Colonial Augusta

Augusta, Georgia was first used by Native Americans as a place to cross the Savannah River, because of Augusta's location on the fall line. In 1736 , two years after James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, he sent a detachment of troops on a journey up the Savannah River. He gave them an order to build at the head of the navigable part of the river. The job fell into the hands of Noble Jones, who created the settlement to provide a first line of defense against the Spanish and the French. Oglethorpe then named the town Augusta, in honor of Princess Augusta, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales. The town was laid out on the flat slopes of the Savannah River, just east of the sand hills that would come to be known as Summerville. The townspeople got along peacefully most of the time with the surrounding tribes of Creek, Yuchi and Shawnee Indians. The Shawnees in the region were known as the Savano Indians. The name of the Savannah River is an Anglicization of their tribal name. In 1739, construction began on a road to connect Augusta to Savannah. This made it possible for people to reach Augusta by horse, rather than by boat, and more people began to migrate inland to Augusta. Later, in 1750, Augusta's first church, Saint Paul's, was built near Fort Augusta. It became the leader of the local parish. While slavery was originally banned in the colony by James Oglethorpe,[1] it soon became an integral part of Georgia's history.[2] Under Georgia's new constitution, a new political structure was laid out in 1777; Augusta's parish government

was replaced by a county government, Richmond County, named after the Duke of Richmond. A fall line (or fall zone) is the geomorphologic break [1] between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock.[2] A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls. Many times a fall line will recede upstream as the river cuts out the uphill dense material, often forming c-shaped waterfalls. Because of these features riverboats typically cannot travel any farther inland without portaging, unless locks are built there. On the other hand, the rapid change in elevation of the water, and the resulting energy release, makes the fall line a good location for water mills, grist mills, and sawmills. Because of the need for a river port leading to the ocean, and a ready supply of water power, settlements often develop where rivers cross a fall line. Richmond County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is one of the original counties of Georgia, created February 5, 1777. As of the 2010 census, the population was 200,549.[1] Following an election in 1995, the city of Augusta (the county seat) consolidated governments with Richmond County. The consolidated entity is known as Augusta-Richmond County, or simply Augusta. The cities of Hephzibah and Blythe in southern Richmond County voted to remain separate and not consolidate. The county is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area of Georgia and South Carolina.

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Updated in February 2013