The University of Georgia

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The University of Georgia

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UGA was established January 27, 1785. The establishment of the university was granted when Georgia’s General Assembly approved the charter. It was America’s 1st publically supported higher learning institution. At the time, Abraham Baldwin was chosen as Governor. Lyman Hall drafted the charter. Baldwin was UGA’s president until 1801. Doors did not open to students until September 1801 and the 1st permanent building, Franklin College, did not open until 1806. For many years, there was only one college (Arts & Science) and struggled financially. However, many of Georgia’s political and business leaders graduated from the college during this time. The college was able to expand after the Civil War because it was a “land grant institution” under the Morill Act of 1872. Over the next 130 years, size and academic reputation has changed dramatically for UGA

Westward Expansion & Indian Removal

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SS8H5: Explain significant factors that affected the development of Georgia as part of the growth of the United States between 1789 & 1840


A: Establishment of UGA, Louisville, spread of Baptist & Methodist Churches

B: Impact of land policies in GA: Headright system, land lotteries & Yazoo land fraud

C: Technological developments: How did the cotton gin & railroads impact GAs growth

Even though UGA opened 1st, the University of North Carolina held class first.


The Spread of Methodist & Baptist Churches in Georgia

John Wesley is the founder of the Methodist church. He preached in colonial Georgia. The people of Georgia did not associate themselves with the creation of this denomination until the Second Great Awakening (1790 – 1830). Baptist churches were increasing during this time period as well. Both of these denominations were the largest in the state by the 1830s. Both were popular among working class Georgians in the frontier and small towns. Both denominations had a large number of slaves as members because of mission work on plantations.
Revivals and camp meetings were popular ways both denominations increase in membership. Meeting were all day affairs where farmers and other townspeople listened to sermons and socialized. Methodist churches incorporated circuit riders or ministers who rode from town to town and preached. They were instrumental in bringing new members into the church.

Louisville was the 3rd capital city of Georgia after Savannah & Augusta. The city was named after King Louis XVI of France for his support of the colonies during the American Revolution. It was the capital from 1796 – 1807. It is located in Jefferson County and was chosen as the capital because, at the time, it held Georgia’s largest population. The state legislature had hoped Louisville would serve as a trading center because of its location on the Ogeechee River. Placing the capital city here was a driving force in westward expansion. It developed socially & financially. However, it ended as the state’s capital due to yearly malaria outbreaks, difficulty using the river as a trade route and continual movement of Georgia’s population northwest. The city is a prime reason Georgia’s population grew and expanded from the coast to the northwestern part of the state.

Remember S.A.L.M.A: Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville & Atlanta (the order of Georgia’s capital cities)

Louisville is pronounces “Lewis”ville, just like we pronounce St. Louis, Missouri.

After the American Revolution, Georgia gained a large amount of land from the Native Americans who sided with the British. It stretched all the way to the Mississippi River. War veterans believed ALL citizens had rights to that land. And the politicians of Georgia agreed. The only questions that arose was how to allocate the land among the people.

The 1st approach was the headright system. Under this system, thousands of acres of land was given to soldiers who fought in the Revolution. Austin Dabney was one of those recipients. Men who did not fight received land. As heads of households (white men over the age of 21), could receive up to 200 acres. If they had families or slaves, they received more. This system proved unsuccessful because there were too many that fit the criteria and not enough land to give.
The 2nd approach was the Yazoo Act (1795) which was named after a current river in Mississippi. The act sold much of the land that became Alabama and Mississippi to 4 land companies for $500,000. Not long after Georgia’s current governor, George Matthews signed this act into law, it was discovered that the land companies bribed Georgia’s General Assembly to sell the land. When this was found out, Georgians immediately protested the sale. Legislators chose to continue with the arrangement. Many were outraged. Including Georgia US Senator, James Jackson who resigned as senator and returned to the state. Once there, he and supporters took control of the General Assembly and nullified the Yazoo Act. In 1802, Georgia ceded the land to the US government for 1.25 million dollars with a promise to remove all Indian land claims to Georgia and remove the Creek Indians from Georgia. This controversy is known as the Yazoo Land Fraud.
The 3rd and final approach was the land lottery system. From 1805 – 1833, Georgia held 8 land lotteries. This gave the average Georgian the opportunity to gain a large amount of land for pennies. To take part in the lottery, people were to submit their names to the state and purchase a ticket. On the day of the lottery, participant names were placed in one drum while numbers to lots were placed in another drum. Some participants were able to have their names in the drum more than once based on age, marital status and war service. Land lotteries gave ¾ of Georgia’s land to 100,000 families.

Land policies

Headright System, Land Lotteries and the Yazoo Land Fraud

The Cotton Gin


The cotton gin had a huge impact on Georgia’s economic and population growth, but it came with a terrible cost: the expansion of slavery. The idea of this machine came from Eli Whitney, a northerner who moved to Georgia in 1793. Tobacco, one of Georgia’s most important crops, was killing the soil. As an alternative, the state began looking for ways to making cotton growing more profitable.

Cotton had to be deseeded by hand. It took a long time to accomplish and most farmers were only able to clean a little more than 1 pound a day. Eli Whitney “invented” a machine that was able to remove seeds from up to 50 pounds a day. Due to the efficiency of this machine, cotton growth became more profitable in the entire South. This led to continued westward expansion because farmers began to seek more land capable of growing cotton. With a focus on the profitability, the South grew a large majority of the world’s cotton by the end of the 19th century.
There were 2 major negative effects concerning the invention of the cotton gin. (1) It made the South overly dependent on one crop. This was the primary crop before and after the Civil War. It took the devastating effects of the Boll Weevil in the early 1900s to diversify the south’s agricultural production. (2) Slavery increased in Georgia and in the Deep South. The profitability of cotton required more slaves in its production. This led to the South’s support and defense of the institution of slavery which, in turn, led to the Civil War.

Railroads also had a huge impact on the development of Georgia. Many cities and towns, including Atlanta, were created because of the railroads. The first railroad chartered in Georgia was in 1832, created mostly by Athens businessmen who needed a better way to transport cotton to Augusta due to poor road conditions. In the 1840s and 50s, railroads had spread throughout so much of the state that it ranked in the top 10 for railroad track mileage. It had the most miles of track in the Deep South.

Atlanta was created as a railroad hub for the Western and Atlantic Railroad which ran from Chattanooga, Tennessee to a small hub called “Terminus” which means “end of the line.” Two other lines later connected with this line causing the city to grow more. The name was changed in 1843 to Marthasville after the daughter of former governor, Wilson Lumpkin. The name changed again in 1845 to Atlanta. Atlanta became America’s first major city to be built on a location without a navigable river.

Technological Developments

Creeks & Cherokees

One of the most tragic events in Georgia’s history was the removal of the Creek & Cherokee Indians from the state, ending with the Trail of Tears where over 4000 Cherokee died on a forced march from Georgia to Oklahoma.
The Creek Nation was a confederation of several southeastern tribes. They were the most populous tribe in the state and held the largest amount of land. They had been major trading partners with Georgia during the colonial period. Many Georgians intermarried with the Creek and were members of the tribe. Georgia had initially hoped the Creek would become part of the plantation economy. Some did, while others maintained their traditional lifestyle. Many opposed slavery.
Because the Creek chose to side with the British during the war, there was an unfriendly relationship with many Georgians. Due to the decrease in the animal population and desire for their land, many white Georgians pushed state and federal leaders for the Creek removal. With mounted pressure, many land cessions of Creek land occurred. One included the Treaty of New York in 1790 where Creek land east of the Ocmulgee River was ceded to the United States.
Civil war (Red Stick War) broke out among the Creeks in 1813. It was named after a faction of the Creek Nation who wanted to fight the white settlers for intruding on their land. Those that did not want to fight were called White Sticks. The war ended when Andrew Jackson led the defeat of the Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, which is present day Alabama. The Creek lost 22 million acres of land. In 1825, under the Treaty of Indian Springs, a Creek Chief named William McIntosh signed away the remainder of Creek land in Georgia after taking a bribe from an Indian agent. He was later killed by the Creek Indians for his actions.
The Cherokee lived in the North Georgia Mountains long before the Spanish explored. When the English settled in North Carolina & Georgia, they became trading partners. The Creek were loyal to the French and English while the Cherokee were loyal to the English only thus causing tension between the two tribes. During the Revolution, the Cherokee supported the English and fought against Americans even after the war ended, with hostilities finally ending in 1793.
Once there was peace, the Cherokee signed several treaties with the US government including one that led to the Federal Road being built through their land. The Cherokee believed their only way to maintain their land was to transform their society to resemble that of the US. They developed a written language, constitution and newspaper. Monrovian missionaries were invited to set up schools and an agricultural system that included the use of slavery was adopted. None of these changes stopped whites in Georgia from demanding their removal. Once gold was discovered in 1828, the push for their removal became greater.
In 1832, the Cherokee won the Supreme Court case Worchester v Georgia which stated that they were an independent nation and not subject to Georgia law. This win should have protected them. However, in 1835, a small group of Cherokee signed the Treaty of New Echota without permission of the Cherokee government. It was signed and approved by Andrew Jackson. In 1838, the Cherokee were forcefully removed from Georgia and suffered on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.

Substandard d. Analyze the events that led to the removal of Creek & Cherokee; including the roles of Alexander McGillivray, William McIntosh, Sequoyah, John Ross, Dahlonega Gold Rush, Worchester v. Georgia, Andrew Jackson, John Marshall & the Trail of Tears

Important People & Events

Sequoyah was the nickname of George Gist and meant “little lame one” in Cherokee. He was well known for creating the Cherokee Syllabary, the first written language for Native Americans. Much is unknown about him.

The traditional story of his life is as follows: He was born to a Cherokee mother and white father who was said to have been a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolution. He rejected white society and never learned English. Yet their ways of communication impressed him so much, that he created the Syllabary. He traveled throughout the Cherokee Nation to teach and promote its use. Within one generation, it was used by nearly all Cherokees.

In 1971, a Native American named Traveler Bird, who claimed to be Sequoyah’s descendant, wrote a book called Tell Them the Lie: The Sequoyah Myth. He claims Sequoyah was full blooded Cherokee who spoke many languages. He argued Sequoyah did not create Syllabary and that he was a scribe of a Cherokee language that had long been created. There are mixed feeling from Cherokee and historians alike in regards to the claims in this book.

Regardless of Sequoyah’s life, the Syllabary was important in Cherokee history. It was the 1st time an individual of an illiterate society created a widely accepted written language. It was the basis of the Cherokee newspaper The Cherokee Phoenix and used in the creation of a written Constitution. All in hopes to stay on their land.

Sequoyah moved to Oklahoma in 1829 and died either in Texas or Mexico. He was hoping to locate other Cherokee who moved to withdraw from the whites. Today, there are many schools and parks named in his honor. Sequoia trees, in California, are named for him as well.

William McIntosh was another Creek Chief with a Scottish father and Creek mother. He was 1st cousin to Georgia governor George Troop and related by blood or marriage to several prominent Georgia families. He angered his tribesmen by consistently siding with the US on many occasions. After the Red Stick War, the Creek Nation suffered through a terrible famine. McIntosh used this opportunity to regain his status in Creek society a US Indian agent. Through this alliance, he was able to get food and supplies to Creek in need.

McIntosh favored changing the traditional Creek lifestyle and promoted moving to agriculture and slaveholding. He led this lifestyle himself as owner of two plantations. He was ill favored by his people for this decision.

The final conflict between McIntosh and the Creek came when he signed the Second Treaty of Indian Springs where he agreed to sell the remainder of Creek land to Georgia without tribe consent for $200,000. He received extra cash for his own land in the treaty. The Creek considered this a bribe and ruled to execute McIntosh which was carried out on April 30, 1825 at his home. He was shot and stabbed to death.

Alexander McGillivray was a Creek Chief of dual linage. His mother was a Creek and father was a Scottish trader named Lachlan McGillivray. His father was a member of the Scottish Highlanders who came to Georgia on invitation of Oglethorpe. Alexander was considered a member of both cultures, therefore receiving an English education and leader of the Creek society.

During the Revolution, his father was loyal to the crown. Alexander fought for England. After the war, he focused on keeping as much Creek land as possible. He signed a treaty with Spain in 1784 which kept Georgia’s land ambition at bay. Eventually, Alexander signed the Treaty of New York with created friendship between the US and Creek Nation. It also ceded Creek land to the US. In return, the US promised to honor the boundaries of the remaining Creek land. He continued his role as the Creek national leader until his death in 1793.

John Ross was the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. He was born in present day Alabama and later moved to Georgia. He came from mixed heritage, spoke English and practiced European customs. He was a successful businessman (sold goods to the US government). He used his profits to buy a plantation and create a ferry business.

Ross used his wealth and connections to win government positions in the Cherokee Nation, including principal chief in 1827. This was the same time that white Georgians were lobbying to remove the Cherokee from the state. The discovery of gold ensured their removal in 1828.

Ross had faith that the US government, primarily the US Supreme Court, would protect his “civilized” tribe in the Southeast. When the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in Worchester v. Georgia, it seemed they would be able to stay. It declared them a sovereign nation, not under the jurisdiction of the US or the state of Georgia. The ruling, however, did not protect them because President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce it.

Ross continued to fight removal until 1838 when he negotiated a deal with the US government to pay for his moving expenses. This did not protect him or his family on the Trail of Tears. He lost his wife along the journey. Once in Oklahoma, he remained principal chief. His choice of sides in the Civil War did not sit well with the Cherokee in Oklahoma. He remained principal chief until his death.

The Dahlonega Gold Rush: It’s believed that in 1828, a young man named Benjamin Parks who was white tail deer hunting in North Carolina, kicked an unusual stone. The stone turned out to be a gold nugget. This find led to the gold rush in Dahlonega. Regardless of which story is told, gold was discovered and soon everyone knew about it. This did not work out well for the Cherokee.

Soon after the discovery, thousands of white miners came for Cherokee land and started settling there without permission. There were so many whites who wanted this land that a land lottery was held in Georgia in 1832. It did not matter that Cherokee still lived there. It was being allocated anyway. With a hunger and drive for gold, whites began to demand for their removal. They were removed in 1838 by the US Army in what became the Trail of Tears.

Gold was plentiful for 2 decades in and around Dahlonega. So much was found in 1838 that the government set up a mint which produced around 1.5 million gold coins. As time passed, the gold became more scarce in the area. In 1849, it was discovered in California, bringing thousands of Americans out west to find their fortunes. Thus ended the Dahlonega Gold Rush.

Worchester v. Georgia was a landmark court case that was supposed to protect the Cherokee Indians from removal. The Supreme Court’s decision declared the Cherokee Nation as sovereign and not subject to US or Georgia laws. Georgia could not interfere in their affairs. However, then president, Andrew Jackson, chose not to enforce the court’s ruling.

In this case, several missionaries, including Samuel Worchester, were living among the Cherokee without Georgia’s permission. They were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to 4 years hard labor in a Milledgeville prison.

The Cherokee Nation hired lawyers to represent the missionaries to appeal their sentencing. The Supreme Court ruled in their favor and Justice John Marshall condemned legislators for their actions. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling and Andrew Jackson decision to not enforce the ruling, Georgia kept them in prison and continue to push for Cherokee removal. In 1835, a small group of Cherokee signed a treaty and accepted the removal and the entire tribe was forced to leave the state.

Andrew Jackson and John Marshall played opposing roles in the Cherokee removal. Marshall ruled in favor of the missionaries and the Cherokee in Worchester v Georgia. He condemned Georgia for its actions, writing that Indian nations were “distinct, independent political communities retaining their original natural rights”.

Andrew Jackson, who fought with and against Native Americans, believed they should be moved to an Indian Territory. Researchers claim the main reason for Jackson wanting to remove the Indians was because of them siding with the British during the wars against the US. Some believe it’s because he was trying to pacify the South after his threat to invade South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis. Others say he was intensely racist against the Native Americans. Regardless of the reason, he did not meet his Constitutional requirements as president.

Trail of Tears: In 1838, after many court cases, petitions and treaties, President Martin Van Buren ordered the US Army to remove the Cherokee from Georgia. The army, led by General Whitfield Scott, rounded up as many Cherokee as they could find, putting them in temporary stockades. They were then forced to march to Oklahoma. It was named the “Trail of Tears” because the Cherokee were under supplied and lost over 4000 people due to disease and exposure.,cs_srgb,dpr_1.0,g_face,h_300,q_80,w_300/mtiwnja4njmzota4mjy2nta4.jpg

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