Historic Augusta: where to go, what to see

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Augusta. History


"Historic Augusta; Where to Go, What to Positive

See" Published by the Chamber of Commerce,

(Includes map and historical notes)


In possession of - st. Paul's Episcopal Church Augusta, Georgia

Date microfilmed- Feb. 9, l'?60



Georgia Department OF Microfilm Division 1516 Peachtree ST., NE Atlanta 9, Georgia.


and History

First Cotton Gin The site of the first cotton gin is about two miles south of Augusta on Rocky creek. The Central railroad crosses the stream within view of the spot, and the dam built by Eli Whitney, the inventor, to obtain a water supply by which to run the machine, is still in existence and use. The cotton gin was invented in 1793, and 122 acres on Rocky creek were deeded by Thomas and Mary Glascock on August 15, 1798, to Phincas Miller, Eli Whitney and James Toole. November 6, 1798, 10 acres were deeded to the same persons, and on February 4, 1799, 10 acres by Nathanael Percare. A UGUSTA was the birthplace of the South-
ern textile industry, and holds a position of prestige among her sister cities of the Southeast in manufacturing, while she is the center of a rich and highly diversified agricultural section.
Augusta's marvelous climate brings thousands of winter visitors every year, and many of them own magnificent country estates and winter homes in and around the city. Tliere are 3,045 hours of sunshine throughout the year--68 per cent of the possible amount. Facilities for golf in Augusta are unexcelled by any resort city in the South. There are four 18-hole golf courses. Ehiring the winter months there is excellent hunting. Horseback riding and polo are also popular sports. Augusta's location along the hills of the lower Piedmont region could not have been better chosen from a health standpoint.
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Historic Augusta Streets
yl large number of streets of Augusta bear the names of distinguished men of
Revolutionary times: Forsyth--John Forsyth. Houston--Gov. John Houston. Lincoln--Gen. Benjamin Lincoln. Elbert--Gen. Samuel Elbert. Washington--Gen. George Washington. McIntosh--Gen. Lachlan McIntosh. Jackson--Gov. James Jackson. Campbell--Martin Campbell. Cumming--Thomas Gumming. Marbury--Leonard Marbury. McKinne--John McKinne. Twiggs--Gen. David Twiggs. Reynolds--Colonial Gov. John Reynolds. Jones--Noble W. Jones. Ellis--Colonial Gov. Henry Ellis. Greene--Gen. Nathaniel Greene. Telfair--Gov. Edward Telfair. Walker--Freeman Walker. Watkins--Robert Watkins. Calhoun--John C. Calhoun. Hale--Samuel Hale. Hall--Lyman Hall. Gwinnett--Button Gwinnett. Walton Way--Gov. George Walton. Oglethorpe Avenue--James Edward Ogle-



Where to Qo - -

' ' What to See




Many Historic Places A UGUSTA boasts many points of historic
interest. St. Paul's church was erected in 1750 (the first building) close to the walls of the fort, and miny heroes of the Revolution are buried in the churchyard.
llie Confederate monument on Broad street was the gift of the Ladies' M^orial association of Augusta, and was unveiled in October 1878. On it are the figures of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. Stonewall Jackson, Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb, and Gen. W. H. T. Walker, representing the Confederate nation, the state of Georgia, and the county of Richmond. The shaft is surmounted by the figure of Berry Benson, representing the private soldier of the Confederacy.
Fronting the Richmond County courthouse, which was erected in 1820, is a monument to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and two of them, George Walton and Lyman Hall, are buried beneath the monument. Nearby, on Telfair street, stands stately old First Presbyterian church, built in 1812. This edifice is the center of a historic and cultural group of buildings. Close by on McIntosh (7th) street is the former manse of the church where Woodrow Wilson lived as a boy while his father was pastor of this church. Just east of the church across Washington (6th) stre^, is the old Medical College, built in 1835 and founded in 1828, and which is now a center of art and the home of the Sand Hills Garden club which has preserved it for future generations. This building is one of the finest specimens of Grecian architecture in the country, and is a sister building to the chapel at the University of Georgia at Athens.
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East of the Medical college is the old Academy of Richmond county. This institution was established by the general assembly in 1783 and ante-dates the State University system. For years the trustees of the s<hool controlled the public lands of the city and directed in large measure the city's destinies.
East of the Academy is the Nicholas Ware home, built in the early 1800's and known then as "Ware's Folly." This home is of three stories and of a unique type of architecture. It has recently been reclaimed and preserved by Mrs. Gertrude Herbert, a beloved Northern lady who spends the winter in Augusta, and is the home of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.
On the canal bank, west of the conjunction of Walton way and McKinne (13th) street, is the home of George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. This home is the property of the Daugjiters of the American Revolution and is open to visitors on specified days.
Greene street, named in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, and known as one of the most beautiful thoroughfares in the United States, is a street of monuments to Augusta's distinguished sons. TN 1777, a few months after the Declaration
of Independence, the first Constitution, of Georgia, Section 54, declared that "schools shall be erected in each county, and supported at the expense of the stale." July 31, 1783, the legislature appropriated 1,000 acres of land to each county for free schools. In 1785 the Academy of Richmond County was opened and conducted on Bay street, between Elbert and Lincoln. Two buildings were on the lot, one used for the General assembly. Circuit and District courts of the United States, the other for the Academy. Church services were held here until 1789 when St. Paul's church was rebuilt. TN 1800 the trustees of Richmond academy
decided that the buildings were in such a state of decay that it would not pay to repair them. The location was also considered undesirable, and a new site was decided upon, and the new Richmond academy was begun on Telfair street between Center and Washington streets, 1801. This is the oldest institution of learning in Geor^a. ~

In 1926 the Academy was moved to its present location.
"The Medical Society of Augusta, Georgia" was incorporated in 1822, and in 1833 The Medical College of Georgia, later a branch of the University of Georgia was incorporated.
In 1912 the Medical college was removed to the Orphan Asylum building adjoining the University hospital.
The Young Men's libi ary was incorporated in 1848, althou^ as early as 1808 the Ihespian Society and Library company had been formed.
The library was established on the comer of Ellis and McIntosh streets, later being moved to Greene street, and then to the fifth floor of the Leonard building. During 1930 the directors realized that the library had outgrown its quarters, and because the Richmond academy had moved to its new location at the foot of The Hill, the historic old Academy building was secured. The new library was formally opened with a public reception October 28, 1931. It is now a free public library. T ISTED among the prominent early citizens
of Augusta is William Longstreet, born 1760, died September 1, 1814, inventor of the steamboat. February 1, 1788 the General Assembly of Georgia passed an act securing to Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet for 14 years, the exclusive privilege of using a newly constructed steam engine, the product of the joint invention. (White's History of Ga.)

De Soto's Visit In 1540
TTERNAJNDO de Soto was the first white man to set foot upon the soil that is now
Augusta. The famous Spanish adventurer came in
search of gold, but found instead pearls and riches, a land so pleasing and Indians of such warm hospitality that his men marveled and wanted to make their home here.
Today the pearls are only a legend, and the Indians have vanished, but the pleasing climate and warm hospitality have continued through the centuries, and Augusta is recognized as the outstanding mid-southern winter resort and the nation's winter golf capital.
In the march northward from Florida in the spring of 1540, de Soto's band reached a place on the Carolina side of the Savannah river, believed to have been Silver Bluff, a few mil^ below Augusta. This alluring land was then known as the Province of Cutifachiqui, ruled by a beautiful Indian queen of a hi^ly civilized people.
TTie Spaniards and their cruel chieftain were royally received. They sated their lust for riches and at last repaid the kindly Indiana by taking the queen and her maidens captives, to assure them the assistance of less friendly tribes, as the trek northward began anew in search of the fabulously rich gold deposits of which they had received reports. In the mountain fastness of what is now North Georgia, the queen escaped and is supposed to have finally returned to her home on the banks of the Savannah. TT was probably late March or early April
when de Soto passed this way--about the time when the Masters' Golf tournament is being played on the famous Bobby Jones* Augusta National course and Augusta wears her most attractive attire.
Nearly 200 years later the English came. They were tanned, hardy men in buckskin, hunters and traders, equally as daring and adventurous as de Soto's helmeted warriors, but of a far different creed and more fixed in their purpose. These Englishmen pushed their pirogues up the Savannah river, established their camp upon the bluffs and started a settlement. Hie English had come tO' stay.

City Founded In 1735
A UGUSTA was marked out in 1735 by orders of General James Edward Ogle-
thorpe for the two-fold purpose of defense against the Indians and trade with them. The little town was named in honor of Princess Augusta, mother of George III of Great Britain. The year following a garrison was stationed in the fort overlooking the river, where ft. Paul's Episcopal church now stands, to protect the inhabitants against Indian sallies. Hie town was settled by an Irishman, Kennedy O'Brien, who began the settlement at his own expense and erected a well furnished warehouse to serve the trade along the river and in the back country.
A UGUSTA early figured in the state's history. In 1763 the city was the meeting
point of the greatest Indian peace-time assemblage ever held on the American continent, when a treaty was signed between the Five Great Nations and the governors of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
During the Revolution no city in all the colonies was so bathed in blood and torn with strife as was Augusta. The town proper and the surrounding country was the seat of the bitter partisan warfare that swept over Georgia and South Carolina, as Patriots and Tories fought and died in its defense. A number of times Augusta changed hands and each time the price was paid in human life and suffering.
In other wars, the city contributed freely and nobly of manpower and money, sending troops to the Indian wars in Florida, to the Mexican war; and in the Confederate struggle, like her sister cities of the South, gave her very heart's blood, and scores of her sons sleep in heroes' graves on the battlefields of Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Congress of Five Nations IN September 1739 General Oglethorpe
was visited by Chickasaw and Cherokee chiefs, whose differences with the traders he adjusted. According to Charles Colcock Jones, Jr., this was the only time Oglethorpe visited Augusta.
In April 1739 a conference was held at Coweta Town, resulting in an interchange of good will between the colonists and the Indians.
In 1763, after the Treaty of Peace was concluded at Paris, February 10, with its settlement of boundaries Georgia ceased to be a frontier colony. The southern and western boundaries were no longer threatened by enemies, but the native population remained, and to perpetuate amicable relations between them and the British crown, the Earl of Egmont, principal secretary of state for the Southern department, addressed communications to the governors of the Provinces of Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, directing them in association with Captain Stuart, superintendent of Indian affairs, to convene a congress of the Creeks, Catawbas, Chickasaws, and Choctaws at Augusta, or some other convenient central point.

Augusta was selected, and the congress was opened at the King's Fort on Saturday, Novemher 5, 1763. Representing the English were Gov. James Wright of Georgia, Gov. Thomas Boone of South Carolina, Gov. Arthur Dobbs, of North Carolina; Lt Gov. Francis Fauquier of Virginia, and John Stuart, superintendent of Indian affairs in the Southern department. Seven hundred Indians were in attendance, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Cherokees, Creeks, and Catawbas being represented. On November 10, the treaty was ratified by all present. Perpetual peace was pledged, the oneness of the English and the nations of Indians was stressed, supplies and protection promised, and justice was pledged. Boundaries between English settlements and Indian lands and hunting grounds were fixed and mutual pledges taken to observe them.
In 1767 Creek Indians committed depredations on the plantations on Little river. Governor Wright demanded the return of stolen animals, recall of marauders, and cautioned an observance of the boundary lines agreed upon by the Augusta congress. Increasing indebtedness on the part of the Cherokees and Creeks, and the offer to cede lands in payment, resulted in a formal adjustment at a congress held in Augusta June 1, 1773. Sir James Wright, the governor, represented Georgia. Hon. John Stuart was also present, and the Indians were represented by several chiefs- By this treaty Georgia acquired more dian two million acres of land, most of it well watered and fertile. Wilkes, Lincoln, Greene, Taliaferro, Oglethorpe, Elbert, and other counties were subsequently formed from this area.

Revolutionary Battlefield A LMOST all the territory now covered by
the city of Augusta was once a battlefield. Hawk's creek, now called Hawk's gully, crossing Broad street just above Jefferson Davis avenue, was the scene of fierce fighting under Col. Elijah Clarke, September 14, 1780. The British took possession of Seymour's White House (1822 Broad street). Col. Thomas Brown, commanding the British forces, was wounded, and wreaked vengeance by having Captain Ashby and twelve other prisoners hanged from the stairway, and giving others over to the Indians to be tortured.
Fort Augusta was enlarged soon after this battle of the White House, and was named Cornwallis, in honor of Lord Cornwallis.
On Reynolds street, above Campbell where the Riverside mill now stands, was another fort. This was called Fort Grierson in honor of its commander.
After assuming command of the Southern department. General Nathaniel Greene sent General Pickens and Lieut.-Col. Henry Lee to Augusta's aid and the city was finally rid of the British in June 1781, following the surrender by Colonel Browne of Fort Grierson on May 15, and Fort Conwallis on June 5.
The first arsenal in Augusta was on the river bank where the Sibley and King mills are located. It was completed in 1819. In 1826 the first building of the present arsenal was completed and garrisoned. Various additions have been made, notably in 1861 and 1919. This is the only arsenal in the South, east of the Mississippi.

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Augusta was the capital of Georgia from 1780 to 1783. When the British evacuat-
ed Savannah she again became the capital, but on account of her geographical situation it was deemed advisable to have the capital nearer the center of the state, so Augusta again became the capital in 1786, remaining the capital until 1795.
The Constitution of the United States was ratified by Georgia, the fourth state to ratify, at a convention held in Augusta, the capital, January 2, 1788.
Edward Telfair was the first governor of Georgia elected under the constitution, and his inauguration took place in the House of Representatives, on McIntosh street between Broad and Ellis, in November 1789.
George Washington visited Augusta in 1791, and was royally entertained by die citizens.
A charter was granted for the City of Augusta in 1798, and Thomas Cumming was tlie first intendent. Augusta was ordanance center of the
Confederacy, having been selected by Col. G. W. Rains aa the seat for the manufacture of powder for the armed forces of the South, and the old powder chimney still stands near the Sibley mill on the Augusta canal. Arms and munitions were made at the Arsenal on The Hill, while clothing and other equipment for the soldiers were manufactured in various parts of the city.

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