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Created by local writers and photographers, Compass American Guides are the ultimate insider's guides, providing in-depth coverage of the history, culture and character of America's most spectacular destinations. Covering everything there is to see and do as well as choice...
Created by local writers and photographers, Compass American Guides are the ultimate insider's guides, providing in-depth coverage of the history, culture and character of America's most spectacular destinations. Covering everything there is to see and do as well as choice lodging and dining, these gorgeous full-color guides are perfect for new and longtime residents as well as
vacationers who want a deep understanding of the region they're visiting.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Georgia was conceived as a social experiment to lessen crowding in England's debtor prisons, realized as a military buffer between colonial Spain and England, tortured like much of the American South by more than two centuries of slavery, and finally heralded as the jewel in the crown of the Sunbelt economy. Thus Georgia's history is not easily encapsulated. Nor is the physical landscape of this, the largest state east of the Mississippi River. Whether your destination be the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, the stooped irregularity of the red clay Piedmont, the piny woods of the sandy lowlands, or the wetlands and inlets of the seashore, Georgia's landscape is as diverse as its people.
Created by royal decree in 1732 and entrusted to the care of British parliamentarian James Edward Oglethorpe, the colony of Georgia was, at its outset, an experiment in utopian idealism. The poor and downtrodden (including those so down on their luck that they were indeed in debtors' prison) were recruited. And in the interest of avoiding temptation, all manner of suspicious persons were prohibited, including attorneys and Catholics. Because Georgia's founders were idealists, slavery was forbidden; because they were entrepreneurial, they embarked on silk production, decreeing that two mulberry trees per acre must be planted on all land grants, as food for silkworms.
Touted by Oglethorpe and the 20 other trustees as a "lush Edenic paradise," Georgia attracted the interest of more than the poor and bankrupt it was originally intended for. Amongthe 114 colonists on the first ship to sail for Georgia were two merchants, five carpenters, two wigmakers, five farmers, a gardener, an upholsterer, a vintner, a baker, a miller, a surgeon, a writer, and not a single convict. Perhaps it was the unflagging boosterism ( a recurrent theme in Georgia history) that compelled Britain's yeoman farmers and skilled laborers to come running. But come they did, enticed by a slew of perquisites including free passage and 50 acres of land as well as a year's worth of support. One historian has gone so far as to posit that "the first Georgians were perhaps the most selectively chosen group of colonists to come to British North America." Yet the grand colonial experiment was not to last long as it was first conceived. Attempts made to raise silkworms sputtered. Ditto for European varietal grapes, oranges, and olives. Indeed for its first 50 years, the last of the 13 British colonies, floundered. In 1740, just seven years after Oglethorpe established the city of Savannah on the Yamacraw Bluff overlooking the Savannah River, traveler Henry Garret was so disturbed by what he saw of colonial Georgia that he observed: "I got into a very bad corner of the world, where poverty and oppression abound to such a degree that it has become proverbial this way to say as poor as a Georgian."
Slavery and Prosperity
Just up the coast in South Carolina, planters prospered growing indigo and rice -- with slave labor of course. While Georgia farmers struggled, South Carolina planters lived a life of comparative ease, a distinction that did not escape the notice of some of the colony's more prominent business people. "The poor people of Georgia may as well think of becoming Negroes themselves -- as of hoping to be ever able to live without them," argued colonist Thomas Stephens. Slavery, landholding Georgians of wealth and influence argued, was the answer to these economic ills. By 1750, pro-slavery advocates had one out. And by 1760, thousands of Africans had been brought into Georgia. By 1773, the state could claim 15,000 slaves and 18,000 whites. Sea Island cotton flourished along the coast, and rice plantations spread up the Savannah River and down the coast. By the eve of the Revolutionary War, Georgia looked less and less like a radical utopian experiment than its antithesis, an agrarian outpost reliant upon slave labor.
Most slaves sold into Georgia bondage were of West African origin. Among them, the Wolof and Mandinka peoples were prominent, though a wide variety of regions and peoples were represented, for the native region of Georgia slaves described a wide arc along the African coast, stretching from present-day Senegal through Ghana and on into Nigeria. Slaves from the Sierra Leone area were especially valuable to low-country planters, who valued their knowledge of rice cultivation.
As conceived, the colony of Georgia was bounded by the Altamaha River on the north and the Savannah River on the south. At the headwaters of each river a line was drawn westward to the Pacific. Had these borders been maintained, the largest city in Georgia today would not be Atlanta but Los Angeles.
Instead, in accordance with the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763 at the conclusion of the French and Indian War, Britain gave up all claims to lands west of the Mississippi River, while in 1802, modern-day Alabama and Mississippi were ceded to the U. S. government. By the close of the 18th century, Georgia's borders were fixed much as they remain today.
|Map of Georgia||8|
|History & Culture||15|
|Map of Historic Georgia||30|
|Map of Northwest Georgia||49|
|North of Cartersville||55|
|Piedmont Hills and Chickamauga||60|
|Cloudland Canyon State Park||63|
|Pennville and Paradise Gardens||64|
|Coosawattee River Area||68|
|Fort Mountain State Park||68|
|Food & Lodging||70|
|Map of Northeast Georgia||75|
|Topography and Landscape||76|
|Lake Sidney Lanier||80|
|Amicalola Falls State Park||84|
|Blood Mountain Area||84|
|Vogel State Park||84|
|Brasstown Bald Area Rambles||86|
|Lakes Burton and Rabun||90|
|Tallulah Falls Area||94|
|Cornelia and "Elvisiana"||95|
|Cleveland and Handicrafts||96|
|Food & Lodging||99|
|Map of Central Atlanta||116|
|Map of Atlanta Neighborboods||117|
|Inman Park and Little Five Points||118|
|Map of Greater Atlanta||141|
|Greater Metropolitan Atlanta||142|
|Food & Lodging||148|
|Map of Middle Georgia||163|
|Washington and Environs||174|
|The "Big Lake" Parks||178|
|Map of Athens||179|
|University of Georgia||180|
|Rock Eagle Effigy Mound||187|
|Ocmulgee National Monument||192|
|Pine Mountain and Environs||194|
|Food & Lodging||200|
|Map of South Georgia||213|
|Upper Fall Line||217|
|Perry and Sites East||217|
|Altamaha River Basin||218|
|Map of Okefenokee Swamp||225|
|Sugar Cane Country||234|
|Kolomoki Indian Mounts||238|
|Andersonville Historic Site||244|
|Food & Lodging||248|
|Map of Georgia Coast||255|
|Map of Savamab||264|
|South and East of Savannah||277|
|Isle of Hope||277|
|South by the Coastal Highway||280|
|St. Catherine's Island||283|
|Darien and Environs||287|
|St. Simon's Island||289|
|St. Mary's and Cumberland Island||293|
|Food & Lodging||296|
|Food & Lodging Index||307|
|Weather in Georgia Towns||309|