In the years after the American Revolution, Georgia experienced a period of infrastructure building, increased economic growth, and the associated movement of its state capital. As settlers expanded westward seeking opportunity and Native Americans were forcefully compressed into the same limited territories, relationships among these culturally diverse groups became increasingly tense.
Abraham Baldwin lived only fifty three years. But in that time he was a lawyer, Yale graduate, state legislator, army chaplain, signer of the U.S. Constitution, House Representative, Senator, and founder and president of a university. One of his greatest legacies was forcing the Constitutional Convention into the Great Compromise creating a bicameral legislature for representation of the states in America's federal system.
Robbie Ethridge, a University of Georgia graduate student, Dr. Ray Rensi of North Georgia College, Bill Kinsland, owner of the Hometown Bookstore in Dahlonega, and University of Georgia professor Dr. Charles Hudson discuss how new people poured into central and north Georgia wanting to own land. The forces eventually driving Indian removal were largely economic.
Just ten years after the Articles of Confederation was drawn up in 1777, representatives met in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution. Georgia sent four men, most notably University of Georgia founder Abraham Baldwin, who played a critical role in what came to be known as the “Great Compromise.”
West Georgia College professor Dr. Carol Scott and North Georgia College professor Dr. Ray Rensi discuss how colonial settlers had little need for money as currency was required only when goods were needed that came from elsewhere. During the Dahlonega gold rush, miners did not know how much of their nuggets or gold dust was pure gold. The U.S. Mint opened a Dahlonega branch in 1838, that remained in business, stamping gold coins, until 1861 when the Civil War began. But the mint never reopened. It was gone along with the easy-to-find gold.
From 1828 to 1860, the Cherokee people were led by the remarkable Native American John Ross. Ross presided over the birth of Cherokee Nation, the removal of his people from their homeland, and the founding of a new nation in a distant place.
Ranger Frankie Mewborn guides visitors on a tour of the New Echota Historic Site in Gordon County, which preserves what is left of the Cherokee capital. In 1835 Cherokee leaders signed the Treaty of New Echota requiring the Cherokees to leave the southeast.
Frank Moon, a fifth generation gold prospector, local Dahlonega bookstore owner Bill Kinsland, and Dr. Ray Rensi at Dahlonega’s North Georgia College describe how news of the discovery of gold in north Georgia spread as quickly as a lightening strike and prospectors poured in just as fast. The boomtown of Auraria sprung up to accommodate miners, but later mining activities centered in Dahlonega, Georgia.
Creek Indian Jay McGirt discusses William McIntosh, son of a Creek woman and a Scotsman, who fought with the Americans during the War of 1812 and was given the rank of general. On February 12, 1825, Chief McIntosh signed a treaty at Indian Springs selling the remaining Creek land in Georgia. A reenactor describes his execution by his own people based on an eyewitness account.
Mavis Doering, Ramona Bear Taylor, and Creek Indian Jay McGirt recall Cherokee Indians being rounded up by U.S. soldiers under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott and herded into stockades for the four month long walk to Oklahoma known as the Trail of Tears.
Don Berryhill, science specialist with the Okefenokee Regional Education Service Agency, guides students in a canoe through the Okefenokee Swamp and points out many unique species in this specialized ecosystem. Bill Cribbs, a descendant of a farmer who came to the Okefenokee in the late 1800s, and park ranger Pete Griffin describe life in the swamp when people worked at the Hebard Lumber Company. Like any mysterious place, legends abound, Cribbs and Griffin have a few stories to tell.
The transformations of the first four decades of the twentieth century are detailed, from technological and industrial changes to forces that moved Georgians from a rural to a more urban...
From Hernando de Soto’s earliest journey through the southeast to the years after the French and Indian War, Georgia developed thriving cities, a bustling port, and a culture influenced by Spanish, French, British, and Native American societies.