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The inhabitants of Savannah, and the places near the sea, are for the most part natives of Georgia, and resemble the Carolinians in their appearance and ha
bits; but those of the interior parts, and near Augusta, are emigrants from Virginia. In Augusta and Savannah there are many Irish, and some Scotch.
The Muskogee, or Creek Indians, who inhabit a hilly country, within the limits of the state, have a great number of cattle, swine, and poultry, and cultivate tobacco, rice, Indian corn, potatoes, fruits, and all esculent plants. In 1802 they surrendered to the United States a large tract of country, which the latter ceded to Georgia, of which it forms the south-west angle. In 1774 the Creeks and Cherokees ceded to the king of Great Britain several millions of excellent land, for the amount of debts due to the English traders. A congress was held by the governor for this purpose, at which were present a great number of the kings and head men. On the 22d January 1818, the Creek Indians ceded, for the sum of 120,000 dollars, two considerable tracts of land to the United States, to be annexed to the state of Georgia. These lands lie among the branches of the Ocmulgee, Appalachicola, and Cattahouche rivers. *
Diseases. In the low country bilious and intermitting fevers prevail during the months of August and September, which is called the sickly season; but those who inhabit the more elevated parts are exempt from these autumnal maladies, and the rich planters remove thither during their prevalence. In the autumn of 1798, the yellow-fever, at Savannah, carried off, in
* Letter from D. B. Mitchell, Esq. agent for Indian affairs.
of forty-five days, eighty-four inhabitants out
The introduction of rice crops along the borders of the Savannah river has been the cause of much unhealthiness; and, with a view to obviate this evil, four dollars an acre are allowed to those planters who substitute for the rice crops others which do not require irrigation.
The trade winds prevail on the southern coast of Georgia during the summer, and contribute to refresh the warm atmosphere. Captain Macall resided eighteen months at Point Peter, near the mouth of St Mary's river, with a garrison of nearly 100 troops, and only one man died during that period, of a consumption of the lungs. He further remarks, that the sea-shore is generally healthy, except in the vicinity of stagnant fresh water. †
Manners and Character.-Dr Morse observes, "that the Georgians are friendly and hospitable; that horse-racing and cock-fighting prevail in the upper counties; that the young men are fond of hunting, and all classes are fond of dancing; and that they are greatly addicted to every kind of gambling." Against this pernicious practice a law was passed in 1816.
Georgia was at one time the principal retreat of a race of men called Crackers, who were chiely descended from convicts, and led a wild and vagrant life, like the Indians, with no other effects than a rifle and a
* See Medical Repository of New York for 1810, p. 135. † P. 254.
blanket, and subsisting upon the deer, turkeys, and other game which the woods furnish. These migratory bands disappear as the country is settled. The legislature of this state brought great reproach upon itself by a transaction in 1795. Twenty-two millions of acres, in the western parts of the state, were sold for 500,000 dollars, to certain companies, who resold the land to persons in the middle and eastern states. In the following year the next legislature declared the sale illegal, but retained the money, which, however, has since been refunded. The Georgians ratified the federal constitution unanimously in January 1788.
History. The establishment of the colony of Georgia was the consequence of the jealousy and disputes existing between the courts of Spain and Great Britain. Under the pretext of converting slaves to the Christian religion, the governor of Florida seemed to have instructions to give freedom and protection to all those who fled from the Carolinas to St Augustine, where they were converted into soldiers, and formed into a corps called the "Black Regiment." To prevent the escape of their slaves, the Carolinians built and garrisoned a fort on the Alatamaha river, which being soon afterwards destroyed by fire, the whole southern frontier was left open and unprotected. This circumstance induced the government to favour the project of a colony to be established between the river Savannah and Alatamaha; and a patent was accordingly obtained from George II. on the 9th of June 1732, for the establishment of an independent and separate province, to be called Georgia, in the name of
a company of twenty-one trustees, for the same number of years, after which, such form of government was to be established as the king or his successor should appoint. In virtue of this charter were granted to the lords proprietors all the lands and territories from the Savannah river, along the sea-coast, to Alatamaha river, and westward from the heads of these rivers respectively, in direct lines to the south seas, with all islands on the eastern coast, within twenty leagues of the land, not already inhabited or settled. It happened that James Edward Oglethorpe was named executor for the disposal of a considerable legacy, left by a wealthy Englishman, for the deliverance of insolvent debtors, whom their creditors detained in prison; and this donation, with others procured from generous individuals, and L. 10,000 Sterling advanced by the government, were employed for the establishment of a colony, where this unfortunate class of men might find an asylum. An hundred and fourteen persons embarking at Gravesend, under the direction of Mr Oglethorpe, arrived in January 1733, and laid the foundation of the town of Savannah. In the month of May ensuing, another vessel arrived with new colonists, and fresh provisions; and shortly after fifty families were sent by the commissaries; so that, during the first year, 618 persons were embarked, of whom 320 were men, 113 women, 102 boys, and 83 girls. In the year 1735, 150 Highlanders arrived from Scotland, and the same year, Oglethorpe, who had visited England with Tomochichi, chief of the Indian nation, his wife, and other Indians, returned with 300 more,