James Edward Oglethorpe and his associates landed in 1733 at the site of Savannah with a charter from the King of England making them ‘Trustees for Establishing the Colony of Georgia in America’. The final British colony in America aimed to provide relief for English poor and debtors and also to create a buffer between the Carolinas and Spanish Florida. When the revolutionary movement emerged, Georgia was prosperous and reluctant to join in. Georgia signed the Declaration of Independence, but divided loyalties allowed British forces to control large areas of land during the Revolutionary War. By the end of the war, Georgia was fully on side and it was the fourth state to ratify the constitution. The Civil War hit Georgia hard with General Sherman destroyed a swath of the state between Atlanta and Savannah. Despite this destruction Georgia still has historical buildings in abundance.
State Capitol, Atlanta
The absence of a page on state capital Atlanta is courtesy of a faulty jet engine over Iceland which forced our Northwest Airlines flight to turn back to the UK, leaving us with no time to explore the city. We have been back to Georgia but have only been able to schedule a brief stop in Atlanta. The colonial capital of Georgia was Savannah but from 1785 the capital alternated with Augusta. In 1795 the capital moved to Louisville for a decade before moving to Milledgeville. There it stayed until 1868, just after the Civil war, when it moved to the newly rebuilt Atlanta to take advantage of its better railroad links. Although Atlanta is the fifth capital, this 1889 building is only the third Capitol as neither Savannah nor Augusta had a dedicated capitol building.
Confederate Memorial Carving, Stone Mountain Park
This 27 metre (90 foot) high memorial carved into Stone Mountain depicts Confederate heroes Jefferson Davis (the only President of the Confederate States of America), General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Work on the carving was started between 1923 and 1928 but slow progress resulted in the project being abandoned with only Lee’s head carved. The carving was finally completed between 1964 and 1972. Stone Mountain Park is more of a theme park than a memorial, with numerous attractions including a cable car ride, railroad rides and some original plantation buildings. Click Tab 2 to see the Manor House of the Antebellum Plantation.
Uncle Remus Museum, Eatonton
Eatonton is the birthplace of Joel Chandler Harris, who is best known as the author of the Uncle Remus stories. Harris lived in Eatonton until he was 16 when he moved to Turnwold Plantation to work as an apprentice printer. He moved into journalism, and eventually ended up in Atlanta working on Atlanta Constitution newspaper. His first Uncle Remus book was published in 1881 and it introduced the world to stories about Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear narrated by the fictional Uncle Remus. Harris died in 1908 and his work is commemorated in Eatonton at the Uncle Remus Museum, a log cabin made from two original slave cabins similar to the cabin occupied by Uncle Remus in the books.
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Milledgeville was laid out at the start of the 19th century as a purpose built capital for the state. Named after Georgia governor John Milledge, the city grew quickly in the years up to 1860. The Civil War changed everything. In November 1864 General Sherman arrived with 30,000 Union troops and it took them only two days to lay waste to the capital. After the war the city was rebuilt, but Atlanta became the state capital, turning Milledgeville into a backwater. Modern Milledgeville has a mixture of buildings that survived the Civil War and others that were built during reconstruction. This picture shows the Alling-Bethune-Combs house built in 1895 and on the right the 1820 Paine-Jones house.
Methodist Church, Clinton
Clinton was settled in 1808 and in 1810 land was purchased to build a Methodist Church. It was the first Methodist Church in Georgia’s Jones County. Details of the original church are not recorded, but it it was replaced by the church in this picture which was built on an adjacent site around 1821. The church was substantially modified in 1896, including the removal of a gallery for slaves. The old cemetery adjacent to the church has headstones marking burials dating back as far as 1812. Click Tab 2 to see the old cemetery.