Septr," he expresses to his lordship- 
the happiness he enjoys in having it in his power to say "that Col Brown at 
Augusta, with the Assistance of the Indians, (who behav'd extremely well) held 
out against the Rebels from Thursday Morng till Monday Morng & the last 
two days without any Water — And on Monday Morng the Rebels hearing 
that Col. Cruger was marching to the relief of Col Brown, they immediately 
made off. Many Rebels have been kill'd, wounded & taken, & one hang'd & 
I hope several others will, as they have now forfeited every kind of Claim to 

favor & protection This, my Lord, is a very fortunate Event, for 

had they succeeded, I am afifraid, nay certain, they soon would have become 
formidable, & I shall now endeavour that such Steps be taken against them as 
may put it out of their power to do more mischief Some of the Indian pres- 
ents fell into their hands during the time they were there, which were carried 
off, but the principal part we're deposited where Col Brown took shelter." 

From the third, showing the temper of the royal Governor, we make the 
following extract: "I have now the Honor to inclose your Lordship a Copy 
of my Last, giving an Account of the Retreat of the Rebels from Augusta, and 
from the best Information I have been able to collect I don't find that the 
Rebel Force exceeded from 4 to 450 Men. I believe Clarke, who commanded,, 
carried back into Carolina 200 to 250 of them: the rest, its said 100 killed,, 
wounded, & taken, and from 70 to 100 surrendered themselves afterwards to 
Colonel Cruger on the Ceded Lands. 13 Indians were killed. 
Thirteen of the Prisoners who broke their Paroles & came against Augusta 
have been hang'd, which I hope will have a very good Effect. 

We are doing everything possible to root out Rebellion in this Province & 

for our Defence here. Several Plantations or Settlements on the Ceded Lands, 

belonging to those who were at Augusta, have been burnt & laid waste. I 

think about 100, and Mr. Graham 1 is now at Augusta with Directions to see 

1 Royal Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. 

no History of Augusta. 

the Disqualifying Law carried into Execution in its utmost Extent, so that I 
hope when the Generahty of them are disarmed & have been compelled to 
give security for their good Behaviour, they must be convinced that Examples 
will be made both as to Life & Property, & I trust they will not venture to 
behave in the villainous manner they have hitherto done." 

Never was the patriotism of any people more sorely tried than was that of 
republican Georgians during the winter of 1780. Their affairs were literally 
in extremis. Of commerce there was none save an occasional introduction, 
at great hazard, of salt and miHtary supplies. Agriculture, for some time on the 
wane, was now pursued with no expectation of profit, but simply as a means 
whereby a bare subsistence might be obtained. Only such raiment was pro- 
curable as domestic industry evoked from the rude spinning-wheel and the 
cumbersome hand-loom. The temples of justice were closed, and there were 
no live coals on the altars dedicated to Jehovah. School-houses were rotting 
in silence, and no sound of merriment was heard in the land. Confiscations, 
conflagrations, thefts, murders, and sanguinary royal edicts had wrought sad 
havoc and engendered mourning almost universal. Poverty and ruin dwelt 
everywhere, and for months the signs of patriotic life in Georgia were most 
feeble and spasmodic. The paper currency, the only circulating medium 
known to the inhabitants, had so effectually lost its purchasing power that the 
pay of a captain in the rebel service for an entire month was incapable of pro- 
curing for him a pair of common shoes. The pecuniary compensation of the 
private soldier was literally nothing, and his supply of food and clothing was 
meager and precarious in the extreme. 

That the Confederation, under such circumstances, should have been able 
to enlist soldiers and to offer effectual resistance appears almost inexplicable : 
for history teaches that in the maintenance of protracted wars, no matter what 
the patriotism and endurance of the contestants may be, reasonable pay and 
sufificient rations are absolutely requisite to insure ef^cient service in the field 
and contentment at home. The struggles of the American colonies in their 
rugged march toward the achievement of liberty are without parallel in the 
record of revolutions. As we look back upon this period of privation, self- 
denial, desolation, and supreme effort, we marvel at the Ireroic spirit which 
possessed this beleagured land. As we contrast the armies of the republicans 
with those of other nations renowned for valor and patriotism, we wonder at 
the inspiration which sustained them and the zeal for independence which 
enabled them to suffer every want and overcome all obstacles. 

Of all the inhuman characters developed during this abnormal period so 
replete with murder, arson, theft, brutality, and crimes too foul for utterance, 
none can be named more notorious than Thomas Brown, loyalist and colonel 
in his majesty's service. His acts incarnadine and encumber with barbarities 
the Revolutionary pages in Georgia history. And yet this tyrant, this perse- 

Colonel Williamson Invests Augusta. i i r 

cutor of defenseless women and children, this butcher of captives, this relent- 
less, merciless persecutor of patriots, in a long letter penned from Nassau on 
the 25th of December, 1786, calls Dr. Ramsay to account for the strictures in 
which he justly indulges when reviewing his conduct, and enters upon a lengthy 
justification of some of the transactions which have rendered his reputation 
well-nigh infamous. 

Bravery was his only redeeming trait, and that he possessed and exhibited 
in a wonderful degree. Loyalty to the king was the cloak which covered 
every excess. Revenge was the passion sweeter than all others. To his ears 
the dying groans of a republican were more enjoyable than strains of purest 
melody. Convicted in the city of London in 18 12 of a grand forgery upon the 
government which he served, he ended his days in disgrace and ignominy. 

The shadows which had so long enshrouded the hopes of the Revolutionists 
in Georgia were now lifting. The absent were returning and assembling in 
force for the salvation of their homes. Firm in the confidence and secure in 
the affection of the Southern Department, General Greene was hailed as the 
great and good genius of the hour. Brave men were projecting plans of deliver- 
ance, and among them was a scheme for the repossession of Augusta and the 
capture of the lawless men who had so grievously afflicted the region. 


Colonel Williamson Invests Augusta — Arrival of Colonel Clarke — Pickens and Lee Ordered 
to Assist in the Reduction of Augusta — Capture of Fort Galphin — The Siege and Capitulation 
of Augusta — Lieutenant-Colonel James Jackson Assigned to the Command — Burnet's Ras- 
cality — Governor Wright Calls Lustily for Aid. 

STILL suffering from the effects of the smallpox, Colonel Clarke was too 
feeble to take the saddle at the time appointed for the reassembling of his 
men at Dennis' Mill on Little River. Consequently, Lieutenant- Colonel Micajah 
Williamson assumed the command and, on the i6th of April, 1781, moved 
with the detachment to the vicinity of Augusta. There he was reinforced by 
Colonel Baker with as many militia as he had been able to collect in Southern 
Georgia, and by Captains Dunn and Irwin who brought with them some men 
from Burke County. Soon after, Colonel Hammond and Major Jackson 
arrived with such of the Carolina militia as they had been successful in recruit- 
ing in the neighborhood of Augusta. 

With this force, which was numerically a little superior to that possessed 
by the enemy but far inferior in discipline and equipment, Colonel Williamson, 
occupied a position twelve hundred yards distant from the British works,, and 

112 History of Augusta. 

there fortified his camp. It is believed that the exaggerated accounts of the 
American strength conveyed to Colonel Brown deferred him from making an 
attack which would probably have eventuated in success. 

For nearly four weeks had the republicans been sitting down before Au- 
gusta, guarding all the approaches to the town, confining its garrison within 
their defenses, and eagerly expecting reinforcements from General Greene's 
army, preparatory to a general assault upon the British works. Wearied with 
the service, and despairing of the anticipated aid, the militia were on the eve 
of withdrawing when Major Jackson — as eloquent of speech as he was daring 
in war — by a patriotic address inflamed their ardor and changed their pur- 
pose. The arrival of Colonel Clarke and one hundred men on the 15th of 
May restored confidence and confirmed the resolution to prosecute the enter- 
prise to a successful issue. 

Major Dill had collected a band of loyalists with the intention of reinforc- 
ing Brown and compelling the Americans to raise the siege. Without waiting 
for his approach, Colonel Clarke dispatched Captains Shelby and Carr, with a 
strong party, who fell upon him at Walker's bridge on Brier Creek, killing and 
wounding a number of his men and dispersing the rest. 

Entertaining no apprehension of an attack from the enemy. Colonel Clarke 
sent his cavalry horses under a guard of six men to Beech Island that they 
might be plentifully supplied with forage. Learning this fact. Colonel Brown 
detailed'a force of regulars, militia, and Indians, to proceed down the Savan- 
nah River in canoes to cut ofi" the guard and capture the animals. In this 
mission they succeeded. Every man of the guard was slain. While return- 
ing with the horses, the}' were attacked by Captains Shelby and Carr, near 
Mrs. Bugg's plantation, and entirely routed. Not one of the enemy falling 
into the hands of the Americans was permitted to live. Nearly half the 
detachment was killed. All the horses were recovered.^ 

Unfurnished with artillery Colonel Clarke picked up an old four- pounder 
which had been abandoned by the British, mounted it, and employed a black- 
smith to forge projectiles for it. This little piece was placed in battery about 
four hundred yards from Fort Grierson. So limited was the supply of ammu- 
nition that it was fired only on occasions the most favorable. 

General Pickens with four hundred men was operating between Augusta 
and Ninety-Six to cut ofi" all communication between those posts. Eastward 
of Nmety Six Colonels Branham and Hayes were recruiting their commands 
and intercepting supplies intended for the relief of that station. While thus 
engaged Colonel Hayes, who then had with him forty-five men, was suddenly 
attacked by Major Cunningham. Taking refuge in a house Hayes defended 
himself until further resistance appeared useless. He then surrendered upon 
condition that his men should be recognized and treated as prisoners of war. 

' See McCall's History of Georgia, vol^ ii. p. 368. Savannah. 1816. 

Pickens and Lee Ordered to Augusta. 113 

No sooner had they laid down their arms than they were assaulted and mur- 
dered to a man. Behold the temper and faith of the loyalists! 

The investing force of the Americans was somewhat enfeebled at Augusta 
by a detail sent into the upper portion of Georgia and South Carolina to drive 
back some Indians and loyal refugees who were committing depredations upon 
the frontier. 

Such was the posture of affairs, and such were the events which transpired 
in the vicinity of Augusta just prior to the advent of General Pickens and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Lee. P'ort Motte had fallen. So had Fort Granby. Within 
less than a month General Greene compelled Lord Rawdon to evacuate Cam- 
den, and forced the submission of the adjacent British posts. He was now 
moving forward for the close investment of Ninety-Six. The capture of Au- 
gusta was determined upon, so that by one continuous and decisive campaign 
the deliverance of the States of Carolina and Georgia from the domination of 
the king's forces might be thoroughly compassed, save in the cases of Charles- 
town and Savannah which could not, at the time, be readily assailed because 
the enemy ruled at sea. Meanwhile Colonel Cruger was busily engaged in 
strengthening his defenses at Ninety- Six, and was resolved to hold his post to 
the last extremity. 

General Pickens and Lieutenant-Colonel Lee were ordered to repair with 
their commands to Augusta and reduce that town. The latter officer, having 
narrowly observed the operations of the enemy at Ninety- Six and reported 
fully the condition of affairs to General Greene, took up his line of march across 
the country for Augusta. On the third day he arrived in its vicinity. He had 
been preceded by Captain Ferdinand O'Neale, who, with a party of light horse, 
was detached to collect provisions and acquire all information which might 
facilitate the consummation of the military operation immediately in hand. By 
this officer Colonel Lee was advised of the arrival at Fort Galphin of the an- 
nual royal present intended for the Indians. It consisted of powder, ball, small 
arms, liquor, salt, blankets, and other articles which were sadly needed in the 
American camp. For the protection of these valuable supplies two compa- 
nies of infantry had been detailed by Colonel Brown from his command at 
Augusta, and they were, at the moment, garrisoning Fort Galphin. With a 
view to the possession of these coveted articles, and that Brown's force mi^ht 
be permanently weakened by the capture of these two companies, Colonel Lee 
resolved upon the immediate reduction of the fort at Silver Bluff. Of his 
proximity to Augusta the enemy seems not to have been aware. His move- 
ments had evidently been rapid and well concealed. Quick action was im- 
peratively^demanded. Leaving Eaton with his battalion, the artillery, and the 
exhausted men of the legion to follow on more leisurely, and mounting a de- 
tachment of infantry behind his dragoons, Colonel Lee pressed on by a forced 
march toward Fort Galphin. 



History of Augusta. 

This work, situated on the left bank of the Savannah River about fifteen 
miles below Augusta, consisted of the substantial brick residence erected by- 
George Galphin, the famous Indian trader, surrounded by a stockade. Dread- 
naught the English called it, and the bold bluff near which it stood had long 
been known as Silver Bluff. 

The morning of the 2ist of Mixy, 1781, was sultry beyond measure. For 
miles not a drop of water had been found to quench the violent thirst of trooper 
and horse. Men and animals were sorely oppressed as they halted beneath 
the pines which skirted the field surrounding the fort. Ignorant of the ap- 
proach of Colonel Lee and his command, the enemy was resting quietly within 
the stockade. The fierce rays of the sun smote everything with a blinding and 
paralyzing influence which forbade all exertion not imperatively demanded. 
But the prize was at hand and moments were precious. Pausing but a little 
while for his command to recover breath. Colonel Lee dismounted such mili- 
tiamen as accompanied the expedition and ordered them to demonstrate 
against the fort from a direction opposite to that then occupied by him. Con- 
fidently conjecturing that the garrison, upon the appearance of the militia, 
would speedily issue from the stockade and resist the threatened attack, Colo- 
nel Lee resolved to seize upon the instant, and, by a rapid assault, capture the 
post when thus bereft of its defenders. To that end Captain Rudolph (whom 
an ill-defined tradition identifies as the famous Marshal Ney in disguise), with 
such infantry as was capable of quick action, was held in readiness at the op- 
portune moment to rush upon the fort. The remaining foot- soldiers, sup- 
ported by a troop of dragoons, took a position whence the militia could be 
surely and readily shielded, in th-eir retreat, from any injury which the pursu- 
ing garrison might seek to inflict. Such was the strategy devised by the ac- 
complished Light Horse Harry. Most successfully was it consummated. 

As had been anticipated, at sight of the demonstrating militiamen the gar- 
rison flew to arms, and, rushhig from the fort, advanced to repel the threatened 
attack. After a show of resistance the militia retreat, drawing the garrison 
after them in hot pursuit. Just then Captain Rudolph with his detachment 
sweeps rapidly across 'the field and envelops the stockade. The resistance 
offered by the few defenders remaining within is feeble and is speedily crushed. 
The dragoons, foot- soldiers and rallying militia close in upon the enemy in the 
field, and quick surrender follows. The Americans lost but one man during 
the engagement, and he perished from excessive heat. Only three or four of 
the enemy fell in the aftair. The capture of the entire garrison, and the pos- 
session of the valuable stores concentrated within the stockade, proved a rich 
reward for the toil and suffering involved in the adventure. The entire affair, 
its conception, the strategy employed, and its consummation were alike cred- 
itable to the young Virginian and his brave followers. 

But a few short hours did Colonel Lee tarry with his command at Fort 

Capture of Fort Galphin. 115 

Galphin. Suitable provision having been made for securing the fruits of his 
dashing triumph, he hastened on to join Pickens and Clarke and to participate 
in those operations which eventuated in the surrender of Brown at Augusta. 

Compared with many other engagements which occurred within the con- 
fines of the Carolinas and of Georgia during our eight years' struggle for inde- 
pendence, this capture of Fort Galphin will perhaps be reckoned as the small 
dust of the balance, and yet it was not devoid of significance or lacking in im- 
portant consequences. It supplied a needy army with stores which it sadly 
craved. It weakened the royal forces in Augusta and conduced most materi- 
ally to the capitulation of that town. It inspired the RevohiticMiists with fresh 
courage, and nerved their arms for further exhibitions of valorous emprise. 

Major Eaton, meanwhile, with the rest of the legion formed a junction with 
General Pickens at the Cherokee ponds, six miles from Au.gusta. Together 
they moved forward and united with the forces engaged in the investment of 
that town. Having rested his infantry, Colonel Lee dispatched Major t^ggle- 
stoh at the head of his cavalry to cross the Savannah River at Wallicon's ferry, ^ 
three miles below Augusta, and to co-operate with Pickens and Clarke. That 
officer's instructions were to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the 
situation of the enemy, as his commanding officer desired definite information 
upon which he could promptly act upon arrival. He was further enjoined, 
without delay, to send in a flag conmiunicating the fact of the near approach 
of a portion of General Greene's arm\-, informing Colonel Brown that Ninety- 
Six was closely invested by the main body led by the commanding general, 
and urging the propriety of an immediate surrender. Brown had previously 
refused to receive flags coming from, or hold any communications with, militia 
officers. Eggleston being the senior continental officer there present, Colonel 
Lee, in view of all the circumstances, deemed it best that he should be deputed 
to attempt this negotiation. Colonel Brown treated the flag with contempt, 
refused to answer the dispatch, and forbade a renewal of the interview."- 

Colonel Lee arrived during the evening of the 2 1st, and took post with 
Pickens and Clarke in the woods bordering Augusta on the west. This town 
was then small, containing only a few hundred inhabitants. At a short re- 
move from the habitations, the valley in which Augusta was situated was cov- 
ered with dense woods, with cleared fields here and there. Cornwallis, the 
principal fort occupied by the enemy, was situated in the northerly portion of 
the central part of the town, having complete command of Savannah River and 
the adjacent territory. 

In after years the ground upon which it stood was set apart for holier uses. 
Here was erected a temple dedicated to the worship of the God of Peace, and 

' Now known as the Sand-bar ferry. 

"^ See Lee's Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department, etc., vol. ii. p. 92. Phil- 
adelphia. 1812. y\.cQ.'AX% History of Ge'orgia, \o\.'\\. p. 372. Savannah. 1816. 

ii6 History of Augusta. 

St. Paul's Churcli, of blessed memory, now proclaims its message of salvation 
where formerly thundered the malignant guns of this war-begrimed fort. 

Half a mile to the west the plain was then interrupted by a lagoon or swamp 
which connected Beaver Dam Creek with the Savannah River.^ On the nortii- 
western border of this lagoon, and near its confluence with the Savannah, a 
second fort- was located, called Grierson in honor of the loyalist colonel who 
commanded its garrison. British regulars were stationed in Fort Cornwallis, 
while the tenure of Grierson was confided to militia. 

Colonel Lee confesses that he was "considerably ruffled" at the contempt- 
uous treatment which Major Eggleston received, and that his determination 
was to enter into no ctmiinunication with the British commander until it was 
solicited by himself 

.After careful consideration of the situation it was resolved to drive Grier- 
son out of his fort, and either capture or destroy him in his retreat upon Corn- 
wallis. To this end arrangements were speedily made. General Pickens and 
Colonel Clarke, with the militia, were to attack from the north and west. Major 
Eaton, with his battalion, was to approach the fort from the south and co-op- 
erate with the militia, while Colonel Lee, with the infantry and artillery, moving 
southeast of the lagoon and parallel with Eaton, was to hold himself in readi- 
ness either to support his attack, if required, or to attend to the movements of 
Brown should he quit his defenses and interpose for the salvation of Grierson. 
Major Jackson with his Georgia militia was to accompany and act under the 
orders of Major Eaton. The cavalry under Eggleston were ordered to draw 
near to Fort Cornwallis, keeping under cover of the wood and prepared to fall 
upon Brown's rear should he advance against Lee. Promptly did the com- 
mands respond to the duties to which they were respectively assigned. 

Most vigorous were the attacks by Pickens and Eaton. Lee's movement 
being open to view, Brown, withdrawing his garrison and leading out two field- 
pieces, advanced as though he purposed delivering battle in aid of Grierson. 
Upon second thought d^'cming it too hazardous to persevere in this attempt, 
he checked his forward movement and confined his interposition to a cannon- 
ade which was returned by Lee, little effect being produced on either side. 
Findin*^ his resistance fruitless, Grierson determined to evacuate his fort and 
escape with his command to Fort Cornwallis Throwing open the gate the 
garrison rushed dinvn the lagoon to the river bank and under its cover en- 
deavored to make their wa\- to Cornwallis. In the perilous attempt thirty were 
killed and forty- five were wounded and captured. Comparatively few succeeded 
in escaping. The m;ijor of the garrison was killed and the lieutenant-colonel 

' The trend of this lagoon, commencing at the Beaver Dam, was generally along the pres- 
ent line of Ciimming Street. Before reaching Broad Street it turned westwardly into what is 
now called Kollock Street, and followed the direction of that street to the Savannah River. It 
was known as Campbell's Gut. 

"The site of this fort is now occu])ied, or very nearly so, by the Rii'ersule Mills. 

Siege of Augusta. 117 

captured. After surrendering, Colonel Grierson himself was shot to death by 
a Georgia rifleman. So cruel had been his practices, and so odious was his 
character, that the troops could not be restrained from inflicting this summary 
punishment, wholly unjustified as it was by the rules of civilized warfare. Al- 
though a reward was offered by the American commanders for the naming and 
apprehension of the party by whom the deed had been committed, no disclos- 
ure occurred. Captain McCalP intimates that he was shot by one of the sons 
of the venerable Mr. Alexander in revenge for the indignities heaped upon 
that aged patriot. Doubtless it was well known in the army whose hand 
pulled the fatal trigger; but, as the information was not officially brought to 
the attention of the commander, no notice was taken of the affair beyond the 
vain offer of the reward to which allusion has been made. "The militia of 
Georgia under Colonel Clarke," says the author of " Memoirs of the War in 
the Southern Department of the United States," "were so exasperated by the 
cruelties mutually inflicted in the course of the war in this State that they were 
disposed to have sacrificed every man taken, and with great difficulty was this 
disposition now suppressed. Poor Grierson and several others had been killed 
after surrender, and although the American commandants used every exertion 
and offered a large reward to detect the murderers, no discovery could be 
made. In no part of the South was the war conducted with such asperity as 
in this quarter. It often sunk into barbarity." 

Alt'hough the American loss was trivial, it involved the death of Major 
Eaton of North Carolina, an excellent and beloved officer, who "fell gallantly 
at the head of his battalion in the moment of victory." 

Perceiving that he had to deal with officers skilled in the art of war, and 
that the investing force was bent upon his capture. Colonel Brown expended 
every energy in adding to the security of his position. With fiendish malig- 
nity he placed in the bastion of his fort most exposed to the fire of the Ameri- 
can rifles, the aged Alexander and other prisoners who had long pined in cap- 
tivity. Among the companies closely investing Cornwallis was one com- 
manded by Captain Samuel Alexander. It was a hellish deed, this subjecting 
a parent to the chances of death at the hand of a devoted son. 

Nothing now remained for the Americans but, by regular approaches, to 
compel a surrender. Accordingly the troops were set to work with all the 
tools which could be collected from neighboring plantations, and with such as 
had been captured at Fort Galphin. Fort Cornwallis being near the Savan- 
nah River, and the bank of that stream affording additional protection to the 
enemy, it was lesolved to break ground in that quarter and to extend the 
works of the besiegers towards the left and rear of the fort. Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Pickens, with the militia, took post in the woods on the British left, while 
Lieutenant- Colonel Lee with his corps established himself in a large brick 

'^ H/sfo/y of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 374. Savannah. 1816. 

ii8 History of Augusta. 

building, the mansion house of a gentleman ^ vvjio had joined the enemy, situ- 
ated just south of the confluence of the lagoon with the Savannah River. 

The condition of the wounded prisoners required medical stores and atten- 
tion which could not be supplied in the American camp. Privilege was asked 
to apply to Colonel Brown for this needed assistance. Pickens and Lee an- 
swered " that after the ungracious determination to stop all intercourse an- 
nounced by the commandant of Fort Cornwallis, disposed as they were to 
obey the dictates of humanity, it could not be expected that any consideration 
would prevail with them again to expose the American flag to contumely." 
To the captive officer who preferred the request permission was granted to 
wait upon Colonel Brown, with the pledge that he would immediately return 
so soon as his reply was had. A letter was prepared expressing the regret 
with which the American commanders allowed a flag to pass from their camp, 
though borne by a British officer, after the treatment experienced on a recent 
occasion, and assuring the commandant of Fort Cornwallis " that no consider- 
ation atTecting themselves or their troops would ever have led to such a con- 
descension." To this letter Brown returned a polite response, offering excuses 
for his former conduct. 

Although the American works progressed with commendable rapidity and 
began to assume formidable proportions, so level was the ground that it was 
found to be a very difficult matter to secure a platform sufficiently elevated to 
render the only reliable field- piece in camp effective in casting its projectiles 
within the fort. Under the circumstances it was deemed proper to construct a 
" Mayham tower," which had proved so valuable in the reduction of Fort Wat- 
son. Orders were issued for cutting and transporting the necessary timber. 

While Colonel Brown had up to this point patiently contemplated the 
American approaches, the heaps of fresh eartli seen day by day within the fq^t 
indicated that he had been busily engaged in some counter operations. On 
the 28th, at midnight, he fell with great vigor upon the American works in the 
river quarter and drove out the guard. It was only after a severe conflict, in 
which Captain Handy, commanding the support, played a conspicuous part, 
that the trenches were regained and the enemy forced to seek shelter in the 
fort. This vehement attempt to destroy tlie approaches induced Colonel Lee 
to detail his infantry for their protection during the night time. To this spe- 
cial service were they assigned, being relieved from all other dut)-. " On the 
succeeding night Brown renewed his attempt in the same quarter, and, for a 
long time, the struggle was coutmucd v/ith mutual pertinacity till at length 
Captain Rudolph, by a combined charge, with the bayonet cleared the trenches, 
driving the enemy with loss into his stronghold." 

During the night of the 30th, and on the ensuing day, the tower was 
raised nearly on a level with the parapet of the fort. Its interior was filled 

Probably Mr. Kdward F. Campbell. 

Siege of Augusta. 119 

with fascines, earth, stone, brick, and every available material calculated to 
impart strength and solidity to the structure. " At the same time the adjacent 
works in rear of the fort were vigorously pushed to the enemy's left to connect 
them with the tower which was the point of their termination." 

Perceiving the danger which threatened. Brown resolved to destroy this 
tower. In anticipation of the execution of such a purpose the lines in that 
quarter were doubly manned, and Handy's infantry was conveniently posted 
in support. Captains Handy and Rudolph were placed in charge of the lines, 
and a company, armed with muskets, was detailed for the protection of the 
tower. Before midnight, on the 31st of May, the British commander, with the 
strength of his garrison, made a desperate sortie against the American works, 
which, although it entailed considerable loss, was eventually repulsed. Foiled 
in his efforts, he resorted to the construction of an elevated platform in the 
angle of his fort just opposite the " Mayham tower." Upon it two of his heav- 
iest pieces of ordnance were mounted. With these he opened fire upon the 
tower. Regardless of this annoyance, the builders continued their labors. 
On the 1st of June the tower was completed, an ambrasure cut, and the six- 
pounder gun lifted into position. From its elevated platform this gun speedily 
dismounted the two pieces in the fort, raked its interior, and commanded it 
entirely, with the exception of the segment nearest the tower and a few points 
sheltered by traverses. Wishing to shun needless slaughter, and confident that 
their operations would speedily eventuate in the reduction of Fort Cornwallis, 
General Pickens and Colonel Lee, on the 31st of May, sent a flag to Colonel 
Brown covering this communication : 

" Sir, — The usage of war renders it necessary that we present you with an 
opportunity of avoiding the destruction which impends your garrison. 

"We have deferred our summons to this late date to preclude the necessity 
of much correspondence on the occasion. You see the strength of the invad- 
ing forces, the progress of our works : and you may inform yourself of the 
situation of the two armies by inquiries from Captain Armstrong of the Legion 
who has the honour to bear this." 

Colonel Brown's response was characteristic of the man: 

" Gentlemen, — What progress you have made in your works I am no 
stranger to. It is my duty and inclination to defend this place to the last 

Balked in his attempts to destroy the " Mayham tower " by force of arms. 
Brown resorted to the following stratagem. During the night of the ist of 
June a wily Scotchman, a sergeant of artillery, made his appearance in the 
American camp in the character of a deserter from Fort Cornwallis. Brought 
before General Pickens and Colonel Lee, and being interrogated with regard 
to the effect produced by the six-pounder gun and as to the situation of the 
€nemy, he answered that the erection of the tower gave an advantage which. 

120 History of Augusta. 

if properly improved, would not fail in forcing a surrender, but that the garri- 
son had not suffered as much as might have been expected. He added that it 
was amply supplied with provisiofis and that it was in high spirits. " In the 
course of the conversation which followed," says Colonel Lee, " I inquired in 
what way could the effect of the cannonade be increased ? Very readily, re- 
plied the crafty sergeant : that knowing the spot where all the powder in the 
fort was deposited, with red hot balls from the six pounder, directed properly, 
the magazine might be blown up. This intelligence was received with delight, 
and the suggestion of the sergeant seized with avidity, although it would be 
very difificult to prepare our ball as we were unprovided with a furnace. It 
was proposed to the sergeant that he should be sent to the officer command- 
ing our battery and give his aid to the execution of his suggestion, with assur- 
ances of liberal reward in case of success. This proposition was heard with 
much apparent reluctance, although every disposition to bring the garrison to 
submission was exhibited by the sergeant who pretended that Brown had done 
him many personal injuries in the course of service. But, he added, it was 
impossible for him to put himself in danger of capture, as he well knew he 
should be executed on a gibbet if taken. 

" A good supper was now presented to him with his grog : which, being 
finished, and being convinced by the arguments of Lee that his personal safety 
could not be endangered as it was not desired or meant that he should take 
any part in the siege, but merely to attend at the tower to direct the pointing 
of the piece, he assented, declaring that he entered upon his task with dire 
apprehensions, and reminding the lieutenant colonel of his promised reward. 
Lee instantly put him in care of his adjutant to be delivered to Captain Finley, 
with the information communicated, for the purpose of blowing up the enemy's 

" It was midnight, and Lieutenant Colonel Lee expecting on the next day 
to be much engaged — our preparations being nearly completed, — retired to 
rest. Reflecting upon what had passed, and recurring to the character of his 
adversary, he became much disquieted by the step he had taken, and soon con- 
cluded to withdraw the sergeant from the tower. He had not been many min- 
utes with Captain Finley before an order remanding him was delivered, com- 
mitting him to the quarter guard." ' 

Fortunate was it that this pretended deserter was quickly placed in con- 
finement. It subsequently transpired that he had been sent out by Colonel 
Brown for the express purpose of destroying by fire the Mayham tower. Col- 
onel Lee at first was entirely deceived by him, and unwittingly issued an order 
which exactly coincided with the scheme of the sergeant and afforded him a 
favorable opportunity of fulfilling his mission. 

' Lee's Memoirs of the War in t/ie Soitf/iern Department of tJte United States, vol. ii. pp. 
105-107. Philadelphia. 181 2. 

Siege of Augusta. 121 

On the morning of the 2d of June the besiegers were saluted with another 
exhibition of the activity and strategy of the British commander which came 
very near inflicting frightful loss. Between the quarters of Colonel Lee and 
the fort stood four or five deserted houses, some of them so near the latter that 
they would afford convenient shelter to riflemen delivering their fire from the 
upper stories. They had been suffered to remain because Pickens and Lee 
hoped to utilize them upon the final assault for which preparations were being 
made. Sallying out just before the break of day, Colonel Brown burned all of 
these dwellings save the two nearest the fort. Why these were spared many 
were at a loss to conjecture. The reason became manifest at a later stage of 

Still desirous of compassing a surrender without resorting to an assault, 
General Pickens and Colonel Lee, on the 3d of June, repeated their summons 
in the following language : 

"Sir, — It is not our disposition to press the unfortunate. To prevent the 
effusion of blood, which must follow perseverance in your fruitless resistance, 
we inform you we are willing, though in the grasp of victory, to grant such 
terms as a comparative view of our respective situations can warrant. 

"Your determination will be considered as conclusive, and will regulate 
our conduct." 

Still unyielding, and with characteristic boldness courting the chances of the 
future, Brown responded : 

"F'ORT CORNWALLis, June 3, 1781. 
"Gentlemen, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your 
summons of this day, and to assure you that, as it is my duty, it is likewise 
my inclination, to defend this post to the last extremity." 

The fire of the six-pounder gun was mainly directed against the parapet 
of the fort fronting on the river. Toward that quarter it was proposed that 
the main attack should be launched. Orders were issued for a general 
assault at nine o'clock on the morning of the 4th. During the night of the 
3d the best marksmen from Pickens' militia were sent to the house nearest the 
fort. The officer in command was instructed to arrange his men in the upper 
story so as to ascertain how many of them could be used to advantage, and 
then to withdraw and report to the commanding general. It was intended 
that this structure should be occupied by the same officer with such a force of 
riflemen as he should declare to be sufficient. To Handy's Marylanders and 
the infantry of the legion was the main assault from the river quarter entrusted. 
Due preparation having been made, the troops remained at their stations, 
^'pleased that the time was near which would close with success their severe 

"About three in the morning of the 4th of June," says Colonel Lee,2 "we 

-'Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, vol. ii. p. 109. 
Philadelphia. 181 2. ig 

122 History of Augusta. 

were aroused by a violent explosion which was soon discovered to have shat- 
tered the very house intended to be occupied by the rifle party before day- 
break. It was severed and thrown into the air thirty or forty feet higli ; its 
fragments falling all over the field. This explained at once not only the cause 
of Brown's omitting its destruction, but also communicated the object of the 
constant digging which had, until lately, employed the besieged. 

"Brown pushed a sap to this house which he presumed would be certainly 
possessed by the besieger when ready to strike his last blow ; and he con- 
cluded, from the evident maturity of our works and from the noise made by 
the militia when sent to the house in the first part of the night for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the number competent to its capacity, that the approach- 
ing morning was fixed for the general assault. Not doubting but the house 
was occupied with the body destined to hold it, he determined to deprive his 
adversary of every aid from this quarter : hoping too, by the consternation 
which the manner of destruction could not fail to excite, to damp the ardor 
of the troops charged with storming." 

It was indeed a narrow escape. Even in his extremity Brown was fruitful 
in resources. His resolution never forsook him, and his blows were vigorous 
to the last. 

As the army was waiting the signal for the assault, the American com- 
manders, moved by the perilous situation of the captives, who had long been 
held in confinement within tiie fort, made this appeal to its commanding 

officer : 

"Headquarters, June 4, 1781. 

" Sir, — We beg leave to propose that the prisoners in your possession may 
be sent out of the fort, and that they may be considered yours or ours as the 
siege may terminate. 

"Confident that you cannot refuse this dictate of humanity and custom of 
war, we have only to say that any request from you a similar nature will meet 
with our assent." 

It was urged in vain, as the following response testifies: 

" Gentlemen, — Though motives of humanity, and a feeling for the dis- 
tresses of individuals, incline me to accede to what you have proposed con- - 
cerning the prisoners with us, yet many reasons to which you cannot be 
strangers forbid my complying with this requisition. 

"Such attention as I can show, consistently with good policy and my duty, 
shall be shown to them." 

Before an advance was ordered, an officer with a flag was seen approach- 
ing from Fort Cornwallis. He bore this message from Colonel Brown to Gen- 
eral Pickens and Colonel Lee : 

" Gentlemen, — In your summons of the 3d instant, no particular con- 
ditions were specified: I postponed the consideration of it to this day. 

Articles of Capitulation. 123 

"From a desire to lessen the distresses of war to individuals, I am inclined 
to propose to you my acceptance of the inclosed terms, which, being pretty 
similar to those granted to the commanding officers of the American troops 
and garrison in Charlestown, I imagine will be honourable to both parties." 

It being now manifest that a surrender would be compassed without a 
final appeal to arms, operations were suspended for the day, and the com- 
manding officers turned their attention to negotiations which culminated on 
the following morning in the proposal and acceptance of these articles of capit- 
ulation : 

"Article I. That all acts of hostilities and works shall cease between the 
besiegers and besieged until the articles of capitulation shall be agreed on, 
signed, and executed, or collectively rejected, 

''Answer. Hostilities shall cease for one hour; other operations to con- 

"Article II. That the fort shall be surrendered to the commanding 
officer of the American troops such as it now stands. That the King's troops, 
three days after signing the articles of capitulation, shall be conducted to 
Savannah with their baggage, where they will remain prisoners of war until 
they are exchanged : that proper conveyances shall be provided by the com- 
manding officer of the American troops for that purpose, together witli a suf- 
ficient quantity of good and wholesome provisions till their arrival in Savan- 

''Answer. Inadmissible. The prisoners to surrender field prisoners of 
war. The officers to be indulged with their paroles : the soldiers to be con- 
ducted to such place as the commander-in-chief shall direct. 

"Article III. The militia now in garrison shall be permitted to return 
to their respective homes, and be secured in their persons and properties. 

"Answer. Answered by the second article, the militia making part of the 

"Article IV. The sick and wounded shall be under the care of their 
own .surgeons, and be supplied with such medicines and necessaries as are 
allowed in the British hospitals. 

"Answer. Agreed. 

"Article V. The officers of the garrison, and citizens who have borne 
arms during the siege, shall keep their side arms, pistols, and baggage which 
shall not be searched, and retain their servants. 

"Answer. The officers and citizens who have borne arms during the siege 
shall be permitted their side arms, private baggage and servants ; their side 
arms not to be worn, and the baggage to be searched by a person appointed 
for that purpose. 

"Article VI. The garrison at an hour appointed shall march out, with 
shouldered arms and drums beating, to a place to be agreed on where they 
-will pile their arms. 

124 History of Augusta. 

''Answer. Agreed. The judicious and gallant defence made by the gar- 
rison entitles them to every mark of military respect. The fort to be delivered 
up to Captain Rudolph at twelve o'clock, who will take possession with a 
detachment of the Legion infantry. 

"Article VII. That the citizens shall be protected in their persons and 

"Anszver. Inadmissible. 

"Article VIII. That twelve months shall be allowed to all such as do 
not choose to reside in this country, to dispose of their effects, real and per- 
sonal, in this Province, without any molestation whatever, or to remove to any 
part thereof as they may choose, as well themselves as families. 

"Afiszcer. Inadmissible. 

"Article IX. That the Indian families now in garrison shall accompany 
the King's troops to Savannah, where they will remain prisoners of war until 
exchanged for an equal number of prisoners in the Creek or Cherokee nations. 

''Answei'. Answered in the second article. 

"Article X. That an express be permitted to go to Savannah with the 
commanding officer's dispatches, which are not to be opened. 

"Auszvcr. Agreed. 

"Article XI. (Additional) The particular attention of Colonel Brown 
is expected towards the just delivery of all public stores, moneys, &c , and 
that no loans be permitted to defeat the spirit of this article. 

"Signed at Headquarters, Augusta, June 5th, 1781, by 

Andrew Pickens, B. G. Mil. 
Henry Lee, Jun'", Lieut. Col. coin. 
Thomas Brown, 
Lieut. Coi. eommanding King s troops at Augusta.'''^ 

The postponement of the surrender until the 5th was very gratifying to 
Colonel Brown, as the 4th was the anniversary of the birthday of the king. 

For some time prior to this capitulation, so destructive was the fire main- 
tained by the Americans, especially from the six-pounder gun mounted in the 
" Mayham tower " which searched almost every part of the fort, that the be- 
.sieged were compelled to dig holes in the earth for their protection. Any ex- 
posure of the person during the day involved almost certain death.' At eight 
o'clock on the morning of the 5th the British garrison, some three hundred 
strong, marched out of Fort Cornwallis and Major Randolph took possession 
of it. Captain Armstrong of the dragoons, with a safeguard, was detailed to 

1 See Ramsay's History of the Revolution of South Carolina, vol. ii. p. 497. Trenton. 
MDCCLXXXV. Tarleton's History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, etc., p. 493. London. 
MDCCLXXXVii. Lee's Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the Utiited 
5/a/«, vol. ii. p. I I 5. Philadelphia. 181 2. 

'See Ramsay's History of t/ie Ret'otiition of South Carolina, vol. ii., p. 239. Trenton 

Major James Jackson Assigned Command. 125:. 

protect Colonel Brown from the threatened violence of the militia who, justly 
incensed at his mitiy bloody deeds and acts of tyrann}', eagerly sought his 
life. Young McKay, whose brother had been inhumanly put to death by 
Brown at Wiggin's Hill, watched an opportunity to shoot the British com- 
mander. He was conducted to Colonel Lee's quarters where he remained 
until the next day, when he and a few of his officers were paroled and sent 
down the river to Savannah under the charge of Captain Armstrong and a 
party of infantry instructed to guard him until he was beyond the reach of 
danger. At Silver Bluff he was recognized by Mrs. McKay who accosted him 
thus: " Colonel Brown, in the late day of your prosperity I visited your camp 
and on my knees supplicated for the life of my son, but you were deaf to my 
entreaties. You hanged him, though a beardless youth, before my face. These 
eyes have seen him scalped by the savages under your immediate command, 
and for no better reason than that his name was McKay. As you are now 
prisoner to the leaders of my country, for the present I lay aside all thoughts 
of revenge ; but when you resume your sword I will go five hundred miles to 
demand satisfaction- at the point of it for the murder of my son."i 

The loss sustained by the British was fifty-two killed and three hundred 
and thirty four wounded and captured. Sixteen of the Americans were slain 
and thirty-five wounded. 

Shortly after the capitulation General Pickens and Colonel Lee, with the 
prisoners, crossed the Savannah River and joined General Greene, who was 
still conducting the investment of Ninety-Six. Heartily welcomed were these 
officers and their commands. To them was General Greene pleased to ex- 
press in general orders "the high sense he entertained of their merit and ser-- 
vice." His thanks were also publicly rendered for the " zeal and vigor exhib- 
ited in the execution of the duty assigned to them." 

To Major James Jackson, whose early exertions paved the way for the final 
reduction of the post, was the command of Augusta entrusted. Here he re- 
mained, with occasional absences on important enterprises, until the assem- 
bling of the Legislature in August, 1781, when Dr. Nathan Brownson was 
elected governor, and Colonel John Twiggs, in consideration of his long and 
meritorious services, was complimented with the commission of brigadier-gen- 
eral,2 Meanwhile, acting under authority conferred by General Greene, he 
had raised a partisan legion in command of which he continued until the close 
of the war. 

Among the stores in Fort Cornwallis, subject to distribution among the 
captors, was a quantity of Indian goods. It being found impracticable to 
divide them out without encumbering too much the troops still engaged in-.. 

1 Ramsay's History of the Revolution of South Carolina, vol. ii., p. 240. Trenton... 

2 See Chariton's Life of Jackson, Part I., p. 34. Augusta. 1809. 

126 History of Augusta. 

active service, that portion falling to the lot of the Georgians was placed in the 
hands of John Burnet, with directions to transport these goods to some safe 
place in the western part of the State where they were to be kept until a suit- 
able opportunit)' arose for their equitable distribution. Burnet always pro- 
fessed an ardent attachment to the American cause. Under pretense of har- 
assing the loyalists in the low country, he had recently, with some followers, 
visited some of the wealthy settlements south of Savannah and indiscriminately 
robbed friends and foes of their slaves and personal property. He then held in 
the vicinity of Augusta some sixty negroes whom he had thus captured. Pro- 
fessing that he had taken them from loyalists, and offering to throw them into 
hotch-pot with the goods so that a more generous dividend might be declared to 
Georgia soldiers who, during the war, had borne heavy burthens and sustained 
grievious losses, he so won the confidence of officers and men that the booty 
was delivered into his custody. Undertaking to remove it beyond all possible 
recaption by the enemy, he journeyed towards the mountains of Upper Geor- 
gia. Once fairly out of reach, he disclosed to his companions his design of 
quitting the country and appropriating this spoil. Sympathizing in the ras- 
cally purpose, they assisted him in making his way to the Ohio River where, 
procuring boats, they passed down to Natchez and there divided the stolen 
property.^ Thus were the Georgia troops who participated in the reduction of 
Augusta defrauded out of their share of the booty. 

The capture of Augusta, while it raised the spirits of the republicans to 
a high pitch of exultation and encouraged the faint hearted to emerge from 
their hiding-places and stand up like men in the ranks of the Revolutionists, 
exerted a most depressing influence upon the minds and hopes of the king's 
servants. Governor Wright, at Savannah, called so lustily for aid that Lord 
Rawdon, weak as he was, was persuaded to part with the king's American 
regiment and send it from Charlestown, in small craft and without convoy, to 
the relief of that royal governor.^ In this wise did he give expression to his 
distresses and apprehensions: "It gives me the greatest concern to acquaint 
you of the loss of Augusta by Colonel Brown being reduced to the necessity 
of capitulating, and as you well know the consequences that must be attendant 
on this I need say little, but must observe that if this Province is not recovered 
from the Rebels without the least delay I conceive it may be too late to pre- 
vent the whole from being laid waste and totally destroyed and the people 
ruined. We are now in a most wretched situation. I shall not reflect on 
the causes, but the grand point is to recover back what we have lost, if it be 
possible, and to prevent further misfortunes and injury to his Majesty's service. 

" Our distresses are many, and how to furnish the militia on actual duty 

1 See McCall's History of Georgia, vol. ii., p. 380. Savannah, 1816. 

''Tarieton's Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, etc., p. 486. London. MDCCLXXXIVII. 

March to Savannah. 127 

with rations I can't tell, for there is not a single barrel of beef or pork to be 
purchased here, even if I had the money to buy it. I trust therefore. Sir, that 
circumstanced as we are you will think it for his Majesty's service and really 
necessary to order some of the King's provisions here for the support of the 
militia on actual service, the number of which, I think, will be at least what is 
mentioned in the Minute of Council, besides those in and about town which, I 
suppose, amount to 300."^ 


Military Operations Culminating in the Surrender of Savannah — Plot to Murder Colonel 
Jackson — Celebration in Augusta upon the Acknowledgment of the Independence of the 
United States — Charge of Chief-Justice Walton — Early Legislation Affecting Augusta — 
The City of Augusta Incorporated in 1798 — Trustees, Intendants, and Mayors of Augusta. 

THE capture of Augusta was a terrible blow to British domination in Geor- 
gia. It foreshadowed the eventual triumph of Republican arms. Sir 
James Wright recognized the handwriting on the wall, and confessed in his 
dispatches that everything was "now in a most wretched situation." He freely 
confessed that unless his majesty's forces were capable of speedily recovering 
what had been lost, further misfortunes and injury would ensue. 

The upper portion of Georgia being now under full control of the Repub- 
licans, General Twiggs directed his attention to the repossession of the South- 
ern division. To this end he ordered Lieutenant-Colonel James Jackson to 
move with his Georgia legion, consisting of three companies of cavalry and 
two of infantry, in the direction of Savannah, and to occupy positions as near 
the enemy as becoming caution would suggest. His general instructions were 
to annoy the outposts and detachments of his antagonist as fully as the means 
at command would allow, and to retreat or advance as the circumstances of the 
case might justify. 

Jackson's legion was composed in part of British deserters and Loyalists, 
who, professing a change of political sentiments, had abandoned the service of 
the king. Dangerous and unreliable was this element. For its efficient con- 
trol strict discipline and tireless vigilance were required. Not long before the 
receipt of these orders, and while Colonel Jackson was still in command at 
Augusta, a nefarious plot was discovered which had been formed by a portion 
of his legion. The scheme was to assassinate the commanding officer in an 
unguarded moment and, seizing the governor and as many members of the 

''Letter to Lieutenant-Colonel Balfotir, dated Savannah, nth of June, 1781. P. R. O.. 
Am. & W. Ind., vol. ccxcvii. 

128 History of Augusta. 

executive council as were present in the town, to carry them ofif and turn them 
over to the British authorities in Savannah. This plan was quietly communi- 
cated to General Alured Clarke, commanding at Savannah. He cordially 
sympathized in it ; and, as a substantial proof of his approval, ordered Captain 
Brantley with forty-five men to proceed cautiously to the outskirts of Augusta, 
join the conspirators under cover of night, and co-operate with them in the 
consummation of the nefarious project. Liberal rewards were also offered by 
him as a stimulus to the perpetration of the crime. 

The manner in which this iniquitous design was frustrated is thus told by 
Captain McCall : i " A faithful soldier named David Davis, who was the Col- 
onel's waiter, discovered that there was something in agitation of an extraor- 
dinary nature in the camp; and, in order to obtain a knowledge of the secret, 
affected an extreme dislike to the Colonel, and' united with the conspirators in 
the use of the most unqualified language of abuse and disrespect for him. Sup- 
posing that Davis' situation would enable him to be of great service to the 
party, they lent a favorable ear to his observations. This stratagem had the 
desired effect, and drew from the traitors a disclosure of the diabolical pur- 
poses in contemplation, which he immediately communicated to his Colonel, 
and informed him that no time was to be lost in checking its progress, as it was 
ripe for execution. The dragoons, who did not appear to have been engaged 
in the conspiracy, were ordered to mount their houses and repair to Colonel 
Jackson's quarters, prepared for action. The infantry were ordered to parade 
without arms, under pretence of searching for some clothing which had been 
stolen the preceding night. The dragoons were ordered in front with drawn 
swords, and the ring leaders were seized and confined. A general court mar- 
tial was ordered to convene, and the culprits were brought up for trial. John 
Goodgame, William Simmons, and one Honeycut were ascertained to be the 
projectors and leaders in the conspiracy. The court found them guilty of 
treason and sentenced them to suffer death by being hanged, and they were 
executed accordingly. The remaining seventeen turned State's evidence, con- 
fessed their guilt, and were pardoned in consequence of their apparent peni- 

Thus narrowly did a gallant officer escape assassination. Thus, almost as 
by accident, was preserved the life of a patriot who had already rendered sig- 
nal service in the army of the Revolution, and who, in after years, as soldier, 
citizen, advocate, senator, and chief magistrate of Georgia, illustrated in a con- 
spicuous degree all the virtues which appertain to the civilian, the hero, and 
the statesman. 

By the Legislature of Georgia was Davis complimented for his fidelity to 
his commander and his attachment to the cause of liberty. In token of the 

"^ History of Georgia, \o\. ii. p. 384. .Savannah. 1816. 

Close of the Campaign. 129 

general approval of his conduct he was presented with five hundred acres of 
valuable land, and with a handsome horse, saddle and bridle. 

Captain Brantley had reached Spirit Creek in the execution of his missiorr 
when he learned that the plot had been discovered. Thereupon he hastily re- 
turned to Savannah. 

In equipping his legion Colonel Jackson depended upon the skill and indus- 
try of his own men. Upon the back of a letter addressed to him by Thomas 
Hamilton, one of his infantry officers, appears this statement in the handwrit- 
ing of the colonel : " I made all my own accoutrements, even to swords for my 
dragoons, caps, leather jackets, boots, and spurs, and in short every article."^ 
What proof more convincing can be offered of the limited resources of this 
war-worn land, or of the necessities and the ingenuity of its resolute defenders? 

The spring and summer of 1781 were enlivened by several naval exploits 
on the coast, in which Captains Towell, McCleur, Antony, and Braddock, bore 
conspicuous parts. The end was now approaching. " It is all over !" ex- 
claimed Lord North with the deepest agitation and distress when the tidings of 
the surrender of Lord Cornwallis first reached England. 

The potent effect of this disaster, and the recent successes of General Greene 
in South Carolina, enabled that officer, in January, 1782, to turn his attention 
to the relief of Georgia. Lieutenant-Colonel James Jackson had been harass- 
ing the enemy on the Great Ogeechee, while Pickens and Twiggs had kept the 
Indians at bay. All eyes were now turned to circumscribing the British forces 
within the narrowest compass. The repossession of Savannah engaged the 
earnest attention of the patriots. General Wayne was detached by General 
Greene " to reinstate, as far as possible, the authority of the Union within the 
limits of Georgia." On this mission the hero of Stony Point was accompanied 
by one hundred of Moylan's dragoons, commanded by Colonel Anthony Wal- 
ton White, and a detachment of field artillery. On the 12th of January, 1782^ 
he crossed the Savannah River. He was soon joined by Colonel Hamptoa 
with three hundred mounted men of Sumter's brigade. The infantry and cav- 
alry of Jackson's legion then numbered only ninety men. McCoy's volunteers 
did not exceed eighty men of all arms. To these Governor Martin hoped to 
add three hundred Georgia militia. 

The duty assigned to General Wayne of maintaining a close watch upon 
the enemy, and, if the occasion offered, of capturing Savannah by a nocturnal 
assault, was so efficiently discharged that predatory bands of soldiers and loy- 
alists were seldom seen beyond the lines of that town. The customary inter- 
course of the Indians with the garrison was restrained. That garrison — in- 
cluding a reinforcement recently sent by Lord Rawdon, and a corps of one 
hundred and fifty negroes, armed, enrolled as infantry, and commanded by the 
notorious Brown, — consisted of thirteen hundred regular troops and about five 

1 See Chadton's Life of Jackson, part i. p. 37. Augusta. 1809. 

130 History of Aucjusta. 

hundred loyal militia. The town was strongly fortified. Its land approaches 
were defended by field and siege guns judiciously posted. Armed row-galleys 
and brigs covered the water front. So closely were these lines watched, and 
so strictly were the British forces confined to these defenses, that the gallant 
Jackson on more than one occasion demonstrated even up to the town gates 
and picked off" men and horses from the common. 

As soon as the advance of the American forces under General Wayne was 
known in Savannah, Brigadier- General Alured Clarke, who commaded the 
royal troops in Georgia, "directed his officers charged with his outposts to lay 
waste the country with fire, and to retire with their troops, and all the pro- 
visions they could collect, into Savannah." This order was rigidly executed, 
and the circumjacent country was so thoroughly devastated that General 
Wayne found it necessary to draw his subsistence from South Carolina. 
In April Colonel Posey arrived with one hundred and fifty Virginians. 

In May, General Wayne met and routed Colonel Brown at Little Ogee- 
chee Causeway ; and, on the 23d of June, after a severe encounter, he overcame 
the Indian chief Guristersigo, who, with three hundred followers, endeavored, 
at the dead of night, to surprise him at Gibbons' plantation. 

A crisis was reached in the royal camp at Savannah upon the receipt of a 
communication from Sir Guy Carleton, dated New York, May 23, 1782, order- 
ing the evacuation both of that town and of the province of Georgia, and no- 
tifying the authorities that transports might be speedily expected to bring 
away not only the troops and military and public stores, but also Governor 
Wright and all loyalists who desired to depart. Although anticipated, this in- 
telligence created a profound impression among soldiers and civilians. The 
latter were most anxious to ascertain what their status would be under the 
■changed condition of affairs, and to secure pledges that they would be unmo- 
lested in the enjoyment of personal liberty and private property. Various ne- 
gotiations ensued, which resulted in the evacuation of Savannah by the king's 
forces on the nth of July, 1782. During the afternoon of that day General 
Wayne entered with his forces and took formal possession of the town. To 
Colonel Jackson were the keys delivered at the principal gate in token of sur- 
render. He enjoyed the pleasure and the honor of being the first to enter Sa- 
vannah, from which the patriots had been forcibly expelled in December, 1778. 
It was a just recognition of the patriotism and gallantry which characterized 
him during the war, and of the activity displayed by him as the leader of the 
vanguard of the army of occupation. Thus, after the lapse of three years and 
a half, was the capital of Georgia wrested from the dominion of the royal forces 
and restored to the possession of the " Sons of Liberty." With the departure 
of the British garrison there lingered not a single servant of the king on Geor- 
gia soil. Although no treaty of peace had yet been consummated between 
England and America, this surrender of Georgia into the hands of the Repub- 

Celebrating the Return of Peace. 131 

licans was hailed as a practical abandonment of the war on the part of the 
Realm, and was regarded as an earnest of a speedy recognition of the indepen- 
dence of the United States. And so it proved. 

By the General Assembly which convened in Savannah in January, 1783, 
that sterling patriot and worthy gentleman, Dr. Lyman Hall, was elected gov- 
ernor of Georgia. On the 31st of that month George Walton was selected to 
fill the position of chief justice ; Samuel Stirk, was appointed attorney-gen- 
eral; John Martin, treasurer; John Milton, secretary of State; Richard Call, 
surveyor- general ; and registers of probate and assistant justices were named 
for the respective counties. Land offices were established, and commissioners 
were designated to superintend the sales of confiscated property. Temples of 
justice and religion were again to be opened in a land full of scars and desola- 
tion. Provision was made for public education, and the entire machinery of 
State government was put in motion. 

So sadly had Augusta suffered by the disasters of war that it became nec- 
essary to provide quarters for the governor and the heads of departments, and 
a proper place for the accommodation of the general assembly. This was done 
while the Legislature temporarily convened at Savannah. In July, 1783, the 
general assembly again met in Augusta, and continued to hold its sessions in 
that town until Louisville, in Jefferson county, was designated as the " seat of 
government" in 1795. 

In the Georgia Gazette of Thursday, May 29, 1783, we find the following: 
" On Wednesday last, when the great and joyful news of Peace reached this 
place, ^ properly authenticated, a very elegant and sumptuous entertainment 
was provided, when upwards of three hundred ladies and gentlemen dined 
under a large bower made for the purpose. At one o'clock there were thir- 
teen discharges of cannon, and after dinner the following toasts were drank, 
each succeeded by the firing of artillery: 

1. The Free, Sovereign and Independent States of America. 

2. The Governor and the State. 

3. His Most Christian Majesty, our F'irst, Good and Generous Ally. 

4. His Catholic Majesty. 

5. The United Provinces of Holland. 

6. Congress of the United States. 

7. His Excellency, General Washington. 

8. The Hon. General Greene. 

9. The American Officers and Army who have established the Liberty 

10. The Officers and Seamen of the American Navy. 

11. Compte Rochambeau, his Officers and Army who have served in 

1 Au<justa. 

132 History of Augusta. 

12. The American Commissioners for making Peace. 

13. May the Liberties of America be as lasting as Time. 

The company retired to Mr. Fox's, where there was a ball and supper. The 
evening concluded with illuminations, bonfires, rockets and ever)' other dem- 
onstration of joy suitable to the occasion, and with the greatest peace and har- 
mony. " 

In his charge to the grand jury of Richmond county,^ delivered on the 31st 
of October, 1783, Chief Justice George Walton, said: "There is no county in 
the State which ought to pride itself more on account of its natural advanta- 
ges than that of Richmond. The principal navigation terminating in it, pre- 
sents a most commodious and delightful spot for an extensive commercial 
town. It is to me a gratification to be able to inform you that the Legislature, 
at its last session in Augusta, passed a law upon the most liberal basis for ex- 
tending and speedily building up that town. It is your interest, as it is your 
duty, to watch and see that ti-a law is certainly and faithfully executed. Au- 
gusta thus extended and built up. will soon become the mart of the whole 
country above it, and by furnishing plentiful supplies it will be a great con- 
venience to the people. 

"In addition to this the assembly has ordered an academy to be erected for 
the instruction of youth — an institution which will record the names of its ad- 
vocates in letters of virtue and applause to the latest posterity. The entire loss 
of education, and the great decline of morality, are the chief calamities which 
we now experience as consequences of the war." 

The chief justice was right in his prognostication. By virtue of her loca- 
tion Augusta held the key which unlocked a vast trade with tlie dwellers in 
the "ceded lands," in regions beyond, and in a circumjacent territory of rich 
proportions; — a trade destined to increase in volume and importance with each 
succeeding year. In the absence of railways, the Savannah River constituted 
a convenient highway for commerce, the value of which could not be over- 
estimated. Only enterprise and capital were wanting to place the town upon 
a vantage ground most enviable. These were quickly furnished ; and in pro- 
portion to the population which she then possessed, we presume it would not 
be an exaggeration to affirm that the town of Augusta never saw days of 
greater commercial prosperity than those which she enjoyed during tlie last 
decade of the eighteenth centurw For a hundred years and more the acad- 
emy, to which the chief ju-tice alluded, has been fulfilling its high mission. 

Of the early legislation affecting Augusta, the following acts may be re- 
garded as among the most important: 

By an act of the General Assembly, approved March 15th, 1758, the prov- 
ince of Georgia was divided into eight parishes, and " The District of Augusta, 
extending from the northwest boundary of the parish of Saint George, and 

1 Georgia Gazette Thursday, November 20. 17S3. 

Legislative Enactments. 133 

southwest as far as the River Ogeechee, and northwest up the River Savannah 
as far as Broad River," was designated as the Parish OF Saint Paul. In 
the IV section of that act it was provided that "the church erected in the town 
■of Augusta, with the cemetery or burial place thereto belonging, shall be the 
Parish Church and Burial Place of Saint Paul." 

Ten years afterwards legislative sanction was obtained for the establishment 
of a public ferry "from the center of the town of Augusta, upon Savannah 
River, to the bluff on the opposite shore in the Province of South Carolina." 

By the Constitution of 1777, Parishes were abolished, and Counties were 
erected in their stead. Under this change the Parish of Saint Paul became the 
County of Richmond, and was declared entitled to ten representatives. In 
naming the counties the Constitutional Convention was not unmindful of the 
debt of gratitude which Georgia, in common with her sister American colonies, 
owed to distinguished statesmen and friends in England who were espousing 
the cause of justice, humanity, and liberty. 

In 1780, Savannah and the seaboard generally being in the possession of 
the king's forces, " the town of Augusta in the county of Richmond" was des- 
ignated as " the seat of government." with a proviso that in case that town 
should, during the recess of the legislature, "be approached or invested so as 
to appear untenable, then his Honor, the Governor, and the Executive Coun- 
cil for the time being, should remove to such place as the common safety 
should make necessary, which should be considered as the seat of government 
until the recovery of the said town of Augusta " 

By the same act lot owners within the limits of Augusta, deriving title 
from the Crown, were required, within two years after the passage of the act, 
to build upon their respective lots houses of prescribed dimensions, or else for- 
feit them to the use of the State. The vacant lands above and below the town, 
lying along the river and adjoining the premises of McCartan Campbell on 
the west and Andrew McLean on the east, were "to be laid oiit in lots and 
sold for the use of the State in order to enlarge the limits of the town." When 
divided into lots of prescribed dimensions, this territory was to be disposed of 
"at public vendue in Augusta by the sheriff of the county." To the purchas- 
ers the governor was empowered to sign grants in the name of the State. It 
was further ordered that the streets and roads of Augusta should be laid out, 
measw'cd, and posted in the best and most regular way. " The remote situation 
of Brownsboro rendering it a very unsafe place for a Gaol and Court-House," 
it was enacted that "a Court-House and Gaol for the County of Richmond be 
built in the Town of Augusta on one of the public lots in Broad Street. 

. and that all malefactors should be there confined and tried, and that suits 
at law should be there heard and determined during the present war," Reser- 
vations of lots were indicated for the location of "public seminaries and 
.schools," for "Houses of Public worship," and for "public cemeteries." 

134 History of Augusta. 

William Glascock, George Walton, Daniel McMurphy, John Twiggs, and 
George Wells Esquires, were named as commissioners to carry into effect the 
provisions of this act. 

The contemplated sale of lots having miscarried, a new commission — con- 
sisting of George Walton, Joseph Pannel, Andrew Burns, William Glascock, 
and Samuel Jack Esquires, was appointed by act of the Legislature, approved 
July 31st, 1783, to lay out and sell the reserved lands in and near the town of 

Sections IV and VII of this act made provision for the location, erection, 
and support of the "Academy or Seminary of Learning" which has so long 
ministered to the educational wants of this community. The designated 
commissioners were also charged with the direction of the public ferry at 

By the third section of the act assented to January 26th, 1786, Augusta 
was continued as the place of meeting for the Legislature; and the Governor, 
the Secretary of State, the Treasurer, the Surveyor General, and the Auditor 
were required to reside and have their respective offices here until the State 
house and public buildings authorized to be constructed at Louisville, in Jeffer- 
son County, under the supervision of Nathan Bronson, William Few, and 
Hugh Lawson, — commissioners, — should be completed and declared ready 
for occupancy. 

On the 6th of December 1790 the General Assembly invested Wade 
Hampton, his heirs and assigns, with the exclusive right of erecting and main- 
taining a toll-bridge over the Savannah River at or near the ferry previously 
established between the town of Augusta and the Carolina shore, upon the 
annual payment of a certain sum to George Walton, William Glascock, Abra- 
ham Baldwin, Robert Forsyth, Edward Telfair, Seaborn Jones, and John 
Milton, Esquires, Trustees of Augusta, and their successors in office. 

Three days afterwards an act was passed dividing the territory of Rich- 
mond County into two counties. All that portion lying above or northwest- 
erly of a line commencing on the Savannah River at the mouth of Red's 
Creek and thence running south forty-five degrees west, was erected into a 
new county called Columbia. George Handley, John Meals, and Robert For- 
syth Esquires were designated as commissioners to select a site within the 
town of Augusta whereon to erect "a Court House and a Gaol," and to super- 
vise the construction of those buildings. 

On the 15th of December 1791 the Corporation of the Town of Augusta 
was vested with the power of regulating the proposed county "Court House 
and Gaol." 

By an act of the General Assembly, approved the iSth of February 1796, 
the Trustees of Augusta were required to make uniform the width of Broad 
Street which, between Washington and Lincoln streets, was sixty- four feet 
wider than at other points along its line. 

Augusta Incorporated. 


Cornelius Dysart, Samuel Jack, Dennis Smelt, Isaac Herbert, James Pearre, 
John Springer, and Moses Waddell were declared a body corporate " by the 
name and style of 'The Trustees of the Augusta Meeting House,' and the 
Trustees of Augusta were instructed to convey to them and their successors one 
of the public lots within the town, containing at least one acre of ground and 
conveniently situated, for the purpose of erecting thereon a 'House of Public 
Worship to the Divine Being by whose blessing the Independence of the 
United States had been established.' " 

Augusta having recently sustained considerable injury from a freshet in 
the Savannah River, the Trustees of the town were authorized to establish a 
Lottery, "under such scheme, regulations, and restrictions" as they might 
deem most expedient, in order to raise moneys with which to erect piers in 
such parts of the river as "would in their Judgment most effectually divert 
the current of the same from off the said Town." 

B37 section VI of this act Thomas Gumming, Esqr., was named as a Trus- 
tee of the town of Augusta in the room of John Milton resigned, and Abra- 
ham Jones, Samuel Jack, and Augustus Baldwin Esquires "were added to the 
list of Trustees for the said Town." 

The bridge, erected by Wade Hampton, over the Savannah River having 
been carried away "by an extraordinary fresh," the Legislature, on the 13th 
of February 1797, at his urgent request granted him an extension of two years 
within which to replace a structure so essential to the convenience and the 
commerce of the place. 

On the 31st of January 1798 the General Assembly passed an act incor- 
porating the " Gity of Augusta. "^ The preamble runs as follows: "Whereas, 
from the extent and population of the town of Augusta, its growing import- 
ance both with respect to increase of inhabitants and diffusive commerce, 
it is indispensably necessary that many regulations should be made for the 

Previous to its incorporation as a "city," Augusta was governed by Commissioners, or 
Trustees, who exercised over the town, the Academy, public buildings, and public lands, such 
authority as the General Assembly appointing them saw fit to delegate and enjoin. 

In 1780 the " Trustees of the Town of Augusta " were William Glascock, George Walton, 
Daniel MacMurphy, John Twiggs, and George Wells. 

Those serving in 1783 were William Glascock, George Walton, Joseph Pannill, Andrew 
Burns, and Samuel Jack. 

Three years afterwards, the Trustees were William Glascock, George Walton, Abraham 
Baldwin, Robert Forsyth, Seaborn Jones, Edward Telfair, Samuel Jack, and John Milton. 

In 1790 William Glascock, George Walton, Robert F'orsyth, Seaborn Jones, Abraham 
Baldwin, John Milton, and Edward Telfair acted as Trustees. 

When the act of incorporation was assented to, Thomas Gumming, George Walker, James 
Pearre, Robert Cresweli, Andrew Inniss, Isaac Herbert, and William Longstreet were com- 

* For this list of Trustees and Commissioners I am indebted to L. T. Blome, Esqr., the courteous and efficient Clerk o 

136 History of Augusta. 

preservation of peace and good order within the same : And Whereas from- 
the many weighty and important matters that occupy the attention of the 
Legislature at their general meeting it has hitherto been found inconvenient, 
and may hereafter become more so, for them to devise, consider, deliberate 
on, and determine all such laws and regulations as emergencies or the local 
circumstances of the said Town may from time to time require:" therefore be 
it enacted, etc., etc. 

The qualification for citizenship, the corporate name, and the territorial 
divisions of the municipality were specified thus: "From and immediately 
after the passing of this act all persons, citizens of the United States and 
residing one year within the said town and having a freehold or lease for years 
of a lot within the same or the village of Springfield, or between the said 
village and Town, shall be deemed, and they are hereby declared to be a body 
politic and corporate; and the said Town shall hereafter be called and known 
by the name of the City of AugUSTA, and shall be divided into the follow- 
ing districts, to wit: All lots situate below the cross street running from the 
river Savannah between the Market House and the house of Mrs. Fox to be 
called and known by District Number One: all the lots between the said street 
and the cross street running from the said River between the house of Mr. 
Andrew Innis and the house occupied by Collin Reed & Co. to be called and 
known by District number Two: and all the lots above that street, including 
the village of Springfield, shall be called and known by District Number 
Three." ^ 

When organized under the provisions of this act of incorporation, the city 
council of Augusta was composed of the following members: Thomas Cum- 
ming. intendant ; Joseph Hutchinson, clerk ; George Walker, James Pearre, 
Robert Creswell, Andrew Innis, Isaac Herbert, and William Longstreet, coun- 
cilmen. - 

\ Marbury and Crawford's Digest, pp. 136-139. 

' INTEND.A.NTSOF AUGUSTA. — 1803-1804, John Murray; 1805, William J. Hobby; 1806, 
Thomas Flournoy ; 1807, John B.Barnes; 1808, Freeman Walker, John Catlett ; 1809-1811, 
Joseph Hutchinson ; 1812, James T.Walker; 1812-1813, Seaborn Jones : 1814, Joseph Hut- 
chinson; 181 5-1 8 16, Walter Leigh ; 1817, P'reeman Walker. 

Mayors of Augusta.— 1818-1819, Freeman Walker; 1819-1821, Nicholas Ware ; 1821, 
Richard H. Wilde; 1822, Robert Walker; 1822, Freeman Walker; 1823-1824, Robert R. 
Reid ; 1825-1826, William W\ Holt; 1826, Robert R. Reid ; 1827-1836. Samuel Hale; 1837, 
John Phinizy; 1838, Samuel Hale; 1839. Alfred Gumming; 1840, Daniel Hook ; 1841, Martin 
M. Dye; 1842. Daniel Hook; 1843-1845, Martin M. Dye; 1846-1847, L. D. Ford ; 1848, I. P- 
Garvin; 1849. James B. Bishop ; 1850-1851, Thomas W. Miller ; 1852-1853, William E. Dear- 
jng; 1854, Abner P. Robertson; 1855. William E. Dearing ; 1856, George W. Evans; 1857- 
1858, Benjamin Conley : 1859-1860. Foster Blodgett, jr. ; 1861-1865. Robert H. May; 1866, 
James T. Gardiner; 1866, John Foster; 1867, Foster Blodgett, jr.; 1868, Henry F. Russell; 
1869, J. V. H. Allen; 1870- 1875, Charles Estes ; 1876-1878, John U.Meyer; 1879-1889, 
Robert H. May.* 

* For this list of intendants and mayors of the city of Augusta I am indebted to I.. T. lilome, Es(i., the courteous and 
efficient clerk of council. 

Population in 1791. 137 

In 1 79 1 Augusta is said to have contained two hundred and fifty houses, 
and a population of eleven hundred. The public buildings consisted of a 
church, a court house, an academy, wherein between eighty and ninety pupils 
were instructed, a stone jail, a government house for the accommodation of the 
governor and the State officials, and three warehouses capable of storing ten 
thousand hogsheads of tobacco. In that year over six thousand hogsheads of 
tobacco were there inspected. 


Legislative Proceedings — Newspapers — Ratification in Augusta by the State of Georgia, 
•of the Federal Constitution — Constitutional Convention of 1789 — Georgia Divided into Con- 
gressional Districts — President Washington's Visit to Augusta — Military Convention of 
August, 1793. 

WHEN the Land Court was opened in Augusta by the Hon. John Haber- 
sham, president of the executive council, in May, 1784, so thronged was 
it by impatient applicants that the greatest disorder prevailed, and for days 
the regular business had to be suspended. 

It was in Augusta that the Legislature perfected those liberal bills which 
gave to the State a university. When we remember the tender age of the 
commonwealth, its feebleness and destitution, when we appreciate the losses 
which had been sustained during the War of the Revolution, when we consider 
the unsettled condition of public affairs, and then appreciate the broad basis 
upon which this institution of learning was planted, the sound principles upon 
which it was founded, and the zealous efforts of its originators to make it stable 
and efficient, we may well claim peculiar honor for Georgia in thus making 
early provision for a State university, and in passing wholesome laws for secur- 
ing to her sons the blessings of a liberal education on her own soil. ^ In pro- 
moting this important measure, and in the development of this most valuable 
scheme, the City of Angusta, through her prominent citizens, bore an enviable 
part. It would, perhaps, not be deemed invidious in this connection to claim 
the highest honors for the Hon. Abraham Baldwin. 

In 1785 Augusta had made such progress that a weekly newspaper was 
established in the town. It was called the Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of 
the State, and was the official organ of the Commonwealth of Georgia. In 182 1 
it became The Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Gazette. The following year 
its name was changed to The Aus^usta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser. 

' See Stevens Bistorj 0/ Geor£-ia. Vol. ii., p. 364. Philadelphia. 1859. 

138 V History of Augusta. 

Thirteen years afterwards it appeared simply as the Augusta Chronicle. In 
1837, having absorbed The States Rights Sentinel, a paper edited by Judge 
Longstreet, author of " Georgia Scenes," it appeared as a daily newspaper 
under the style oi Daily Chronicle and Sentinel. Having, in 1877, absorbed 
The Constitutionalist, which for more than eighty years had been its rival, it 
appeared as TJie Chronicle and Constitutionalist ; and, having subsequently 
again changed its name, now maintains a vigorous existence as The Augusta 

Early in January, 1788, occurred a political event of no ordinary signifi- 
cance. We refer to the ratification by the State of Georgia of the Federal 
Constitution. This was accomplished in Augusta on the 2d of that month : 

By ordinance of the loth of February, 1787, William Few, Abraham Bald- 
win, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pen- 
dleton, esqs., were appointed commissioners to represent the State of Georgia' 
in the convention called for the revision of the constitution of the United States. 
They were instructed to unite with the deputies from sister States in devising 
and discussing such alterations and further provisions as might be found neces- 
sary to render the Federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of the 

In the deliberations which ensued the Hon. Abraham Baldwin bore an 
active and influential part. In concluding its labors on the 17th of September, 
1787, that Constitutional Convention — over which General George Washington 
had presided with distinguished ability — adopted a resolution that the constitu- 
tion just formulated and promulgated to accomplish "a more perfect union, 
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, 
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty," should be 
submitted to " a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people 
thereof under the recommendation of its Legislature, for their assent and ratifi- 
cation ; and that each convention assenting to and ratifying the same, should 
give notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled." 

In responding to this suggestion Georgia was not tardy. A convention 
was promptly called, to meet in Augusta on the fourth Tuesday in December, 
1787, to consider the proposed constitution, and to adopt or reject any part or 
the whole thereof. Augusta was then the capital of Georgia. The following 
gentlemen were named as members of that important convocation: Delegates 
from Chatham county, William Stephens, Joseph Habersham ; from Effing- 
ham, Jenkin Davis, N. Brownson ; from Burke, Edward Telfair, H.Todd; 
from Richmond, John Wereat, William Few, James McNeily ; from Wilkes, 
George Matthews, F"lorence Sullivan, John King; from Liberty, James Powell, 
John Elliott, James Maxwell ; from Glynn, George Handley, Christopher Hil- 
lary, J. Milton ; from Camden, Henry Osborne, James Seagrove, Jacob Weed ; 
from Washington, Jared Irwin, John Rutherford ; and from Greene, Robert 

Christmas, Thomas Daniel, R. Middleton. 

Ratification of the Federal Constitution. 139 

John Wereat, a delegate from the county of Richmond, speaker of the Pro- 
vincial Congress of 1776, a conspicuous patriot during the Revolutionary War, 
and, at one time, as president of the executive council, acting govornor of 
Georgia, presided over the convention. The delegates were, without excep- 
tion, men of character, of established reputation, and of acknowledged ability. 
William Stephens had been the attorney- general of the State, and also its chief 

Joseph Habersham had been a prominent ofificer in the Continental army, 
and was afterwards complimented by General Washington with the position of 
postmaster general of the United States. 

Jenkin Davis and James Maxwell were delegates to the memorable Pro- 
vincial Congress, which assembled at Tondee's long room in Savannah, on the 
4th of July, 1775. 

John Milton had borne arms in the lists of patriots, and filled the office of 
secretary of State. 

Henry Osborne was a prominent jurist, and was advanced to the position 
of chief justice of Georgia. 

In the catalogue of governors of Georgia appear the names of Nathan 
Brownson, Edward Telfair, George Matthews, George Handley, and Jared 
Irwin. William Few, who had been a delegate to the Continental Congress, 
was subsequently elected United States senator from Georgia. 

The deliberations of this convention were harmonious ; and, on the 2d day 
of January, 1788, culminated in the following ratification of the Federal con- 
stitution : 

" We, the delegates of the people of the State of Georgia in convention 
met, having taken into our serious consideration the Federal Constitution 
agreed upon and proposed by the deputies of the United States in general 
convention held in the city of Philadelphia on the 17th day of September in 
the yc.r of our Lord 1787, have assented to, ratified, and adopted, and by 
these presents do, in virtue of the powers and authority to us given by the 
people of the said State for that purpose, for and in behalf of ourselves and 
our constituents, fully and entirely assent to, ratify and adopt the said consti- 
tution, which is hereto annexed, under the great seal of the State." 

As the formal signing of this ratification by the delegates was concluded, 
the joyful tidings were proclaimed to the multitude assembled opposite the 
State House. The huzzas of the citizens were supplemented by a salute of 
thirteen discharges from two field-pieces, served by a detachment from Colonel 
Armstrong's regiment which was then quartered in Augusta.^ 

In the order of time, Georgia was the fourth State to accept and ratify the 
constitution as promulgated by the convention of 1787. 

The conventions whose deliberations gave to Georgia the constitution which 

^See the Gazette of the State of Georgia, No. 260, Thursday, January 17, 1788. 

I40 History of Augusta. 

became operative on the first Monday of October, 1789, all met in Augusta. 
When, having completed their labors, the members of the third constitutional 
convention, in a body, waited upon Governor George Walton, their president, 
William Gibbons, of Savannah, placed in his hands that admirable document 
and requested that it be deposited among the archives of the State. In the 
name of the convention he further asked that its provisions be formally pro- 
mulgated. Upon receiving the engrossed constitution Governor Walton re- 
plied : 

" Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Convention : The constitution for 
the government of this State, which you now deliver to me, shall have the 
great seal affixed to it and be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State. 
It shall be announced to the people at large by proclamation, and a sufficient 
number of copies printed for the use of the several counties. I hope and be- 
lieve that it will be productive of public good and happiness, the objects of gov- 
ernment and of society." 

The act of formally accepting the new constitution by the governor from 
Mr. Gibbons, the president of the convention, was announced to the town by 
a salute of eleven guns in honor of the eleven States which had thus far acceded 
to the constitution of the United States. ^ 

Edward Telfair was the first governor elected under this constitution, and 
his inauguration took place in the House of Representatives which, if we are 
correctly informed, stood nearly opposite the present "Law Range" in the city 
of Augusta, on the nth of November, 1789. l ^>v C SliW}^ m^ tilv. l>.o<~i'itUi 

On the 26th of this month, a day set apart by the General Congress for "^Vs 
public thanksgiving and prayer, in order that the people of the land might ac- 
knowledge "with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, 
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of 
governmetit for their safety and happiness," the members of the General As- 
sembly repaired to St. Paul's Church where they listened with great attention 
to a sermon prepared for the occasion by the Rev. Mr. Palmer, rector of the 

The General Assembly on the 8th of December, 1790, divided the State in- 
to three Congressional districts The counties of Camden, Glynn, Liberty, 
Chatham and Effingham composed the lower; Burke, Richmond and Washing- 
ton the middle ; and Wilkes, Franklin and Greene the upper district. In due 
course James Jackson was chosen as a representative from the lower, Abraham 
Baldwin from the middle, and George Matthews from the upper district. 

On Wednesday, the i8th of May, 1791, Augusta was honored by a visit 
from the Pater Patrice, General George Washington, then the president of the 
United States. In the Augusta Chronicle oi^Adiy 21, will be found an account 
of the courtesies extended and the ceremonies observed on this occasion. 

^ See Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. ii. p. 390. Philadelphia. 1859. 

Visit of General Washington. 141 

Major Ambrose Gordon, by direction of the governor, had been ordered to 
hold himself in readiness with a detachment of not less than fourteen volun- 
teers, to march and escort the president, who was journeying by land from Sa- 
vannah to Augusta. 

The artillery was posted at the old fort with instructions, upon the approach 
of the president, to fire a salute of fifteen rounds. 

Accompanied by Major- General Twiggs, Judge Walton, the Sheriff of Rich- 
mond county, the Secretary of State, the Treasurer, the Attorney- General, the 
Solicitor- General, the Surveyor- General, the Clerk of the House of Represen- 
tatives, the Secretary of the Senate, and a numerous cavalcade of respectable 
citizens, his excellency. Governor Edward Telfair, five miles below Augusta 
met the President of the United States. The procession halted, and General 
Washington, alighting from his carriage, mounted his horse. Escorted by 
Major Jackson and the Federal Marshal, he then advanced to meet the Gov- 
ernor who moved forward attended by the Secretary of State. Governor Tel- 
fair then congratulated the President "on his near approach to the residence 
of government." 

This ceremony concluded, a procession was formed, and the President, amid 
salvos from Captain Howell's artillery, was conducted to the residence on 
Broad street prepared for his reception. At four o'clock he dined with the 
Governor — the Federal and State officers and other gentlemen being present. 
" The President's toast was The State of Geoj'gia." In the evening a ball in 
his honor was given by Mrs. Telfair. 

On Thursday morning the citizens of Augusta presented the following ad- 
dress : 

" To the President of the United States of America : 

"Sir: Your journey to the southward being extended to the frontier of the 
Union, affords a fresh proof of your indefatigable zeal in the service of your 
country, and equal attention and regard to all the people of the United States. 
With these impressions, the citizens of Augusta present their congratulations 
upon your arrival here in health, with the assurance that it will be their great- 
est pleasure, during your stay with them, to testify the sincere affection they 
have for your person, their sense of obligation for your merits and for your 
services, and their entire confidence in you as the Chief Magistrate of their 
country. On your return, and at all times, their best wishes will accompany 
you, while they retain the hope that a life of virtue, benevolence, and patriot- 
ism, may be long preserved for the benefit of the age, and the example of pos- 
terity. " George Walton, 

"John Meals, 
"Thomas Gumming, 
"Peter Carnes, 
"Seaborn Jones." 

!i42 History of Augusta. 

To this complimentary address the President returned the following answer: 

"Gentlemen: I receive your congratulations on my arrival in Augusta 
with great pleasure. I am much obliged by your assurances of regard; and thank 
you, with unfeigned sincerity, for the favourable sentiments you are pleased to 
express towards me. 

"Entreating you to be persuaded of my gratitude, I desire to assure you 
that it will afford me the most sensible satisfaction to learn the progression of 
your prosperity. My best wishes for your happiness, collectively and individ- 
ually, are sincerely offered. George Washington." 

At half past four o'clock in the afternoon the President dined at the court- 
house with a large number of citizens. Governor Telfair was also present. 
The entertainment was provided by subscription, and was as sumptuous as the 
means at command would allow. At the conclusion of the feast customary 
toasts were offered. That proposed by the President was The State of Georgia, 
and Prosperity to Augusta. 

In the evening General Washington attended a ball in the large room of the 

On Friday, the 20th day of May, the following address was presented by 
Governor Telfair: 

" To the President of the United States of America. • 

" My warm congratulations on your arrival at the residence of government 
in this State are presented with a peculiar pleasure, as well as a feeling sensi- 
bility ; and I am persuaded that these emotions are perfectly congenial with 
those of my fellow citizens. 

"After the gratification felt from your presence among them, they will nat- 
urally contemplate the many unavoidable inconveniences arising in so arduous 
and extensive a tour, with the most solicitous anxiety. Not less impressed, 
my cordial wishes shall accompany you through every stage on your return to 
the seat of government of the United States. 

"Long may you remain to fill the exalted station of Chief Magistrate of the 
American Republics as the just reward of that patriotism which marked every 
act of your life whilst engaged in the arduous struggles of a long and compli- 
cated war — gave tone to the liberties of your country — immortalized your 
name throughout the nations of the world — and created an unbounded confi- 
dence in your virtue, with the strongest attachment to your person and family, 
in the minds of American citizens. Edward Telfair." 

To this the President was pleased to return the following response: 
*' To his Excellency, Governor Telfair: 

"Sir: Obeying the impulse of a heartfelt gratitude, I express with particu- 
lar pleasure my sense of the obligations which your Excellency's goodness, 
and the kind regards of your citizens have conferred upon me. 

Visit of General Washington. 143 

"I shall always retain the most pleasing remembrance of the polite and 
hospitable attentions which I have received in my tour through Georgia, and 
during my stay at the residence of your government. 

"The manner in which your Excellency is pleased to recognize my public 
services, and to regard my private felicity, excites my sensibility and claims 
my grateful acknowledgement. 

"You will do justice to the sentiments which influence my wishes by be- 
lieving that they are sincerely proffered for your personal happiness, and the 
prosperity of the State in which you preside. GEORGE Washington." 

On Friday the President attended an examination of the pupils of Rich- 
mond Academy, and expressed much satisfaction at the evidence of profi- 
ciency which they exhibited. In the afternoon he dined with Governor Tel- 
fair and a select party. 

On Saturday morning General Washington bade adieu to Augusta. He 
was escorted by the Governor and the State and Federal Officers to the bridge 
over the Savannah River, where they "paid their compliments and took their 
leave." As the President was crossing the bridge he was saluted by Major 
Gordon's horse, and Captain Howell's artillery. 

Thus ended a pleasant episode in the history of Augusta. What a contrast 
between the journey of President Washington in 1791, and the tour of Presi- 
dent Cleveland in 1887 ! 

In 1793 the existing relations between the State of Georgia and the Indian 
nations had become so unsatisfactory and threatening, that Governor Telfair, 
having applied in vain to the Federal Government for such aid as he thought 
the exigencies of the frontier demanded, resolved himself to conduct military 
operations on the part of the Commonwealth to compel peace and security at 
the hands of the Creeks and Cherokees. To that end he summoned a council 
of general officers to meet him in Augusta on Thursday, the 8th of August, 
1793. There were present on that occasion Governor Telfair, commander-in- 
chief, Major-Generals John Twiggs, James Jackson and P^lijah Clarke, and 
Brigadier-Generals Glascock, Morrison, Clarke, Irwin and Gunn. After con- 
sidering the condition of affairs it was resolved that an expedition of two thou- 
sand horse and three thousand foot should at once be organized to proceed 
against the Creeks in the following October. When advised of this purpose on 
the part of the State of Georgia, President Washington expressed his decided 
disapproval. Through General Knox, his secretary of war, he promulgated 
the wish that the purposed expedition should be abandoned, and so the matter 
ended. " With the Yazoo speculations, in which several of the prominent citi- 
zens of Augusta were largely interested, the limits of this sketch do not per- 
mit us to deal. 

In the convention which framed the constitution of 1798, the County of 
Richmond was ably represented, and the labors of Mr. Robert Watkins in this 

144 History of Augusta. 

connection entitle him to permanent and honorable remembrance. The drama 
made its first appearance in Augusta in 1798. " positively for six nights only," 
under the auspices of Misses Williamson and Jones. They opened with "Three 
Week's After Marriage." 


Cultivation of the Tobacco Plant in Georgia — Rapid Improvement in the Trade and Pros- 
perity of Augusta — Introduction of Cotton— Letter of Mr. Joseph Eve — William Longstreet 
and* his Steamboat — Population of Richmond County upon the Close of the Last Century — 
Sibbald's Description of Augusta in 1799 — Concluding Remarks. 

THE introduction of the tobacco plant into Georgia materially conduced to 
the development and the prosperity of Augusta. Many of the early ini 
habitants of the present counties of Elbert, Lincoln, Wilkes and Oglethorpe 
came from Virginia bringing with them not only a fondness for " the weed," 
but also a high appreciation of its value as an article of commerce. The vir- 
gin lands of this region were well adapted to its cultivation. This plant soon 
attracted general notice, and proved the staple commodity or market crop of 
the farmers. 

As the existing laws of the State forbade its exportation without previous 
inspection and the payment of specified fees, it became necessafy to establish 
public warehouses at convenient points where the tobacco crop could be stored 
and inspected. No hogshead or cask of tobacco could be shipped which did 
not bear the stamp of some "lawful inspector." ^ For the faithful performance 
of their duties these inspectors were required to give bonds, and it was made 
obligatory upon them to attend continuously at their respective warehouses 
from the first of October to the first of August in each year. It was enjoined 
upon them carefully to inspect, weigh, receipt for, and stamp each hogshead 
delivered at the warehouse. The hogshead or cask was "not to exceed forty- 
nine inches in length, and thirty- one inches in the raising head." Its weight, 
when packed, was to be not less than " nine hundred and fifty pounds nett." 

Vehicles of all sorts being scarce, it was not customary in those primitive 
days to transport these hogsheads upon wagons. The hogshead or cask being 
made strong and tight, and having been stoutly coopered, was furnished with 
a temporary axle and shaft to which a horse was attached. By this means it 
was trundled over the country roads to market, or to the nearest public ware- 
house. Water courses were also freely used for the conveyance of tobacco in 

1 See Watkins's Digest, p. 444. 

Letter of Joseph Eve. 145 

open boats. The prototype of the Petersburg cotton boat of the present day 
was the tobacco boat of the latter part of the eighteenth century. 

The location of a public warehouse at the confluence of Broad and Savan- 
nah Rivers proved most acceptable and serviceable to the tobacco growers in 
this rich region, and speedily attracted merchants who, there fixing their 
homes, became purchasers of the tobacco when inspected, and in return sold 
to the planters such supplies as they needed. Such was the origin of the town 
of Petersburg. Its existence was due to the concentration at this point of the 
tobacco crop of a considerable area. The presence of this commodity was em- 
phatically the cause of population, and the parent of trade. Lisbon, Federal- 
Town, and Edinborough were other villages which owed their existence to the 
tobacco trade. Augusta was in the end the principal mart whither this tobacco 
tended. It was the point of transhipment, and from the depots of the Au- 
gusta merchants were supplies derived not only by the country merchants but 
also by numerous planters coming from great distances. The trade, both by- 
wagon and by boat, was extensive and lucrative; and its effect in confirming^ 
the prosperity of the town, in improving the style and number of its buildings,, 
in enhancing the general wealth, and in promoting the importance of the set- 
tlement, was most evident. Commerce with the Indians still existed to a lim- 
ited extent, but it no longer entered as an important factor in the calculations 
of the merchants. 

Upon the decadence of the tobacco plant, the cultivation of cotton engaged 
the attention of the agricultural community. Although as early as 1739, a 
bag of cotton is said to have been exported from Savannah, it was not until 
1785 that the value of this product was fairly recognized in the United States. 
Ten years afterwards a million pounds were exported for foreign consumption. 
Early in the present century five hundred bales, each weighing three hundred 
pounds, were consumed by the home manufacturer, and forty- one million 
pounds went abroad to supply the needs of foreign factories. Tobacco was 
then supplanted by cotton, and Augusta became the market for an extensive 
region producing this most important article of commerce. The invention 
and introduction of Eli Whitney's cotton gin imparted a wonderful impulse to 
this industry, and conferred a benefit which cannot be overestimated. He 
should be generously remembered as a benefactor of his race. 

In this connection we make no apology for introducing the following letter 
from Mr. Joseph Eve, the father of the late venerable Professor Joseph A. Eve, 
M.D., of this city, whose pure life and valuable ministrations are cherished in 
such lively recollection. The original exists among the Rush papers in the 
manuscript department of the Ridgway Library in Philadelphia. 

" Dear Sir : — I have invented a machine for the separating of Seed from 
cotton, which has been in use in these islands these several years. 

" Having received the last year a number of applications from the Southern 


146 History of Augusta. 

States for my Machines, I am induced to petition the Legislature of the United 
States for a Patent for the exclusive use of them. Without this security I 
could not, in justice to myself, let my machines be introduced into the States. 

" Major l^utler was kind enough to hand a Petition for me to Congress, 
and has promised that if I send a model of my Machine, I shall obtain a Patent. 

" I was in Charles Town in the Summer to meet General Butler there. 
The business could then have been settled, but that I could not make the 
model in Charles Town. I had, however, such papers executed as the law 
relative to Patents requires ; and having taken the liberty of sending them, 
with the model of the Machine, to your care. Major Butler has promised to 
bring the matter forward for me again, and to use his influence in promoting 
its success. 

"The only motive I can urge for troubling you with the care of this Model 
and these Papers is the probability that Major Butler may not be at Philadel- 
phia. Perhaps I gratif}' a secret vanity at the same time, and I am conscious 
of a high pleasure in the opportunity it affords me of expressing my gratitude 
for your former Patronage, and the kindness I have so often met with from you. 

" If I succeed in this business I expect, in the prosecution of it, to have to 
go to Philadelphia, when, to thank you personally will not be my smallest 
pleasure. " I remain, with high esteem, dear sir, 

" Your most obd't hble. servt., 
" Bahama Islands. "JOSEPH EvE. 

"Nassau, 24th Nov., 1794. 

" I have sent the Pacquet to Major Butler, which is inclosed, open for 

" I will thank you to put a wafer in it. 

"Dr. Benjamin Rush." 

What the precise character of this machine was, and whether or not Mr. 
Eve obtained a patent for it, we are not advised. It would appear, however, 
from this letter, that this "machine for the separating of seed from cotton" 
had not only been in use among the cotton planters of the Bahama Islands 
sexeral years before Whitney perfected and introduced his invention, but that 
it had also attracted the notice of cotton growers in the Southern States. 

In the centennial edition of the Augusta C/ironicle, appeared an interesting 
article from the pen of Mr. Salem Dutcher, entitled "William Longstreet, in- 
ventor of the steamboat." On the 1st of February, 1788, the General Assem- 
bly of Georgia passed an act securing to Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet, 
for the term of fourteen years, the exclusive privilege of using a newly con- 
structed steam engine, the product of their joint invention. In a letter ad- 
dressed to Governor Edward Telfair, and now of file in the archives of this 
State, Mr. Longstreet, under date Augusta, September 26th, 1790, refers to 
his steamboat, and asks executive assistance and patronage in his efforts to per- 

William Longstreet and his Steamboat. 147 

feet and utilize it. It does not appear that this application was crowned with 

In the teeth of many obstacles Mr. Longstreet continued his experiments; 
and, having in 1806 accumulated means sufficient for the purpose, constructed 
a steamboat according to his own ideas and successfully navigated it in the 
Savannah River. 

After a careful examination of all the evidence which can be adduced, Mr. 
Butcher arrives at the following conclusion : 

" From the reference here to ' the different essays he has made,' taken in 
connection with the letter above quoted of 1790, it is quite likely that the 
statement of his having successfully operated a steamboat on the waters of the 
Savannah in 1806 is correct. If so, he is indubitably entitled to the honor of 
being the inventor of the steamboat, Robert Fulton's successful trial trip up the 
Hudson, in the Clermont, dating from August 7, 1807. If Mr. Longstreet's 
boat was not on the water till 1808, so that Fulton is entitled to the credit of 
having first operated the invention, the honor of excogitating the idea of steam 
navigation is still with the former, since, as we have seen, he receives a patent 
from the Georgia Legislature in 1788, and in 1790 mentions the steamboat by 
name as an invention of his, then well known, and it was not until 1790 that 
Robert Fulton left the United States for Europe in order to perfect his educa- 
tion. After his return to the United States he became acquainted with Chan- 
cellor Livingston, who had paid great attention to the subject of steam as a 
motor, and in 1798 obtained from the New York Assembly the exclusive right 
to apply it to the propulsion of vessels. From this time Fulton began, in con- 
junction with the chancellor, a series of experiments which culminated in the 
Clermont, in 1807. 

" Considering that something over nineteen years elapsed from the time 
of the Georgia statute up to Fulton's final experiment, and that Longstreet 
never relinquished his idea in all that period, but constantly kept it before the 
public, it is not at all improbable but that in that prolonged period intelligence 
of the ingenious Georgian's idea extended throughout the then Union. In 
fact, we know that in 1789 John Stevens made some experiments toward steam 
navigation in New York, and that in 1790 John Fitch is said to have put a 
species of steamboat on the Delaware; circumstances tending to show Long- 
street's idea had been noised abroad. 

"This, of course, is but inference; but, however it may be, one thing in 
the history of steam navigation is perfectly well established, and that is that in 
1788 William Longstreet, of Georgia, had conceived the idea of the steamboat, 
and either before, or about contemporaneously with, the famous trip of the 
Clermont, had, by the mighty agency of steam, made a vessel walk the water 
like a thing of life." 

We have here a memory which, among the recollections of old Augusta, 
should be cherished with peculiar pride. 

148 History of Augusta. 

When the census of 1791 was taken, Richmond county had an aggregate 
population of eleven thousand three hundred and seventeen. Of this number 
four thousand one hundred and sixteen were slaves. Columbia county had 
not then been carved out of the territory of Richmond. 

By the census of 1801 the population of Richmond county is returned at 
five thousand four hundred and seventy- three, while that of Columbia county 
is fixed at eight thousand three hundred and forty- five. 

In Sibbald's Notes a}id Observations 07i the Pine Lands of Georgia} — a rare 
and an interesting tract, — we find the following description of Augusta as the 
town appeared at the close of the last century: 

" Augusta is situated upon the southwestern bank of Savannah River, lat- 
itude 33.40, on a beautiful and extensive plain. It is one hundred and twenty 
miles northwest of Savannah. The town is regularly laid out in streets cross- 
ing at right angles.^ The principal street, called Broad street, running nearly 
east and west, is a handsome, well built street, one hundred and sixty- five feet 
wide, and has a row of trees for nearly a mile on each side. On this street 
there are upwards of one hundred stores filled with all the necessary manufac- 
tures of the Northern States, of Europe, the East and West Indies. This city, 
in point of riches, is equal to any of the same size in tlie United States. The 
other streets are sixty-six feet wide, except Greene street, which is one hun- 
dred feet wide. There are many handsome, well built houses on them. In the 
rear of the town a street has been laid out three hundred feet wide, in the mid- 
dle of which an academy, containing a center building forty-five by thirty-six 
feet, and wings thirty-three by one hundred feet, is now building. This build- 
ing is ornamental with a cupola, and may be said to be the most elegant build- 
ing of the kind in the Southern States. It is intended to accommodate one 
hundred and fifty students. 

" Upon a line with it, fronting another square, a brick building is now erect- 
ing for a Court- House, upon a handsome and convenient plan. This street is 
intended to be ornamented with trees for a Public Walk. There are also a 
Church, Methodist Meeting- House, a large Stone Goal, a Market-House, and 
two Ware-Houses for the Inspection of Tobacco. No Town ever rose into im- 
portance with such rapidity as this Town has. In the year 1785, on the spot 
where the Town stands, there were only ten houses. There are now three hun- 
dred and four houses, and it is fast increasing in buildings, commerce, and 
every kind of improvement. It has the advantage of a most beautiful situation, 
and enjoys a good climate, good water, and is surrounded by fertile land. It 
will, one day, rise to a degree of importance. It was incorporated by an Act of 
the Legislature approved January 31, 1798." 

With the close of the eighteenth century our labors in connection with the 

'Augusta: Printed by William J. Bunce. 1801. pp. 59, 60. 

'■'This is'characteristic of all the towns in Georgia planned l)y General Oglethorpe. 

^'^'fyFa.Ke.rna.TL 1>C'V^. 

/^^ e^ Jm^.(^/. 

General Remarks. 149 

preparation of this Memorial Volume end. We have endeavored, from all 
.available sources of information at command, to furnish a truthful narrative of 
ev^ents, military, political and social, and to present a faithful history of the for- 
tunes and development of Augusta during the first sixty-five years of her ex- 

The curtain rose upon a feeble trading post, quite isolated, and located 
upon the extreme verge of European colonization in Georgia. It descends 
upon a thriving town, claiming a population of some two thousand, conduct- 
ing a lucrative commerce with an extensive circumjacent territory, and ad- 
vancing rapidly in civilization and wealth. The clouds which overshadowed 
the settlement and darkened its progress during the Indian wars, and the 
storms which shattered its houses and rendered desolate its streets during the 
protracted and sanguinary contest between Revolutionists and Royalists, have 
all been dissipated. An era of steam and of assured prosperity is at hand. 
Competent men are earnestly striving for the honor and the expanding welfare 
of the community. Among those who then guided and stimulated public 
affairs, and attended to the business of law, of politics and of commerce, the 
names of Abraham Baldwin, George Walton, Edward Telfair, William Few, 
John Twiggs, Wade Hampton, Samuel Hammond, Thomas Gumming, 
Thomas Glascock, Freeman Walker, Nicholas Ware, Seaborn Jones, Elijah 
Clarke, Robert Watkins, Benjamin Few, and others scarcely less prominent, 
are well remembered. And among them — at that time unknown to fame but 
inspired with a brave ambition to excel — is an Irish boy, poor and a stran- 
ger, destined in after years as a lawyer, an advocate, a statesman, and a man 
of letters to reflect credit upon his adopted home, and in his pathetic lines 


" My life is like the summer rose, 
Tiiat opens to the morning sky," 

entitling himself to grateful and honorable remembrance so long as the English 
language endures. 


^^^^•^ 4- 

Original Plan of the City — The Old Town — Limits Enlarged in 1780 — Government by 
•Commissioners — Augusta's Loyal Element— The Captured Cannon— Augusta the State Capi- 
tal — Trustees of Augusta— Limits Enlarged in 1786— Charter of 1789— Popular Discontent — 
Charter Withdrawn — The Yazoo Freshet. 

THE history of Augusta from its settlement in 1735 to the close of the 
eighteenth century is previously narrated in this work by one en- 
tirely competent to the task. The city was incorporated in 1798, and its his- 

150 History of Augusta. 

tory from that time, with some account of its municipal government from the 
earliest period, will be the business of this part of the work. 

As has been stated. Augusta was first settled in 1735, and while General 
Oglethorpe's primary object was to establish a trading post and frontier for- 
tress for the new colony, there is reason to believe that he looked forward to 
more permanent results, and anticipated that Augusta would, in time, become 
a thriving city in the up-country as a counterpart to Savannah, near the coast. 
For several years after the establishment of Georgia, General Oglethorpe was 
the governing authority in the province, and seemed to aim at permanence in 
all he did. Thus, while fully armed with the royal authority to take possession 
of the new country, he relied, like Penn, fully as much on native consent as on 
kingly sanction, and made it one of his first endeavors to win over the Indians 
to a peaceful occupation of the soil by the whites. This was all the more nec- 
essary, since, after many bloody collisions, it had been agreed between the 
settlers of South Carolina and the savages, that the River Savannah was to be 
the dividing line between the red man and the pale-face. To the west of that 
river, no white man, even for trade or hunting, was to set his foot. The set- 
tlement of Georgia was, consequently, an infraction of this treaty ; and seeing 
that the settlement to be permanent, must be either by arms or negotiation, 
General Oglethorpe, at his landing, persuaded the Indians to a new treaty 
whereby the white man was to be allowed to settle along the western bank of 
the river. The same prudent foresight marked the general's course in the 
establishment of towns. From the specimens of early plats which survive, they 
seem all laid off on the same plan, namely, in broad, straight streets, intersect- 
ing at right angles, and having the lots intended for public purposes on one 
side the square, with an extraordinarily wide space or parade in front. In a 
word, the plan is that of a camp, as might have been expected from Ogle- 
thorpe's profession. While no written record remains of the fact, it is beyond 
question that Augusta was originally laid off on this plan. So thoroughly con- 
vinced is Colonel C. C. Jones, the eminent arch^ologist of Georgia, of a plan 
of the city having been made by General Oglethorpe that he made most care- 
ful search in the British Museum and British colony office for the original when 
abroad some years since, but unfortunately without success. The reader has 
but to cast his eye, however, on the present map of the city, to see that the 
contour of the municipality still retains the original idea of its founder. The 
limits of the first settlement are not now precisely ascertainable, but, on a plan 
of the city made about 1784, and still in existence, a certain portion of its pres- 
ent area, bounded by the Savannah River on the north, Elbert street on the 
east. Green on the south, and Washington on the west, is denominated " the 
Old Town," and this is, in all probability, the original Augusta. What adds 
to this probability is that, midway between Elbert and Washington lies a 
street which, from time immemorial, has been called Centre street, a name 

Limits Enlarged in 1780. 151 

• which would have no relevancy unless it were, so called as having originally 
bisected the town. To corroborate this, we have a provincial act of 1768 
which establishes "a ferry from the centre of the town of Augusta, upon Sa- 
vannah River, to the bluff on the opposite shore, in the province of South Car- 
olina," and Sherwood's Gazetteer says the ferry ran just where the bridge was 
afterwards built, to wit : at the foot of Centre street. We may, therefore, say 
that Augusta was originally bounded by Elbert, Greene and Washington 
streets, and the river. This gave three streets running at right angles to the 
river, namely, Washington, Centre and Elbert; and three running parallel to 
the river, to wit : Greene, Ellis and Reynolds, the names of the latter two be- 
ing those of the early royal governors, being an additional evidence of the an- 
tiquity of this part of the city. 

It does not appear what form of municipal government prevailed at this 
early day, but, as the population numbered several hundred soon after its first 
settlement, and, at certain seasons, there was an extraordinary influx of In- 
dians, there must have been some kind of local authority. The first distribu- 
tion of Georgia into political subdivisions was into two counties, namely. Sa- 
vannah county, comprising all north of Darien, and Frederica county compris- 
ing all south of that point, each county being under the supervision of a presi- 
dent and four assistants. This threw Augusta in Savannah county, and the 
local government was, doubtless, conducted by the commandant of the fort, 
under the orders of the president and assistants of that county. Some years 
later the colony was divided into eleven districts, namely, Abercorn and Go- 
shen, Acton, Augusta, Darien, Ebenezer, Joseph's Town, Little Ogeechee, 
Medway, Savannah, Skidaway and Vernonburg. In 1750 the trustees ordered 
a colonial assembly of sixteen members to be chosen, each district to be rep- 
resented in proportion to' its population, and, on this apportionment, the Au- 
gusta district sent two members, evidencing a considerable increase in its pop- 

In 1758 the districts became parishes, the district of Augusta becoming the 
parish of St. Paul, the act making this change providing that "from and after 
the seventeenth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight, the 
church erected in the town of Augusta, with the cemetery or burial place 
thereunto belonging, shall be the parish church and burial place of St. Paul." 
The same act empowered the churchwardens and vestrymen to assess rates 
for the repair of churches, the relief of the poor, and other parochial services. 

In 1780 the limits of Augusta were enlarged, and we begin to see the 
germs of a regular municipal government. By act of that year it was recited 
that " the vacant land above and below the town of Augusta, lying on Savan- 
nah River on the north, and joining the common in a line with the south 
street of the town running parallel with the river, and joining land of McCar- 
tan Campbell on the west, and Andrew McLean on the east, ought to be laid 

152 History of Augusta. 

out into lots and sold for the use of this State, in order to enlarge the limits of 
the said town;" and thereupon it was enacted "that five commissioners be 
appointed by this house, and the said commissioners so appointed, or any three 
of them, are hereby empowered to lay out the said vacant land in lots of one 
acre each, and also to lay out proper streets, and to arrange them with the 
others in the said town of Augusta, and the whole shall be included and called 
Augusta." This act appears to have extended the town limits to Lincoln street 
on the east, and to Jackson street on the west. The duties that devolved 
on the commissioners were numerous and important. They were directed to 
sell the lots at public sale, for one-half cash and the balance on twelve months' 
time ; no person, however, to be allowed to purchase more than one lot, and 
each purchaser to be required to give good security to settle and build upon 
his lot within two years after purchase. They were also directed to straighten 
the streets, which seem to have been encroached upon, and to make "the road 
on either side, up to Rae's Creek and down to the Sand Bar," conform to the 
streets. On one of "the public lots in Broad street" they were to build a 
court-house and jail, and were to reserve the other " for houses of public semi- 
naries and schools." They were to superintend the construction of all new 
houses, and see that they were at least twenty by sixteen feet, and if of wood, 
"framed and built in a workmanlike manner," and all houses were to be placed 
on such part of the lot as the commissioners should direct," to the end that the 
said town may be regularly built. They were also directed to reserve " two 
of the best lots in the centre line of the said town, and distant from each other, 
for houses of public worship," and to " lay out two acres of ground in the com- 
mon south of the said town for public cemeteries, each opposite the respective 
lots, and to cause the same to be cleared and fenced in." The act made sun- 
dry other provisions, which afford internal evidences of Augusta being, even at 
this early date, a point of recognized and growing importance. All suits at 
law were to be heard and determined there ; all criminal trials were also, to be 
had there ; all lots not built on and improved in the course of two years after 
the passage of the act were to be forfeited to the State, and sold 'out to such 
purchasers as would build ; and no burials were to take place within the town 
limits. The references in this act to the lots of the original town aftbrd still 
further proof that Augusta was originally laid out on some settled and recog- 
nized plan. The commissioners appointed to carry out the act were William 
Glascock, George Walton, Daniel M'Murphy, John Twiggs and George Wells, 
and this body of city fathers would doubtless have done good work for the 
town but for the pendency of the war between the king and the colonies, and 
the bloodshed and havoc which marked the struggle. In and about Augusta 
the dogs of war did their worst, and so ruthless and sanguinary was the com- 
bat that the famous Revolutionary soldier General Lee — "Lighthorse Harry," — 
says in his memoirs, "in no part of the South was the war conducted with so 

Augusta's Loyal Element. 153 

much barbarity as in this quarter." With the approach of the Revolution two 
parties developed themselves in the town. One favored the king, and sent 
him a loyal address, assuring him of their affection and support. The other 
side took the old Continental view of the question. It is pretty clear that at 
first the monarchical sentiment was very strong. Georgia was in some re- 
spects a colony of peculiar environments. The other provinces had been 
established for motives of ambition or pecuniary gain, but this had for its ori- 
gin the desire of the crown to furnish comfortable homes for distressed Eng- 
lishmen who from debt or misfortune had no future in life. In 1730 Viscount 
Percival, a benevolent nobleman, General Oglethorpe, a veteran officer who 
afterwards rose to be ranking general in the British service, and a number of 
other philanthropic gentlemen petitioned King George II. for a charter of in- 
corporation " as a charitable society by the name of the corporation for the 
purpose of establishing charitable colonies in America." The petitioners stated 
"that the cities of London and^ Westminster, and parts adjacent, do abound 
with great numbers of indigent persons who are reduced to such necessity as 
to become burdensome to the public, and who would be willing to seek a live- 
lihood in any of his majesty's plantations in America if they were provided 
with a passage and means of settling there," and went on to say that petition- 
ers were willing " to undertake the trouble and charge of transporting all such 
persons and families, provided they may obtain a grant of lands in South Car- 
olina for that purpose, together with such powers as shall enable them to con- 
tract with persons inclinable to settle there and to receive the charitable con- 
tributions and benefactions of all such persons as are willing to encourage so 
good a design." In order to understand this reference to a grant of land, in 
South Carolina, it must be borne in mind that prior to the founding of the 
colony of Georgia, the province of South Carolina extended westward "to the 
South Seas," it being the belief at that period that some vast body of water 
lay far inland of the continent. His majesty referred the petition to the Board 
of Trade, which in December, 1730, reported back in favor of granting the 
prayer of petitioners. The report says : " We are of the opinion his majesty 
may be graciously pleased to grant to the petitioners and to their successors 
forever, all that tract of land in his province of South Carolina lying between 
the Rivers Savannah and Alatamaha. to be bounded by the most navigable 
and largest branches of the Savannah and the most southerly branch of the 
Alatamaha, with the islands in the sea being opposite to the said land." It was 
also recommended that this terfitory should be erected into a separate colonial 
government, and that the society should have power to make laws and appoint 
officials therein, subject to the allowance and approval of the crown. On the 
coming in of this report it was amended so as to make the new province ex- 
tend Avestwardly to the South Seas, so as to include all the islands within 
twenty leagues of the coast, and so as to prohibit the grant of more than five 

154 History of Augusta. 

hundred acres of land to any one person, and as thus amended, was received 
and approved. 

On June 9, 1732, the king, by his letters patent, incorporated Viscount 
Percival, General Oglethorpe, and their associates by the name of ."the trustees 
for establishing the colony of Georgia in America," and granted them the 
territory and powers above mentioned. The work of establishing the new 
colony at once began. General Oglethorpe himself headed the first ship load 
of emigrants, and the king sent a special letter of instructions to Governor 
Johnstone of South Carolina, setting forth that whereas the trustees had 
petitioned the crown to notify him of their charter, "that all due countenance 
and encouragement should be given for settling the said colony;" therefore, he 
was to register said charter among the archives of his province, and "to give 
all due countenance and encouragement for settling of the said colony of 
Georgia, by being aiding and assisting to such of his majesty's subjects as shall 
come into the said province of South Carolina for that purpose." Anthony 
Stokes, the royal chief justice of Georgia from 1769 to 1783, gives a lively 
picture of the favor and protection extended this particular colony by the 
crown. He says: "Georgia continued under the king's government to be 
one of the most free and happy countries in the world. Justice was regularly 
and impartially administered; oppression was unknown; the taxes levied on 
the subject were trifling; every man that had industry became opulent. The 
people there were more particularly indebted to the crown than those in any- 
other colony; immense sums were expended by government in settling and 
protecting that country; troops of rangers were kept up for several years 
the civil government was annually provided for by vote of the House of Com- 
mons in Great Britain and most of the inhabitants owed every acre of land 
they possessed to the king's free gift; in short there was scarce a man in the 
province that did not lie under particular obligations to the crown. As a 
proof of the amazing progress that Georgia made, I should observe that when 
Governor Reynolds went to that province in 1754, the exports did not amount 
to /"30,000 a year, but at the breaking out of the Civil War they could not be 
less than i^200,000 sterling." We have the figures of the colonial tax levied 
for a number of years which go to show that taxation could not have been 
onerous, and that, judging from the ratio of increase, the colony must have 
been rapidly growing in wealth and population. The figures are: 

£ .. d. f. 

For the year 1759 820 502 

" " 1760 1,118 3 8 

" " 1761 1,373 II 7 

" " " 1762 1,421 5 

" " 1763 1,934 9 

" " " 1764 2,117 13 o 2 

The Captured Cannon. 155 

£ s. d. f. 

For the year 1765 '.599 7 i 2 

" 1766 J. 925 6 I 

" 1767 1,843 II 4 2 

" 1768 3,375 4 I 

" 1769 3,046 16 8 2 

" 1770 3,355 902 

" 1773 5. 171 15 10 2 

With the above data before us, we can see why the loyal sentiment was 
strong in Augusta, as throughout Georgia, at the outbreak of the Revolution- 
ary struggle. The people had been kindly treated by the British Crown. 
None of the embroilments and quarrels which had embittered the colonists 
against the king in other provinces had taken place in Georgia. Prior to the 
bloodshed at Lexington, the revolutionary sentiment was very evidently quite 
weak in Georgia, and even after the first clash of arms was heard, the spirit 
of loyalty was still strong. Out of this fact grew acts which afterwards resulted 
bloodily for Augusta. In Augusta, as in Savannah, was formed an order or 
association called Liberty Boys, devoted to the American cause. The Augusta 
branch paid special attention to expelling such members of the community as 
were supposed to favor the royal cause, and were, in particular, exceedingly 
severe on one Thomas Brown. Brown was a native of Augusta and seems 
to have been a man of fixed views and determined courage. On his escape 
lie joined the British and, being possessed of great native military ability, soon 
rose to high command in the service. Scarcely had the above mentioned act 
■of 1780 been passed and the municipal board organized thereunder, when a 
British force under the command of Brown, then Colonel Brown, of his 
majesty's service, took possession of the town. His resentment was written 
■on Augusta in letters of blood and fire. After a prolonged and desperate 
struggle, elsewhere narrated, he was captured with all his forces, and British 
domination in Augusta ended. Three of the cannon taken on this occasion 
are still to be seen in the city. One is in possession of the artillery company, 
and occasionally used in firing salutes; a second surmounts the grave, in the 
city cemetery, of a Revolutionary soldier; and the third is half imbeded in 
the soil at the corner of Ellis and Mcintosh streets. Why it is placed there 
no man seems to know, but the probabilities are that it marks the location of 
the tower whence the Americans poured down a fire into Fort Cornwallis. the 
last British stronghold in Augusta, which swept its garrison from their guns 
and compelled its surrender. 

After the expulsion of the British, the General Assembly of Georgia again 
convened in Augusta, at that time the seat of the State government, and, in an 
act passed in 1 782' we find a moving picture of the times. While not so stated 
in so many words, the scene was doubtless taken from what had occurred in 

156 History of Augusta. 

Augusta. After stating that many citizens of Georgia had "been guilty of 
treason against the State, and the authority of the same, by traitorously adher- 
ing to the king of Great Britain, and by aiding, assisting, abetting, and com- 
forting the generals and other ofificers civil and military of the said king, to en- 
force his authority in and over this State and the good people of the same;" 
it went on to say that " said treasons had been followed with a series of mur- 
ders, rapine, and devastation as cruel as they were unnecessary, whereby order 
and justice were banished the land, and lawless power established on high, ex- 
hibiting the melancholy picture of Indians inflicting dreadful punishments on 
both old and young of the faithful and peaceful citizens of this State; women and. 
children sitting on the ruins of their houses, perishing by famine and cold ; 
whilst others were compelled, in the midst of a rigorous season, to depart the 
State, being previously plundered of both their and their children's clothing, 
and every other necessary that might tend to mitigate the uncommon severi- 
ties exercised on the softer sex and their innocent babes. Nor was this all, 
whilst these days of blood and British anarchy continued among us, and com- 
manded executions of our citizens, taken in arms in defense of their invaluable 
rights, to take place, executions as unauthorized by the laws of nations, as 
they were cruel in themselves, and only to be exceeded, if possible, by the 
abandoned profligacy of setting torches to temples dedicated to the service of 
the most high God, whereby they completed a violation of every right human 
and divine." 

Fired by the very recital of these wrongs the act proceeds, in the nature of 
a bill of attainder, to proclaim as traitors a long list of persons, not forgetting 
Colonel Thomas Brown, the author of the miseries of Augusta. They were 
commanded to leave the State, under penalty of death if they returned, and 
their property was sequestrated and ordered to be sold. Some of the land 
titles of Augusta run back to deeds given under this act by the commissioners 
of confiscated estates. The recollection of British severity long lingered in 
Augusta, and we remember to have heard from an aged matron that in her 
early days she saw a venerable lady, whose cottage, out where the Presby- 
terian Church now stands, was attacked by the Indian allies of the British, her 
babe slain and she herself scalped and left for dead. From another mother in 
Israel we have heard that after the Revolution one Fox, a Tory, settled in Au- 
gusta at the corner of Broad and Washington streets — where a marble slab let 
high into the building, still proclaims it " Fox's Corner," — and, to tlie huge 
disgust and indignation of the good people of the town, would ever and anon, 
of a bright, sunshiny day, hang his red coat out of the window, as he alleged 
simply to sun it, but as the indignant citizens declared, to taunt them with the 
sight of the hated British uniform once more within rifle shot of the site of Fort 
Cornwallis. Colonel Thomas Brown, who had wrought such ruin on the town, 
escaped unhurt after his surrender, though at one time the Continental officers" 

Trustees of Augusta. 157 

were compelled to turn out their troops to protect him from the American mil- 
itiamen who thirsted for his blood. He was sent to Savannah ; there organ- 
ized a battalion of negro infantry in the British service ; went thence, on the 
final surrender, to England, and was rewarded for his loyalty with an appoint- 
ment in one of the West India islands and a gratuity of ^30,000. Not satis- 
fied with this, he surreptitiously affixed the colonial seal to some false grants of 
land, and was convicted in London of forgery. Whether he was hanged ac- 
cordingly does not appear. 

But Augusta lost no time in repining. The lots ordered to be sold under 
the act of 1780 had not been built on; the church had been burned; there 
was no court-house or academy, but steps were at once taken to build up the 
waste places. In 1783 the Legislature declared that, while the act of 1780 
had not proved effectual, " the same reasons continued for the encouragement 
and enlargement of the town of Augusta"; and thereupon selected another 
board of commissioners, appointing William Glascock, George Walton, Joseph 
Pannel, Andrew Burns, and Samuel Jack as the board. The act then pro- 
ceeded to forfeit the town lots which had not been built on and ordered the 
commissioners to expose them to sale anew, one-fourth cash, one-fourth in 
one year thereafter, and the residue in three years; deferred payments to be 
secured by mortgage. Every purchaser, as part of the contract of sale was, 
within two years from date of purchase, " to build, or cause to be built, a ten- 
antable brick, stone, or frame house, not less than sixteen feet by twenty-four," 
on his lot, under penalty of the same reverting to the State. Particular and 
special attention was also given to the erection and endowment of an institntion 
of learning. After building a church, and reserving a sufficiency of land for 
public purposes, all the other lots were to be sold and the proceeds used to 
establish and maintain a seminary. This is the origin he Richmond 

Academy, an institution which still exists, and is the olde seat of learning 
in the United States with the exception of Yale, Harvard, d Princeton. 

The act of 1783 constituted the board of commissioners of Augusta trus- 
tees for all the purposes mentioned in the act, namely the improvement of the 
town and the erection and support of the academy, but did not in express terms 
confer general powers of municipal government. In 1786. however, another 
act was passed which did so. It provided that "tiie board shall have power to 
carry into execution in the town of Augusta, the same regulations and powers 
as the commissioners of the town of Savannah may lawfully do there." The 
acts of 1780, 1783, and 1786 therefore operated, when taken together, as a 
sort of charter for Augusta ; and up to the year 1798, when the charter of the 
present city was granted, Augusta, with a brief exception, whereof more 
hereafter, was governed by a board of commissioners. This board, as we learn 
from an act passed in 1835, was considered as being in reality made up by 
two bodies, or rather, had two sets of powers, one as trustees of the town of 

158 History of Augusta. 

^ • 

Augusta and the other as trustees of Richmond Academy. This act of 1786 
made another alteration in the hmits of Augusta, the trustees being directed to 
add another row of lots on the south side of the town, which seems to have ex- 
tended Augusta to the present Telfair street. Edward Telfair was governor 
in this year, 1786, whence, no doubt, the name given to the new street. 

In 1789 the Legislature incorporated Augusta and Savannah in one and 
the same act, the earlier statutes of Georgia being frequently a sad farrago of 
all sorts of subjects. A bill seems to have been regarded as a sort of sausage 
into which legislators were at liberty to cram all kinds of material. This evil, 
it may be here remarked, finally led to the rule that a law should relate to but 
one subject matter, which has been adopted from Georgia into the constitu- 
tions of almost all the other States. The act of 1789 incorporated the town of 
Savannah as the city of Savannah, but left Augusta still a town; and for some 
reason, probably because the good people of Augusta of that day resented this 
inferiority in title, the charter of 1789 found little favor. True, it gave Au- 
gusta a mayor and board of aldermen, as it did Savannah, but even this placebo 
did not heal the first affront. The people took offense at the act itself and 
every part and parcel thereof Its very phraseology seems to have become 
obnoxious, and when Augusta did become a city the charter studiously pro- 
vided that the chief executive of the municipality should be styled not mayor, 
but " intendant," and intendant it remained till 18 17. As to alderman, that 
word was also scoured, and has never been the official designation of an Au- 
gusta city father from that day to this. In 1841, a half century afterwards, an- 
act was passed to create a board of aldermen in Augusta, but in the very next 
year was incontinently repealed. " Member of Council " is now, and has, for 
nearly a century, been the only legal official appellation. 

It is unfortunately the case that the text of this act of 1789, so far as rela- 
tive to Augusta, does not appear in the statute book, and we are therefore, 
unable to give the terms of this unpopular charter. It appears, however, that 
the mayor and aldermen therein provided for were to be appointed, not elected, 
and that no appointments were made for some years, and that, in the mean- 
time, the government by board of trustees continued. In 1790 the trade of 
Augusta with South Carolina had increased to such an extent that it became 
necessar}' to have a bridge over the Savannah ; and, the trustees having sur- 
rendered their ferry right in his favor, the Legislature granted Wade Hamp- 
ton the right to construct and maintain a toll bridge from the foot of Centre 
street to the Carolina shore. The grantee was to keep up a bridge of at least 
sixteen feet in width ; was to pass the master, teachers, and scholars of the 
Richmond Academy free ; was to pay the trustees an annual rent of £so, and 
charge only the tolls set out in the act, which were the same as the old ferry 
had charged. Among the items appear a couple which present a curious pic- 
ture of the times, to wit: " for every rolling hogshead witli two horses, and 

Charter of 1789 Repealed. 159. 

drawn, one shilling and two pence ; for every rolling hogshead with one horse, 
and drawn, one shilling." In those days tobacco was a staple in Georgia and 
South Carolina, and Augusta was a notable inspection point. By law the hogs- 
head was not to exceed forty-nine inches in length, and thirty-nine inches in 
the head, and was to weigh at least nine hundred and fifty pounds nett. They 
were very stoutly coopered, and fitting a sort of axle to them and shafts or 
pole, the planter trundled them along the road to market after the fashion of a 
huge garden roller. 

In 1 79 1 we find that " the Mayor and Aldermen to be appointed for the 
Corporation of the Town of Augusta," were made ex-officio commissioners of 
court-house and jail. 

In 1 794 occurs another instance of the rivalry of the time between Augusta 
and Savannah. The latter place had two fire engines, and desired a fire com- 
pany chartered. Augusta having but one engine, at once purveys herself an- 
other, and has that incorporated as the Augusta Fire Company. The original 
by-laws of this venerable organization are still preserved. One article is that 
the members are to dine together every Fourth of July ; each member was to 
provide himself at his own expense with a white oil cloth cover for his hat, let- 
tered with the company's name, also two fire buckets, and " four bags, each con- 
taining three yards of strong Osnaburgs, and drawn at top with a suitable cord," 
buckets and bags to be similarly lettered. The buckets were to put out fires ; 
the bags to save goods. There was to be a monthly inspection of buckets and 
bags, and any dereliction in this particular met a fine of five dollars. The 
company was to meet, buckets in hand, at the engine-house, at sun rise, on 
the first Saturday of each month to clean the engine. The officers bore com- 
missions from the governor, and when on duty carried white wands six feet 
long, and lettered as above. 

In this same year, 1794, the mechanics of Augusta became an incorporated 
company under the name of " The Augusta Association of Mechanics." The 
act states that they had petitioned for a charter, because " desirous of placing 
their various crafts on a more social footing than heretofore, and of establishing, 
by their united exertions and contributions a lasting fund for the relief and sup- 
port of such of their unfortunate brethren, or their families as are, or may be- 
come objects of charity." The petitioners are stated in the act to be William 
Longstreet, president; John Catlett, vice-president; Thomas Bray, secretary; 
Robert Creswell, treasurer, and Hugh Magee, William Dearmond, Baxter 
Pool, John Cook, Joseph Stiles, Angus Martin, John Stiles, Hiel Chatfield, 
Edward Primrose, Conrad Liverman, and Isaac Wingate. 

In 1795 so much of the act of 1789 as chartered Augusta as a town with a 
mayor and aldermen was repealed, the act stating that " experience hath proven 
that so much of the act is deemed incompatible with the interest and the wishes 
of the inhabitants thereof" The act proceeded to say " and it shall be the 

i6o HisroRY OF Augusta. 

duty of the mayor and aldermen now in office, under said act, and they are 
hereby required to adjust, and within six months from and after the passing of 
this act, finally to settle and close the books and accounts of the corporation, 
and to deposit the same, together with the funds thereof, with the commission- 
ers of the court-house and jail, to be appointed for the county of Richmond 
who shall hold such property, real and personal, as may have been acquired 
by the said corporation, in trust, for and to the use of the said town of Au- 
gusta and the inhabitants thereof, provided that nothing herein contained shall 
prevent the collection of the corporation tax already levied, which sums shall 
be deposited with the commissioners aforesaid." 

With the repeal of the charter of 1789, the government of Augusta reverted 
to the board of trustees, as we find by act of the next year, 1796, which di- 
rected "The Trustees of the Town of Augusta," to do a number of things for 
the good of the place. Among other things they were to rectify an inconve- 
nience growing out of the extraordinary width of Broad street in the original 
plan of the town. It has been already mentioned that the original Broad 
street extended from Washington to Elbert, and was laid off by Oglethorpe as 
more of a parade ground than a street, being three hundred feet wide ; and 
that, in extending Broad street east to Lincoln street, and west to Campbell 
street, the act of 1780 required that width to be preserved, it not being until 
1784 that the width was reduced to one hundred and sixty-four feet. 

This direction seems to have been complied with only so far as the exten- 
sion east was concerned, the extension to Campbell street being made much 
narrower. In laying out the town below Lincoln under the act of 1786, Broad 
street was also narrowed, so that in 1796 the original portion of that street was 
sixty-four feet wider than it was above or below. To add to the confusion, 
the street on its south side was straight its entire length, the inequality being 
wholly on the north side. To remedy this, the north side lots were extended 
sixty-four feet into the street. The same act gives some interesting informa- 
tion respecting the "Yazoo Fresh," as it is called from occurring the same year 
as the Yazoo Fraud, or that memorable land speculation which occupies such 
a space in the history of Georgia. The act says : 

" Whereas, The aforesaid Town of Augusta hath latterly sustained con- 
siderable injury by the inundation of an extraordinary flood of water in the 
Savannah River, and which was considerably heightened on account of the 
direction of the current immediately against the town, for remedy whereof, Be 
it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the trustees of the aforesaid 
town of Augusta, within eight months from and after the passing of this act, 
under such scheme, regulation, and restrictions as the said trustee may deem 
most expedient fully to effect the end of erecting and completing one or more 
sufficient pier or piers, in such part or parts of the river as will, in their judg- 
ment most effectually divert the current of the same from off the said town ; 
provided, that such piers shall not obstruct the navigation of the said river." 

Augusta Incorporated. i6i 

This Yazoo freshet swept away the bridge, but, as usual, the people of 
Augusta lost no time in idle lamentations. An act was immediately passed 
directing it to be rebuilt. 


Augusia Incorporated — Charter of 1798 — Thomas Gumming, P^irst Intendant — City 
Limits — Rise of the Cotton Interest — Whitney and his Gin — Price Current of 1802 — Inten- 
dant Murray^ Intendant Hobby — Intendant Flournoy — Intendant Catlett — Assize of Bread 
-^ The Steamboat of 1808 — Intendant Hutchinson — Intendants Walker and Jones — Gover- 
nor Matthews — Beards President Adams —Intendant Leigh — Panic of 1814 — Intendant 
Called Mayor — Mayor Freeman Walker Becomes United States Senator — Mayor Ware be- 
comes United States Senator — Mayors Reid and Holt — La Fayette's Visit — Mayor Hale 

Rise of the Railway System — Mayors Phinizy, Hook, and Dye — The Algerine Law — Au- 
gusta Canal — Mexican War — Mayor Ford. 

ABOUT 1796 it became apparent that the device of a board of trustees 
appointed by the Legislature would no longer suffice for the government 
of the town. In 1797 the Legislature itself declares that a full board was such 
a hindrance to business that thereafter a majority of members should consti- 
tute " The board of trustees for the academy and town of Augusta." 

Finally, by act of January 31, 1798. the town ceased to be a town, and was 
recognized and chartered as a city. This instrument was skillfully and care- 
fully drawn, and is still the organic law of the city. It begins, as is usual with 
these old-fashioned acts, with a preamble expressive of why it was passed. 

" Whereas, From the extent and population of the town of Augusta, its 
growing importance, both with respect to increase of inhabitants and diffusive 
commerce, it is indispensably necessary that many regulations should be made 
for the preservation of peace and good order within the same ; and 

" Whereas, From the many weighty and important matters that occupy 
the attention of the Legislature at their general meeting, it has hitherto been 
found inconvenient, and may hereafter become more so, for them to devise, 
consider, deliberate on, and determine all such laws and regulations as emer- 
gencies, or the local circumstances of the said town, may from time to time 
require ; 

" Be it therefore enacted. That from and immediately after the passing of 
this act all persons citizens of the United States, and residing one year within the 
said town, and having a freehold or lease for years of a lot within the same or 
the village of Springfield, or between the said village and town, shall be deemed, 
and they are hereby declared to be, a body politic and corporate, and the said 

1 62 History of Augusta. 

town shall hereafter be called and known by the name of THE CiTY OF AU- 
GUSTA, and shall be divided into the following districts, to wit : All lots situate 
below the cross street running from the river Savannah, between the market- 
house and the house of Mrs. Fox, to be called and known as district number 
one ; all the lots between said street, and the cross street running from the said 
river, between the house of Mr. Andrew Jones, and the house occupied by 
Collin Reed and Company to be called and known by district number two ; 
and all the lots above that street, including the village of Springfield, shall be 
called and known by district number three." 

We may pause here to remark that this much of the act throws a strong 
light on the limits of the city in 1798. The village of Springfield was located 
about where the upper market formerly stood, that is, at Marbury street, and 
by the act of 1783, as will be remembered, the western boundary of Augusta 
was at or about Jackson street. This left an intervening space between the 
town and village, answering to the area now comprised between Jackson and 
Cumming, or possibly Kollock street. This space, as well as the village of 
Springfield, then a few houses and a negro church, was included in Augusta, 
so that the act chartering the city also extended its limits to Marbury street. 

In speaking, in his sketch "The Gander Pulling," of Augusta in 1798, 
Judge Longstreet, author of " Georgia Scenes," says: "Those who are curi- 
ous to know where Springfield stood at the time of which I am speaking, have 
only to take their position at the intersection of Broad and Marbury streets, 
in the city of Augusta, and they will be in the very heart of old Springfield. 
Sixty steps west and as many east of this position will measure the whole 
length of this Jeffersonian republican village, which never boasted more than 
.four dwelling houses; and Broad street measures its width, if we exclude 
kitchens and stables." And again : " In 1798 Campbell street was the west- 
■ern verge of Augusta, a limit to which it had advanced but a few years before, 
from Jackson street. Thence to Springfield led a large road, now built up on 
either side, and forming a continuation of Broad street. This road was cut 
across obliquely by a deep gully, the bed of which was an almost impassable 
bog, which entered the road about one hundred yards below Kollock street on 
the south, and left it about thirty yards below Kollock street on the north side 
of now Broad street. It was called Campbell's Gully, from the name of the 
gentleman through whose possessions and near whose dwelling it wound its 
way to the river." 

The form of government established by the charter was this : the first and 
third districts were to elect two members each ; the third district was to elect 
three ; these members were out of their own number, or from the citizens at 
large, to select an intendant of the city, and the intendant and members were 
to be known and styled by the name of " The City Council of Augusta." Any 
person elected intendant and refusing to serve was to forfeit the sum of thirty 

Whitney and the Cotton Gin. 163 

dollars to the city; a member of council refusing was to pay twenty dollars. 
Elections were to be annual, and only freeholders or leaseholders were com- 
petent to vote or hold office. The powers of the council extended to making 
any " by-law or regulation that shall appear to them requisite and necessary 
for the security, welfare, and convenience of the said city, or for preserving 
peace, order, and good government within the same," and they were empow- 
ered " to make such assessments on the inhabitants of Augusta, or those who 
hold taxable property within the same, as shall appear to them expedient." 
These franchises have been found so ample that the city, even in the long tract 
of ninety years has found little occasion to apply to the Legislature for exten- 
sion of its authority. They have also been found flexible enough to meet all 
the varying exigencies of that long period. The early restrictions on munici- 
pal suffrage have long been removed ; the intendant is now called mayor ; the 
districts are called wards, and new ones have been added ; but, in all its essen- 
tial and substantial parts, the charter of 1798 is still the fundamental law of the 
city. The first council consisted of Messrs. George Walker, James Pearre, Rob- 
ert Creswell, Andrew Innis, Isaac Herbert, and William Longstreet, and Thomas 
Gumming was chosen intendant. For a few years there is a break in our muni- 
cipal records, but, beginning with 1803, we have a complete list of the chief 
magistrates of the city to date. From the opening of the nineteenth century, 
the history of Augusta is that of a steady and continuous development, despite 
war, flood, conflagration and fever. As if, in her early days, she had had her 
quantum of hostilities, the actual tramp of contending forces was never heard 
in her streets, nor was the torch ever applied to her houses. Such sufferings 
as she had were reflected, and her history during this period, while interesting, 
is not marked by any of the terrible and bloody incidents of her early days. 

The opening of the nineteenth century was marked in Augusta by the rise 
of the cotton industry. 

In 1 79 1 the entire export of cotton from the United States was but 189,- 
500 pounds, all told, or about 379 bales; but, at that time, an inventive genius 
was at work on a machine destined to revolutionize the fictile industries of the 
world. Eli Whitney was born in Westburough, Mass., on Decembers, 1765, 
and, after completing his education at Yale, came to Georgia, with a view of 
entering the legal profession. He made his home with the widow of General 
Greene, the Revolutionary hero ; and, as tradition has it, had his attention di- 
rected by that lady to the subject of a machine for preparing cotton for market. 
In those times the seed was laboriously and imperfectly separated from the lint 
by hand, and Mrs. Greene seems to have foreseen that important results 
would follow a speedier process. Young Whitney worked out the idea, and 
in 1793 received a patent for his famous cotton gin. His experiments were 
made in and near Augusta, and about two miles south of the city is still to be 
seen the dam used by him to run his works. 

i64 History of Augusta. 

Sometimes it is said that Wiiitney is not the real inventor of this device, but 
purloined the idea from its original author, the statement being that a citizen 
of South Carolina constructed a gin toward the close of the eighteenth century, 
and that Whitney, surreptitiously gaining access to his workshop, carried off 
the plan and constructing a machine patented it as his own. This stor\' is told 
with great circumstantiality, and the house in which the machine was originally 
constructed is said to be still standing within sight of Augusta, in Hamburg, 
on the left hand side of the road, just as you cross the Savannah River bridge. 

The contemporaneous history of Whitney's times, however, shows pretty 
clearly that he is really the inventor. The patent was issued him in 1793, 
and by act of December 19, 1801, (5 Statutes South Carolina, page 427) the 
Legislature of South Carolina purchased from him the right to use his patent 
in that State for the sum of $50,000. 

In the Augusta Herald of December 30, 1801, the editor mentions the pas- 
sage of this act, and says: " In the course of the negotiations between the 
Legislature of South Carolina and the patentee, we understand that every satis- 
factory evidence of the originality of the invention was produced, and its prin- 
ciples so fully explained by the ingenious inventor that little or no diversity of 
opinion existed as to the propriety of making the contract." 

Now, if Whitney had really robbed a citizen of South Carolina of the in- 
vention, it is hardly likely that the Legislature of that very State would, but 
eight years after, have permitted him, as against one of its people, to profit 
by the wrong. The statement, just quoted, that during the negotiations be- 
tween Whitney and the Legislature, " every satisfactory evidence of the or- 
iginality of the invention was produced," seems to justify the inference that 
some question may have been raised, but if so, the Legislature was so fully 
satisfied on investigation of Whitney's right, " that little or no diversity of opin- 
ion existed as to the propriety of making the contract." 

The strength of this contemporaneous testimony can hardly be overcome, 
but, if more were needed, we find it in two acts of the Legislature of Tennes- 
see, one passed in November, 1803, and the other in September, 1806 The 
act of 1803 is modeled on the South Carolina statute of 1801, save that the 
price .igreed on was but $35,000; and in 1806, in order to make the act of 
1803 more fully operative, there was passed "an act to carry into effect a con- 
tract between the State of Tennessee and Eli Whitney and Phineas Miller." 
The preamble to this act also indicates that some question was made as to 
Whitney being the real inventor, and shov\s that, a second time, the issue was 
found in his favor, reading thus : 

"Whereas, it has been made to appear to the satisfaction of this General 
Assembly that Eli Whitney, from whom this State purchased the patent right of 
a machine for cleaning cotton, commonly called the saw gin, is the true inven- 
tor of said machine, therefore," etc., etc. 

Early Cotton Interests. 165 

The new invention at once gave a tremenduous impetus to the cotton in- 
terest. As early as 1796 the Legislature of Georgia passed " an act for the 
inspection of cotton," a sure proof of the product being, even at that day, re- 
garded as a staple. In 1798 another act was passed to encourage cotton man- 
ufactures, and in the next year Governor Jackson informs the General Assem- 
bly, in his annual message, that " the article is rapidly advancing to the head 
of American exports, and that Georgia cotton is taking the lead in most for- 
eign markets." 

At the September term, 1800, of Richmond Superior Court, the grand jury 
say in their general presentments: "The article of cotton having become a 
principal staple of this State, in the packing and bagging of which considerable 
frauds have been committed, to prevent which we recommend legislative inter- 

From this presentment it is quite clear that, as early as iSoo, Augusta was 
quite a cotton emporium. As to the complaints of false packing, it is not un- 
likely that, in the then infant state of cotton culture and preparation for mar- 
ket, much of what is put down as deception was really due to ignorance. It 
adds to this view that the complaint was not confined to Georgia, since we 
read in an Augusta paper of September 25, 1800, that the merchants of Char- 
leston appointed a committee to consider how to protect the credit of South 
Carolina cotton, which committee reported that they found no inspection law 
necessary, but would recommend an act requiring that the name of the pro- 
ducer and the locality where raised be stamped upon the bags. 

We have already stated that in 1791, two years before the invention of the 
gin, the entire export from the United States was but 189,500 pounds, or about 
379 bales, all told. For the year ending October i, 1800, the export from 
Georgia alone was 3,444,420 pounds, or 6,889 bales. 

In 1802 a Liverpool price current quotes Georgia sea island cotton, 26 and 
35d; upland, 14^ and 15. In 1806 the Augusta quotation was 15 and I5f 
cents; in 1808, it was 12 and 13; in 1810, it was 10 and iii; figures intimat- 
ing a rapid increase in acreage and yield. The development of this staple 
gave a great impetus to Augusta. Huge warehouses were erected, and foun- 
dations, broad and deep, were laid of the immense cotton business the city now 

One of the events of 1800 in -Augusta was the death here of the admiral of 
the American navy during the Revolutionary War. In the Augusta Herald, 
under date of July 16, 1800, we read this: 

"Died, on Friday last, of a violent billious remittent fever. Commodore Oli- 
ver Bowen. As a mark of respect for the services rendered by him in the 
American war his remains were interred the next day with military honors, by 
the Augusta Volunteer companies of Infantry and Rangers." 

This ancient worthy, one of the few naval heroes of the Revolution, lies 
buried in St. Paul's churchyard in Augusta, where his tomb may be still seen. 

i66 History of Augusta. 

The schedule of the Augusta and Savannah stage coach hne of this period 
is as follows : Leave Augusta, Saturday 7 A. M. ; arrive at Savannah on Mon- 
day at 9 A. M., fifty hours to the one hundred and thirty-one miles; fare nine 
dollars, with fourteen pounds baggage ; all over, seven cents per pound. 

The fervor of the spirit of '']6 at this time is something remarkable. The 
Fourth of July was one of the institutions of the country. The military fired 
salutes, the orator of the day exhausted rhetoric in adulation to " Columbia," 
and the toasts at the banquet were something astonishing, as witness these 
choice extracts: "The Day — may it always frown on Royalty;" " May the 
wing of liberty never lose a feather;" "The American Eagle — may she hold 
out her olive branch to all men, so long as consistent with her dignity and 
honor, but not a moment longer." Rather a curious contemporaneous expo- 
sition of the sex of the national bird. 

We find that Augusta had a Tammany Society, and that this toast is given 
at its annual dinner: " St. Tammany, the tutelary saint of America ; may his ex- 
ample teach us to prefer death to the loss of liberty." 

In 1803-4 John Murray was intendant, but the municipal annals present 
nothing of interest 

In 1805 William J. Hobby was intendant. This gentleman was long a resi- 
dent of Augusta; carried on the business of a stationer and journalist, and was 
for years editor of the Herald. 

In 1806 General Thomas Flournoy was intendant. He was one of the com- 
missioners who ran the boundary line between North Carolina and Georgia, 
and during his term of office quite a breeze of war agitated Augusta. The 
Chesapeake was fired into by the Leopard and forced to pull down her flag- 
The American vessel was not cleared for action and fired but one gun, that be- 
ing discharged by a coal which an officer took with his fingers from the cook's 
galley. The indignation throughout the country was intense, and President 
Jefferson declared it unequaled by anything that had occurred since the firing 
on the militia at Lexington in 1775 Captain John Neilson of the Augusta 
Rangers, and Captain George W. Evans, of the Augusta Independent Blues, 
tendered their services to the president, who responded in a handsome letter of 

In 1808 John Catlett became intendant, and the city council gave a curious 
exhibition of their powers, passing an ordinance to prescribe an " assize of 
bread," providing that when flour was six dollars per barrel, the twelve and 
one-half cent loaf should weigh two pounds and nine ounces; and the six 
and one-fourth cent loaf, one pound and four ounces. If of fine flour, the 
weights were to be two pounds and thirteen ounces, and one pound and six 
ounces. In this year Mr. William Longstreet, who as we have already seen, 
was president of "The Augusta Association of Mechanics," operated a steam- 
boat on the Savannah River opposite Augusta. As early as 1788 the General 

Governor Matthews. 167 

Assembly had given him a patent on an invention of this kind, and in 1790 
he reports to the governor that he is making satisfactory progress in perfect- 
ing his discovery. Mr. Longstreet also operated successfully a steam cotton- 
gin and saw-mill in Augusta long before this date. The evidence is very 
strong that the honor of the invention of the steamboat belongs to him. In 
the Augusta press of this date we also find mention of another invention which 
seems to have been the germ of the sewing machine. " It consists of a small 
wheel and pinion, a spindle, a fly to conduct the thread on the broach, and a 
temper pin to regulate the velocity of the broach, beside a rock-head on which 
the raw material is fixed. The whole machine is worked by a handle." 

From 1809 to 181 1 Joseph Hutchinson was intendant. He was the first 
clerk of the city council of Augusta, and under his administration the city 
limits were enlarged and defined, and some useful regulations made. A new 
row of lots was added to the city on the south side of the city, parallel to Tel- 
fair street, and the new street was named Walker, after Freeman Walker, 
afterwards the first mayor. On January 13, 181 1, Augusta was visited with an 
earthquake, the vibrations continuing till July. 

In 18 1 2 James S. Walker served as intendant for a portion of the year. Sea- 
born Jones filling out his term, and being chosen intendant in 181 3 for the full 
term. Mr. Jones was a lawyer of eminence, and long prominent in public 
affairs. He was one of the board of trustees of Augusta in 1790, and in 1825 
during the Indian disturbances in Upper Georgia, was one of the commission- 
ers charged with their settlement. 

In 1 8 12 Governor Matthews died in Augusta. He was a soldier of dis- 
tinction in the Revolution, and by his undaunted courage made his regiment, 
the Ninth Virginia, one of the best in the Continental service. At the battle 
of Brandywine, this regiment and one other stood firm amid the first disas- 
trous rout, and thus enabled Washington to rally the rest of his troops. At 
Germantown Governor Matthews attacked the British with such fury as to put 
their best grenadiers to flight, and captured an entire regiment. The governor 
was very proud of his military record, and used to swear that he and George 
Washington had saved the country. He was twice governor of Georgia, and 
during his last term signed the Yazoo Act. Tradition says that his secretary, 
who was violently opposed to the bill, dipped the governor's pen in oil so it 
would not write, and his excellency was compelled to cut a new quill before 
he could append his name. Notwitstanding his signature of the bill. Gover- 
nor Matthews was always popular, the people feeling he was a rough, unedu- 
cated soldier, who had been overreached by the land speculators lobby. In 
person this eccentric executive was short and stout, red faced and fair- haired. 
His head was thrown back a la game cock, and no man on earth was his 
superior but George Washington. Once the Legislature had some doubts of 
his election. "What are these fellows about," quoth he, "that they do not 

i68 History of Augusta. 

let me know they are" organized and ready to receive my message." His sec- 
retary replied they were discussing his election. "By the Eternal ! " said the 
governor, "if they don't recognize me, I'll cut an avenue from this office 
through them ! " After Governor Matthews's second term President Adams 
nominated him for governor of the Mississippi Territory, but withdrew the 

The governor at once set out for Washington, in top boots, huge ruffles at 
wrists and breast, and a long sword at his side. On his arrival in Philadelphia, 
then capital of the United States, he made directly to the president's house, 
hitched his horse, and gave a thundering knock at the door, his revolutionary 
sword at his thigh, and three-cornered cocked hat on his head. On the serv- 
ant opening, he demanded to see the president. The answer was that the 
president was engaged. Quoth the governor to the lackey, " I presume your 
business is to convey messages to the president. Now, if you do not instantly 
inform him that a gentleman wishes to see him, your head shall answer the 
consequences." The servant reported that a strange old fellow was at the door 
who would take no denial. "Let him in," said Mr. Adams, and in strode the 
governor in a towering rage. " I presume you are Mr. Adams, president of 
the United States." The president bowed. " My name is Matthews, some- 
times called Governor Matthews; well known at the battle of Germantown, 
however, as Colonel Matthews of the Virginia line. Now, sir, I understand 
that you nominated me in the Senate of the United States to be governor of 
the Mississippi Territory, and that afterwards you took back the nomination. 
Sir, if you had known me, you would not have taken the nomination back. 
If you did not know me, you should not have nominated me to so important 
an office. Now, sir, unless you can satisfy me, your station as president of 
these United States shall not screen you from my vengeance." Mr. Adams 
forthwith set about the pacification, and soon satisfied the simple-hearted old 
man no insult was meant him. To cement the good understanding, Mr. Ad- 
ams promised to appoint his son to a Federal office in Georgia, the governor 
complacently remarking, " My son John is a man about my inches, with the 
advantages of a liberal education, and for his integrity I pledge my head." 
In i8l I Governor Matthews was commissioned by President Madison to com- 
pose some disturbances with a number of men who had thrown off the Spanish 
yoke in Florida. Misunderstanding his instructions, he made a formal treaty 
with them, which Mr. Madison disavowed. Once more in high dudgeon the 
governor set out for the capital to see the president ; but old age, the fatigues 
of his journey, and his terrific state of excitement prostrated him at Augusta, 
where he died in 1812, and is buried in St. Paul's Churchyard. 

In 1 8 14 Joseph Hutchinson served another term as intendant. The bene- 
fits of experience in office were again demonstrated, as in this year we find 
further legislation looking to the improvement of the city, the surveyor-gene- 

Senators from Augusta. 169 

ral being directed to lay off new streets, and remark the lines of old ones, that 
the invariable policy of the city from its foundation, to have its streets wide, 
straight, and regularly built upon, should be maintained. , 

In 181 5 and 18 16 Walter Leigh was intendant. In the earlier portion of 
his administration considerable distress prevailed in mercantile circles. The 
War of 18 1 2 ended suddenly, and many merchants who had laid in stocks at 
the inflated war prices, calicos at one dollar per yard, and salt at three dollars 
per bushel, were ruined. The development of Augusta as a municipality, 
however, kept on. In 1816 a new range of lots on the south side of Walker 
street, and running the entire length of the city was laid out, and the new 
street on which it abutted was called Watkins, after Robert Watkins, an emi- 
nent lawyer of the Augusta bar, and compiler of " Watkins's Digest," the ear- 
liest compilation of Georgia laws. 

In 18 1 7 Freeman Walker was chosen intendant. By act of this year the 
style intendant was changed to mayor, and Major Walker was chosen mayor 
in both 1818 and 18 19. The portrait of this gentleman is to be seen in the 
mayor's office, in the gallery of pictures of the city's chief magistrates for" nearly 
eighty years back, and his handsome, intelligent face and laughing eye bear 
out the tradition of his wit and eloquence. He is said to have been one of the 
mad wags whose pranks are related in the famous " Georgia Scenes," and to 
be the original of Freeman Lazenby in the laughable " Wax Works " sketch. 
He was a lawyer of fine abilities, was distinguished for his eloquence in Con- 
gress, and served in the United States senate from December 8, 18 19, when 
he resigned the mayoralty of Augusta to accept that position, to November 
21, 1 82 1, when he resigned from the senate. Walker county is named after 
him. In 181 8 Augusta was extended from Springfield to Hawks' Gully 

In 1 8 19, 1820, and 1821 Nicholas Ware was mayor. On the resignation 
of Major Walker in 18 19, in order to enter the United States Senate, Mr. 
Ware was chosen to succeed him and served until November 21, 1821, when 
he, in turn, resigned the mayoralty in order to enter the United States Senate, 
it being a curious coincidence that Mr. Ware succeeded Major Walker in both 
the mayoralty and the senate. Mr. Ware served in the senate from Novem- 
ber 10, 182 1, to his death, November 4, 1824. It is not often that any city 
furnishes from its mayoralty two United States senators in succession, but such, 
in this case, is the remarkable record of Augusta. It remains to add that both 
these distinguished citizens had the honor of having counties named after them. 
Ware county, created in 1824, having been named after one, and Walker, organ- 
ized in 1833, after the other. 

During the administrations of Mayors Walker and Ware there was legisla- 
tion of importance to the city. The intendant became the mayor ; the quali- 
fications of voters that they should be freeholders or leaseholders, was re- 
pealed, and it was only required they should have the qualifications requisite 

170 History of Augusta. 

to vote for a membeB of the General Assembly, and have resided twelve months 
in the State and six months in the city preceding the election ; the election of 
mayor was taken from council and given to the people. 

In 1823 Robert Raymond Reid was elected mayor of Augusta and re- 
elected in 1824. Mr. Reid was born in South Carolina in 1789, but early 
removed to Augusta and was admitted to the bar. At the age of twenty- 
seven he was made judge of the Middle Circuit, and then served in Congress 
from 18 18 to 1822. At the close of his last term became mayor ; was then 
reappointed judge of the Middle Circuit; then became judge of the City 
Court of Augusta ; in 1832 was appointed by President Jackson United States 
district judge in Florida; in 1839 was appointed by President Van Buren 
governor of the Territory of Florida, in which office he died in 1841. 

In 1825 and 1826 another celebrated judge, William W. Holt was elected 
mayor of Augusta. For very many years after his mayoralty Judge Holt sat 
on the bench of the Middle Circuit, the very embodiment in learning and 
severity of the old English common law justice. He was deeply learned in his 
profession and strove always to ascertain and apply the law, holding the scales 
of justice inflexibly even. During his mayoralty the famous election excite- 
ment of Troup and the Treaty swept over Augusta, as over the State. The 
casus belli was whether a treaty made by Governor Troup with the Indians, 
touching a cession of Cherokee Georgia, should stand, or give place to one 
negotiated with them by the United States government. Governor Troup and 
General Clark were the opposing candidates for governor. The contest was 
close : Troup, 20.545 ; Clark, 19,362 — Troup's majority, 683 ; and the tem- 
per in which it was conducted may be gathered from a couple of toasts given 
at the time. It was said Governor Troup had Indian blood in his veins, and 
in allusion to this a Clark partisan proposed this sentiment : " General John 
Clark — a former trouble to the Indians, a present trouble to some of their kin- 
dred." Up sprang a " Troup and Treaty " man with the quick rejoinder : 
" George M. Troup — may every hair on his head be a standing army, and 
every soldier be armed with a thundering cannon to drive his enemies to h — 11." 

During Mayor Holt's time LaFayette visited Augusta. After a tour 
through the North, General LaFayette landed at Savannah on March 19, 1825, 
and was met by Governor Troup, who, pursuant to a joint resolution of the 
General Assembly, was there to welcome him as the guest of the State. As 
the general stepped on shore, the governor addressed him as follows : " Wel- 
come, LaFayette. 'Tis little more than ninety years since the founder of this 
State first set foot on the bank on which you stand. Now four hundred thou- 
sand people open their arms to receive you." After the welcome Governor 
Troup accompanied him to Augusta, which he reached a few days after arriv- 
ing in Savannah, and was received with great ceremony. A procession met 
him at the steamboat landing, as follows : "Music; chief marshal and staff; 

Visit of General LaFayette. 171 

committee of arrangements; a marshal; detachment of hussars; General La- 
Fayette in a phaeton drawn by four horses ; son and suite of General LaFay- 
•ette in a barouche drawn by two horses ; troop of hussars ; a marshal ; clergy, 
officers and soldiers of the Revolution ; a marshal ; general officers and staff; 
•citizens in carriages ; a marshal ; citizens on horseback ; a marshal ; music ; 
United States artillery; volunteer battalion ; a marshal; citizens; a marshal." 

The mounted men rode four abreast ; citizens walked six abreast. The 
procession moved from the bridge through Centre street to Greene, and up 
Greene to the city hall, where the visitor was welcomed by the mayor ; thence 
lie was escorted through Washington and Broad streets to the apartments pre- 
pared for him at the Planters' Hotel. As the marquis landed, Colonel William 
•Cumming. chairman of the committee of arrangements, welcomed him. Then 
Mr. DeLaigle, on behalf of the French citizens of Augusta, addressed him in 
French, to which the marquis replied in the same language. A delegation 
from Alabama then invited him to visit that State, and finally the mayor for- 
mally welcomed him to Augusta. The marquis being a Mason, was addressed 
by John W. Wilde, grand commander of Georgia Encampment No. i. A 
banquet followed, at which the distinguished visitor was toasted as follows : 
" The man whose sovereignty is above that of kings — LaFayette, who reigns 
in the hearts of a whole people." Then came a grand ball, after which the 
marquis departed for the State capital. The military companies of Augusta 
at this time were Richmond Hussars, Captain Boisclair; Georgia Fencibles. 
Captain W. W. Holt ; LaFayette Riflemen, Captain Caldwell ; Hamilton Rifle- 
men, Captain Cumming; Irish Volunteers, Captain Cormick, and Georgia 
Blues, Captain McKinne. 

In 1827, in which year the Savannah River was frozen over, Samuel Hale 
•was elected mayor and continued to be re-elected each year till 1837. Mr. 
Hale was a successful merchant*, and his long administration is memorable in 
many ways. Augusta had had two notable industrial epochs before — the rise 
•of the cotton industry about 1800, and the advent of the steamboat in 18 17, 
the Enterprise, of Savannah, coming up the river in that year; and in 1833, 
•during Mayor Hales's time, the railroad put in an appearance. The first one 
constructed in America was the South Carolina road, from Charleston to Ham- 
burg, opposite Augusta. It was begun in 1830, and by July, 1833, was com- 
pleted and in running order. Its stock, which, up to that time, had been a 
■drug in the market, rose to 105. The fare from Hamburg to Charleston, one 
hundred and thirty-six miles, was $6.75, with seventy-five pounds baggage ; 
for less distances, five cents per mile. By November, 1833, the company had 
«ix engines, the " Best Friend," having four wheels and costing $4,000 ; " West 
Point," four wheels, costing $3,250; and the " South Carolina," " Charleston," 
^'Barnwell," and " Edisto," all with eight wheels and costing, the first $5,000 
and the others $5,750 each. 

1/2 History of Augusta. 

The success of this enterprise at once stimulated Augusta. A public meet- 
ing for July 20, 1833, to consider of a railroad from Augusta to Athens, the 
original of the now far-famed Georgia *Railroad, was called by Samuel Hale,. 
W. W. Montgomery, James McLaws, William T. Gould, and J. P. King. At 
the meeting Messrs H. H. Gumming, W. W. Montgomery, James Harper, 
James W. Davies and William C. Micou were appointed a committee to or- 
ganize a company. 

Similar meetings were held in various portions of the State; and, from this 
time out, the railroad became a fixed fact. In 1836 the locomotive whistle was 
invented; in 1839 the South Carolina trains left Hamburg at six A. M. and 
reached Charleston at three P. M. ; rate of speed, fifteen miles per hour; fare, 
$10. The same year the Georgia Railroad only reached from Augusta to 
Greensboro, leaving Augusta at six P. M. and arriving at Greensboro at one 
A. M. ; speed, twelve miles per hour; fare, $4.25. During the same long ad- 
ministration troubles occurred in Florida and Texas, in the former with the 
Seminoles and in the latter with the Mexicans. The president called for thirty- 
five hundred men to march against the Indians, and, as usual, the Augusta 
companies came to the front ; the Richmond Hussars put seventy sabers in the 
field, and the Richmond Blues marched out one hundred and six strong. As 
they marched out Washington street on their way to Savannah the town as- 
sembled to see them off. There were volunteers also for Texas, and when 
at the fall of the Alamo the famous Davy Crockett was slain, the Augusta 
paper gave him a curious and yet touching eulogy, which may here be re- 
produced : 

" Colonel Crockett — all flesh is grass, saith the preacher, and as the flower 
of the field, it passeth away. It is even so. He that came off victorious from 
a hundred contests with the stern chieftains of the forest ; at whose approach 
the bear and panther shook with afright. and the deer and buffalo fled as from 
the messenger of death — the redoubtable Crockett is no more. Fallen is- 
Alamo! Fallen is the hero of Tennessee! The places which have known 
him shall see him no more — the halls which have re-echoed with the thunders 
of his eloquence are silent, and the wildcat and the alligator no longer tremble 
at the sound of his carabine. The victor is overthrown, the champion is dead. 
He has gone ahead of his competitors to that land from whose bourne no trav- 
eler returns. May he rest in peace." 

Under the administration of Mayor Hale a question of jurisdiction which 
had rankled to the injury of the city since 1798 was finally satisfactorily 
adjusted It will be remembered that prior to the grant of the charter the 
municipal government had been in the hands of a board of commissioners who 
were at once trustees of the town and of the academy. When the city council 
was organized to administer the municipal government the trustees of the 
academy still claimed title to all the commons. This the council disputed, and^ 

Recollections of John Phinizy. 173: 

by act of 1835, ^^^ trustees were directed to convey the commons to the city 
on terms agreed on between the two. All that part of the city west of Camp- 
bell street was erected into a new district, or ward, number four; the fire de- 
partment materially strengthened, Augusta having been devastated by a great 
fire in 1829; and the military companies encouraged. It may also be noted 
that during this administration the famous " Georgia Scenes " appeared ; most 
of the sketches being located by Judge Longstreet in and about Augusta. 

In 1837 John Phinizy was elected. This venerable citizen lived to the ad- 
vanced age of ninety- four, and died only a few years since. To the last he re- 
tained his mental faculties unimpaired, and but a short time before his death 
gave some interesting testimony before the United States Senate Committee 
on education and labor, which we here reproduce : 

" I was born in Oglethorpe county, Ga., in 1793, very near the Indian line. 
The country was sparsely settled, and there were almost as many Indians as 
whites. I recollect that the Indian chief used to ride me on his knee. They 
were a very honest and well disposed people ; far more so than the negroes. 
But the white people wanted their lands, and therefore drove them out of the 
country. I came to Augusta in 1800, riding here in a sulky with my father. 
We had no carriages or buggies in those days. I had never seen any la.rge- 
collection of houses, and looked upon Augusta as the biggest place in the 
world. Soon after I came here I was sent to Franklin College, at Athens, Ga,, 
now the State University, and graduated in 181 L I am the only living repre- 
sentative of that class. I cannot give you much positive information about 
the cotton crop in the first part of the century, a'3 I was so young at the time, 
but I recollect that it was not thought much of and very few planted it. About 
1810, I think, I used to see small wagons coming to town with a bale of cotton, 
two or three barrels of flour, and a hogshead of tobacco, revolving on a sort of 
axis, pulled along behind. There was far more tobacco made in this section 
then than cotton. One planter, who made 20,000 pounds of seed cotton, was 
thought to be doing a wonderful thing. The seed was either picked out by 
hand or pushed out by rollers, aud the neighbors used to gather at each other's 
houses to help in getting out tlie seed. I own the place now where Whitney 
made his first experiment with the cotton-gin. He built a dam across a small 
stream and ran the gin by v/ater. The dam is standing to this day, and the 
water of the stream turns an improved gin. Large quantities of tobacco, made 
in the vicinity, were brought to Augusta during the first quarter of the century, 
but it soon gave way to cotton. Now there is no tobacco made about here. 
It was about 181 1 that cotton first began to come into prominence, and its 
cultivation increased very rapidly. In 1818 I had a large cotton warehouse 
myself. A long wooden building, that cost one thousand dollars to build, 
rented for eighteen hundred dollars the first year. Centre street was so packed 
with cotton wagons in i8-i8 that at times it was completely blocked. The 

174 History of Augusta. 

average yield of cotton to the acre at that time was about the same as now, 
but the planters used no fertilizers. Everybody had now learned to make 
cotton and very little else was thought of Property in Augusta, and especially 
near the cotton warehouses, increased rapidly in value. These are about all 
the points I could give you in regard to the early history of cotton in this 

In 1837 Augusta's cotton receipts were one hundred thousand bales. In 
1838 Mayor Hale served another term, and was succeeded in 1839 ^Y Alfred 
Gumming, afterwards governor of Utah. During Mayor Cumming's term 
Augusta had a severe visitation of yellow fever, there being from fifteen hundred 
to two thousand cases and two hundred and forty deaths. A fuller account 
of this epidemic appears elsewhere in this work. In 1840 Dr. Daniel Hook 
was mayor, and in 1842 served another term. In 1 841, 1843, 1844 and 1845 
Martin M. Dye was mayor. During Mayor Hook's first term Augusta was 
visited with a terrible freshet, the worst then known since the terrible overflow 
of 1796, called the "Yazoo Fresh." On May 28th the Savannah River rose 
thirty- five feet above low water mark. Broad street was from two to ten feet 
deep, and floated forty bale boats. Some one thousand bales of cotton were 
swept away, and between $500,000 and $1,000,000 damage done. A house 
containing^ a woman and her four children was swept away. All perished but 
one little girl. The captain of a Petersburg boat chased the house three miles, 
and finally saved tht child, almost exhausted, but still clinging to her pet dog. 

During Mayor Dye '5 first term the main office of the Georgia Railroad 
Gompany was moved from Athens to Augusta. At this time also was passed 
the famous " Algerine law," as 1^ is termed. This was an act to provide a sort 
of upper house for the city council in the shape of a board of aldermen, two 
from each ward. The sting of the act lay in the fact that no one was eligible 
to be, or to vote for, an alderman unless he owned one thousand dollars' worth 
of real estate or had paid at least twenty-five dollars city tax. In 1842 the 
act was repealed. During Mayor Dye's administration the Augusta Ganal 
was commenced. The first survey was made in the fall of 1844, ^"^ in May, 
1845, the work was begun. The plan of the canal was to be five feet deep, 
twenty feet wide at the bottom and forty feet at the surface of the water. The 
total length was nearly seven miles, and on November 23, 1846, the water was 
let in. Some of the citizens of Augusta resorted to litigation to stop this pub- 
lic work, but the courts decided against them, finding the authority of the city 
council to undertake such enterprises in the chartt^r of the city. At this time 
Augusta had a population of 7,502, and its trade, relatively speaking, was im- 
mense. There were twelve large warehouses capable of containing 70,000 
bales, and three new ones were begun. The wharfage front was 2,500 feet, 
and had cost $150,000. The river and wagon trade was enormous, and, in 
1845, the cotton receipts ran to the unprecedented figure of 212,019 bales. 

First Railroad to Augusta. 175 

The revenue from the bridge the same year was $23,678. The foundations 
of many fortunes were laid at this golden epoch, which is still further memor- 
able as giving the city its first railroad, the Georgia road tapping the city 
in 1845. 

In 1846 and 1847 ^^- Lewis D. Ford, an eminent physician, was mayor of 
Augusta. In his first term the Mexican War broke out. A regiment was 
raised in Georgia, and in this regiment went the Richmond Blues, one hundred 
and five strong, this being the same gallant command as had volunteered in 
the Florida War. The city council gave fifteen dollars per man towards fitting 
out troops. In Dr. Ford's second term, the pioneer of the city's now numerous 
cotton manufactories, " The Augusta Cotton Mills," was organized. The por- 
trait of Dr. Ford is to be found in the mayor's ofiice. He was a man of patri- 
archical appearance, and his heart was kindness itself 


Mayors Garvin, Miller and Dearing — Central Railroad Comes in — Mayor Conley — Mavor 
Blodgett — Augusta Waterworks — The War Opens — Capture of Augusta Arsenal — Geor- 
gia's Wonderful Prosperity in i860 — First Regiment — Augusta's Volunteers — Her Dead — 
Confederate Monuments — Ladies' Memorial Association — The Salt Famine — Speculation 
— Gunpowder Works — Fury and Suffering of the War — Confederate Money — Lee's Sur- 
render — Riot of 1865 — Mayor May — Military Rule — Mayor Gardiner — Military Mayor — 
Reconstruction — Mayor Russell — Mayor Allen — Mayor Estes — Enlargement of Canal — 
Mayor Meyer — Mayor May — Vast Extension of Corporate Limits — Freshet of 1888 — Ex- 
position — Augusta's Double Tax — Retrospect — Proud Record of a Century and a Half 

IN 1848 Dr. Ignatius P. Garvin was elected mayor. He, also, was a physi- 
cian of eminence, was professor in the medical college, and about this time 
edited the Southern Medical atid Surgical Jo?irnal in conjunction with the cel- 
ebrated Dr. Paul F. Eve, who subsequently removed to Nashville, Tenn. In 
1849 James B. Bishop was mayor ; •" 1850 and 185 1, Thomas W. Miller ; and 
in 1852 and 1853, still another physician. Dr. William E. Dearing. This gen- 
tleman was one of the most accomplished herpetologists that ever lived in the 
United States. His knowledge of the nature, habits and species of the serpent 
tribe was wonderfully accurate and extensive, and it is greatly to be regretted, 
in the interests of science, that he did not commit his fund of information in 
this wierd and yet interesting field to book form. 

In 1854 Abner P. Robertson was mayor, and this year is memorable for a 
yellow fever epidemic, of which we speak more at large elsewhere in this 
work, and for the tapping of the city by the Augusta and Savannah Railroad^ 

176 History of Augusta. 

now known more generally by the name of its lessor, the Central. In this 
year also the city limits were extended so as to take in that extensive tract 
lying east of the Carnes road and north of South Boundary; and the city 
council had a controversy with the South Carolina authorities in reference to a 
claim by certain grantees of that State to collect tolls on the Carolina side, 
which was decided in favor of the city. 

In 1855 Dr. Bearing served another term as mayor, and in 1856 General 
George W. Evans was elected. 

From 1856 to 1858 Benjamin Conley was mayor. Mr. Conley was a suc- 
cessful merchant of Augusta, and, after the war, was for a short time governor 
of Georgia. During Mayor Conley's first term the registration of voters for 
municipal elections became the law. 

In 1859 and i860 Foster Blodgett was mayor. His administration is sig- 
nalized by the introduction of the waterworks system. As far back as 1818 the 
waters of Turknett Springs had been used. Mayor Hale, among his other 
public services, had much enlarged and improved that system, and from him 
the city bought it; but, with the development of the municipalty, other re- 
sources became necessary and these Mayor Blodgett supplied. Since his ad- 
ministration, and notably since the enlargement of the canal, the water supply 
of Augusta has been largely increased. The source of supply is the Savannah 
River It is a tradition that " the man who once drinks the water of this river 
is certain to return to it," and the purity of the element, as shown by an analy- 
sis made by Dr. Joseph Jones, an eminent chemist, may be one reason for the 
old saw. The analysis is as follows : 

Solid matters 4.2936 

Carbonate of lime 0.7544 

Carbonate of magnesia 0.0250 

Sulphate of lime slight trace 

Chloride of Calcium slight trace 

Chloride of magnesium slight trace 

Phosphate of lime . slight trace 

Chloride of sodium 0.0436 

Sulphate of soda and potassa 0.0489 

Silicic acid, silicate of alumnia, silicate of potassa, 
silicate of soda, together with a small proportion of 
organic matter and traces of ammonia 3. 12 10 

Purity of water is not the only requisite of a water supply. Quantity 
available is an important consideration, and in this too Augusta is in the front 
rank, comparing favorably not only with other Georgia cities but with most 
cities of the entire country. Before the river water is pumped through the 
city it goes from the canal into large settling basins covering acres of ground, 
where all suspended matters settle to the bottom, and it is furnished clear and 
free from impurities. The waterworks pumps have a capacity of 8,000,000 
gallons per day, if such a mammoth supply should be needed. The daily 

Opening of the War 


1,041,113 gallons to a population which she claims is nearlv Hn„M. ,t . r 
Augusta, and Charleston furnishes but 600,000 gallons '^ " °' 

In .861 the great drama of the war opened. On the ,9th of January ,86r 
the n ^' Convention adopted an ordinance of secession, and on the Ith 
the United S ates arsenal at Augusta was surrendered to the State troops 

ff tie n't f f ''""^^ °' *"^*"^"" °f---- C^'P'-n Arnold Firr; 

a s :, andl ^TT""'' ""* ' '°"^ °' ^'^"'^ "-• '^ stationed a the 
o theL t " r'"^' °' *^ "*"™^' 'he usual military rout ne 

of the post was continued. The sentry paced his round, and the Starrld 
Stnpes were regularly hoisted at sunrise to flutter in the breeze ah dtr Thk 
was too much for the excited mind of the day. Had not G o^gi Leeded 
and resumed her sovereignty ; and why then were another unifL and flal 
o be seen upon her soil ? On the ..d of January Governor Brown arrivd 
n Augusta with a staff officer and on the next day the following commun ica 
tion was sent to the Federal commandant : ^ communica- 

,. ^ . . " Augusta, Ga., January 23. 1861 

" Captam Arnold Elzev n 9 A r j- a / j, looi, 

..(;,„ T ^' ' Commanding Augusta Arsenal ■ 

that r r ■"'"■"""'' ''^ ^'' E=<cellency Governor Brown, to say to you 

tha Georgia having seceded from the United States of Americ;, and resumed 
exclusive sovereignty over her soil, it has become his duty to equte yorto 

:^z^:7^^:r' ~' -^ '^^ -^"- --^-^^^: 

" He proposes to take possession of the arsenal, and to receipt for all oublic 
property under your charge, which will hereafter be accounted o on adius 
ment between the State of Georgia and the United States of Africa 'h; 
begs to refer to the fact that the retention of foreign troops upon he soil of 
Georgia, after remonstrance, is under the laws of nations an act of host^L 

most a Z 1 ''' ^'^'^ '' "°^ °"'>^ ^^ P^^-' ^"^ --OUS to cul L tL 
most amicable relations with the United States government I amT'^h 
instructed to say that an answer will be expected to Z.T 
o'rIorV T ■ expected to-morrow mornmg, at nine 

o clock. I am. sir, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Henry R. Jackson. 

" Aid-de-camp, &c." 

to VVaThTn"toI"rec?'""' 7 t' T ''' ''''"'' '"^ te^.g.,pi,,i the situation 
CO Washington, receiving at midnight the following reply : 

"Washington, January 23, iS6r. 
Captain Elzey, Second Artillery, commanding Augusta Arsenal, Ga. : 

States an a^t°tT°% fi" ''"' ^''"'"'^ '^''"'' ^""^ P°^' ^"d 'he United 

States an attitude of war. His summons is harsh and peremptory. It is not 

178 History of Augusta. 

expected that your defense should be desperate. If forced to surrender by 
violence or starvation, you will stipulate for honorable terms, and a free pass- 
age by water with your company to New York. 

" T. Holt, Secretary of War." 

On the refusal of Captain Elzey to surrender the arsenal Governor Brown 
had ordered out the troops about the city, and 800 were soon in line, but after 
the letter written giving the captain till next day to reply, the volunteers 
were dismissed till 9 A. M. on the 24th. At that time they re-assembled when 
the following communication came in : 

" Headquarters, Augusta Arsenal, 

" Georgia, January 24, 1861. 
" Sir — I have the honor to inform you that I am directed by Captain Elzey, 
commanding this post, to say, in reply to the demand of the governor of the 
State of Georgia, made through you yesterday, requiring him to withdraw 
his command beyond the limits of the State: he begs to request an interview 
with his excellency, the governor, for the purpose of negotiating honorable 
terms of surrender at as early an hour this morning as practicable. I have the 
honor to be, very respectfully, 

" Your Obedient Servant, 

"J. C. Jones, Lieut. 2d Art, Adj. 

"To Col. H. R. Jackson, Aid-de-camp." 

Governor Brown and his staff, Colonel H, R. Jackson, Colonel William 
Phillips, Lieutenant-Colonel M. C. Fulton. Lieutenant-Colonel C. V. Walker, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Cleveland, rode out to the arsenal, and the 
following terms of surrender were agreed on: the United States flag to be 
lowered and saluted ; the company to march out with military honors ; a 
receipt to be i^iven for the public property, with a view to future adjustment ; 
and the company to retain its arms and property, to stay in its quarters till 
removal from the State, and to have passage to New York from Savannah. 
After these terms had been agreed on, Colonel William Henry Walker crossed 
the room to where Captain Elzey was standing and assured him he had done 
all a brave officer could have done. A silent pressure of the hand was the 
reply. The two officers had been classmates at West Point. Colonel Walker 
afterwards became a major-general in the Confederate service ; was repeatedly 
desperately wounded and was finally killed in the battles around Atlanta. 
The preliminaries being settled, the garrison was drawn out and a salute fired 
from four field pieces to the United States flag. Thirty-three guns were fired, 
one for each State, including Georgia, and between the thirty-second and 
thirty-third discharge the flag descended from the staff. At three o'clock 
Brigadier- General Harris, with a detachment of the Washington Artillery and 

The War Period. 


Oglethorpe Infantry, took possession of the arsenal and raised the then State 

cele°r Z7l"' ' P-T'''^''""^'' "'"' ' '"Se. red five pointed star in the 
center. Salutes were hred two guns belonging to the Washington Artil- 
le y : one or the sovereignty of Georgia ; five for the seceded states • and 
fifteen for the prospective Southern Confederacy. ' 

At the time the war opened, Georgia was developing enormously in wealth 

was *672.322,777, showing the stupendous increase of $176 8 in,, The 
first year the increase was $33,600,000; the next, $4l,ooo,o<;o ; then $70- 
000,000; and then $,ooo. The value of slave property in i860 being 
$302,694,855, left .he value of other property $369,637.922 ; and deducting 
the slave mcrease. $92,260,2.,, from the total gain, shows that property other 
than slave had mcreased in the four years just prior ,0 the war, from $285 - 
076,6,0 to $369,627,922. a gain in four years of $84,55 ..3.2. Land had in- 
creased $30,000,000; c„y property, $9,000,0000; money, $30,000,000 This 
golden prosperity was sacrificed on the altar of war 

A regiment was soon called for to go to Pensacola, and two hundred and 
fifty companies volunteered their services. The State was wild with military 
ardor, and Augusta, as in times past, stood out among the foremost Of the 
ourteen companies selected, Augusta furnished two. the Oglethorpe Light In- 
fantry Captain Clarke, and the Walker Light Infantry. Captain Camp The 
?/!/ H r 7 —'-'y through Augusta; the sound of marching 

feet and the sharp command of the drill officers were heard everywhere 
From April ist to July ,, ,86,, Augusta had sent forward eleven companies' 
LlTTh 'f^^='"'^°f*^ «-' Manassas, which exalted the spirits of the 

fead „; e H f "' '"'"• 7""' """ ''''''" ^"^''^'^ "'" "'g'" -" th- 
read in the heater, a scene of indescribable excitement ensued Men cheered 

hemselves hoarse; ladies fainted ; yells of triumph and frantic inquiries for 

Irdo of?h > rVV^' ''"'= """= ' ""'"'"'"e "P--. The military 
ardor of the cty already fervent, was stimulated to white heat. Other compa- 
nies were hurried forward, and by July 1, ,862, Augusta and Richmond county 
had twemy.four companies, or over two lull regiments in the field The 
commands were Oglethorpe Infantry, Company A, 69 men ; Company B, 66 ■ 
Walker L'ght Infantry, 60; Blodgett Volunteers, 95; Confederate Ugh 
Guards, 76; Clinch Rifles, 94; Irish Volunteers. 80; Letcher Guards. 80; fn- 
dependent Blues. 54; Montgomery Guards. „ : Georgia Light Guards 94- 
Wilson Tigers. „6; Richmond Hussars. Company A, 86 ; Company B 90 

eTs Ni bTv r '■ 'tr °'"^ ''"^'^'^"■^' ^^'^''^y '^"'«- C-"ford Rang, 
ers N sbet Volunteers, Vigilant Rifles, Richmond Rough and Readys, Bak^r 

Volunteers, Augusta Rangers and Milledge Artillery. Some six other com- 
panies were organized and sent forward. Out of a white population of ,0 - 
000 over 2,000 soldiers were raised ; and of these 292 were killed or died in 

i8o History of Augusta. 

the service. The streets were crowded and depots thronged with commands 
from other parts of the State and from Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas 
and Mississippi luirrying to the front. Soon train loads of sick and wounded 
came back. Augusta became a great hospital center. Wayside homes were 
established for the disabled soldiers, and the ladies of the city strained every 
nerve to fit out the volunteer on his way to the front and nurse the wounded 
who returned. 

The legislature of the State " Resolved, That the thanks of the General As- 
sembly of the State of Georgia are due, and are hereby tendered to the ladies 
of the whole State, for their active, untiring and successful efforts to aid in 
clothing and making comfortable our soldiers in the field, and for their zeal and 
devotion in ministering to the wants of the sick and wounded, by which they 
have demonstrated that God's last, best gift is woman, and by which they 
prove, too, that they merit the Bible appellation of 'blessed.' " — " Georgia Laws, 
1862," page 107. 

This care ceased not with the war. When the struggle was over a Ladies' 
Memorial Association was formed which erected in Broad street the Confeder- 
ate Monument, one of the handsomest war memorials in the country. It is 
seventy-two feet high, and from the top of the second section, twenty-five feet 
from the base, rises a simple, unbroken shaft forty-seven feet, presenting a 
singularly graceful and dignified aspect. At the tour angles of the first sec- 
tion are placed statues of Generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Thomas 
R. R. Cobb and William Henry Walker ; the first two typifying the Confed- 
eracy, the third the State of Georgia, and the fourth Richmond county. 
On the North side of the monument is the inscription : 


None fell so pure of crime." 
On the South side : 

" Worthy 

To HAVE lived and KNOWN 

Our gratiiude : 
To he hallowed and held 
In tender remembrance. 


The fadeless fame which 

Confedkrai'e soldiers 


Who liAVK themselves in life 

and death for us: 

For the honor of Georgia, 

For the rights of the States, 

For the liberties of the people, 

For the sentiments of the South, 

■\^ F"oR the principles of the Union, , 


The Confederate Monument. i8i 

On the East side : 

" Confederate Dead." 

And on the West side : 

"Erected A. D. 1878, 

By the Memorial Association of Augusta, 

In honor of the 

Men of Richmond County, 

Who died 

In the cause of the Confederate States." 

On the pinnacle of the shaft is a statue, heroic size, of a Confederate pri- 
vate soldier. He is standing at ease, leaning on his musket, and gazing in- 
tently out in front of him, as if waiting the command to move forward into 

The base of the monument is of granite, the shaft and statues of pure Ital- 
ian marble. The work was executed in Carrara, Italy, and in its design, exe- 
cution, and general appearance the monument is deservedly the subject of 
general admiration. It was erected by the Ladies' Memorial Association, at a 
cost of $17,331 35 ; and was unveiled on October 31, 1878, amid imposing 
ceremonies. The governor of the State, Hon. Alfred H. Colquitt, the hero of 
Olustee, and the widow of Stonewall Jackson, honored the occasion with their 
presence. The volunteer battalion, headed by the band of the Thirteenth 
United States Infantry, and a large number of cavalry commands, escorted 
the Confederate survivors, and about the platform hung the scarred and 
smoke- begrimed battle flags of the Stonewall Brigade, Cobb Legion, Washing- 
ton Artillery, Fifth Georgia, Eighth Georgia, and Fifth and Twenty-seventh 
Virginia Infantry, as also the Confederate flag which was in the hands of Gen- 
eral Bartow when he fell at the first battle of Manassas. The oration was de- 
livered by Colonel C. C. Jones. 

This beautiful monument is the result of untiring efforts on the part of the 
Ladies' Memorial Association. The original of this society was the Ladies' 
Relief and Hospital Association, organized during the war for the benefit of the 
sick and wounded soldiery. When the war ended and the hospitals were closed, 
the association took upon itself the duty of annually decorating the soldiers' 
graves in the city cemetery with flowers on the 26th of April, the anniversary 
of General Lee's surrender at Appomattox. In 1868 it was proposed to form 
a society for the purpose of taking care of those graves, and also of erecting a 
Confederate monument, and the Ladies' Memorial Association was organized 
with Mrs. Dr. John Carter, as president; Mrs. Dr. H. H. Steiner, as vice-presi- 
dent, and Mrs. John T. Miller, as secretary and treasurer. The financial de- 
pression following the war and the death of both president and vice-president 
prevented the association from doing more than taking care of the soldiers' 
graves, but in 1873 a reorganization was effected, and the following officers 
elected: President, Mrs. M. E. Walton (now Mrs. F. A. Timberlake); vice-pres- 

1 82 History of Augusta. 

idents, Mrs. J. M. Adams, Mrs. John M. Clarke, Mrs. J. J. Cohen, Mrs. J. T. 
Derry, Mrs. A. E. Dortic, Mrs. DeSaussure Ford, Mrs. H. W. Milliard, Mrs. 
J. L. Lamar and Mrs. M. E. Whitehead ; and secretary and treasurer, Mrs. 
John T. Miller. The association proceeded systematically to work. The Con- 
federate dead were gathered into the soldiers' section of the cemetery, which 
was enclosed with a substantial stone coping. A fountain was placed in the 
center, and at each of the five hundred and forty graves a marble headstone. 
The cost of the work was $2,606 46 ; and when accomplished, the association 
turned its attention to the erection of a monument, with the result above stated. 

In front of St. James Methodist Episcopal Church on Greene street, is 
another Confederate monument, erected in 1873, by the Sunday-school of that 
church, in memory of the twenty-three teachers and scholars who fell in the 
war. This monument is a very handsome cenotaph of white marble, and bears 
on it the names of two hundred and ninety-two slain Confederates. The cen- 
otaph cost $5,400, and was unveiled on December 31, 1873. 

A third Confederate monument is the huge chimney of the Confederate 
powder works on the canal. The works have been long taken down, but the 
chimney was preserved and still towers above the great factories which now 
surround it, while a marble tablet let into its side tells what it was and why it 
is preserved. 

The vigorous blockade of the Southern ports by the United States navy 
was soon felt in the home life of the Confederacy and especially in the cities,, 
always dependent on outside sources for supply. That prime necessary, salt, 
became almost unattainable. What would now be called salt "corners" and 
"syndicates" were formed by speculators. The price of the commodity rose 
enormously. The Legislature at once intervened, and at first tried to stimu- 
late production by a system of bounties, offering a loan of $50,000, without 
interest, and repayable only on the restoration of peace, "to any company or 
corporation, which has been or may hereafter be established in this State for 
the manufacture of salt." This failing to meet expectations, the sum of 
$500,000 was appropriated for the purchase of salt for distribution among the 
people, and to enable the State to enter on the production of the article. 
Much other legislation was had to benefit the soldiers and protect the people 
from monopoly and speculation. No judgment was to be enforced against a 
soldier until three months after his discharge : the statute of limitations was 
suspended ; it was made a crime to purchase clothing, shoes, leather, cloth, 
provisions, wheat, corn, flour, corn meal, meat, bacon, hogs, cattle, salt, bagging, 
twine, rope, or other articles of general use under false pretense that they were 
for the army; or to monopolize or charge extortionate prices for such articles; 
it was forbidden to raise more than three acres of cotton to the hand; it was 
also forbidden to make any spirituous or malt liquor out of corn, wheat, rye, or 
other grain, except for medicinal, hospital, chemical, or mechanical purposes;. 

War-time Legislation. 183 

and by subsequent legislation this inhibition was extended to sugar, molasses, 
syrup, sugar cane, honey, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peas, Irish potatoes, or 
dried fruit, the penalty being a fine of from $500 to $5,000 and twelve months 
imprisonment. The sum of $400,000 was appropriated for the Georgia 
Relief and Hospital Association in providing medical attendance, hospital 
rooms, stores, supplies, accommodation and transportation for the sick and 
wounded, suffering and destitute soldiers of the State of Georgia; in estab- 
lishing wayside homes for the same ; and in collecting claims of Georgia sol- 
diers or their estates. To provide clothes, shoes, hats, and blankets $1,500,000 
were appropriated. At one time 97,000 bushels of corn were distributed in 
fifteen of the most needy counties to the families of living or deceased soldiers; 
at another, and later period when the general distress became appalling, 
$6,500,000 were voted to indigent families of the soldiers, " the term indigent 
to include wives, mothers, grandmothers, and all those who have to leave their 
ordinary business in the house, and to labor in the field to support themselves 
and children." The enormous prices of articles in general use may be seen when 
it is known that yarn was eight dollars per bunch ; and the State was thought 
to be conferring a great favor in selling it at six dollars. The municipal 
authorities of Augusta strained every nerve to co-operate with the State. 
They issued $50,000 in bonds for a gunboat, and. it may be here added, paid 
every dollar after the war, over the objection of the military authorities that such 
debt being in aid af rebellion was noL enforceable. They obtained permission 
to issue $100,000 in change notes in denominations of five, ten, twenty-five, 
and fifty cents and one dollar. The city became a hive of industry in making 
shoes, clothing, wagons, and other supplies. Its moneyed men started a new 
bank called the Traders and Importers Bank, two insurance companies. The 
Augusta Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and The Commercial Insurance 
Company of Augusta ; a gold mining company The Augusta and Dahlonega 
Mining Company ; and projected a new railroad. The Columbia and Augusta 
Railroad Company. The State ceded the Augusta arsenal and all the realty of 
the United States at Augusta to the Confederate government, and under the su- 
perintendency of Colonel Rains, a huge powder manufactory was erected on the 
Augusta Canal. This is said to have been the largest and most complete 
establishment of its kind in the world, and turned out a powder of most excel- 
lent quality, supplying the armies with abundant ammunition. The chimney 
of these works still stands on the bank of the canal, a towering monument 
of the past. The pressure and agony of the times were something appalling. 
The State had its entire arms-bearing population in the field. There were 
■84, 119 "war indigents" at home; 45,718 children, 22,637 P^°^ kinswomen 
of soldiers, 8,462 orphans, 4,003 widows, in the first two years of the war. 
The papers were full of reports of battles, lists of killed and wounded, calls for 
troops, appeals for food, clothing and shoes, proclamations doling out salt by 


History of Augusta. 

the peck, impressment orders for negroes to work on fortifications, piteous sup- 
plications for hospital funds. It was a fearful and dreadful time. The soldier 
dead of the State, up to the close of the year 1863, numbered 57,905. The 
white polls had fallen from 52,764 to 39,863, showing war's ravages. The 
war indigents rose from 84,119 to 117,889. Confederate money had gone 
down, down until almost as worthless as the old Continental currency. June 
15, 1862, it took $2 to buy $i in gold ; on June 15, 1863, $7-50; on June 15, 
1864, $18; on January i, 1865, it was $60 for one; April 26, $200 for one, 
April 27, $300, April 28, $500, April 30, $i,OQO. In 1864 hats were worth 
hundreds of dollars; a horse, thousands; a drink of whisky, $10; a pair of 
suspenders, $150; a cake of toilet soap, $25. 

As of historic interest we here give the fluctuations of Confederate money 
as kept by Mr. J. C. Barber, a broker of Augusta, commonly known as Bar- 
ber's tables, which have been recognized as correct in the courts of Georgia. 

1 861, Gold premium. 

January i, $ .05 

July 1 10 

October i 12 

October 15 15 

December i, 20 

December 15 30 


January i, 20 

January 15 20 

February i 25 

February 15 40 

March i , 50 

March 15 60 

April 1 75 

April 15 ^ , .85 

May 1 90 

May 15 95 

June 1 95 

For$i in Gold. 

June 15 ,$2.00 

August I , : 2.20 

September 1 2.50 

November i 3.00 


February i , 3.10 

March i 3.25 

March 15, 5.00 

May 15 6.00 

June I, 6.50 

June 15 7.50 

July 1 8.00 

July 15 10.00 

August I, 14.00 

August 15 1 5.00 

September i, 14.00 

September 15, 14.00 

October I, 13.00 

October 15 12.50 

November i 13.00 

November 15 1 5.00 

December i 20.05 

December 15 21.00 


January i, $ 21.00 

January 15 20.00 

February i , 20.00 

February 15, 21 .00 

March i 26.00 

March 15 20.00 

April 1 19.00 

April 15 21.00 

May I , 20.00 

May 15, 18.00 

June 1-15 18.00 

July 1 5 — August 15, 20.00 

August 15 22.00 

September i 20.50 

September 15 22. 50 

October i 27.00 

October 15, 25.00 

November i 26.00 

November 15 28.00 

December i 32.00 

December 15 35-00 

December 31, 50.00 

The Close of the War. jg^ 

'865. For $1 in Gold. 

January r 6000 

January 15 5^00 

February i ^000 

February 15 4600 

March 1 5500 

March 15, ; 5700 

April 1 70.00 

AP"' '5 80.00 

AP"'2o, ^^^^ 

AP''''26, 200.00 

AP'-'l^? 300.00 

AP"'28 50000 

AP'''l29 Soo.oo 


May 1 1,200.00 

When Sherman swun,s: loose from Atlanta and started on his way through 
Georgia to the sea, it was apprehended that Augusta would see what it had 
not yet witnessed, amid all the other agonies of war, a hostile force in her 
streets; but the storm passed by. A marauding party of Federal cavalry 
would no doubt have swept through the city, but was met by General 
Wheeler and driven back upon the main body. In anticipation of the entrance 
of Sherman's troops immense quantites of cotton were brought out and piled 
in the street. On Broad street, from Jackson to Mcintosh was a solid wall 
about five or six bales high and covering the bulk of that unusually wide thor- 
oughfare. It lay there exposed to the elements, eaten into by the cows spat 
tered with mud, so valuable and yet so worthless ! The chances of its ever 
being made available were considered so hopeless that thousands of bales were 
offered at one dollar per bale in gold, with few takers. When it seemed as if 
nothing could avert the advent of the enemy the Confederate commandant 
issued orders to have it burned on their approach. The execution of this com- 
mand would have almost necessarily involved the destruction of the city and 
fully alive to this awful peril Hon. Robert H. May, then mayor, used Jvery 
exertion to have the order rescinded and by extraordinary exertions finally 
prevailed. At the same time and from the same idle policy of destruction 
barrels of tar and heaps of combustibles were placed on the city brid-e to* 
reduce that, too, to ashes, but here again the danger was averted As"" has 
been said, Augusta had the largest powder mills in America under the aus- 
pices of the Confederate government. Besides these, machine shops and -un 
factories belonging to the government were located, and the city was one of 
the most important posts in the Southern States during the civil struggle. It 
was for this reason that it was considered by Edwin M. Stanton, LincoL's war 
secretary, to have been a vital point in the seceding states, and he was horri- 
fied to find that General Sherman, instead of destroying the great manufact- 
uring plant in Augusta, turned off and pursued an empty and vainglorious 
march to the sea. So long as Augusta remained intact, the army in Northern 
Virginia, under General Lee, was furnished with ammunition and materials 
from the government workshops, and the Southern armies were enabled to 
hold their ground, and it was believed that had Sherman made Au-usta the 
base of his operations instead of Atlanta, the civil war would have come to an 
end at least a year before it did. 


1 86 History of Augusta. 

It is a current belief in the city that Sherman turned his course aside be- 
cause in his early days he was stationed at the Augusta arsenal and had a child 
buried there, and while it is not likely sentiment controlled him, we give the 
story for what it is worth. 

One day in April, 1865, a disarmed and footsore soldier of Lee's army 
reached town. There could now no longer be any doubt that the valiant army 
of northern Virginia had at last succumbed. A mob gathered, intent on sacking 
the Confederate quartermaster and commissary departments. It was argued 
that as the Confederacy was gone, its few remaining assets had better fall into 
the hands of its own poor than go to the enemy, and acting on this belief the 
mob soon " looted " the government repositories. Then, as mobs will, other 
places in no way connected with the government were marked for plunder. 
It was proposed to sack the factories, and some private stores were broken into. 
A guard of citizens and returned soldiers was hastily assembled, and after a 
collision in which one life was lost, the mob dispersed and order was restored. 

Soon after the Federal forces entered the city, a detachment being sent up 
from Savannah, and the city was placed under the rule of a provost marshal. 
None could walk the streets at night without a pass. Then the Freedmen's 
Bureau was established, and the colored population recognized that they were 
free. To their credit, it is to be said, they made no disorder and attempted 
no violence. Mr. Davis, president of the Confederacy, was brought captive 
through the streets of Augusts on his way to Fortress Monroe. He rode in a 
carrriage surrounded by a strong guard of cavalry and was carried up Broad 
street to the headquarters of the post commandant. The military authorities 
insisted on all civilians taking the oath of allegiance, and no one, not even the 
ladies, were allowed to receive letters without doing so. Owing to the lack of 
other clothes the returned soldiers were allowed to wear their uniforms, but 
the military buttons were ordered cut ofif. All arms were ordered delivered 
up, and the press was put under surveillance. Each editorial was required to 
be submitted to the post-commandant, and for one fiery article the office of the 
Augusta Constitutionalist was closed and a sentry put in the composing room. 

Finally order began to evolve out of chaos. The State government was 
reorganized on the plan of reconstruction, devised by President Johnson. Hon. 
James Johnson, a lawyer of Columbus, was appointed provisional governor, and 
a convention ordered at Milledgeville on October 25, 1865. Charles J. Jen- 
kins, John P. King, and A. C. Walter were sent as delegates from Richmond. 
Hon. Herschel V. Johnson was elected president of the convention, which, 
under instructions from Washington, repealed the ordinance of secession and 
repudiated the State's war debt. It adopted a new constitution which recog- 
nized the abolition of slavery, and provided for the organization of a State gov- 
ernment thereunder ; made provision for the support of the poor of the State, 
and appealed to President Johnson for clemency to President Jefferson Davis, 

Reconstruction Period. i8^ 

Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens, and other Confederates then prisoners 
at Fort Pulaski. On the reorganization Hon. C. J. Jenkins was elected gov- 
ernor, and the State government was completed in all its parts. 

During the war Hon. Robert H. May, the present chief magistrate of the 
city, was mayor of Augusta. As has been stated the tread of hostile forces 
never resounded in the streets of the city, but all during the war thousands and 
tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers marched through going to battle ; 
trains upon trains of sick and wounded were brought back. The maimed and 
disabled were to be nursed, the dead to be buried, the impoverished to be fed, 
the unruly to be kept in order. Time after time, as the city was menaced, al- 
most every available man was marched out to assist the regular forces, and 
women and children were left behind almost defenseless, but in every exig- 
ency Mayor May was found adequate to the occasion. At one time, when 
the Confederate forces were about to burn the cotton piled five bales high on 
the streets, which would have been to destroy the city, Mr. May averted the 
useless and appalling destruction. When, in 1865, a terrific freshet flooded the 
■city, he quickly repaired its damage; and when later in the year, at the down- 
fall of the Confederacy, a mob sacked the Confederate commissary and quar- 
termaster departments and seemed ripe for further pillage, the mayor's firm 
hand and active measures restored order and obedience to law. 

In 1866 James T. Gardiner served a portion of the year; and John Foster 
filled out his term. 

In the spring of the next year the scheme of congressional reconstruction 
of the South was initiated. Major-General John Pope overturned civil rule 
and established military domination, and for the first and only time in its ex- 
tended municipal history Augusta saw its mayor designated by the sword. 
Foster Blodgett was made mayor by General Pope in May, 1867, and acted as 
such till December, 1868, when reconstruction was completed, and an election 
held at which Henry F. Russell, a prominent merchant, was chosen mayor. 
Mayor Russell was succeeded in 1869 by J. V. H. Allen, who reorganized the 
police force of the city on a military footing, the men being uniformed, and 
armed and drilled as infantry. This discipline has since been maintained and 
the force of the city is not only available for the ordinary duties of police, but, 
at a moment's notice, becomes the drilled and organized nucleus of a military 
body. In this year another railroad, the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta 
entered the city. 

In 1870 Charles Estes became mayor and was re-elected year after year 
till 1876. During Mayor Estes' extended administration, the city was rapidly 
rehabitated and materially enlarged and improved. In 1870 the area inclosed 
by the Savannah Road, the Turknett Springs Road, Carnes Road, and South 
Boundary street was added to the city, and the street railway system put upon 
a permanent basis. In 1871 the Legislature authorized the enlargment of the 

1 88 History of Augusta. 

Augusta Canal. Mayor Allen had urged such an enlargment, but it was re- 
served for Mayor Estes to beghi and complete the work. The work was com- 
menced in March, 1 872, and completed in July, 1 875, at a cost of $972,883. i 5 . 
The present length of the main canal is seven miles; including second and 
third levels, nine miles. The minimum water way is 150 at surface, 106 feet 
at bottom, and li feet deep, making an area of cross section of 1,408 square 
feet. The area of the supply openings is 1,463 square feet ; and, by means of 
a colossal dam the entire waters of the Savannah River are made available. 
There is a bottom grade of descent on the main canal of one hundredth of a 
foot in one hundred feet, giving a theoretical mean velocity of two and seventy- 
four one hundredth feet per second, or a mechanical effect of 14,000 horse 
power, the old capacity being but 600. The result of the enlargement has 
been to give an immense impetus to cotton manufacturing in Augusta, to 
largely stimulate other industries, and to add wonderfully to the wealth and 
population of the city. In 1873 the Macon and Augusta, and the Port Royal, 
and Augusta Railways tapped the city. During this administration the re- 
quirement of a registry fee as a condition precedent to voting in municipal 
elections was abrogated ; the lien for city taxes was made second in dignity 
only to State and county taxes; and the style " marshal " was changed to 
chief of police. Provision was also made for extension and improvement of 
the waterworks system. 

In 1876 the mayor's term was extended from one year to three years, and 
in this year John U. Meyer was elected for that term. During his time a 
board of health was created which is still in operation and has accomplished 
valuable results. Of its operations we speak elsewhere in detail. 

In 1879 Hon. Robert H. May, the war mayor of Augusta, was again elected 
and has been continuously re-elected at each recurring triennial election ever 
since. In 1877 Mr. May was one of the delegates sent from Richmond county 
to the State convention which framed the present constitution of Georgia. 
This instrument has many important provisions looking to the improvement 
of the science of municipal government, and from his long experience in this 
field, Mr. May's counsels were of great service to the convention. During his 
administration from 1879 Augusta has became a new city. The devel- 
opment of business and increase of population have been unprecedented. 
Among other important matters of legislation in this time it may be mentioned 
that a board of police commissioners was organized, and the limits of the city 
were very largely extended in 1882 so as to take in that extensive territory on 
the west of the city, north of the Turknett Springs road to the line of the vil- 
lage of Summerville, thence along that line across the head of Lake Olmstead,. 
to the head of the canal, so as to throw the entire length of that great work 
within the municipal limits; and again, in 1883, so as to include the territory 
lying south of the Turknett Springs road to the Milledgville road, and thence 

Freshet of 1888. iSg* 

east to the line of the Central Railroad. These additions bring in an immense 
area on the west and southwest of the city, and where fields lately waved in 
grain, streets run and houses glow with life. In Augusta, as elsewhere, "west- 
ward the star of empire takes its way." 

In September, 1888, Augusta was visited with the worst freshet known in 
her history. During the latter part of August and the early part bf Septem- 
ber heavy rains, extending above the city for many miles, almost incessantly 
prevailed. On Sunday, September 9th, the Savannah River began to rise, but 
as this was not unexpected, no particular attention was aroused. All Sunday 
night the rise continued, and by the morning of the loth it became apparent 
that a freshet of unprecedented magnitude was imminent. All that day and 
until late at night the water rose. About one P. M. the canal banks gave way, 
precipitating that immense volume suddenly upon the already submerged city. 
Finally, not a foot of dry land remained, the water obtaining a depth of from 
two to five and in some places six feet throughout the city. All night long 
the angry rush of the waters was heard, hurrying past the very thresholds of 
the astonished and alarmed citizens. About three o'clock on the morning of 
Tuesday, September 11, the water came to a stand and then began to fall, at 
first very slowly, an inch or so an hour, then more and more rapidly, until on 
Wednesday morning the I2th, the land again appeared. But the city looked 
as if built in the bed of a river. Huge holes, especially at street corners, made 
travel impossible for vehicles and difficult for pedestrians. Some ten persons 
were drowned, and the damage done to property is estimated at about two 
millions of dollars. The city was just about completing arrangements for a 
grand exposition, intended to display Augusta's many natural and industrial 
advantages and in particular her vast water power and flourishing manufactur- 
ing interests. In a moment, as it were, the water power was wrecked, the 
huge cotton mills silenced, and a busy, hopeful, ambitious city crushed prone 
to the earth. But in less than forty-eight liours a programme was devised 
which met instant popular acceptance. There was to be no call for outside aid ; 
the city was to bear its own burden ; the exposition was to proceed ; the canal 
was to be rebuilt; the mills were to be run at the earliest possible moment; 
and the citizens were to impose on themselves an extra tax, which with the 
ordinary rate then already levied, made a total of three years' taxes in one. 
This tax was unflinchingly voted ; the exposition was held; the canal repaired ; 
and on December 26 the mill wheels began to revolve, and the looms to work 
anew. Such a record is, surely, honorable to any people. 

The exposition of which mention has been made, was determined upon at 
a meeting held on November 8, 1887, when $29,245 was raised. By Novem- 
ber 19, the subscriptions reached the sum of $55,000; on January 3. 1888, they 
amounted to $65,000. A charter was procured and the following officers 
elected: President, James Tobin ; vice-presidents, Patrick Walsh, Charles H. 
Phinizy, and Clement A. Evans; secretary and treasurer, J. H. Alexander;. 

I90 History of Augusta. 

general solicitor, Sanford H. Cohen. A tract of land was purchased near the 
city; a costly building, 944 feet by 400, with dome 154 feet high, erected ; 
numerous exhibits and attractions arranged for, and the exposition was within 
a short time of opening when the flood overwhelmed the city. This terrible 
disaster postponed the opening some si.xty days, but the enterprise was finally 
carried out, its crowning and peculiar glory being that the fact of its being held 
at all under the circumstances, was commented on throughout the country as 
an unparalleled instance of energy and courage. 

Rounding up the history of one hundred and fifty odd years, Augusta is 
now a great railroad center, a great manufacturing center, and a great com- 
mercial center. As has been seen in the review taken of her history, one prom- 
inent characteristic of this particular city has been its indomitable energy under 
every possible form of adversity to which municipalities are subject. We have 
seen it drenched in blood and scorched with fire in the Revolution ; but hardly 
had the smoke of the British guns dissipated on the air before the citizens of 
that day were at work with unabated courage, re-erecting churches, laying the 
corner-stone of seminaries, surveying out streets and annexing new territory. 
A little later, and when business had begun to revive, the Yazoo freshet floods 
the town, and, in carrying away the Savannah River bridge, cuts the town off 
from its valuable Carolina trade ; but almost instantly the bridge, a stupendous 
undertaking in those days, is ordered rebuilt. In 1829 the greater portion of 
the city is laid in ashes, but in 1833 we find it laying the foundations of the 
immense railway system of the State by a line from Augusta to Athens, an- 
other undertaking which merely ordinary as it seems to us now, was at that 
time of the first magnitude. In 1839 the yellow fever claims many victims, 
at least one-third of the population having an attack, and the very next year 
the river rises thirty-seven feet, again flooding the town, and inflicting damage 
to the amount of a million dollars, but, girding up its loins Augusta sets about 
another enterprise, the canal, and a few years later has it built and in active 

In 1854 there is another access of fever, but in that very year the Central 
Railroad is brought to Augusta and the city limits largely extended, as if noth- 
ing were further from the minds of the people than a cessation of municipal 
growth. Then came on the agony of war, and, after it, the turmoil of recon- 
struction ; but, close upon the heels of these disturbing and discouraging eras, 
the city proceeds to extend its railway system, and enlarge its canal to pro- 
portions greater, in all except length, than the famous Erie Canal. Contem- 
poraneously, the city limits are extended more widely than ever before. 
Lastly, within two years of this writing, the city is visited in 1886 by a terrific 
shock of earthquake and almost to a day two years later, by a flood which 
throws even the far-famed Yazoo freshet far in the shade. And yet what effect 
have these terrific and quick succeeding calamities on Augusta ? With the 
earth trembling beneath their feet, the people of Augusta go on about their 

Intendants and Mayors. 


daily business, stout of heart. The street-cars run, the daily paper comes out, 
the court, the counting-room, the workshop, the factory, the store witness the 
same unabated toil. The motto of Augusta, now as ever, seems to be, "sor- 
row endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." 

Straightway after the freshet, the city looks about it ; seems to say like the 
man in the story, " Well, it was not so much of a shower after all ;" and com- 
posedly goes to work to vote a double tax upon itself, the year 1888 present- 
ing the spectacle of Augusta not only meeting its usual annual tax, but an 
additional tax equal to that of two ordinary years, making three years taxes in 
one. Such a spectacle of financial fortitude is not often seen. 

Another striking feature in Augusta's history is the unvarying good faith it 
has always exhibited in its monetary transactions. It has never in all its long 
history evaded or repudiated an obligation. Nor in any of its troubles, disas- 
asters and calamities has it ever invoked outside aid. Its own shoulders have 
always borne the burden of the hour. Such a record is honorable to any peo- 
ple, and in closing this sketch of Augusta's history, it can be truly said that 
the city of Augusta has, at all times, and in all circumstances, for a century 
and a half consistently maintained the reputation of an upright, self-respect- 
ing, faith-abiding and courageous municipal commonwealth. It was named 
after the Princess Augusta, one of the daughters of King George the Second, 
and has always been as its name imports, the proud city. 

Intendants and Mayors of Augusta, Ga. 

1798 Thomas Cumming. 

1803-4 John Murray. 

1805 William J. Hobby. 

1806 Thomas Flournoy. 

1807 John B. Barnes. 

1808 John Catlett. 

1818-19 Freeman Walker. 

1819-21 Nicholas Ware. 

1822 Robert Walker. 

1823-4 Robert Raymond Reid. 

1 825-26 William W. Holt. 

1827-36 Samuel Hale. 

1837 John Phinizy. 

1838 Samuel Hale. 

1839 Alfred Cumming. 

1840 Daniel Hook. 

1841 Martin M. Dye. 

1842 Daniel Hook. 

1843-45 Martin M. Dye. 

1846-47 Lewis D. Ford. 

1848 Ignatius P. Garvin. 

1849 James B. Bishop. 

1850-51 Thomas W. Miller. 

1809-1 1 Joseph Hutchinson. 

1812 James S. Walker. 

1813 Seaborn Jones. 

1 814 ... Joseph Hutchinson. 

181 5-16 Walter Leigh. 

1 817 Freeman Walker. 


1852-53 William E. Dearing. 

1854 Abner P . Robertson. 

1855 William E. Dearing. 

1856 George W. Evans. 

1857-58 Benjamin Conlev. 

1859-60 Foster Blodgett. 

1861-65 Robert H. May. 

1866 James T. Gardiner. 

1867 Foster Blodgett (ap- 
pointed by military com- 

1868 Henry F. Russell. 

1869 J. V. H. Allen. 

1 870-7 5 Charles Estes. 

1876-79 John L^. Meyer. 

1880 Robert H. May. 

192 History of Augusta. 



Judicial Establishment of Georgia Under the Trustees — Judicature Court — The Rum Law 
— Law Against Fine Clothes — Free Labor Law — Tenure by Tail Male -Surrender of the Char- 
ter — Judicial Establishment Under the King's Colonial Government — The Royal Governor, the 
Chancellor — Court of Chancery — Fee Bill — "Thirteen Chancellors." 

THE history of the bench and bar of Augusta is indissohibly united with the 
judicial history of Georgia. Some of the ablest lawyers and most cele- 
brated judges in the annals of the State presided and practiced at Augusta; 
for many years here were the headquarters of the Middle Judicial Circuit, in 
which lay the State capital; and the solicitor- general of this circuit was ex- 
officio, the attorney-general of the State, so that for a long course of years Au- 
gusta may be said to have been the legal center of Georgia. To speak of the 
judges and lawyers who in times past have been eminent in the city is to speak 
of the courts in which they presided and of the laws under which they prac- 
ticed, and we will, therefore, in this part of this work, consider first the judicial 
establishment of Georgia as it existed in colonial days ; then of its reorganiz- 
ation under the State government, and lastly of the many learned and brillant 
men who have adorned the legal annals of the city. 

Of the judicial establishment existing in Georgia from the first colonization 
in 1733 until the trustees surrendered their charter to the crown in 1754 we 
have meager information. By the charter it was ordained that the trustees for 
establishing the colony of Georgia in America " shall and may form and pre- 
pare laws, statutes, and ordinances fit and necessary for and concerning the 
government of the said colony, and not repugnant to the laws and statutes of 
England, and the same shall and may present, under their common seal, to us, 
our heirs, and successors in our or their privy council, for our or their appro- 
bation or disallowance ; and the said laws, statutes, and ordinances, being ap- 
proved of by us, our heirs and successors, in our or their privy council, shall, 
from thenceforth, be in full force and virtue within our said province of Geor- 
gia." It was also provided that the trustees "shall have full power and au- 
thority for and during the term of twenty-one years, to commence from the 
date of these our letters patent, to erect and constitute judicatories and courts 
of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of us, our heirs and succes- 
sors, for the hearing and determining of all manner of crimes, offenses, pleas, 
processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes, and things whatsoever arising or 
happening within said province of Georgia, or between persons of Georgia ; 
whether the same be criminal or civil, and whether the said crimes be capital 
or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for 

Bench and Bar. 


awarding and making out executions thereupon ; to which courts and judica- 
tories we do hereby, for us, our heirs and succesors, give and grant full power 
and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths for the discovery of truth 
in any matter in controversy or depending before them, or the solemn affirm- 
ation to any of the persons commonly called Quakers, in such manner as by 
the laws of our realm of England the same may be administered." 

The charter further provided " that all and every the persons which shall 
happen to be born within the said province, and every of their children and 
posterity, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities of free 
denizens and natural born subjects, within any of our dominions, to all intents 
and purposes, as if abiding and born within this our kingdom of Great Britain, 
or any other dominion." 

At that time the law of England held that English colonists carried with 
them the laws of the mother country, the birthright of every subject, meaning 
thereby " so much of the English law as is applicable to their own situation 
and the condition of an English colony;" and that "what shall be admitted 
and what rejected, at what times and under what restrictions must, in case of 
dispute, be decided in the first instance by their own provincial judicature, 
subject to the revision and control of the king in council; the whole of their 
constitution being also liable to be remodeled and reformed by the general 
superintending power of the legislature in the mother country." This view 
was considered particularly applicable to Georgia as we learn from a valuable 
work published in 1783 by Anthony Stokes, for many }'ears royal chief justice 
of that province. 

Under the charter then, and the general law of England, the first settlers 
of Georgia brought with them all the English law applicable to their new situ- 
ation ; and after their arrival were subject to have those laws, and such other 
laws as the trustees nught see fit to enact, if approved by the crown, adminis- 
tered by courts erected b}^ the trustees. The traditional loyalty of English- 
men to the common law seems to have withheld the trustees from much legis- 
lation, and accordingly the records of their judicial establishment are bare and 
jejune. They satisfied themselves with the erection of a few courts and the 
enactment of a very few laws 

The trustees organized under their charter in July, 1732, and in the Au- 
gust following appointed a committee, of which General Oglethorpe was chair- 
man, to propose laws for the benefit of the colony. It does not appear what 
report, if any, was made by this committee, nor is it at all clear but that mere 
by-laws for the management of the board were meant. In November, 1732, a 
court of judicature was established in Savannah, with power to try all causes, 
civil and criminal. At a later date it was provided with a seal, and was con- 
ducted by three judges called bailiffs, who, to ensure greater respect, wore pur- 
ple robes trimmed with fur. Their executive officer was termed constable and, 


194 History of Augusta. 

as has been seen by the charter, they could pass even on capital cases. A like 
court was also established at I'^rederica. In 1744 the method of procedure 
was ordered to be c^ccording to the laws and customs of the realm of England 
and of the laws enacted for the province. The laws enacted by the trustees 
were few in number, and most of them gave rise to great dissatisfaction. One 
absolutely prohibited the drinking of brandy and rum, and ordered all vessels 
containing such liquors to be staved immediately on being brought within the 
colony The settlers vociferously insisted that in that hot and close climate it 
was absolutely necessary to have these beverages for the slacking of their 
parched clay ; but the trustees were inexorable, and repeatedly admonished 
the courts to rigidly enforce the statute. From the number of these instruc- 
tions it may fairly be inferred that the judicial establishment partook of the 
general drought, an inference which becomes almost certainty in view of a cer- 
tain passage in the minutes of a legislative body some years later where it is 
gravely set down that the house adjourned "to take a drink." The traders of 
South Carolina, where no prohibitory legislation prevailed, were quite ready to 
supply all the rum needed, and at one time a serious inter-colonial difficulty 
arose from the officers at Augusta staving a cargo which had just been brought 
into that port. Great was the popular outcry at so heinous a waste of so much 
precious material. From the incident we may gather that there was some sort 
of court at this time at Augusta, also, though no express mention of such a 
tribunal appears. 

Another act of the trustees was leveled at " the use of gold and silver in 
apparel and furniture in Georgia, and for preventing extravagance and luxury." 
The date of this statute was 1737, but four years after the foundation, and the 
law seems to infer either that some wealthy colonists had then come over, or 
that the first settlers had prospered wonderfully. Still another act prohibited 
the purchase or use of negro slaves in the colony. It was supposed that this 
kind of labor would enervate the colonists, and not only render them averse to 
building up the settlement with their own hands, but form an element of dan- 
ger in the infant commonwealth. Here again, the example of South Carolina, 
where slavery obtained, was ever before the Georgians, and rendered them 
grievously discontented with their own less favored status. 

A fourth act, and possibly the most obnoxious of all, was the tenure of lands. 
By the charter the crown had granted the land to the trustees, with power to 
sub-let; and in portioning out the soil, the trustees rigidly insisted on making 
the tenure tail male, that is to a man and his heirs male. The object was the 
same as on the establishment of the feudal system, namely, to have the tenant 
always a man fit for military service. If a settler died, leaving only daughters, 
the land reverted to the trustees, to be regranted to some tenant capable of 
bearing arms. Again and again the colonists petitioned and remonstrated, 
demanding lands in fee simple. For a long time the trustees steadily resisted 

Bench and Bar 195 

the appeals of the settlers on the matter of the tenure of lands, use of negroes, 
and allowance of rum. In 1742 steps were taken to repeal the prohibition act, 
and in the same year Governor Stephens was instructed to examine into and 
report upon the real views of the people as to negro slavery, and how far and 
under what restrictions it might be advisable to rescind the original statute. 
Rum and slavery were finally allowed, and some modifications made in the law 
of entails, and, pleased with these concessions, the colonists went to work and 
soon improved the condition of affairs. The trustees seem not to have taken 
the repeal of their laws so well, and were evidently not ill pleased at the ap- 
proach of the time, when under their charter, the form of government and ap- 
pointment of officers for the colony was to devolve upon the crown. By the 
charter it was provided that the trustees " shall, from time to time, for and 
during and unto the full end and expiration of twenty-one years, to commence 
from the date of these our letters patent, have full power and authority to 
nominate, make, constitute, commission, ordain, and appoint, by such name or 
names, style or styles, as to them shall seem meet and fitting, all and singular 
such governors, judges, magistrates, ministers, and officers, civil and military, 
both by sea and land, within the said districts, as shall by them be thought fit 
and needful to be made or used for the said government of the said colony, 
save always and except such officers only as shall by us, our heirs and succes- 
sors, be from time to time constituted and appointed for the managing, col- 
lecting, and receiving such revenues as shall from time to time arise within 
the said province of Georgia, and become due to us, our heirs and successors;" 
and " from and after the determination of the said term of one and twenty 
years, such form of government and method of making laws, statutes, and ordi- 
nances for the better governing and ordering the said province of Georgia, and 
the inhabitants thereof, shall be established and observed within the same, as 
we, our heirs and successors, shall hereafter ordain and appoint, and shall be 
agreeable to law; and that, from and after the determination of the said term 
of one and twenty years, the governor of our said province of Georgia, and all 
officers, civil and military, within the same, shall, from time to time, be nomi- 
nated and constituted and appointed by us, our heirs and successor^." 

It is not the case, therefore, as is currently supposed, that the trustees vol- 
untarily surrendered their charter, whereby Georgia, from a proprietar}', be- 
came a royal government. The charter having been granted on June 9, 1732, 
by the terms thereof, as just seen, the government of the colony reverted on 
June 9, 1753, to the crown. 

It is true that the trustees did execute a formal written relinquishment and 
surrender of their charter to the crown, but that instrument expressly recites 
that they were to have the government of the colony for twenty-one years and 
no more by the terms of their charter, so that this was not the ground on which 
the surrender was based. The charter gave them seven- eighths of the territory 

196 History of Augusta. 

specified therein, and by indenture of February 28, 1732, from Lord Carteret, 
afterwards Karl Granville, they had previously obtained the other one- eighth. 
There was no provision in tiie charter that the title to the territory owned by 
the trustees sliouUl revert to the crown, and hence an indenture was requisite 
to convey the same. The indenture, therefore, conveys all and singular the 
rights of tile trustees under the charter of whatsoever nature ; and, in particu- 
lar all the territory conveyed them by the crown and by Lord Carteret, " to- 
gether with all the soils, grounds, havens, ports, gulphs and bays, mines, as 
well, royal mines of gold and silver, as other minerals, precious stones, quarries, 
woods, rivers, waters, fishings, as well, royal fishings of whale and sturgeon as 
other fishings, pearls, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, franchises, privileges, 
and pre-eminences, within the said territories and the precincts thereof, and 
thereunto in any sort belonging or appertaining .... subject never- 
theless, and without prejudice to all such grants, leases, contracts, estates, and 
interests, in law or equity as have been heretofore lawfully made or granted by 
the said trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America, or by any 
acting in authority under them in America, and which are now subsisting ac- 
cording to letters patent." 

On the surrender of the charter the Lords Commissioners for Trade and 
Plantations were directed to lay before the privy council a plan for the gov- 
ernment of the colony of Georgia, which they did early in 1754. This plan 
was approved, and by it the government was modeled on that of the other royal 
governments, or king's colonies ; or, as nearly as practicable, on that of the 
home government. The governor represented the king ; there was a colonial 
parliament called the Assembly, consisting of an upper house, representing the 
House of Lords, and a Commons House of Assembly, representing the House 
of Commons ; and a regular judicial establishinent of law, equity, admiralty and 
other courts. The governor was appointed by, and held office at, the pleasure 
of the crown. He was officially styled His Excellency, and was " Captain- 
General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the Province of Georgia, and Chan- 
cellor. Vice Admiral, and Ordinary of the same." He had the power to veto 
all bills ; convene, adjourn, prorogue, and dissolve the Assembly; could appoint 
to fill all vacancies ; paidon all crimes except treason and murder, but could 
reprieve or suspend in the excepted cases until the king's pleasure was known; 
he exercised chancery, probate, and admiralty jurisdiction ; and collated, or 
appointed, to churches all clergymen of the Church of England. The Council, 
or Upper House of Assembly, consisted of twelve " members in ordinary "and 
two " extraordinary members," all appointed by the crown, one of the extra- 
ordinary members being the surveyor-general of the customs and the other the 
superintendent-general of Indian afl'airs. In its legislative capacity the council 
formed one branch of the Assembly and were presided over by the lieutenant- 
governor. In its executive capacity it was the governor's privy council. When 

Bench and Bar 


in legislative session it was governed by the rules of the House of Lords. The 
Commons House of Assembly was composed of members elected from the 
various parishes into which the State was divided. The qualification of an 
elector was fifty acres of land in the parish where he voted ; and of representa- 
tive, five hundred acres of land in any part of the province. The commons 
elected their own speaker, messenger, and doorkeeper, but the governor ap- 
pointed the clerk. They remained in session until adjourned by the governor; 
claimed the exclusive right to originate money bills, and had most of the priv- 
ileges of the British House of Commons ; and, like the Commons, received 
no pay. 

Of the judicial establishment we may speak more at large. As has been 
stated, the royal governor was ex- officio chancellor of the province. He had, 
like his English prototype, the custody of the great seal, and, when sitting as 
chancellor, had the same powers of judicature as the lord high chancellor in 
England. The proceedings in the colonial Chancery were similar to those of 
the High Court of Chancery in England, and the books of practice then used 
in England governed the colonial practice, except in a few instances of local 
import. One notable exception, however, was that the subpoena was made re- 
turnable immediately ; and " in case of a contempt," says Chief Justice Stokes, 
" the plaintiff (when a commission of rebellion is returned non est inventu 5)^^x0- 
ceeds to sequestration, without an order for a sergeant- at arms." In drawing 
a bill in the Georgia Chancery the form was thus : 

" Georgia,. ) To His Excellency, A. B.,Esq., Captain General and Gov- 
"In Chancery. S ernor in Chief in and over his Majesty's province of Georgia, 
and Chancellor, Vice- Admiral, and Ordinary of the same : Humbly com- 
plaining, sheweth unto your Excellency, your Orator &c. &c." 

From the decision of the governor sitting as chancellor, an appeal lay to 
the king in council, in causes where the value of the property in dispute ex- 
ceeded five hundred pounds sterling; but where the matter in question related 
to the taking o'* demanding of any duty payable to the king, or to any fee of 
office, or annual rent, or other such like matter or thing where rights in future 
might be bound, an appeal lay, irrespective of the amount involved. The ap- 
peal was required to be made within fourteen days from the pronouncing of 
the decree ; and the appellant was to give good security that he would effec- . 
tually prosecute his appeal, and also pay such costs and damages as might be 
awarded by the king in case the decree of the chancellor was affirmed. On 
lodgement of the appeal, the prothonotary was to copy out all the proceedings 
in a fair hand on large paper and make affidavit that he had compared the 
copy with the original, and that the same was a true copy. Copy and affidavit 
were then attached together and handed the governor, who affixed the great 
seal thereto, when they were ready for transmission to the crown. One year 
was allowed for the transmission after entrance of appeal. Should the chan- 

198 History of Augusta. 

cellor doubt of his decree he could take such time as he saw proper to deliber- 
ate thereon ; and from any decree rendered, whether interlocutory or final, the 
defendant could appeal, for which reasons a chancery cause of moment in Ge- 
orgia was almost interminable. 

The Court of Chancery had a master ; also an e.xaminer and register ; and 
the fees of these officers, as also those of the chancellor himself are set down in 
an ancient statute. 

The Chancellor's Fees. — Sealing every writ, three shillings and sevenpence; 
signing a decree in chancery, fourteen shillings and twopence ; every order on 
motion or petition, three shillings and sevenpence ; signing and sealing an ex- 
emplification of a decree, fourteen shillings and twopence ; hearing and deter- 
mining every cause, one pound eight shillings and fourpence. 

The Master in Chancery's Fees. — Every summons, one shilling and ten- 
pence halfpenny ; copies of charges and discharges brought before the mas- 
ter, each side containing fifteen lines and six words in a line, fourpence half- 
penny; taking affidavits in writing, if drawn by the master (the oath included),. 
one shilling and tenpence halfpenny; every other oath, ninepence ; taxing a 
bill of costs, two shillings and fivepence; all accounts referred to him for ex- 
amination or settling, to be allowed for at the discretion of the Court of Chan- 
cery; taking a recognizance, three shillings and sevenpence; every day's at- 
tendance upon a final hearing, three shillings and sevenpence. 

Fees of the Examiner and Register in Chancery. — Filing a bill, petition, 
affidavit or other paper, fourpence halfpenny; every writ of subpa'ua, one 
shilling and tenpence ; attending the chancellor or Court of Chancery on the 
hearing a petition or motion, three shillings and sixpence ; attending the chan- 
cellor at his chambers, and for every other necessary attendance, one shilling 
and ninepence; reading every paper, one shilling and ninepence; a writ of 
Ne Exeat Provincia, injunction, or other special writ, ten shillings; every order 
on a petition or motion, two shillings ; entering a rule or order, per copy sheet, 
fourpence halfpenny; every search, eightpence; copy of an order, bill, an- 
swer, or other paper, per copy sheet, fourpence halfpenny ; every rule, two 
shillings; taking depositions of a witness, per copy sheet, sixpence halfpenny; 
copying such depositions, per copy sheet, fourpence halfpenny; setting down 
a cause or demurrer for hearing, one shilling and one penny; attending at 
the hearing a cause or pronouncing a decree each day, three shillings; enter- 
ing a motion, one shilling and one penny; entering the minutes of a decree, 
each copy sheet, fourpence halfpenny ; drawing a decree, each copy sheet, 
fourpence halfpenny; every attachment, one shilling and tenpence; entering 
an appearance, each defendant, two shillings. 

In his famous work on "Equity Jurisprudence," Mr. Justice Story says that 
"in many of the colonies, during their connection with Great Britain, equity 
jurisprudence had either no existence at all, or a very imperfect and irregular 

Bench and Bar. i^^ 

administration ; " but, however this may have been in the other provinces, what 
has been said is sufficient to show that the Court of Chancery had a very early 
existence and complete operation in Georgia. 

The Chancery Bar was a recognized institution, and we find in an old court 
roll the names of the following as solicitors in the Chancery before the Revo- 
lution : Robert Hamilton, James Roberts, Thomas Ross, William McKenzie 
John Houstoun, and George Walton. Both of the latter rose in time to be gov- 
ernor of Georgia as a State, and Mr. Walton was for years judge of the Supe- 
rior Court of Augusta. That the Chancery Bar was in active practice, appears 
from their fee bill, yet extant. 

Fees of the Solicitors in Chancery. — A retaining fee, fourteen shillings and 
twopence ; every attendance at court when any business is done, three shil- 
lings ; court fee at hearing the cause, seven shillings and one penny; drawing 
every bill, answer, plea, demurrer, replication or other paper, each copy sheet, 
sixpence halfpenny; fair copy and engrossing same, per copy sheet, each copy 
sheet containing ninety words, fourpence halfpenny; signing thereof, three 
shillings and sevenpence ; every motion in court or defending same, three shil- 
lings and sixpence ; a brief or abstract of the proceedings, each copy sheet of 
such proceedings, fourpence halfpenny ; every brief on hearing the cause, or 
arguing demurrer or exceptions, fourteen shillings and twopence ; drawing a 
bill of costs and attending taxation thereof, two shillings and fivepence ; copy 
of the same and notice, one shilling and threepence ; attending the master on 
any reference to him by order of the court, three shillings and sevenpence ; 
drawing every decree, each copy sheet, ninepence. 

It may here be remarked that the colonial Court of Chancery obtained its 
highest degree of excellence while Sir James Wright was governor, and ex- 
officio, chancellor. During the administration of this able man, the colony in- 
creased rapidly in wealth and population, it being recorded that he found an ex- 
port trade of ;^3o,ooo per annum, and left one of i;200,ooo. Governor Wright 
had been bred a lawyer, and was at the time of his appointment in practice in 
Charleston, S. C, and from this training and experience made an excellent 
chancellor. Chief Justice Stokes, who had considerable experience in a number 
of the colonies, having from time to time held judicial appointments therein, 
speaks very highly of Governor Wright's legal abilities, and contrasts the rep- 
utation made by the Georgia Court of Chancery with the chancery in other 
colonies, particularly in South Carolina, quite unfavorably to the latter. He 
states that one governor of South Carolina was inadvertently drawn in to ap- 
prove a bill which made the twelve councillors judges of the Court of Chan- 
cery, so that the spectacle was presented of thirteen chancellors in a row. 
Justice Stokes states that this was the rule in Barbadoes, Antigua and Mont- 
serrat, and that in its operation it caused great inconveniences. It led to de- 
lays, because it was necessary to call on the council from difterent parts of the 

200 History of Augusta. 

province at every cause; it led to hasty judgments, as in difficult matters, the 
temptation was to decide off-hand, lest by consideration another meeting 
would become necessary; and, lastly, it lowered tbe tone of the court by di- 
viding the responsibility of the decree. " A chancellor," says he, " when he 
sits alone (be his disposition what it may), will hardly venture to commit any 
flagrant acts of injustice. Jkit when a dozen councillors are placed on the 
bench with him, defendit numerus ; and, if they are inclined to do mischief, 
they keep each other in countenance, and there are thirteen to divide the cen- 
sure amongst them." 

This ill opinion of thirteen chancellers survived in Georgia long after Chief 
Justice Stokes had been relegated back to his royal master, and it was only by 
a sort of tacit connivance, finally ripening by usage into a rule, that it became 
established in Georgia as a State. In 1847 the judge of Muscogee Superior 
Court finally decided an equity cause without the intervention of a jury, and 
his right so to do was the question before the Supreme Court. That tribunal 
decided for the thirteen chancellors, saying " it was at one time a question in 
Georgia whether a jury was at all necessary in trials in equity. That is to say, 
whether the act of 1799, conferring chancery powers on the superior courts, 
did not clothe the judge with the powers of a chancellor in England. I advert 
to this not for the purpose of discussing the question, but of saying that such 
a doubt no longer exists — that the usage of the Superior Courts for a long 
series of years has been to submit the facts in all trials in equity to a jury, and 
that this usage has been sanctioned by repeated acts of the Legislature recog- 
nizing it. I have no doubt that it had its origin in quite sufficient authority of 
law. In Georgia the judge and the jury constitute the chancellor." — 3 Geor- 
gia Reports, 163—4. 



Common Law Courts— The Chief Justice of Georgia — Grover, Simpson and Stokes, Chief 
Justices — Commission — Fees — The General Court— Origin of Superior Court — Judges — Attor- 
ney-General — Provost Marshal — Clerk of the Crown — Court of Ordinary — Couri of Conscience 
— Justices of the Peace — Early J. P's. in Augusta— Oyer and Terminer — Court of Admiralty 
— -Appeals — Court of Errors — Writ of Error — Appeal to the King — The Colonial Bar — Pomp, 
Form and Circumstance — Robes, Seals and Precedence. 

THE common law courts under the royal establishment were divided into 
superior and inferior, all under the superintcndency of a chief justice. 
The first of these functionaries was William Grover, commissioned April 13, 
1759, under the administration of Governor Ellis, and removed by Governor 
Sir James Wright, on November 5, 1762, for conduct unbecoming a- judicial 

Bench and Bar. 201 

officer. The second chief justice was Wilham Simpson, appointed December 
15, 1766, but of whose career we have no information. The third and last of 
the royal chief justices was Anthony Stokes, who held from September i, 1769, 
until the independence of the United States was recognized in 1783. Chief 
Justice Stokes was an English barrister, and in 1762 left Westminster Hall to 
practice in the West India colonies of Antigua and the Leeward Isles. Here 
he seems to have obtained prominence, and from his familiarity with provincial 
jurisprudence was appointed in 1769 to be his majesty's chief justice of Geor- 
gia. In this position he acted acceptably, and much to the improvement of 
the jurisprudence of the colony, till Savannah was taken by the American 
forces at the outbreak of the Revolution, and Governor Wright and Chief 
Justice Stokes both made prisoners. The governor effected his escape to a 
British man-of-war, but the chief justice remained a prisoner for some weeks, 
and was finally exchanged, with liberty to leave the country. He returned to 
England and there set about the preparation of a work on the political and 
legal institutions of the American and West India colonies, but while so en- 
gaged, Savannah was retaken by the British in 1778, and the justice re- 
ceived the royal mandate to return to Georgia, and there resume his functions. 
He set out accordingly in a king's ship, which had not voyaged far before it 
was attacked by a French cruiser, and in the engagement so much damaged 
that it became neccsssary for her to return to England to refit. Starting on a 
second voyage, Justice Stokes reached Georgia in safety in 1779, and there re- 
mained till May, 1783, when he again went back to England on the conclusion 
of the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States. During 
the siege of Savannah by the allied French and American forces, the quarters 
of the chief justice were burned by a shell, and many of his papers destroyed by 
the conflagration, so that, as he tells us, in his work "A View of the constitution 
of the British Colonies in North America and the West Indies," published in 
London in 1783, much of the material he had prepared perished, but his book 
is esteemed valuable for all that, in giving us an insight into the Colonial estab- 
lishments, particularly as to the judiciary. The chapters on the admiralty 
practice are specially valuable, and have been cited as authority by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States. As a lawyer. Chief Justice Stokes was 
well grounded in his profession, and as a judge sought diligently to do justice. 
There can be no question but that he rendered a service to the jurisprudence 
of Georgia which has never been acknowledged or appreciated. The manner 
of the appointment of a chief justice in those days of form and ceremony, was 
by the issuance to the appointee of a warrant under the royal sign manual, 
whereupon the governor of the colony issued him a commission in the form of 
letters patent. The warrant and letters read as follows : 

"George R. Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we 
have taken into our royal consideration the loyalty, integrity and ability of 


202 History of Augusta. 

our trusty and well-beloved A. B., Esq.; we have thought fit hereby to author- 
ize and require you forthwith to cause letters patent to be passed under the 

seal of our province of .constituting and appointing him, the said A. B,, 

to be our chief justice of, and in our said Province, in the room of L. M., Esq., 
deceased : To Have, Hold, Execute and Enjoy the said office unto him the 
said A. B., for and during our pleasure, and his residence within our said prov- 
ince, together with all and singular the rights, profits, privileges and emolu- 
ments unto the said place belonging, in the most full and ample manner, with 
full power and authority to hold the Supreme Courts of Judicature, at such 
places and times as the same may and ought to be held within our said Prov- 
ince : and for so doing, this shall be your warrant : and So we bid you fare- 
well. Given at our Court at St. James the. . . .day of. ... 17. . .in the 

year of our reign. By His Majesty's Command." 

This warrant being received by the governor, he issued letters patent ac- 
cordingly : 

" George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ire- 
land, King, defender of the faith, &c., to all to whom these presents shall come, 
greeting: Know ye that we, taking into our royal consideration the loyalty, 
integrity and ability of our trusty and well-beloved A. B., Esq., have consti- 
tuted and appointed him the said A. B. our chief justice of and in our province 

of in America, in the room ol L. M., Esq., deceased, to have, hold, 

exectite, and enjoy the said office unto him the said A. B., for and during our 
pleasure, and his residence within our said province, together with all and sin- 
gular the rights, profits, privileges, and emoluments unto the said place belong- 
ing, in the most full and ample manner, with full power and authority to hold 
the Supreme Courts of Judicature at such place, and times as the same may 
and ought to be held within our said Province. In witness whereof we have 
caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness, His Excellency D. E., 
Esq., our captain general and governor in chief in and over our said Province 

of at the day of in the year of our 

reign. D. E. 

*' By his Majesty's Warrant, under his r Great 

royal sign manual and signet, dated at | Seal 

his court of St. James the . . day of . . "^ of the )> 

17.. in the .. year of his reign." j l^ro^ince | 

The emoluments of the royal chief justice were by no means inconsidera- 
ble, consisting of a salary of ^500 from the crown, and fees for almost every 
judicial act. The fee bill is of interest as manifesting the then practice of the 
law courts. 

The Chief Justices' F"ees. — For every writ of habeas corpus, two shillings 
and sixpence ; every other writ or process, original, judicial, or mesne, and 

Bench and Bar. 203. 

■every other writ or process whatsoever in a civil or criminal case, one shilling 
and tenpence halfpenny; every summons at chambers, one shilling; every 
order or rule, whether at chambers or at court, sixpence ; every recognizance 
taken before him in a civil or criminal case, three shillings and sixpence ; every 
warrant by him, two shillings and tenpence; every mittimus by him, one shil- 
ling and tenpence; every affidavit in writing taken before him, one shilling and 
fivepence ; administering an oath in court or at chambers, ninepence ; every 
deposition taken before him to send out of the province, one shilling ; every 
copy of a record under the seal ©f the court to send out of the province, two 
shillings and sixpence ; every other exemplification under the seal of the court 
and for signing the testimonial thereof, five shillings and fivepence ; taking 
acknowledgment of satisfaction, ninepence ; judge's books on an issue of law 
or fact in a civil or criminal case, three shillings and sevenpence; taxing a bill 
of costs in a civil or criminal case, two shillings and fivepence ; drawing a 
special jury, five shillings and ninepence; drawing a special jury at a special 
court, five shillings and ninepence; every special court and attendance thereon» 
fourteen shillings and twopence ; the admission of an attorney, two pounds, 
seventeen shillings and sixpence; every judgment confessed out of court, six 
shillings ; taking the private examination of a feme-covert and signing the tes- 
timonial thereof, seven shillings and one penny ; cross-examination of any 
witness out of court, three shillings and sevenpence ; every attachment for a 
contempt and seal of court, seven shillings and one penny ; every judgment in 
-a civil or criminal case, one shilling and tenpence halfpenny ; every motion in 
arrest of judgment or demurrer in law on special verdict, or for a new trial in 
a civil or criminal case, one shilling; hearing every motion, six shillings and 
a penny ; every indictment found, three shillings and sevenpence ; the exam- 
ination of a person committed for a contempt of court, ten shillings and nine- 
pence ; the admission of a guardian to prosecute or defend a cause for a per- 
son under age, two shillings ; entering an action in the judge's book that is to 
be tried by a jury, one shilling ; receiving a private verdict, one shilling and 
sixpence ; for allowance of a writ of error, three shillings and sevenpence ; re- 
turning a writ of error, one shilling and tenpence halfpenny ; for the trial or 
hearing of any cause whether civil or criminal or writ of enquiry, three shil- 
lings and sevenpence ; discontinuing of any action, one shilling ; prohibition 
granted, four shillings and ninepence ; a dedimiis potestateni, seven shillings 
and one penny ; marking the roll that a writ of error is allowed, one shilling ; 
transcript of the record, examined by the judge to be annexed to a writ of 
error, three shillings and sevenpence ; return oi certiorari in a civil or criminal 
case, two shillings ; allowance of a writ of audita qtierela, three shillings and 
sevenpence; every appeal to the General Court Trom an order or adjudication 
of any justice or justices of the peace, one shilling; for every capias against 
defauting jurors, one shilling. 

204 History of Augusta. 

The distribution of the law courts was as follows : The chief court of law 
was termed the General Court, sometimes the General Court of Pleas, and, in 
time, was commonly known as the Superior Court, to distinguish it from infe- 
rior judicatories. It had all the powers of the King's Bench, Common Pleas, 
and Exchequer, and is. therefore, the lineal progenitor, in name and common 
law jurisdiction of the present Superior Court of Georgia, the highest tribunal 
of original jurisdiction in the State. This court was held by the chief justice 
and two assistant judges, but any one of themvvas competent to try causes. 
The letters patent creating this tribunal will be of interest : 
" Georgia. 

" George the Second, by the grace of GOD, of Great Britain, France, and 
Ireland, King, Defender of the faith, and so forth : To all to whom these pres- 
ent letters shall come, greeting: Know ye that we, tendering the state and 
condition of our province of Georgia, and being willing and desirous that jus- 
tice be duly and regularly administered therein, have thought fit to erect and 
constitute and by these presents do erect and constitute a Court of Record, by 
the name and style of the General Court to be holden yearly at Savannah, 
within our said Province on the second Tuesday in January, the second Tues- 
day in April, the second Tuesday in July, and the second Tuesday in October* 
before our trusty and well beloved Noble Jones and Jonathan Bryan, Esquires, 
or one of them, whom we hereby appoint our justices thereof, during our 
pleasure, and others our justices appointed for the time being. And we do 
hereby give and grant unto the said Noble Jones and Jonathan Bryan, and 
each of them, and all others our justices of the said General Court, for the 
time being, full power, jurisdiction, and authority to enquire by the oaths of 
good and lawful men of the province aforesaid, and by other ways and means 
by which the truth of the matter may be better known and enquired into, of all 
treasons, felonies, and other crimes and criminal offences whatsoever, done or 
committed within our said Province by any persons whomsoever, and the same 
to hear and determine according to the laws and customs of our said Province, 
saving to us and our successors all fines, forfeitures and amerciaments, and all 
other things to us on account thereof belonging and appertaining. And, fur- 
ther, we give and grant to the said Noble Jones and Jonathan Bryan, and each 
other, our justices of our said General Court for the time being, full power, 
jurisdiction, and authority to hold pleas in any and all manner of causes, 
suits, and actions whatsoever, as well criminal as civil, real, personal, and mixed, 
arising, happening, or being within our said province where the sum or thing 
demanded shall exceed the value of forty shillings sterling, except only where 
the title to any freehold shall come in question, and to proceed in such pleas, 
suits, and actions, by such ways, means, and process, as may with the greatest 
safety, dispatch, and justice, bring the same to a final determination and also to 
hear and determine all such pleas, suits, and actions, and judgment thereupoa 

Bench and Bar. 


to give, and execution thereof to award and issue, and this as fully and amply 
as can or may be done by our Court of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Ex- 
chequer in England, doing therein what of right and justice ought to be done. 
In testimony whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent^^nd 
the seal of our said province to be affixed thereto. Witness our worthy and 
well beloved John Reynolds, Esq., captain-general and governor-in-chief, in 
and over our said province of Georgia, the twelfth day of December in the 
twenty-eighth year of our reign. J. REYNOLDS. 

" By his Excellency's command, 
"James Habersham, 

" Secretary. [Great Seal of Georgia.] " 

Judge Jones was in some sort a provincial Lord Mansfield, having, like the 
great English jurist, been a soldier in his earlier days. He came into the col- 
ony with Oglethorpe as an officer of marines, and did some valorous fighting" 
in the war with the Spaniards at Bloody Marsh and the attack on St. Simons. 
Later he was made commander of the colony militia, and still later was com- 
missioned colonel of the regiment raised for defense of the province. In 1751 
he was made register, or, as we would say, chief of the land office ; and two 
years after was a member of the proprietary governor's council. In 1754 he 
became a king's councillor and so remained till raised to the bench in 1759. 
Judge Jones died at an advanced age just at the outbreak of the Revolution. 

Jonathan Bryan, the other assistant judge, was born in South Carolina in 
1708. In 1752 he settled in Georgia, and on the establishment of the king's 
government was raised to the bench. Unlike his associate Judge Jones, who- 
was an unswerving loyalist to the last, Judge Bryan was the first man in Geor- 
gia to fall under the royal ban in the Revolutionary struggle. He presided 
over a meeting called in Savannah in 1775 to denounce the action of the crown 
in seeking to oppress America, and when Sir James Wright called his council 
together and a motion was made to expel the judge for disloyalty, he at once 
handed in his resignation as councillor. The king, highly incensed, removed 
him from the bench ; and, after the fall of Savannah Judge Bryan was taken 
prisoner by the British and sent prisoner to New York. Having been ex- 
changed he returned to Georgia and at a subsequent period, though then eighty 
years old, fought under General Wayne, closing his life as his associate had be- 
gun it, in the tented field. 

The practice in the General Court was, for the most part, similar to that in 
the English courts of law. The action was commenced by suing out a writ, 
which was made returnable on a day certain, and after the return of the writ, 
the plaintiff filed his declaration ; all original writs issued out of the General 
Court (except audita querela, which issued out of the chancery) and were tested 
in the name of the chief justice. No real actions were used except actions for 
dower ; titles to land being tried by ejectment, trespass, or replevin. The 

2o6 History of Augusta. 

practice in criminal cases was also similar to that in the English courts, but no 
instance of outlawry was ever known. 

The General Court was attended by the attorney- general, and had for its 
executive officer a provost- marshal, who discharged the duties of sheriff. It 
had also a " Clerk of the General Court," on the civil side of the court, and 
a "Clerk of the Crown and Peace" on the criminal side. There was also a 
crier. Fee bills were provided for all these functionaries. Among other items 
the attorney-general received fourteen shillings on each true bill ; seven shil- 
lings and a penny for each brief; and the same for each opinion on matters 
submitted by the governor. The clerk of the crown had ninepence for every 
indictment, and sixpence for every cause entered on the trial book ; swearing 
the grand jury, each juror fourpence halfpenny; arraignment, two shillings 
and tenpence, and sentence same. The clerk of the General Court had nine- 
pence for each writ; swearing jury, four shillings and threepence; entering ver- 
dict, tenpence. The provost-marshal had three pounds for swearing jury ; 
mileage twopence one farthing ; dieting white prisoners, tenpence ; negroes, 
sixpence three farthings; executing a criminal, fourteen shillings and twopence; 
levy, eight shillings and sixpence; executing bench warrant, three shillings 
and sevenpence. The crier had sixpence for each cause, and every attorney 
was bound to give him a shilling at the end of each term of court. 

Next is the Court of Ordinary. The royal governor was, as has been seen, 
ordinary of the province, and had the exclusive power of granting probate of 
wills and administration of intestate estates. The governor not infrequently 
appointed a deputy to attend to these matters, and the procedure was this : 
the executor producing the will to the ordinary made oath that it was the last 
will and testament of deceased, and that he would truly administer the estate 
and pay debts and legacies. Appraisers were then appointed on the estate, 
and their report filed in the office of the secretary of the province. No letters 
of administration were granted until a citation had been issued and read in the 
church by the minister during the time of divine service on the Sunday before 
letters were granted; the administrator was then sworn and appraisement of the 
estate had as in the case of executors. Some of the fees in the Court of Or- 
dinary were: Marriage license, fourteen shillings and twopence; letters of ad- 
ministration, if under fifteen pounds, three shillings and sixpence ; if over, 
double; probate of will, three shillings and sixpence; letters of guardianship, 
seven shillings and a penny; letters dismissory, same; litigated cause, fourteen 
shillings and twopence. 

There were also Justice Courts, and it may be here noted that as early as 
1773 we see the original of the Georgia Militia District, which is now synony- 
mous with the territorial jurisdiction of a Justice Court. An act of that year 
provides that the officers of each regiment are "to fix and ascertain the dis- 
tricts or bounds of every company." 

Bench and Bar. 207 

The provincial Justice Courts had jurisdiction in actions on contracts, or 
for damages, up to eight pounds sterHng. If the debt or damages claimed 
were under forty shillings two justices and three jury men were required to sit; 
if over that amount, two justices and a jury of twelve. Where the debt or 
damages were under forty shillings there was no appeal from the judgment ; if 
over that amount an appeal might be taken to the General Court. These 
courts were not officially styled Justice Courts, but Courts of Conscience, but 
the popular designation was Inferior Courts, just as the General Court came to 
be known as the Superior Court, whence those names have been transplanted 
into the present judicial nomenclature of Georgia. The jurisdiction of the In- 
ferior Court was limited to the parish where thinly peopled, or to the subor- 
dinate divisions or districts of the parish where more thickly settled. They 
disposed of a great deal of business, having in addition to their civil jurisdiction 
authority as courts of inquiry in criminal matters. Some of the items of the 
justices fee bill illustrate the practice: For a warrant and oath in criminal case, 
one shilling and fivepence ; recognizance, same ; commitment, ninepence; war- 
rant in civil cases, one shilling ; examining witnesses and hearing and deter- 
mining a cause, one shilling and fivepence ; " a hue and cry, one shilling and 
tenpence halfpenny." 

The Inferior Courts had a constable, who performed duties analogous to 
the officer of the same name of the present day, and had among his fees the 
following : Serving warrant, one shilling ; poundage, threepence in the pound 
on all levies ; search warrant, two shillings and tenpence ; " carrying on an hue 
and cry, five shillings and fourpence." 

Early in the history of Augusta we find James Fraser acting as justice in 
this city, though under the title of Conservator of the Peace, in which office he 
was assisted b)^ three freeholders. Under the royal establishment the justices 
were more numerous. St. Paul's is reported as one of the most populous par- 
ishes and had quite a number of justices, among others John Oliver, William 
Harding, James Marshall, James McFarland, and James Seymour. The office 
seems to have been one of dignity and importance ; and Button Gwinnett, 
afterwards governor of Georgia, appears in the commission at one time for the 
parish of St. John. There was also a coroner, and this officer and the local 
justices were the jury commissioners for all courts held in their respective jur- 
isdictions. In addition to all these courts, special terms of the General Courts 
were not infrequently held for the expediting of civil business, the court being- 
then termed Courts of Common Pleas, and Courts of Oyer and Terminer were 
held for the trial of criminal causes. Special taxes were imposed to meet the 
expenses of these latter tribunals, and among the collectors of this tax at vari- 
ous periods in Augusta were tlie following : John Rae, Martin Campbell, Pat- 
rick Brown, David Douglass, Daniel Clarke, Lachlin McGillivray, John Will- 
iams, William Sluthers, Dugald Campbell, John Fitch, Robert Germany, Dr. 

2o8 History of Augusta. 

William Day, John Pettigrew, and John Walton. Tlie expenses of the Court 
of Oyer and Terminer were ;i^ii5 for 1757; for 1758, iJ'iSS; and for 1760 the 
same. In this latter year James DeVeaux was senior judge of the court. In 
1768 the expenses were ^^190. 

There was also a Court of Admiralty, whereof the governor was judge. We 
have already seen that, among other attributes, he was vice-admiral of the 
province. The jurisdiction of this court was quite extensive, and in the sepa- 
rate commission which the governor received as vice-admiral its main features 
were set out. The commission declared the governor " our vice-admiral, com- 
missary and deputy in the office of vice-admiralty in our Province of Georgia," 
and empowered him to take cognizance of all maritime causes, of wrecks, pi- 
rates, marine forfeitures, " flotson, jetson, lagon," derelict, anchorage, lastage, 
ballast, " fishes royal, namely, sturgeons, whales, porpoises, dolphins, kiggs, 
and grampusses, and generally of all other fishes whatsoever, which are of a 
great or very large bulk or fatness ; " to preserve the rivers and ports of proper 
depth ; to reform nets too close, and abate all unlawful engines for the catch- 
ing offish ; to enforce the trade and revenue acts for the colonies; and deter- 
mine all matters of prize. 

The Court of Vice-Admiralty had exclusive jurisdiction of all maritime 
cause and matters of prize, and concurrent jurisdiction with the General Court 
in cases of forfeitures and penalties for breach of any act of parliament relating 
to the trade and revenue of the British colonies in America, the informer hav- 
ing the option of filing his information in either court. The Vice- Admiralty 
was fully organized with an advocate general, the attorney general acting as 
such, proctors, a register, and marshal. As judge of the Admiralty the gov- 
ernor, or his deput}', he ordinarily appointing one, had, among other fees, for 
admitting a libel, three shillings and sevenpence ; citation, one shilling and 
tenpence ; hearing the cause, fourteen shillings and twopence; interlocutory 
decree, seven shillings and a penny; definitive sentence, fourteen shillings and 
twopence; issuing letters of marque, two pounds and two shillings. The ad- 
vocate-general had, retainer, fourteen shillings and twopence ; arguing point 
of law, seven shilhngs and one penny; brief, three shillings and seven pence; 
court fee in each cause, seven shillings and one penny. The proctors had same 
fees as the advocate- general. The register had, for each warrant, one shilling 
and tenpence; citation, ninepence ; decrees, fourpence halfpenny per sheet; 
services on letters of marque, four shillings and threepence. When pirates 
were tried he had, for reading the commission of piracy, one shilling and one 
penny halfpenny; accusation, ninepence; sentence, one shilling and tenpence 
halfpenny. The marshal had five shillings and ninepence per day for keeping 
a ship, and tenpence halfpenny for a person, with same for supplying him with 
one pound of flesh and two pounds of bread ; hanging pirate, fourteen shill- 
ings and twopence. 

Bench and Bar. 


A system of appeals in civil causes was provided for all these tribunals. 
The appeal from the decrees of the governor sitting in chancery has already 
been mentioned. It lay from the chancellor to the king, where the amount 
involved was over iJ^500. The appeal from the Inferior or Justice Courts to the 
General Court has also been mentioned, as lying when the debt or damage in 
question was over forty shillings. 

An appeal lay from the General Court to the governor and council, sitting 
as a Court of Error, in any cause where the sum involved exceeded .;^300, or 
where any duty payable to the crown or any fee of office, annual rent, or other 
such matter which might determine rights in future, was involved. The ap- 
pellant was to enter his appeal in fourteen days after rendition of the judgment 
complained of, and give good security for prosecuting his appeal effectually 
and payment of the eventual condemnation money and all costs and damages 
assessed against him by the appellate court. On this being done, the governor 
issued a writ of error to the General Court, the form whereof was as follows : 
" Georgia : 

" George the Third, by the grace of GoD, of Great Britain, France, and 
Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth : To our trusty and well 
beloved Anthony Stokes, Barrister at Law, our Chief Justice of our Province 
of Georgia, Greeting, Whereas by our fifty-second instruction to our Governor 
and Commander-in-Chief of our said Province or Colony of Georgia, we have 
thought fit to authorize him, or the commander-in-chief of our said Province 
for the time being, to permit and allow appeals from any of the Courts of 
Common Law. in our said Colony, and to issue a writ for that purpose return- 
able before him, and the Council of our said Colony ; provided that in all such 
appeals the value exceeds the sum of three hundred pounds sterling, and that 
security be first duly given by the Appellant, to answer such charges as shall 
be awarded m case the first sentence be affirmed, as in the said in part re- 
cited instruction is more fully contained. And Whereas Richard Roe, of our 
said Province of Georgia, Esquire, hath by his petition alleged that in the rec- 
ord and process, and also in the giving of judgment of the Plaint, which was- 
in our General Court of our said Province of Georgia, before you the said An- 
thony Stokes, our Chief Justice of our said Province of Georgia, and your fel- 
lows, our Justices of our said General Court, by our writ, between John Doe 
(on the demise of Matthew Stiles) and the aforesaid Richard Roe, of a certain 
trespass and ejectment of farm, manifest error hath intervened to the great 
damage of him the said Richard Roe, as we from his complaint are informed. 
And whereas by the affidavit of the said Richard Roe made before you, our 
said Chief Justice, it is alleged that the premises mentioned in the declaration 
filed in the cause aforesaid, with the improvements, are worth five hundred 
pounds, lawful money of our said Province: We, therefore, being willing that 
the error, if any there be, should be corrected in due manner, and that full and 

2 10 History of Au(;usta. 

speedy justice should be done to the parties in this behalf, do command j^ou 
that, if judgment thereof be given, then (on the said Richard Roe's giving 
before you such security as by our said in part recited instruction is directed) 
the record and process of the plaint aforesaid, with all things concerning them, 
to his Excellency, our trusty and well beloved Sir James Wright, Baronet, our 
Captain, General and Governor- in- Chief in and over our said Province of 
Georgia, and Chancellor, Vice-Admiral, and" Ordinary of the same; and the 
Honorable Council of our said Province, under your seal, to wit: on the .... 

day of next ensuing, distinctly and openly you send, and this writ ; 

that the record and process aforesaid being inspected, our said Governor, with 
the assent of our said Council, may further cause to be done therein for cor- 
recting that error what of right and according to the law and custom of P3ng- 
land, in force in our said Province of Georgia, ought to be done. Witness our 
said Governor in -Chief of our said Province, in Council, at Savannah, the .... 
day of in the fifteenth year of our reign. Jas. Wright. 

" By His Excellency's Command, ) C Great Seal ) 

"A. B., Clerk of the Council. ) ( of Georgia ) 

On the return of the writ the cause was heard before the governor and 
council, but no councillor who had presided as judge at the rendering of the 
judgment under review was competent to sit, though allowed to attend and 
give in his reasons for rendering the same. 

From the judgment of the governor and council an appeal lay to the crown, 
if the matter in dispute was ;^500 in value, or touched questions of general 
import as above stated, the royal revenue, office fees, etc. The appeal from 
the Court of Errors to the crown was to be made in fourteen days, and security 
was to be given as before, for the eventual condemnation money, costs, and 
damages. The papers were to be transmitted and the appeal pressed within 
one year from time of entering the same in the Colonial Court. The governor 
and council when sitting on appeals were styled the Court of P>rors. 

In criminal causes there was no writ of error, but the governor could par- 
don all offenses save treason or murder, and in those could reprieve till the 
pleasure of the crown was known. He could also remit all fines imposed for 
misdemeanors, and if the fine was ;^200 or over, his refusal to remit could be 
carried by appeal to the crown. 

From the vice admiralty an appeal lay, of right, to the crown, where the 
sum in question was ;^500 or over; if under that value the defendant had the 
right to petition the crown for leave to appeal ; on which leave, if granted, an 
appeal could be entered on giving the usual security. This given, an order in 
council was made directing the Vice-Admiralty Court to furnish the petitioner 
with a certified transcript of the record of the cause. 

It but remains to speak of the Colonial Bar. The practitioners in the West 
India Islands had a much higher reputation in the profession than those of the 

Bench and Bar. 211 

continental colonies, one reason given being that the sugar planialions of the- 
fornier were enormously valuable, while tiie landed interests of the latter were 
of much less importance. In Georgia the offices of counsel and attorney were 
united, and three classes of lawyers were known, first, those who had beeni 
regularly called to the inns of court in London ; these, on producing certificates^ 
were at once admitted to practice ; secondly, those who had served clerkships- 
in Great Britain, Ireland, or the colonies; and thirdly, those who, through in- 
terest, were admitted to the bar without such preliminary training; these, in' 
the language of the times, being said "to turn lawyers." The practice in 
Georgia was good, so much so that it was complained that the attorneys were 
so busy using what small knowledge they begun with as not to have leisure to 
acquire any more. Chief Justice Stokes inveighs against the haste and care- 
lessness of his bar, and such of the Carolina attorneys as came before him, in- 
stancing in particular that they would annex the several sheets of their inden- 
tures hind side before. This was probably the more distasteful to him, as he 
was himself a barrister, trained to all the nicety of Westminster Hall. The 
attorney's fee bill has these, among other items: Retaining fee, seven shillings- 
and a penny ; warrant of attorney, ninepence ; every attendance necessary in. 
the cause, one shilling and fivepence ; filing writ and signing same, two shill- 
ings and twopence ; copy of writ and notice, one shilling and fivepence ; if 
long and special, three shillings; drawing declaration plea, replication, rejoin- 
der, demurrer, rejoinder in demurrer, or other pleading, two shillings and ten- 
pence ; and, if special, double ; rule to plead, for trial, or other common rule, 
ninepence ; brief, three shillings and sixpence ; court fee, not exceeding twO' 
courts, three shillings and sevenpence ; pleading fee, seven shillings and a 
penny; "the attorney to pay the petit jury in every cause tried or enquiry 
executed, three shillings and sevenpence"; drawing judgment, one shilling 

and tenpence halfpenny; fee on ending cause, same; at which last item 

the client's heart must have leaped with joy, the bill being of formidable length 
and exceedingly "special." 

Such, then was the judicial establishment of Georgia under the colonial 
government. It is readily seen to have been the germ of the existing system. 
Our Superior Courts, Courts of Ordinary, Justice Courts, the old Inferior Court, 
our Georgia Militia District as the basis of the territorial jurisdiction of the 
courts, our system of appeals, are directly descended, name and thing, from 

" , the good old Colony times. 

When we lived under the King." 

The form, and pomp, and style and circumstance of that day were wonder- 
ful. It was the era of huge seals, fine robes and high sounding titles. The- 
Colonial seal was of silver, and had on one side a figure, supposed to represent 
the genius of the Colony, offering a skein of silk to his majesty — it being then 
thought that the province was destined to become a silk raising country — withj 
the inscriptions, Hinc laiidem sperate Coloni (Find ye Colonists, your glory- 

212 History of Augusta. 

here), and Sigi//uni Provincicc nostra: Georgice in America (The seal of our 
Province of Georgia in America). On the obverse were the royal arms and 
the inscription: Georgius II., Dei Gratia Magna' Brittanice Fr. et Hib. Rex 
Fidei Defensor, Bt'unswici et Lunenbergi Dux Saeri Romani Imperii Archi 
Thesaurarius et Elector ; or, George II., by the Grace of God, King of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and 
Luncnberg, of the Holy Roman Empire, Arch-Treasurer and Elector. 

A stand of the colonial colors cost £T)0 sterling ; and the robes and mace 
of Mr. Speaker, with a gown for the clerk of the Commons, cost £iSO. By 
way of comparison it may be here noted that Rev. Mr. Ellington, at this time 
minister of St. Paul's at Augusta, received from the treasury a salary of but 
£\^ per year. 

Rank and precedency were jealously guarded by set rules which have been 
preser\ed and may here be reproduced : 

" Rules of precedency coniparecl and adjusted from the several acts and statutes made and 
provided in England for the settlement of the precedency of men and women in America, by 
Joseph Edmonson Mowbray, Herald." 

Baronets, their wives. 
His Majesty's Attorney-General, his wife. 
Judge of the Admiralty, his wife. 
Secretary of the Province, his wife. 
Members of the Commons House of Assem- 
bly, their wives. 
Mayor, his wife. 
Aldermen, their wives. 

Governor of the Province, his wife. 
Lieutenant-Governor, his wife. 
President of the Council, his wife. 
Members of His Majesty's Council, their wives 
Speaker of the Commons House of Assem- 
bly, his wife. 
Chief Justice, his wife. 
Treasurer, his wife. 
Associate Judges, their wives. 

Beneath all the pomp and circumstance of the colonial establishment lay a 
wise, fairly proportioned and justly distributed form of government, the main 
and substantial features whereof, especially in the judicial department, yet re- 
main. Under that establishment were reared a number of lawyers who, de- 
spite the chief justice's criticism, a criticism possibly tinged with the acerbity 
of the times, well understood the principles of the British constitution and the 
rules of the English common law. Out of their ranks came, as we shall see, 
some of the ablest champions of the cause of independence ; and, when the vic- 
tory was won, the retention by their influence ot the substance of the old judi- 
cial regime, is the best testimony to its inherent worth. 

Bench and Bar 213 



The Judicial Establishment of 1776— Constitution of 1777— The Superior Court— Judi- 
ciary Act of 1778— Reopening of the Courts in 1782— Judiciary Act of 1789— Two Circuits- 
Chief Justice Glen— Judge Few— Chief Justices Glen, Stephens and Wereat— Chief Justice 
George Walton -Chief Justice Osborne— Richmond Superior Court in 1787— Benefit of Clergy 
—Branding and the Pillory— Grand Jury Presentments— Chief Justice Pendleton. 

IN April. 1776, opposition to the royal authority in Georgia had progressed 
so far that the Provincial Congress formed a provisional government for the 
province, until other measures could be concerted. This instrument provided 
for the election of a president and commander- in chief and a council of safety 
of thirteen by the congress, and further directed as follows: 

"That all the laws, whether common or statute, and the Acts of Assembly 
which have formerly been acknowledged to be of force in this Province, and 
which do not interfere with the proceedings of the Continental or our Provin- 
cial Congresses, and also all and singular the resolves and recommendations of 
the said Continental and Provincial Congress, shall be of full force, validity and 
effect until otherwise ordered. 

"That there shall be a Chief Justice and two assistant judges, an attorney- 
general, a provost-marshal and clerk of the Court of Sessions, appointed by 
Ijallot, to serve during the pleasure of the Congress. The Court of Sessions or 
Oyer and Terminer, shall be opened and held on the second Tuesday in June 
and December, and the former rules and methods of proceeding, as nearly as 
may be, shall be observed in regard to summoning of juries, and all other cases 

"That the President and Commander-in-chief with the advice of the Coun- 
cil, shall appoint magistrates to act during pleasure in the several parishes 
throughout this Province, and such magistrates shall conform themselves, as 
nearly as may be, to the old established forms and methods of proceedings." 

Archibald Bullock was elected president of the province and John Glen 
chief justice. By the proceedings of the congress it appears that almost all the 
magistrates in the province had refused to act, "whereby all judicial powers are 
become totally suspended, to the great danger of persons and property"— a 
state of things which evidently led to the judicial reorganization, so to speak, 
embodied in the provisional constitution Under this instrument the affairs of 
the province were administered until on February 5, 1777, a regular State Con- 
stitution was adopted. By this a court to be called the Superior Court, was 
established in each county; it was to consist of the chief justice and three or 
more of the justices resident in the county; it had jurisdiction of all manner 

2 14 History of Augusta. 

of causes, except admiralty; was to sit twice in each year; no cause was to- 
depend therein more than two terms, nor were the costs in any action to ex- 
ceed three pounds. In civil causes, either litigant dissatisfied with the verdict 
of the jury might appeal therefrom in three days to a special jury whose deter- 
mination was final. The special jury was selected as follows: the plaintiff and 
defendant each chose six ; six more names were taken at random out of a box 
provided for that purpose ; the whole eighteen were summoned and ail their 
names put in the box, and the first twelve drawn were the jury. The special 
jury were sworn "to bring in a verdict according to law and the opinion they 
entertain of the evidence, provided it be not repugnant to justice, equity and 
conscience and the rules and regulations contained in the constitution, of which 
they shall judge." The special jury was the old Colonial Court of Errors and 
the King in Council. A register of probates for proving wills and granting let- 
ters of administration was to be appointed by the legislature in each county. 
The Courts of Conscience or Justice Courts, were continued as theretofore 
practiced, but their jurisdiction was extended to ten pounds. Admiralty causes 
were triable in a special court called by the chief justice in the county where 
the same might arise, with an appeal Irom one jury to another as in the Supe- 
rior Court, and an appeal from the special jury to the Continental Congress. 
No person was allowed to plead as attorney unless authorized so to do by the 
Legislature. All civil causes were to be tried in the county of the defend- 
ant's residence, except in cases involving title to land which were triable in the 
county where the land lay. The parishes were formed into counties, the par- 
ish of St. Paul becoming Richmond county, so called after the Duke of Rich- 
mond, a friend of American independence. The Superior Court in Richmond 
was to meet on the fourth Tuesday in March and October. 

In 1778 there was passed " An act for opening and regulating the Superior 
Courts in the several counties of this State, and for the more convenient ad- 
ministration of justice in the same, agreeable to the Constitution thereof," which 
made provision for the Superior Courts of the counties of Chatham, Liberty, 
Effingham, Burke, Richmond, and Wilkes, there being at this time but eight 
counties in the State, to wit: those just named and Camden and Glynn. In 
each county four justices of the peace were named — those for Richmond being 
John Walton, James McFarland, Dionysius Wright, and William Few — and 
these were made " assistant and associate judges," and, with the chief justice 
were to hold the Superior Court, and " have cognizance of all pleas civil and 
criminal, and of all causes of what nature and kind soever, according to the 
custom and usage of courts of law and equity." The jurisdiction of the court 
on the law side extended to all cases where the amount involved was over £ 10, 
or where title to land was involved, or in appeals from the register of probates. 
It is also likely, though not so expressly stated, that it had cognizance of ap- 
peals from the courts of conscience, the constitution of 1777 providing that 

Bench and Bar. 215 

those tribunals should " be continued as heretofore practiced," and there hav- 
ing been an appeal from them to the General Court under the colonial estab- 
lishment in cases involving over forty shillings, as we have seen. The petition 
was to " contain the plaintiff's charge, complaint, allegation, or demand plainly 
and distinctly set forth, and be signed by the party or his attorney." All 
writs were to be tested by the chief justice or senior assistant judge of the 
county, directed to " all and singular the sheriffs of this State," and made re- 
turnable twenty days before the first setting of the court. The writ and a copy 
of the petition were to be served by the sheriff or his deputy on the defendant 
personally, or by leaving the same at his " usual and notorious place of abode," 
twenty days before court. The court was to award judgment according to the 
verdict of the jury, and award execution thereof within ten days thereafter. 
The court fees, or costs, were : to the chief justice, or, in his absence, the 
senior presiding associate, fifteen shillings ; the attorney, one pound ; the clerk 
and sheriff, each, ten shillings. If the execution were levied, the sheriff had : 
levy, ten shillings ; mileage, fourpence a mile ; commissions on sale, five per 
cent; making conveyance, one pound. 

No one was a competent traverse juror unless a freeholder, that is, seized 
in his own right, in fee simple, fee tail, or for life, of fifty acres of land ; or a 
householder, seized, in like manner, of a town lot. No one was a competent 
grand juror unless seized of a like estate of not less than two hundred and fifty 
acres of land, or in the commission of the peace, and the associate justices were 
to annually go over the list of those so qualified and select the " most able and 
•discreet" thereof as grand jurors. A jury box was to be provided with four 
compartments, numbered respectively one, two, three, and four, and the names 
of the grand jurors written on separate pieces of paper, were to be placed in 
No. I, and of the traverse jurors in No. 3. On the last day of the term, in the 
presence of one of the associate judges and the clerk, some indifferent person 
was to draw out of No. i the names of thirty-six persons to serve as grand 
jurors at the next term, the slips to be then deposited in No. 2. Out of No. 
3 were to be drawn thirty-six as petit jurors, the slips, as drawn, to be depos- 
ited in No. 4. When Nos. 2 and 4 were exhausted, the drawing was reversed 
back to Nos. i and 3. The clerk then entered the names on his minutes, and 
the sheriff delivered the jurors a precept ten days before court. From the 
petit jurors the act provided that " a jury shall be balloted and drawn for 
every cause, in like manner as has hitherto been used and accustomed in the 
courts of law in this State." That method no doubt was that of the English 
courts, where the names of the jurors were written on tickets which were then 
put in a box and shaken ; and the twelve first drawn were the jury, unless 
challenged. " Ministers of the several churches, or of any dissenting congre- 
gations, members of the executive council or house of assembly ; sworn attor- 
neys, physicians, surgeons, apothecaries, mad men, idiots, and sick persons," 
were exempt from jury duty. 

2i6 • History of Augusta. 

Where a caveat was filed before the register of probate either party might 
appeal from the determination thereon in four days, whereupon in ten days 
thereafter the associate judges were to meet and pass on the appeal, an appeal 
lying from their judgment to the Superior Court. 

On the criminal side the court had cognizance of all offenses, and in capital 
cases could respite for thirty days after sentence. If the attorney general did 
not attend co prepare and prosecute indictments, the court appointed " any 
barrister or attorney at law, or other fit person," so to do. 

On the equity side of the court it was provided " That where any case 
which may be, or heretofore was cognizable in a court of equity shall happen, 
the same shall be introduced by way of petition to the Superior Court of each 
county, as the case may require, which court is empowered to determine finally 
on all such cases as courts of equity have heretofore usually done." 

In the same year, 1778, it was enacted that "all laws heretofore made in 
the then province, now State, of Georgia, and not repealed, and all the laws of 
England, as well statute as common, and heretofore used and adopted in the 
courts of law of the then province, now State, of Georgia, and which were used 
and of force at the time of the Revolution, shall be of full force, virtue, and 
effect, to all intents and purposes as were heretofore had and used, as the law 
of the land, any law, usage, custom, article, matter or thing at present adopted 
in a change of government to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding, so far 
as the same do not contradict, weaken, hurt, or interfere with the resolves and 
regulations of the honorable the Continental Congress or any resolve or regu- 
lation of this or any former assembly, congress, or convention held in and for 
this State, and in particular the constitution of the same." 

Inter anna cessant leges, however, and the fury of war soon closed the 
courts and silenced the voice of justice until in 1782 the British withdrew from 
the State. In the interim a State and a King's Assembly held alternate sway, 
and as each gained ascendancy, thundered forth acts of attainder against the 
adherents of the other. The State attainted Sir James Wright, Chief Justice 
Stokes, and other loyalists, and confiscated their estates, appointing commis- 
sioners in the several counties to bring such estates to the hammer, the com- 
missioners for Richmond being Robert Walton, Seth John Cuthbert, Benjamin 
Few, William Glascock, John Walton, and William Jackson. The King's As- 
sembly retorted with an act disqualifying from any office under the crown Gov- 
ernor Houstoun, Chief Justice Glen, Seth John Cuthbert, rebel major; William 
Glascock, rebel councillor; Robert Walton, rebel commissioner; Dionysius 
Wright, rebel judge, and many others, kindly offering to rehabilitate them on 
their giving security to be of good behavior, or serving " his majesty as a pri- 
vate soldier for and during the continuance of the present American rebellion ;" 
otherwise, when caught, " to be impressed and carried into his majesty's sea 

Bench and Bar 217 

In 1782, on the cessation of hostilities, the courts were ordered to be opened 
and, in order to simplify the practice, it was enacted "that in all cases whatso- 
ever, demurrers, special pleas in abatement, and all unnecessary prolixity and 
nicety shall as much as possible be discouraged by the several courts within 
this State ; the general issue shall be usually plead, and all matters of fact 
which go to the merits of the dispute, and are for the advancement of justice 
between the parties at variance shall be allowed to be given in evidence under 
the said plea, though not coming within the strict rules of former practice ; and 
in every case it shall be at the discretion of the court to admit parties to avail 
themselves of substantial advantages as w^ell by motion as if the same had been 
brought on by a formal plea." 

From the same act we learn that the courts of conscience held monthly 
sessions with jurisdiction up to forty shillings, and quarterly terms for causes 
of from forty shillings to ten pounds in value. 

In 1789 the State was divided into two judicial districts, called respectively 
the eastern and western, the counties of Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Chatham, 
Effingham, and Burke composing the former; and Washington, Greene, Frank- 
lin, Wilkes, and Richmond, the latter. It was provided that there should be 
two judges of the Superior court, one for each district. This court had juris- 
diction of all pleas, civil and criminal. In equity causes, the court was to have 
all the powers of a court of equity, referring issues of fact to a special jury. 
•Courts called the Inferior County Courts were established in each county, to 
consist of " the first five justices mentioned in the commission of the peace, or 
any three of them;" to hold quarterly sessions; and have jurisdiction of all civil 
causes, not involving title to land, with a right in defendant to remove any 
cause involving fifty pounds or over to the Superior Court, and an appeal thereto 
in all cases of over five pounds. Justice Courts were also established for the 
trial, without a jury, of cases not involving ov^er five pounds, with right of 
appeal to the Inferior Court. No person was allowed to practice law in the 
Superior or Inferior courts, unless so admitted by the Superior Court, after ex- 
amination in open court. This act makes many rules of practice in the several 
courts thereby established, and may be regarded as the original Judiciary Act 
of this State. In 1791, 1792, 1793, 1796, 1797, and 1799 other acts of like 
general tenor were passed, the last named whereof is ordinarily known as the 
Judiciary Act, but the basis of our present judiciary establishment is marked 
out in that of 1789. Having progressed this far, we may compare the Colonial 
with the State establishment. In the colony the royal governor was the 
chancellor, the ordinary, and the judge in admiralty; the General Court was 
the court of common law jurisdition, having the powers of King's Bench, Com- 
mon Pleas, and Exchequer. The Inferior Court was a county court as to its 
quarterly sessions and a Justice Court at its monthly terms. An appeal lay 
from the Inferior Court to the General Court, and from the General Court to 


2i8 History of Augusta. 

the governor and council sitting as a Court of Errors. From the Chancery 
and Admiralty an appeal lay to the crown. 

The present judicial establishment of Georgia is this: Admiralty jurisdic- 
tion is vested in the Federal Courts, pursuant to the Constitution of the United 
States. The powers of the General Court and of the Royal governor as chan- 
cellor are vested in the Superior Court which is King's Bench, Common Pleas, 
Exchequer, and Chancery. The powers of the King's governor as ordinary 
are vested in the Court of Ordinary, the State after first reposing them in a 
register of probates and afterwards in the Inferior Court, finally returning to 
the original name and style. The County Court has a jurisdiction subordinate 
to the Superior Court, and the Justice Courts, still sitting monthly, one less 
than the County Court. From the Court of Ordinary, County Court, and 
Justice Court an appeal lies to the Superior Court, and from that to the Su- 
preme Court, our Court of Errors, The harmony and proportions are essen- 
tially the same, and justify the assertion that Sir James Wright and Chief Jus- 
tice Stokes laid in their time the basis of a legal structure which has stood the 
test of over a hundred years. 

Coming now to Augusta, it must be borne in mind that the county of 
Richmond was originally of great extent, reaching from McBean Creek to 
Little River on the northwest and to the Ogeechee on the southwest, thus 
necessitating a court-house at some central point. At the outbreak of the 
Revolution it was at Brownsborough, but in 1780 was established at Augusta 
for and during the war. In 1784 it was located "at the place where the road 
crosses the Little Kioka Creek, leading to the meeting-house;" and in 1790. by 
the act which cut off Columbia county, was fixed at Augusta, where it has 
since remained. 

Of the judges who have presided and the lawyers who have practiced in 
Richmond county in bygone days, it now remains to speak 

From 1777 until 1790, the Superior Courts were held, as we have seen, in 
each county by the chief justice of the State and the justices of the peace in 
that county as associate or assistant judges. As organized in 177S, the Su- 
perior Court of Richmond county was to be held by John Glen, chief justice, 
and John Walton, James McFarland, Dionysius Wright, and William Few, 
assistant judges, but no record remains of any session. Augusta was the 
scene of sanguinary hostilites for several years succeeding this date, and not 
until late in the year 1782 was the usual course of justice restored and the 
courts reopened. We find that in 1780 William Stephens was chief justice^ 
and in 1781 John Wereat, and that, in 1782, a session of the Superior Court 
of Richmond was held, but it does not appear who was then chief justice. In 
1783 George Walton was chief justice ; after him Henry Osborne ; and in 1789 
Nathaniel Pendleton who appears to have remained such until the above men- 
tioned act of 1789 went into effect, which did away with the system of a chief 

Bench and Bar. 219 

justice and assistant judges presiding in the Superior Courts, and supplied 
their places with one Superior Court judge. From 1790, when this change 
took place, we have a complete court roll of the judges presiding in Augusta; 
but before speaking of them, will give such information as is obtainable in 
reference to the system under the chief justices. John Glen, first chief jus- 
tice of the State, was a resident of Savannah, and early in 1775 was chairman 
of the first Provincial congress called in Georgia to concert measures of union 
with the other colonies in opposition to the crown, and in 1796 judge of the 
Superior Courts of the Eastern Circuit. John Walton was a delegate from 
Richmond to the second provincial congress, and was one of the committee 
appointed by that body to memoralize the royal governor. Sir James Wright, 
in the interests of the liberties of the subject, the memorial stating that the 
objects of the congress were "a reconciliation with our parent State on con- 
stitutional principles, as well as to endeavor to preserve the peace and good 
order of the province." Mr. John Walton was also a delegate to the Conti- 
nental Congress in 1778, and signed the Articles of Confederation. Dionysius 
Wright was a planter in Richmond, and one of the prominent Americans em- 
braced by name in the British Disquahfication Act. William Few, the other 
associate judge with Chief Justice Glen, was long and honorably prominent in 
Georgia affairs. His father was one of the original settlers of Pennsylvania, 
coming over with Penn, and in 1776 the son removed to Georgia, and settled 
at Augusta. Here he at once attained prominence, and was sent as a delegate 
to the convention which framed the State constitution of 1777. In 1778 he 
guarded the western frontier against the Indians, and afterwards became assist- 
ant judge as above stated; in 1780 was sent as one of the delegates from 
Georgia to the Continental Congress, and again in 1782, 1785, 1786, and 1788. 
On the conclusion of peace he began to practice law in Augusta, and in 1787 
was a delegate to the convention framing the Constitution of the United States, 
as also the Georgia Convention which adopted it at Augusta on January 2, 
1788. On the inauguration of the government under the constitution, Mr. 
Few was elected United States senator and served in that body till 1793. In 
1796 he was appointed judge of the Superior Court of the Middle Circuit, 
which included Augusta, and served in that capacity till 1799, when for the 
benefit of his health, he removed to New York. Of that city he was chosen 
mayor, and died there, after a long life of activity and honor, in 1828. 

William Stephens, the second chief justice, was the son of William Stephens, 
who was governor of Georgia in 1743 under the regime of the Trustees, suc- 
ceeding General Oglethorpe in that office. Chief Justice Stephens was clerk 
of the Commons House of Assembly under the royal government, and the 
first attorney-general of the State. From 1796 to 1798 he was judge of the 
Superior Courts of the Eastern Circuit, and afterwards United States district 
judge of Georgia. 

220 History of Augusta. 

Chief Justice John Wereat was the president of the Provincial Congress of 
1776; was Governor in 1778; and president of the convention which ratified 
the Constitution of the United States in 1788. Me was a man of considerable 
financial ability, which proved of great assistance to the State in its struggle; 
and was noted for his kindness to the people about Augusta. The close of 
the Revolution found them distressed, impoverished, and almost starving, and 
to relieve them Governor Wereat put all his boats and slaves at work bring- 
ing provisions up the river and continued the good work until their needs were 

Chief justice George Walton was a central figure in the history of this 
period. He was born in Virginia in 1740, and early developed that tliirst for 
learning which is the precursor of influence and renown. As a lad he was 
apprenticed to a carpenter who thought it extravagance to allow his apprentice 
a candle to read by at night, but the young scholar, gathering lightwood, pur- 
sued his studies by the light of his fire. After his indentures were out he re- 
moved to Georgia, studietl law, and in 1773 was admitted as a solicitor in 
Chancery. At the outbreak of the Revolution he at once took the patriot 
side and labored assiduously to have Georgia unite with her sister colonies in 
opposition to the crown. He was one of the committee to prepare an address 
from Georgia to the other colonies; was president of the Council of Safety, 
and in 1776 was sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress where, on July 
4, he signed the Declaration of Independence, with Lyman Hall and Button 
Gwinnett, on behalf of Georgia. The same year Congress appointed him, 
together with Robert Morris, the celebrated financier of the Revolution, and 
George Clymer, of Pennsylvania, a special committee to attend to certain im- 
portant affairs of the United States at Philadelphia, including the fitting out of 
the Continental frigates. In 1777 Congress again placed him on a special 
committee with instructions to distribute $1,000 in presents to the Indians of 
the Six Nations, and secure their good will to the Continental cause. In 1778 
Mr. Walton was again appointed delegate to Congress, but in the latter part 
of that year returned to Georgia and. in the battle of December 29, at Savan- 
nah, commanded a battalion on the American right. In that disastrous defeat, 
he severely wounded and taken prisoner. In 1779 he was exchanged, 
and on his return elected governor. The next year, the governor then being 
appointed annually, he was again sent as a delegate to Congress. In 1783 he 
was made chief justice of Georgia; in 1787, sent as a delegate to the con- 
vention which framed the Constitution of the United States; and in 1789 was 
again elected governor. On the expiration of this term he was made judge 
of the Superior Courts and presided in Richmond in 1790 and 1791. In 1793 
he was again made judge of the Superior Court, and served as such till sent 
to the United States Senate in 1795. In 1799 he was again made judge of 
the Superior Court and sat therein till his death, at Augusta, February 2, 1801. 

Bench and Bar. 221 

Judge Walton was, indeed, part and parcel of his times, and from his long 
continuance in public life, the high stations he held, and his wide and varied 
experience, it is greatly to be regretted that he did not carry out the purpose 
once entertained by him of writing a history of Georgia. His portrait hangs 
on the wall of the Superior Court room in Augusta, and in front of the court 
house stands a granite obelisk erected in his honor and in commemoration of 
his associates. Button Gwinnett and Lyman Hall, both governors of Georgia 
like himself, in signing the Declaration of Independence. 

Chief Justice Henry Osborne was a resident of Camden, and like Judge 
Walton, took a prominent part in the Revolutionary struggle. In 1788 he 
was member of the convention which ratified the constitution of the United 
States, but principally appears in the history of those times in a judicial capa- 
city. The minutes of Richmond Superior Court in 1787-9 give a lively 
picture of legal procedure in the days of this chief justice. The presiding 
judges were Henry Osborne, chief justice, and Charles Crawford, James Mc- 
Farland, and James McNeil, assistant judges. The grand jury at March term, 
1787. was Samuel Wilson, William Maddox, Archibald Beal, James Sims, 
David Maxwell, Thomas Pace, David Walker, William Jones, Randal Ramsey, 
jr., Thomas Green, jr., Thomas Hanson, William Winingham, Charles Bost- 
wick, Nathaniel Cocke. Henry Turknett, James Stallings, Anthony Haynes,. 
Solomon Ellis, Joseph Thomas, Samuel Alexander, jr., and Stephen Day. 
The charge to the grand jury was delivered by the chief justice, who reminds 
them that the proper administration of the criminal laws depends on their co- 
operation, and invites their attention to the propriety of an amendment of the 
State constitution. The clerk of court was N. Harris, and Mr. Pendleton, an 
attorney, moves a rule against him for neglect of duty in reference to sum- 
moning jurors and entering a certain appeal. It seems the clerk had sent out 
no venire, and it is not till next day that petit jurors could be obtained, when 
James Tinsley, James Cobb, John Pitman, Jacob Bugg, Isham Bailey, Thomas 
Jones. William Hogg. John Lampkin, Job Jackson, Peleg Rogers, Reuben Bar- 
row, and Samuel Langston appeared. On one day of court the assistant judges 
were Charles Crawford, William Glascock, and Thomas Low. Another day 
no chief justice appears, and the court is held by William Glascock, James Mc- 
Niel, John Cobb, and Henry Allison, assistant judges. It seems to have been 
the practice for any of the justices of the peace to come in and sit as assistant 
judges or depart at pleasure, and that the presence of the chief justice was not 
indispensable, provided as many as three judges occupied the bench. The at- 
torneys whose names appear at this period are Nathaniel Pendleton, William 
Stith, Seaborn Jones, William Few, and Abraham Baldwin. A few terms later 
T. P. Carnes, Robert Watkins. P. Carnes, C. Jackson, Dickinson, Sullivan, 
Robert Porter, Huntington, and Williamson appear. Verdicts for consider- 
able amounts were not uncommon, but there was an appeal in almost every 

222 History of Augusta. 

litigated cause. One case will show the practice: plaintiff has a verdict for 
;^28i I IS. 3d. 3f , and Jones, for defendant, moves an appeal; defendant brings 
in his sureties, and the clerk tests the bond. The entire record of the appeal 
is placed on the minutes, but does not exceed ten lines. Many judgments are 
confessed, and appeals dismissed for want of prosecution. Once an appellant 
refuses to prosecute his appeal and pays cost ; Jones, for appellee, objects and 
insists on a trial. Unanimously overruled. The bar moves the court for in- 
structions as to the proper manner of appealing from the Inferior to the Supe- 
rior Court. The court answers that the procedure is to be the same as governs 
an appeal from one jury to another in the Superior Court. The reference of 
cases to arbitration is a common feature. The confusion and depreciation of 
currency during the Revolution made it difficult very often to ascertain the 
true amount due in specie, and these references were made in order that the 
computations, often complicated, could be properly made. To obtain the tes- 
timony of non-resident witnesses, a rule was moved and order made that the 
other side should have so many days notice, and that the interrogatories should 
be received as evidence. A defaulting juror is fined ;i^iOO; and we find ap- 
peals from the Courts of Conscience. Five of these courts were held in the 
county, and their respective jurisdictional limits, and the places at which the 
court was to be held are specified in an order of court, namely, district No. i, 
at Augusta; No. 2, at Richmond Court House; No. 3, at Brownsborough ; 
No. 4, at Wrightsborough ; and No. 5, at Rocky Comfort. 

One case seems to have attracted considerable attention. Ogilvie vs. Telfair 
and Kelsall, executors, Pendleton appearing for the plaintiff and Jones for de- 
fendants. Plaintiff moved a rule for defendants to show cause why execution 
should not issue on a judgment for ;^ obtained by him against them in 
the General Court of the then province, now State, of Georgia, in 1775. De- 
fendants plead 7i?d tiel record, or that there was no record of such a judgment, 
and for further plea, that if there ever had been such debt it had been confis- 
cated by the sequestration act of the State, plaintiff having adhered to the 
crown in the Revolutionary struggle. Plaintiff replied that his judgment was 
of record, and that by the treaty of peace between the United States and his 
Britannic majesty it was stipulated that creditors on either side should have no 
impediment in the way of collecting their debts. Defendants rejoined that 
said treaty did not extend to the judgment in question, the same having been 
sequestered before the peace, and was therefore no debt due plaintiff. Chief 
Justice Osborne delivered the opinion. Oyer, he said, had been had of the 
record produced, and, on inspection, it was. nothing more than a transcript from 
the books of the provost-marshal before the Revolution, and this was not, in 
the opinion of the court, a sufficient record to prove a judgment. Moreover, it 
was matter of notoriety that the records of the prothonotary's office had been 
<:arried away by the British in 1778, and plaintiff being a British subject, could, 
and should have produced the record, wherefore judgment for defendants. 

Bench and Bar. 22^ 

On the criminal side of the court we see the common law in full operation. 
One Robert Parish is indicted for murder, but there seems to have been con- 
siderable diversity of opinion in his case, the bill being brought in with the 
entry " 14 say a true bill." Being put upon trial, the jury find that, according 
to the technical state of the law, he is guilty of manslaughter, but recommend 
lenity to the court. The judgment we give verbatim : 

" And it is demanded of the said Robert Parish if he hath or knoweth any- 
thing to say wherefore the said judges here ought not upon the premises and 
verdict aforesaid to proceed to judgment and execution against him, who saith 
he is a clerk and prayeth the Benefit of Clergy; when, all and singular the pre- 
mises being seen and by the said judges understood : It is Considered by the 
Court here that the said Robert Parish be burned in his left hand and deliv- 
ered, and immediately he is burned in his left hand and delivered according 
to the form of the statute. Henry OSBORNE. 

" 19 Jan., 1788." 

Another convict does not fare so well. Being found guilty of horse steal- 
ing, he is sentenced to stand in the pillory two hours, and then to be publicly 
whipped on his bare back on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, thirty-nine 
lashes each time, and then to be branded on the left shoulder with the letter 
" R," and be discharged. 

Another fellow, a cow stealer, is sentenced to two hours in the pillory, a 
whipping of thirty-nine lashes on Tuesday and Wednesday, then six months' 
confinement in jail, with a flogging at the market-house in Augusta on the last 
Saturday of his imprisonment ; to be branded " R " on the shoulder, and dis- 

With all this, the grand jury presents as a grievance the lenity of the law 
toward horse and cattle thieves, and says the punishment should be death, 
unless recommended to mercy. It further complains of the non- enforcement 
of the laws by justices of the peace, particularly in the article of tippling- houses, 
gambling, and profane swearing, and says that " many fall into these vices 
their duty compel them to punish in others." It presents the inhuman prac- 
tice of dueling as being then rampant and fashionable ; it declares the estray 
laws " little better than robbery," and presents divers persons by name for 
overcharging for liquor (the law then fixing a tariff for publicans), and one for 
having " a ball-battery," probably ten-pins. It presents as a grievance that 
the Legislature will sit for the transaction of public business on Sunday, in de- 
fiance of previous presentments, and declares all the surplus paper money should 
be destroyed. Each grand juror signs his name in full and affixes his seal 

Chief Justice Nathaniel Pendleton, the last of the State's chief justices of 
this era, was admitted to the bar in 1785, and in 1787 was one of the delegates 
of Georgia to the convention which framed the Constitution of the United 

2 24 History of Augusta. 

States. In 1789 he was appointed cliief justice of Georgia. In the next year 
the system of liaving a chief justice for the whole State to preside in the Su- 
perior Court of each county in rotation with the resident magistrates as his as- 
sociates was abandoned. The State was divided into two judicial districts and 
two judges were appointed to hold the Superior Courts therein. 



Augusta's Early Bar — Abraham Baldwin — Governor John Milledge — Governor Telfair 
— William H. Crawford -- Robert Watkins — T. P. and W J. Carnes — Silken Robes — Rob- 
ert Raymond Reid — Pathos .and Humor — His Bar Dinner — Freeman Walker — John P. 
King — Nicholas Ware — John Forsyth. 

AMONG the lawyers of this period, Abraham Baldwin occtipies a promi- 
nent place. He was born in Connecticut in 1754, graduated at Vale in 
1772, was for some time a professor in that renowned college, and served as a 
chaplain in the Continental army. After the war he studied law and removed 
to Georgia, and was admitted to the bar in 1784. In 1785 he was sent as a 
delegate to the Continental Congress and from this time to his death in 1807 
was continually in public life. He served in the convention framing the con- 
stitution of the United States, and, with William Few, signed that instrument 
for Georgia. In the Continental Congress he was one of the three commis- 
sioners to settle the accounts of the States, and in 1788 we find him offering a 
resolution, which was adopted, recommending the States to pass laws prevent- 
ing the transportation of convicted malefactors from foreign countries into the 
United States, Georgia having passed such an act in 1787. On the organiza- 
tion of the government of the United States, Mr. Baldwin was sent to Con- 
gress and served a number of terms. In 1799 he was made United States 
senator, and remained such till his death in 1807. 

John Milledge was the son of John Milledge, one of the original settlers of 
Georgia, who came over with General Oglethorpe, and was a trusted friend and 
companion of the founder of Georgia. He was born in Savannah in 1757, 
and was given the best education the colony afforded, and then placed in the 
office. of the attorney-general to pursue the study of law. Mr. Milledge was 
an ardent patriot, sided with the colonists from the outset, and was one of 
the party which made Sir James Wright and Chief Justice Stokes prisoners, 
thus overturning the king's government. At the siege of Savannah and at 
the taking of Augusta, Mr. Milledge behaved with great gallantry, and after 
the war became one of the leading men of the day. From 1802 to 1806 he 
-was Governor of Georgia, and on the termination of his last gubernatorial 

Bench and Bar. 221; 

<;erm, in the latter year, was on June 19, 1806. elected to the United States 
Senate to succeed James Jackson, deceased. In 1807 he was re-elected for 
the full term, but resigned in November, 1809, and died at his residence near 
Augusta in 1818. In 1802 Governor Milledge was one of the commissioners, 
James Jackson and Abraham Baldwin being his associates, to negotiate the 
cession of Georgia's western territory to the United States. He was particu- 
larly and especially the friend of the State University, urged the importance 
of such an institution, and when the State had no land available for a site in a 
desirable location, purchased a tract him.self at a cost of $4,000 and generous- 
ly donated it to the college. On this land much of Athens is built. In 1808 
President Meigs, of the university, wrote Governor Milledge: "Your institu- 
tion has taken a strong root, and will flourish; and I feel some degree of 
pride in reflecting that a century hence, when this nascent village shall em- 
bosom a thousand of the Georgian youths, pursuing the paths of science, it 
will now and then be said that you gave this land and I was on the forlorn 

Governor Milledge was one of the incorporators of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Society of Augusta, chartered in 18 16 by the General Assembly, the in- 
corporators named in the act being John Milledge, John Carter, Valentine 
Walker, George Walton, Thomas Watkins. Richard Tubman. Edward F. Camp- 
bell, Augustin Slaughter. Freeman Walker. Joseph Hutchinson, William M. 
Cowles, Walter Leigh, John A. Barnes. Milledge Golphin, and Patrick Carnes. 
The first Episcopal clergyman in Augusta was Rev. Jonathan Copp who 
labored diligently from 175 i to 1756. In 1758 we find St. Paul's recognized 
as the parish church in Augusta, and some years after Rev. Samuel Prink was 
rector. In 1764 he reports Augusta as having 540 whites, 501 slaves, and 90 
Indians. In 1767 he was succeeded by Rev. Edward Ellington, who served 
until 1770. In 1786, after the turmoil of the Revolution was over, a new St. 
Paul's Church was built on the ruins of the old one burned during the war, 
and Rev. Mr. Boyd was pastor till about the close of the eighteenth century. 
After that no Episcopal Church organization was maintained, until the organ- 
ization of the Protestant Episcopal Society in 18 16 as stated. In 1821, the 
present church was built, and its rectors since have been : Rev. Hugh Smith, 
1819-1832; Rev. Edward Eugene Ford, 1832-1862; Rev. William H. Clark! 
1 862-1 877; Rev. Chauncey C. Williams, the present incumbent, having been 
rector since 1877. 

Soon after Governor Milledge's election to the Senate the State capitol was 
moved from Louisville, in JetTerson county, to a point in Baldwin county, 
which was named Milledgeville in his honor, and here was the seat of the State 
government till removed, in 1868, to Atlanta. 

Edward Telfair, another governor of Georgia, was contemporary with 
Governor Milledge. He was born in Scotland in 1735, the year Augusta was 

226 HiSTt)RV OK Augusta. 

founded, and in 1766 settled in Savannah, where he took a prominent part in 
the Revolutionary struggle. In February, 1778, he was elected to represent 
the State in the Continental Congress, the delegation that year being Lyman 
Hall, George Walton, Joseph Clay, John Walton, Joseph Wood, Edward Lang- 
worthy and Edward Telfair. In 1780 he was again elected to Congress ; and 
again in 1781, 1782 and 1885. With John Walton and Edward Langworthy 
he signed the Articles of Confederation on the part and behalf of the State of 
Georgia. In 1786 he was elected governor of Georgia, and again in 1790, 
serving till 1793. During his latter administration President Washington vis- 
ited Augusta, and was entertained by Governor Telfair. Washington's toast 
was, "The State of Georgia, and prosperity to Augusta." Telfair county is 
named after Governor Telfair. 

William Harris Crawford, United States senator, minister to France, and 
twice a cabinet officer, began his career in Augusta. Mr. Crawford was born 
in Virginia in 1772, and early in life was one of the professors of the Richmond 
Academy. In 1806 he was elected to the United States Senate in place of 
Abraliam Baldwin, deceased, and re-elected in 181 1, but did not fill out this 
latter term. In 18 13 President Madison offered him the appointment of sec- 
retary of war, which he declined. He was then appointed minister to France, 
and on his return in 181 5, became secretary of war. In 18 16 he was appointed 
secretary of the treasury by President Madison, and on the coming in of Presi- 
dent Monroe's administration, was again appointed to that high office. When 
President Monroe was re-elected, Mr. Crawford was again appointed to the 
treasury portfolio, and served till 1825. In 1824 he was voted for, for presi- 
dent, the other candidates being Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and 
Henry Clay, and the electoral vote standing: Jackson, ninety-nine; Adams, 
eighty- four; Crawford, forty-one; and Clay, thirty seven. In those days the 
electors of a State did not always vote as a unit, and Mr. Crawford received 
the following : New York, five ; Delaware, two ; Maryland, one ; Virginia, 
twenty-four; Georgia, nine; total, forty-one. The whole number of electors 
at that time was two hundred and sixty-one, and no candidate receiving a 
majority, the election was thrown into the house, where the vote, by States, 
stood: Adams, thirteen; Jackson, seven ; Crawford, four, thus electing Ad- 
ams. John C. Calhoun having received one hundred and eighty-two votes in 
the electoral college, was chosen vice-president. In 1827 Mr. Crawford was 
elected judge of the Northern Circuit, which office he held until his death in 


The early portion of this illustrious career was enveloped in storms. In 

Mr. Crawford's early manhood the immense western landed possessions of 

Georgia made this State a favorite field for speculation. The Yazoo fraud was 

one episode Mr. Crawford's duel with Van Allen was another. Mr. Crawford 

had refused to take a retainer from the land speculators, and fearing his oppo- 

Bench and Bar. 227 

sition at the bar, it was generally believed they instigated *a fiery young gen- 
tleman named Van Allen, of New York, a cousin of President Van Buren, to 
fasten a personal quarrel upon him. Mr. Crawford accepted the challenge and 
Van Allen was killed. 

Later in life Mr. Crawford became involved in another affair with General 
John Clark. The general had preferred charges against Judge Tait, Mr. Craw- 
ford's fellow professor of the Richmond Academy, and Mr. Crawford then in 
the Legislature, championed his friend's cause. After a searching inquiry the 
committee reported the charges unfounded, which report was adopted by fifty- 
two to four. General Clark was exceedingly restive under this result, and chal- 
lenged Mr. Crawford. On the field, the general and his seconds are said to 
have harrassed Mr. Crawford with quibbles and controversies until he lost tem- 
per, and when put to the peg, suffered his disengaged arm to hang outside his 
body, so that General Clarke's ball, which would have otherwise passed harm- 
lessly by, struck his wrist. In person Mr. Crawford was a tall, large, fine look- 
ing man of exceedingly imposing personal appearance, so much so that it is said 
the Emperor Napoleon remarked of him when presented at his court that he 
was the only man to whom he ever felt constrained to bow. Mr. Crawford was 
minister when the emperor was compelled to sign the famous abdication at 
Fontainebleau. and witnessed the entry of the Emperor of Russia and King of 
Prussia into Paris at the head of 50,000 of the flower of their soldiery. As a 
lawyer, Mr. Crawford rendered signal service to the jurisprudence of Georgia. 
In conjunction with Horatio Marbury he compiled, at an early age, "Marbury 
and Crawford's Digest of Georgia Laws ;" and during the entire period he was 
on the bench, namely, from 1 827 to 1834, was chairman of the convention of 
Superior Court judges, which met annually to consider doubtful and difficult 
points of law arising in the several circuits, with intent to form a legal stand- 
ard of interpretation and practice, there then being no Supreme Court. The 
decisions are to be found in ' Dudley's Georgia Reports." The value of these 
conventions led not long after to the establishment of the Supreme Court. 

Robert Watkins compiled in conjunction with his brother, George, " Wat- 
kins' Digest," our oldest digest of Georgia laws, and fought a duel in 1802 with 
Governor James Jackson, growing out of this work. General James Jackson, 
as the most active opponent of tiie Yazoo sale and the author of the Rescinding 
Act, was elected governor in 1798. In this capacity he rejected the digest of 
Georgia laws prepared by Robert and George Watkins, on the ground that the 
compilers had inserted in the volume the Yazoo Act of 1 795, in defiance of the 
Rescinding Act, which declared it never to have been one of the laws of the 
State. B\' this means a costl\^ edition was thrown on the hands of the compilers 
to their pecuniary loss, and with the result of engendering a bitterness of feel- 
ing which developed into a hostile meeting some years afterwards between Gov- 
ernor J'ackson and Robert Watkins, which was conducted in the highest style 

228 History of Augusta. 

of punctilio. While the seconds were arranging; the terms of the combat, the 
principals conversed "with great elegance and entire politeness" on different 
matters, so that no one would have imagined they were about presently to cut 
each other's throats. Then the seconds notified the combatants of the terms 
agreed on : You are to stand at the distance of ten paces; you are to fire at 
the word make ready, fire! a snap or a flash is to be counted as a shot, etc., 
etc. At the first fire both pistols went off into the ground ; the second was a 
blank shot; at the third Governor Jackson fell, shot, secii?idc7n a) tern, in the 
right hip. He insisted on another fire, but the surgeons claimed the right to 
first examine him ; and on their report that the ball might have entered the 
cavity, hostilities ceased. Mr. VVatkin's with great civility, offered his services 
to bear the wounded man from the field; and, on being carried off, the gov- 
ernor most affably remarked, " D — n it, Watkins, 1 thought I could give you 
another shot." 

The Carnes were two in number, Thomas P., one of the commissioners who 
ran the line between North Carolina and Georgia, and judge of the Western 
Circuit from 1798 to 1803, and again from 1809 to 1813; and Peter Johnston 
Carnes, attorney-general of the Middle Circuit, from 1799 to 1804. At this 
time and for years after the bar wore black silk robes, and the sheriff gown and 

It has been stated that in 1789 the State was divided into two judicial dis- 
tricts, the eastern and western, Augusta being in the latter. In 1797 three judi- 
cial districts were made, called respectively, the Eastern, the Middle and the 
Western Circuits, Richmond being in the Middle Circuit, and so remaining until 
the Augusta Circuit, comprising the counties of Burke, Columbia, McDuffie 
and Richmond, was created in 1870. The judicial history of the Middle Cir- 
cuit is, therefore, a long one and as brilliant as it is long. Of some of its judges 
and lawyers we have already spoken, and now resume the narrative. It will 
be impossible in th^ limits of this sketch to speak of all eminent in the legal 
profession at Augusta, and" we will therefore select some of the most striking 
characters. Some few years after Chief Justice Walton, the celebrated -Robert 
Raymond Reid became judge. Mr. Reid was prominent in public life for over 
a quarter of a century. In 1816, when but twenty-seven years of age, he was 
elected judge of the Middle Circuit ; in 1 8 1 8 was sent to Congress, and in 1 820 
re-elected ; at the expiration of that term in_ 1823, he was made mayor of Au- 
gusta, and re-electtd to that office in 1824; in 1825 was again elected Superior 
Court judge, and being defeated of a re election by reason of having been a 
Clarke man in the contest between him and Troup for the governorship, in the 
days of "Troup and the Treaty," wa:, made judge of the City Court of Augusta 
in 1827, and re-elected to that office in 1829. In 1832 President Jackson ap- 
pointed him judge of the United States for the district of East Florida, and in 
1839 he was appointed by President Van Huren governor of Florida, in which 

Bench and Bar. 229 

office he died in 1841. This list of honors is sufficient to show what opinion 
was entertained of his legal abilities, but his literary talents were even greater. 
Who can read without emotion the beautiful story of his early life and first 
great sorrow as it appears in his diary. He was sent to a distant school and 
being a delicate, effeminate boy was roughly used by his stouter companions. 
Of this period he says : 

"I was at last, after acquiring the character of a dull, lazy and unprincipled 
child taken home. My vices forsook me and my joys returned. Let those 
who have children take care how they send them forth at an early age to an 
unfeeling world! I was again with my mother, and again, in reading, writing, 
— thinking rapturously — looking at her benign face, listening to her voice, and 
imbibing her instructions, I was happy — too happy. 

" About a year after I was sent to Savannah to the care of an aunt, and there 
I was as miserable as before. The boys imposed upon me ; my cousins 
cheated and scorned me; my aunt and uncle neglected and starved me. After 
some time I returned to my beloved home. I had no reputation for genius ex- 
cept at home. There I spoke to the admiration of my parents, and wrote both 
prose and poetry which they esteemed prodigiously fine. I also had a turn for 
drawing, with which my mother was delighted. After a twelve month passed 
in my heaven of home I was taken by my father to Augusta. The scene was 
changed. I met kind hearted boys, indulgent and friendly teachers, and kind 
friends. Among the first, James McLaws, always my friend, and afterward 
my brother-in-law; John Powell, a fine lad, the victim of disease too soon. 
My heart, which had always loved something or other — now a boy, and now 

a girl — formed a strong attachment to ; but a stronger one for . 

I never loved any being, except my mother, as well as I did . We 

were at dancing-school together ; and though she never acknowledged her af- 
fection, and I did not declare my own, we both well knew how dear we were 
to each other. 

"To return, my mother died, and I received the heartrending news at Au- 
gusta. Great Father of mercies ! what were my sufferings, those who saw my 
agony alone can tell. I sat sometimes looking at the moon with streaming 
eyes, remembering the moments we had passed together by moonlight, and 
recalling all my poor mother's sorrows, her virtues, her voice, and her words. 
At other times, when all was still around me, and my companions were asleep, 
I have sobbed upon my pillow and drenched it in tears. My studious habits 
were abandoned,, and an all-absorbing grief possessed me. I determined to leave 
school ; and, opportunity affording, I went home. 

"My poor mother's late residence was a desert;" but I walked about the 
garden, through her chamber, sat in her chair, and bewailed her with a grief 
most poignant. O! my beloved parent, dost thou inhabit other regions, and 
can it be that thou forgettest thy erring and unhappy and still helpless son ? 

^3o History of Augusta. 

On thy death bed thou didst caress a Httle butterfly, fancyin*^ that my spirit 
liad taken a favorite and lovely form to commune with thine in its darkest hour ; 
and now I sometimes think when a butterfly comes to me fluttering around the 
candle at which I read, settling on my sleeve, or crosses my evening walk, 
that thou has not forgot, but art still near me O, loved long and ever, if my 
thoughts can be known to thee, and if thou iiast power to assist me, yield me 
thine aid ; take sometimes the place of my guardian spirit, and be ever near me ; 
and, oh, implore thy God and my God to forgive my follies and to grant me 
strength to bear up against the ills of life, and to overcome the envy and malice 
of my enemies " 

In enforcing on his grand juries the necessity of maintaining the laws Judge 
Reid's literary turn did him good service. In one of the counties of his circuit 
the disgusting vice of drunkenness was exceedingly prevalent, and after stating 
this county was particularly afflicted in one respect, the judge said : "Need I 
tell you in plainer language it is drunkenness of which I speak ? Man is at best 
but the creature of frailty. The violence of passion agitates the human mind 
with continual tumult, and the voice of reason, like the cries of the shipwrecked 
mariner, is heard only in the pauses of the storm. But when a depraved ap- 
petite delivers its miserable victim to the influence of intemperance, it is then 
that reason is overwhelmed, pride forgets its consequence, intellect relinquishes 
its rich treasures, and that form which bore the impression and seal of divinity 
is changed into a bloated monster, with feelings and propensities at once best- 
ial and disgusting. Many persons vainly imagine that infractions of the laws 
are venial when committed in a state of intoxication, and they sophistically 
argue that, laboring under a species of madness, they are driven to atrocities 
from which, in their moments of sobriety and self collection they would start 
with abhorrence. But the plea will not avail. This hideous vice conceals 
none of its deformities. It is true the brimming goblet may sparkle in the 
hand of pleasure, but beneath its transparent wave is seen the dark and deep 
and deadly poison. Roses m ly crown the cup, but they are cankered by tears 
of remorse and sorrow and disappointment. The unhappx' being who ventures 
to slake his thirst knows at the moment the perils which await him He has 
before witnessed its horrible effects. He has seen the fond father become the 
hater of his offspring, the tender husband transformed to the inveterate tyrant, 
the fciithful friend to the bitter enemy, the pride of society to the object of 
common scorn, and yet he will not abstain, yet will he swallow down the in- 
furiating draught which shall make him the jest of the vulgar, the scoff of his 
foes, and the regret of his friends — which shall lift his arm against every man, 
and every man's hand against him. Let him then receive the consequences 
of his temerity; he has courted them with his eyes open. The law rejects his 
claim to its lenity, and intemperance adds a blacker shade to the enormities 
which it produces." 

Bench and Bar. 231 

The grand jury were profoundly impressed with this ornate, and yet forci- 
ble, exposition of the legal doctrine that voluntary drunkenness is no excuse 
for crime ; thanked the judge "for his determined support of good order ;" re- 
quested the charge should be published, and called on the Legislature to grant 
no licenses to retail liquors except to inns, in small quantities, for travelers and 

Judge Reid's pen could turn to humorous as well as serious thought. On 
assuming his position on the United States bench in Florida he found a very 
different class of lawyers from that to which he had been accustomed at home. 
One writer says: "The bar of the Middle Circuit always maintained a high 
character for abilities and courtesy. Its members fostered a lofty social bear- 
ing, neither oppressive by cold dignity, nor yet so free as to encourage rude 
familiarity. It was the happy medium which secured respect and business on 
terms compatible with true fame. Of this school Judge Reid was a loyal dis- 
ciple." The Florida bar, as was perhaps natural in a territory newly opened, 
was of rougher mould, and the judge thus limns one of them : 

" Getting on in court pretty well ; only one skirmish, and that with one of 
the bar, whose temper and habits and manner unfit him for social life. What 
shall we think of one whose literary attainments are not inconsiderable, whose 
physical and mental powers are, perhaps, extraordinary, whose industry and 
energy are vigorous and indefatigable, and yet whose love of self and ambition 
are unbounded, who is impatient of all restraint, suspicious, angry, and re- 
vengeful, with a spice of magnanimity and a gloss of good breeding, to which 
may be added violent passions irritable feelings, and unbounded craft ? All 

these qualities belong to , and make him a strange, lofty and repulsive 

character. When we look to his gigantic stature, lofty brow, the deep furrows 
of passion around his eyes and on his cheeks, his surly mouth, formed not 
■even for sneers, but full of bitterness, rank bitterness ; and lastly his black eyes, 
in which you look as into deep and dark fountains of sin and remorse ; eyes 
which may be characterized by the word ' luciferian,' more than any other, we 
behold a being from whom we must stand apart, who can have no sympathy 
with us, and who, if we approach too near him, will certainly do us harm." 

The bar of m hich this extraordinary character was a member gave the 
judge a specimen of its breeding by inviting him to a curious banquet, which 
he calls a " feast of shells." In a letter informing him that the gentlemen of 
the long robe thought very well of him, he was invited to a public dinner in 
his honor. No place was mentioned, and after waiting in expectation of an 
escort till the hour named, the judge sallied forth alone, having previously 
prepared a speech " to be delivered after the removal of the cloth, and in which 
everything that could be agreeable to the bar was carefully infused. ' As they 
treat me,' thought I, ' why should I not treat them in return ?' As well as I 
remember 'twas a pretty good speech, with several clever flights." After wan- 

232 History of Augusta. 

dering about awhile the judge arrived at a house where it was understood the 
banquet was to be given, and reconnoitered his way into tiie parlor. There 
was no table therein, and but three chairs. Thinking there was some mistake, 
he was about to beat a retreat when a gentleman of the bar entered and some- 
what restored the judicial equanimity by his cordiality. " Said I, ' the hour 
mentioned in my invitation has passed, so I thought I would come round ; but 
I fear I'm too early.' ' No,' he coldly replied,' but the dinner is too late.' 
' Well,' said I, * I'll return home, and come back again.' ' Well, perhaps, '^ 
said he ' it might be as well and better than to stay here alone.' So I was pre- 
paring to abscond, when in came a few gentlemen, and other chairs being 
brought, we seated ourselves in a piazza, and a conversation commenced, dur- 
ing which some one or two other gentlemen dropped in. ' This,' said I to 
myself, ' is not a very promising beginning, but who knows how well it may 
end ?' So we talked of the heat of the weather, alligators, the Greek pun for 

laughter, etc., etc., when Messrs. made their appearance and invited 

us up to dinner. The dinner was plentiful — ham, poultry, ducks, a half turtle 

soup — everything rough and coarse. Judge at the head, and Mr. 

at the tail, and the guests few and far between, and vacant chairs scat- 
tered from right to left. But few words were said. All seemed wrapped in 
their own gloomy thoughts. ' I wish,' said I to myself, ' I had been in Guinea 
before I accepted this invitation. Here is evidently something wrong." At 
length wine was introduced, and the judge began to look for better hours, but 
worse ensued. "This," said a commissary's man, "is the gift of our friend, 
Mr. , who left us this morning in the Agnes for Charleston. ' Come, gen- 
tlemen, 'fill your glasses,' said the president. 'Now,' thought I, ' he'll drink 
my health, and how shall I demean myself so as to be neither civil nor offen- 
sive ?' I resolved at once. ' The health,' said the president, ' of our absent 

friend, Mr. ' (the donor of the wine) I drank a bumper. By this time 

Mr. (the champaign having been introduced), got drunk, and he, after 

some coarse and maudlin prelectives, called on the president for a toast. The 

president declined, and begged the bewildered to get the toast from the 

other end of the table. consented, and halloed for a toast from Mr. , 

who insisted he would not give one, and the president should. Then the pres- 
ident, looking for a moment like a thunder-storm, but, turning to me, said, ' If 
I give a toast, you'll not get under the table ?' ' Oh, no !' said I, good humor- 
edly, ' I'll stick to you at all events !' Then they filled, and the president, in 
a hurried manner, said, * I'll give you our excellent friend and guest, the Hon. 
Robert Raymond Reid, the excellent judge of, etc., etc' They drank their 
wine. ' Now,' said I, ' if you will be pleased to fill your glasses, I'll give you 
a toast.' They filled. 'The hospitable and excellent citizens of St. Augus- 
tine.' They looked surprised. Toasts went on. One drank the judiciary, 
another the chief justice, another the memory of Julius C;vsar, another the 

Bench and Bar. • 233 

memory of Noah, the drunken lawyer gave ' the memory of our departed 
friends,' and moreover he sung 'The Old Jackdaw and the Young Jackdaw,' 
and swore he liked no courts because they always made d — d rascally decisions 
against him. 

"Thus flew the hours, and at length I escaped, leaving my brethren of the 
bar and guests, president, \'ice-president and all, scarcely less sorrowful or 

sober (except ) after emptying half a dozen of champagne than when the 

happy festival commenced. For my own part I never knew a compliment 
press so closely on the confines of insult. Why did I accept that invitation? 
'Twas a false step. I went home and burned the notes of my speech." 

The judge was a great admirer of Andrew Jackson, but hardly able to en- 
dorse all the eccentric movements of that hero when president. " He frocks 
and unfrocks at pleasure, but he is a magnificent fellow, and the best constitu- 
tional president since the days of Jefiferson, who was himself not sinless." Then 
he tells a story of old Hickory's taste in music, as related by Governor Duval. 
"I was," said he, "at the White House one evening, and tliere were Mrs. D. 
and Mrs. J., and a half dozen others, dressed up in the first style a la Parisieniie, 
and there were sofas and ottomans, and musical instruments, and lights, all of 
which, with the company, made a pretty picture. I had been invited to spend 
a sociable evening, and the ladies and the music made my heart throb as I 
entered the saloon, for, old as I am, I love both. Very soon I was asked if I 
would not approach a group, and listen to the splendid performance of a young 
gentleman just returned from Italy, and who played divinely. I left the side 
of the general, who was smoking in his large arm chair, and beheld, sur- 
rounded by beauty and fashion, a young man who sat on a low stool with a 
guitar across his lap. ' Good heavens,' thought I, ' Can the spirit of harmony 
reside in such a temple ?' He had a huge head, on the front of which his hair 
had been brushed in three ways, to the right, to the left, and in front, and then 
purposely, some confusion had been imparted to it. The hinder part had been 
closely cut. His neck was enveloped in a stock which closely compressed it, 
leaving two little points of shirt collar projecting under his chin. He wore 
large whiskers, innumerable chains and shirt buttons, was tightly laced, and 
bent forward in such a way as to give him, in his close habit, a monkey-like 
aspect. After some preluding, the creature opened his mouth and sung — no, 
that is not the word — he squalled, worked his eyes and heaved his breast, now 
sinking into a whisper, and now squealing so loud you might have heard him 
at the capitol. Never did I hear such horrible noises. But after a while I was 
relieved by the conclusion of the strain, when all pronounced it exquisite — an 
admirable Italian sonnet. I went back to the president. 'Well, governor,' 
said he, ' don't you like the music ?' ' General,' said I, ' its d — d stuff, between 
you and me. Come here, Tommy Blount. And now let me have leave to 
make this lad from the wilds of Tennessee, sing ' Blue Bonnets on the Border.' 


234 History of Augusta. 

' Certainly,' said the general, and Tommy, without any affectation, began to 
sin'^ In a moment, such was the force of his melody that the ladies and their 
sparks flocked around him. Their eyes glistened with pleasure and feeling; 
there was not the rustling of a ribbon to be heard. Tom's fine tones filled the 
spacious room, and made their way to all hearts except the youngster from his 
Italian travels. When the music was done, all were warmly expressing their 
pleasure. I looked round for Monsieur Squallini, and there he sat on the little 
stool, the lonesomest man I ever saw in my life. ' General,' says I, ' that's the 
sort of music for me.' 'Yes, governor,' said the president, 'that's the music 
that makes the goose flesh come, and nothing could be better except Wash- 
ington's march upon the drum and fife.' " 

Freeman Walker was one of the most distinguished lawyers of his day. 
He was born October 25^ 1780, in Virginia, and when seventeen years old 
came to Augusta and studied law with his brother, George Walker, then a lead- 
inCT member of the bar. In 1802 he began practice, and soon rose to eminence, 
being equally distinguished for solid learning and bright and ready wit. In 
1807 he was sent to the Legislature from Richmond county, and in 18 17 chosen 
mayor of Augusta by the city council, which then elected, and re-elected in 
1818 and 18 19. In the latter part of that year he was elected to the United 
States Senate, and resigned the mayoralty on December 8, 18 19, in order to 
take his seat in that august body, succeeding the celebrated John Forsyth. 
In 1 82 1 Major Walker resigned his seat in the Senate, and in the next year 
was, for the fourth time, elected mayor of Augusta. The portrait of this dis- 
tinguished and witty advocate hangs in the mayor's office, and represents him 
as a strikingly handsome man, with an air of quiet dignity through which lurks 
in his bright eye the spirit of merriment and humor. As has been elsewhere 
stated, he is believed to be the Freeman Lazenby of one of Judge Longstreet's 
lauf^hable " Georgia Scenes," and by his genial manners made hosts of friends. 
While somewhat quick in temper, he was ready to see the laughable side of 
a serious matter, as is amply evidenced by his encounter with the famous Judge 
Dooly, so celebrated for his wit and humor. While on circuit once, the bar 
supper waxed uproarious. The fun grew fast and furious, and in those days 
when the wine flew freely hard rubs were given and received. Judge Dooley 
was in more than ordinary spirits, and jested so long and roughly with Major 
Walker, that the latter's equanimity finally gave way, and catching up a chair 
he'advanced on his tormentor. The judge seized a large carving knife, and 
affairs looked serious. Several gentlemen seized the judge, and but one caught 
hold of Major Walker. With a comical look the judge cried out, " Gentlemen, 
one of you will be sufficient to prevent me from doing mischief; the rest of you 
had better hold Major Walker!" The laugh which followed restored the era 
of wood feeling, and the fun and frolic went on as before. Major Walker died 
at the age of forty-seven, and the opinion of his contemporaries is expressed 

■'—I b,,l uiHU,: 

Bench and Bar. 235 

in his epitaph as written by his friend, Richard Henry Wilde, author of that 
beautiful poem, " My life is like the summer rose." 

" Consecrated 

to the cherished memory and mortal relics 


Freeman Walker, 

an able and successful advocate, 

a graceful and fluent speaker. 

His influence as a statesman, his reputation as an orator, and 

his urbanity as a gentleman, were embellished ;ind endeared 


social and domestic virtues. 

Long a distinguished member of the bar. 

Often elected to the Legislature of the State, 

he at length became 

one of her senators in Congress, 

and retired after two years of honorable service, 

to resume a profitable profession, 

which he practiced with untiring industry, and 

unblemished character, until shortly before his death. 

Generous, hospitable, and humane, 

of cheerful temper and familiar manner, 

he was idolized by his family, 

beloved bv his friends, 


admired by his countrymen. 

Even party spirit in his favor 

forgot something of its bitterness, and those 

who differed from the politician, 

did justice to the man. 

Born in Virginia, in October, 1780, 

His brilliant and useful life 

was terminated by a pulmonary complaint 

on the 23d day of September, 1827, 

in the 47th year of his age." 

Walker county is named after Major Freeman Walker. 

John P. King was another celebrated lawyer of the time. Mr. King was 
born in Kentucky, but at an early age made Georgia his home, and adopted 
the law as a profession in Augusta. In 1832 he was made judge of the City 
Court of Augusta, succeeding Hon. Robert Raymond Reid, who had been 
appointed United States judge in Florida. In 1833 Mr. King was appointed 
to the United States Senate in the place of Governor Troup, resigned, and in 
1835 was elected by the Legislature, but resigned in 1837. On his return to 
Augusta Judge King seemed to foresee the enormous development of the rail- 
way system, and, abandoning the practice of his profession, turned his atten- 
tion to railroad affairs. He was prominent in creating the Georgia Railroad ; 

^6 • History of Augusta. 

was for very many years president of that company, one of the oldest, most 
useful and most substantial in the United States, and may be justly termed the 
father of the road. Judge King died in Augusta in 1887 at a very advanced 
age, being at the time of his demise the oldest United States senator surviving. 

Nicholas Ware was also an Augusta lawyer of the old school. He was 
born in Virginia in 1776, studied law in Augusta, then attended the famous 
Gould Law School at Litchfield, Conn., and on his return began practice in 
this city. When Major Freeman Walker resigned the mayoralty of Augusta 
to take his seat in the United States Senate, Mr. Ware was elected in his place 
and re-elected in 1820, and a<4ain in 1821. In the latter part of 1821 he re- 
rigned in order to enter the United States Senate, where he died in 1824. 
Mr. Ware was a strong friend of the Richmond Academy and distinguished 
for his literary tastes. Ware county is named after him. 

One of the most celebrated lawyers of Augusta was John Forsyth. He 
was born in Virginia in 1781, and four years afterwards his father, an officer of 
the Revolution, removed to Augusta, Here the elder Forsyth was made United 
States Marshal, and in the enforcement of the law, lost his life. About 1795 a 
ca. sa issued out of the United States Court for the arrest of one Beverly Allen, 
a preacher from Wilkes county. Allen barricaded himself in a storehouse in 
Augusta, and when the marshal forced the door, shot him dead. The grave 
of marshal Forsyth is to be seen in St. Paul's churchyard, with an inscription 
laudatory of his services in the Revolution, and his unflinching courage in the 
execution of duty. On the tomb is also graven the insignia of the Order of 
the Cincinnati. 

John Forsyth studied law in Augusta with Mr. Noel, and was admitted in 
1802, when just of age. From 1808 to 181 i he was attorney general of the 
Middle Circuit, from 181 2 to 1818 was member of Congress, in 18 18 was 
elected to the United States Senate, but in 18 19 resigned in order to accept the 
position of United States minister to Spain. There he remained four years, 
and satisfactorily adjusted all the delicate questions growing out of the cession 
of Florida to the United States. In 1823, while still in Spain, he was re-elected 
to Congress, and returned at each succeeding election till he resigned in 1827 
and was elected governor of Georgia. As governor Mr. Forsyth gave great 
attention to the amendment of the law. He urged the codification of the laws 
and the creation of a Supreme Court, which latter reform was adopted in 1845, 
and the former in i860. At the end of his gubernatorial term, in 1829, Mr. 
Forsyth was again sent to the United States, succeeding the celebrated John 
McPherson lierrien, of Savannah, and became the champion of President Jack- 
son, in that body. In 183 i he was elected for the full term of six years. He 
stood by General Jackson manfully in the nullification issue, the bank question, 
and other exciting controversies of that time, and in 1834 became secretary of 
State, and for seven years was the head of the cabinet, holding during the 

Bench and Bar. 237 

second term of President Jackson and during the presidency of his successor, 
Martin Van Buren. In March, 1841, General Harrison became president, and 
appointed Daniel Webster secretary of State. In the fall of that year Mr. For- 
syth died. One of the last objects to which he devoted his attention when 
secretary of State was the annexation of Texas, and while he did not live to see 
it accomplished, his efforts paved the way for that consummation a few years 
later. Mr. Forsyth is said to have been a model of manly beauty, and to have 
possessed a voice as clear as a silver clarion. His abilities as a diplomatist and 
a debater were so evenly balanced that it is difficult to say in which he excelled. 



Eminent Lawyers of Augusta, Continued — Richard I lenry Wilde — " My Life is Like tlie 
Summer Rose" — George W. Crawford — Charles J. Jenkins — Ebenezer Starnes- — Andrew 
J. Miller — William T. Gould — Henry H. Gumming — Governor William Schley — Judge John 
Shly — Judge Holt — Herschel V. Johnson — Court Roll of Judges from 1776 — Solicitors- 
General from 1796 — City Court of Augusta — Origin and History — Court Roll. 

RICHARD HENRY WILDE was a most eminent lawyer, and, what is 
remarkable, as great in the civil law courts of Louisiana, where he prac- 
ticed in the latter years of his life, as in the common law. Mr. Wilde was born 
in Dublin, September 24, 1789, and was reared from his thirteenth year in 
Augusta, where his widowed mother, by heroic efforts, supported a large 
family. Mr. Wilde aided her all his tender age and extremely delicate health 
permitted, and in the meanwhile read law incessantly by himself, being too 
poor to pay the fee then usual for instruction in a practitioner's office. Fear- 
ful he could not stand an examination, and dreading a failure at home, he made 
application in Greene Superior Court, then presided over by Judge Early, a 
rigid martinet, and more severe even than usual at the spectacle of a student 
applying for admission away from his own home. But a three days' examina- 
tion failed to shake young Wilde, and he was triumphantly admitted. His 
success at the bar was immediate. In 181 5 he was elected to Congress, again 
in 1825, in 1828, and from that time continuously till 1835. ^^ ^^'^^^ .sailed 
for Europe and remained abroad till 1842, writing two learned works on the 
great Italian poets, Dante and Tasso. In 1842 he returned home, but shortly 
afterwards removed to New Orleans, where he took rank at once with the then 
leaders of the civil law, Prentiss, Benjamin, Soule, and others. In 1847 he 

238 History of Augusta. 

died in that city of yellow fever. During his professional career Mr. Wilde 
was frequently engagj^d before the Supreme Court of the United States, but 
his fame as a lawyer makes him less known than one beautiful poem which 
met Byron's applause, and has been, by unanimous consent of the world of 
letters, acknowledged to be an unapproachable gem. It was written in 1820, 
and for some time there was a controversy as to whether it were original or a 
plagiarism from the Greek poet, A1c;eus. The facts are that after " My Life 
is Like the Summer Rose" was written by Mr. Wilde, Mr. Barclay, then Brit- 
ish consul at Savannah, and a man of letters, translated it into Greek for the 
amusement of himself and friends, and this translation coming under the ob- 
servation of some critic, was compared by him with the poem, with the result 
that Mr. Wilde was accused of plagiarism. Several eminent Greek scholars 
pronounced Mr. Barclay's translation not Greek poetry at all, but prose, and 
modern Greek prose at that ; and declared that no fragments of Alcaeus were 
extant at all resembling the poem. Mr. Barclay was much distressed at the 
use made of his translation, intended as it was solely for the private entertain- 
ment of himself and friends, and wrote Mr. Wilde a letter in which he stated 
that it was beyond question he was the author of the beautiful lines in contro- 
versy. The poem we here subjoin : 

Mv Lir-'E IS Like the Summer Rose. 

My lile is like the summer rose, 

That opens to the morning sky, 
And, ere the shades of evening close, 

Is scattered on the ground to die. 

Yet on that rose's humble bed 
The softest dews of night are shed, 
As though she wept such waste to see ; 
But none shall drop a tear for me ! 

My life is like the autumn leaf, 

Which trembles in the moon's pale ray ; 
Its hold is frail, its date is brief, 

Restless, — and soon to pass away : 

Yet when that leaf shall fall and fade, 
The parent tree will mourn its shade, 
The wind bemoan the leafless tree ; 
But none shall breathe a sigh for me. 

My life is like the print which feet 

Have left on Tampa's desert strand : 
Soon as the rising tide shall beat. 

Their trace will vanish from the sand : 

Yet, as if grieving to efface 

All vestige of the human race. 

On that lone shore loud moans the sea ; 

But none shall thus lament for me. 

Bench and Bar. ^^g 

George W. Crawford was born in Columbia, formerly Richmond, county 
December 22, 1798, and after graduating at Princeton, in 1820, began thJ 
study of the law in the office of Hon. Richard Henry Wilde, in Augusta. In 
1822 he was admitted and at once established a fine practice. In March, 1 827 
he was appointed attorney- general of the Middle Circuit, and in November'of 
that year elected for the full term and re-elected in 1828, serving until the fall 
of 1 83 1, when he was .succeeded by Charles J. Jenkins. In 1837 he was sent 
to the State Legislature and returned at each succeeding election, save one, 
till 1842. In that year he was sent to Congress, but in 1843 was elected 
governor. In 1845 he was again elected governor. His administration of 
this office was remarkable for the re-establishment of the credit of the State, 
which had become seriously impaired. The confidence of the banks and 
financiers of the State in Governor Crawford had much to do with this result, 
and the governor's confidence in the success of his own plans— for which he 
pledged his own means to the extent of $150,000— had equally as good an 
effect. The bonds of the State were brought to par, and its monetary affairs 
happily rehabilitated. In 1849 President Taylor appointed Mr. Crawford 
secretary of war, but on the death of the president he resigned and retired to 
private life. 

Charles Jones Jenkins was born in South Carolina in 1805, and educated at 
Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., under that famous preceptor; Rev. EHphalet 
Nott. Graduating in 1824, Mr. Jenkins began the practice of law in Augusta^ 
and in 183 1 was elected attorney- general of the Middle Circuit, retaining that 
position till 1834, being succeeded by that able jurist, Ebenezer Starnes.'' He 
served many terms in the Legislature from Richmond county, and was several 
times speaker of the House. In August, i860, he became one of the judges 
of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and remained on that bench till the fall^^of 
1865, when he was elected governor. Troubled days shortly ensued. In 
March, 1867, the State government was declared illegal by Congress and the 
State placed under military rule. Governor Jenkins resolutely recused to sur- 
render his chair to General Ruger, who had been appointed military governor 
until uniformed force would be employed, when, stating that he was powerless 
to resist, he left the capitol. The key of the treasury and the great seal of the 
State he refused to give up under any circumstances, and carried them off with 
him. Determined to sustain the civil power, if possible, he filed a bill in the 
Supreme Court of the United States, in the name of the State of Georgia, to 
enjoin the execution of the reconstruction acts on the ground that Congress 
could not constitutionally prostrate a State under military rule. The Supreme 
Court held that this was a political question over which it had no jurisdiction 
On the restoration of the State government, in 1870, the Legislature adopted 
the following resolution : 

Resolved, That his excellency, the governor, be authorized and instructed 

240 History ok Augusta. 

to have prepared, and, in the name of the people of Georgia, to present to Hon. 
Charles J. Jenkins, a seal to be the lac-simile of the one preserved and restored 
b)' him, except that, in addition to other devices, it shall have this inscription : 
" Presented to Charles J. Jenkins by the State of Georgia," and this legend, 
' ' in arduis fidelis. 

In 1877 Governor Jenkins was elected a delegate to the Constitutional 
Convention held that year, and was made president of the body. He died in 
1883, bearing the name of " noblest Roman of them all." 

Ebenezer Starnes was a sound and eminent jurist. In 1834 he was ap- 
pointed attorney-general of the Middle Circuit, and was subsequently elected 
to the same position by the Legislature, and performed its duties till the fall 
of 1840. 

In November, 1849, Mr. Starnes was elected judge of the Middle Cir- 
cuit, and in February, 1853, while still on the bench, was appointed to the 
Supreme Court, vice Judge Warner resigned. At its next session the Legis- 
lature elected him judge of the Supreme Court for si.x years, but he resigned 
at the close of 1855. From the establishment of the Supreme Court of 
Georgia up to the time Judge Starnes left the Superior Court bench, there 
were many reversals of the judgments below, the proportion being forty-eigh; 
per cent., but out of thirty-eight Superior Court judges. Judge Starnes was the 
most generally sustained, but seventeen per cent, of his decisions being re- 
versed. Judge Starnes was of a grave and dignified demeanor, a lawyer of 
ripe learning, and a man of kind heart We remember that he prided himself 
on being descended from Lawrence Sterne, the famous English writer, and 
once mentioned that the family crest was a starling, a bird which is the subject 
of one of Sterne's most beautiful passages. 

Andrew J. Miller was a distinguished contemporary of Wilde, Crawford, 
Jenkins, and Starnes. Mr. Miller was born in Camden county, Georgia, in 
1806, and at the age of sixteen was entered a cadet at the West Point Military 
Academy. His tastes lay in another direction and he soon returned home 
and began the study of law. When but nineteen he was authorized to be 
admitted to the bar by a special act of the General Assembly, and in 1825 
entered on the practice of his profession. Mr. Miller verified the observation 
that labor is genius He devoted himself to a careful study and preparation 
of his cases ; was always prompt and ready, and soon stood at the front of the 
bar. In 1836 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and 
in 1837 was sent to the State Senate, and continued to be a member of that 
body until his death in i8t6. He was twice president of the Senate, and even 
when not in the chair was the recognized arbiter in all questions of parlia- 
mentary procedure and law. He aided very greatly in projecting and accom- 
plishing the Western and Atlantic or State road, and during his entire legisla- 
tive life labored zealously in favor of the passage of a law reserving to a 

Bench and Bar. 241 

married woman the title to her property. Rules of law in vogue for centuries 
do not readily yield, and Mr. Miller passed away without carrying his favorite 
measure, but in 1866 it became law, and has now become a principle imbedded 
in the State constitution. In one of the many eulogies pronounced over Mr. 
Miller on his untimely demise, was one which especially referred to this fact. 
In the House of Representatives Mr. Thornton, of Muscogee, said : " He was, 
sir, the friend of woman, and I am glad that they, by their presence to-day, 
sanction the last act of respect paid to his name. He was the first who raised 
his arm and his voice to battle for woman's rights. For eighteen years he 
fought for the widow and her daughters, and he never would have ceased his 
efforts until he had carried his bill for the protection of their property. They 
should build him a monument to commemorate his exertions in their behalf. 
He was their friend and advocate." 

Mr. Miller was at the time of his death a member of the State Senate, city 
attorney of Augusta, and president of the Medical College of Georgia. The 
Legislature sent a special committee to his obsequies, created a new county — 
Miller — in his honor, and ordered a monument to be erected to him. 

William T. Gould was at the time of his death in 1 882, the Nestor of the Au- 
gusta bar. He was the son of the celebrated jurist, William Gould, whose law 
school at Litchfield, Conn., was in its time the most famous seat of legal learn- 
ing in the United States, and was in point of legal attainments a worthy scion 
of such a stock. Judge Gould cared nothing for political preferment, but at the 
bar was for more than half a century a central figure. He was for many years 
attorney of the Georgia Railroad, and for most of the time from 185 i to 1876, 
was judge of the City Court of Augusta. He survived to an extreme old age, 
but retained his intellectual faculties unimpaired almost to the very last. There 
was none of the uncertainty or forgetfulness of the ordinary old man. During 
his active life the judge was a devoted Mason, and almost at the close of his 
career, when unable to leave his chamber, a litigation involving the title of the 
Masonic Hall arose. The minutes of the order gave some information on a 
vital point, but in such a concise ambiguous way as not to be of much value. 
One of the counsel in the case requested us to accompany him on a visit to the 
judge to seek information as to the facts. As soon as the matter was stated, 
and before the minutes had been shown him to refresh his memory, the vet- 
eran lawyer in a surprisingly terse, clear way, recounted all that had occurred 
at the meeting of half a century before. There was not a moment's pause or 
hesitation. It was a wonderful exhibition of the strength of human memory 
in the extremity of age. 

Colonel Henry H. Gumming may be regarded as the father of the Augusta 

canal. He seems to have studied the subject of how to utilize the vast water 

power of the Savannah River for years, and never rested until, triumphing over 

all obstacles, he saw the water finally turned in. At the time this enterprise 


242 History of Augusta. 

was projected it was asserted that the city council possessed no legal authority 
to undertake such works, nor could the Le<^islature confer such power, but 
Colonel Cumming's legal opinion to the contrary was sustained by the Su- 
preme Court of the State which held that the charter conferred the power, but 
if not the General Assembly had granted such authority, and was fully em- 
powered by the constitution of the State so to do. 

Governor William Schley belonged to a judicial family. He was 
himself judge of the Superior Courts of the Middle Circuit, his brother, 
John Schley, sat upon the same bench, and his nephew, William, John 
Schley's son, was judge of the Superior Courts of the Eastern Circuit. 
Governor Schley was born in Maryland in 1786, was educated in 
Augusta, and came to the bar in 1812. In 1825 he was elected judge of 
the Middle Circuit and served till 1828. In 1830 he was sent to the Legis- 
lature from Richmond county, and in 1832 was elected to Congress, and re- 
elected in 1834. In 1835 he was elected governor, and was untiring in his 
efforts to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and had finally the satis- 
faction of signing the bill ordering that important public work. It will have 
been noticed in this review that several of the prominent lawyers of Augusta 
had a strong pejichatit for developing industrial enterprises, and the Schleys 
were particularly notable this way. After a long public career Governor Schley 
developed a taste for cotton manufacturing, greatly to the surprise of his friends 
and of himself as well. When asked to explain this the governor humorously 
replied he knew not how he had become so tied up with cogs, and spindles, 
and motive power. At one time he said he was so disgusted with his brother 
John's devotion to mechanics that he could not abide a wheel on his planta- 
tion, even if it were only a wheelbarrow, but of a sudden found himself im- 
mersed in cotton factories. Governor Schley projected and at one timeow.ned 
Richmond Factory, a cotton manufacturing establishment on the waters of 
Spirit Creek, still in operation. While late in entering the industrial field Gov- 
ernor Schley won victories there as elsewhere, his factory for a'number of years 
paying a regular dividend of sixteen per cent. The governor also requited the 
debt which every lawyer owes his profession by the compilation of Schley's 
" Digest of English Statutes " of force in Georgia, a work of erudition and 
value. Schley county is named after Governor William Schley. 

John Schley, or Shly, as he spelled his name, started in life as a coachmaker 
at Louisville, then the capital of Georgia. At that time supplies were pain- 
fully wagoned up from Savannah, a distance of one hundred miles, and to ob- 
viate this tedious and expensive method of transportation Mr. Schley turned 
his attention to the improvement of the Ogeechee River and was foremost in 
urging the construction of the canal connecting that river and the Savannah. 
Till the rise of the railway system the method of transportation thus devised 
was of immense value. Mr. Shly also claims the honor of operating the first 

Bench and Bar. 243 

cotton manufactory in Georgia. It was a primitive afifair, run by horse- power, 
but did good work in its way. About 1830 Mr. Shly removed to Richmond 
county, and established on Butler's Creek a cotton- mill, Belleview Factory, 
which was the pioneer in that field, its success leading to the establishment of 
Richmond factory by Governor Schley, and, in time, to the construction of the 
Augusta canal and the rise of the great mill industry of Augusta. 

While busied with industrial matters, Mr. Shly found time to study law, and 
in 1834 became judge of the Middle Circuit. In 1838 he was re-elected, and 
again in 1841, serving eleven years. Judge Shly gave close attention to the 
cases argued before him, and in one instance summarily removed an obstacle 
to his giving that attentive consideration to counsel he desired. One day an 
eminent lawyer from South Carolina was arguing a knotty point before him 
with great ability and learning. The bar, partly from courtesy and partly 
from the excellence of the argument, were paying strict attention to their 
Carolina brother, and the bench was evidently much impressed. Not less in- 
terested was the veteran clerk of the court, whose desk was just below that of 
the judge. From long attendance Mr. Clerk had become a pretty fair judge 
of a legal argument himself, and on this important occasion had sharpened his 
faculties by copious potations. As the argument waxed warm he could not re- 
tain his seat, and rising little by little, finally stood bolt upright between judge 
and lawyer. Absorbed in his argument the jurist went on, but the judge was 
not so oblivious of the obstruction which blocked his view. A sharp repri- 
mand from the bench dropped the clerk into his seat as if shot, but in a few 
minutes he was bolt upright again, and wavering from side to side. For a few 
minutes the judge kept time with the oscillations, vainly trying to keep from 
behind the form, first on this side and then on that. Losing patience he siezed 
the court docket with both hands and, rising in the stirrups, came down on the 
muddled pate before him with a vigor which dropped Mr. Clerk at lightning 

speed into his seat. "Now, d you," said the court beneath his breath, "I 

think you'll stay down"; then, turning to the astonished counsel, calmly added 

with great courtesy. " Proceed, Brother , I think we need apprehend 

no further interruption." 

Judge Shly's reason for changing the spelling of his name was that, as ori- 
ginally written, it was abominably miscalled. His letters and papers would 
come as Schooly, and Scully and Sleigh and Slack and in a dozen other wrong 
ways, until in despair he hit upon Shly as a combination which no human in- 
genuity could pervert. 

Judge William W. Holt was another celebrated jurist of the olden time. 
He succeeded Judge Reid as mayor of Augusta in 1825, and was re-elected in 
1826; and for a time represented Richmond county in the Legislature, but 
his tastes turned to the law, and he is mainly remembered for his long and 
honorable career on the bench. In 1828 he was elected judge of the Middle 

244 History of Augusta. 

Circuit, succeeding Governor Schley, and served till 1834, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Judge John Shly. In January, 1847, he was appointed by Governor 
Towns to fill a vacancy, and in November following elected by the Legisla- 
ture for the full term, serving this time till November, 1849. I" August, 1853, 
he was appointed by Governor Cobb to fill out the unexpired term of Judge 
Starnes, appointed to the Supreme Court, and in November of that year was 
elected by the Legislature for still another full term ; and from that time for- 
ward was regularly re-elected term after term till 1863. The length of this 
service and the frequency of executive appointment and legislative election is 
the best evidence of Judge Holt's legal ability. The Supreme Court of Geor- 
gia was established in 1845, ^"d during the early portion of its history the de- 
cisions of the circuit judges were very frequently reversed, the proportion of 
reversals being about forty- eight per cent., this being probably due to the fact 
that there had been no common standard on many legal points during the time 
when each Superior Court judge was supreme in his own circuit. As has been 
stated, Judge Ebenezer Starnes had the least number of judgments reversed, 
and next to him came Judge Holt. Tlie memory of Judge Holt has lingered 
long at the bar and among the people. One portrait of him hangs in .the 
mayor's office in Augusta; another side by side with that of John Macpherson 
Berneir, the great advocate of Savannah, on the walls of Burke Superior Court. 
Herschel V. Johnson, twice governor of Georgia, was born in Burke county^ 
Ga., on the i8th of September, 18 12. In 1834 he graduated at the Univer- 
sity of Georgia, and in the same year entered on the practice of the law in 
the city of Augusta, having, with the vigor and determination characteristic of 
the man, pursued his collegiate and legal studies simultaneously. In 1839 he 
removed from Richmond to Jefferson county, and soon rose into public prom- 
inence. In 1843 he was nominated for Congress, but was defeated with the 
whole Democratic licket. The next year, in the famous presidential contest 
between James K. Polk and Henry Clay, he was Democratic elector for the 
then seventh district. In 1845, and again in 1847, he was strongly supported 
for governor in the Democratic State Nominating Convention, but on both oc- 
casions withdrew his name. In 1848 Hon. Walter T. Colquitt having resigned 
from the Cnited States Senate, Governor Towns appointed Mr. Johnson to fill 
the vacancy ; and during the long and excited senatorial session of that year 
he attracted great attention by the s )lidity and brilliance of his talents, John C. 
Calhoun declaring him the ablest man of his age in the Senate. In 1849 Gov- 
ernor Johnson was elected judge of the Superior Courts of the Ocmulgee Cir- 
cuit, which position he retained till nominated in 1853 as the Democratic can- 
didate for governor. His opponent in this contest was that other distinguished 
Georgian, Hon. Charles J Jenkins, and after a singularly close vote (Johnson 
47,638, Jenkins 47,128,) the subject of our sketch became chief magistrate of 
Georgia. In 1855 he was re-elected governor by a vote of 53,478 to 43,228 

Bench and Bar. 245 

for Hon. Garnett Andrews. In i860 Governor Johnson ran as vice-president 
on the Stephen A. Douglas ticket, and in 1861 was a delegate to the secession 
convention, and cast his vote with the minority of eighty-nine against the ma- 
jority of two hundred and eight that adopted the memorable measure of Jan- 
uary 19, 1861: "An ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of 
Georgia and other States united with her under a compact of government en- 
titled 'The Constitution of the United States of America.'" 

In 1865 Governor Johnson was president of the constitutional convention 
•called under the reconstruction scheme of President Johnson to rehabilitate the 
State, and, under the fond persuasion that the labors of the body would be ef- 
fectual to that end, in adjourning the convention sine die, addressed it in lan- 
guage which cannot be read even now without emotion : 

" Our old mother, thank God, is not dead, but she has been reduced to ex- 
tremity. We have been called together to nurse around her bedside, and to 
endeavor, if possible, to reanimate and reinvigorate her wasted body and now 
almost paralyzed limbs, and to drive back into her heart the vital blood, and 
bid it throb until the vital current shall stream through every vein and artery, 
and she shall bloom again in the beauty and vigor of health." 

The Legislature which met under the constitution of 1865 elected Governor 
Johnson and Hon. Alexander H. Stephens United States senators, but neither 
was allowed to take his seat. After this Governor Johnson resumed the prac- 
tice of the law, first in Augusta, in copartnership with that eminent jurist, Judge 
Ebenezer Starnes, aad afterwards in Jefferson county. In 1873 he was ap- 
pointed judge of the Superior Courts of the Middle Circuit, which position he 
filled with exemplary fidelity and usefulness until his death, which occurred at 
his home in Jefferson county, on the i6th of August, 1880. 

Of a number of the solicitors-general of the Middle Circuit we have already 
spoken. John Forsyth, George W. Crawford, Charles J. Jenkins, and Ebenezer 
Starnes are prominent on the list, three of them having become governor and 
two Supreme Court judges. James Gardner, another solicitor or attorney- 
general, as the solicitor- general of this particular circuit was called, was a prom- 
inent figure in the politics of his time, and was supported for governor in one 
of the most exciting nominating conventions ever held in the State. For many 
ballots he led all opposition, but it was finally seen that a two-thirds, then nec- 
essary, could not be obtained and he withdrew. Still no candidate could suc- 
ceed, and finally as a compromise Joseph E. Brown was nominated, thus be- 
ginning the career which has made him so prominent a figure in the history of 

Having confined our review to the judges and lawyers who have passed into 
history, we will not speak of those yet in life, further than to say that the rep- 
utation of Augusta for legal ability has been honorably maintained. We here 
subjoin a court roll of the judges who have presided in the Superior Court of 


History ok Augusta. 

Richmond county from the close of the revolution, and a list of the solicitors- 
general from 1796 to the present day: 

Chief Justices. 

John Glen 1776 

William Stephens 1780 

John Wereat 1781 

George Walton 1 782 

Henry Osborne 1787 

Nathaniel Pendleton 1789. 

Sui'EKioR Court Judges. 

George Walton 1 790 

William F'evv 1796 

George Walton 1799 

Benjamin Skrine 1804 

Robert Walker 181 3 

Robert R. Reid 1816 

John H. Montgomery 18 19 

Robert Walker 1822 

Robert R. Reid 1825 

William Schley 1825 

William W. Holt 1828 

John Shly 1834 

Roger L. Gamble . . . ; 1 845 

William W. Holt 1847 

Ebenezer Starnes . 1849 

Andrew J. Miller 1853 

William W. Holt 1853 

James S. Hook 1 863 

William Gibson 1866 

Claiborne Snead 1 879 

Henry C. Roney 1883 


Henry George Caldwell 1 796 

Peter Johnston Carnes 1799 

Robert Walker 1804 

John Forsyth 1 808 

Alexander Allen 181 i 

Alexander M. Allen 18 13 

Roger L. Gamble 1816 

Thomas F. Weils 1822 

George W. Crawford 1827 

Charles J. Jenkins 1831 

Ebenezer Starnes 1834 

John J. Flournoy i 

Alpheus Colvert i 

John T. Shewmake i 

William R. M'Laws i 

Alpheus M. Rogers i 

W. W. Montgomery i 

John P. C. Whitehead i 

John R. Prescott i 

H. Clay Foster i 

Davenport Jackson i 

Salem Dutcher i 



James Gardner 1840 Boy kin Wright 1881 

h'roin the review given it will be seen that the bench and bar of Augusta 
have been honorably prominent in public affairs, State and Federal. 

George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence. William Few and 
Abraham Baldwin were the only two of the Georgia deputies who signed the 
Constitution of the United States. Freeman Walker, Nicholas Ware, Robert 
Walker, Robert Raymond Reid, and William W. Holt were mayors of Augusta. 
Charles J. Jenkins, Ebenezer Starnes, and William W. Montgomery became 
Supreme Court judges. George Walton, John Milledge, John Forsyth, George 
W. Crawford, William Schley, Herschel V. Johnson, and Charles J. Jenkins were 
governors of Georgia. William Few, George Walton, Abraham Baldwin, John 
Forsyth, Freeman Walker, Nicholas Ware, William H. Crawford, and John P. 
King became United States senators, and John Forsyth, secretary of State; 
George W. Crawford, secretary of war, and William H. Crawford, secretary of 
the treasury. The counties of Baldwin, Crawford, Forsyth, Glascock, Johnson, 

Bench and Bar. 247 

Miller, Schley, Telfair, Walker, Walton, and Ware still commemorate the names 
of men eminent in the history of Augusta's bench and bar. 

The history of the Augusta bar is largely connected with the Superior Court, 
but the records of the City Court show many of the names already mentioned. 
For some seventy years there has always been, under one name or another, a 
tribunal peculiar to the city in which a vast amount of legal business has been 
done. It began as the Mayor's Court, was then called the Common Pleas, and 
for many years past the City Court. Its history we here synopsize, adding a 
court-roll of this tribunal. 

By act of December 19, 1 8 1 7, there was established in Augusta a court called 
the Mayor's Court, the mayor being ex-o^cio judge thereof, the jurisdiction 
whereof extended to cases involving not less than thirty dollars nor more than 
two hundred dollars. For his compensation as judge the mayor was to have, 
in cases not exceeding fifty dollars, a fee of one dollar and fifty cents ; in cases 
of over fifty and not exceeding one hundred dollars, two dollars ; over one 
hundred and not exceeding one hundred and fifty dollars, three dollars ; and 
over one hundred and fifty dollars, four dollars. It was made a court of re- 
cord, and to have the same authority as the Mayor's Court of Savannah, in 
which court the sessions were to be monthly ; there was to be an appeal from 
the decision of the mayor to a jury of seven men ; the proceedings were to con- 
form to those of the Superior Court ; and the court could sit as a court of in- 
quiry in criminal causes. The court was to go into operation on January i, 

By act of December 17, 1818, it was provided that the Mayor's Court should 
be held on the fourth Monday in each month, and iiave cognizance of all civil 
cases not involving title to real estate within the city, involving not less than 
twenty nor more than two hundred dollars, which should be tried by a jury of 
twelve, with the right in the court to grant a new trial in its discretion. In the 
absence of the mayor any member of the city council might preside, or the 
council could elect a ma.y or pro tern, as judge. Proceedings were to be by pe- 
tition, a copy of which was to be served on defendant five days before court. 
The court could issue attachments, hold to bail, and hear claims and illegalities. 
The city council was to elect a clerk and city sheriff for the court, who were to 
hold two years, and have the same fees as in the Superior Court. 

By act of December 9,^822, the jurisdiction of the Mayor's Court was ex- 
tended to cases not involving realty, where the defendant resided in the city, 
and the sum involved was not less than thirty nor more than three hundred 
dollars, but in no case was the court to have jurisdiction where a corporation 
or body politic was a party. There was to be an appeal in all cases to the Su- 
perior Court. 

By act of December 21, 1826, the name, the Mayor's Court of the city of 
Augusta was changed to the Court of Common Pleas for the city of Augusta, 

248 History of Augusta. 

and it was provided that the judge thereof should be elected by the Legisla- 
ture, and hold for three years. 

By act of December 19, 1828, the jurisdiction was limited to cases involv- 
ing not less than thirty nor more than two hundred and fifty dollars; but four 
terms a year were to be held, on the fourth Monday in January, April, July, 
and October; the clerk and sheriff were to have but two-thirds of the fees 
theretofore allowed ; and the attorney tax fee was to be on suits pressed to 
judgment, three dollars; settled before judgment, two dollars. 

By act of December 21, 1829, the jurisdiction was extended to three hun- 
dred dollars, cases involving title to land or within a magistrate's jurisdiction 
excepted ; the terms were to be held six times a year, on the fourth Monday 
in January, March, May, July, September, and November; rent cases were 
triable at the first term ; and, when the judge of the Superior Court was absent, 
the judge of the Common Pleas, in conjunction with the justices of the Inferior 
Court, had jurisdiction in habeas corpus. 

By act of December 21, 1830, the jurisdiction of the court was confined to 
cases where the defendant resided at the commencement of the suit within the 
corporate limits of the city of Augusta. 

An act of December 26, 1831, made some important changes. It was 
provided that where no plea was filed the court should award judgment, with- 
out the intervention of a jury, on proof of the plaintiff's demand, a rule now 
embodied in the State constitution. It was also provided that there should be 
no appeal to the Superior Court, but to a special jury in the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas. 

By act of December 24, 1832, the terms were changed to the second Mon- 
day of F'ebruary and April, fourth Monday of May and July, and second Mon- 
day of October and December. 

By act of December 22, 1834, the judge's fees were fixed at two dollars in 
cases not exceeding one hundred dollars ; where between one hundred and two 
hundred dollars, three dollars; over two hundred dollars, four dollars; on 
issues of fraud under insolvent debtors act, three dollars. All the laws as to 
interrogatories, de bene esse, and subpcena duces tucnvi were made applicable. 

By act of December 24, 1835, the city council was to fill vacancies in the 
office of clerk or sheriff of the Common Pleas, the city marshal to act as sheriff 
till such election. 

By act of December 30, 1836, the jurisdiction was extended to five hun- 
dred dollars, save as to cases within magistrate's jurisdiction ; the terms were 
made quarterly, on the second Monday in February, May, August, and Novem- 
ber ; the court was empowered to foreclose mortgages within its jurisdiction ; 
suits were to be filed ten, and process served eight, days before court ; the 
judge was to receive from the city council a salary of $i,000; all his former 
fees to be turned over to the council ; and judgment might be rendered at the 
first term where defendant failed to plead. 

Bench and Bar. 249 

By act of December 22, 1837, the provision authorizing the court to ren- 
der judgment at the first term where defendant failed to plead was repealed, 
and process was to be served nine days before court. 

By act of December 23, 1840, the terms were fixed for second Monday in 
February and May, and third Monday in July and October, and in event of 
vacancy in the office of clerk of the Common Pleas, the clerk of the city coun- 
cil was to act as such till the vacancy was filled. 

By act of December 27, 1842, the terms were fixed for fourth Monday in 
February, May, August, and November ; and the court fees were, in suits not 
exceeding one hundred dollars, one dollar ; between one hundred and two 
hundred dollars, two dollars ; between two hundred and three hundred and 
fifty dollars, three dollars ; over three hundred and fifty dollars, four dollars, to 
be paid before issue of process. 

By act of January 21, 1852, the terms were fixed for first Monday in 
March, fourth Monday in May, and first Monday in September and December. 
By act of February 15, 1856, " the Court of Common Pleas for the city of 
Augusta" was to be styled "the City Court of Augusta," and in November, 
1857, and every four years thereafter, the city council was to elect the judge; 
the court was to have jurisdiction of all offenses not punishable by death or 
imprisonment in the penitentiary, committed in the city ; and to have a grand 
jury to pass on indictments therefor, the criminal practice to be the same as in 
the Superior Court, with certiorari to that court, the attorney- general of the 
Middle District was to be the prosecuting officer of the City Court and the 
judge's salary was increased to $1,500, The same act empowered council to. 
appoint a recorder to try all infractions of the municipal ordinances. 

By act of Decetnber 17, 1861, the city council was empowered to fix the 
salary of the City Court judge not to be less than $1,000. 

By act of December 7, 1863, the judge of the City Court was given con- 
current jurisdiction with the judge of the Superior Court in habeas corpus 

By act of March 9, 1865, the jurisdiction of the court was extended to ten 
thousand dollars, and the tax fee on suits was abolished. 

By act of February 8, 1866, it was provided that a writ of error should lie 
from the City Court to the Supreme Court, and by act of February 6, 1866, 
the jurisdiction was reduced to $1,000. 

By act of December 13, 1871, it was provided that the City Court of Au- 
gusta should have jurisdiction of suits against joint obligors, joint promisers, 
joint trespassers, or copartners, where one resided within the corporate limits, 
a second original to issue into the county of the other's residence. 

By act of August 24, 1872, the City Court was vested with concurrent 
jurisdiction with the Superior Court in all cases where the jurisdiction of the 
latter was not exclusive under the constitution, in cases involving not more 


250 History of Augusta. 

than $1,000; and was empowered to render judgment in all civil causes, with- 
out the intervention of a jury, unless the defendant made written demand for 
a jury trial before the call of the appearance docket. The grand jury was 
abolished, and criminal causes made triable on written accusation founded on. 
affidavit of a prosecutor, and signed by the solicitor-general. 

By act of February 21, 1873, the mayor was directed to furnish two police- 
men to act as bailiffs during the session of the City Court. 

By act of February 28, 1876, the City Court of Augusta was abolished 
from January i, 1877, and its unfinished business turned over to the Superior 

By act of September 22, 1881, a city court was established in the city of 
Augusta, with a territorial jurisdiction over Richmond county; was vested 
with jurisdiction in all civil cases, except divorce, ejectment and equity causes,, 
involving over one hundred and not exceeding two thousand dollars (this lat- 
ter limit removed in 1887) ; its authority within these limits being concurrent 
with that of the Superior Court. It was also given cognizance of all criminal 
cases where the punishment is not death or imprisonment in the penitentiary, 
to be tried on accusation, based on affidavit, and by the judge, unless defen- 
dant demand indictment and jury trial. The judge and City Court solicitor 
were made appointable by the governor and to hold four years. The judge 
of this court is also vested with the management of the county business, taxes, 
roads, poor, etc. This court is still in operation. The court roll of the judges 
of the City Court from its origin as the Mayor's Court to the present time is 

as follows : 

The Mayor's Court. — 1818-1827. judges. 

Jan. 1, 1818-Dec. 8, 1 8 19 Freeman Walker. 

Dec. 13, 1819-N0V. 21, 1821 Nicholas Ware. 

.Dec. 12, 1821-April 10, 1822 Richard Henry Wilde. 

April 10, 1822-N0V. 18, 1822 Robert Walker. 

Nov. 18, 1822-April II, 1823 Freeman Walker. 

April II, 1823-April 12. 1825 Robert Raymond Reid. 

April 12, 1825-Oct. 4, 1826 William W. Holt. 

Oct. 27, 1826-Feb. 22, 1827 Robert Raymond Reid. 

The Court of Common Pleas for the City of Augusta. 

1 827-1 832 Robert Raymond Reid. 

June-Nov., 1 832 John P. King. 

1832-1851 John W. Wilde. 

1851-1857 William T. Gould. 

The City Court of Augusta. 

1857-1866 William T. Gould. 

1866-1870 John C. .Snead. 

1870-1876 William T. Gould. 

The City Court. 

1881- William F; Eve. 

City Court Solicitors. 

1881-1885 Louis A. Dugas, jr. 

J 1885- C. Henrv Cohen. 

The Medical Profession. 




Augusta Physicians of 1760-1785 — First Sanitation Act — Medical Association of 1808 
— Medical Society of Augusta Incorporated in 1822 — Medical Academy of Georgia — Bach- 
elor of Medicine Degree — State Board of Physicians — Medical Institute of Georgia — Doctor 
of Medicine Degree — The Medical College Organized —* Roll of Graduates — Yellow Fever 
of 1839 — -Celebrated Report Thereon — Non-contagiousness Demonstrated. 

AS early as 1760, when Augusta had been settled but a quarter of a century, 
we read of a Dr. William Day being a resident of Richmond county, and 
it may fairly be inferred that he was a gentleman of extended practice and 
consequent acquaintance, since it appears he was one of the three tax assessors 
of the county, then much larger than it is now. We also read in the same 
year of a Dr. Thomas Ford, who must also have lived in Richmond, then a 
border county, as the Colonial Assembly votes him ^20 los. for attention to 
" the people of this province wounded by the Cherokee Indians." In 1773 
we read of Dr. Andrew Johnston, evidently of Augusta, since the Assembly 
-votes him ^^3 for examining the body of one William Miller, who had been 
shot about twenty miles above the city, the coroner desiring medical testimony 
at the inquest. We further learn from an ancient act of about this period that 
the division of the medical profession into physicians, surgeons and apothecaries 
was rigidly maintained. Coming down to the close of the Revolution, we find 
Dr. Johnston still a practicing physician in Richmond county, and that Dr. 
Francis Folliott and Dr. Thomas Taylor were contemporary. It appears that 
these gentlemen took the king's side in the Revolutionary struggle, and were 
included in the bill of attainder of the crown's principal adherents, passed in 
1778. By this all the property of the loyalists was confiscated and the loyal- 
ists themselves ordered to depart the State, and not to return under pain of 
death. It does not appear that Drs. Folliott and Taylor were relieved of their 
disabihties, but in 1785 Dr. Johnston was permitted to return home and re- 
sume practice on certain conditions. He was to pay an amercement, or fine, 
of one per cent, of his property, but was not to vote or hold office for fourteen 
years. The usual amercement, where the bar of the attainder was lifted, being 
twelve per cent, the doctor may be considered as fortunate, and, we suspect, 
owed his good fortune to the influence of a brother physician. Dr. Cornelius 
Dysart, who took the American side. Dr. Dysart lived on the Washington 
road, about three miles above Augusta, and was a man of large possessions, 
and, at one time, one of the commissioners to administer the sequestrated 
•estates of the loyalists. 

252 History of Augusta. 

About this time the first known steps for the sanitation of Augusta were 
taken. At that period the town had a deep gully extending diagonally across 
it from what is now the neighborhood of the Riverside Mills towards Green 
street, while on the southern side of the city lay a species of morass interspersed 
with swamp growtii. In 1786 an act was passed empowering the trustees of 
the Richmond Academy to lease out these swamp lands or commons, for terms 
of seven years in five acre lots, the preamble of the act giving as a reason that 
"the clearing and cultivation of the flat lands southward of Augusta will con- 
tribute much toward preserving the health of the inhabitants, as well as add to 
the support of the town." About the opening of the nineteenth century ap- 
pears another sanitary act. At this time the cotton-gin had become an estab- 
lished institution, and, especially about Augusta, the preparation of cotton for 
market had become a prosperous and growing business. It was supposed that 
the cotton seed would ferment and produce unhealthful odors, and in 1803 the 
Legislature passed an act that the owners or occupiers of cotton-gins in or 
about any town or village should keep the seed dry, and at least once a week 
remove them to such a distance from the town or village as would " prevent all 
the unwholesome effects arising from the stench and vapors arising from the 
seed in their putrid state, if suffered to remain in heaps," under penalty of a fine 
of three dollars per week. 

In July, 1808, a call was published in the Augusta Herald for a meeting of 
the physicians of the city to form a medical association, and while it does not 
appear what action was taken, it is quite probable that such a society was or- 
ganized. In 1822 there was such an organization, the officers and members of 
which were Dr. Anderson Watkins, president; Dr. Alexander Cunningham, 
vice-president; and Doctors Milton Antony, Thomas J. Wray, W. T. Young, 
William Savage, John Dent, B. D. Thompson and Thomas H. M. Fendall; and 
by act of November 27, 1822, the General Assembly incorporated the associ- 
ation under the name and style of "The Medical Society of Augusta, Georgia." 
The society was empowered " to receive, hold and enjoy real and personal 
estate for the use and benefit of said institution ; " and was made " capable of 
receiving any bequest or donation, whether in money or other things for the 
benefit of said institution ; " and empowered to " sell, lease, or exchange any 
estate by them acquired, whether by purchase, bequest, or donation ; " from 
which language it is clearly inferable that one of the objects of the society was 
to erect a medical college in Augusta. 

This intent becomes certain when we consider an act passed on December 
20, 1828, "to establish and incorporate the Medical Academy of Georgia." 
By this act Doctors William R. Waring, John Carter, Lewis D. Ford, Ignatius 
P. Garvin, Benjamin A. White, Samuel Boykin, William P. McConnell, Walter 
H. Weems, William P. Graham, Thomas P. Gorman, Alexander Jones, Milton 
Antony, John J. Boswell, Thomas Hoxey, James P. Scriven, William C. Daniel, 

The Medical Profession. 253 

Richard Banks, Henry Hull, John Dent, Thomas Hamilton, Tomlinson Fort, 
Nathan Crawford, O. C. Foot, and John Walker were constituted a body cor- 
porate under the name and style of " the Trustees of the Medical Academy of 
Georgia." The act authorized the trustees to establish within the corporate 
limits of the city of Augusta, a medical academy for the State of Georgia, on 
such principle, and under such rules and regulations, and with such professors, 
instructors, and officers as may be best calculated to perpetuate the same, and 
promote the improvement of its pupils in the several branches of the healing 
art." It was further provided that the trustees should annually assemble at the 
Medical Academy for an examination into its affairs, five to be a quorum, and 
that the said " trustees, together with the regular professors and teachers in 
the institution, shall constitute a board of examination, whose duty it shall be, 
at the said annual meeting, after thorough examination, to decide on the merits 
of such candidates as may have studied in the said institution at least one year, 
and complied with all the conditions imposed by the board of trustees as pre- 
hminary to such examination, and confer the degree of Bachelor of Medicine,, 
on such as in their judgment may be worthy of the same." The trustees were 
to keep a record "in which shall be registered the name, age and place of na- 
tivity of each and every person who shall receive from this institution the de- 
gree of Bachelor of Medicine, and the time when the said degree was conferred, 
together with the name of the members of the board of examination present " 
The trustees were allowed to hold real and personal property for the uses of 
the Medical Academy to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars, and the 
graduates of the institution were to be allowed to practice medicine and sur- 
gery as fully as if licensed by the State Board of Physicians. 

The board of physicians here referred to had been appointed by an act of 
the General Assembly passed December 24, 1825, and from the names of the 
appointees it is quite clear that the faculty of Augusta had inspired this statute 
also. The following gentlemen constituted the State board: Doctors Tomlin- 
son Fort, Milton Antony, James P. Scriven, Charles West, Anderson Watkins,. 
Southworth Harlow, Ambrose Baber, B. A. White, Norburne B. Powell, Wal- 
ter H. Weems, William P. Graham, John Gerdine, A. B. Redby, O. C. Fort, 
Thomas Hamilton, William C. Daniel, John Dent, Thomas B. Gorman, Alex- 
ander Jones, and William N. Richardson. The act provided that no person 
should practice physic or surgery, or any of the branches thereof or prescribe 
for the cure of diseases for fee or reward unless licensed so to do by said board, 
under penalty of a fine ot not exceeding five hundred dollars for the first of- 
fense ; and for the second imprisonment not exceeding two months. It was 
also provided that no apothecary should vend drugs under like penalty, unless 
licensed by the board after examination into his knowledge of pharmacy. The 
substance of this statute is law to-day, and were the act enforced a valuable 
safeguard would be afforded the public health, and much malpractice and con- 

254 History of Augusta. 

sequent suffering obviated. It is unfortunately the case, however, that the offi- 
cers of the law are derelict in arresting and prosecuting those prowling quacks, 
mountebanks, and charlatans who from time to time peregrinate the country, 
robbing the ignorant and unwary, and leaving in their trail untold agony. 

Ryan act passed December 19, 1829, the name "Medical Academy of 
Georgia." was changed to "The Medical Institute of the State of Georgia." and 
the trustees of the institution were empowered "to confer the degree of Doc-- 
tor of Medicine upon such applicants, in such manner, at such times, and un- 
der such circumstances as may to the said board seem fit and proper, provided 
that the degree of Doctor of Medicine shall in no case be conferred on any per- 
son who shall not have attended two full courses of lectures in the institute, or 
one course in some other respectable medical college or university, and one in 
the institute in addition to the usual term of private instruction required by 
other institutions of a like kind." 

By an act passed December 20, 1833, the name " The Medical Institute of 
the State of Georgia," was changed to "The Medical College of Georgia," 
which it has since retained. The act appropriated $10,000 " for the purpose of 
enabling the board of trustees of said institution to procure a suitable piece or 
lot of land, erect thereon such buildings, and make such other improvements 
as may be necessary for the various purposes of a medical college, and to pro- 
cure a suitable library, apparatus, and museum for said institution, and such 
other things as may be necessary to the proper and successful operation of the 
same " It was also provided that fifty lots on the town commons of Augusta, 
to be designated by the city council, should be sold and the proceeds paid over 
to the college. 

By an act passed in 1826 the Bank of Augusta was empowered to increase 
its capital stock up to $600,000, one-si.xth of any increase made to be reserved 
to the State at par up to the end of the legislative session next ensuing such 
increase, and by act of December 23, 1835, the Medical College of Georgia 
was given the same rights of priority and all advantage derivable therefrom as 
to the increased stock of this bank as the State had under the act of 1826. 

In 1835 the Medical College was erected, and from that time to the present 
has uninterruptedly continued its career of usefulness. For many years The 
Southern Medical and Surgical Journal, a professional publication of great 
merit, was published in connection with it by Drs. Paul F. Eve and Ignatius 
P. Garvin. While the present college building was not erected till 1835, the 
work of instruction began at an earlier period, and the list of graduates dates 
as far back as 1829. P'rom that time to the present, the college has sent forth 
1,675 graduates — from Georgia, 1,264; South Carolina, 222 ; Alabama, 135 ; 
Florida, 13 ; Texas, 12 ; Mississippi, 8; North Carolina, 5; Tennessee, 4 ; and 
Arkansas, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, one each. 

The Medical Profession. 255. 

Shortly after the completion of the Medical College, Augusta was visited 
with an epidemic which severely taxed the strength and skill of its physicians. 
On the 8th of June, 1839, ^ number of members of a family residing on the 
river near Lincoln street, were attacked by a virulent disease taken at the time 
to be a remittent fever. On the 5th of July a laborer who had been working 
in the same vicinity was attacked in the same way ; then a little boy who had 
been playing in the locality, was taken with like symptoms and died in a few 
days, his skin turning yellow toward the close of his illness and developing 
large purple blotches shortly after death Sundry like cases then occurred in 
that portion of the city adjacent to the first cases, and finally on August 19th 
the physicians of the city were summoned into consultation by the mayor. 
Up to this time no such disease had been known in Augusta within the mem- 
ory of man, but forty cases had occurred, the development was now rapid, and 
it was clear that an epidemic prevailed. The disease was pronounced yellow 
fever. From this time on it ran the usual course of this dreadful disease, in- 
creasing in virulence until on November 8, terminating by a black or killing 
frost. There were from 1,500 to 2,000 cases, and 240 deaths. In the Au- 
gusta Chronicle of November 11, 1839, "1^7 t)^ seen the list of the victims. 

On the 13th of November, at a meeting of the physicians of Augusta, Dr. 
A. Cunningham was called to the chair, and Dr. Paul F. Eve appointed secre- 
tary. The following resolution offered by Dr. F. M. Robertson was unani- 
mously adopted. 

" Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to enquire into the 
origin and causes which gave rise to the late epidemic in Augusta." 

Doctors F. M. Robertson, I. P. Garvin, and Paul F. Eve were appointed 
that committee, and on December 10, 1839, made their report. This report 
is one of the most valuable contributions known to the literature of that dreaded 
scourge, yellow fever. In 1877 it was ordered reprinted by the City Council. 
The committee say they considered the question submitted them from two 
standpoints, viz : 

" I. Was the cause of the late epidemic introduced into our city from for- 
eign sources ? 

"II. Did it arise from local causes; and if so, what were those causes?" 

Those believing the disease imported were of three classes. The first be- 
lieved it introduced and spread by contagion ; the second considered that the 
atmosphere was in a vitiated condition, and that the introduction of one case 
sufficed to impart an epidemic constitution to an already vitiated air ; and the 
third class attributed the introduction of the disease to some decayed tropical 
fruit at that time thrown on the market. The committee take up these three 
theories in the order named, and discuss them with signal care, skill, and 
abiHty. As to the supposition that the disease was introduced and spread by 
contagion, their argument is so unanswerable that it has now passed into a 

256 History of Augusta. 

medical axiom that yellow fever is not contagious. We give a brief synopsis 
of the report on this interesting and important point. On July 27 two per- 
sons arrived from Charleston, then suffering from an epidemic of yeJlow fever, 
or, as we learn from the report, as it was then called, " stranger's fever," and 
on the 31st of July, a third, all unwell. No other sick person arrived from 
Charleston prior or subsequent to those dates, so that if these parties did not 
introduce or spread the disease, it did not arise from contagion. Of the two 
persons arriving on July 27, one died with all the symptoms of yellow fever. 
The other was at once removed to the extreme western portion of the city and 
recovered. The person arriving on the 31st also recovered. Many persons 
visited these patients and in fact one was quartered at a hotel, but no case of 
yellow fever could be traced to such contact or proximity. The western por- 
tion of the city to which one of the patients had been removed as stated, de- 
veloped no fever till a long subsequent period in the history of the epidemic. 
Having thus treated of the only known imported cases, and shown that no 
contagion could be traced to them, the committee refers to the fact that the 
first arrival from Charleston was on July 27, and then specifies by name and 
date eleven cases occurring in the city prior to that date, adding that numerous 
other cases could be mentioned had it been deemed necessary. The report 
then proceeds to give the localities in which the bulk of the cases occurring 
prior to August 19, when the disease was declared epidemic, were found, and 
demonstrates that they were not contiguous to the places where the Charles- 
ton cases were located, but lay in a close radius about the house on the river 
where on June 8th the first case was discovered. On these facts the committee 
submit "that the epidemic had commenced, fairly and decidedly, before the 
introduction of a single case of disease from Charleston must be evident to 
every unprejudiced mind." 

The report then takes up another argument advanced in favor of the theory 
of contagion, namely that a number of persons who nursed the sick were them- 
selves attacked. As an answer to this it is shown that where the sick were 
removed out of the infected district, not one single person engaged in nursing 
a patient was known to have had the disease ; and the conclusion is drawn 
that it was not proximity to the sick, but habitancy in the infected district 
which subjected the attendant to the malady. "This we consider an unan- 
swerable argument," says the report, against the contagious nature of the pre- 
vailing fever. If the disease was contagious, how could a removal of the sick- 
half a mile or more from the infected part of the city, deprive it of its conta- 
gious properties ? On the grounds of contagion this cannot be explained, but 
considering the disease of miasmatic origin, the fact is easily accounted for. 
Those who nursed the sick in the infected district were exposed — and that, 
too, at the worst period of the twenty- four hours — to the same miasmatic 
exhalations that had produced the disease in the patient. When the patient 

The Medical Profession. 257 

was removed, however, to an atmosphere free from the malarial poison, the 
nurses escaped, though they were exposed to the exhalations from the dis- 
eased body of the patient, who often expired in the most frightful agonies, 
with black vomit, hemorrhage, and all the evidences of extreme putridity." 
The committee then instanced one remarkable case where there was no com- 
munication whatever with the sick. A criminal under sentence of death in the 
jail, immured in a cell, and having seen no one but the jailer and turnkey, was 
the first person in prison who took the disease. Again, after the first black 
frost, which occurred on November 8, great numbers of the citizens returned 
to the city. If the disease could spread by contagion, why was it not commu- 
nicated to some of them by the numerous cases then still under treatment. 

The report next takes up reports made by eminent physicians of Charles- 
ton, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York on the yellow fever in 
those cities. In 1839 the fever prevailed in Charleston as it did in Augusta, 
and in the former city it was a general impression that it had been introduced 
by a vessel called the BiirniaJt. On October 18, 1839, Dr. T. Y. Simons, 
chairman of the Charleston Board of Health, read before that body " a report 
of the history and causes of the strangers or yellow fever, of Charleston," in 
the course of which he says : " The fever having occurred so earl)^ in the sea- 
son and so soon after its occurrence on the Burtnah, created suspicion of con- 
tagion in the minds of some, but I could not, upon the minutest investigation, 
come to that conclusion, and a committee appointed by the Medical Society, 
after making a minute and thorough investigation, came to the conclusion 
that the fever was not introduced by the BurniaJi or by contagion, but was 
produced by the peculiar condition of our atmosphere, in other words was 
epidemic and arose from causes among us." 

The committee here referred to was composed of Drs. A. Lopez, James 
Moultrie, E. Geddings, I. M. Campbell, Henry Winthrop and J. E. Holbiook, 
the president of the Medical Society. The following is from the report of that 
committee: "Your committee are therefore of opinion that the yellow fever 
which has prevailed and still continues this season, has its origin, not from con- 
tagion derivable from those cases imported in the ship BurniaJi on the 6th of 
June last, but from local and general causes." Dr. Geddings, chairman of this 
committee, in answer to a query from the chairman of the Augusta commit- 
tee, says : " I have never either in the epidemic of the present summer in 
Charleston, or in any of those which preceded it, observed a single fact or cir- 
cumstance favorable to the belief in any contagious property. On the con- 
trary I have witnessed the most free and unlimited intercourse between the 
sick and those who might be considered subjects for the disease, without the 
latter being attacked." 

In speaking of the yellow fever as prevailing in Charleston in 1799, Dr. 
Ramsey, the eminent physician and historian, says : " We have no reason to 

258 History of Augusta. 

believe that the yellow fever was imported among us, or communicated by 
contagion. Strangers who left the city and afterwards sickened and died in 
the country, were not the occasion of death, or even disease to those who at- 
tended them in their last illness." In writing in 1800 to Dr. Miller, of New 
York, Dr. Ramsey says : " The disputes about the origin of yellow fever which 
have agitated the Northern States, have never existed in Charleston. There 
is but one opinion among the physicians and inhabitants, and that is that the 
disease was neither imported nor contagious. This was the unanimous senti- 
ment of the Medical Society, who, in pursuance of it, gave their opinion to the 
government last summer, that the rigid enforcement of the quarantine laws 
was by no means necessary on account of yellow fever." 

In Norfolk the fever had frequently prevailed at the date of the report now 
under consideration, and a report or certificate dated October 12, 1801, and 
signed by Drs. Taylor, Hansford, Selden, and Whitehead is quoted as follows : 
" We do hereby certify that the malignant yellow fever, which prevailed with 
violence for some time past, has now nearly ceased, and that the health of the 
town appears to be improving daily. We know of no instance in which the 
disease has been communicated by contagion." 

In a report made in 1800 by the medical faculty of Baltimore to the mayor 
of that city in reference to the yellow fever prevalent there in the summer of 
that year, they say: " After the most scrutinizing investigation the faculty find 
no proof, or even cause of suspicion, that the fever which lately so unhappily 
afflicted our city was derived from foreign causes." 

The celebrated Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, was in the early part of his ca- 
reer of the opinion that yellow fever was contagious, but in his later years, and 
as the result of the most careful investigation and study, publicly announced 
that he had arrived at the opposite conclusion. In 1793, 1794, and 1797 the 
fever desolated Philadelphia, and Dr. Rush based his later opinion on his ex- 
perience of the disease from practical observation, his original idea of infec- 
tiousness being derived from the works of some West India writers, and there- 
,fore purely theoretical. 

In 1803 the yellow fever prevailed in New York, and Drs. Miller and Mit- 
chell of that city say : " The first public alarm took place from some deaths 
about the Coffee House slip, and in that neighborhood, where from the num- 
.ber and malignity of the cases, the atmosphere must have been charged with 
miasmata of great virulence ;" also, " many aged and young persons, whose 
•condition imposed confinement in their houses, without the occurrence of any 
preceding case in the families, were attacked with the disease in its most viru- 
lent form. Multitudes also took the disease who had not previously appoached 
any sick person, any suspected vessel, or any families allowed to be imbued 
with contagion." The report then instances Galliopolis in Ohio where many 
deaths occurred in 1797, when there was no communication with Atlantic 

The Medical Profession. 259 

ports, but the place was remarkable for " the filthiness of the inhabitants, and 
an unusual quantity of animal and vegetable putrefaction in a number of small 
ponds and marshes within the village." In the same year New Design, a small 
inland town of Missouri, containing a population of about two hundred, lost 
fifty- seven by yellow fever, whereas no person had arrived at it from any in- 
fected place within the year preceding. 

The report then says : "If we examine minutely the history of yellow fever, 
wherever it has prevailed, we find that it invariably obeys most of the laws 
which govern other miasmatic diseases. It has usually commenced its ravages 
during the heat of summer, increased its violence as the season advanced, and 
ceased as soon as the temperature ranged below a given point, or after a severe 
frost. Contagious diseases conform to none of these laws. What climate, 
what temperature, or what season can arrest the ravages of smallpox, for in- 
stance ? " 

The committee then takes up the second theory of the origin of the dis- 
ease, namely that the atmosphere was in a vitiated condition and that the in- 
troduction of one foreign case was the match to the magazine. It considers it 
an unanswerable argument against this view that the disease was at first con- 
fined to one spot and spread gradually thence so that it was late in the season 
before it had progressed from the eastern part of the city where it first devel- 
oped to the western portion, then about half a mile or so. The theory of the 
decayed West India fruit is found unworthy of serious mention. Such fruit is 
found all over the country every season, with no fever as a concomitant. 

The report then proceeds to consider the second great question, " did the 
fever arise from local causes, and if so, what were those causes." The commit- 
tee find that is was not any peculiar filthiness in the lots where the disease first 
appeared, they being up to the standard of the city's cleanliness. Nor was it any 
accumulation of water infused with filth on those lots, they lying low, such accu- 
mulations being a frequent occurrence before without evil results, and more- 
over, this particular season being extremely dry, no rain falling for seventy- 
one days. Nor was it the unusual lowness of the river exposing banks of slime, 
etc., the bed as exposed being "a beautiful sandy gravel, containing scarcely 
any remains of either animal or vegetable matter"; and in 1830 the river was 
equally low, with perfect health prevailing. Nor was the fever caused by cer- 
tain rotten cotton seed or decayed bacon, or the rank growth of the morns 
rmdticaulis as variously supposed, the bacon being at a point distant from the 
first seat of the disease, the morus growth thickest in that portion of the city 
last to feel the epidemic, and the cotton seed, a subordinate factor, if an opera- 
tive factor at all, to the real origin. That origin the committee finds in what 
was known as the city trash pile, that is, an enormous accumulation of the ref- 
use of the city in the river at the foot of Lincoln street. In April, 1834, the 
city council voted "that there be constructed a slide or platform on the river 

26o History of Augusta. 

bank for the purpose of throwing the dirt and rubbish collected by the street 
officer clear of the bank into the river." The platform was erected on piling, 
projected one hundred and ten feet into the river from the edge of the bank, 
and was forty-five feet high from the bed of the river. The street officers' carts 
laden with all the animal and vegetable matter collected from the different lots 
and yards of the city daily, were drawn to the end and sides of this platform 
and emptied in the river. Thus commenced the accumulation in 1834. At 
first, this collection was cleared away from time to time down to the water's 
edge, but finally this was neglected. An old boat lodged against the pile 
which prevented the water sweeping under the platform, and in 1869 the mass 
amounted to over 200,000 cubic feet. Malaria arising from the dissolution of 
vegetable and animal matter, especially the former, what a magazine of death 
was here! In April, 1839, the city directed the accumulation removed, and the 
use of the platform discontinued. The contractor who undertook the removal 
of the filth only partially did his work. The accumulation was so high that the 
workmen could step from the platform on to it, and the plan of removal was to 
dig down into it and throw it broadcast into the river. During the operations 
of the workmen as they penetrated into the interior, the heat evolved was so 
great that tliey were compelled to desist from work for two hours at a time, 
though they wore thick shoes. When the contractor had leveled it off as far 
as possible there still remained 117,000 cubic feet, which had been concealed 
for years, and now first since its deposit saw the light of day. The river con- 
tinuing to fall exposed those portions of the mass which had been leveled otT 
and thrown into it. For its measurements the committee could vouch having 
had an accurate survey made by a competent engineer. The first leveling off 
was completed by May 29. On June 8th the first cases of fever developed in 
the neighborhood of the pile. The nearest family was taken, a second removal 
was ordsrod, which was completed on July 2, with the result of exposing fresh 
festering surfaces. On July 5, one of the workmen was prostrated with fever, 
and on the same day a little boy who had been playing about the platform. 
On the 7th there were two more cases, another on the 14th, two more on the 
l6th, and then others in rapid succession before the arrival of the first infected 
person from Charleston. Efforts were made to cover the trash pile with earth) 
but it was too late; tlie atmosphere was already impregnated with the mias- 
matic poison, and more )ver the portions of the filth which had been cast into 
the river reniaineJ uncovered. The direction of the wind was from the trash 
pile towards the parts of the town affected, and as the direction varied, new dis- 
tricts lying in the charged track became infected, gradually poisoning the whole 

On all the facts collectible in a most laborious examination the committee 
came to two conclusions, which they embody in resolutions. • 

" I. Resolved, That from the facts disclosed in the foregoing report, we are 

The Medical Profession. 261 

of opinion that the cause of the late epidemic was not introduced into our city 
in any manner whatever from foreign sources, nor do we believe the disease 
to have exhibited, in the slightest degree, a contagious nature. 

"2. Resolved^ That in our opinion the cause of the late epidemic arose from 
the accumulation at the upper ' trash wharf,' between Lincoln and Elbert 
streets, of upwards of 200,000 cubic feet of vegetable and animal matter, col- 
lected from the lots and streets pf the city since the year 1834, which was 
opened and exposed to the action of the sun in the months of May and June 

The report and resolutions were then adopted. 

While there has been subsequent medical dissent from one of the positions 
taken in this valuable report, it may be regarded as settling the question of con- 
tagion or infection in the sense in which smallpox is contagious. A modern 
view is that there is a yellow fever microbe or germ, which when meeting an 
atmosphere prepared for its reception flourishes like a rank, poisonous weed. 
One striking point in the report is the evidence that it affords that Au- 
gusta was never visited by yellow fever till 1839, o^" ^O'' iriore than a century 
from its foundation. A third resolution reported by the committee urges the 
citizens to be warned of " deleterious consequences arising from a general neg- 
lect of cleanliness, which, for some years past has been too common in our city, 
owing to its 2inprecede7ited state of health^ In his letter, heretofore mentioned, 
to Dr. Geddings of Charleston, the chairman of the committee says: "The irrup- 
tion of a malignant disease in a community unaccustomed to such a visitation." 
In 1854 Augusta was again visited with yellow fever. On the i6th of Sep- 
tember the disease was declared epidemic, and the bulk of the population fled, 
as in 1839, to the Sand Hills, the piney woods and other salubrious resorts so 
plentiful near the city. Despite this depopulation, the fever vindicated its fear- 
ful name. We have heard from an eye-witness that the dead were even car- 
ried to the grave in wheelbarrows for lack of vehicles. 

In a medical point of view the epidemic of 1839 had been of service to the 
world. From the observations then made it became confirmed as an axiom 
that yellow fever was not contagious in the sense of personal communication 
like, for instance, smallpox. The outbreak of 1854 had also its uses. It will 
be remembered that in the celebrated report of the Augusta physicians of 1839, 
it had been argued, and with great power, that the fever was of local origin and 
had not been imported or communicated from Charleston, then infected. The 
origin was then traced to a noxious mass of animal and vegetable decomposi- 
tion on the river bank, and the disease was traced in its course from the first 
cases, occurring in that vicinage, until it radiated throughout the city. The ob- 
servations of 1854 confirmed the conclusion of 1839 of the non-contagiousness 
of yellow fever, but led to a very careful examination of the doctrine of local 
-origin, with the result of evolving a theory that yellow fever is of exotic origin, 

262 History of Augusta. 

has no native habitat in the United States, and only effects a foothold by trans- 
portation of a germ or spore. This theory was advanced as early as 1856 by 
Dr. Henry F. Campbell, an eminent Augusta physician, at the seventh annual 
meeting of the Medical Society of the State of Georgia, held in Macon, and has 
since in several 'valuable papers been enlarged upon by him. The substance of 
his views is about as follows: From 1768 to 1838 there had been some twenty- 
seven visitations of yellow fever in Charleston, but one hundred and thirty- six 
miles distant from Augusta, and yet up to 1839 there had been no yellow fever 
in Augusta. In 1833 a system of railway communication had been opened be- 
tween Charleston and Hamburg, lying immediately across the Savannah River 
from Augusta, and by 1839 ^^^s in full operation, the distance which by stage 
had taken several days to traverse being now covered in some few hours. In 
1839 the fever raged in Charleston; no check was placed on the running of 
railway trains out of the infected city to Hamburg, and that year the fever for 
the first time appeared in Augusta. Did not these facts point to a transmis- 
sion of the disease from Charleston to Augusta by rail. The possibility of con- 
tagion being communicated by personal contact had been shown not to exist. 
In all former epidemics in Charleston fugitives had found their way to Augusta 
by the slow staging, and yet no residents of Augusta had been attacked, though 
the fugitive himself not unfrequently died in the city with the disease in its 
most malignant form. 


The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1854 — Portability of Fever Germ— Dr. Campbell's Theory 
of Quarantine— Board of Health— The Sewer System— Decrease in Death RaXt— Southern 
Medical and Surgical Journal — Eminent Physicians — Milton Antony — Fendall — Cunning- 
ham— Watkins— Carter — Garvin — Newton — Dugas — Ford— Eve — Augusta's Present Faculty. 

AGAIN, from 1807 to 1854 the yellow fever had visited Savannah seven 
times, and yet there had been no outbreak in Augusta contemporaneous 
with one in Savannah, but in 1854 communication by rail was established be- 
tween Savannah and Augusta. In that year the fever became epidemic in the 
former, and after it had there obtained a firm fo6thold, appeared in the latter 
city. Again, it was the fact that a distance formerly consuming days was now 
traversed in a few hours. No restraint was placed on trains leaving infected 
Savannah for uninfected Augusta ; and behold the uninfected city becomes 
infected. Did not this, also, tend to show the portability of a fever germ ? 

The Medical Profession. 263 

Still, further, Macon was placed in railway communication with seaports, 
and the fever appears where it had never appeared before ; and yet again, such 
was the sequence in the case of Memphis and other far inland centers, of late 
years so piteously devastated. 

Certain specific instances occurring in the epidemic of 1854 seem to point, 
as with a finger, to the existence and portability of a yellow fever germ. At 
Union point, a station on the Georgia Railroad seventy- six miles from Augusta, 
and in an elevated pine region celebrated for its salubrity, a Mr. Lampkin and 
his wife both died. Mr. Lampkin was transportation agent at that point, and in 
discharge of his duty daily entered the freight cars arriving from fever-stricken 
Augusta ; his wife was daily in the passenger cars serving refreshments. Why 
should these residents of so healthy a region perish of yellow fever unless the 
railway had carried the germ out of Augusta, and in their daily routine they 
were peculiarly exposed to its influences? In 1876 the fever obtained a foot- 
hold in Savannah, and at Oliver, a point on the Central Railroad, forty-five 
miles from that city, all the railway employees about the depot who slept in 
the freight cars arriving from Savannah were attacked with the fever; those 
who slept in other places were not attacked. A young farmer of the neigh- 
borhood, who had not been near Savannah during the season, slept in a pas- 
senger car left over night at Oliver; eight days afterwards he died of yellow 
fever. In 1877 the fever prevailed in Fernandina, Fla., and a gentleman fled 
thence to Augusta with his family and effects. The father soon died of the fever. 
About that time one daughter opened the trunks which had been packed in 
and brought from Fernandina, and some time after was attacked with the fever, 
and then in rapid succession every other member of the family was taken. 
The disease did not extend beyond the household. In 1854, after several 
black frosts had put an end to the epidemic, there were a number of new cases 
in Augusta, all confined to returned refugees who on reaching home had 
opened wardrobes, trunks, bookcases, and other receptacles which had been 
<;losed when the owner fled. 

Dr. Campbell, therefore, lays down as two fundamental principles, the fol- 

" First. That the poison or product giving rise to the assemblage of phe- 
nomena and sequences which are known to constitute yellow fever, is an exotic 
readily importable into this country and, after importation, transportable from 
one region to another. 

" Secondly. That yellow fever is not in any of its stages communicable from 
one person to another after the manner or according to the rationale of ordi- 
nary contagion." 

In support of these propositions he enters on a comparison of the old and 
new methods of transit, saying : 

" First, that the yellow fever refugee, from the coast or elsewhere, travel- 

264 History of Augusta. 

ing slowly, as in times past, by stage or private conveyance, with compara- 
tively little baggage, though he brings with him in his blood a full supply of 
yellow fever germs or poison sufficient to produce in him all its phenomena^ 
and among them black vomit and death, has never been known, whether he 
was overtaken by the wayside, in the pine woods, or in the crowded city, to 
communicate the disease to others, or to infect the air of the inland community 
in which he had fallen. 

" While, secondly, the yellow fever refugee of the present time, coming in 
the rapid transit of a few hours by railroad, and bringing with him often the 
largest Saratoga trunks of porous baggage that had been packed and closed in 
the infected atmosphere, has brought with him, besides the germs circulating 
in his own veins — proved to be innocuous to all but himself — he has, I say, 
besides these blood-germs, brought with him a vast multitude of propagating 
atmospheric germs, in all their activity and capacity, to poison all who may 
directly imbibe them, and to rapidly propagate poison in the atmosphere of 
the entire locality. 

" In the first case the ventilation incident to several days of travel had re- 
moved from his scanty baggage and wearing apparel, probably, all yellow 
fever germs that were capable of communicating disease ; only the poison 
which he carried in his own blood remained, and this could infect no other 
person nor poison the air. In the case of the modern or railroad traveler, the 
immense volumes of germ-laden air in the passenger train, and still more in 
the boxed- up freight cars, besides what is brought in the trunks, must inevit- 
ably insure widespread atmospheric infection, and a widespread epidemic. 
Even though the air of the invaded locality may be what is called ' pure,' it 
cannot often escape vitiation ; when it may be what is called ' foul,' propaga- 
tion and an epidemic are simply inevitable." 

Dr. Campbell finds the great preventive measure in quarantine on correct 
principles, outlining the same thus: 

" First. Allow no railroad train or car, whether for passengers or freight, 
coming from an infected locality, to approach within many miles of any healthy 
or uninfected town or city. 

" Secondly. Meet these trains at some undoubedly safe distance from their 
place of destination by fresh cars for both passengers and freight. 

" Third. A careful and discriminating surveillance to be maintained over the 
baggage of passengers and over the freight in order to determine what will be 
safe, after ventilation and other means of disinfection, to be taken on the fresh 
cars. Porous articles and closed tnmks being most objectionable till disin- 

'• Fourth. That passengers have free passport into, and refuge in, any city, 
town, village, or other communit\', without hindrance on account of their 
physical condition in relation to their supposed or manifested inception of 

The Medical Profession. 265 

yellow fever poison. Long exposure in yellow fever atmosphere, attendance 
on the sick, actual fever and black vomit should be no bar or hindrance, on 
account of infection, to the free passage of persons seeking refuge for them- 
selves and families from yellow fever. 

" Fifth. To secure the privilege and benefits of the unrestricted travel con- 
templated by the modified quarantine, all persons must submit to such pro- 
visions as may be deemed necessary by the sanitary officers. Baths and 
change of apparel may be exacted, but simple ventilation only will in most 
cases suffice. 

^ "Sixth. In the establishment of a modified quarantine on the above system- 
atized method, arrangements on the most liberal and enlightened scale will be 
required. Officers of intelligence and high character only should be appointed 
to superintend and carry out the details of the plan. Whether buildings tem- 
porary or permanent will be required, and whether municipal. State, or national 
sanitary authorities are best to have charge of its conduct, only experience in 
an untried method can determine. An efficient and easy-working system can 
only gradually and by slow progress be perfected." 

By resolution of November 13, 1879, the Augusta Medical Society accepted 
these views as follows : 

" Resolved, That the yellow fever quarantine of the present time should be 
so modified as no longer to exclude persons coming from infected regions from 
taking refuge in healthy localities ; baggage, clothing, trunks, and boxes be- 
mg strictly excluded and every detail being minutely systematized on this prin- 

In 1877 the Legislature provided for a board of health for the city of Au- 
gusta, and by subsequent acts enlarged its powers. It consists of one citizen 
from each ward, two physicians from the city at large, a chemist, and the 
mayor and health committee of the city council, and has plenary powers over 
the subjects of sanitation and public health. It has a president, a secretary, 
and one inspector for each ward. It is authorized to institute all sanitary 
measures necessary to the preservation of the public health, or to prevent the 
generation or introduction of infectious and contagious diseases, and to regu- 
late the subject of quarantine in its discretion. The ordinances of the board 
on the subjects committed to it have the force of law, and all violations there- 
of are cognizable in the Recorder's Court. When it declares a quarantine, any 
violation of such quarantine is cognizable in the State courts. The board has 
also control of the sewerage and drainage systems of the city, but the construc- 
tion of new works requires the concurrence of the city council ; and has a su- 
pervisory jurisdiction over all public institutions in the city as respects sanita- 
tion. In the matter of quarantine and disinfection the board has authority to 
establish quarantine stations not exceeding forty miles from the city, and to 
prescribe regulations as to the transportation of freights to, or through the city 
34 ^' 

266 History of Augusta. 

and as to the ventilation, disinfecting, and cleaning of all boats, cars, engines^ 
and vehicles reaching the city; the penalty for infraction of such rules by indi- 
viduals being a fine not to exceed $i,ooo, imprisonment in jail not to exceed 
six months, or confinement in the chain gang not exceeding twelve months; 
any one or more of such punishments in the discretion of the court, and by 
corporations a fine not exceeding $5,000. The salary of the president of the 
board is $1,200 per annum, of the secretary $400, and there are five sanitary 
inspectors, each receiving $50 per month. The cost of the board averages 
$5,000 per year. There are 7,068 lots in the city, about the same number of 
water closets and surface privies, and forty miles of sewers and surface drains. 
It is the duty of the inspectors to see that the lots are kept clean, and that all 
the sanitary regulations respecting the sewers, drains, etc., are conformed to. 
In 1886 they discovered and had abated 12,461 nuisances injurious to 
health. It has been found that under the board the construction of sewers and 
drains has been not only more scientifically carried on, but much more econ- 
omically, as, for instance, in 1886, it constructed 6,706 feet of side drains at 
9y cents per foot, which had previously cost the city 28|^ cents. It has also 
been found that it could construct from three to five feet of sewer for the price 
formerly paid for one. This economy has been the result of judicious reduc- 
tion in the size of sewers, the substitution of pipe for bricks, and the construc- 
tion of work by contract under competitive bids. The practical value of the 
board's labors is shown in a marked reduction of the city's death rate. From 
1 87 1 to 1879, inclusive, it was 30 in the 1,000. From 1880 to 1885 it was 24; 
a decreased death rate equal to 210 lives per annum. The death rate of 1886 
was 23.38 ; and for 1887 but 21.33, the smallest ever known in the city. 

On the organization of the board of health Dr. L. D. Ford was made pres- 
ident and continued in office until 1880, when he, Drs. Dugas and Rains re- 
signed. During the times these gentlemen remained in office they each ren- 
dered great and valuable service to the sanitary interests of the city. The 
minutes of the board show numerous able and voluminous papers presented 
by them on various questions of hygiene, as, for instance, sewerage, drain- 
age, quarantine, disposal of household wastes, garbage, excreta, etc. In 1878 
several families were stricken down with typhoid fever, attacking nearly every 
member of each household. Through their physicians the board of health Avas 
appealed to investigate the causes of the fever. A committee, consisting of 
Drs. L. D. Ford, L. A. Dugas, and G. W. Rains, was appointed. In prose- 
cuting their duties they found that the fever was caused by the frightfully 
filthy condition of the Elbert street sewer, which was but an elongated cess- 
pool filled to nearly one-half of its diameter with mud, stagnant water, kitchen 
slops and human excreta. The committee recommended the cleansing, flush- 
ing and disinfection of the sewer. The committee was then charged with the 
duty of opening and examining the condition of every sewer in Augusta, and 

The Medical Profession. 267 

in 1878 made the following report : "After full discussion we are unanimously 
of the opinion that all these sewers (referring to the then system) are viciously 
located, improperly constructed, and as to their influence upon the public 
health, your committee here express the opinion, without going into details, 
that they are now damaging the health of our citizens, with the prospect of 

great danger in the future Your committee do but justify their 

sober judgment in declaring their conviction that malignity, plotting mischief 
against the citizens of Augusta, urged by disciplined ingenuity, could not have 
spent the large amount of money, the cost of these sewers, in any way better 
for its purpose than in building them." This report was signed by Drs. L. 
D. Ford, L. A. Dugas and G. W. Rains. These gentlemen urged immediate 
action in removing faulty sewers, and a complete system. Dr. G. W. Rains 
submitted an elaborate plan for a complete system of sewers and drains, which 
the board adopted, and recommended council to put in execution. In 1879 
1879 President Ford stated to the board that the report had been received by 
the council without any action ; " therefore," said he, " I have called you to- 
gether to consider if any or what action you will take to relieve the board of 
health from the responsibility which is still resting upon them." Failing in 
their efforts to secure prompt support from council, Drs. Ford, Dugas and 
Rains resigned membership in the board of health. Council requested these 
gentlemen to withdraw their resignations. This they declined to do. Council 
then elected Drs. Eugene Foster, V. G. Hitt, and G. H. Winkler as their suc- 
cessors. Dr. Foster was unanimously elected president of the board of health, 
and has three times since been unanimously elected to that position, his last 
•election being in 1888. The president bi^ the board of health promptly took 
up the sewerage question where it had been left by Dr. Ford, and persistently 
pressed the matter upon the attention of the council. The city engineer was 
instructed to begin at once to open each sewer in the city and fully report its 
condition, size, shape, grades, connections, and outlet. Upon receiving the 
report of the engineer, the board of health promptly condemned as a nuisance 
injurious to health every sewer shown by his report to be such. The board 
of health fully concurred in the report of President Ford, in his annual report 
for 1879, in which he said : " It condemned these sewers in almost every par- 
ticular — that they were vicious and dangerous in their location, vicious in their 
construction, and injurious to the public health; that they were built in viola- 
tion of the settled principles of sanitary science ; that, by whomsoever built, 
they were left a legacy of evil to the city, and should be removed as soon as 
possible." Dr. Foster insisted that the present sewerage and drainage sys- 
tems should be examined by a sanitary engineer of undoubted ability, and 
plans presented for a complete system. To this purpose he suggested that 
Colonel G. E. Waring, a world renowned sanitary engineer, be invited to Au- 
gusta. This suggestion was adopted, and Colonel Waring, in 1880, began the 

268 History of Augusta. 

work of examining the then sewerage and drainage systems, and, after fully 
examining the problem, rendered to the board of health his report, in which 
he condemned as a whole the then sewer system, and recommended a system 
of pipe sewers (similar to that of Memphis, Tenn.), with an outlet sewer from 
corner of Taylor and Twiggs streets through Twiggs to Watkins street, through 
Watkins to East Boundary, and through East Boundary street to the river. 
The board of health decided not to recommend to council the Waring system' 
until it had obtained further expert opinious on the question, and recommended 
council to employ Dr. Azel Ames, of Boston, Mass., another noted sanitary 
engineer, to examine and report upon the question. This was done by the 
council. Dr. Ames promptly began the work and submitted plans and details 
therefor in May, i88i. Dr. Ames's paper, like Colonel Waring's, recom- 
mended the abolition of the then existing sewers, and the substitution there- 
for of a system of pipe sewer, with a main outlet sewer commencing at inter- 
section of Savannah road and Ninth street, through Twiggs to Watkins, through 
Watkins to East Boundary, thence northward to the river. Second outlet 
sewer through Greene to East Boundary, thence to the river. 

Dr. Ames's report also embraced the subject of increased water supply. 
He recommended locating the pumps at Rae's Creek, and taking the water 
supply from the lake. The sewerage system proposed by Dr. Ames was by 
him estimated to cost $220,000, and the increased water supply — giving the 
city 5,000,000 gallons of water daily — $70,000, making the sewerage and 
waterworks system cost $290,000. The board of health and council adopted 
the plans of Dr. Ames, and council, being charged with the duty of providing 
the ways and means, decided to submit the question to the voters of the city 
and ask authority to expend $400,000 if necessary, in constructing these im- 
portant works. At a special election held July 8, 1881, the citizens, by a more 
than two-thirds vote, sustained the proposition to construct these works, and 
issue $400,000 in bonds to pay therefor. An injunction was sued out against 
the issue of these bonds, and upon being carried before the Supreme Court it 
decided that to issue the proposed bonds would violate that provision of the 
State constitution which prohibited any city with a bonded debt equal to seven 
per cent, of its taxable property from incurring any new bonded debt. Thus 
halted in its work, the board of health was forced to rebuild, remodel and per- 
fect the existing sewers as best it could from money to be annually appropri- 
ated by the council. This has from year to year been done as speedily as 
possible. The board of health, under recommendation of its president, adopted 
a comprehensive plan of sewerage and drainage, and that all work done should 
be a part of the complete system, and $10,000 annually has been expended on 
this important work. Dr. W. H. Doughty, a member of the board, having in 
view the idea previously suggested by Colonel Rains, and adopted by consult- 
ing engineers Waring and Ames, of delivering the sewage in the river north 

The Medical Profession. 269 

of the city, instead of into the swamps on the south of it, submitted to the 
board of health, in 1883, a plan for an outlet sewer for the eastern and south- 
eastern section of the city extending as far west as Mcintosh street. Dr. 
Doughty's plan recommended an outlet sewer running through Walton street 
to east boundary and thence northward to the river, the grade to be twenty feet 
at third canal level, and to be constantly irrigated with a stream of eighteen 
inches from the canal. The board of health and city engineer found that the 
plan suggested by Dr. Doughty was not feasible under the grade and eleva- 
tion suggested by him, and the board, upon advice of the engineer, changed 
the route suggested by Dr. Doughty, and turned the course of the sewer north- 
ward to the river through Houston street, thereby greatly curtailing the cost, 
and also lowered the proposed grade four feet, thereby rendering the proposed 
plan practicable. The engineer and board of health decided to build the sewer 
six feet internal diameter, so as to make it practicable for an outlet for all 
sewers as far west as McKinnnie street. The city engineer estimated the cost 
of the proposed sewer at $38,978.07. The board adopted the plan of Dr. 
Doughty as amended, and recommended to counci4 to promptly build it; coun- 
cil adopted the plan, and submitted it to a popular vote, and asked authority to 
levy a special tax of x of i P^r cent, for one year. The election was held 
February 27, 1884, and resulted in its adoption by a more than two-thirds 
vote. Council then appointed the mayor, president of board of health, and 
streets and drains committee of council, a commission to build the outlet sewer. 
This commission, with City Engineer Davidson, promptly began its labors 
and, as rapidly as possible, had this important structure completed. Upon 
completion of the sewer the commission found that it had built the structure 
for $10,000 less than the estimated cost, and more than five thousand dollars 
less than the bid of any responsible bidder for the work — certainly a rare ex- 
perience in constructing a public work. Since its completion two floods have 
fully tested its strength, and, in each instance, it successfully stood the enor- 
mous water pressure brought to bear upon it. The sewer system is a modifi- 
cation of what is known to engineers as the combined system, i. e., for con- 
duction of sewage and storm water. All sewers running southward are about 
thirty-six to forty-eight inches diameter and carry sewage and storm water, 
those running east and west are for conduction of sewage only — the storm 
water in these sections being carried by surface drains to the sewers running 
southward. By this latter plan the city will save fully a half million of dollars 
by the time the sewerage system shall have been completed. This plan is 
that suggested by the president of the board of health. All storm water passes 
through sand traps or pits before reaching a sewer, thus depositing the sand in 
the traps instead of in sewers. Manholes have been placed at intervals of three 
hundred feet in every sewer to readily admit of inspection of these conduits. 
Up to 1887 it was impossible to build sewers. in the section of the city be- 

270 History of Augusta. 

tween Twiggs, South Boundary and West Boundary streets and the canal, as 
no outlet sewer had been provided. In 1887 the president of the board pro- 
posed a plan for this latter structure, and, in consultation with City Engineer 
Davidson, submitted to the board of health plans and details therefor. These 
plans were adopted by the board of health and council, and the city council 
made an appropriation for building a part of this sewer in 1888. In a few days 
work will be begun upon this structure. When it is completed all sections of 
the city will be fully provided with outlet sewers, and the danger of discharg- 
ing sewage into the swamps south of the city to stagnate, and thereby injure 
the public health, will be removed. The lateral sewers can then be constructed 
from year to year as the city's finances will permit, and, when completed, 
Augusta will have a sewerage and drainage system equalled by few cities in 
America. When this important work is completed a marked decrease in our 
death rate will be observed. 

The good results of the sanitary measures adopted in Augusta are seen in 
a death rate now as low, as respects the white population, as any city in the 
country, while the total death rate has been decreased in a remarkable and en- 
couraging degree. 

From 1 87 1 to 1879, inclusive, the annual death rate of the total population 
was 30 per 1,000; from 1880 to 1888, inclusive, it was 23 91, showing a de- 
<a'ease of 6.09. This result has been achieved despite a heavy increase in density 
•of population, which always militates against healthfulness. Tlie population of 
the city being 37,000, it is demonstrable that the very efficient work of the board 
of health results in a saving of two hundred and twenty-two lives annually. 

For the period 1880 to 1888, inclusive, the following has been the relative 
death rate among white and colored populations: White, 17.36 per 1,000; col- 
ored, 33.90, the death rate among the colored population being nearly double 
that of the whites. During the period 1880 to 1888, inclusive, the death among 
the whites being only 17.36 per 1,000, it shows that for the whites the death rate 
is as low as in almost any other city in America. Further it appears that for the 
first five years of this period, 1880 to 1884, inclusive, the average annual death 
rate per 1,000 white population has been 18.81, while for the last four years, 
/. e. from 1885 to 1888, inclusive, it has been only 15.53, showing a constantly 
decreasing death rate among the white population amounting to 3.28 per 1,000 

In 1887 a charter commission or select body of citizens empowered to in- 
vestigate the entire working of the city government in all its branches, thor- 
oughly examined the operations of the board of health, and reported as fol- 
lows : " We approve of and highly commend what has been done, and what is 
proposed by the board of health, and we take much pleasure in bearing testi- 
mony to the great skill and ability of Dr. Foster, to whose untiring energy and 
knowledge of the science of sanitation, the city is greatly indebted for the re- 

The Medical Profession. 271 

duction in the death rate of our city in the last six years, from 30 to 21.33 P^r 
1,000. We cannot speak in too much praise of such a work, or recommend 
too strongly that the powers of the board be increased so that the death rate 
may be more and more reduced." 

Of the Southern Medical and SurgicalJournalvci^xs.\\ox\ has been made sev- 
eral times in the course of this sketch of the medical profession of Augusta. It 
was the first publication of the kind in the South, except possibly one in New 
Orleans, and was begun in 1845 by Doctors Paul F. Eve and Ignatius P. Gar- 
vin, and conducted by them till 1851, when Dr. L. A. Dugas took charge. Dr. 
Dugas edited the Jojtrnal until 1856 by himself, and from that time until the 
war in conjunction with Dr. Henry Rossignol. During the war the publica- 
tion of the Journal was suspended, but after the war it was revived and con- 
tinued a short time under the charge of Doctors Dugas, Ford, and Doughty. 
The immense number of medical publications of recent times has, to a great 
extent, rendered such a journal unnecessary, but it was in its day of very great 
value, and is even now a rich treasury of medical learning. 

Of some of the eminent physicians of Augusta of the past we now speak. 
Dr. Milton Antony is a central figure in the medical annals of Georgia. He 
founded the medical college, and his ashes repose in the college yard. Dr. 
Antony was born in Wilkes county, Ga., in 1784, and had few, if any, educa- 
tional advantages. But the love of learning was in him, and by his own efibrts 
he wrought himself forward to the front rank of his noble profession. In 1822 
his name headed the list of members of "The Medical Society of Augusta, Geor- 
gia," and in 1825, when the Legislature created the State Board of Physicians, 
he was made one of its members. In 1828 the Legislature made him one of "the 
trustees of the Medical Academy of Georgia," the act authorizing the trustees 
to establish within the corporate limits of the city of Augusta a medical acad- 
emy for the State. At this time Dr. Antony in conjunction with Dr. Joseph A. 
Eve, one of his pupils, had a species of medical institute then in operation in 
connection with a hospital in the lower portion of Augusta, where the widow's 
home now is, but the inability to confer degrees probably crippled its useful- 
ness as an educational institution, and led to the passage of the act of 1828, and 
the acts of 1829 and 1833 already mentioned. In 1829 the name Medical 
Academy of Georgia was changed to " the Medical Institute of the State of 
Georgia," and that in turn in 1833 to the present style " The Medical College 
of Georgia." Of this institution Dr. Antony is undoubtedly the founder, his 
energies never relaxing till he had seen a substantial edifice erected and sup- 
plied with library and museum. While only surviving the founding of the col- 
lege five years, Dr. Antony had the satisfaction in that time of seeing it grad- 
uate sixty-two physicians. In the yellow fever epidemic of 1839 Dr. Antony 
lost his life, dying on September 19th of the prevailing disease, but laboring 
in his humane profession to the last. The fever broke out in August; it was 


History of Augusta. 

its first appearance in the city; there were few, if any, experienced nurses; the 
faculty had little, if any, experience with such a malady, and it seems quite ap- 
parent from contemporaneous accounts that Dr. Antony put forth superhuman 
exertions in this terrible exigency, and so overtaxed his strength as to fall an 
easy victim to the plague. Even in those days of death and sorrow his demise 
was keenly felt and bitterly lamented. He was interred in the college grounds, 
and on the slab covering his grave is this inscription : 

" Mortale quicquid caduit hie depositum 

Milton Antony, M.D. 

Conditor collegi medici Georgiensis, 

Exegit monumentum sere perennius, 

Vixit annos quinquaginta, 

Obiit die xix. Septembris, 


In the lecture- room of the college, on the right of the professorial rostrum 
is inserted in the wall a marble memorial tablet thus inscribed : 

" In Memory ot 

Milton Antony. M.D., 

Founder of this College. 

A niarlvr to humanity and the duties of his profession, 

During the fatal epidemic of 1839. 

Cheered by Religious Faith through the Griefs and Trials of this life, 

He passed from the cure of the sick to the sleep of the just. 

Amid the tears and blessings of the poor. 

True to his own favorite maxim, 

That a virtuous will is almost omnipotent, 

He overcame by study the defects of education 

And patiently toiling to eminence, bequeathed to Posterity 

A noble Example of Genius and Industry, 

Animated and directed by Patriotism and Benevolence." 

Dr. Thomas H. M. Kendall was a practicing physician in Augusta as early 
as 1808, and is probably the author of the call made in June of that year for a 
meeting of the faculty of the city for the purpose of forming a medical associa- 
tion. Dr. Fendall was still alive in 1822, as his name appears as one of the 
members of "the Medical Society of Augusta Ga.," incorporated in that year. 

Dr. Alexander Cunningham, vice-president of the society in 1822, was also 
a physician of eminence, and was in practice certainly up to 1839, as in that 
year we find him chairman of the meeting of physicians called to consider the 
origin of the yellow fever epidemic of that year's summer. We have heard old 
citizens speak very highly of Dr. Cunningham's professional attainments. 

Dr. Anderson Watkins, the first recorded president of the Medical Society 
of Augusta, was one of the members of the first State Board of Health ap- 
pointed in 1825. 

Dr. John Carter was also a prominent physician of Augusta some half cen- 

The Medical Profession. 273 

tury since. He was one of the original board of trustees of the Medical Acad- 
emy of Georgia, now the medical college. His son, Dr. F"lournoy Carter, who 
died some years since, also stood high in the profession. 

Dr. Ignatius P. Garvin lived to a good old age, and has an honorable re- 
cord. He was one of the original board of trustees of the medical academy of 
1828, a colleague of Drs. John Carter, Ford and Antony. For many years, in 
conjunction with the celebrated Dr. Paul F. Eve, who subsequently removed to 
Nashville, Dr. Garvin conducted the Southern Medical and Surgical Review. 
He was one of the first faculty of the medical college. In 1848 he was mayor 
of Augusta, and for a number of years just preceding his death was the city 

Dr. George M. Newton is a physician who should be mentioned in this con- 
nection. He was the stepson of Mr. Isaac Tuttle, who at his death in 1855 left 
his house on Walker street for an orphan asylum, and endowed it with $50,- 
000, half his fortune. The other moiety he left to Dr. Newton, who, at his 
death in 1859, left his entire estate, $200,000, to the asylum. 

Dr. Louis Alexander Dugas was one of the most eminent physicians ever 
practicing in Augusta. His father was a French planter of San Domingo, who 
emigrated to the United States on the insurrection of the blacks in that island, 
and settled in Wilkes county, Ga.. where Dr. Dugas was born in 1806 The 
doctor was educated up to his fifteenth year by his widowed mother, a lady of 
great accomplishments, who had been herself educated in Paris. Dr. Dugas 
at first studied with Dr. Charles Lambert de Beauregard, a French emigre ^\\y- 
sician, and on his death studied with Dr. John Dent. He then attended lec- 
tures in Maryland and Philadelphia, and graduated at the medical department 
of the University of Maryland in 1827. He then studied abroad for three 
years, and in 1831 began a long and illustrious career in Augusta. At the time 
Dr. Dugas entered actively on the practice the medical college was an assured 
fact, and on its organization he was elected professor of anatomy and physiol- 
ogy. Subsequently he took the chair of physiology and pathological anatomy 
which he held till 1855, when he was elected to the professorship of the princi- 
ples and practice of surgery, which he held till his resignation from the faculty 
in 1880. In 1834 Dr. Dugas revisited Europe for the purpose of purchasing 
a library and museum for the medical college, a fund of $6,000 having been 
appropriated for that purpose, and from his acquaintanceship in Paris, success- 
fully accomplished his important mission. In 185 i he again visited Europe and 
in the same year assumed the editorship of the Southern Medical and Surgical 
Joiir?ial, the duties of which he acceptably discharged till 1858, the Journal 
taking high rank in the medical press. Dr. Dugas was a voluminous writer 
on professional topics, and contributed to a number of medical periodicals be- 
sides the Southern Medical and Surgical Journal, among others The New Or- 
leans Medical and Surgical Journal and \.\\& Atlanta Medical and Surgical 

274 History of Augusta. 

Journal, and several very valuable papers are to be found in the transactions of 
the American Medical Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and the 
International Medical Congress. Dr. Dugas wrote as many as one hundred and 
twenty-seven papers on professional topics of great interest, a list of which will 
be found on pages five and six of a valuable and interesting sketch of the life 
of this celebrated physician, written by Dr. Eugene Foster, of Augusta, presi- 
dent of the Augusta Board of Health, and president of the Medical Associa- 
tion of Georgia. Dr. Dugas paid special attention to surgery, and when Au- 
gusta was a great hospital center during the war, containing thousands of 
wounded soldiers, was the consulting surgeon of the Confederate government. 
Some of his professional discoveries were of immense value. In particular he 
furnished a rule by which to ascertain whether dislocation of the shoulder joint 
exists, a rule which works with mathematical certainty, and should be known 
as Dugas's Law. It is best stated in its author's own words: "If the fingers of 
the injured limb can be placed by the patient, or by the surgeon upon the sound 
shoulder, while the elbow touches the thorax, there can be no dislocation; and 
if this cannot be done, there must be a dislocation. In other words, it is 
physically impossible to bring the elbow in contact with the sternum or front 
of the thorax if there be a dislocation ; and the inability to do this is proof pos- 
itive of the existence of dislocation, inasmuch as no other injury of the shoul- 
der joint can induce this inability." When it is known that prior to the dis- 
covery of this law the science of surgery knew no certain method for diagnos- 
ticating injuries of the shoulder joint, the service done in this particular by Dr. 
Dugas can be readily seen. 

At the time the report, hereinbefore mentioned, on the causes of the yellow 
fever in Augusta in 1839 was made. Dr. Dugas was the sole dissentient among 
the physicians of that day on the point of the fever being of local origin. It 
was his view [that it did not originate in Augusta, but was imported from 
'Charleston in railroad cars, thus foreshadowing what may be called the germ 
theory, or that yellow fever may be brought into a locality by the introduc- 
tion of spores. 

In his last medical paper, one read before the International Medical Con- 
gress in Philadelphia in 1876, Dr. Du^as broached a theory as to the treat- 
ment of penetrating wounds of the abdomen which is said to be destined to 
revolutionize this branch of practice and make recovery the rule and death the 
exception in these dreadful cases rather than the reverse as is the case now. 
A wound in the abdomen is commonly regarded as almost inevitably mortal. 
It was Dr. Dugas's idea that the recognized method of treating such wounds 
brought on septicaemia, or blood poisoning, and the practice recommended by 
him was to open the lacerated parts, trim the ragged edges of the wound to a 
straight edge, and rel\- upon t!ie healing power of nature to reunite the parts. 
In enforcing this he says, " Is it not lime that we should regard as groundless 

The Medical Profession. 


the fears heretofore entertained with regard to the danger of opening the abdo- 
minal cavity ? No change of practice in the class of wounds under considera- 
tion can make the chances of recovery less than they are now, and 1 feel con- 
fident that by adopting the plan proposed we would so alter the" results as to 
make recovery the rule and death the exception." Dr. Dugas died in 1884, 
honored by the people among whom he had so long labored and venerated by 
the profession he so worthily adorned. 

Dr. Lewis DeSaussure Ford was born in New Jersey in 1801, and died in 
Augusta in 1883. He graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of 
New York in 1822, and in 1827 settled in Augusta. Here for over half a cen- 
tury he practiced his noble profession with a generous tenderness of heart that 
makes his name venerated throughout the city. He was emphatically a Good 
Samaritan. His most prominent trait was benevolence. Day or night, in rain 
or sunshine, it was only necessary to tell him that a scene of misery and 
anguish waited his presence, and he hastened to the bedside of the sick poor. 
Often between the call of Dives and Lazarus, he preferred the latter, where 
perils were even ; if the latter's anguish were greater than the former, the poor 
man always had his first attention. It was a guiding principle of his life to do 
good, and daily as he taught the students he inculcated the lesson of unselfish 
devotion to duty on them. " The virtue of benevolence," he told them, " lies 
at the foundation, while it forms the crowning glory of the medical character. 
Without this heavenborn principle, there can be no enlightened appreciation, 
no devoted performance of the duties of that profession, whose ministrations 
have been represented by one not of our profession, as a beautiful, but hum- 
ble, imitation of those of the Divine Providence." The portrait of Dr. Ford, 
hanging in the gallery of the city's chief magistrates in the mayor's office, suf- 
ficiently reveals what manner of man he was. In his long locks and flowing 
beard, and wise yet merciful eye. the patriarch shines out. Dr. Ford is pre- 
eminently known in Augusia as the good physician. 

Dr. Ford was one of the founders of the Medical College, and for a few 
years had the chair of chemistry. After that he had the professorship of the 
principles and practice of medicine. In manners he was a most polished and 
elegant gentleman, a true gentleman, one who always pays a due regard to the 
rights and feelings of others. His literary taste was highly cultivated. He 
spoke with ease, and had the happy faculty of lightening the burden of a heavy 
subject with a bright flash of wit, refreshing and strengthening all who heard. 
With these qualifications he was a most successful lecturer, and what world of 
good he worked with the two thousand students who sat under him can be 

Dr. Ford was an eminent expert in epidemic diseases, and both in 1839 
and 1854 rendered immensely valuable service by his early and accurate diag- 
nosis of the fever then afflicting this city. His reputation in this particular 

2/6 History of Augusta. 

not infrequently led to his being called to other pioints to observe and decide 
as to the nature of doubtful or imperfectly developed febrile affections. 

During the war he was surgeon of the first Georgia Hospital in Richmond 
to the close- of the struggle. When called on in 1862 he unhesitatingly jour- 
neyed to the Confederate capital, though then sixty years of age, and well 
entitled to excuse from such onerous duty. 

We have said that the speciality of Dr. Dugas was surgery ; that of Dr. 
Ford was the pathology and therapeutics of malarial fevers. The pages of tlie 
Southern Medical and Surgical Review, from 1837 to 1845 contain a number 
of papers by him on this subject, which have become classics of the profession 
on this important subject. It is said that his contributions to medical knowl- 
edge in this department are the most important of any physician in America. 

Dr. Ford had considerable taste for public life ; was for a number of years 
a member of the city council, and in 1846 elected mayor, and in 1847 re- 
elected. In the days when the State government was prostrated at the feet 
of a major-general in the reconstruction era. Dr. Ford boldly and openly 
aligned himself on the side of civil rule against bayonet supremacy, and twice 
addressed his fellow-citizens, urging ihem not to acquiesce in the decrees of 
the military authorities. 

At his death the city council voted to attend his funeral in a body, the 
leading paper editorially said his history was epitomized in " his unselfish de- 
votion to his fellow men, the alleviation of their physical suffering, the binding 
up of their spiritual wounds, the promotion of their virtues"; the medical col- 
lege resolveti that it hatl lost " the revered and beloved Nestor of our faculty." 

A third most eminent Augusta physician was Dr. Joseph Adams Eve, 
born near Charleston, S. C. in 1805, and dying in Augusta in 1886. In man- 
ner Dr. Eve was much like his beloved contemporary. Dr. Ford. He was 
courtesy and kindness itself The Chesterfieldian bow and polite smile of this 
venerable physician were institutions of Augusta. We once heard a rough fel- 
low aptly express the general sentiment: "Why, Dr. Eve will take off his hat 
to an)' man living." The potent civilizing effect of urbanity had penetrated the 
mind of even this uncouth observer, and he said what he did in admiration and 
honor. Behind the formal outwarii observances of civility lay a kind heart. 
A tale of distress at once brought Dr. Eve to the rescue. 

Having a natural taste f )r medicine, he studied in the office of the cele- 
brated Dr. Milton Antony, the founder of the medical college, and in 1827 
visited Europe and attended lectures there. In 1828 he finished his course 
and graduated at the Medical College of South Carolina. In conjunction with 
Dr. Antony he established the Academy ol Medicine, which was incorporated, 
as we have seen, in 1828, and was probably in operation by 1829. It was at 
first a hospital as well as a medical institute, and was situated where the 
Widow's Home is now. In 1833. on the organi-zation of the medical college, 

The Medical Profession. 277 

Dr. Eve was assigned to the chair of materia medica. In 1839 he was elected 
professor of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, and held this chair 
uninterruptedly for the long period of fifty-three years. At the time of his 
death he was considered by the profession as the oldest active teacher of ob- 
stetrics in the world. From his great skill and the many years in which he 
labored, it may almost be said that he brought half the town into being, and it 
is a reliable estimate that he attended five thousand obstetrical cases. He was 
an honorary member of the Boston Gynecological Society, and the American 
Gynecological Society made him its first honorary member. He was one of 
the founders of the Medical Association of Georgia, and in 1879 was unani- 
mously elected its president. At one time he edited that famous publication, 
the Southern Medical and Snrgical Jonvjial. Preferring, as he expressed it, 
"to wear out rather than rust out," Dr. Eve continued in practice to the last. 
Of the remarkable strength of his memory we well recall one instance coming 
under our personal observation. We had occasion, in a legal matter involving 
descent, to call on him for information as to the dates of the death of several 
persons, deceased many years before. After a moment's reflection he gave 
the desired data, but said, to make sure, he would have his old journals looked 
up. This being done, the facts were found, as he stated, though for forty 
years, no doubt, his attention had not been called to these cases. 

One remarkable fact in the history of the medical profession in Augusta is 
the frequency with which the sons or near relatives of leading physicians have 
themselves adopted the profession of medicine. Thus Dr. Edwin L. Antony 
graduates in 1835 at the medical college; Dr. Milton Antony, jr.. in 1845, 
and Dr. Decourcy Antony in 185 1. Dr. Henry F. Campbell graduating in 
1842, is followed in 1 847 by Dr. Robert Campbell, jr., and in 1872 by Dr. A. 
Sibley Campbell Dr. John Dent, a contemporary of Dr. Milton Antony, is 
followed by Dr. John M. Dent in 1856. Dr. W. H. Doughty graduating in 
1855, is followed by Dr. W. H Doughty, jr., in 1878. The venerable Dr. 
Joseph A. Eve saw no less than seven of his name or family graduate : Drs. 
Edward A. Eve in 1833, Sterling C. Eve in 1861, W. R. Eve in 1867, 
Joseph E. Eve in 1872, E. J. Eve and W. H. Eve in 1875. and Joseph Eve 
Allen in 1877. Dr. L. D. Ford had two sons adopt his profession, De Saus- 
sure Ford in 1856, and Dr. Lewis R. Ford in 1870. Dr. Louis A. Dugas 
was followed by Dr. George C. Dugas in 1873, Dr. Alexander E. Dugas in 
1875, and Dr. W. H. Dugas in 1879. Of Dr. F'lourney Carter, son of old 
Dr. John Carter, we have previously spoken. 

There could be no stronger testimonial to the personal and professional 
worth of the physicians of Augusta than this family tendency to pursue the 
profession of medicine. Of the present faculty ot Augusta it is not in the 
scope of the present sketch to speak, but in point of skill they lose nothing in 
comparison with the worthies of the past. As an old writer quaintly puts the 

278 History of Augusta. 

confidence reposed in a good physician, " there is healing in the very creak of 
his shoes as he comes up the stairs."^ 


The .-\ugusta Chi-onicle — Established in 1785 — Its Editors for a Century — Smith (1785) 

— Driscoll (1807) — Bevan (1821) — A Semi- Weekly— Harmon (1822) — A Tri-Weel<ly — 
Hobby (1824) — Pemberton (1825) — Jones (1837) — A Daily — Colonel James M. Smythe 
(1846)— Dr. Jones (1847) — Morse (1861) — General A. R. Wri,^dit and Hon. Patrick Walsh 
(1866) — H. Gregg Wright (1877)— James R. Randall (1883) — Plea.sant A. Stovall (1887) — 
The Chronicle of 1790 — Its Appearance, News, Advertisements, etc. — Chronicle s Centennial 

— Honorable Record — The Augusta Herald — The Const ittitionalist — Colonel Gardner — 
Southern Field and Fireside — State's Rights Sentinel — The Mirror — The Republic — 
The Eve/ling Netus — The Progress — The Free Press — The Banner of the South — The 
Pacificator — The Southern Medical and Surgical Journal — Veteran Newspaper Attaches. 

THE Augusta Chronicle is the oldest paper in Augusta, and also the pio- 
neer in the journah'stic field of this city. It was established in 1785^ 
under the name of the Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State. This title, 
the Chj'onicle, the paper has retained ever since, though from time to time 
during the century, as it absorbed contemporary journals, the latter portion of 
the name has undergone change. In 1821 it became the Augusta Chronicle 
and Georgia Gazette. In 1822 the style was altered to Augusta Chronicle and 
Georgia Advertiser. \w 1835 't appeared simply as Augusta Chronicle. In 
1837, having absorbed the State s Rights Sentinel, a paper edited by the famous 
Judge Longstreet, author of " Georgia Scenes," it appeared as a daily news- 
paper, under the styXe o{ Daily Chronicle and Sentinel, which name it retained 
until 1877, when, having absorbed the Constitutionalist, its rival for more than 
eighty years, it appeared as the Chronicle and Constitutionalist. In 1885 it 
dropped the latter portion of this title and took the style of the Augusta 
Chronicle, which it now bears. 

The Chronicle was first edited and published by John E. Smith, State print- 
er, for a number of years. The paper was at that time a weekly of small di- 

' For valuable assistance in the preparation of this sketch we are indebted to Dr. Edward 
Geddings, dean of the Medical College of Augusta, and .son of the celebrated Dr. Geddings, of 
Charleston, mentioned in the discussion on yellow fever ; also to Dr. Eugene Foster, president 
of the Augusta board of Health and Medical Association of Georgia ; and to Dr. Henry F.. 
Campbell, one of the most eminent phvsicians in the United States. 

%-F.GKernc>j^S( C°l^-^'' 

The Press. 279 

mensions and we give some sketch of its appearance, contents, etc., later on in 
this article. 

The next editor was a Mr. Driscoll, a native of Ireland. In the heated pol- 
itical contests of the era of President Adams Mr. Driscoll was a pronounced 
anti- Anglican, favoring the French side in politics and exhibiting great ani- 
mosity toward England. The Augusta Herald, The Chronicle's contemporary 
of that time, was as strongly the other way, and between Mr. Bunce of the 
Herald, and Editor Driscoll of The Chronicle heavy journalistic firing ensued. 
Finally, in a tart card, Mr. Driscoll informed his opponent the discussion had 
better be adjourned " to the Lower Market or South Carolina," and on these 
hostile intimations peace seems to^have resumed its sway. Mr. Driscoll was a 
journalist of considerable ability, and as early as 1807 we find a decided im- 
provement in the art editorial. The markets begin to receive attention, local 
items and general news are made separate departments, and great attention is 
paid to " leader" writing, as if there began to be a desire to mold opinion as 
well as record events. 

In 1 82 1 Mr. Joseph Vallence Bevan assumed the editorial chair. This gen- 
tleman was a man of fine literary attainments, and at one time contemplated 
writing a history of the State. The General Assembly voted him the use of 
the archives for that purpose, but his untimely death intervened. Under Mr. 
Bevan the paper was enlarged and much improved. Its editorials were well 
written, and the whole paper began to assume something of a modern journ- 
alistic air. Under Mr. Bevan The Chronicle began to appear as a semi-weekly. 

Toward the end of 1822 John K. Charlton, Andrew Ruddel, and John B. 
Lennard became proprietors, and Mr. T. S. Hannon, editor. Mr. Hannon made 
the paper a tri- weekly, but in 1824, at which time William J. Hobby took 
charge, it was reduced, to a semi-weekly. 

In 1825 Mr. A. H. Pemberton became proprietor and so remained for a 
number of years. Under Mr. Pemberton the paper was nearly of its present 
size, but in a single sheet. Great attention was paid to its literary depart- 
ment and much space given to correspondents. For some ten years Mr. A. 
H. Pemberton managed the paper alone; in 1835 1"^^ associated his brother in 
business with himself, as A. H. & William F. Pemberton. On December 31, 
1836, the Pembertons sold out to Mr. William E. Jones, proprietor of the State's 
Rights Sentinel, who merged the papers, and on January 3, 1837, issued the 
first number of the Daily Chronicle and Sentinel. In venturing on such an 
untried experiment in Augusta as a daily paper, Mr. Jones remarked that he 
did so with some diffidence, but no apprehension. The time, he thought, was 
opportune and the future would sustain his venture. 

In 1839 Mr. Jones formed the firm of William E. Jones & Co., which was 
succeeded in 1840 by two brothers, James W. and William S.Jones, the form- 
er of whom acted as editor for a number of years. Mr. James W. Jones was a 

28o History of Augusta. 

writer of great vigor and determination, ardent in announcing and steady ia 
maintaining his opinions. In the heated pohtical discussions of the day he be- 
came involved in a controversy with Colonel James Gardner, of the Constitu- 
tionalist, and a duel ensued. 

In 1849 Dr. William S. Jones bought out the interest of James W. Jones 
in the paper, the latter continuing, however, to act as editor. About this time 
we first find telegraphic dispatches in the paper. The issue of January i, 
1849, has a dispatch which is said to have left New York on ten o'clock on Fri- 
day night, and to have been received in Augusta on Saturday afternoon. It 
appears in the paper on Monday morning, or some sixty hours after ; but slow 
work as this appears now, it was a wonderful ^improvement then. About this 
time we also find the telegraph was in operation at various points in Georgia, 
and the Baltimore papers are quoted with very full telegraphic intelligence from 
Boston and the West. 

In 1846 Colonel James M. Smythe, a gentleman still a resident in Augusta, 
edited the paper, and with great ability, being one of the best informed politi- 
cians in Georgia. 

During the war Dr. Jones disposed of The Chronicle to Mr. N. S. Morse, of 
New York. Dr. Jones's name is inseparably connected with TJie Chrojiicle, 
which he managed with signal ability for a period of over twenty years. He 
died a few years since, honored and revered b}' all who knew him. His work 
still lives in the sturdy journal he so long fostered, and his portrait, as that also 
of his no less celebrated brother, James W. Jones, adorns the walls of the ed- 
itorial sanctum. 

Mr. Morse conducted the paper to 1866. In politics Mr. Morse was emi- 
nently a Morse man. During the war he was ardently Southern. When the 
Federal military forces entered Augusta he burned or secreted the files of the 
paper for the eventful period 1861-65, ^^^^l became intensely loyal. In per- 
sonal appearance Mr. Morse was a remarkable compound. His face round as 
an apple, and bright and rather protruding eyes gave him a boyish appearance; 
but, as if to disguise this, he wore a mustache of portentous magnitude, brist- 
ling stiffly out at either side of his nose, a la Victor Emanuel. In character he 
was equally composite. His real disposition was that of good humored selfish- 
ness, but he affected the wild Western Bill style of deportment to a great ex- 
tent. One of his manias was a love of bright arms, and we well recall the huge 
revolver and preposterous bowie-knife he especially cherished. Mr. Morse af- 
terwards removed to New York and managed the Evening News there with 
wonderful success up to his death, a few years since. 

On March 24, 1-866, Mr. Henry Moore and General A. R. Wright came in- 
to possession of the paper. In November of this year Mr. Patrick Walsh be- 
came connected with The Chronicle. Mr. Moore was a prominent citizen of 
Augusta, who by his business tact and experience did much to sustain the pa- 

The Press. o 


per during the troubled years just after the wa. Mr. Moore was one of the 
kmdest and most generous of ™en. He it was who ad.aneed the ntonev to 
purchase The CkronicU from Mr. Morse ^ 

General Ambrose R. Wright is one of the celebrated men of Georgia Dur 
mg the war he rose to the rank of major-general, being particular yemi^e; 

tte ofT'^r": '"'',!'",'^^- ^''" "" ™^ "^ ^^'^'i ncau.nuj:~, 

H H T • r^"' °"''"=' "'"^^^ P^^""-'^ afflicting circumstance 
He had just been elected to Congress from the Richmond district tl's re iz 
ng one of the bnghtest dreams of his life, but the exertions of the cavs^ 
threw him mto an illness which proved fatal canvass 

Gen^ral'°A''7w "'hf' ^"l ''^"'"Z" *" """^^ J'''"">' ">■ ^^ "-"y Moore, 
Genera A. R. Wright, and Hon. Patrick Walsh, but at that time Mr Moore 

eral Wright, the latter assuming the editorial chair. Mr. possessed 
marked journalistic ability, and soon ranked with the foremost oft e ^M 
profession In addition to great talent he had an unusual degree of Indus y 
ad practical e.xperience. His influence had already been felt'throughou 1 1^ 
S ate. and his writings quoted throughout the country ; the county had s^nl 
him several times to the General Assembly, and a bright future was before hm 
when his days were brought to an untimely end oeloiemm 

In March, ,877, Tkc Coustitutionalist, The Chronule's rival for some fiftyodd 
years, became merged with it, and the paper for a number of years hereafe^ 
appeared as The Chronicle and ConstUuHonaHs,, Shortly thereaf e it became 
the property of an incorporated company, of which Hon. Patrick Walsrwa 
and IS still president. Up to about ,887 James R. Randall, the wo Id Jde 
amous author of •• Maryland, my Maryland," edited The Ch;ouiele w U^si! a 

tab hed '?.-\^^"-™-' Mr. Pleasant A. Stovall, a gentleman of welles- 

tabhshed journalistic reputation, has edited the paper 

.70^'"lHs"' ^°P>' "V"" ':'"'°""'' '"''"' •'^^^^ ^^'' Saturday, October 9 ' 
.790. It is a small affair, its pages eight by fifteen inches, and but four fn 

• Gt^Ot. ;- 7"'f -1 --^>y. »d the caption, re'ads as fotv 

GEORGIA. The Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State. Freedom of 
^>e press and trial by jury shall remain inviolate. Constitution of GeoTI 
Angus a. Printed by John E. Smith, printer to the State. Essays art des 
o Intel ligence, advertisements, etc., will be gratefully received, and ev'ery Wnd 
of printing performed." The advertisements are, compara ively sp aki , 

year ,,9, are advertised for, the ration consisting of one pound of bread or 
flour, one pound of teef or three-quarters of a pound of pork, and ■ : e gil 
of comnron rum." Notice is given of administration by Robe t Watl ^s the 
auUior of ■■ Watkin's Digest of Georgia Laws," of which w'e speak n^c; 
of the Augusta legal profession, on the estate of John Walton, one of the th e 

282 History op^ Augusta. 

signers of the articles of confederation on belialf of Georgia. A merchant 
advertises that he has Jamaica spirits at five shillings and threepence per gal. 
Ion. " Northward rum," probably what was afterwards called New England 
rum, at three and ninepence, cherry bounce at six shillings, almonds at one 
and twopence per pound, coffee at one and nine, and imperial Hyson tea, evi- 
dently then a very great luxury, at eleven and eightpence. Curiously enough, 
while the other quotations are in sterling, Geneva, in cases, is quoted in Fed- 
eral currency; at six dollars and a half per case. Another merchant adver- 
tises he is about to start on a voyage for Europe, and will undertake the sale 
on commission of " tobacco or merchantable indigo," then staple products in 
Georgia, the cotton era not having then dawned. George Walton, the cele- 
brated patriot and jurist of Georgia's Revolutionary period, gives notice of 
somebody's old bay horse having been taken up trespassing in his fields. Mr. 
Editor conjures and adjures his delinquent subscribers to pay up, quite in the 
style of the country editor of to-day, and says hereafter no work can be taken 
from his office till cash down. The local news is scant. Results of the recent 
election for members of the Legislature from Richmond county, which then 
included Columbia, are given, by which it appears that the country was then 
entitled to four members, and that the following were elected by the votes 
respectively attached to their names : Seaborn Jones, 566 ; James Lewis, 538 ; 
Benjamin Andrews, 508 ; and Solomon Ellis, 476. None but landowners be- 
ing then competent to vote, the polls show a very substantial population at 
the time. Among the unsuccessful candidates were Benjamin Few, Thomas 
Carr, Jesse Sanders, John Appling, Charles Crawford, W. F. Booker, and 
Peter Carnes. 

One death is noted, that of an infant of eight months, whom the editor 
compliments with the following quotation : 

" Happy the babe who, privileged by fate 
To shorter labor and a lighter weight, 
Received but yesterday the gift of breath. 
Ordered to-morrow to return to death." 

In the news department is a considerable collection of items for so small a 
vehicle. Advices of June 5, 1790 — only four months and four days old — 
from Berlin state that the Duke ot Sudermania had put the Russian fleet to 
flight before Revel, and rushed pell-mell into the harbor with them, thereby 
taking it. Paris news of June 21 is that the title of the king is to be Emperor 
of the French, the national assembly dignifying Louis XVI. preparatory to 
guillotining him three years later. The assembly also abolished the titles of 
"marquis, compte, and duke." London advices of June 7 say the admiralty 
has revoked all protections against impressment, it being indispensable to man 
the Hannibal, the Royal George, and other ships of the line at once. At Carls- 

The Press. 283 

croon the Swedes are cleaving out of the soHd rock docks large enough for 
twenty men-of-war. The emperor of Morocco falls out with the Spanish con- 
sul, and, on the ground that " it was not consistent with the etiquette of his 
court to hang him in effigy," ties the poor man to the tail of a wild ass, which 
is hunted till furious, and from this situation the consul is taken only to be 
hanged. War is brewing between England and Spain, and the latter provides 
herself with some huge ships, carrying 124 to 140 guns. The Turkish grand 
vizier at the head of 120,000 malignant and turbaned Turks, is advancing on 
Widdin ; and the Prince of Saxe-Cobourg — some ancestor of Prince Albert, 
is to give him battle. New York advices of July 14 — a few days short of 
being three months old — contain a report of the three United States commis- 
sioners to negotiate a treaty with the Creeks, explanatory of their failure, 
which is attributed to " their principal chief, Mr, Alexander McGillivray." 
They further report that the treaty of Augusta in 1783 and other compacts 
with the Indians were conducted as understandingly as possible " where one 
of the contracting parties is destitute of the benefits of enlightened society." 
Advices of September 2, from Philadelphia, give the progress of President 
Washington from New York, then the capital of the United States, to Mount 
Vernon, in the style of the present court journals of Europe. He was accom- 
panied to his barge by the governor of New York, the principal officers of gov- 
ernment, the mayor and corporation, officers of the city, and a number of citi- 
zens. " On the departure of him whom all hold so dear, the heart was full, the 
tear dropped from the eye; it was not to be restrained ; it was seen ; and the 
president appeared sensibly moved by this last mark of esteem for his character 
and affection for his person." On the approach to Philadelphia of " The pres- 
ident of the United States, his lady, and their suite," they were met by " a 
number of respectable citizens, the city troops, and companies of light infantry, 
who, on this occasion, as well as others, all testified their affection for the bene- 
factor of mankind. Every public demonstration of joy was manifested, the 
bells announced his welcome, a /en de joie was exhibited, and as he rode 
through town to the city tavern, age bowed with respect and youth repeated in 
acclamations the applause of the hero of the western world !" A banquet is 
tendered his excellency by the Legislature and " by the president and other 
executive officers of Pennsylvania, at which reason, valour and hospitality pre- 

The poet's corner is not forgotten in the Chronicle of 1790. The editor 
states that an ode to Washington will appear in his next, and in the current 
issue gives " Lothario's" tribute to " Miss W 11, a specimen whereof is : 

" Sweetest syren of the Augustan stage, 

Adored by youth, respected by old age, 

Permit me now to sing in homespun lays, 

Thy charms divine — that all who know must praise." 

284 History of Augusta. 

The poet incautiously reveals the identity of his inamorata in his closing 

lines : 

" Thy lovely taper waist, how round and small ; 
Here language faints. I sigh with Jove for Wall, 
With her I'd live — with h-er I'd wish to fall." 

A poet of another character appears among the paid advertisements. He 
tells in doggerel how some spiteful neighbor had charged him with filching a 
bell, and how on the trial lie came clear : 

" This advertisement is to It'll, 
Near Harden's Creek that I do dwell. 
One of my neighbors did falsely tell 
That I of him had stole a bell. 

His witness was one Samuel Pope, 

A fellow that deserves a rope. 

No doubt but they may hear this bell 

A-ringing loud when they're in ," etc., etc. 

From this crude picture of the times, it is quite a change to turn to the 
Chronicle of the present day, after one hundred and four years of development, 
journalistic and otherwise During its long existence, the Chronicle has an 
honorable record. In its centennial edition published in 1885, it thus speaks- 
" A newspaper one hundred years old ! A gazette that for three generations 
has. in its each recurring issue, set out the current history of the day, and been 
read in each succeeding epoch by grandsire, by father, and by son. A contem- 
poraneous annalist of the times, keeping pace with decades and lusters until a 
century is complete. "Such is now The Augusta Chrojiicle. In the museums 
of old established governments and in the libraries of journalistic virtuosos may 
be found here and there such wrecks and remnants of the past as a stray copy 
of some venerable Gazette or antiquated News-Letter. As rare and curious 
relics, there still exist London papers which Addison might have read, and 
German journals wherein Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, may 
have seen recounted the valorous deeds of his invincible pikemen. Even in 
America are sundry ante-Revolutionary Post-Boys, and Mails, and Clarions, 
full of fealty to his majesty, and scarcely less obsequious to Sir Somebody 
Highstyle, colonial governor and vicegerent of the crown. 

" But all these are among the have-beens of the world. Like the poet's 
days by-gone, they are but 'death in life.' The chance which has preserved to 
us, here and there, some mummied Egyptian has spared likewise such antique 
specimens of typography ; the cerements of the one and the discolored col- 
umns of the other speaking the same melancholy language — we are not, but 
we were ! 

The Press. 285 

" It is different with this paper, whose centenary we celebrate. A hundred 
years ago it told, in feeble fashion, of the world and its ways. Each year of that 
hundred since — vires acqiiirescit eiindo — gathering new strength as it went 
along, it still recounted the story of its times; and now, reversing the usual or- 
der of things earthly, and finding increase of vigor in increase of age, it tells, 
each morning, what happened yesterda}'- the wide world over, from China to 
Peru. The thumb paper of 1785 — brief, jejune, primeval — a mere suggestion 
of a newspaper rather than a newspaper itself, and our modern daily, panoplied 
with every appliance of journalistic science, are alike The Chronicle. At no time 
in that century have its types lain idle or its presses ceased to move. Come 
peace or war, health or pestilence, prosperity or panic, out at its appointed pe- 
riod came the paper, to say by its bare issual more powerfully than any words 
could — I still live! There was a time when the dark wing of Azrael hovered 
over the palid, fever-stricken city, but The Chronicle men of that' day stood 
steady as a stone wall. Day after day the paper came forth, here with a list of 
yesterday's dead, and here with words of hope, comfort and courage for the be- 
reaved and terrified living. Then, as the scourge increased in virulence, the 
printers fell, one by one, at their very stands, until, with an apology — as if, 
brave soul, he needed to make any — the editor of that day announced lie could 
only issue his paper intermittently. First there was a lapse of three days, then 
it was a week, then it lengthened into a fortnight ; then the pestilence redoub- 
led its violence, and the spirit of the people and paper was almost spent. Still, 
in pathetic tones, the editor exhorts the stricken city once more to hope, and 
faith, and patience. The cleansing rain, the cooling breeze, the all-important 
frost cannot now, he urged, be so far off. 

"And at length the scourge ceased. One in five, a double decimation, had 
felt its cruel lash. 

" There was another time, when the drums beat savagely for war. Food for 
powder grew scarce. The cradle and the grave were robbed to fill the ranks. 
Man, essentially a fighting animal, went mad at the steady roar of the guns and 
the angry flap of the flags. Persistent industry was a thing of the past, and 
skilled industry all but unattainable. Add to this that a mighty fleet lay like 
an iron wall between this land and the outer world. If a tool broke who could 
replace it? When material was exhausted, what the source of supply? The 
work of a daily journal is a curious mosaic — grand and beautiful in result, but 
that result dependent on a thousand ordinarily unconsidered particulars. In 
this time of battle each of these unconsidered particulars forced itself into no- 
tice. The air we breathe is so common we only appreciate its value from its 
loss. The mechanical appliances of our time are so much a matter of course 
that we never estimate them truly till we look for them, and, looking, find them 

" Scant of men, scant of means, industrial life languished in the South of 

286 History of Augusta. 

twenty odd years since, and Southern journalism fairly starved. But the diffi- 
culties of that period daunted our predecessors not. If printers could not be 
found, the\- were made ; if new type could not be had, the veterans of the past 
were furbished up and set to work again; if your fine, white, double extra, im- 
proved printing paper had become a mere historical reminiscence, there was 
enough of that memorable, dingy, home-made, cartilaginous, saffi^on-hued 
product, known as Confederate paper, to take the impress of the type. 

"Amid the war, as through the pestilence, The Chronicle came out promptly 
at the appointed day. And, as with war and pestilence, so with financial panic. 
Our file room is the mausoleum of many rivals of a day. In the morning they 
sprang up; in the evening were cut down as grass, and gathered into our barn. 
Peace to their names; of them we further speak not — parcere sjibjectos. Safely 
entombed, as they are, in our own private crypts, we refer to them only in or- 
der to say that, while these fell by the wayside in the usual financial vicissitudes 
of a century, we have survived, breasting each panic, shunning each monetary 
rock and shoal. Some of our fallen contemporaries succumbed to " the press- 
ure of circumstances" eighty or ninety years ago ; some a half century since ; 
some in more recent times. At each recurring financial stress in the past cen- 
tury, some originally hopeful journalistic project proved unequal to the strain J 
and, gathering its files, and its material into our garner, we still pursued the 
tenor of our way — perhaps, though our modesty blushes to assign that as the 
reason, because of the survival of the fittest." 

Some of the editors of the CJironicle, notably in later years when the slav- 
ery agitation had ceased to be the burden of newspaper song, have rendered 
signal service to the cause of humanity, morality, and good government. Mr, 
H. Gregg Wright was an exceedingly attractive and forcible writer, and sys- 
tematically devoted his great abilities to discountenancing dueling and lynch 
law. His ridicule of the one and denunciation of the other were unremitting. 
He steadily iterated and reiterated the great truth that no people can truly pros- 
per who do not cherish an abiding faith in and reverence for the majesty of the 
law. His early legal training was of much assistance to these efforts. 

James R. Randall, who succeeded Mr. Wright, was the unsparing foe of in- 
fidelity and immorality. No fashionable glamour could conceal from his re- 
buke offenses against modesty and goodness. No high-sounding scientific 
phrases could delude him as to the real nature and end of atheistical theories. 
It was his custom to make his editorials on Sunday mornings a sort of lay ser- 
mon, in which the beauties of goodness and the loveliness of celestial faith were 
garbed in the brightest colors of a poet's fancy. There was nothing pedantic 
or patronizing about these admirable articles. They came from the heart and 
went to the heart. 

Under the editorial charge of Hon Patrick Walsh, the CJironiclc has not 
only maintained the salient lines of the polic}' pursued by Mr. Wright and Mr. 

The Press. 287 

Randall, but has been of incalculable value to the material interests of the city. 
The advantages of Augusta as a cotton market and manufacturing center have 
been enforced and illustrated in so many ways, with such forcible arguments, 
and by so much patient, well-directed, and persistent labor, that the growth of 
the city in these particulars is heavily indebted to Mr. Walsh's sagacious policy. 
The Augusta Herald was established at a later period than The Chronicle, 
but before the close of the eighteenth century, and was for a long time con- 
ducted by John Bunce and then William J. Hobby. The Herald was a strong 
Federalist sheet in the days of John Adams, the Black Cockade era, and so on, 
and many were the editorial skirmishes growing out of these antique politics be- 
tween it and the Chronicle. In course of time the Herald gave way to the Con- 
stitutiojialist, first issued as a tri- weekly in 1822. From about 1850 the Con- 
stitutionalist was edited with singular ability byjames Gardner, one of the 
most influential politicians of his day. The contest of this gentleman for the 
Democratic nomination for governor in 1857 is one of the most celebrated in 
the political annals of the State. Mr. Gardner was ultimately defeated by Hon. 
Joseph E. Brown, and returned to the charge of the Constitutionalist. Under 
his management the influence of this paper throughout Georgia was wonderful. 
Mr. Gardner continued to conduct it till towards the close of the war. At that 
time Mr. James R. Randall became editor, and for some of his vehement arti- 
cles the paper was silenced by the military authorities. Publication was soon 
resumed, and Mr. Randall continued to edit it until its merger into the Chron- 
icle and Sentinel \n 1877. 

For a number of years The Southern Field and Fireside, an agricultural and 
literary paper of a high order of merit, was published in coniunction with the 
Constitutionalist. It lived through the war, a most crucifying ordeal for a 
Southern newspaper, especially of a literary character, and was finally sold in 
1865 to a Mr. Smith of Raleigh, N. C, where it was continued for a time. Some 
of the most eminent of the Southern writers contributed to this publication. 

The State's Rights Sentinel, originally established by the celebrated Judge 
Longstreet, author of "Georgia Scenes," has already been mentioned. After^a 
short existence it was merged in The Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Adver- 
tiser, which then became The Chronicle and Sentinel, a name it retained for forty 
years. The Alirror and Republic were also papers which flourished for a time 
in Augusta. A very interesting account of Augusta journalism was written 
some few years since by Colonel James M. Smythe, for a number of years edi- 
tor of the Chronicle and Sentinel. We quote a portion : 

" Readers will excuse the writer for any allusion to himself, for that is made 
necessary by his connection for a time with The Chronicle as one of it^s editors, 
and with four other newspapers which were published in the city of Augusta' 
He moved from Washington Ga., to Augusta in the spring of 1846, and'^com- 
menced his work on the Chronicle and Sentinel on the fourth day after his arrival. 

288 History of Auousta. 

The Chronicle had been a leading paper in Augusta for sixty years. The writer 
remembers how often, when a boy, he saw the tall figure of Mr. Philip C. Gieu 
moving about in the office of the Washington Neivs. At tiiat time we doubt if 
there was a place in Georgia in which, for the number of its population, there 
could be found so many persons of culture, refinement, learning, and all that 
could add a charm to social intercourse in the town and surrounding country. 
There were the Gilberts, the Alexanders, the Toombs, the Campbells, the Tel- 
fairs, the Longs, the Remberts, the Tolberts, the Abbots, the l^airds, the Hills, 
the Ervines, the Sims, the Popes, the Barnetts, and many more, making in the 
town and country a refined and intellectual population unsurpassed in any sec- 
tion of the State or country. It was such a people who induced Mr. Gieu to 
remain so long as publisher of the Washington Neivs. But with all that learn- 
ing and intelligence, there was not 'patronage enough to meet the ambitious 
longings of so able a journalist as Philip C. Gieu, and he moved to Augusta and 
established the Constitutionalist, which existed separately as a powerful journal 
until its connection, a few years since, with the Chronicle. 

" We cannot omit a reference to that journalistic star, which, for some years 
long ago, emitted its splendor under the management of the late gifted John G. 
McWhorter. The beams of the Mirror shone brightly for a time under the 
management of Major Thompson, the gifted author of " Major Jones's Court- 

" Confined to a brief space, we must omit all extended notice of the long 
ago papers, and confine our remarks to what we saw and experienced after our 
removal to Augusta. Colonel James Gardner had become the proprietor and 
editor of the Constitutionalist. We frequently crossed swords with him in po- 
litical discussion, but, as old college friends, however, we may have intrepidly 
and vigorously advocated the views and principles of our respective parties, we 
met as friends and exchanged civilities. Rash, passionate, and presumptuous 
as Gardner was as an editor and politician, in our discussions he exhibited uni- 
formly to us a marked courtesy which was similarly extended by us to him, 
so that we never needed an umpire to settle our differences and disputes. Dur- 
ing the latter part of the year 1847 ^^^ thought we saw something apparently 
cruel and perfidious in the course of the Whig party at the North, which ex- 
cited our distrust and apprehension. There were some differences between the 
writer and the proprietors of The Chronicle which led to a mutual desire for 
separation. The writer did not doubt the integrity of the Southern Whigs, but 
the Northern Whig sentiment we believed was becoming abolitionized, and 
after retiring from the Chronicle the writer established a paper of his own 
called the Republic. Some Whigs charged us with being about to desert the 
Whig party. Many Whigs and a good many Democrats came to the support 
of the Republic. Day by day we received letters with names and money; and 
to be brief, the Republic obtained near 4,000 subscribers in about three years. 

The Press. ^g^ 

Time sustained the truth of our suspicions. The Southern Whigs saw the di 
lemma they were in. Charged by some Whigs with being a deserter, we sold 
the Republic and its h'st to Colonel Gardner for $7,500. and became one of the 
editors of the Constitutionalist and Republic, at a salary of $2,000 per year It 
.s sufficient to say that the Whigs all joined the Democratic party Some of 
the Whig leaders said to us : • Smythe, you saw the truth a little sooner than 
we did, and we must all unite and go out of the Union and establish a South- 
ern Confederacy.'" 

Colonel Smythe speaks very handsomely of The Evening Nezvs, saying- 
A few years since Messrs. W. H. Moore, James L. Gow, and John M Wei- 
gle formed a copartnership to establish in Augusta a paper entitled The Even 
mg Nezvs. We had confidence in their success ; first, because we had learned 
enough of Mr. Moore to kuow that he possessed much, ability as a journaHst 
and writer, and in Mr. Gibson's aptness to sustain him ; and, secondly the peo- 
ple of Augusta were very generous in sustaining papers which were printed in 
Augusta. We found this latter opinion out thirty years ago in the generous 
liberality which they extended to the writer. They subscribed with great lib 
erahty for his paper, and filled it with paying advertisements. It turned out 
as we expected, and The Evening Nezvs has been established upon a generous 
and hberal basis. Nearly everybody takes the paper, and a glance at it shows 
how ,t IS appreciated as an advertising medium. It is eagerly sought for upon 
Its merits as a newspaper, and its superiority as a society paper " 

Mr. John M. Weigle. one of the founders of The Evening Nezvs, has since 
retired from that journal, and now publishes a very readable weekly called The 

Just after the war Mr. E. H. Pughe established The Tree Press, which flour- 
ished for some years, and was noted for its enterprise in the collection of news 
and the typographical neatness of its appearance. 

The Banner of the South was also published for some years after the war by 
Hon. Patrick Walsh. It was a literary and religious weekly, and to it Mr James 
K. Randall and Rev. Father Ryan contributed some beautiful poetry - The 
Conquered Banner" of the latter, and "Why the Robin's Breast is Red" by 
the former, first appeared in this journal. Mr. Walsh also published for a time 
about the close of the war. The Pacificator, a publication on about the same 
line as its successor, The Banner of the South. 

The Southern Medical and SurgicalJournal, spoken of more fully in that 
portion of this work devoted to the medical profession, was published in Au- 
gusta from 1845 until some years after the close of the war, and was of high 
repute in its peculiar field. ^ 

Two papers are published in Augusta in the interests of the colored popu- 
lation. One is the Sentinel, a political journal, edited by Prof. R R Wright- 
the other, a religious paper. The Georgia Baptist, edited by Rev. W J White' 

>90 History of Augusta. 

TJie Georgia Baptist is untiring in its efforts to elevate and improve the col- 
ored people mentally and morally, and wields a great influence among them. 

In 1885 TJic Sunday PJuvnix began publication. It was well printed, well 
edited, and a very interesting and readable sheet, but the experiment of a purely 
Sunday issue does not seem to succeed except in a large city, and \.\\q P/urnix 
soon suspended. 

For a time the labor interest published The Globe and Lance, which was 
edited with vigor, but having only a limited constituency, was discontinued 
about a year since. 

Tlie Augusta Gazette, started as was generally supposed as a rival to the 
venerable Chronicle, soon went the way of the other competitors which have 
entered the lists against that ancient paper at various periods in its prolonged 

No sketch of Augusta journalism would be complete without some account 
of those who, while not in the editorial department, have been remarkable for 
long and faithful service. Mr. John L. Stockton, now deceased, was for a num- 
ber of years manager of the Constitutionalist. He was a man of many pecu- 
liarities and even eccentricities, but was gifted with sound judgment and much 
executive ability. The difficulties under which Southern journalism labored 
during the war were extremely trying, but Mr. Stockton not only maintained 
the Constitutionalist in good working order, but kept up the Field and Fire- 
side, a much more difficult matter. 

Captain George B. Adam was for thirty years bookkeeper of the Chronicle, 
and only resigned that position because elected treasurer of Richmond county 
and bookkeeper of the Augusta, Gibson and Sandersville Railroad Company. 
During the yellow fever epidemic of 1854 Captain Adam remained at his post 
in the Chronicle office. During the war he was absent in the field command- 
ing the Clinch Rifles, one of the city's historic companies, but at the conclu- 
sion of hostilities resumed his position of trust and confidence. 

Mr. Edward C. McCarty, and his brother. Mr. Jeremiah McCarty, the form- 
er now bookkeeper, and the latter collector of the Chronicle, have been in the 
employ of that paper for a quarter of a century. 

Mr. John Anderson, foreman, has spent his life in the composing room of 
the Chronicle, excepting the four years of the war when he served as a valiant 
soldier under the Confederate flag. Mr. Anderson began as an apprentice boy, 
and rose step by step to the important position he now holds, one of prime im- 
portance in the organization of a newspaper. 

Societies. 291 



The Drama— Commercial Cluh — St. Valentine Club — Scheutzen — Gun Club — Irish Organ- 
izations — Jockey Club — Tournaments — Bicycle Club — Athletic Association — Poultry and Pet 
Stock Associations — Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — Origin and Good Work 
— Widow's Home — Women's Christian Temperance Union — Ministerial Association — Orphan 
Asylum— Library — Sheltering Arms— Hayne Circle — Confederate Survivors — Drummers — 
Grand Army of the Republic — Catholic Knights — Masons — Odd Fellows — Knights of Pythias 
— Good Templars — Miscellaneous Organizations — Colored Organizations. 

AS early as 1790 the drama seems to have been an established institution in 
Augusta. An actress named Wall was a great favorite, and in the poet's 
corner of that day is eulogized as ' sweetest syren of the Augustan stage." It 
does not appear, however, that there was any theater building till 1798, when 
one was erected on the river bank, or Bay street, near Elbert, or the old court- 
house there situate, was so used. This was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1808. 
The fire was supposed to have been of incendiary origin, and the city council 
offered a reward for the detection of the criminal. In December, 1808, Rob- 
ert McRae, Richard Wilde, Daniel Macmurphey, Samuel Hale, Abraham A. 
Leggett, Henry L McRae, John U. Shinholster, Joseph W. Jarvis, James Wilde, 
Zachariah Rossel, Daniel Savage, Willoughby Barton, Albert Brux, Thomas I. 
Wray, and John B. Barnes were incorporated as "The Thespian Society and 
Library Company of Augusta," and appear to have rebuilt the theater in the 
same place, where it continued till 1823. Tradition relates that the elder 
Booth, Thomas Althorp Cooper, and other noted actors performed there. From 
an aged citizen, now deceased, we have heard one reminiscence of this ancient 
dramatic seat. Having labored for nearly a score of years on his invention, 
Mr. William Longstreet, in 1808, exhibited a steamboat on the Savannah 
River opposite Augusta. From lack of means or skilled workmen, Mr. Long- 
street was unable to construct his machinery of iron, according to his original 
design, and compelled to rely largely on wood. The use of this material and 
the natural defects of all infant discoveries, made the boat present a crude ap- 
pearance, but in spite of these drawbacks it demonstrated that a vessel could 
be propelled through the water by steam. As usual, the inventor came in for 
a fair share of that ridicule awarded the world's benefactors at first, and an 
actor of the day, catching at the ludicrous side as usual with his calling, sang 
a song in the old theater, a verse or two whereof has been preserved : 

" Can you rovv the boat ashore, 

Billy-boy, Billy-boy ? 
Can you row the boat ashore. 

Gentle Billy } 
Can you row the boat ashore, 
Without a paddle or an oar, 


292 History of Augusta. 

Tradition relates that Mr. Longstreet was in tiie theater when this precious 
effusion was first warbled, and nettled alike at the song and the titters with 
which it was greeted, rose from his seat, fixed a glance on the son of Thespis, 
which caused the notes to die away in his throat, and majestically strode out 
of the building. 

On the burning of the Bay Street Theater in 1823, Dr. McWhortcr erected 
another on Ellis street, near Centre, which was destroyed in the great fire of 
April 3, 1829, which laid a large part of the city in ashes. In this theater Joe 
Jefferson played at the outset of his now famous career. 

In the next year William W. Montgomery, Thomas I. Wray, Jacob G. 
McWhorter, Francis Ganahl, and Benjamin Baird were incorporated as the 
Augusta Theater Company, and built another theater on Ellis street, between 
Jackson and Campbell, for many years known as the Augusta Opera House, 
though originally termed Concert Hall. This theater was, in turn, destroyed 
by fire in 1881, and, though rebuilt, was finally devoted to business purposes, 
the theater taking up its quarters in the Masonic Hall, as rebuilt in 1881. On 
the destruction of this building by fire in February, 1887, a new Theater Com- 
pany was formed, and a handsome new theater erected on the corner of Jack- 
son and Greene streets For some years past Mr. Sanford H. Cohen has been 
the recognized head of theatrical amusements in Augusta. His abilities as a 
manager have been so successful that no difficulty was found in organizing the 
company which owns the present theater, a building up to the best order of 
modern theatrical architecture and appointment. 

The Commercial Club was founded in 1883, and is a solid organization, 
occupying among the gentlemen of Augusta about the same position in point 
of social reunion as the English clubs. 

The St. Valentine Society is an organization which, like the famous Mardi 
Gras associations of New Orleans, confines itself to an annual celebration of the 
carnival. The St. Valentine ball is the social event of the Augusta season, 
and admission thereto is a certificate of standing in fashionable society. 

The Deutscher Freundschaftsbund is a social and benevolent organization, 
instituted in 1875, by the German citizens of Augusta, and has also an annual 
ball, which is a social event of great interest with its members and their com- 

The Deutscher Scheutzen Club of Augusta is an organization on the model 
of the Scheutzen clubs, common among the German population, devoted to 
marksmanship with the rifle, and good fellowship. The club has very hand- 
some and well appointed grounds near Augusta, which not only serve the pur- 
poses of the association, but are largely patronized by picnic parties, society 
celebrations, etc. The club is a universal favorite in Augusta, and has con- 
ferred a great public benefit not only by providing a suitable pleasure ground, 
but by practically demonstrating that true cheerfulness and joviality are en- 

Societies. 293. 

tirely consistent with temperance, good order, and decorum. The club has a 
monthly target practice, and once a year a grand fest, lasting two or three 
days, and a decided gala event, not only for the club, but the general public. 

The Augusta Gun Club is a social organization established in 1884, and 
now a chartered company, its objects being the promotion of skill with the 
shot-gun and the protection of game. During the spring and summer months 
it practices weekly at clay pigeons, a species of clay disc which when thrown 
by a spring technically called a " trap," darts through the air at high speed, 
and with a motion somewhat resembling that of a swift-flying bird. This club 
had an act passed by the Legislature in 1886, to forbid hunting at improper 
seasons of the year in Richmond county, destruction of game by trapping, etc., 
the operation of which statute has been exceedingly beneficial. The club has 
grounds near the Schuetzenplatz. 

The Emmet Club is a social and patriotic organization among the Irish cit- 
izens of Augusta. It has a large hall in the city at which its meetings are 
held, and which is the assembly room and headquarters generally of the other 
Irish organizations of the city, the Hibernian Society, the Land League, and 
the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Great interest is taken by the Irish citizens 
of Augusta in these various organizations. They are all strong in number and 
devoted to the memory and interests of the beautiful Green Isle. 

The Gentleman's Driving Park Association and Augusta Jockey Club are 
devoted to the sports of the turf Augusta has always been noted for its love 
of fine horses and high mettled racers. As early as 18 10 there was a race 
course (a quarter mile track) at the then foot of Centre street, now Green 
street. Later on, the course was about where the Baptist Church now stands, 
at the intersection of Green and Jackson streets. Still later, the LaFayette 
race course was established in the southwestern portion of the city, and as the 
growth of population encroached upon that also, a new track was laid out on 
the fair grounds, in the southeastern portion of the city. On this many famous 
trials of speed have been had and exciting tournaments or tilts held. The 
rules of tilting, with saber, are as follows : 

Rules for Tilting — First. 
Right cut. — Seven inch head, supported by a white pine peg, tive-eighths inch diameter, ex- 
posed three inches, on a post six feet three inches high, to count I 

Ouarte Point. — Ring three inches in diameter, to be suspended six feet from the ground on 

horizontal bar, to count 3 

Lett Cut. — Seven-inch head, on post six feet eight inches high, supported by white pine 

peg, five-eighths inch in diameter, three inches exposed, to count 4 

Tierce Point. — Ring three inches in diameter, suspended seven feet from ground on hori- 
zo ntal bar, to count 3 

294 History of Augusta. 

Ri»-lit Cut Ag.iinst Infantry. — Leatlier head six inches in diameter, on post sixteen inches 
hi<j;^h, to count • 


The e.xercisc as prescril^ed by Upton to count 7 

Horsemanship to count i 

Maximum on each run 20 

Time. — Eleven seconds. 

The uprights to be 75 feet apart. Time Hag, 75 feet ahead of first upright. Making total 
length of run 375 feet. 

Tilter must come up to the time Hag with liis saber at the " carry." 

Should the tilter fail to make the run from time flag to last upright in eleven seconds, he 
will lose his entire score for that run. 

After the time flag drops, the count will be for or against the tilter, and he will not be al- 
lowed a new start under any circumstances, unless the track be obstructed, or head or ring 

fall off. 

The peg must be cut or broken through where struck by edge of saber. If not severed at 
this point the head will not count. 

The " infantry head " must be struck by the edge of the saber. 

Tilters must be in full uniform — plumes and gauntlets may be omitted. 

Any tilter shouting at or wilfully striking his horse with saber, forfeits his score for that 

There being no prescribed method in " Upton " for discharging, the rings may be disposed 
of by an upward or downward motion, at the option of the tilter. 

The Fair Ground track was afterwards devoted to the Gentlemen's Driving- 
Park Association, and a very fine one-mile race course was established by the 
Exposition Company on its grounds in Woodlawn, just in rear of the Schuetz- 
enplatz and Gun Club grounds. 

The Bicyle Club was organized in 1886, and has a good membership of 
wheelmen, some of thein celebrated for proficiency. They have a fine track on 
the old base ball grounds of the Athletic Association. 

The Athletic Association for some years maintained as fine a base ball club 
as was in the Southern League, and many exciting games were witnessed on its 
grounds in 1884 and 1885. The celebrated game of thirteen innings Augusta 
vs. Atlanta, finally won by the former after a terrific contest, was witnessed by 
an excited audience of several thousands. Though not now in active opera- 
tion, the association developed and fostered a strong taste for athletic sports in 

The Richmond County Poultry and Pet Stock Association is a flourishing 
organization whose objects are indicated by its name. It has done much to 
improve the breed of dogs and fowls, and given several very creditable exhi- 
bitions. Of one we have heard an amusing account from the orator appointed 
to deliver the opening address. The affair was unusually successful ; exhibits 
of every character had poured in beyond all expectation, and an immense au- 
dience had assembled. As the orator arose to open the exposition every bird 

Societies. 2q, 

and animal seemed to do its utmost to drown his vole. Tl,e A^gTb^,;;!^ 
every note from tl,e sliarp yap! yap! of the excitable spaniel to the deep bay 
of the mastiff; the game cocks crowed with unutterable fierceness- the pi/ 
eons cooed, ducks quacked, turkies gobbled, geese screamed, and' pea-fowl 
screeched. Even the little birds almost burst their tiny throats chirping and 
tw,t.ermg; and for a moment our friend stood aghast, but being not easily 
daunted, and takmg in the humor of the situation, went on with his speech in 
dunib show am,d an uproar probably no speaker ever confronted before 

One of the most estimable organizations in Augusta is the Georgia Society 
for the Prevent.on of Cruelty to Animals. This was incorporated in , 873 and 
owes ,ts existence to the kind heart and untiring energy of Miss Louis; W 
K,ng a daughter of Hon. John P. King. Though cut off in the bloom of her 
youth. th,s gentle lady has left a blessed memory behind her in this and some 
o her works of beneficence and compassion. Through her exertions the soci- 
ety was organized, and the Legislature prevailed upon to pass laws to prevent 
or pumsh acts of cruelty to the brute creation. It is now an oft-ense against the 
aws o Georgia, " cruelty" being defined as "any willful act, omission, or neg- 
lect vvhereby unjustifiable physical pain, suftiring or death is caused or per- 

Tl , M ,!- ™"'"" ''"'' S'^«» '1'^ st»t"le its full beneficial efiect 

Through M,.ss's efforts the city council of Augusta also legislated upon 
he subject, and made it an ofl^ense cognizable in the Recorder's Court to over- 
load any beast of burden, or to work one when bruised, maimed, sick or lame- 
or to cruelly beat or ill use any such animal. Under the operation of thes^ 
enactments dog fighting and cock-fighting and the shooting of live pigeons or 
other b,rds at gun club matches are unknown, and beasts of burden are sel- 
dom tl-used. While thus invoking the strong arm of the law to protect man's 
humble dependents Miss King also relied strongly on persuasive measures, 
and as long as she hved ofl-ered annual rewards to the dravmen and wagon- 
ers for the best kept animals, and gave prizes to the school'children for com- 
positions on the duty of kindness to the brute creation Miss King was in- 
deed, an angel of mercy. The seal of the society beautifully typifies her' no- 
ble and gentle soul. It represent a seraphic form waving a sword of fire be- 
fore an inhuman monster of a man about to strike his overladen horse, who has 
fallen in the shafts, with a huge cudgel over the poor brute's helpless head 
The society for the prevention of cruelty to animals is still in full operation. It 
keeps a skilled and experienced agent constantly on duty ,0 prevent or report 
nfractions of the law, and has established branch organizations in most of the 
leading cities of the State. 

.,- TZ^^'t" ^^? ^^'^°'^'' "°"^" '' ^"°'^^^'' '"^titution which owes its ori- 
gin to Miss king s benevolence. Here, in a substantial and comfortable build- 

296 ' History of Augusta. 

The Woman's Exchange and the Industrial Home are institutions which 
owe their origin to the charitable impulses of other ladies of Augusta. The ob 
ject of the Woman's Exchange is specified in its articles of organization as fol- 
lows: "The object of this association shall be to to enable women to sell their 
handiwork of all kinds, or to enable them, for the betterment of their condition, 
to sell such valuables as remain to them, or to assist them to get employment 
for the support of themselves or their families, and for all kindred purposes." 
The exchange, though of recent origin, has already proven potent for good. 

The Industrial Home is the work of mercy and compassion itself Here 
the unhappy victims of man's accursetl deceit and brutality are given a refuge, 
the institution being intended as a reformatory refuge for fallen women, and un- 
der its protecting roof are a dozen or more poor unfortunates who in the even- 
ing of a misspent life are sheltered from the outer blasts. 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is another form of feminine 
effort to do good. Each Thursday the members meet to implore the Divine 
blessing on their efforts to stay the evil of drunkenness. In every way, by 
letters, by tracts, by addresses, by memorials, by protests the union is heard in 
favor of temperance and temperance measures. 

The Young Men's Christian Association has been in existence in Augusta 
for a number of years. At one time it languished, but was soon reorganized, 
and is now on a firmer foundation than ever. It has a strong membership, and 
is about to erect a fine hall on its own ground. In connection with the usual 
reading-room and hall for devotional exercises, it has a well equipped gymna- 
sium for the use of members. 

The Ministerial Association of Augusta is composed of the pastors of most 
of the churches in the city, and from the character of its membership is an ex- 
ceedingly strong and influential body. Its remonstrance against fashionable 
follies has been found of powerful effect, and in works of charity it is a most 
efficient instrumentality. 

The Sheltering Arms is a most beneficent institution under a most appro- 
priate and endearing name. In the huge factories of Augusta whole families 
work, and the province of the Sheltering Arms is to care for the infants and 
very small children while the mother is at the loom. 

In 1852 the Augusta Orphan Asylum was incorporated, Thomas W. Miller, 
Henry H. Cumming, Edward V. Campbell, John Milledge, Artemus Gould, 
Lewis D. Ford, and John R. Dow being the incorporators, with power to con- 
duct an institution for the care of orphan children, to provide for their mainte- 
nance and education, and bind them out at a suitable age to some useful trade 
or calling until majority. In 1855 operations were begun in a rented house 
with four orphans. In 1855 Mr. Isaac S. Tuttle, a philanthropic citizen, left 
his residence at the corner of Walker and Center streets as the asylum, and en- 
dowed it with $50,000 of other property. In 1859 Dr. Newton, Mr. Tuttle's 

Young Men's Library Association. 297 

stepson, left the asylum a further benefaction of $200,000, and, under author- 
ity of an act of the Legislature, the city council g.ive it the use of two hundred 
shares of Georgia railroad stock. From the organization of the asylum up to 
1870 Mr. Artemas Gould managed its finances with such skill that in that year 
when he resigned the capital of the institution was $348,071. The old Tuttle 
mansion proving too small, a new and very handsome building was erected in 
the southwestern part of the city, near the Georgia railroad, in 1873. The edi- 
fice is four stories high, surmounted by a lofty cupola, and is surrounded with 
ample grounds laid out with shrubbery and flowers. The house and grounds 
cost $173,759.11 ; the property in income-paying bonds and stocks is $244,- 
2 17.23, making a total capital of $417,986.37. The institution has from a hun- 
dred to one hundred and twenty-five inmates, supported at a cost of some- 
thing less than one hundred dollars per head per annum. 

The Young Men's Library Association was founded in 1848. We have 
already mentioned that in 1808 "The Thespian Society and Library Company 
of Augusta" was incorporated, but the literary feature seems to have yielded 
to the dramatic. In 1827 Henry H. Gumming, George W. Crawford, Thomas 
J. Casey, Augustine Slaughter, John P. King, James P. Waddel, James Moore, 
Peter Bennoch, and Robert R. Reid were incorporated as "The Augusta Li- 
brary Society." 

For a number of years the library association had its rooms on the north- 
west corner of Mcintosh and Ellis streets, but since 1884 has been housed in a 
building of its own on the corner of Broad and Jackson streets. The library 
now numbers some 7,000 volumes. 

In the hall of the library the Hayne Circle holds its meetings. This is a 
literary coterie of some five or six years standing, named after Paul H. Hayne, 
the poet. It is a somewhat informal organization, though having a corps of 
officers and an order of exercises, but has a strong hold on its members, and is 
a recognized literary power in Augusta. Ordinarily some novel, play, or other 
literary production is selected as a central theme. An analysis of some of the 
leading characters is assigned to members of the circle, who are appointed some 
weeks in advance, and expected to prepare and read papers on the themes 
assigned them. After the regular papers are read, a symposium is had, or a 
general running discussion wherein the merits of the contributors and the views 
generally of the circle on the work selected for consideration, are in order. 
This is a sort of literary free for all, and is often a bright encounter of wits. 
Each member is then called on for a quotation from some author, the selection 
being left entirely to his or her taste. Assignments for the next meeting are 
then announced by the presiding officer, and any necessary business transacted. 

The Confederate Survivors Association consists of Confederate veterans. 
Every man who served under the Southern colors is admissible on being 
vouched for by two comrades and giving in his rank and command. Quart- 

298 History of Augusta. 

eriy meetings are held, and on the 26th of April each year, Memoral Day, the 
association has its annual meeting, and after the transaction of business drinks 
in silence and standing a toast to the Confederate dead. At the funeral of each 
member, a detail, and sometimes the whole association, attends with a war- 
worn, tattered, and smoke-grimed stand of Confederate colors. The maimed 
members, those who have lost arm or leg, are the color guard. 

The Travelers' Protective Association (Post C, Augusta division) is a soci- 
ety of traveling salesmen, commonly called " drummers," organized for pur- 
poses of social intercourse and mutual assistance in matters appertaining to this 
important commercial instrumentality. 

The Catholic Knights of America have two divisions in Augusta, St. Joseph's 
branch No. 62, and St. Patrick's branch No. 66, both strong in membership and 
well sustained. 

The Grand Army of the Republic has a post in the city, Augusta Post No. 
44, with a good membership. 

The Masonic fraternity is exceedingly strong and influential in Augusta and 
has an ancient history. In 1796 the Grand Lodge of Georgia was incorpor- 
ated; the act reciting that "William Stephens, grand master; James Jack.son, 
past grand master ; William Stith, deputy grand master ; James Box Young, 
senior grand warden; Edward Lloyd and Belthazer Shaffer, past grand war- 
dens; Ulrich Tobler, jr., grand warden; George Jones, past grand treasurer; 
James Robertson, grand treasurer ; David Bridie Mitchell, past grand secre- 
tary, and John Blackstock, grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of Free Ma- 
sons in this State, have, by their petition stated, that there has existed, and 
still exists in this State, divers lodges or societies of Free Masons, on an an- 
cient establishment since the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-five, 
over which there is a presiding or superintending Grand Lodge, composed of 
the petitioners as members." 

Prior even to this early date there were Masons in Augusta, since in 1790 
they were voted the garret of the Richmond Academy as a lodge room. 

In 1824 Samuel Hale, Thomas I. Wray, Augustine Slaughter, WilHam W. 
Holt, B. D. Thompson, John W. Wilde, and Robert R. Reid were nominated 
commissioners to conduct a lottery for the purpose of raising $20,000 to be 
appropriated to the building of a Masonic Hall in the city of Augusta. 

In 1825 La P'ayette visited Augusta, and being a Mason, was welcomed in 
an address by John W. Wilde, grand commander of Georgia Encampment 
No. I. 

In 1827 the General Assembly passed an act, which after reciting that the 
money provided for by the act of 1824 had been raised, enacted that the Ma- 
sonic Hall should be for the use of all the Masonic bodies of the city, and ap- 
pointed Samuel Hale, Augustin Slaughter, Thomas I. Wray, Birkett D. 
Thompson, John W. Wilde, Robert Raymond Reid, Alexander McKenzie, 

Secret Societies. 299 

William T. Gould, William Duncan, Thomas G. Casey, Jonathan S. Beers, 
James C. Morgan, Francis Ganahl, and their successors as "the trustees of the 
Masonic Hall in the city of Augusta." The act states that at that time the 
Masonic bodies in Augusta were the Consistory of the Sublime Degrees, Geor- 
gia Encampment No. i, Adoniram Council No. i, Augusta Chapter No. 2, 
Social Lodge No. 5, and Webb's Lodge No. 19. 

In the early part of 1828 the Masonic lodge room was on Mcintosh street, 
but on June 2 of that year the Masonic Hall was opened, Governor William 
Schley delivering the address 

In 1877 the trustees were authorized by a two-thirds vote of their whole 
membership, approved by like vote of all the Masonic bodies in the city, to 
issue $50,000 in bonds for the purpose of erecting a new hall, and in 1881 the 
old one was taken down and a new one erected. This was destroyed by fire 
in February, 1887, but in its stead was at once erected a third, and still hand- 
somer edifice, which is one of the architectural ornaments of the city. 

The large number of societies at present can only be briefly mentioned. 
They are Master Masons, Social Lodge, No. i ; and Webb Lodge, No. 166;* 
Royal Arch, Augusta Chapter, No. 2, and Georgia Commandery, No. i ; R. and 
S. M. Adoniram Council, No. i ; Scottish Rite, Enoch Lodge oi Perfection, No. 
I, 14th degree; Augusta Chapter, Rose Croix, No. 2, i8th degree; Augusta 
Consistory, No. I, 30th degree; and Council of Kodosh, No. i, 32d degree; 
also a colored society, A. Y. M. Benneker Lodge, No. 3. 

The Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows in Georgia was established in Savannah 
in 1842. The Grand Lodge of the State was incorporated in 1843. ^^ Au- 
gusta there are Washington Lodge, No. 7, established in 1844; Miller Lodge, 
No. 10, in 1845 ; Richmond Lodge, No. loi, in 1883, and Augusta Encamp- 
ment, No. 5, shortly after. There are also two colored lodges, Boaz Lodge, 
No. 1686, and Star of Bethlehem Lodge. The Augusta Odd Fellows have 
long occupied a most prominent place in the order in the State, almost all the 
grand masters for nearly a half century being from this city. 

The Knights of Pythias have the Vigilant Lodge No. 2 ; Endowment Sec- 
tion, No. 118 ; Fountain City Lodge; and Augusta Division No. 6, U. R. R. 
of P. 

The Knights of Honor have Pendleton Lodge, No. 220; Shepard Lodge, 
No. 721 ; and Benner Lodge, No. 1259. There is also Louise Lodge, No. 141, 
D. of P., Knights and Ladies of Honor. 

The Knights of the Golden Rule have Castle Richmond, No. 41 ; the Order 
of the Golden Chain, Augusta Lodge, No. 26 ; Royal Arcanum, Ford Council, 
No. 34 ; Chosen Friends, Social Lodge, No. 2 ; Knights of the Golden Eagle, 
Ivanhoe Castle, No. i ; and Red Cross Castle, No. 4. 

The Independent Order of Red Men have Osceola Tribe, No. 9, and Pap- 
poose Tribe No. 10. 

300 History of Augusta. 

The temperance orders are Good Templars, Martha Washington Lodge, 
and Sibley Lodge, No. 88. 

There are also Augusta Lodge, No. 1 19, O. K. S. B; Obediah Lodge, No. 
1 19, I. O. B. B ; Teutonia Lodge, No. 429, D. O. H ; and Augusta Lodge No, 
2, A. O. U. W. 

There are also societies and orders in many avocations, among others Au- 
gusta Division No. 202, Order of Railway Conductors ; Locomotive Brother- 
hood, Augusta Dental Association, Typographical Union, Knights of Labor, 
Bricklayers Union, etc., etc. 

The colored societies in Augusta are exceedingly numerous, and a sketch 
of their origin and progress will be found of interest. On emancipation the 
colored population was confronted with an exigency it had not known in slavery. 
If the freedman was sick there was no one interested out of his immediate circle 
of family and friends to care for him ; if he died, none to decently bury him, 
and family and friends were as poor and helpless as himself In this emergency 
they established benevolent societies. A monthly fee was required, whieh 
was for the purpose of helping one another when sickness or death came. 
These societies met with every sort of trouble. As the membership grew in 
numbers the treasury swelled, and upon this money avaricious eyes were cast, 
and it was diminished in various ways, the failure of the Freedman's Bank swal- 
lowing up much of it. Then politics crept into the societies and many collapsed. 
Others struggled on, and as politics were weeded out began to prosper, and 
encouraged by this example other societies sprang up, until now there are 
about twenty-five strong organizations with a large membership, and working 
much good. The city has but few negroes to bury, and in nine cases out of 
ten they are either expelled from the societies, or never belonged to them. 

The plan of operation is about the same in all of them. A person joins and 
pays his initiation fee of one dollar, and monthly dues of fifty cents. During 
the sickness of a member he or she receives a weekly benefit of two dollars and 
fifty cents, and in case of death twenty- five dollars is devoted to funeral ex- 
penses and thirty dollars to the widow. In some societies when a member is 
sick there is a committee to furnish nourishment and medicine, all of which is 
paid for by the society. The societies are not confined to grown people, there 
being some for children. 

The names of the societies seem to have been selected more for euphony 
than for appropriateness, as the following will show : 

Morning Stars of Benevolence, Union Waiters Society, Joint Club, Geor- 
gia Benevolent Association, Devoted Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daugh- 
ters of Benevolence, Brothers and Sisters of the Evening Star, Brown Benefi- 
cial Society, Trinity Moral — two societies, Thankful Moral, No. i, Brothers 
and Sisters of the Morning Star, Watchman's Banner, Banner Light of Geor- 
gia, Stars of Bethlehem, South Carolina Benevolence, Mutual Benefit Associa- 

Educational. 301 

tion, Brothers and Sisters of Love, Lillies of the Valley, St. Phillip's Benevo- 
lent, Mutual Benefit Association, Mutual Aid Society, Bonds of Hope. Sons 
and Daughters of Jerusalem, Young Mutual Aid, and Young Brown Beneficial. 
The Union Waiters Society is an old organization, and strong in numbers. 
The Moral Societies have also full ranks and have great influence. By means 
of festivals, picnics, etc., in addition to the regular dues, the society treasuries 
are well replenished. 



Early Educational System of Georgia— The University— The Academy— The Poor School 
—Early Appropriations— School Population— Academies and Schools of 1828— Course of In- 
struction — The Educational Commission of 1836— Common School System of 1837— School 
Fund from 1823 to 1838— Common School System Abolished in 1840— Poor School Fund of 
1843 -Large Increase of Fund in 1852 and 1858— The Perfected Poor School System— Out- 
break of War Prevents Fair Trial— The Academies— Their Number and Curious Names— 
"The Turn Out "—Codification of the Laus in i860— Educational Benefactions in Augusta- 
Old Schools— The Houghton Institute— Augusta Free School— Richmond Academy— Edu- 
cational Clauses in State Constitutions of 1861 and 1865— Education During the War— Con- 
stitutional Provisions of 1868— System of 1870— The Richmond County System. 

AT a very early period in its history the State of Georgia paid great atten- 
tion to collegiate education. In 1784, in providing for the laying out of 
Franklin and Washington counties, the Legislature set apart 20,000 acres of 
the best quality in each county, " for the endowment of a college or semi- 
nary of learning" and vested the title thereto in the governor for the time 
being and a board of seven trustees. In the next year they created a State 
university by an act passed with great formality, and introduced by a pompous 
preamble. While now only archaic and curious in itself, it is of present use 
as showing the extreme importance attached to intellectual development in 
Georgia, even at that early day, when men were just out of the throes of the 
Revolution. It begins thus : " By the representatives of the freemen of the 
State of Georgia in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same. An 
Act for the more full and complete establishment of a public seat of learning in 
this State. 

"As it is the distinguishing happiness of free governments, that civil order 
should be the result of choice, and not necessity, and the common wishes of 

302 History of Augusta. 

the people become the laws of the land, their public prosperity, and even ex- 
istence, very much depends upon suitably forming the minds and morals of 
their citizens. Where the minds of the people in general are viciously dispos- 
ed and uiiprincipltd, and their conduct disorderly, a free government will be 
attended with greater confusions, and with evils more horrid than the wild, un- 
cultivated state of nature : It can only be happy where the public principles 
and opinions are properly directed and their manners regulated. This is an 
influence beyond the sketch of laws and punishments, and can be claimed only 
by religion and education. It should, therefore, be among the first objects of 
those who wish well to the national prosperity, to encourage and support 
the principles of religion and morality, and early to place the youth under 
the forming hand of society, that by instruction they may be moulded to the 
love of virtue and good order. Sending them abroad to other countries for 
their education will not answer these purposes, is too humiliating an acknow- 
ledgement of the ignorance and inferiority of our own, and will always be the 
cause of so great foreign attachments, that upon principles of policy it is not 

"This country, in the times of our common danger and distress, found such 
security in the principles and abilities which wise regulations had before es- 
tablished in the minds of our countrymen, that our present happiness, joined to 
pleasing prospects, should conspire to make us feel ourselves under the strong- 
est obligation to form the youth, the rising hope of our land, to render the like 
glorious and essential services to our country. 

''And Whereas, for the great purpose of internal education, divers allot- 
ments of land have, at different times, been made particularly by the legislature 
at their sessions in July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty- three ; and 
February, one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, all of which may be 
comprehended and made the basis of one general and complete establishment. 
Therefore, the representatives of the freemen of the State of Georgia, in general 
assembly met this twenty fourth day of January, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand seven Jinndred and eighty-five, enact, ordain and declare, and by 
these presents it is ENACTED, Ordained, and Declared, ist. The general 
superintendence and regulation of the literature of this State, and in particular 
of the public seat of learning, shall be coinmittcd and entrusted to the Governor 
and Council, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and tlie Chief Justice of the 
State, for the time being, who shall, ex-officio, compose one board, denom- 
inated the Board of Visitors, hereby vested with all the powers of visitation, to 
see that the intent of this institution is carried into effect, and John Houstoun, 
James Habersham, William Few, Joseph Clay, Abraham Baldwin, William 
Houstoun, Nathan Brownson, John Habersham, Abiel Holmes, Jenkin Davies, 
Hugh Lawson, William Glascock, and Benjamin Taliaferro, esquires, who shall 
compose another board, denominated the Board of Trustees. These two 

Early Appropriations. 

boards united, or a n:ajo7ty of each of them, shall comp^"ii^7^n~7s 
ACADEMICUS of the University of Georgia." 

The act then made many regulations for the new institution, and provided 
further, that •'All public schools, instituted or to be supported by fun or 
pub,, ,„ th.s State, shall be considered as parts or members of the Uni- 

centlrLd'"^" °^ "'"r'f T' '° ~"''""'" "*= ""'""'^'y ""= educational 
cent r and supemsor of the State; but for many reasons this purpose failed of 

to at last VTr^ T'' 'r'"''''"' '"' "'^= ""'>- "^^^ - accomplished 
fact, at last, by the hberahty of a citizen of Augusta, Governor John lVlilled..e 

iTwh,: ; rbuii: ""^"^' '" ""'^ ''"-" ''-' '- ■■"^'"""°" •■- --^ -p™ 

The general school system of the State was this: wherever there was a 
local academy the State would grant some sort of subsidy for it, support 
an for the dt.ldren of the poor who could not pay any tuiti„n,'there wer^TpTrse 
and spasmodic appropriations for poor schools. There were thus two funds 
the academical and the poor school fund. The policy of the State was tha; 
education was the duty of the parent, and the appropriations horn I^me to 

cordmg as parents were partly, or wholly, unable to perform this duty At 
divers times efforts were made to consolidate the academical and poor school 
funds, and to establish a general and uniform system of free educatLi but tlte 

desuetude. The academy and the poor school were the features of the edu- 
ca lonal system of Georgia ,868. when a general system of free educa- 
tion became a constitutional principle. Some further review of the old system 
may be of interest. =yMcin 

thorize7h^ T '^°''"T ""' ""P"""^'' '° g'-a-" -y person or persons au- 
horized by the several counties of the State one thousand acres of vacant land 
for erecting free schools. 

In ,792 such counties as had not then received i:i,ooo from the proceeds 
o the sales o the confiscated estates of loyalists were to have that sum fo 
the support of the county academy. 

and'r '^' V'7r'"' °': *'50,ooo was appropriated " for the future establishment 

and support of free schools throughout this State." The governor was author- 
zed to invest the same in bank, or other profitable stock. The preamble of 

this ac states that •• the present system of education in this State is n"t wel 
alculated for the general ditfusion. and equal distribution of useful learning ' 

It does not appear that any educational system was established under this 

In 182. the sum of $500,000 was set apart, "the one-half for the support 
and encouragement of free schools, and the other half for the permanent endow- 

304 History of Augusta. 

ment of county academies." It was provided that this appropriation should 
be called the school fund, and should be composed of bank stock as follows : 
l^ank of Darien, $200,000; the State Bank, $200,000; and bank of Augusta, 
$100,000. It was directed that inquiry be made what each county had then 
received from the State in confiscated property or other endowments for educa- 
tional purposes, and upon receipt of such information the interest on the school 
fund should be divided out among the several counties of the State on a basis 
to be thereafter arranged. 

In 1822 an effort was made to establish a poor school system. It was pro- 
vided that the Inferior Court of each county should appoint certain superin- 
tendents, not to exceed in number one for each militia district, to supervise 
"the education of the poor children of said county." These superintendents 
were to make out a list of the names of the poor children of the county from 
eight to eighteen, and transmit the same to the governor, but no child was to 
be enrolled whose parents or estate pay a tax exceeding fifty cents over and 
above their poll tax. On receipt of the enumeration the governor was to divide 
$i2,O0O among the counties, in "proportion to the number of poor children 
returned as above. It was provided that, on receipt of the county quota, the 
superintendents should cause such poor children to go to "such schools as may 
be convenient in their respective neighborhoods," but no child was to be "sent 
to school and paid for out of said fund, when such child has been taught read- 
ing, writing, and the usual rules of arithmetic ; " nor was any child to "be sent 
to school at public expense more than three years." The superintendents were 
also to take a general census of all children in the county, "as well poor as rich, 
and female as well as male, between the ages of eight and eighteen," and trans- 
mit the same to the Legislature. 

In the same year provision was made for an additional endowment of the 
county academies. One- half of the bank stock dividend, and all moneys in the 
treasury arising from escheats and reverted property, were to be divided out 
among the counties, so that, including the cash or other endowments previously 
received, each county should have $2,000; the residue then to be distributed 
in proportion to the representation from each county; where there was more 
than one academy in a county the money was to be pro-rated according to the 
number of their respective scholars; where there was no academy, the Inferior 
Court was to apply the fund, in its discretion, to educational purposes. 

In 1823 it was enacted that out of the bank dividends should be annually dis- 
tributed among the counties in proportion to the free white population therein, 
the sum of $20,000 " for the purpose of educating such children who are des- 
titute of the means of education." The Inferior Court was to appoint three 
trustees for the county who were to give bond in the sum of $1,000 each, and 
receive, apportion and disburse the poor school fund, and locate and regulate 
the schools. 

Educational. 305 

In 1824 the Senate directed its committee on public education and free 
schools to inquire into the relations of the Senatus academiais and the county 
academies. The committee reported that by the charter of the university it 
was made the duty of that institution to remedy the defects and advance the 
interests of literature throughout the State in general ; that it was also the law 
that all public schools instituted or supported by the State were under the 
superintendence of the university ; that it was the duty of the president, or 
some member of the faculty thereof, to annually visit and inspect each academy, 
but that this regulation had been found impracticable To obtain accurate in- 
formation, therefore, on the subject the committee recommended " that here- 
after it shall be the duty of the trustees of all academies in this State, which 
derive a part or the whole of their support from the State funds to make an 
annual report to the senator of the county in which the academy may be, of 
the following form : 

1. The number and salaries of instructors. 

2. The number of scholars. 

3. The annual income. 

4. Branches of learning taught. 

This was adopted. For a number of years the senators, there then being 
a senator to each county, communicated to the Senate committee on education 
the reports made them by the trustees of the academies in their respective 
counties. These reports, however, were extremely meager, and we find con- 
stant complaints that some of the trustees totally neglected their duty, and the 
majority of those who made returns did so in an unsatisfactory manner. 

Despite the unsatisfactory and unsystematic manner in which the state of 
the academies was reported to the Legislature, the academies themselves seem 
to have been carried on with a reasonable degree of efficiency. In 1826 Gov- 
ernor froup says in his annual message that " our academic institutions con- 
tinue to flourish." In the same document he speaks of the poor schools, thus : 
" It is recommended to you to consolidate the poor school fund, to augment it, 
to secure by sufficient guards its faithful application, and to diffiise its benefits 
as extensively as possible among the poor and indigent. These are the classes 
of the community who in their means of livelihood fall below mediocrity, and 
who, on this account, as well as on account of their numbers, have the strong- 
est claims for that assistance which will enable them by the instruction of pri- 
mary schools, to discharge in peace and in war, with most usefulness to them- 
selves and advantage to the country, all the duties of good citizens." 

The house committee on public education and free schools made quite an 
elaborate report on educational matters at this session. From this it appears 
that the State University at that time was conducted by a faculty consisting 
of a president, a professor of natural philosophy and botany, a professor of 
chemistry and mineralogy, a professor of mathematics, a professor of ethics and 

3o6 History of Augusta. 

belles-lettres, and two tutors. The committee report in favor of a professor- 
ship of modern languages. The report then proceeds to say: " Tiie manner 
in which the funds heretofore set apart for the endowment of county acade- 
mies and for tlie encouragement and support of free schools, and the effects 
produced ne.xt demanded the examination of your committee. The school 
fund consists of five hundred thousand dollars, and is made up of 

Stock of the Bank of Darien $200,000 

" " Stale Bank 200,000 

■' '' " Bank of Augusta 100,000 

Total $500,000 

" The several acts which have been passed upon the subject of county acade- 
mies, commencing with the charter of the university in 1785, and terminating 
in 1824, obviously contemplate an efficient endowment of at.least one academy 
in each county. With this view that charter made each county academy a 
branch of the university, and subjected them to supervision accordingly. In 
furtherance of this view, also, was the act of confiscation and amercement in 
1792, authorizing commissioners from each county to purchase in confiscated 
property to the amount of ;^ 1,000. 

" The aid contemplated from this source was uncertain and precarious, even 
in the hands of the most fortunate, and with many was wholly inoperative. 
The amounts realized were small, and in but few instances beneficially applied. 
The present existing laws have affixed an estimate of this intended munificence 
by holding the intended beneficiaries accountable for only one-eighth of their 
nominal purchases. Under the new scheme of endowment now in progress, 
the older counties have been made to account for their ancient purchases. An 
equal participation in the fund distributed in 1824 and 1825 has been denied 
them, that they might be brought to an equality with their younger sisters, 
and then draw equally from the common parent until the receipts of each 
should amount to the sum of two thousand dollars. 

" This being effected, each county will be considered as specifically endowed, 
and thenceforward the profits of $250,000 in bank stock will be distributed 
amongst all the counties in the State, in proportion to their representation. 
For the last political year ending on the first day of November, the distribu- 
tive share amounted to the sum of $215.38. This is receivable at the treasury 
upon the joint application of the trustees of the incorporated academies in each 
county, and to be divided between them in proportion to the number of schol- 
ars usually taught in each. For a policy thus enlightened, and a munificence 
thus liberal, no further requital is demanded on the part of the State than that 
the participants of her bounty should keep a just and accurate account of the 
manner in which the same should be disbursed and applied, and make report 
thereof annually through the Senatus academicus to the Legislature. The pro- 

Educational. 307 

priety of such report is dictated by a sense of obligation, but its necessity is the 
positive requirement of the law. But notwithstanding these things are so, your 
committee regret to state that in the range which they have taken through the 
several reports made by the senators to the Senattis Academicus, they discover 
but slight traces of that particularity required by law, and which is so es- 
sential to a due course of legislation upon a subject so important. It was not 
to have been expected that any plan of endowment amidst a new and vary- 
ing population would have made any near approach to perfection ; hence the 
necessity of regular, detailed, periodical information, not only from each county 
but from the whole of the incorporated academies in the State. Information 
short of this would be short of the laws already in force, and insufficient to 
enable the State to dispense her practical and well aimed aids, and enforce due 
accountability on the part of her agent. To enforce a compliance with the 
laws in this regard, your committee beg leave to accompany this report with a 
resolution which they hope may be adopted, to wit : 

"Resolved, That no trustee, or commissioners of any incorporated academy 
shall hereafter be permitted to draw any funds from the treasury of this State, 
until they shall have presented a full and fair statement of the manner in which 
all sums previously drawn shall have been disbursed ; and that his excellency 
the governor be requested to enforce strictly the provisions of this resolution." 

The resolution was adopted. On the subject of poor schools the committee 
says: "By the act of 1821 poor schools were intended to be endowed by the 
profits of the one half of the school fund, which has already been shown to con- 
sist of a half million of dollars. Instead, however, of confining this depart- 
ment to its distributive share of the bank dividends it has found a better pro- 
vision and safer reliance in the increased liberality of the Legislatnre expressed 
in an act of 1823. This sets apart the sum of twenty thousand dollars to be 
distributed annually amongst the different counties of this State in proportion 
to the number of free white population in each county. Your committee have 
annexed a tabular statement showing the population of each county, and the 
amount which they are entitled to receive respectively. The sums thus pro- 
vided have been eagerly sought after, but the evidence of fidelity in their ap- 
plication and utility in their disbursement has not been furnished in a manner 
satisfactory to the minds of your committee. From some counties imperfect 
reports have been received, from others no reports at all. The several agents 
may have been faithful; if they have, the fact should have been made to ap- 
pear, as well for their own credit as for the needed information of the Legisla- 
ture ; if they have not, then the information was the more necessary to enable 
the Legislature to apply the corrective. In the absence of such information 
your committee are unable to determine whether the benefits intended by a 
charity, so kindly and so amply bestowed, have been or are likely to be realized. 
The subject is one of great interest and complexity and of novel introduction 

3o8 History of Augusta. 

among our citizens." The report then proceeds to say that the committee 
could not, for lack of time and requisite data, formulate a free school system, 
but recommended that Messrs. Campbell, Hull, of Clark, and Holt, of Rich- 
mond, be appointed a committee "to digest and report a plan of free schools 
suited to the condition of the poor school fund and of the dependent popula- 
tion of the State." The tabular statement annexed to this report shows that 
the then 58 counties of the State had a free white population of 233,305, and 
that the poor school fund was about 82 cents per head. The largest sum al- 
lotted any county was $1,603.72, the smallest $54.72. 

It does not appear that the committee recommended by this report to di- 
gest and report a plan of free schools took any action, but at the next session 
of the Legislature a bill was introduced "to establish a board of visitors to the 
poor schools, and to require teachers in the sever.1l districts to report the num- 
ber of poor children and teach the same," which was voted down. At the 
same session, that of 1827, the committee to whom was referred the reports of 
the county academies, report that the returns "present a condition creditable 
to the patrons of those institutions and flattering to the future reputation of 
the State." In this bright picture, however, the committee find one dark spot, 
"they have been unable to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion to what extent 
and proficiency classical education has been taught in these institutions." 
Starting with the proposition that "this branch of literature is so necessary in 
all systems of juvenile instruction, that few persons in modern days have ob- 
tained intellectual eminence whose minds have not received this training," the 
committee enter on a curious and elaborate argument to show that the intel- 
lectual future of Georgia depends on a better attention to classical learning in 
the academies of the State. After a long and labored disquisition on the util- 
ity of the classics as a means of mental training, the committee declare it "a 
source of melancholy regret that so little care should be bestowed by the pa- 
trons of our academies on this important part of juvenile education." 

In 1828 the clerk of the Court of Ordinary was made sole trustee of the 
poor school fund and manager of the poor schools. The justices of the peace 
were required to report to him "a list of all children in their respective districts, 
together with their names, ages, and sexes, whose extreme indigence entitle 
them to a participation in the poor school fund." The same act required that 
duplicate reports of the attendance at, and expenses of both poor schools and 
academies should be transmitted to the governor and the Scuatus Academicus, 

Of the educational system of the State at this date we have a very full and 
interesting account, thanks to a faithful compliance with the law by the officials 
of that date. It appears that the appropriation for the support of academies 
for 1828 was $14,307.44; and for poor schools. $7,425.58. It further appears 
that there were in operation eighty academies in seventy- five counties, with a 
total attendance of 1,479 male, and 973 female scholars. Some 304, not dis- 

Educational. 309 

tinguished by sex, were reported, making total 2,756, but twenty- seven acad- 
emies failed to report the number of scholars. If the same average obtained 
as in those reporting, there must have been at least 4,300 scholars attending 
the county academies in 1828. Some of the academies seem to haxe had a 
good attendance: the one in Greene county showing 119 scholars; that in 
Wilkes, 103; the Sparta Female Academy, 151. Richmond Academy has but 
fifty three; three report less than twenty, and one has only one scholar, a little 
miss. It further appears that at this time the university, pursuant to its charter, 
sought to exercise a supervisory control over all the academies receiving sup- 
port from the State, and that the Senatus Academiciis adopted the following 
resolution, which under the charter, had the force and effect of a statute, viz.: 

" In order to introduce uniformity into the academies connected with the 
University of Georgia, the SenaUis Academiciis prescribe to each the following 
course of studies and authors to be used preparatory to admission to college, 
viz.: Murray's English Grammar; arithmetic, to the end of the cube root; 
Ruddiman's Rudiments; Corderius, fifty colloquies at least ; Erasmus, at least 
one-half; Cornelius Nepos to Atticus; Caesar's Commentaries, six books; Cic- 
ero's Orations, at least nine to be read; Virgil, the Bucolics, Georgics, and six 
books of the ^neid ; Mair's or Clarke's introduction to making Latin ; Wet- 
tenhali's Greek Grammar; the Greek Testament, at least through John and the 
Acts ; Graeca Minora, to the end of the Dialogues. The above are essential 
to qualify the student to enter the Freshman class. In addition to these, the 
following are necessary for admission into the Sophomore class : Xenophon, 
four books; the whole of Horace ; Homer, one book ; Algebra, through sim- 
ple equations; geography, thoroughly, and a knowledge of the maps essential." 

The necessity of some standard appears by the report of studies pursued in 
the various academies, where all sorts of courses were pursued, as geology, 
botany, astronomy, and even theology. Some of the teachers, to be on the safe 
side, report " all branches." 

The poor school report is a sad affair. But thirty one counties, out of sev- 
enty-six have poor schools in operation, with 1.624 male and 1,471 female 
scholars, making, with 120 not distinguished by sex, a total of 3,215. In one 
county no one can be found who will act as superintendent of poor schools ; in 
another the old and new trustees are litigating over the fund ; in divers others 
the teachers are not paid. 

The Senate committee on public education and free schools reports "that 
the present free school system of Georgia is miserably defective, your commit- 
tee have had but too mortifying testimony in the returns of the several coun- 
ties submitted to their inspection during the present session; the fund set 
apart for free schools, though entirely inadequate to effect the important ^/^.y/V/- 
eratwn of furnishing the means for a plain axmX substantial education to every 
family in the State under a more regular and economical administration, has, 

3IO History of Augusta. 

it is feared, been dissipated with comparatively little benefit." They recom- 
mend the employment of a competent person to digest and arrange a system 
of free schools for consideration of the next General Assembly. 

At the next session in 1830 Governor Gilmer informs the Legislature in 
his message that the academy system is not advancing the cause of education, 
and says that " the appropriations for academical purposes which have been 
made for some years past, do not seem to have effected any public benefit at 
all equal to the expenditure." The poor schools seem to have improved con- 
siderably, being in operation in fifty-eight counties, with an attendance of about 
five thousand. The poor school fund for this year was $29,998. 15 ; the aca- 
demical fund $19,296.01. 

In 1836 the Legislature appropriated one-third of the surplus revenue of the 
United States, then about to be distributed among the States, as a permanent 
free school and educational fund, and authorized the appointment of a joint 
committee of five "to digest a plan of common school education, best adapted 
to the genius, habits of life and of thought of the people of Georgia," with 
power to appoint a sub-committee of two, " to visit different parts of the United 
States, and particularly the New England States, and institute a correspond- 
ence with such persons as they may think proper, either in the United States 
or Europe, or both, for the purpose of getting information of the different sys- 
tems of common school education." 

At the next session, in 1837, Governor Schley in his message to the Legis- 
lature, said: "The great cause of education deserves your fostering care. 
About $40,000 are now annually distributed to the counties, and constitute 
what are denominated 'the Academical and Poor School Funds.' This system 
is believed to be radically defective. There should be no such designation as 
'academic' and 'poor school,' because they are invidious and insulting. Pov- 
erty, though a great inconvenience, is no criir.e, and it is highly improper, while 
you offer to aid the cause of education, to say to a portion of the people ' you 
are poor.' Thousands of freemen who though indigent, are honest, patriotic, 
and valuable citizens, will refuse your bounty, and despise the hand which offers 
it, because it is accompanied with insult. These funds should be consolidated 
under the title of ' Educational Fund,' and applied to the use of primary schools, 
teaching only the rudiments of English education." 

At the same session the joint committee to prepare a system of common 
schools made its report. This was ordered to be printed with the acts of that 
year, which was not done, but from "an act to establish a general system of 
education by common schools," approved December 26, 1837, their conclu- 
sions seem to have been reduced to law. This statute provides that the aca- 
demic and poor school funds should be consolidated as a general fund for com- 
mon schools ; that there should annually be elected a board of five commis- 

Educational. 31 i 

sioners in each county, who should lay the county off into school districts, to 
correspond as nearly as possible to the militia districts, and have general charge 
of the matter of education therein ; that they should make annual report to the 
governor of the school population in the county; and should receive and dis- 
burse the county's quota of the educational fund. The State fund was to be 
distributed according to the number of free white persons between the ages of 
five and fifteen in each county ; and no part of said fund was to be used for any 
other purpose than in payment of teachers, and purchase of books and station- 
ery for children whose parents were unable to provide the same. The system 
was to be primarily for the benefit of scholars between the ages of five and fif- 
teen, but no person between fifteen and twenty-one was to be debarred. 

In 1839 there were signs of a disposition to return to the system in vogue 
prior to this act. In that year John McPherson Berrien, William W. Holt, and 
A. H. Chappell, commissioners, appointed under authority of a Legislative res- 
olution to inquire into the whole subject of the State finances, with a view to 
sustaining the " great interests of public education and internal improvement," 
made an exhaustive and valuable report. Of the academies they say, "the 
county academies have been heretofore liberally endowed, and, may, in the 
opinion of the undersigned be safely left hereafter to the management of their 
own trustees, without further appropriation than a distribution of the present 
academic fund, in such proportions as may be just. For this intermediary class 
of schools this provision is deemed adequate, as experience has proved that 
they are capable of self support, and that those of a private foundation are or- 
dinarily most successful." 

They next consider the common or poor schools, which they say they con- 
sider more important than either the university or the academies. They 
say that "hitherto the State has not only been without any system of common 
schools, but has actually neglected to provide adequate means for their sup- 
port, should a system be devised suitable to our condition It is true this mat- 
ter has not been entirely neglected, but the inadequacy of the provision has in 
effect rendered all our efforts in this way inefficient." They state that the treas- 
ury reports show that for the five preceding years, the annual average poor 
school fund has been but $17,418; and the academical fund $19,352, and that 
the total ^'^G.y'jo is not more than half enough for poor schools alone. They 
find that there were then about 75,000 male citizens of Georgia over twenty- 
one and under sixty years of age, and recommend that a poll tax of $1 be im- 
posed, to be devoted exclusively to poor schools. They further report that they 
called upon the treasurer for information as to the disbursements since 181 5, or 
for a quarter of a century past, for academies and common schools, and give 
the answer received, which we here tabulate. The records appear not to ex- 
tend back of 1823. 


History of Augusta. 


Poor Schools. Total. 


$ 3,306 80 
18.502 01 
I 1 ,004 1 2 
11,502 75 
9,205 28 
4,095 30 
14,302 44 
19,296 01 
20,156 54 
19,177 68 
21,812 95 
18,710 27 
16,657 20 
18,308 60 
22,823 88 
20,260 21 

$ ' $ 3,306 80 




I 18,502 01 

12,409 63 23,413 75 
17,706 30 29,209 05 


8,493 48 17.698 76 


7,724 74 1 1,820 04 


7,425 58 21.728 02 





29,998 15 
24,570 46 
19,298 44 
22,380 57 
18,401 18 

49,294 16 
44.727 00 
38,476 12 
44,193 52 


•^7.111 4.1; 


16,560 49 ^^.217 6q 



15,892 01 

17,711 32 

18,525 44 

34,200 61 
40,535 20 


38,785 65 

1249,122 04 

$237,097 79 

$486,219 83 

In the next year, 1840, tlie system of common schools as established by 
act of 1837, was abolished, the poor school system was revived, and the com- 
mon school fund was made a poor school fund. Five commissioners were di- 
rected to be appointed in each county by the justices of the Inferior Court to 
disburse the fund for the benefit of children " between the ages of six and fifteen 
years, whose indigence, in tiie opinion of tlie justices, entitle them to a partici- 
pation in the poor school fund." Such children might be taught in the acade- 
mies, in which event the teacher was entitled to receive poor school rates for 
their tuition. The educational system then stood as before, to wit: academies 
for pay, and poor schools for indigent, pupils. 

In 1842 Governor McDonald informed the Legislature that " the efforts 
heretofore made to confer the benefits of education upon all through the instru- 
mentality of common and poor schools, have not been attended with the suc- 
cess that was hoped for," adding that "so small is the sum now subject to dis- 
tribution, that if it were equally divided among the children entitled to it under 
the law, and it should be distributed in no other manner, it would not be suffi- 
cient to purchase the books and stationery necessary for their use. At the 
last apportionment, the sum of seventy cents only was assigned to each child, 
and there must be even a further reduction at the next." It was the opinion 
of his excellency that the State should support and educate, at some central 
point, a select number of poor pupils who should bind themselves in return to 
teach gratuitously for a certain period in the counties whence they came, those 
counties to board and clothe them while so doing, a plan which went no fur- 
ther than the executive recommendation. 

In 1843 was passed "an act to provide for the education of the poor," 
which empowered the justices of the Inferior Court to levy a tax for that pur- 
pose when recommended by the grand jury. In addition to this resource 1733 
shares of the capital stock of the Bank of the State of Georgia, 890 shares of 

Educational. 313 

Bank of Augusta stock, and all the net assets of the Central Bank were set 
aside as a permanent educational fund, the interest whereof was to go to the 
support of poor schools. The justices of the Inferior Court were to have the 
general matter of poor schools in charge, and to provide for poor children be- 
tween the ages of eight and sixteen whose parents were unable to educate 
them. By a subsequent act the school age was changed to from six to six- 

For a quarter of a century from this date the old system of academies and 
poor schools remained substantially as the acts of 1840 and 1843 left it, but 
some vigorous efforts were made to improve the poor school fund. 

By act of 1852 the dividends on 1833 shares of State Bank stock, 890 
shares of Bank of Augusta stock, and 186 shares of Georgia Railroad and 
Banking Company stock, all belonging to the State, were set apart " as a per- 
manent fund for the education of the poor." This fund was to be increased 
by as many additional shares of the stock of either of said banks as could be 
purchased with the unexpended appropriation of $30,000 for the State conven- 
tion of 1850, and the net assets of the Central Bank. This fund was to be ap- 
portioned among such counties as should by the first of December in each year 
certify to the State Treasury the number of children between the ages of eight 
and sixteen years therein, as were unable "from the poverty of themselves or 
parents, to procure a plain English education without public assistance." 

In 1858 this fund was supplemented by the sum of $100,000 annually from 
the revenue of the Western and Atlantic, or State, railroad, and any annual 
unexpended balance in the treasury after defraying all expenses of the State 
government. It was also provided that as fast as the then existing State debt 
should be paid off six per cent, educational bonds should be issued, the interest 
to go to same fund. At that time tlie State debt was $2,627,000, so that an 
ultimate addition of $157,620 was contemplated The same act changed the 
school age to from eight to eighteen. 

In 1859 the school age was changed to from six to eighteen, and it was pro- 
vided that the elementary branches should alone be taught, the same being de- 
fined as spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, though English grammar and 
geography might be pursued if the cost was not thereby increased. 

The necessity of increased appropriations had become so manifest as to 
force the above stated action. The number of scholars was rapidly increasing, 
and the fund became ridiculously small. In 1848 there were 23,106 poor chil- 
dren, and the fund was $19,278.15. In 1853 there were 38,000 children, and 
but $23,000 wherewith to educate them, or sixty cents apiece. The effect of 
the measures of 1852 and 1858 we will trace hereafter; suffice it here to say 
that the number of poor schools and poor scholars increased. 

The academies also seemed to prosper. We have seen that in 1828 there 
were some eighty in operation, and each year th ^ general assembly incorpo- 

314 History of Augusta. 

rated new ones. Some ninety- seven had been organized u[) to 1832, and from 
that time the number rapidly increased. From 1832 to 1850 one hundred 
and seventy-two were incorporated, and from 1 850 to i860 forty-nine more. 
The Hst of their names is curious reading, bibhcal, classical, patriotic, Indian, 
local, and nondescript cognomens abounding. Among them we may mention 
Leonicera, Byron, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Wellington, La- 
Fayette, Cicero, Ebenezer, Sugar Maple, Pond Town, Hickory Flat, Liberty 
Plains. Vineland, Warrior, Bethel, Ikickeye, Mount Carmel, Mount Bethel, 
Mount Enon, Mount Horeb, Mount Gilead. Mount Zion, Hebron, Goshen, 
Zebulon, Buena Vista, Keg Creek, Rum Creek, Traveler's Rest, Malmaison, 
Villanovv, Toweliga, Etowah, Attapulgas, Phidelta, Halloca, Rehoboth, Reh- 
obothville. Pond Town, Sardis, Snake Creek, liudisco, and Philomathia Aca- 
demies. One is called Columbia, and not to be outdone, another is incorpo- 
rated as Columbiana Academy; another is originally incorporated as the Farm- 
er's Academy, and then, with an affectation of elegance, procures the General 
Assembly to re-baptise it as the Planter's Academy. Still another is the Con- 
stitutional Hall Academy, and one is Dried Indian Mountain Academy ! 

The fact is, that with the exception of the well endowed Richmond Acad- 
emy in Augusta, and possibly some few others, these academies were little 
more than " the old field school," so well remembered by the elder generation. 
Probably a fair account of them as they existed for many years in most parts 
of the State, may be found in Judge Longstreet's sketch, " The Turn Out," in 
Georgia Scenes. The story turns upon a school-boy custom of taking posses- 
sion of the school- house, and barring or turning the teacher out until he agreed 
to give them a holiday. It was Easter, and the urchins, having boiled and 
colored in all tlie hues of the rainbow an immense number of eggs, were anx- 
ious for a day or so in which to " peck," them, that is, knock point against 
point, the boy whose egg broke in the encounter forfeiting the same to his an- 
tagonist. The teacher was generally quite willing to grant the holiday, but, 
for form's sake, and not to displease his patrons, would make a stout prelimin- 
ary resistance. On this occasion, the boys had strongly entrenched them- 
selves, and our author thus describes the academy they had converted into a 
citadel : " It was a simple log-pen, about twenty feet square, with a doorway 
cut out of the logs, to which was fitted a rude door, made of clapboards, and 
swung on wooden hinges. The roof was covered with clapboards, also, and re- 
tained in their places by heavy logs placed on them. The chimney was built 
of logs diminishing in size from the ground to the top, and overspread inside 
and out with red clay mortar." Over the door of this seat of learning was a 
board bearing the word " academy." Our author then depicts the arrival of 
the enemy before the fortress. Though previously apprised of what was going 
on, the pedagogue gave signs of great astonishment and indignation, when he 
advanced to the door, and was assailed by a whole platoon of sticks from the 

Educational. 3 1 5 

cracks. He sternly demanded admittance. " Give us holyday," said twenty 
little urchins within, "and we'll let you in." 

" Open the door of the Academy,'' (he would allow no one to call it a school- 
house.) " Open the door of the academy this instant," said he, " or I'll break 
it down." 

"Break it down," said Pete Jones and Bill Smith, the big boys of the school, 
"and we'll break you down." 

A terrific encounter ensues, but the pedagogue is repulsed. Then he seeks 
to work on the fears of the garrison by hunting up their stores of eggs, hid- 
den in stumps and other recesses about, but the boys are proof against the 
menace. He then batters down the door ; the boys swarm all over him, and 
peace is finally made by conceding the holyday. 

In i860 the laws of Georgia were ordered to be digested into a code. The 
commissioners appointed to perform this work took upon themselves a consid- 
erable power of legislation, justifying the same upon their interpretation of the 
authority confided in them as meaning that they were " not only to condense 
and arrange the verbose and somewhat chaotic mass of the statutes of Georgia, 
but also to interweave therewith those great leading principles of jurisprudence 
necessary to fill out and make perfect the body of our laws, of which the stat- 
utes constitute but disjointed parts." Acting under this very liberal construc- 
tion, they did considerable "interweaving" in the matter of education, as on 
other topics committed to their care, and, in fact presented a general educa- 
tional code, which, while retaining the main features of the old system, con- 
tained a number of new principles. The Legislature subsequently adopting 
the code as a whole, what is therein written may be taken as embodying the 
educational system of the State at the time of such adoption, and until some 
ten years later a new one was devised. The substance of the codified system 
is as follows : 

The university was shorn of its supervisory power over the academies and 
poor schools, and the academies and poor schools were kept distinct as they 
had been before. Tlie justices of the Inferior Courts in the several counties 
were vested with power, upon the application in writing, of any body of citi- 
zens not less than three nor more than thirteen, to incorporate them as an 
academy, institute, or school, the powers granted to be distinctly specified, 
recorded on the minutes of the court, and published three times in some pub- 
lic gazette. The justices were also given authority to appoint trustees for any 
county academy, whether incorporated or not, and to any number by them 
deemed expedient, and to fill vacancies therein. The authority of the trustees, 
unless specially restricted by statute, was to elect teachers, fix their salaries 
and terms of office, prescribe the course of studies, manage the finances, and 
adopt such rules and regulations for the government of their respective insti- 
tutions, as they might see fit. 

3i6 History of Augusta. 

The poor schools, or common schools, as they were now called, were to be 
supported out of the educational fund of the State, which fund was made up as 
follows : First, the dividends upon the stock owned by the State in the Bank 
of the State of Georgia, the Bank of Augusta, and tlie Georgia Railroad and 
Banking Company. At this time the State owned 1833 shares of the stock of 
the Bank of the State of Georgia, 890 shares of Bank of Augusta stock; and 186 
shares of Georgia Railroad stock ; second, one hundred thousand dollars an- 
nually from the net earnings of the Western and Atlantic, or State, Railroad, 
in addition to this, as fast as any of the then existing State debt was paid out 
of the earnings of that road, the treasurer was to issue six per cent, education 
bonds to that amount, the interest thereof to go to the educational fund ; 
third, any undrawn balances of the $100,000; fourth, any balance in treasury 
after defraying all expenses of the State government; and fifth, any donations 
by will, deed, or otherwise, for educational purposes. 

This fund was pro- rated among the several counties as follows : by the third 
Monday in November of each year, the ordinary was to report to the gover- 
nor "the whole number of children in his county, as ascertained from the tax 
receiver's digest, his own knowledge, and the knowledge of the grand jury," it 
being provided that the ordinary should submit the list as made up by him 
from his own knowledge and the tax books to the grand jury, to be corrected 
by them, if necessary. On receiving these reports, the governor was to pro- 
rate the fund among the counties reporting, any county not reporting at the 
appointed time to lose its share in the fund, and draw his warrant in favor of 
the treasurer of the county school board. The educational fund of the county 
was thus made up : 

1. The county's quota of the State educational fund. 

2. Proceeds of county tax levied for educational purposes. 

3. Proceeds of sales of escheated property. 

4. Money arising from fines and forfeiture, after deducting charges thereon, 
and amounts recovered on qui tarn actions, where half or all was to go to the 
State or county. 

The justices of the Inferior Court had authority to levy such tax for educa- 
tional purposes, as the grand jury of the county might recommend. Should 
there be no such recommendation, the justices were empowered to levy a tax 
of not exceeding twenty-five per cent, on the rate of the State tax. 

The county educational board consisted of the justices of the Inferior Court, 
the ordinary, and one citizen selected by the judge of the Superior Court; and 
had power "to disburse the school fund in their respective counties in the man- 
ner that, in their judgment, will best promote the cause of general education 
under the law"; to examine all teachers who participate in the school funds 
upon the elementary branches, and also upon English grammar and geogra- 
phy, if the teacher applying shall desire, and to give said teacher the proper 

Educational. 317 

certificates of their qualification; to publish annually the school system adopted, 
rates of tuition, receipts and expenditures, itemized ; and to meet at least once 
a month. 

It was not compulsory upon the board to establish common schools, but it 
was to do so when the educational fund of the county and the state of the pop- 
ulation warranted the same in their judgement. 

All children between the ages of six and eighteen were entitled to attend 
the common schools, '" but children of parents who are unable to educate them, 
children discarded by their parents, and indigent orphan children, must first be 
provided for." 

These special beneficiaries were to be ascertained as follows : Each parent 
was, in making his tax returns, to state, under oath, the number of his chil- 
dren, or children under his charge, between the ages of six and eighteen ; the 
ordinary was to select from the tax books the names of those who, from pov- 
erty of parent, or otherwise, had not the means of education, adding any un- 
returned cases to his knowledge ; and the grand jury was to add any such 
cases in their knowledge. Moreover, any citizen might report to the board of 
education the names of any poor children omitted from the list. 

The course of instruction was to be only the elementary branches, the law 
stating that "by the term elementary branches is meant spelling, reading, writ- 
ing, and arithmetic," but in no event was the expense to exceed sixteen dol- 
lars per scholar per annum. By special permission scholars might study Eng- 
lish grammar and geography, or any other study, always provided the above 
cost was not exceeded. 

After the act of 1858, assisting that of 1852, had provided a fairly compe- 
tent fund for the poor schools, the returns of the number of children of school 
age show a marked increase. Probably the county authorities had been for 
years derelict in this respect because deeming the report a mere idle form. 
The returns for 1854 showed 42,467 poor children, and the fund that year was 
but $23,388, or not quite 53 cents per htad. In 1858 the fund was $29,569, 
and the largest amount going to any one county was $761 ; two receiving only 
$42. In 1859 the educational fund paid out was $150,163; the number of 
children between eight and eighteen, as ascertained by a State census that year 
taken, was 129,440. It must be understood, however, that this is the sum total 
of all the children, not the indigent only. For i860 the number of children 
between six and eighteen years of age was 159,341, and the eilucational fund 
disbursed to the counties was $150,000. 

The outbreak of the war prevented this system from having a fair trial, 
but there is reason to think that, between the academies and the poor schools, 
education was made pretty general. It will be seen, however, from the review 
which has been given, that, up to 1858, the county academies were the main 
educational resource, and that children whose parents were unable to send them 

3i8 History of Augusta. 

to the academy were dependent for instruction on the poor schools. How 
meaner that resource was has been shown. Riclimond county shared in the 
general famine. Its report for 1828 was as follows : "Richmond county, num- 
ber of scholars, male 22, female 17, total 39. No report of funds received or 
expended ; several school bills presented, but for want of funds could not be 
liquidated." For 1830 the report was: "Number of children returned between 
the ages of three and twenty is 177, males 94, females 83, of whom 104 are 
attending school ; amount received $636.75, disbursed $283.78." What sort 
of school must have been kept for 104 children on $283.78? 

For 1 83 I the poor schools o( Richmond received $343 30 from the State. 
In 1 83 I there were 135 poor scholars, and the fund was $451. In this year 
the trustee, George A. B. Walker, recommended the abolition of the system in 
that count}'. From the table heretofore given it will be seen that, for a num- 
ber of years following this date, the total poor school fund was about a con- 
stant quantity, from which we may infer that th(;re was no improvement in 

This state of affairs animated some notable benefactions to the cause of free 
education by citizens of Augusta in bygone years. Prominent among them 
is the bequest of John W. Houghton, which still perpetuates his memor}' in the 
Houghton Institute, a flourishing seminary. Mr. Houghton was a native of 
Massachusetts, who settled in Augusta some si\t\' odd years ago. Shortly 
after his arrival he opened a store on Lower Broad street, and engaged in the 
shoe and leather trade. After years of close economy and strict attention to 
business he accumulated a fortune, and at his death left a sufficient amount 
for the erection of a brick building and the endowment of a school that should 
bear his name and " be free to all the children of Augusta." 

By a provision in his will the city council was made the custodian of this 
fund. In 1851 a large lot on Greene street, between Lincoln and Elbert, was 
selected as the site upon which to erect the new school-house, and during the 
following year a massive structure, well ventilated and comfortably furnished, 
was appropriately dedicated. Two teachers were elected by the city council — 
one for the male department, the other for the fen)ale — and the school opened 
under favorable auspices. For many years the number of pupils upon its rolls 
was rather limited, and the grade scarcely any liigher than that of an interme- 
diate school of the present day. After the war a new impetus was given under 
the leadership of Hon. M. V. Calvin, then principal of the institute, which caused 
many to patronize the school. 

In October, 1872, Mr. J. Cuthbert Shecut, a graduate of South Carolina 
University, was elected principal of the institute. He immediately reorgan- 
ized the school, and adopted the graded system of classes and departments, 
with results most beneficial to the pupils and most satisfactory to the com- 
munity. This system, with many improvements, stood the test of years, and 
is still in successful operation at the institute. 

\yioM: V. QxLu. 

Educational. 319 

The institute is divided into two schools, male and female, under the super- 
vision of one head — the principal. Each school consists of four departments, 
viz.: Primary, intermediate, grammar and iiigh school. In each of the primary- 
departments there are three grades or divisions — the higher departments being 
divided into two grades. Each grade is again subdivided into classes, in ac- 
cordance with the rank of the department, and over the entire department a 
competent teacher presides. 

In the primary and intermediate departments, the elementary branches are 
taught in regular graduation. In the grammar departments the pupil is taught 
the higher branches in the English language, and begins the study of Latin. 
In this grade the attention of the learner is directed to an analysis of the ob- 
jects of his study. The high school is the scientific grade. In this depart- 
ment the student completes the following course of study : Rhetoric, English 
synonyms, Latin, French, algebra, geometry, physical geography, physics, 
astronomy, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. The topics which the 
different studies present are illustrated by means of apparatus. 

At the close of each scholastic year examinations, oral and written, are 
held in the institute hall. Cards of promotion are given to all pupils who suc- 
cessfully pass their examination, and diplomas of graduation are presented to 
the successful competitors of the high school department. 

Thousands of young men and young women have received their education 
at the old Houghton. So popular has it become that the committee in charge 
have already decided to enlarge the building. From an humble origin the 
Houghton has become "a bright and shining light," and an inestimable bless- 
ing to the community. 

The institute is under the charge and control of the city council. The teach- 
ers are one male principal and such number of male and female assistants as 
council may determine, all elected annually, and receiving salaries fixed by 

The Augusta Free School is a venerable institution founded before 182 1, 
and still in useful operation. In that year Rev. William T. Brantley, Rev. Will- 
iam Moderwell, Augustus Moore, William J. Hobby, Ralph Ketchum, Samuel 
Hale, Hugh Nesbit, Joel Catlin, Abiel Camfield, Robert Raymond Reid, Car- 
los Tracy, John Campbell, and Thomas McDowell were incorporated as "The 
Augusta Free School Society." Mr. Richard Tubman and others were gene- 
rous benefactors of this school. Mr. Thomas Snowden, one of the most suc- 
cessful instructors ever known in Augusta, was for a long time principal, and at 
one time Hon. Martin V. Calvin occupied the same position. The school is 
now used for primary instruction, and is not incorporated with the general pub- 
lic school system. 

Of the Richmond Academy we have elsewhere in this work spoken at 
length, and need here only say that this is the oldest incorporated institution 

320 History of Augusta. 

of learning in Georgia — with two exceptions, in Virginia, the oldest in the 
Southern States. The College of Charleston, next in order of time, is less ven- 
erable by several years. Both were founded under the same impulse, and to 
meet the same social exigencies, — the education of the youth of the State at 

No school of learning has been more intimately connected with all the in- 
terests of the community in which it has been established. By its charter its 
trustees were ex-officio commissioners of the town ; and, indeed, the general 
supervision of the interests of the town continued until the incorporation of 
the city in 1798. From 1780 to 1786, while Savannah (the seat of State gov- 
ernment) was occupied by the enemy, Augusta was declared the temporary 
capital of the State, and there being no public buildings in Augusta suitable 
for the purpose, those of the academy were used as the State House, and the 
State and Federal Courts were held there. The academy then occupied its old 
site on Bay street, just below the residence of Josiah Sibley, esq. There, in 
1 79 1, President Washington attended the commencement exercises of the 
academy and the ball given to his honor by the citizens. The board of trustees 
have most faithfully and continuously carried forward the trust confided to them 
— to establish "a seminary of learnin<j; for the education of our youth." 

The course of study includes besides the Latin. Greek, French, German and 
English languages, a thorough mathematical course from arithmetic to calcu- 
lus, a popular course of natural philosophy, theoretical and analytical chemis- 
try, astronomy, geology, and also a course of physiology and hygiene. The 
present building was erected in 1802 at a cost of some $20,000. The school 
was opened in 1785, a Mr. William Rogers, of Maryland, being appointed 
"master of the academj'," with a salary of ^200, and the use of the master's 
house and garden. He had the assistance of one tutor and was required to 
teach the Latin, Greek, and English languages and the common practical 
branches of mathematics. The highest rate of tuition was ten dollars per 
quarter. The academy remained in successful operation till 1864, when it was 
converted into a hospital by the Confedcr.ite government. For a couple of 
years after the close of the war it was used by the United States troops as a 
barracks, but on January i, 1868, was reopened and has since been in success- 
ful operation. Its business affairs appear to have been carefully managed dur- 
ing its century of existence. In 1845 '^ ^^'^^ reported as having buildings, 
library and apparatus worth some $30,000, annuity from real estate of $16,- 
000, and some $12,000 in bank stock At present its income is sufficient to 
defray all expenses and add about $1,000 annually to the endowment fund. 

In 181 5 the trustees of the Richmond Academy were authorized "to estab 
lish a seminary of learning on the Sand Hills, near Augusta, to be held and 
considered as a branch of the Richmond Academy, and to be governed by such 
rules and regulations as govern the said institution." The Sand Hills, subse- 

Educational. 321 

quentlySummerville, Academy, was founded under this authority, and remained 
a part of the Richmond Academy until 1866, when it became a separate insti- 
tution. It may here be added, as a fact Httle known, that in 1854 an effort was 
made to change the name Richmond Academy to that of the Tubman College. 
In that year the Legislature passed an act to empower the trustees of the 
academy of Richmond county to change the name of that institution to the 
Tubman College, and authorizing them under that name to have all necessary 
corporate powers and to use the property then held or owned by them for the 
academy. The then trustees of the academy were made trustees of the college, 
and empowered to add other trustees, so that the total number should not ex- 
ceed fifteen, and all laws relative to the academy were made applicable to the 
college. The proposed change was not made. 

The Constitution of Georgia framed in 1 861, by the same convention which 
adopted the Ordinance of Secession, contained the following provision : "The 
General Assembly shall have power to appropriate money for the promotion 
of learning and science, and to provide for the education of the people." — Art. 
II., sec. 5, part 4. 

The constitution adopted in 1865 had this clause: "The General Assembly 
shall have power to appropriate money for the promotion of learning and sci- 
ence, and to provide for the education of the people, and shall provide for the 
early resumption of the regular exercises of the University of Georgia, by the 
adequate endowment of the same." — Art. II., sec. 5, part 3. 

Thanks to the industry of Peterson Thweatt, comptroller-general during the 
war, and one of the best officers ever holding this position, we have a pretty 
clear account of educational matters from i860 to 1865, and here tabulate the 
statistics of the comptroller's reports : 

Children 6 to t8. Education Fund Disbursed. 

i860 159.341 $150,000 

1862 156.848 147. 1 31 

1863 97.467 137.524 

1864 152,170 79.787 

In 1865 the State road was destroyed ; by that time, also, the banks were 
suspended, and the only source of educational revenue left was the interest on 
education bonds, $23,355. Even this fund existed only on paper. 

Well might Governor Jenkins, on the restoration of peace, inform the Leg- 
islature that among the other disasters of the war the sources of supply to the 
educational interests had been dried up. Before passing to i\\G post bellinn pe- 
riod we may here give some synopsis of the legislation and policy of the State 
in respect to the education of the colored race. The inhibition on the education 
of the slaves or free negroes dates from colonial days. In the year 177^* the 
Provincial Assembly passed an act, or rather a code of laws, relative to the col- 
ored population of the colony, and in this among a multitude of regulations, 

322 History of Augusta. 

appears the following clause: "And whereas the having slaves taught to write, 
or suffering them to be employed in writing may be attended with great incon- 
venience: Be it therefore enacted that all and every person and persons what- 
soever, who shall hereafter teach, or cause any slave or slaves to be taught to 
write or read writing, or shall use or employ any slave as a scribe in any man- 
ner of writing whatsoever, every such person and persons shall for every such 
offense, forfeit the sum of twenty pounds sterling." In 1829 it was enacted that 
"If any slave, negro or free person of color, or any white person, shall teach 
any other slave, negro, or free person of color to read or write either written or 
printed characters, the said free person of color or slave shall be punished by 
fine and whipping, or fine or whipping, at the discretion of the court ; and if a 
white person so offend, he, she, or they shall be punished with a fine not 
exceeding five hundred dollars, and imprisonment in the common jail at the 
discretion of the court before whom said offender is tried." 

In the same year, 1829, it was also enacted that "if any slave, negro, mesti- 
zo, or free person of color, or any other person, shall circulate, bring, or cause 
to be circulated or brought into this State, or aid or assist in any manner, or 
be instrumental in aiding or assisting in the circulation or bringing into this 
State, or in any manner concerned in any written or printed pamphlet, paper, 
or circular, for the purpose of exciting to insurrection, conspiracy, or resistance 
among the slaves, negroes or free persons of color of this State, against their 
owners or the citizens of this State, the said person or persons offending against 
this act shall be punished with death." 

In 1833 the penal laws of the State were codified, and in this code the 
foregoing provisions, as also one against the employment of colored persons in 
printing-offices, were incorporated as follows: "If any persion shall teach any 
slave, negro, or free person of color, to read or write either written or printed 
characters, or shall procure, suffer, or permit a slave, negro, or person of color 
to transact business for him in writing, such person so offending shall be guilty 
of a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by fine or imprison- 
ment in the common jail of the county, or both, at the discretion of the court. 

"If any person, owning or having in his possession and under his control 
any printing press or types in this State, shall use or employ, or permit to be 
used or employed, any slave or free person of color in the setting up of types, 
or other labor about the office, requiring in said slave or free person of color a 
knowledge of reading or writing, such person so offending shall be guilty of a 
misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one 
hundred dollars. 

"If any person shall bring, introduce, or circulate, or cause to be brought, 
introduced or circulated, or aid, or assist, or be in any manner instrumental in 
bringing, introducing, or circulating within this State, any printed or written 
paper, pamphlet, or circular for the purpose of exciting insurrection, revolt, 

Educational. 323 

conspiracy, or resistance on the part of the slaves, negroes, or free persons of 
color in this State, against the citizens of this State, or any part of them, such 
person so offending shall be guilty of a high misdemeanor, and on conviction 
shall be punished with death." 

In 1 84 1 it was enacted that "if any shopkeeper, storekeeper, or any other 
person or persons whatsoever, shall sell to. barter, or in anywise furnish, or al- 
low to be furnished by any person in his, her, or their employment, any slave, 
negro, or free person of color, any printed or written book, pamphlet, or other 
written or printed publication, writing paper, ink, or other articles of station- 
ery for his, her, or their use, without written or verbal permission from the 
owner, guardian, or other person authorized, such person or persons so offend- 
ing shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not less than ten dollars nor 
more than fifty dollars, for the first offense, and upon conviction of a second 
offense, be subject to a fine and imprisonment in the common jail of the 
county at the discretion of the court, not to exceed sixty days imprisonment 
and five hundred dollars fine." 

In 1867, while not as yet fully rehabilitated, the State was reconstructed. 
The constitution adopted by the convention which met in Atlanta in 1868 pro- 
vided for a poll tax of one dollar annually on each poll to be used for educa- 
tional purposes exclusively. It further provided that the General Assembly at 
its first session after the adoption of the constitution should "provide a thor- 
ough system of general education, to be forever free to all children of the State, 
the expense of which shall be provided for by taxation or otherwise"; and that 
"the poll tax allowed by this constitution, any educational fund now belonging 
to this State — except the endowment of and debt due to the State University 
— or that may hereafter be obtained in any way, a special tax on shows and 
exhibitions, and on the sale of spirituous and malt liquors — which the general 
assembly is hereby authorized to assess — and the proceeds from the commu- 
tation for militia service, are hereby set apart and devoted to the support of 
common schools. And if the provision herein made shall at any time prove 
insufficient, the general assembly shall have power to levy such general tax 
upon the property of the State as may be necessary for the support of said 
school system. And there shall be established as soon as practicable, one or 
more common schools in each school district in this State." The constitution 
also provided that there should be a State school commissioner. In 1870 an 
act was passed to establish a system of public instruction, the main features of 
which were as follows: there was to be a State board of education, consisting of 
the governor, the attorney-general, the secretary of State, the comptroller- 
general, and the State school commissioner; there was also to be a county 
board of education made up of one member from each militia district, and one 
from each town or city ward, to be elected by the people and hold two years. 
The State educational fund was to be apportioned to the counties in proportion 

324 History of Augusta. 

to the number of persons between six and twenty-one years of age therein; 
the county boards were to institute schools and apportion and disburse the 
county's quota of the fund. The course of instruction was to be orthography, 
reading, writing, arithmetic, Engh'sh grammar, and geography. Provision was 
made for evening and ambulatory schools. 

Up to 1872 the public schools in Augusta were conducted under this act; 
but in that year a local law was passed which regulates public instruction in the 
city and county, one school board having entire charge thereof The details of 
this system are as follows : 

The board of education consists of thirty-seven members — three from each 
of the five city wards, five country districts, two incorporated villages and the 
ordinary of the county, c.v-ojficio. Members must be freeholders and residents 
of the county. The term of ofiice is three years, and an election occurs every 
November to fill the vacancies on the board, the term of one-third of the mem- 
bers expiring annually. The board meets regularly on the second Saturday of 
each month, and the president is chosen from among its members. The sec- 
retary, who is also the county school commissioner, is chosen annually at the 
meeting in January. 

The schools in each district and village in the county are under the entire 
control of the local trustees. The teachers are chosen by them, the length of 
the term is regulated by them, and all matters pertaining to the schools are re- 
ferred to them, under regulations of the board of education. In the city the 
schools are under the charge of the conference board of city trustees, which 
consists of all the members from the five wards. 

The finances of the board are under the control of the finance committee, 
which meets on Friday before the regular meeting of the board of education. 
They audit all accounts, examine all the books, and present the monthly ex- 
penses of all the schools to the board at each regular meeting. They are not 
authorized, however, to audit any account that is not approved by a majority 
of the local trustees of the ward or district wherein the expenditure is to be 
made, except the high school accounts, which are approved by the secretary. 

The school fund at the disposal of the board is annually divided, according 
to the school population, among the city wards, the five county districts and 
the two villages, after reserving a fund for the general expenses of the board 
and for the high schools. By this means each set of local trustees can see the 
amount at their disposal, and can regulate their schools accordingly. They 
can have few or many teachers, a long or short term, build and repair, just as 
they please and as their funds permit. Each district, village and the city wards 
run a separate set of schools, and yet the whole system is controlled by one 
board of education, and the actions of the various local trustees are under the 
supervision of suitable committees from the general board. 

The secretary and county school commissioner is in general charge of the 

Educational. 325 

whole. He is required to visit all schools, to examine and instruct the teach- 
ers, keep a record of the financial operations of the board, and in every way to 
promote the general interest of education in the county. 

The Tubman High School is for young ladies. Pupils are admitted to the 
school upon payment of a tuition fee of seven and a half dollars per term, in ad- 
vance, which is fifteen dollars for a school year. The principal examines all ap- 
plicants for seats, unless they bring promotion cards from the grammar schools. 
The course of study is well chosen, and all pupils desiring promotion or gradua- 
tion are subject to rigid examination at the close of each term. The young lady 
in the graduating class who receives the highest mark during the year is entitled 
to the Davidson medal. She is also entitled to a scholarship in the Wesleyan 
Female College, of Macon, Ga. The young lady who receives the second high- 
est mark is entitled to a scholarship at Lucy Cobb Institute. A scholarship for 
general excellence is also offered by the Millersburg College, in Kentucky. 
Regular diplomas are given to the graduating classes at the annual commence- 
ment exhibitions in June. 

The Colored High School is conducted in every regard as the Tubman High 
School, except that a fee of five dollars a term, in advance, or ten dollars for a 
school year, is demanded of the pupils. 

In the selection of teachers to fill the public schools everything being equal, 
preference is given to the graduates from the high schools of the county. 

The teachers in the high schools are chosen by the entire board of educa- 
tion. Those in the city schools are chosen by the conference board of city 
trustees, which consists of the members from the five wards. Those in the 
country districts are chosen by the local trustees of the district in which the 
school is situated. No person can be considered as an applicant for any public 
school, nor entitled to election as such, unless possessed of a certificate of qual- 
ification signed by the president and secretary. 

The method of securing the certificate of qualification is as follows: The ap- 
plicant must write an application for examination as teacher, have it endorsed 
as to good moral character by at least two persons of good standing, address 
it to the board of education, and place it in the hands of the secretary. 

The secretary reads the application to the board at the next regular meet- 
ing, and they order the examination to be held. At any convenient season the 
secretary examines the applicant upon reading, spelling, writing, geography, 
history, grammar and arithmetic, and upon other branches of study desired. 
The result of the examination is reported to the next meeting of the board, and 
according to the degree of proficiency in the studies the secretary recommends 
a certificate of the first, second and third grade to be granted, which is accord- 
ingly done. If the applicant is possessed of a diploma, this wmII entitle him, with- 
out examination, to a certificate of the first grade, though the application must 
be made as above. A certificate of the third grade entitles a teacher to teach 

326 History of Augusta. 

in the primary school only; of the second grade to teach in the intermediate 
school, and of the first grade to teach a grammar or high school. The first 
grade certificate is good for three years, the second grade for two years, and the 
third grade for one year. 

No child under six or over eighteen years of age is allowed to enter the pub- 
lic school system. Pupils are required to attend the school that is nearest to 
them, and in case of the districts in the country no pupil is allowed to attend a 
school that is in another district from the one in which he lives, except by mu- 
tual consent of the local trustees of both districts. 

If the patrons of any school become dissatisfied with the teacher, and do 
not desire to send their children, their remedy is not in sending them to other 
schools, but in presenting a written petition to the local trustees requesting the 
teacher to be displaced and some other one put instead, and support their pe- 
tition by proof of incompetency. 

In the admission of pupils to the schools upon the opening of any term the 
following rules are always complied with by the teachers : 

First. Pupils are admitted to the schools according to the priority of their 
application. Due regard is paid to the application of those pupils who reside 
in the ward in which the school is situated. In so far as possible, pupils are 
required to attend the schools in the wards of their residence. 

Second. Pupils holding promotion cards from any public school teacher are 
entitled to highest preference above pupils who hold no cards. Of these pupils 
those who are promoted in the same building are first enrolled. In all cases 
where pupils are not promoted they are allowed to retain their seats under their 
former teacher. 

Third. The rolls of all the schools are to be made up on the day that the 
school opens. Seats are not reserved for absent pupils. After a pupil has taken 
his seat he is required as soon as possible to provide himself with the necessary 
books, and failure to do this will vacate his position. So long as the pupil is 
studious and obedient, and attends to the laws of the school, he may retain his 
place, but the strictest regulations are enforced concerning the suspension and 
expulsion of pupils who neither study nor behave. Corporal punishment is 
allowed to be inflicted on boys only. There are no expenses connected with 
the schools, except that of janitors' fees, which amount to about seventy-five 
cents a year for each pupil. 

At the end of each term — that is in February and in June — pupils are re- 
quired to pass an examination, written or oral, of what they have been taught 
during the previous months. The questions are generally prepared by the su- 
perintendent, in conjunction with the teachers, and are exhaustive under each 
topic After the pupils have been e.xamined, each one is marked according to 
his answers in each study. From this his general average is formed, and from 
the general averages the average of the school can be found. All these marks 

Educational. 327 

and averages are put down in the appropriate reports and filed in the office of 
the superintendent. Thus the examinations are made matter of record from 
year to year. 

The schools are divided into primary, intermediate, grammar and high 
schools. The primary comprises three classes; the intermediate and grammar 
grades, two classes each ; and the hi^h schools, three classes ; each class cor- 
responding to one year. 

The scholastic year begins on the Monday nearest the middle of Septem- 
ber, and closes on. the last school day in June. The daily sessions are from 9 
A. M. to 2 P. M. Sixty schools are now in operation, seventeen in the city, eight 
white, and nine colored ; and forty three in the country, twenty-five white and 
eighteen colored, with a total enrollment of 6, 121 pupils, white 3,390, colored 
2.731. The whites are divided as follows: boys, 1,446, girls, 1,944; the col- 
ored: boys, 1,237, girls, 1,494 There are 105 teachers employed, their sala- 
aries ranging from $35 to $50 per month in the white schools, and from $20 to 
$40 in the colored. The fund for 1888 was $43,687.61. Prior to the institu- 
tion of this system Hon. John S. Davidson was president of the local board. 
Under the system the first president was John T. Shewmake, who was suc- 
ceeded by George R. Sibley, and he in turn by Mr. Davidson, who has been 
the presiding officer for the last ten years. The superintendents have been 
Martin V. Calvin, A. H. McLaws, Benjamin Neely, and Lawton B. Evans. The 
Richmond county school system claims to show by its records that it educates 
at less cost per capita than any system in the South. We here subjoin a tabu- 
lar statement of the number of teachers employed. 

Average daily attendance, school funds, and cost per scholar since 1877, 
when the statistics of the system were regularly kept: 

Year. Teachers. 

1877 81 

1878 79 

1879 82 

1880 82 

1881 99 

1882 104 

1883 120 

1 884 112 

1885 113 

1886 104 

1887 104 

1888 105 

The fund is made up of the county's proportion of the State educational 
fund, the poll tax collected in the county, the tuition fees as above stated, and 
the special school tax levied by the School Board. For the period above 

Average Daily 


Cost per Scholar. 











31. 1 12.00 


























328 History of Augusta. 

stated the receipts from these sources in round numbers are: school tax, $360,- 
000; State fund, $65,000; poll tax, $22,000; tuition, $17,000; total, $464,- 

The establishment of the public school system has done away with private 
educational establishments in Augusta with the exception of a business college 
conducted by Professor Osborne, and three Ca'holic institutions, namely: St. 
Patrick's Commercial Institute, conducted by a religious fraternity, and St. 
Mary's Academy, established in 1853, and the Sacred Heart Academy, estab- 
lished in 1876, both founded and conducted by "The Sisters of the Order of 
Our Lady of Mercy." 



Two Eras. 18 10 to 1865, and 1865 to Date — The Old Bank of Augusta— Its Incorporators 
— Voting on a Sliding Scale — Old Bank Rules— Death to Counterfeit its Notes — Germs of 
Bank Examinations — The Old Bank's Good Showings— A Surplus Fund a Novelty — Balance 
Sheet of 1835— List of Stockholders— Other Old Banks — First Savings Bank in 1827 — Its ex- 
penses I4. 55 per annum— The Old Augusta Savings Institution — Augusta Insurance and 
Banking Company Almost Ruined by the Fire of 1829 — President Bennoch's Tart Report to 
the Governor — Report of 1833 — List of Stockholders — Merchants' and Planters' Bank — Its 
Failure in 1833— Legislative Report Thereon— The Mechanics' Bank — Report for 1833 — List 
of Stockholders — The Union Bank —The City Bank — The Georgia Railroad given Banking 
Franchise — Its Capital Stock and Dividends, from 1836 to 1847 — Its Banking Business, from 
1847 to 1864 — Discounts, Deposits, and Circulation for Same Period — Early Banking — Bank- 
ing at Will — Prohibition of Change Bills — Suppression of Private Banking — Severe Penalties 
— No Notes Under Five Dollars — Forfeiture of Charter on Suspension of Specie Payments — 
Free Banking Law of 1838 — Analagous to National Bank Act — Land and Negroes a Basis of 
Issue — Panic of 1837 — Panic of 1857 — '' The War of the Banks" — Banking Capital in 1835, 
in 1838, in i860 — Dividends, 1829 to 1838 — Great Prosperity Just Before the War — Increase 
of $133,000,000 in Two Years — Wealth of Richmond County in i860 — Outside of Slaves $20,- 
oc)0,ocx) — War-Bonds, Specie Suspension — The Banks Exhaust Themselves Helping the Con- 
federacy — Banking During the War— Demise of the Old Banks — Banks Since the War — Na- 
tional Bank — National Exchange Bank — The State Banks — Renewal of Banking Franchise to 
the Georgia Railroad —Dividends, from 1836 to 1861, Under First Franchise — Dividends, 1861 
to 1 88 1 — The Commercial Bank — The Augusta Savings Institution — Planters Loan and Sav- 
ings Bank — Banks Chartered Since the War, but Not Organized — City Loan Association and 
Savings Bank — Mechanics' Savings Bank — City Loan and Savings Bank — Manufacturers' 
Bank — Citizens' Bank— City Bank — Savings Bank of Augusta — Name Changed to Bank of 
Augusta — Its Failure. 

THE history of banking in Augusta begins in 18 10, when the old Bank of 
Augusta was incorporated, and may be considered in two epochs; namely 
before, and since 1865. Prior to the war the system of State Banks prevailed 

Banks and Banking. 329 

since the war the National bank and State systems have both obtained. Up 
to 1838 there was no uniform banking law in Georgia, but in that year a gen- 
eral act providing for the incorporation of banking institutions was passed. In 
1837, and again in 1857, financial panics, prevalent thruui^hout the country, 
exerted their full influence in Augusta. At the outbreak of the war the banks 
of Augusta risked their all on the success of the Southern Confederacy, and at 
the end of the struggle went down in the common ruin. With the rehabilita 
tion of the State, banking revived, and, as has been stated, both National banks 
and State banks now carry on business in the city. The details of the history 
thus tersely outlined, let us now proceed to give. 

In 1810 there was passed "An act to incorporate the Bank of Augusta." 
From the language of this statute it appears that, for some time prior, there 
had been a bank in the city, the preamble of the act reading: "Whereas 
Thomas Gumming, president, and John Howard, Richard Tubman. John Mc- 
Kinne, James Gardner, Hugh Nesbit, David Reid. John Moore, John Campbell, 
John Willson, Anderson Watkins, John Carmichael, and Ferdinand Phinizy, 
directors of the said bank, have petitioned the Legislature that they, the said 
president and directors, and others, the stockholders of the said bank, may be 
incorporated under the name of the Bank of Augusta." The act then proceeds 
to incorporate petitioners by the name and style of " The president, directors, 
and company of the Bank of Augusta." and to declare that, by that name, they 
" shall be, and are hereby made, able and capa' Ic in l.iw to have, purchase, re- 
ceive, possess, enjoy, and retain to them and t'ucir successors lands, rents, tene- 
ments, hereditaments, goods, chattels, and effects of what kind, nature, or quality 
whatsoever, and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien, or dispose of, to sue and 
be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be de- 
fended in courts of record, or any other place whatsoever ; and also to make, 
have, and use a common seal, and the same to break, alter and renew at their 
pleasure, and also to ordain, establish, and put in execution such by-laws, or- 
dinances, and regulations as shall seem necessary and convenient for the gov- 
ernment of the said corporation, not being contrary to the laws, or to the con- 
stitution of this State, or of the United States, or repugnant to the fundamental 
rules of this corporation ; and, generally, to do and execute all and singular 
such acts, matters, and things which to them it shall or may appertain to do ; 
subject, nevertheless, to the rules, regulations, restrictions, limitations, and pro- 
visions hereinafter prescribed and declared." 

The charter was to expire on May i, 1830, and thirteen directors were to 
be chosen annually on the first Monday in December. The method of selec- 
tion was quite curious. The number of votes to which each stockholder was 
to be entitled in the election of directors was fixed on a sliding scale, as fol- 
lows : " For one share, and not more than two shares, one vote ; for every two 
shares above two, and not exceeding ten, one vote; for every four shares above 

330 History Of Augusta. 

ten, and not exceeding tliirty, one vote; for every six shares above thirty, and 
not exceeding sixty, one vote ; for every eight shares above sixty, and not ex- 
ceeding one hundred, one vote; and for every ten shares above one hundred, 
one vote ; but no person, corporation, copartnership, or body pohtic, shall be 
entitled to more than thirty votes, and no share or shares shall confer a right 
of suffrage which shall not have been holden three calendar months previous 
to the day of election, and unless it be holden by the person in whose name it 
appears, absolutely and bona fide in his own right, or in that of his wife, and for 
his or her sole use and benefit, or as executor or administrator, or guardian, or 
in the right and use of some copartnership, corporation, or society, of which 
he or she may be a member, and not in trust for, or to the use of, any other 
person; any stockholder, being absent, may authorize, by power of attorney 
under seal, any other stockholder to vote for him, her, or them." 

Two weeks before the election of directors a full list of stockholders was to 
be made out and opened to the inspection of any stockholder desiring to see 
the same, " to the end that public information may be given to the parties con- 
cerned of their co-proprietors and stockholders ; and to prevent a division of 
shares, in order to obtain to the person or persons so dividing them an undue 
influence, the managers of elections for directors shall administer to every stock- 
holder offering to vote the following oath: 'You, A. B., do swear (or afifirm) 
that the stock you now represent, is bona fide your property, and that you are 
a citizen of the United States, and that no other person or persons is or are 
concerned therein ;' and to any person voting by proxy for a minor, or in right 
of or in trust for any other person entitled to vote, the following oath : ' You, 
A. B., do swear (or affirm) that the stock of C. D., whom you now represent, 
is, to the best of your knowledge and belief, the property of the said C. D., and 
that he is a citizen of the United States, and that no other person or persons 
is or are concerned therein ; ' and any stockholder refusing to take such oath 
or affirmation shall not be allowed to vote at any such election." 

At their first meeting the directors were to elect a president out of their 
number, and any vacancies in the board were to be filled by the other mem- 

The following fundamental rules for the government of the bank were then 
enacted: ist. The capital stock was to be $300,000. in $100 shares, $50,000 
whereof was to be reserved until January i, 1812, for the State, should it see 
fit to subscribe ; in which event the governor, treasurer, and comptroller gen- 
eral were to have the right to select two of the directors. 

2d. By a majority vote of the stockholders, the stock was increaseable up 
to $600,000, one-sixth of any increase to be reserved for the State, and, if not 
taken by the next session of the Legislature after such increase, to be thrown 
open to the public, the State, if subscribing, to appoint another director. 

3d. None but a stockholder, being a citizen of the State of Georgia, shall 

Banks and Banking 331 

be eligible as a director, and no director of any other bank shall at the same 
time be a director of this bank ; any director ceasing to be a stockholder t(.i 
lose his seat at the board. 

4th. The board of directors had power to appoint a cashier and other offi- 
cers, fix their compensation, and make by laws by a majority vote. 

5th. The cashier was to give bond in sucli sum as the directors might re- 
quire, and he, the president, and all other officers of the board, were to take 
the following oath : 'I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and 
faithfully discharge the duties of president or cashier, or other officer (as the 
case may be), of the board of the Bank of Augusta,' which oath was to be sub- 
scribed and entered on the minutes. 

6th. Seven directors were to form a quorum, of whom the president was 
always to be one, except in case of sickness or necessary absence, when the 
board was to elect one of its members in his place. 

7th. The board by a majority vote could call a general meeting of stock- 
holders at any time, giving thirty days' notice in some newspaper in Augusta, 
Washington, Wilkes county, Milledgeville, and Savannah, and specifying there- 
in the object of the meeting. 

8th. In case of death, resignation, or removal of the president, the board 
was to fill the vacancy. 

9th. The directors were to prescribe how transfers of stock should be made. 

lOth. Bills obligatory and of credit, under the seal of the corporation, were 
assignable by endorsement; the bank bills or notes were to be signed by the 
president, countersigned by the principal cashier or treasurer, and negotiable 
by delivery. 

I ith. No transfer of stock was to be valid unless entered on the books of 
the company kept for that purpose. 

1 2th. The bank was only to hold such lands, tenements, and heredita- 
ments as were necessary for its accommodation in the transaction of its busi- 
ness, or had been mortgaged thereto, or conveyed it, or to some other in trust, 
to secure loans, or bought at judicial sales upon judgments in favor of the bank, 
or loans, and the directors were empowered to sell all property the bank might 
thus acquire. 

13th. The bank was not directly or indirectly to be concerned in commerce 
or insurance, or in the importation or exportation of goods, or the purchase or 
sale thereof, except where pledged to it as security. 

14th. All bills, bonds, notes, and contracts of the bank were to be signt d 
by the president, and countersigned by the cashier, or else to be not binding. 

15th. The total indebtedness of the bank, by bill, bond, note or othtrAise 
was never to exceed three tunes the amount of its capital. In case of this limit 
being exceeded the directors under whose administration the excess had taken 
place were individually liable ; but any director might relieve himself b\' dis- 

332 History of Augusta 

senting from the act or resolution authorizing such over-issue, having said dis- 
sent entered on the minutes at the time, and forthwith giving notice of the fact 
at a general meeting of stockholders, which any dissenting director might call. 
Tlie hank was also liable for the over issue. 

i6th. Dividends were to be paid semi-annually, and never to exceed the 
net profits. 

17th. No dividend was to be at the expense of the capital stock; and, if 
such were declared, the directors present at the declaring thereof were to be 
individually liable to the bank for the amount of the infringement, but any 
director might relieve himself by forthwith dissenting in writing on the minutes 
of the board. 

1 8th. The directors were to keep regular minutes; vote by yeas and nays 
at the demand of any two directors; and produce the minutes before each gen- 
eral meeting of stockholders 

19th. The charter was to endure till May i, 1830, but two- thirds of the 
capital stock might surrender the same prior thereto, on giving twelve months' 
notice in the newspapers of Augusta, Savannah, and Milledgeville. 

When an increase of stock had been voted, no person could subscribe for 
more than ten shares, until after the expiration of three months from date of 

Lastly, the charter contained this terrific denunciation: "That any person 
or persons who shall print, sign, or pass, or be concerned in the printing, sign- 
ing, or passing any counterfeit note or notes, bill or bills, of the Bank of Au- 
gusta, knowing them to be such, or who shall alter, or be concerned in the alter- 
in"' of any genuine note or notes, bill or bills of the said bank, and shall be con- 
victed thereof, shall sufTer death." 

We have been thus particular in giving the details of the charter of the Bank 
of Augusta because it is in some sort the model on which subsequent charters 
were framed, and is in itself, in spite of some archaic features, a work evincing 
much financial ability. It is said that the curious provision as to the voting 
power of stock in elections for directors was borrowed from an old Scotch 
bank ; but, however this may be, the cautious restrictions and limitations 
thrown about the manner of the selection of directors, and the responsibility 
placed on those officials, evince experience and ability in the framers of the act. 

It will be seen that the original charter was to expire on May i, 1830; but, 
in 1826, it was extended to May i, 1850; and in 1845 again extended to May 
I, 1870. This latter period it never reached, going down in the storms of war, 
but its long, useful and honorable history we may here trace. 

In 1 8 20 the presidents of the Bank of the State of Georgia, the Bank of Da- 
rien, the Planters' Bank, and the Bank of Augusta were required to annually 
report to the governor a minute statement of the standing and management of 
their respective institutions for the twelve months immediately preceding the 

Banks and Banking. 333 

first Monday in October, "showing particularly the amount of specie in their 
vaults; the amount of debts due them, the amount of issues, and the amount 
of bills in circulation; the amount of deposits, and the highest amount due and 
owing by each of said banks." 

In 1823 Governor Clark in his annual message recommended that each 
bank in which the State owned stock be required to make semi-annual state- 
ments to the executive ; " the whole of their proceedings, giving the names of 
their debtors and the amount due by each, to be laid before the Legislature at 
their annual sessions." His excellency seems to have been no friend to banks; 
farther on in his message informing the Legislature that "the opinion even noM 
almost universally prevails that the pecuniary embarrassment of the citizens is 
greater in proportion as you approach the vicinity of a bank;" also, that "the 
time may arrive when those monied 'institutions' will throw the weight of their 
powerful but subtle influence into the scale of an aspiring faction, hostile to the 
true interests of the country, thus sapping the foundation of the representative 
system, by corrupting the purity of the elective franchise." 

So much of the message as related to the banks was referred to a joint com- 
mittee on banks, which reported that the reports made were not specific enough, 
and should exhibit " the amount of specie in their vaults and owned by said 
banks, the amount of issues in circulation, the amount of discounted paper due 
and running to maturity, designating the amount in suit, the amount consid- 
ered bad and the amount considered doubtful (with an exhibit of the names of 
the parties, makers and endorsers on such bad paper), and at what time such 
loans were made; a schedule and description of all real and personal property 
owned by said banks, and from whom purchased, the particular circumstances 
which induced the purchase of such property, its real value at the time of pur- 
chase, and its real value at time of report; " which exhibits were ordered to be 
made. At this time it is quite clear the Legislature was groping its way toward 
a system of bank examination. 

In 1824 a special committee of four, of which Judge William W. Holt, of Au- 
gusta, then a member of the house of representatives, was one, was appointed to 
inquire into the condition of the several banks in which the State was a stock- 
holder, and report to the next session. The text of this report we do not find, 
but it must have been favorable to the banks as the joint committee on banks 
says that on inspection of the exhibits made by the Bank of Augusta, and the 
other banks in which the State had stock, the report of the special committee 
is fully sustained, that "their condition is sound and all their affairs faithfully 
and ably conducted." 

In [829 the committee on banks report " that they find the affairs of the Bank 
of Augusta have been managed with great prudence and discretion, and fully 
merits the continuance of the public confidence." 

In 1830 the Legislative report gives quite an insight into the banking of 

334 History of Augusta. 

that clay. The joint committee on banks reporting; on the annual statement of 
the bank of Augusta says: "That on a careful examination of the exhibits, they 
find such evidence of the abihty with which the affairs of this bank have been 
conducted, and of its sound and stable condition, as fully to retain the high 
credit of the institution. The committee find on examination of the statement 
that the issues of the bank have been kept within the bounds of moderation, 
amounting to a sum less than double the amount of specie actually in the banks 
of the