Page images
PDF
EPUB

markable bed of petrified shells extends across the state, from the Savannah to the Oconee river, nearly parallel with the sea-coast. The Okefenoke swamp, situated towards the south, near the head of St Mary's river, is about sixty miles in length, from east to west, and forty in breadth. In the rainy season the greater part of it is covered with water, and appears like an inland sea. Between Flint and Santilla rivers there is another swamp, called Cypress Swamp. The lands lately purchased from the Creek Indians include a great variety of soil, some of them being poor and sandy, and others very rich. The higher lands, approaching the Tennessee river, are more healthy than the others.

Islands.-A number of islands stretch along the coast, the soil of which, composed of a blackish mould, is very fruitful. The most considerable, commencing with the most northerly, are Tybee, Wassau, St Helen's, St Catherine, Sapelo, St Simon, Jekyl, Cumberland, and Amelia. The water between these islands and the coast is sufficiently deep for the navigation of vessels of a hundred tons.

Temperature. The climate, in general, is some. what warmer than that of South Carolina. All the flat country is moist and unhealthy. The effluvia of rice swamps and stagnant waters are extremely injurious to health, during the autumn; but the bilious fever, which has almost annually prevailed in the vicinity of the metropolis, has been more owing to this kind of culture than to the nature of the soil and climate. The spring is commonly rainy ; the summer is inconstant, and subject to storms of thunder and lightning. The winter is considered the most pleasant season of the year. The hilly parts, at the distance of 200 miles from the sea, are found to be very agree. able, and favourable to health. The winter is there colder; snow sometimes falls to the depth of five or six inches. Near the coast snow is very uncommon; though sometimes a considerable degree of cold has prevailed. On the 5th of February 1814, the soil of Wilmington island, near Savannah, was so frozen, that the labourer could not penetrate it with his hoe. On the 21st of the same month the weather became 80 warm, that the fruit trees put forth their buds,

The range of the thermometer, during winter, is from 40° to 60°; from the 1st of June to the 1st of September it fluctuates between 76° and 90°; but in the hilly parts the temperature is much lower, Mr Ellis, * in 1757, observed the thermometer at 102, in the shade of his piazza, at Savannah. It remained some days at 98°, and in the night did not fall below 89°. Within the last thirty years there have been but few instances in which the mercury has risen above 96° in the shade. The only instance of an earthquake, known to have occurred in this state, was in January 1811, when several shocks were felt, but did little in. jury. · Rivers.—The interior of this state is intersected in every direction by navigable rivers. The Savannah, which forms the boundary between Georgia and South

COS

* Fellow of the Royal Society, and governor of this province.

Carolina, is navigable for large vessels to Savannah, and for boats of 100 feet keel, carrying from 500 to 600 bales of cotton, (averaging 350 pounds each,) as far as Augusta. This river descends from the western mountains of the state, and receives in its long course a great number of streams, of which the principal from the west are the Broad river, Little river, and Briar creek. The Ogechee river rises in Green county, near the Apalachian mountains, passes by Louisville, the former seat of the government, and, running a course of 200 miles nearly parallel with the Savannah, empties itself into the sea fifteen miles south-west of the latter. The Alatamaha river rises in the Cherokee mountains, winds through the hilly county, (an extent of 250 miles,) and, in its course through the plains to the Atlantic, receives a number of considerable streams, of which the largest is the Oakmulgee. It is navigable for large vessels to Darien. The Chatahouchy, or Apalachicola river, rises near the source of the Savannah river, and in its course to the Gulf of Mexico, forms the western, or Florida line of boundary, for the distance of 125 miles. Flint river, one of its branches, is 200 miles in length, 300 yards in breadth, and from 12 to 15 feet in depth. St Mary's river rises in the Great Okefenoke morass, and, in its course to the sea, of 150 miles, it forms a part of the boundary between the United States and East Florida. From its mouth between Amelia and Cumberland islands, to the distance of thirty miles, the channel is so narrow, that it scarcely admits the pas. sage of a sea vessel, though deep enough for a ship of the line. This is owing to the nature of the soil, which is marshy on each side, with banks supported by a thick growth of wood. A resolution lately passed the senate of Georgia, appropriating 100,000 dollars for the improvement of the internal navigation of the state ; out of which sum 20,000 are appropriated for clearing the navigation of Savannah river; 20,000 for the Oconee; 26,000 for the Oakmulgee ; 8400 for the Altamaha, and 5000 for the Ogechee. · Minerals.--Iron ore is found in the upper country, on the surface of the ridge which separates the waters of Flint river from those of Chatahouche. Some of it yields 500 pounds of metal per ton. Lead ore exists in the Cherokee mountains, which yields two-thirds of its weight of metal. Black lead is mentioned by Mr Sibbald. Millstone, or hurr stone, similar to that of Cologne, is now an article of commerce, a considerable quantity being shipped for the northern states. The rock extends from the Savannah river along the banks of the Oakmulgee, running across the counties of Burke, Jefferson, Washington, Laurence, and Twiggs. Oilstone, or whetstone, is found in abundance. Of freestone, four kinds exist in the neighbourhood of Augusta. About thirty miles north-west from the same place, a species of kaolin, or porcelain clay, has been discovered, of a white and red colour, and which is employed for the manufacture of common ware. * Ochre, of a white, red, and yellow colour exists in the neighbourhood of Augusta.

Literary and Philosophical Repository, Vol. 1.

Mineral Waters.- Near the town of Washington, in the county of Wilkes, there is a medicinal spring, the waters of which issue from the trunk of a hollow tree, four or five feet in length, and are found to be very efficacious in the cure of rheumatic and scrofulous disorders. In Madison county other springs have been discovered. In the county of Jefferson there is a mineral spring, known by the name of Cobbs, which is also frequented during the summer months; and cabins have been lately constructed for the accommodation of visitors.

Forest Trees. The forest trees are oak, hickery, pine, red cedar, black walnut, and mulberry. In the southern parts, the olive, orange, fig, and pomegranate tree. The islands on the sea-coast are covered with oak, red cedar, pine, and hickery, palmetto and magnolia. Live oak and cedar abound in the neighbourhood of St Mary's and Darien. At the distance of nearly 100 miles from the coast, the long-leaved pine disappears, and the short-leaved pine, with oak and hickery, are seen in abundance. The low grounds produce oak, walnut, hickery, ash, poplar, dogwood, and chestnut. The tea plant also, introduced from India about the year 1770, now grows without cul. tivation near Savannah. The uplands are pine forests. The margin of all the rivers, to the distance of seventy miles below the falls, are bordered with reeds. The China briar grows on the low rich borders of streams; the whortle-berry in the swamps. Though Georgia lies more to the south than Carolina, the vegetable productions are the same. Oak, walnut, and

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »