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Before the revolution, Georgia, like all the southern states, was disidled into parishes; but this mode of division is now abolished, and that of counties has succeeded in its room.
Chief Towns.] The present feat of government in this state is Av. GUSTA. It is situated on the south-west bank of Savannah river, about 134 miles from the sea, and 117 north-weit of Savannah. The town, which contains not far from 200 houses, is on a fine large plain ; and as it enjoys the best foil, and the advantage of a central situation between the upper and lower counties, is rising falt into importance.
SAVANNAH, the former capital of Georgia, stands on a high sandy bluff, on the south side of the river of the same name, and 17 miles from its mouth. The town is regularly built in the form of a parallellogram, and, including its suburbs, contains 227 dwciling-houses, one Episcopal church, a German Lutheran church, a Prushyterian church, a Synagogue, and Court-house. The number of its inhabitants, exclusive of the blacks, amount to about 830, seventy of whom are Jews.
In Savannah, and within a circumference of about 10 miles from it, there were, in the summer of 1787, about 2300 inhabitants. Of these, 192 were above 50 years of age, and all in good health. The ages of a lady and her six children, then living in the town, amounted to 385 years. This computation, which was actually made, serves to thew that Savannah is not really fo unhealthy as his becn commonly represented,
SUNBURY is a sea port town, favoured with a safe and very convenient harbour. Several small islands intervene, and partly obstruct a direct view of the ocean ; and, interlocking with each other, render the passage out to sea winding, but not difficult. It is a very pleasant, healthy town, and is the refort of the planters from the adjacent places of Midway and New. port, during the sickly months. It was burnt by the British in the late war, but is now recovering its former populousness and importance.
BRUNSWICK, in Glynn county, lat. 31° 16', is fituated at the mouth of Turtle river, at which place this river empties itself into St. Simon's sound. Brunswick has a life harbour, and fufficiently large to contain the whole of his Moit Christian Majesty's flect; and the bar, at the entrance into it, has water deep enough for the largeit vessel that swims,
The town is regularly laid out, but not yet built. From its advantage. ous situation, and from the fertility of the back country, it promises to be hereafter one of the firit trading towns in Georgia.
FREDERICA, on the island of St. Simon, is nearly in lat. '31° 15' north. It stands on an eminence, if considered with regard to the marshes before it, upon a branch of Alatamaha river, which washes the west side of this agreeable island, and, after feveral windings, disembogues itself into the tea at Jekyl found : it forms a kind of bay beiore the town, and is navigable for vercls of the largeit burthen, which may lie along the wharf in a secure and safe harbour.
The town of LOUISVILI. E, tilvich is designed as the future seat of government in this ttate, has lately been laid out on the bank of Ogeechee river, about 70 miles from its mouth, but is not yet built.
Rivers.) Savannah river forms a part of the divisional line, which feparaies this state from South Carolina. Its course is nearly from northwest to south-eart. It is formed principally of two branches, by the names
of Tugulo and Keowee, which spring from the mountains. It is navigable for large vessels up to Savannah, and for boats of rco feer keel as far as Augufta. After rising a fall just above this place, it is pafiable for boats to the mouth of Tugulo river. Tybee bar, at its entrance in lat. 31° 57', has sixteen feet water at half tide.
Ogeechee river, about eighteen miles south of the Savannah, is a smaller river, and nearly parallel with it in its course.
Alatamaha *, about fixty miles south of Savannah river, is formed by the junction of the Okonee and Okemulgee branches. It is a noble river, but of dificult entrance. Like the Nile, it discharges itself by several mouths into the sea.
Besides these there is Turtle river, Little Sitilla, Great Sitilla, Crooked river, and St. Mary's, which forms a part of the southern boundary of the United States. St. Mary's river empties into Amelia sound, lat. 30° 44', and is navigable for vessels of conliderable burden for ninety miles. Its banks afford immense quantities of fine timber, suited to the WestIndia market. Along this river, every four or five miles. are bluffs convenient for vefsels to haul to and load.
The rivers in the middle and western parts of this state are, Apalachi. cola, which is formed by the Chatahouchee and Flint rivers, Mobile, Pascagoula and Pearl rivers. All these running southwardly, empty into the Gulph of Mexico. The forementioned rivers abound with a great variety of fish, among which are the mullet, whiting, cat, rock, trout, brim, white, fhad and sturgeon.
Climate, Diseases, &c.] In some parts of this state, at particular feafons of the year, the climate cannot be esteemed falubrious. In the low country near the rice swamps, bilious complaints and fevers of various kinds are pretty universal during the months of July, Auguft and September, which, for this reason, are called the sickly months.
The disorders peculiar to this climate, originate cliefly from the bad. ness of the water, which is generally brackish, and from the noxious putrid vapours which are exhaled from the stagnant waters in the rice swamps. Besides, the long continuance of warm weather produces a general relaxation of the nervous system, and as they have no neceflary labour to cull them to exercise, a large share of indolence is the natural consequence; and indolence, especially among a luxurious people, is ever the parent of disease. The immense quantities of fpirituous liquors, which are used to correct the brackishness of the water, form a species of intemperance, which too often proves ruinous to the constitution. Parents of infirm, fickly habits, often, in more senses than one, have children of their own likeness. A considerable part of the difcases of the present inhabitants, may therefore be viewed as hereditary. I must add as a general observation, that to the three last mentioned causes may be ascribed no inconfi. derable of those disorders which prevail in southern climates.
Before the fickly season commences, many of the rich planters of this state remove with their families to the sea islands, or some elevated healthy fituation, where they reside three or four months, for the benefit of frelh ais. In the winter and spring pleurisies, peripneumonies, and other
* Pronounced Oltamawhaw.
inflammatory disorders, occasioned by sudden and violent colds, are cons siderably common, and frequently fatal. Consumptions, epilepsies, cans cers, palsies and apoplexies, are not so incident to the inhabitants of the southern as northern climates.
The winters in Georgia are very mild and pleasant. Snow is seldom or never seen. Vegetation is not frequently prevented by severe froits. Cattle subsift tolerably well through the winter, without any other food than what they obtain in the woods and savannahs *, and are fatter in that season than in any other. In the hilly country, which begins about 80 or 100 miles from the sea, the air is pure and falubrious, and the water plenty and good. In the flat country there is here and there a spring only, which is clear and pretty good. Neither is the air so pure here as in the hilly country, being more confined, and less subject to agitations from the winds, and withal impregnated with putrid vapours from the rice swamps
In the south-east parts of this state, which lie within a few degrees of the torrid zone, the atmosphere is kept in motion by impressions from the trade winds. This ferves to purify the air, and render it fit for respiration; so that it is found to have a very advantageous effect on persons of consumptive habits.
Face of the Country.] The eastern part of the state, between the mountains and the ocean, and the rivers Savannah and St. Mary's, a tract of country more than 120 miles from north to south, and 40 or 50 east and west, is entirely level, without a hill or a stone. At the distance of about 40 or 50 miles from the sea-beard, or salt-marsh, the lands begin to be more or less uneven. The ridges gradually rise one above another into hills, and the hills successively increasing in height, till they finally terminate in mountains. That vast chain of mountains which commences with Katts Kill, near Hudson's river, in the state of New-York, known by the names of the Allegany and Apalachian mountains, terminate in this state, about 60 miles south of its northern boundary.- From the foot of this mountain spreads a wide extended plain, of the richest foil, and in a latitude and climate favourably adapted to the cultivation of most of the EastIndia productions.
Soil and Productions.] The foil and its fertility are various, according to fituation and different improvement. The islands on the sea-board, in their natural state, are covered with a plentiful growth of pine, oak, and hiccory, live oak, and some red cedar. The soil is a mixture of sand and black mould, making what is commonly called a grey soil. A considerable part of it, particularly that whercon grow the oak, hiccory and live oak, is very fertile, and yields on cultivation good crops of indigo, cotton, corn and potatoes. These islands are surrounded by navigable creeks, between which and the main land is a large extent of salt marth, fronting the whole ftate, not less, on an average, than four or five miles in breadth, intersected with creeks in various directions, admitting, through the whole, an inland navigation between the islands and main-land, from the northeastward to the south-eastward corners of the state. The soil of the main land, adjoining the marshes and creeks, is nearly of the same quality with
A savannah is a tract of ground covered with grass, but without any trees or forubs. They are often to be found in pine lands in the southern ftates.
that of the islands ; except that which borders on those rivers aud creeks which stretch far back into the country. On these, immediately after you leave the falts, begin the valuable rice swamps, which on cultivation, afford the present principal staple of commerce. The most of the rice lands lie on rivers, which, as far as the tide flows, are called Tide-lands, or on creeks and particular branches of water, flowing in some deeper or lower parts of the lands, which are called inland-swamps, and extend back in the country from 15 to 25 miles, beyond which very little rice is planted, though it will grow exceedingly well, as experiment has proved, 120 miles back from the sea. The intermediate lands, between these creeks and rivers, are of an inferior quality, being of a grey foil, covered chiefly with pine, and a sort of wild grass aud small reeds, which afford a large range of feeding ground for stock both summer and winter. Here and there, are interspersed oak and hiccory ridges, which are of a better foil, and produce good crops of corn and indigo, but these are very little elevated above the circumjacent lands. The lands adjoining the rivers are nearly level, and, for' a hundred miles in a direct line from the sea, continue a breadth from 2 to 3 or 4 miles, and wherever, in that distance, you find a piece of high land that extends to the bank of the river on one lide, you may expect to find the low or swamp ground proportionably wide on the oppolite side of the river. This seems to be an invariable rule till you come to that part where the river cuts the mountains.
The foil between the rivers, after you leave the sea board and the edge of the swamps, at the distance of 20 or 30 miles, changes from a grey to a red colour, on which grows plenty of oak and hiccory, with a conliderable intermixture of pine. In some places it is gravelly, but fertile, and so continues for a number of miles, gradually decpening the redish colour of the earth, till it changes into what is called the Mulatio soil, confiring of a black mould and red earth. The composition is darker or lighter according as there is a larger or smaller portion of the black or red earth in it. The mulatto lands are generally itrong, and yield large crops of wheat, tobacco, corn, &c. To this kind of land succeeds by turns a foil nearly black and very rich, on which grow large quantities of black walnut, mulberry &c. This succession of different foils continues uniform and regular, though there are fome large veins of all the different foils intermixed, and what is more remarkable, this succession, in the order mentioned, ftretches across this state nearly parallel with the sea coast, and extends through the several states. ncarly in the same direction, to the banks of Hudson's river. In this ftate are produced by culture, rice, indigo, cotton, filk, (though not in large quantities) Indian corn, potatoes, oranges, figs, pomegranates, &c. Rice, at present, is the staple commodity; and as a small proportion only of the rice ground is under cultivation, the quantity raised in future must be much greater than at present. But the rapid increase of the inhabitants, chiefly by emigrations, whose attention is turned to the raising of tobacco, and the valt extent of land, with a richness of soil suited to the culture of that plant, renders it probable, that tobacco will shortly become the staple of this state.
The tobacco lands are equally well adapted to wheat, which may here. after make an important article of commerce,
On the dry plains, grow large crops of sweet potatoes, which are fourid to afford a wholesome nourishment, and from which is made, by diftilla tion, a kind of whisky, tolerably good, but inferior to that made from rye. It is by properly macerating and washing this root, that a sediment or starch is made, which has obtained the naine of Sago, and answers all the purposes of the India fago.
Most of the tropical fruits would Aourish in this state with proper atten. tion. The rice plane has been, and the tea plant, of which such immense quantities are consumed in the United States, may undoubtedly be, transa planted with equal advantage. The latitude, the soil, and the temperature of climate, all invite to make the experiment.
From many confiderations, we may perhaps venture to predict, that the south-western part of this state, and the parts of East and West Florida, which lie adjoining, will, in a few years, become the vineyard of America.
Remarkable Springs.] In the county of Wilkes, within a mile and an half of the town of Wallington, is a medicinal spring, which rises from a hollow tree, four or five feet in length. The inside of the tree is covered with a coat of nitre, an inch thick, and the leaves around the spring are incrusted with a substance as white as snow. It is said to be a fovereign remedy for the scurvy, scrofulous disorders, consumptions, gouts, and every other disease arising from humours in the blood.-A person, who had a severe rheumatism in his right arm, having, in the space of ten minutes, drank two quarts of the water, experienced a momentary chill, and was then thrown into a perspiration, which, in a few hours, left him entirely free from pain, and in perfect health.
This spring, situated in a fine, healthy part of the state, in the neighbourhood of Washington, where are excellent accommodations, will no doubt prove a pleasant and falutary place of resort for invalids from the maritime and unhealthy parts of this and the neighbouring states.
Curiosities.] About 90 miles from the sea, as you advance towards the mountains, is a very remarkable bank of oyster shells, of an uncommon fize. They run in a direction nearly parallel with the sea coast, in three diftinct ridges near each other, which together occupy a space of fevent miles in breadth. The ridges commence at Savannah river, and have been traced to the northern branches of the Alatamaha. This remarka. ble phenomenon has already been accounted for (page 49.) But by whatever means these shells were placed there, they are an inexhaustible source of wealth and convenience to the neighbouring inhabitants, as from them they make their lime for building, and for the making of in. digo, in which it is indispensibly necessary.
Commerce, manufactures and agriculture.] The chief articles of export from this state are rice, tobacco, indigo, fago, lumber of various kinds, naval stores, leather, deer skins, snake root, myrtle, bees wax, corn, live stock, &c. The value of the exports from this state in 1772, was £.121,677 fterling. The number of veisels employed this year, was 217, whose tonnage was 11,246, as will be seen in the following statement.