Imagens das páginas

inhabitants have a considerable inland trade. A college, with liberal endowments, is established in its vicinity.

Sunbury is beautifully situated in Liberty county, at the head of St. Catharine's sound, about fifteen miles south of Great Ogeeche river; the harbour is capacious and safe, and has water enough for ships of great burden. It is a very pleasant healthy town, and is the resort of the planters from the adjacent country, during the sickly months. It was burut down during the rerolutionary war, but has since been rebuilt. An academy was established here about thirty years ago, which has been under able in- . structors, and has proved a very useful institution.--Forty miles south of Savannah.

There are no other towns in this state that merit a particular description. Besides Savannah and Augusta, there is on the Savannah river, a little town called Petersburgh, and in the interior, between the Savannah and Ogeeche, is Washington : both these are thriving places. On the Great Ogeeche, there are, besides Louisville, Sparta and Greensburgh. On the Altamaha and its waters, besides Milledgeville, Darien, a new sea-port, fifty-nine miles from Savannah ; and Athens, the seat of a college, 197 miles from Savannah and 89 from Augusta. On St. Mary's river is the town of St. Mary's, at the southern extremity of the state.

On the subject of religion, the constitution of Georgia declares, “ that no person within the state shall, upon any pretence, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in a manner agreeably to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; por shall he ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister, or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or hath engaged to do. No religious society shall ever be established in this state in preference to any other; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of religious principle.” The different sects are presbyterians, episcopalians, baptists, and methodists; the upper counties are supplied, pretty generally, with preachers of the latter description, and also with many baptist ministers; but the greater part of the state is not furnished with ministers of any denomination.

It seems to have been the design of the legislature, as far as possible, to unite their literary concerns, and provide for them in common, that the whole might feel the. VO. XXII.


benefit, and no part be neglected or lest a prey to party rage, private prejudices and contentions, and consequent ignorance, their inseparable attendant. For this purpose, the literature of this state, like its policy, appears to be considered as one object, and in the same manner subject to common and general regulation for the good of the whole. The charter containing their present system of education, passed in the year 1785. The institution, thus composed, is denominated tbe · University of Georgia.

. That this body of literati, to whom is intrusted the direction of the general literature of the state, may not be so detached and independent, as uot to possess the confidence of the state, and in order to secure the atteution and patronage of the principal officers of government, the governor and council, the speaker of the house of assembly, and the chief justice of the state, are associated with the board of trustees, in some of the great and more solemn duties of their office, such as making the laws, appointing the president, settling the property, and insti. tuting academies. Thus associated, they are denominated the Senate of the University,' and are to hold a stated, annual meeting, at which the governor of the state presides.

The senate appoint a board of commissioners in each county, for the particular management and direction of the academy, and the other schools in each county, who are to receive their instructions from, and are accountable to the senate. The rector of each academy is an officer of the university, tu be appointed by the president, and the advice of the trustees, and commissioned under the pnblic seal, and is to attend with the other officers at the annual meeting of the senate, to deliberate on the general interests of literature, and to determine on the course of instruction for the year, throughout the university. The president has the general charge and oversight of the whole, and is from time to time to visit them, to examine into their order and performances.

A great degree of attention has been paid in Georgia to education; and very considerable sums have been appropriated to the support of it. The college at Athens is amply endowed, and provision is made for establishing and keeping up an academy in every county in the state. In the towns there are very good common schools; but the establishment of these most useful seminaries throughout the country is yet very defective. It should be mentioned, however, that in this, and in all the southern states, the population is too thin to admit of

the establishment of schools upon the plan of the townships of the northern states, or the parishes in Great Britain.

No general character will apply to the inhabitants at large. Collected from different parts of the world, as interest, necessity, or inclination led them, their character ·and manners most of course partake of all the varieties which distinguish the several states and kingdoms from whence they came. There is so little uniformity, that it is difficult to trace any governing principles among them. An aversion to labour is too predominant, owing in part to the relaxing heat of the climate, and partly to the want of necessity to excite industry. An open and friendly hospitality, particularly to strangers, is an ornamental characteristic of a great part of this people.

Commerce, manufactures, agriculture.--Cotton and rice are the staple commodities of the state, and Savannah being the only shipping port in it, is, of course, the gene. ral mart for the disposal of these articles. But besides the two staples, there are likewise exported, tobacco, indigo, lumber, naval stores, leather, deer and other skins, furs, spake root, myrtle and bees-wax, sago, Indian corn, and live stock. The planters and farmers raise great numbers of cattle, from 1,000 to 1,500 head, and often more. The exports of Georgia in the year 1755, amounted to 69,973 dollars; in 1772, to 540,786; in 1793, to 501,383; in 1796, to 950,158; in 1801, to 1,854,951; and in 1817, 8,790,714 ; of which only to the amount of 259,883 dollars was foreign produce. In return for her exports this state receives West India goods, teas, wines, clothing, and dry goods of all kinds. From the northern states, cheese, fish, potatoes, apples, cider, boots, shoes, &c.

The manufactures of Georgia have hitherto been very inconsiderable, with the exception of indigo, silk, and sago. In the year 1766, upwards of 1,000 lb. of raw silk were exported; but so large a quantity has not been exported in any one year before or since. The culture of silk and the manufacture of sago is at present but little at. tended to. In the interior of the country nearly all the people are clothed in homespun. In almost every family a cotton manufactory is to be seen, and in several instances, they have introduced spinning, upon a pretty large scale, by jendtes. Many of the females spin cotton all the year round, and get the yarn made into every

article necessary for family usé; such as shirting, sheeting, toweling, table-cloths, gowns, petticoats, aprons, caps, pantaloons, vesting, and summer coats for the men's use; besides sofa-cloths, fripges, tassels, hosiery, &c. The articles made in this manner are substantial and durable, many of them handsome ; and in all probability the trade will increase to nearly the total exclusion of foreign madufactures from this state.

The agriculture of Georgia differs little from that of the Carolinas, except it be in a more extensive growth of the cotton plant, for which the soil and climate are admirably adapted. Formerly, cotton was planted here only by the poorer class of people, and that only for family use. They raised only two kinds, the annual and the West Indian ; the former is low, and planted every year; the balls are large and the wool long, perfectly white, and strong. The latter is a tall perennial plant, the stalk somewhat shrubby, several of which rise up from the root for many years successively, the stems of the former year being killed by the winter frosts. The balls of the West India cotton are not quite so large as the other; but the wool is long, extremely fine, silky and white. A plantation of this kind will last several years, with moderate labour and care. The culture of cotton is now much more attended to than formerly; many indigo planters having couverted tbeir plantations into cotton fields; and especially since a new species of cotton plant has been introduced from the island of Waitahoo, one of the Marquesas, in the South Pacific ocean: the wool of this kind is of a very fine texture, and bas proved a great acquisition not only to Georgia, but to the other southern states.

Constitution. The civil government is vested in an assembly, consisting of a sepate and house of representatives, a governor, and a judiciary. The assembly are elected annually, by all citizens and inhabitants of the state, of the age of twenty-one years or upwards, who have paid all taxes which have been lawfully demanded from them for tbe last year, and who have resided six months in the courties for which they vote. The governor is appointed by the legislature, for two years only. The judges are also elected by the legislature, for three years. The constitution provides, that “ arts and sciences shall be promoted, in one or more seminaries of learning; and the legislature shall give such further donations and privi. leges to those already established, as may be necessary to secure the objects of their institution.” The state constitution was adopted in 1789: Georgia now sends two senators and four representatives to the general congress of the United States.

History. The first settlement of Georgia by a British colony, in the year 1732, has been already noticed in page 1. The promoters of this settlement were certainly actuated by humane and generous sentiments; yet the imagination of man could scarcely have framed worse regulations for the government of the infant colony. The people sent out were poor and unfortunate, therefore they were to be provided with necessaries at the public store; and they received their lands upon condition of cultivation, and, by their personal residence, of defence. Silk and wine being the chief articles intended to be raised, the trustees for Georgia conceived that negroes were not necessary for these purposes. Rum was indeed perpicious to health, and ruinous to new settlers, the importation of it was therefore prohibited ; and a free trade with the Indians was considered as having a tendency to involve the people in quarrels with the powerful savages, and expose them to danger and destruction.

Such were, probably, the motives wbich induced the benevolent founders of this colony to impose such absurd and ruinous restrictions on the settlers; who soon found that abundance of land could be obtained in America upon much better terms, and without any such prohibi. tions. By interdicting the use of negroes, the trustees rendered it impracticable, in such a climate, to make any impression on the thick forests, Europeans being utterly unqualified for the heavy task. By not allowing a trade with the West Indies, the colonists were not only deprived of a good market for their lumber, of which they had abundance on their lands, but also of the essential article of rum, which, when mixed with water, has been found by experience the most refreshing, and the cheapest drink for workmen in such a foggy and burning climate. The trustees, like other distant legislators, who framed their regulations upon principles of speculation, were liable to many errors and mistakes, and however good their design, their rules were found improper and impracticable. The Carolinians plainly perceived that they would prove in. surmountable obstacles to the progress and prosperity of the colony, and therefore from motives of pity, began to

« AnteriorContinuar »