Thomas Brown. In September 1780 a force of less than 500 patriots under Col. Elijah Clarke marched against the town in three divisions, and while one division, attacking a neighbouring Indian camp, drew off most of the garrison, the other two divisions entered the town; but British reinforcements arrived before Brown could be dislodged from a building in which he had taken refuge, and Clarke was forced to withdraw. A stronger American force, under Lieut.-Col. Henry Lee, renewed the siege in May 1781 and gained possession on the 5th of June. From 1783 until 1795 Augusta was again the seat of the state government. It was the meeting-place of the Land Court which confiscated the property of the Loyalists of Georgia, and of the convention which ratified for Georgia the Constitution of the United States. In 1798 it was incorporated as a town, and in 1817 it was chartered as a city. Augusta was the home of the inventor, William Longstreet (1759-1814), who as early as 1788 received a patent from the state of Georgia for a steamboat, but met with no practical success until 1808; as early as 1801 he had made experiments in the application of steam to cotton gins and saw-mills at Augusta. Near Augusta, on the site now occupied by the Eli Whitney Country Club, Eli Whitney is said to have first set up and operated his cotton gin; he is commemorated by a mural tablet in the court house. The establishment of a steamboat line to Savannah in 1817 aided Augusta’s rapid commercial development. There was a disastrous fire in 1829, an epidemic of yellow fever in 1839, and a flood in 1840, but the growth of the city was not seriously checked; the cotton receipts of 1846 were 212,019 bales, and in 1847 a cotton factory was built. During the Civil War Augusta was the seat of extensive military factories, the tall chimney of the Confederate powder mills still standing as a memorial. The economic development has, since the Civil War, been steady and continuous. An exposition was held in Augusta in 1888, and another in 1893.
AUGUSTA, the capital of Maine, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Kennebec county, on the Kennebec river (at the head of navigation), 44 m. from its mouth, 62 m. by rail N.E. of Portland, and 74 m. S.W. of Bangor. Pop. (1890) 10,527; (1900) 11,683, of whom 2131 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 13,211. It is served by the Maine Central railway, by several electric lines, and by steamboat lines to Portland, Boston and several other ports. It is built on a series of terraces, mostly on the west bank of the river, which is spanned here by a bridge 1100 ft. long. The state house, built of granite quarried in the vicinity, occupies a commanding site along the south border of the city, and in it is the state library. The Lithgow library is a city public library. Near the state house is the former residence of James G. Blaine. On the other side of the river, nearly opposite, is the Maine insane hospital. Among other prominent buildings are the court house, the post office and the city hall. In one of the parks is a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument. By means of a dam across the river, 17 ft. high and nearly 600 ft. long, good water-power is provided, and the city manufactures cotton goods, boots and shoes, paper, pulp and lumber. A leading industry is the printing and publishing of newspapers and periodicals, several of the periodicals published here having an enormous circulation. The total value of the factory products in 1905 was $3,886,833. Augusta occupies the site of the Indian village, Koussinoc, at which the Plymouth Colony established a trading post about 1628. In 1661 Plymouth sold its interests, and soon afterward the four purchasers abandoned the post. In 1754, however, their heirs brought about the erection here of Fort Western, the main building of which is still standing at the east end of the bridge, opposite the city hall. Augusta was originally a part of the township of Hallowell (incorporated in 1771); in 1797 the north part of Hallowell was incorporated as a separate town and named Harrington; and later in the same year the name was changed to Augusta. It became the county-seat in 1799; was chosen by the Maine legislature as the capital of the state in 1827, but was not occupied as such until the completion of the state house in 1831; and was chartered as a city in 1849.
AUGUSTA, a seaport of the province of Syracuse, Sicily, 19 m. N. of it by rail. Pop. (1901) 16,402. It occupies a part of the former peninsula of Xiphonia, now a small island, connected with the mainland by a bridge. It was founded by the emperor Frederick II. in 1232, and almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, after which it was rebuilt. The castle is now a large prison. The fortified port, though unfrequented except as a naval harbour of refuge, is a very fine one. There are considerable saltworks at Augusta. To the south, on the left bank of the Molinello. 1½ m. from its mouth, Sicel tombs and Christian catacombs, and farther up the river a cave village of the early middle ages, have been explored (Notizie degli Scavi, 1902, 411, 631; Römische Quartalschrift, 1902, 205). Whether there was ever a town bearing the name Xiphonia is doubted by E. A. Freeman (Hist. of Sic. i. 583); cf., however, E. Pais, Atakta (Pisa, 1891), 55, who attributes its foundation, under the name of Tauromenion (which it soon lost), to the Zancleans of Hybla (afterwards Megara Hyblaea). (T. As.)
AUGUSTA BAGIENNORUM, the chief town of the Ligurian tribe of the Bagienni, probably identical with the modern Bene Vagienna, on the upper course of the Tanaro, about 35 m. due south of Turin. The town retained its position as a tribal centre in the reorganization of Augustus, whose name it bears, and was erected on a systematic plan. Considerable remains of public buildings, constructed in concrete faced with small stones with bands of brick at intervals, an amphitheatre with a major axis of 390 ft. and a minor axis of 305 ft., a theatre with a stage 133 ft. in length, and near it the foundations of what was probably a basilica, an open space (no doubt the forum), an aqueduct, baths, &c., have been discovered by recent excavations, and also one of the city gates, flanked by two towers 22 ft. sq.
AUGUSTAN HISTORY, the name given to a collection of the biographies of the Roman emperors from Hadrian to Carinus (A.D. 117-284). The work professes to have been written during the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine, and is to be regarded as the composition of six authors,—Aelius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Aelius Lampridius, Vulcacius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio and Flavius Vopiscus—known as Scriptores Historiae Augustae, writers of Augustan history. It is generally agreed, however, that there is a large number of interpolations in the work, which are referred to the reign of Theodosius; and that the documents inserted in the lives are almost all forgeries. The more advanced school of critics holds that the names of the supposed authors are purely fictitious, as those of some of the authorities which they profess to quote certainly are. The lives, which (with few exceptions) are arranged in chronological order, are distributed as follows:—To Spartianus: the biographies of Hadrian, Aelius Verus, Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus, Pescennius Niger, Caracallus, Geta (?); to Vulcacius Gallicanus: Avidius Cassius; to Capitolinus: Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Verus, Pertinax, Clodius Albinus, the two Maximins, the three Gordians, Maximus and Balbinus, Opilius Macrinus (?); to Lampridius: Commodus, Diadumenus, Elagabalus, Alexander Severus; to Pollio: the two Valerians, the Gallieni, the so-called Thirty Tyrants or Usurpers, Claudius (his lives of Philip, Decius, and Gallus being lost); to Vopiscus: Aurelian, Tacitus, Florian, Probus, the four tyrants (Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus, Bonosus), Carus, Numerian, Carinus.
The importance of the Augustan history as a repertory of information is very considerable, but its literary pretensions are of the humblest order. The writers’ standard was confessedly low. “My purpose,” says Vopiscus, “has been to provide materials for persons more eloquent than I.” Considering the perverted taste of the age, it is perhaps fortunate that the task fell into the hands of no showy declaimer who measured his success by his skill in making surface do duty for substance, but of homely, matter-of-fact scribes, whose sole concern was to record what they knew. Their narrative is unmethodical and inartificial; their style is tame and plebeian; their conception of biography is that of a collection of anecdotes; they have
- The Kennebec was first explored to this point in 1607.