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shot and bayonetted many citizens in the streets, and imprisoned others on board. the English ships. British rule, with all the rigor of military law, was enforced until an evacuation was rendered expedient by the success of American arms elsewhere.
There is one history-picture which the memory of Savannah's trials during the Revolution should ever bring to mind, a picture which has in it the sparkle of French color, and which may serve as a noble remembrancer of French gallantry and generosity. In the dull and dreadful days of 1779, when English rule had become all but intolerable, a superb fleet one day in September anchored off Tybee, and the amazed English saw the French colors displayed above twenty ships of the line and eleven frigates, commanded by Count D'Estaing, sent by the King of France to aid the struggling Americans. Five thousand of the best soldiers of the French army, united with such as the American government could muster, laid vigorous siege to the town; troops were landed, and lively attacks were made upon the British positions by the combined forces; a strong bombardment was kept up for some time; but the besiegers were finally compelled to withdraw, leaving the unfortunate town to the mercies of the enraged English. In this long and brave assault, which lasted nearly two months, the chivalrous Pulaski, who had devoted himself to the cause of American liberty, lost his life, and here, fighting to save the beloved flag which he had grown to cherish more than life, perished Sergeant Jasper, who had already immortalized himself by keeping the American colors, at imminent risk of death, still waving over the battlements of Fort Moultrie in Charleston harbor, in the thick of a terrific bombard
Savannah was, in her early history, one of the most patriotic of American towns. She not only produced men renowned for bravery and true chivalric qualities, but she took every occasion to demonstrate her faith in the Union. She received the new president, Washington, with joyous enthusiasm, gave Lafayette an overwhelming welcome, and during his visit laid the corner-stones of two handsome monuments, which are to-day counted among the city's treasures-those to Pulaski and
"The Forest City," as the Georgians
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, SAVANNAH.
affectionately call it, is situated on a sandy plain, only fifty feet above sea level, and eighteen miles from the mouth of the Savannah river. From the Northern bank stretch away the vast lowland rice fields of South Carolina, once under perfect cultivation, but now only here and there cultured, and serving mainly as the homes of a mass of ignorant and dissolute negroes. The city to-day is simply the amplification of the old plan of Oglethorpe and the trustees. It is divided by many wide streets and lanes which intersect at right angles, and there are many large squares at regular distances. There is little noise of wheels or clatter of hoofs in the upper town; the streets are filled with a heavy black sand over which dray and carriage alike go noiselessly; one wanders in a kind of dream through the pretty squares, so gay in their dress of flowering shrubs and tall and graceful trees: it is a city through which he moves, yet as tranquil and beautiful as a village. The winter climate is delicious; the cold weather lasts hardly six weeks; many flowers bloom in the open air from November to April; in February the jessamine and
the peach tree are radiant with blossoms; and a wholesome sea-breeze continually sweeps inland. In summer, that is, from April to November, there is a mild malaria in the atmosphere, but it has been much modified during the last quarter century, and the visitations of yellow fever have been rare. Savannah certainly possesses the advantage of an equable temperature, for during ten months of the year, the range is from 70 to 92 degrees. Situated at the northern limit of the tropics, not far from the Gulf Stream, the mean temperature is the same as that of Gibraltar, Bermuda, Palermo, Shanghai, or Sydney. The Northern invalids who have been restored to health by a winter or two in Savannah number hundreds.
gossiping rapturously of middlings low, and profits possible.
Savannah's progress since the war has not been less remarkable than that of the whole State. The recuperation of its railroad system has been astonishing. Sherman's army, in its march to the sea, destroyed one hundred and ten miles of the Georgia Central Railroad track between Savannah and Macon, and thirty-nine miles between Savannah and Augusta. The military authorities returned the road to the control of its directors, June 22, 1865, and early in 1866 it was reconstructed so as to answer the public demand. This immense corporation at present operates in its interest, with its tributaries, 1545 miles of railway. It extends from Savannah to Macon, thence by the South-western and Muscogee road to the thriving cottonspinning town of Columbus, thence by the Columbus and Opelika route to Opelika, a brisk manufacturing town in Alabama, thence to Montgomery, and through Selma gets an unbroken rail communication with the Mississippi River at Vicksburg. This, it is expected, will be the connecting point of the Southern Pacific route with the roads
The levee of Savannah is as picturesque, though not as extensive, as that of New Orleans. Looking down from the bluff, along whose summit "the Bay," the principal commercial avenue, runs, one sees a forest of masts; a mass of warehouses not unhandsomely grouped; cotton-presses, surrounded by active chattering toilers; long processions of mule-teams, crowds of sailors talking in every known language, rice mills, high mysterious stairways, with wond-leading to the Atlantic coast. The Cenrous effects of light and shade on their tral's connections also give Savannah dibroad steps, winding walls, and railroad rect communication with New York and wharfs. Along the water front the busi- Memphis, via the Atlanta and Chattanooga ness blocks are so constructed that they route, and connection at Augusta with the rise above the bluff, and are connected with South Carolina road. From Macon it Bay Street by means of platforms and bal- sends out another arm to grasp Atlanta,— conies, from which one can look down, as the Macon and Western road,-and there, from housetops, on the busy life of the also, connects with the Georgia Railroad port. The few buildings which the great to Eufaula, Alabama, whence, by steamers fire of 1820 spared give an air of quaint- on the Chattahoochee River, it secures ness and age to the whole. an outlet to the Gulf of Mexico. It is interested in a host of small local lines, and has, indeed, spread an almost perfect network over the State, contributing, in the highest degree, to the prosperity of Georgia, by the superb facilities which it has afforded for transportation of products. On its trunk lines, during harvest, immense cotton trains run night and day, bringing to Savannah the fleeces plucked from the fields of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The Central has long been a banking as well as a railroad company, and has always paid large dividends. The railroad interest in Georgia is secondary to none other but agriculture. The various companies, great and small, are managed with much ability, and new projects for local and through routes are rarely received with disfavor. Savannah is somewhat excited over the pos
As we walked, day by day, through the Savannah streets, late in autumn, we were amazed at the masses of cotton bales piled everywhere. They lined the commercial avenues for hundreds and hundreds of rods; down by the water side they were heaped in mammoth piles, and the processions of drays seemed endless. The huge black ships swallowed bale after bale, gaping for more; the clank of the hoistingcrane was heard from morning till night. At the great stone Custom House the talk was of cotton; at the quaint old "Exchange," in front of which Sherman reviewed his army in 1865, cotton was the theme; and in all the offices from end to end of long and level Bay Street, we encountered none save busy buyers and factors, worshiping the creamy staple, and
sibilities of the completion of the Southern Pacific route to San Diego, in California, as the surveys have shown her to be the nearest Eastern port on an air line from the Pacific terminus.*
The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad is another important feeder to Savannah. It is the main thoroughfare connecting Savannah with Florida, Southern and Southwestern Georgia, and Eastern Alabama, and extends to Bainbridge, on Flint River, 237 miles from Savannah. From Lawton to Live Oak runs a branch road connecting the Florida system with that of Georgia -at present the only Northern outlet for the dwellers in the flowery Peninsula. A road from Macon crosses the Atlantic and Gulf route fifty-six miles from Savannah, and gives Brunswick, which was at one time expected to be a great city, an important outlet by land. The Savannah and Charleston railroad, completely destroyed during the war, has been rebuilt, but is so poorly stocked that it is a penance to ride over it, although the lowland scenery through which it runs is among the most exquisite in the Atlantic States. The grand cane-brakes, unsubdued and seemingly impenetrable, extending on either side the track for miles; the stretch of lovely field, with the fawn and rabbit bounding across it; the odorous
Savannah would be, by shortest distance from San Diego, 2,070 miles; Charleston, 2,184; Norfolk, 2,331. The completion of a Southern Pacific railway will certainly add immensely to the commercial importance of Savannah.
forest, with its stately avenues of pine; the little villages of the gatherers of naval stores; the mossy boughs, and tangled vines, the muddy-colored rivers, and the marshes filled with wildest masses of decaying vegetation-all add to the charm.
The numerous steamship lines from Savannah to Liverpool, New York, Philadelphia and Boston, carry away enormous quantities of cotton, and if the needed improvements at the mouth of the river were made, the commerce of the port would be very much increased. The entrance is considered one of the easiest on the Southern coast, the bar having a depth of nineteen feet of water upon it at mean low tide, and a rise of seven feet on the flood; but it is now necessary that the obstructions placed in the stream in war time be removed, and that extensive dredging be accomplished.
The total amount of upland cotton exported from Savannah in American vessels from July 1, 1865, to June 30th, 1872, was 704,373 bales, or 323,202,812 pounds, valued at $59,537,460: total amount of seaisland cotton exported in American vessels, 12,437 bales, valued at $2,062,576. In foreign vessels during the same period, 1,292,979 bales of upland cotton, valued at $124,562,590, and 21,899 bales of seaisland cotton, valued at $4,057,708, were exported. The coastwise trade was also very large, amounting to 1,539,560 bales of upland, and 40,574 bales of sea-island
The value of both exports and imports since 1866 has been as follows:
and in 1873 they did not fall short of the amount in 1872. Savannah and Charleston are rivals in the cotton trade, and the newspapers of the two cities fight at every opportunity with an eager fierceness. Savannah is now receiving more than seven hundred thousand bales of cotton yearly. The crop of Georgia alone, I should say, is rather more than that in successful years; and, at the rate at which the production in the regions tributary to the Forest City is increasing, she will soon rank with New Orleans. There is an enormous disparity between the amount of exports and imports; most of the vessels which enter the port of Savannah are compelled to go there in ballast. If cotton were taken away from the town, there would be little vivacity left. The aim of the port is to control the cotton of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and it is entered in the lists as a formidable competitor with Charleston for supremacy. A flourishing cotton exchange, earnest merchants and manufacturers, and certain advantages of location, are doing much to place Savannah first among the Southern Atlantic cities.
There is a constant drain of emigration from the poorer districts of Georgia, as from Alabama, and, indeed, from most of the cotton states. Hundreds of poor whites, unable to make a living from the worn-out soil, under the new order of things, fly to Texas. Yet Georgia certainly does not grow weaker. Her material progress is in the highest degree encouraging. The valuation, in 1858, counting the slaves as capital, was over six hundred millions of dollars; the revolution decreased it to $148,122,525, on a gold basis, in 1866. The commonwealth had been racked literally to its center by the invasion and support of a merciless army. She was weighted down so heavily that recovery seemed impossible. Yet she grew in strength and prosperity year by year thenceforward. In 1872 she returned a valuation in gold of $213,160,808, a substantial increase in six years of nearly seventy-five millions in currency. In other words she increased her wealth by about the total gold value of all her lands-some thirty millions of
acres. This liberal increase was accomplished despite a decrease in the number of laborers, for although the aggregate population had increased since the war, there were only 114,999 laborers reported in 1871, while in 1866 there were 139,988. In 1872 the number had still further decreased, and it is estimated that in six years nearly thirty thousand laborers have been lost to the state.* But the improved methods of culture, and the use of powerful fertilizers, as well as the influence of an energetic spirit which perhaps distinguishes the Georgian above his neighbors of the other States, have enabled the lessened number of workers to do what few dared to predict as possible. It is estimated that in six years and a half the increase in the total value of the property of the state has been 44 per cent. It is to be regretted that the legislators of a com
*The population of Georgia, in 1860, was 1,057,286, divided into 591,550 whites, 2500 free and 462,198 slave blacks. In 1870, the population was 1,200,609; number of blacks, 545,132.
THE PULASKI MONUMENT, SAVANNAH.
prospects by ominously talking of repudiation. Now that the majority of the plantations are in good condition; now that the farming implements destroyed in the war have been replaced; now that the quantity of live stock in all sections has been nearly doubled since 1867; and that the planters look confidently forward to the time when Georgia shall produce a million bales yearly,-in spite of all the drawbacks and failures of an imperfect and vexatious labor system,-it is hardly wise to threaten the state's credit with destruction, because of the irregularities which the government, inaugurated by reconstruction, brought into existence. With caution in future, and with some check upon the multitude of railway schemes which constantly arise, Georgia can lightly carry all the debt she has contracted, until she is ready to throw it off. Railroad building and speculation have always been passions dear to the Georgian heart; and within thirty years more than forty millions of dollars were invested in lines built in the State.
So feverish has become the railroad mania that there is a class who are in favor of an inhibition of State aid to works of internal improvement, and who would be glad to see a clause to that effect inserted in the constitution. It is expected that
in due time a convention will be called for the purpose of altering the constitution in many ways, as the Georgia conservative press and politicians are clamorous for one to take the place of "the instrument dignified with that name and forced upon the people by Federal intervention."
Autumn-time in Georgia, when harvest is nearly over, is brisk and redolent of inspiring gayety. In the last days of November the towns and cities are filled with the planters from hundreds of miles roundabout; money flows plentifully; at Savannah there are agricultural fairs, races, reviews of the fine military organizations which the city boasts, balls, and wassail. The halls of the Screven and the Pulaski, Savannah's two prime hotels, echo to the cheery laugh of the tall and handsome planter, as well as to the cough of the Northern invalid. On a bright day in December, when a stiff breeze is blowing through the odorous foliage, Savannah presents an aspect of gayety and vivacity which is hardly Southern in character. Elegant equipages dash along the hard white roads leading to the pretty river-side resort known as "Thunderbolt," or the somber, mystical aisles of the "Bonaventure" cemetery. Where the Tatnalls once lived in regal splendor, Savannah now buries its dead. There are many fine monuments in the forest cemetery, but no marble can vie in beauty and grandeur with the mighty yet graceful live oaks which spread their arched boughs and superb foliage. From Bonaventure one may look out across the lowlands traversed by estuaries, along which steamers crawl on the inland route to Florida; or may stray into cool pineries; then returning, may find himself beneath such lofty domes, or such broad and majestic aisles, whose pavements are of tesselated sun and shade, that he may start with surprise when, awaking from his day-dream, he discovers that he is not wandering in some giant cathedral. The inhabitants of Savannah have the delights of sea-bathing and sea air within a few miles of town at such pretty resorts as the "Thunderbolt," the Isle of Hope, Beaulieu. Montgomery, and White Bluff.
From the steeple of the venerable Exchange one can get, here and there, glimpses of Savannah's especial curiosities. On Bull street he can see the Masonic Hall, where the ordinance of secession was passed in 1861; and, piercing the foliage, the tall