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Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States

State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices


Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails

PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town


Georgia, so called in honor of its royal grantor, George II, of England, and the most southern on the original thirteen states, lies between 30°19' and 35° north latitude and 80°50' and 85°40' west Longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by North Carolina and Tennessee, northeast by Savannah river, which separates it from South Carolina, southeast by the Atlantic, south by Florida and west by Alabama. Its superficial area is 61,500 square miles

Physical Aspect-- This state occupies a large proportion of the great inclined plain, from which the peninsula of Florida protrudes, and down which several rivers flow into the Atlantic and the Mexican gulf.  From the Atlantic border of this state, this acclivity gradually rises to an elevation of 1200 feet above the level of the sea, without estimating the mountain ridges.  Like the Carolinas, it may be divided into three zones. First, the flat sea-border, including numerous small islands; second, the sand-hill zone; and third, a hilly and partly mountainous tract, beyond the lower falls of the rivers.  The soil on the islands, called Hummock land, is very rich, producing the celebrated Sea-island cotton.  The seacoast on the main land consists of a belt of salt marsh, four or five miles in width.  In the rear of this margin commence the "pine barrens," which extend 60 to 90 miles from the ocean.  The rivers and creeks are generally bordered with swamps, or marshes, which, at every tide, are either wholly ort partially overflowed, for 15 or 20 miles from the coast. These constitute the principal rice plantations. Beyond the pine barrens the country becomes uneven, diversified with hills and mountains, of a strong rich soil.  The northwestern part of the state is mountainous, and abounds in beautiful scenery.  The soil of Georgia, though varied, is a large portion of it, productive.  At a distance from the sea it changes from gray to red; in some places it is gravelly, but fertile; and further back in the country its color is gradually deepened, till it becomes that is called the "Mulatto soil", consisting of black mould and reddish earth.  This is succeeded in its turn by a soil that is nearly black and very rich.  In the southwest portion of the state is Okefenokee swamp, about 170 miles in circumference.

Mountains-- This state is traversed on the north by a spur of the Alleghanies, among which are Yonah and Currahee mountains.  Pine Mountain lies near the western boundary.

Rivers and Sounds-- The principle rivers are, the Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha, Satilla, Ocmulgee, Oconee, St Mary's, Flint, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa and Coosa. The coast of Georgia is indented by numerous sounds and inlets, which occur at the mouths of the principal rivers.

Islands-- Along the Atlantic coast there is a chain of Islands, which are separated from the main by rivers, creeks and inlets, forming an inland navigation of more than 100 miles.  The principle of these Islands are: Tybee, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St Catherine's, Sapelo, St Simon's, Jykill and Cumberland

Climate-- The climate, from the difference of elevation, is varied, one section producing wheat, and another sugar-cane.  The winters are usually mild and pleasant; snow is seldom seen, nor is vegetation often interrupted by severe frosts.  The temperature of winter usually fluctuates from 40° to 60°,although it occasionally falls as low as 16°.  In the low country, in the vicinity of swamps, fevers and bilious attacks are common, owing partly to the badness of the water, but principally to the noxious vapors which arise from stagnant water, and putrid matter in the rice swamps.  In the upper country the air is pure and salubrious throughout the year, and the water is abundant and good.

Productive Resources-- The staple products of this state consist of horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, silk, wool, butter, cheese, cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar, wine, wheat, rye, oats, barley, potatoes, and Indian corn.  Among the mineral resources are, copper, iron and gold.  The latter occurs in considerable abundance in the northern part of the state, on both sides of the Chattahoochee river, as far north as the Blue Ridge.

Manufactures-- The people of Georgia are more engaged in manufactures than those of any other southern state.  It has quite a number of large cotton factories, which are worked by slave labor.  It has also extensive tanneries and mills of various descriptions.

Railroads and Canals--  there are about 1000 miles of railroad already in successful operation in Georgia, and more in process of construction.  The cost of the railroads already completed in this state is over $15,00,000.  The principle canals in Georgia are, one from Savannah to the Ogeechee river, 16 miles, and from Altamaha to Brunswick, 12 miles

Commerce-- The foreign commerce of Georgia amounts to about $9,000,000 annually.  The coasting trade is also considerable.

Education--  The university of Georgia, founded in 1785, at Athens, is the principal literary institution in the state.  There are also, the Oglethrope university at Medina, near Milledgeville.  The Mercer university at Penfield, the Georgia Female college near Macon, and the Georgia Medical college at Augusta.  There are about 250 academics scattered through the state, and some 1500 primary and common schools.

Population-- in 1749 was 6,000; in 1790 was 82,584; in 1800 was 162,686; in 1810 was 252,433; in 1820 was 348,989; in 1830 was 516,567; in 1840 was 691,392 and in 1850 was 905,999.  Number of slaves in 1790 was 29,264; in 1800 was 59,404; in 1810 was105,218; in 1820 was 149,656; in 1830 was 217,531; in 1840 was 280,944 and in 1850 was 381,681.

Government--  The governor is elected by the people, and holds his office two years.  The senate consists of 47 members, elected from 44 districts of two counties each, two districts of three countries each, and one district comprising but a single county.  The house of representatives is composed of 130 members; the 35 counties having the largest number of inhabitants are entitled to two members each, and the remainder one each.  State election biennially, first Monday in October.  The legislature meets biennially, on the first Monday in November (odd years), at Milledgeville.  The judges of the superior court are elected for three years by the legislature, and the judges of the inferior court and justice of the peace are elected quadrennially by the people.  All the free white male inhabitants, who shall have resided within the country in which they vote six months preceding the election, and shall have paid taxes in the state for the year previous, have the right of suffrage.

History--  The state of Georgia embraces a part of Virginia, as granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1584; or a portion of South Virginia, as granted by James I, of England in 1606.  A portion of its present territory also embraces a part of the ancient Georgia colony, chartered in 1732, to a corporation "in trust for the poor", for 21 years, including the country between the Savannah and Altahama rivers, extending westward from their sources to the "South Sea"; also a portion of the northern part of Florida, as claimed at the time by Spain.  The first permanent settlement in Georgia, was made under this grant at Savannah, Oglethorpe in 1732, who brought out a band of colonists, collected from among the poor and vicious population, as an experimental effort for their reformation, by providing them with the means of self support.  This benevolent design failing of success, the trustees of the colony sent out a better class of emigrants in 1735 from Scotland, Switzerland and Germany.  In the year following Oglethorpe extended his settlements as far south as St John's river, in Florida, but was repulsed by the Spaniards.  He retained his fortification at the mouth of the St Mary's and this river afterward became the boundary between Georgia and Florida.  In the year 1752, the trustees of the colony surrendered their charter to the king, and their province was forced into a royal government.  A general representative assembly was established in 1755; and in 1763 all the territory between the Altahama and the St Mary's was annexed.  In 1775, Georgia acceded to the union of the colonies, and sent deputies to Congress.  When military operations were transferred to the southern states, from 1779 to 1781, Georgia became a portion of the bloody arena.  It was at the siege of Savannah, 23 Sep 1779, that Count Pulaski, the brave and patriotic Pole, was killed.  In 1777, the first state constitution was adopted, and the parishes then existing were formed into counties.  A second constitution was adopted in 1785, and the one now in force in 1798.  In 1788 it adopted the constitution of the United States by a unanimous vote.  By different conventions, all of the new states, Alabama and Mississippi, lying north of 31°, have been yielded to the general government.  Motto of the state seal of Georgia "Constitution" supported by "Wisdom", "Justice", "Moderation" and "Agriculture and Commerce".

1850 Counties of  Georgia

County Description Area in sq miles Courts held at Pop in 1850
Appling southeast part, on south side Oemulgee & Altamaha rivers not listed Holmesville 2,949
Baker in southwest part, water by Flint river 1350 Newton 8,120
Baldwin in central part, crossed by Ocnee river 810 Milledgeville 8,148
Bibb central part, crossed by Ocmulgee river 450 Macon 12,699
Bryan southeast boundary, Ocmulgee river on northeast & Atlantic ocean on southeast side, drained by Connouchee river 480 Bryan courthouse 3,424
Bullock eastern part, bewtween Ogechee and Cannouchee rivers 540 Statesborough 4,300
Burke northeast boundary, on southwest side of Savannah river 690 Waynesborough 16,100
Butts central part, western side of Ocmulgee river 420 Jackson 6,488
Camden southeast part, north side of St Mary's river & separated from ocean by Cumberland island 700 Jeffersonton 6,319
Campbell western part, crossed by Chattahoochee river 300 Campbellton 7,232
Carroll western boundary, northwest side of Chattahoochee river 800 Carrolton 9,357
Cass northwest corner, crossed by Etowah & Oostanaula rivers 600 Cassville 13,300
Chatham eastern angle on the Atlantic ocean, between Ogeechee & Savannah rivers 405 Savannah 23,901
Chattooga werstern boundry 300 Summerville 6,815
Cherokee northern part, crossed by Etowah river 620 Canton 12,800
Clark northeast part, water by branches of Oconee river 414 Athens 11,119
Cobb northwest part, on NW side of Chattahoochie river 480 Marietta 13,843
Columbia northeast boundary, on southwest side of Savannah river 600 Applington 11,961
Coweta western part, southeast die of Chattahoochee river 532 Newman 13,635
Crawford west part, Flint river on southwest 360 Knoxville 8,984
Dade northwest corner 225 Trenton 2,680
Decatur southwest corner, Chattahoochee river on west & crossed by the main branch of Flint river 1675 Bainbridge 8,262
De Kalb northwest part, Chattahoochee river on northwest 360 Decatur 14, 328
Dooley southeast part, Flint river on the west 1600 Vienna 8,361
Early southwestern part, Chattahoochee river on west 1280 Blakely 7,246
Effingham eastern boundary, southwest of Savannah river 396 Springfield 3,864
Elbert northeastern part, Savannah river on northwest 560 Elberton 12,959
Emanuel eastern part 1100 Swainsborough 4,577
Fayette western part 545 Fayetteville 8,709
Floyd western boundary, crossed by Coosa river 460 Rowe 8,205
Forsyth northern part, Chattahoochee river on southeast 290 Cumming 8,850
Franklin northeast boundary 680 Carnesville 11,513
Gilmer northern boundary 680 Ellijay 4,933
Glynn south eastern boundary, Atlantic ocean on southeast, Altamaha river on northeast 625 Brunswick 4,933
Gordon no description blank Fair Mount 5,984
Greene northeast part, Oconee river on west side 504 Greensborough 13,068
Gwinnett northern part, Chattahoochee river on northwest 648 Lawrenceville 11,257
Habersham northeast boundary, crossed by Chattahoochee river, eastern part crossed by Blue Ridge 760 Clarksville 8,895
Hall northeastern part, crossed by Chattahoochee river 525 Gainesville 8,713
Hancock eastern part, Oconce river on west, Ogeechee river on east 600 Sparta 11,578
Harris western boundary, Chattahoochee river on west 410 Hamilton 14,721
Heard western boundary, crossed by Chattahoochee river 175 Franklin 6,923
Henry western part, Ocmulgee river on northeast 594 McDonough 14,726
Houston southern part, Ocmulgee river on northeast 510 Perry 16,450
Irwin southern part, Ocmulgee river on northeast 2079 Irwinville 3,334
Jackson north eastern part 432 Jefferson 9,768
Jasper central part, Ocumlgee river on southwest 480 Monticello 11,486
Jefferson eastern part, crossed by Ogechee river 660 Louisville 9,131
Jones central part, Ocmulgee river on west 360 Clinton 10,224
Laurens toward southeastern part, crossed by Oconee river 780 Dublin 6,422
Lee southwest part, Flint river on east 600 Starkville 6,660
Liberty southeast boundary, Altamaha river on southwest, Atlantic ocean southeast 660 Hinesville 7,926
Lincoln north eastern boundary, Savannah river on northeast 220 Lincolnton 5,988
Lowndes southern boundary 2080 Troupsville 8,351
Lumpkin northern part 700 Dahlonega 8,954
Macon toward south west, crossed by Flint river 420 Lanier 7,052
Madison northeastern part 250 Danielsville 5,703
Marion west part 330 Tazewell 10,208
McIntosh southeast boundary, Atlantic on the southeast, Altamaha river on southwest 600 Darien 6,028
Merriwether western part 400 Greenville 16,476
Monroe central part, Ocumlgee river on east 370 Forsyth 16,985
Montgomery towards southeast, crossed by Oconee river 1100 Mount Vernon 2,154
Morgan central part, Altamaha river on east 320 Madison 10,774
Murray northern boundary 650 Spring Place 14,133
Muscogee western boundary 410 Columbus 18,578
Newton central part 460 Covington 13,296
Oglethorpe north eastern part 490 Lexington 12,259
Pike toward west part 470 Zebuion 14,306
Pulaski toward southern part, crossed by Ocmulgee river 680 Hawkinsville 6,627
Putnam central part, Oconee river on east 340 Eatonton 10,794
Rabun north boundary 330 Clayton 1,023
Randolph West boundary, Chattahoochee river on west 620 Cuthbert 12,868
Richmond northeastern part, Savannah river on northeast 384 Augusta 16,246
Scriven on north eastern boundary, Savannah river on northeast 748 Jacksonborough & Sylvania 6,847
Stewart on western boundary, Chattahoochee river on west 682 Lumpkin 16,027
Sumter on southwestern part, Flint river on east 675 Americus 10,322
Talbot in western part, Flint river on northeast 4000 Talbotton 16,534
Taliaferro eastern part 130 Crawfordsville 5,146
Telfair southern part, crossed by Ocmulgee river 950 Jacksonville 3,026
Thomas on south boundary 1089 Thomasville 10,103
Troup west boundary, crossed by Chattahoochee river 430 La Grange 16,879
Twiggs central part, Ocmulgee river on southwest 410 Marion 8,179
Union on northern boundary 600 Blairsville 7,234
Upson west part, Flint river on southwest 225 Thomaston 9,424
Walker on north & west boundary 700 Lafayette 13,109
Walton toward northern part 320 Monroe 10,821
Ware on southern boundary, crossed by Santilla river, partly cover by Okefinoke swamp 3440 Waresborough 3,888
Warren east part 560 Warrenton 12,425
Washington toward east part, Oconee river on southwest 760 Sandersville 11,766
Wayne southeast part, Altamaha river on north 900 Wayne Court House 1,499
Wilkes in north eastern part 550 Washington 12,107
Wilkinson central part, Oconee river on northeast not listed Irwinton 8,212

Milledgeville, GA

City, seat of justice of Baldwin Co and capital of the state of Georgia, situated at the head of steamboat navigation on Oconee river, and is 300 miles from the sea; from Washington 648 miles.  The city is built on elevated and somewhat uneven ground, in the midst of a rich and populous cotton producing region, and is laid out with broad streets and pleasant squares.  The statehouse is a fine edifice of Gothic architecture, surmounted by a Cupola, and containing in its halls portraits of General Oglethorpe and other eminent men of early times.  Among the other prominent buildings are banks, a market house, governor's house, state arsenal, and churches.  A bridge extends to the west bank of the river.

Population: in 1810 was 1,256; in 1820 was blank; in 1830 was 1,599; in 1840 was 2,095 and in 1850 was 2,216

Savannah, GA

City, seat of justice of Chatham Co, GA, situated on the south side of the river from which it is named, 17 miles from the sea, and 158 miles southeast of Milledgeville, the state capital, is the principal city of Georgia, and one of the most favorably located ports in the southern states.  It is 90 miles southwest of Charleston, and 662 miles from Washington.  Near the river, the bank is about forty feet high.  Along the foot of this bluff are stores and warehouses, while the streets of the city extend over the level at the top of this eminence.  They are rendered remarkably pleasant by lines of trees along their sides and through their middle, shading the traveler from the southern sun, and affording delightful walks at all times of the day.  In 1820, a conflagration destroyed a great portion of the city, but it has been rebuilt with increased solidity and beauty.  Formerly, the rice swamps in the vicinity, and other circumstances, contributed to render Savannah as unhealthy as it is now salubrious.  This change is owing to the improvements in the culture of rice, and in the condition of the city.    The exchange, courthouse, hospital, arsenal, guardhouse, jail, together with numerous churches and banks, display the characteristic enterprise and liberality of the citizens; while airy verdant, and shady parks, are interspersed more frequently in this than in most other America cities.  Among other splendid trees, the "Pride of China" (Azederach) holds a conspicuous rank.

Savannah has an excellent harbor, with a safe and east entrance from the ocean.  Several islands are formed by the embouchures of the river, affording both protection and ornament.  Upon Tybee island, a lighthouse marks the entrance to the port, while two forts protect the city from outward assault.  Vessels of 13 feet draught anchor at the wharves of the city, those of larger size at a point several miles below.  Above Savannah, the river is navigable for steamboats of 150 tons to Augusta, 150 miles.  By this and other cannels, most of the cotton, tobacco, sugar, lumber and other staples of Georgia, are conveyed to Savannah, where they find a market, or are exported.  This city, from its favorable commercial situation, on a coast not well supplied with good harbors, is the respectable of productions from an extensive region.  Late improvements in railroads and other channels of communication have added largely to its growth and Prosperity.  A Canal connects Ogeechee river with Savannah.  Steamboats navigate the principal rivers of the state, and sail to Charleston and other cities on the coast, and regular steam and sailing packets communicate with New York.

The Central railroad extends 191 miles to Macon, whence the Macon and Western railroad proceeds 101 miles, in a northwesterly direction to Atlanta.  Through this place passess the Georgia and Western and Atlantic railroad, from Augusta to Chattanooga, on the Tennessee river, in Hamilton Co, Tennessee.

The population in 1810 was 5,595; in 1820 was 7,523; in 1830 was 9,784; in 1840 was 11,214 and in 1850 was 16,060

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