Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Georgia (State)
GEORGIA, a State in the South Atlantic division of the North American Union; bounded by North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean; area, 59,475 square miles; one of the original 13 States; number of counties, 137. Pop. (1910) 2,609,121; (1920) 2,895,832. Capital, Atlanta.
Topography.—The surface of the State is irregular, rising in terraces. The coast for about 20 miles inland is low and swampy; from here it rises about 100 feet in 20 miles, till, in Baldwin county, about 200 miles from the sea, an elevation of 600 feet is reached. The foot hills and mountains begin here and extend toward the W. and N. W., reaching an altitude of 2,500 to 4,000 feet. In the extreme S. E. is the Okefinokee Swamp. A line of islands averaging about 10 miles in width extends along the coast and affords many safe but shallow sounds. The only harbors of large size are Savannah, St. Mary's, Darien, and Brunswick. The State is well watered. The principal rivers are the Savannah, forming the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina, the Ogeechee, the Cannouchee, the Altamaha, the Satilla, and the St. Mary's, running to the Atlantic; and the Withlacoochee and Allapaha uniting in Florida to form the Suwanee, the Ochlockonee, and the Flint and Chattahoochee forming the Apalachicola, at the Florida line, flowing directly into the gulf.
Geology.—The rocks of the N. part of the State are mostly of metamorphic or crystalline formation and include granites, gneisses, sandstones, and schists. A belt of Silurian origin extends through the N. W. counties with frequent outcrops of Devonian structure. There are extensive coal measures in the extreme N. W. In central and most of southern Georgia the metamorphic rocks are overlaid with Tertiary deposits, and farther S. and E. these are themselves overlaid with Quaternary sands and clay. A Tertiary strip borders the ocean, and a Cretaceous deposit occurs in the vicinity of Jefferson county.
Mineralogy.—The State is rich in mineral resources, especially in the mountain regions N. of the Chattahoochee, and ranks second in the United States in the production of manganese; silver, emery, bituminous coal, antimony, granite, graphite, marble, magnetic and specular iron ore, zinc, limonite, tellurium, galena, mica, roofing slate, pyrites and potter's clay abound. Gold is found in seams of quartz, in veins, and in the disintegrated sands and gravel. It was discovered in 1828 in White Co., and led to the forcible removal of the Cherokee Indians. The coal production in 1918 was 66,716 tons, valued at $239,377. Georgia marble has a high reputation. The clay-working industries have a product of about $2,000,000 annually. There is a small amount of gold produced. The total mineral output is valued at about $5,000,000 per year.
Agriculture.—In the N. part of the State the principal crops are wheat, corn, sorghum, oats, rye, potatoes, apples, peaches, and other temperate fruits, grains and vegetables, while middle and southern Georgia are devoted chiefly to upland cotton and sugar-cane. The acreage, value, and production of the principal crops in 1919, was as follows: Corn, 4,820,000 acres, production 69,890,000 bushels, value $111,824,000; oats, 540,000 acres, production 10,800,000 bushels, value $12,420,000; wheat, 240,000 acres, production 2,520,000 bushels, value $6,628,000; hay, 557,000 acres, production 613,000 tons, value $15,509,000; peanuts, 202,000 acres, production 5,050,000 bushels, value $12,423,000; potatoes, 23,000 acres, production 1,610,000 bushels, value $3,494,000; sweet potatoes, 142,000 acres, production 13,064,000 bushels, value $14,370,000; cotton, 5,288,000 acres, production 1,730,000 bales, value $309,670,000; tobacco, 31,000 acres, production 16,430,000 pounds, value $3,532,000.
Manufactures.—There were in 1914 4,639 manufacturing establishments in the State, employing 104,461 wage earners. The capital invested amounted to $258,326,000; the wages paid to $38,128,000; the value of materials used to $160,089,000; and the value of the finished product to $253,271,000. The manufacturing is principally carried on in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, and Columbus. The chief articles of manufacture are cotton goods, lumber-mill products, flour and grist, cotton-seed oil, foundry and machine shop products, fertilizers, naval stores, railroad cars, brick and tile, wagons and carriages, clothing, furniture, hosiery, and leather goods.
Banking.—In 1919 there were 93 National banks in operation, having $12,258,000 in capital, $10,422,000 in outstanding circulation and $50,875,000 in U. S. banks. There were also 653 State banks, with $29,264,000 capital and $21,485,000 surplus. In the year ending Sept. 30, 1920, the exchanges at the United States clearing-houses at Atlanta aggregated $3,204,770,000, an increase over the previous year of $1,855,484,000.
Education.—The school population in 1918 numbered 841,861. There were enrolled in the public schools 679,747 pupils, with an average daily attendance of 452,064. There were 15,172 teachers. The total fund paid for public schools was $7,619,267, and the total for educational purposes, including colleges and secondary schools, amounted to nearly $10,000,000. The institutions for higher education include the University of Georgia, at Athens; the Georgia School of Technology; and the North Georgia Agricultural College.
Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Episcopal.
Railways.—Tne railway mileage of the State in 1920 was about 7,400. There are about 500 miles of electric railway in the State.
Finances.—The receipts for the fiscal year 1918 were $7,686,445, and the disbursements $8,332,569. There was a balance on January 1, 1918, of $1,459,264, and on January 1, 1919, $813,139. The bonded debt of the State, in 1919, amounted to $5,918,202. The assessed valuation of real and personal property is about $1,000,000,000.
State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years. Legislative sessions are held annually beginning on June 25, and are limited to 50 days each. The Legislature has 51 members in the Senate and 193 in the House. There are 12 Representatives in Congress. The State government in 1921 was Democratic.
History.—Georgia was settled by a colony of 120 persons in 1733, under a patent granted to Oglethorpe, Whitefield, and the Wesleys, June 9, 1732. It was established as a barrier between the Spanish and Indians on the S. and the Carolinas on the N., and to provide a refuge for debtors, orphans, and other needy and destitute persons. In the war between England and Spain in 1739-1743, Oglethorpe made an alliance with the Creek Indians and led the combined troops of Carolina and Georgia in an invasion of Florida, and in 1742 he drove off the Spanish fleet that had attacked the forts on the Altamaha. After the peace, the Georgians demanded slaves, which had previously been prohibited. In 1752 the trustees surrendered the colony to the crown and negro slavery was introduced. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War Georgia, having few claims for redress and no charter on which to base them, hesitated to join the other colonies, and was not represented in the Constitutional Congress in 1774. In March, 1775, St. John's parish sent a delegate to the Continental Congress, and in July all the parishes sent representatives. On July 10, 1775, a schooner commissioned by Congress captured a British ship laden with powder off Savannah. In 1778 Georgia ratified the Articles of Confederation, and in the same year the British captured Savannah, and held it till the close of the war, despite attempts by the Americans and French to retake it. In 1779 Augusta and Sunbury were taken by the British.
The first State constitution was framed in February, 1777, and on Jan. 2, 1788, Georgia unanimously ratified the Constitution of the United States. The second State constitution was adopted in 1789, and a third, by which the importation of slaves was prohibited, in 1798. There was some difficulty with the Creeks and Cherokees in 1783-1790, but treaties of peace were concluded with them in 1790 and 1791. In 1802 the Creeks ceded what is now southwestern Georgia to the United States, which in turn ceded it to the State, receiving in exchange all the State's claims W. of the Chattahoochee, or what is now Alabama and Mississippi. The first steamship that ever crossed the Atlantic Ocean left Savannah in 1819.
In November, 1860, a State convention was called to consider the subject of secession. On Jan. 21, 1861, an ordinance of secession was unanimously passed, and Georgia ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States and adopted a new State constitution. In January, 1861, Forts Pulaski and Jackson, below Savannah, were seized by State troops, and from the battle of Chickamauga, in September, 1863, to the winter of 1864-1865 the State was constantly the scene of conflict. Atlanta was captured by General Sherman, Sept. 2, 1864, and he began his famous march thence to the sea, Nov. 15, occupying Savannah Dec. 21. Columbus, West Point, and Macon were taken in April, 1865, by General Wilson, and on May 10, 1865, Jefferson Davis was captured at Irwinville. One of the most noted Confederate prisons was located at Andersonville in this State.
Georgia repealed the act of secession Oct. 30, 1865; adopted a new constitution; and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Congress, dissatisfied with the new constitution, put the State under military rule till another constitution was ratified in 1868; and the State was restored to the Union on its ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1869. On the refusal to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment the State was again placed under military rule, but reinstated on its compliance with this demand. The recent prosperity and development of Georgia's resources has been due in large measure to the Cotton Exposition, in 1881, the Piedmont Exposition, in 1887, and the Cotton States and International Exposition, in 1895, all at Atlanta.