Historical Collections of Georgia
Containing the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc. Relating to its History and Antiquities, From its First Settlement To The present Time
Compiled From Original Records and Official Documents.
Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings of Public Buildings, Relics of Antiquity, Historic Localities, Natural Scenery, Portraits of Distinguished Men, Etc., Etc.
By The Rev. George White, M. A., Author of the "Statistics of Georgia." New-York: Pudney & Russell. Publishers.
No. 79 John Street.
THIS county was laid out in 1826; a part set off to Meriwether and Harris in 1827; and a part to Heard in 1830. Named after Governor Troup. Length, 28 m.; breadth, 24 m.; area square miles, 672.
The principal stream is the Chattahoochee, with numerous creeks as its tributaries.
The country is broken. The soil is productive, although much of it is worn. The productions are cotton, corn, wheat, &c. The climate is pleasant, and may be considered healthy, although in some seasons diseases are fatal.
For instances of old age'this county is remarkably distinguished. When the last census was taken, there were living, ROBERT BRADFORD, aged 80; W. C. BARKSDALE,80; SARAH CAMERON, 84; J. HENING, 80; Mrs. TIIMONS, 81; Mrs. GRAY, 82; LYDELL ESTIS, 87; MARTHA ESTIS, 80; POLLY 0. JOHNSON, 81; JULIA GALAIN, 83; NANCY LASSETER, 81; ANN KING, 80; ROBERT BOOTH, 82; Mr. DUGGER, 80; ANDERSON HARWELL, 81; MARGARET ANDERSON, 90; WM. STRONG, 95; HENRY WALSTON, 82; SIMON HUGHS, 85; P. HATCHER, 85; ORANGE DAVIS, 80; ELISABETH GOODY, 90; MARTHA STEPHENS, 88; FERRUBY HUBBARD, 86; JOHN PATTERSON, 82; AGNUS CARR, 80; ELISABETH SMITH, 87; THOMAS SNEDLEY, 82; JACOB REID, 80; HANNAH SCROGGINS, 80. MALDEN AMOS died at 99; WM. THOMASON, 92; JOSEPH JOHNSON, 80; Mrs. RALLINS, 92; FRANCES THORNTON, 108; Mr. POTTS, 95; a negro belonging to the Rev. Mr. Wilson, at 140; BENJ. HEMP, 100; Mrs. CLARA HARRIS, 85. The list might be increased, but our limits will not permit.
According to the census of 1850, there were in the county 1,295 dwellings; 1,333 families; 3,897 white males; 3,892 white females; 19 free coloured males; 23 free coloured females. Total free population, 7,831; slaves, 9,048. Deaths, 148. Farms, 789; manufacturing establishments, 8. Value of real estate, $1,225,250; value of personal estate, $2,820,230.
LA GRANGE is the countytown, 6 miles S. E. of the Chattahoochee
River, 130 miles W. of Milledgeville. Population, 1,500. Incorporated in 1828.
The schools of La Grange for many years have been highly celebrated. The Southern Female College of La Grange is situated in the eastern part of the town, presenting a commanding view from the railroad. The premises extend over a space of fifteen acres, shaded by a most beautiful native grove. This institution was founded in the year 1843; incorporated in 1849; number of professors and teachers, 10; average number of pupils, 200; expenses of board and tuition, per annum, from $165 to $220. It has been for ten years under the charge of Mr. Milton E. Bacon, A. M., who is its President and proprietor.
LA GRANGE FEMALE COLLEGE
The above institution was established in the year 1845, by Mr. Joseph T. Montgomery, who still presides over it. It began its career with twelve little girls, and for the last six years has averaged two hundred and forty pupils. The board of instruction is composed of professors and assistants to the number of fourteen. The course of study embraces the usual collegiate branches, except the Greek language, which, however, is taught to all who desire it. The library, apparatus, &c., are extensive, and quite sufficient for all the purposes of a college. The facilities for musical instruction are of a superior character, the department being always headed by artists of the highest worth and most distinguished reputation. There are two literary societies established for the intellectual improvement of their members. The college building has but few, if any, equals in the
South. The principal edifice is of granite, 120 feet long by 60 feet wide, and four stories high. Its cost was thirty-five thousand dollars. The entire investment for the outfit of the college has been seventyfive thousand dollars.
We cannot permit this opportunity to pass without expressing the opinion, that the unwearied exertions of Messrs. Montgomery and Bacon to promote the cause of education in Georgia, richly entitle them not only to the gratitude, but also to the support of her citizens.
There are schools for males in La Grange, of a high order of character.
Mountville is 9 miles from La Grange.
Harrisonville is 10 miles from La Grange.
Long Cane is 9 miles west of La Grange.
West Point is on both sides of the Chattahoochee. The town is connected by a bridge 550 feet long, built at a cost of $16,000.
Troup Factory is 10 miles S. E. of La Grange. Capital, $42,000.
Among the early settlers were, E. S. HARRIS, JOHN E. MORGAN, WM. H. COOPER, JOSEPH BIRD, JAMES CULVERSON, SILAS TATOM, W. C. MAYS, ROBERT HALL, ADAM and JOHN HARDEN, JAMES RINGER, JOHN FENDLEY, WM. J. STERLING, NICHOLAS JOHNSON, SAMUEL REID, JAMES HERRING, JOHN HERRING, HOWELL W. JENKINS, JAMES MATTOX, ARCHIBALD HARRIS, GIDEON RIDDLE, Colonel DAVID W. MORGAN, JEREMIAH ROBBINS, JAMES JONES, JOHN SIP, A. M. LANE, JAMES R. LAWS, JACOB GERARD, JOHN ADAMS, JAMES W. FANNIN, Sen., ISAAC Ross, General S. BAILEY, HENRY ROGERS, WM. DOUGHERTY, LEWIS MUCKLEROY, DAVID CULVERSON, H. L. WILKINSON, JOSEPHUS SPARKS, JAMES LOVE, ISAAC MITCHEILL, JOEL D. NEWSOME, JAMES FLOWERS, M. MATTOX, P. HIGHTOWER, W. HORTON, Dr. CHARLES CANNON, H. S. SMITH, JAMES AMos, GEO. H. TRAYLOR, Rev. C. W. KEY, JOHN E. GAGE, R. H. LANE, THOS. CAMERON, JOHN HILL. HON. EDWARD YOUNG HILL was born in Abbeville District, S. C., in 1821. When a lad, he was placed by an elder brother, now a citizen of Augusta, at Franklin College. After his education, he read law, and upon his admission to the bar, settled at Monticello, in Jasper County, where, in a short time, he placed himself at the head of his profession. His excellent understanding, his benevolent disposition, and his affable manners, led the people of Jasper to elect him their representative, and afterwards Senator. In the session of 1836, he bore a conspicuous part in the adoption of our great scheme of Internal Improvement, and gave to it all the aid of his talents. In 1838, he was elected a judge of the Ocmulgee Circuit. Judge Hill was a candidate for Governor, but was defeated by George W. Towns. He is distinguished for his faculty of attention and calm analysis. His unquestioned integrity, his pure impartiality, his entire freedom from all prejudices, and his abstinence from partisan activity, made his judicial administration very popular.
Hon. HUGH ANDERSON HARALSON was born in Greene County, Georgia, on the 13th of November, 1805. He was prepared for college under teachers of high reputation, was graduated at our State University in 1825, and immediately commenced the study of law. The Legislature passed a special act, authorizing him to practise before he was twenty-one.
He first entered upon his profession at Monroe, Walton County, and afterwards removed to La Grange, where he has since resided. In 1831 and 1832, he was elected to the Legislature. In 1837 and 1838, he was elected to the Senate of Georgia. As Major-General, he offered his services to the Governor of the State, and afterwards to the President of the United States, after the commencement of the Mexican War. In 1842, 1844, 1846, he was elected a member of Congress. In 1847, he was Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, and has at all times stood forth in defence of the army. For a full account of this gentleman, the reader can refer to the History of Congress, by Henry G. Wheeler, page 251, from which the above facts were gathered.
THE following incidents were taken from an old newspaper:THE BURNT VILLAGE: A TALE OF THE INDIAN WARS.-The Burnt Village lies six or eight miles west of La Grange, in the county of Troup, on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River, where the great Wehadka Creek pours its waters into that river. Previous to the year 1793, it was the great central point of the Muscogee nation, the crossing-place of all the trading and marauding parties of that nation west of the Chattahoochee, where the untamed savages met to arrange and mature their plans for making those nocturnal attacks upon the helpless and unprotected settlers on the outskirts of the white settlements, by which consternation and dismay were spread throughout the land; and the sparse population of the country at that time, for mutual safety, was forced to concen, trate in forts, hastily thrown up on the borders; the place where the scalp, with its crimsoned tresses of many a maid and matron, and the flaxen locks of the little blue-eyed boy, have been the cause of deep savage exultation, as the warrior in triumph would pile the blood-stained trophies, and describe to the half-astonished and delighted women and children of the forest, the dying shrieks and screams of the slaughtered victims.
It was after one of those predatory excursions of the Creek Indians into the settlements of the whites-and the ashes of many a building and murdered family told of their prowess-that other plans of murder and plunder had been arranged, and the warriors of the nation had assembled at the little town of which we are speaking, to the number of several hundred, to celebrate the Green Corn Dance, as was their custom, and to take the black drink, an ablution deemed necessary to reconcile the, Great Spirit to the enterprise, in which they were about to engage. A few hundred men, under the command of Colonel M. and Major Adams, who had volunteered and resolved to strike a blow at the heart of the nation, arrived within a few miles of the river, and waited for the setting of the sun to advance to its bank, to cross and take the enemy by surprise.
Night came, and they were halted in silence on the bank of the river opposite the Indian town. All was hushed and still as death �not a sound was heard save the savage yell and war-whoop of the Indian, with occasionally a monotonous war-song, bursting forth amid the revelry, in which all ages and sexes seemed to join. The moon had begun to shed a dim light through piles of clouds, and the water, breaking over the rocks, had the appearance of the ghosts of the murdered whites, calling on their brethren upon the bank to take signal vengeance, or admonishing them of great danger; and many were there who heard sounds in the air-strange meanings,'and screams of "Beware."
But there was amongst them one who was unappalled. The night was far spent, and the noise from the other bank had ceased-the voice of the wearied Indian was hushed and still-all had sunk to rest, or the little army had been discovered. Not a sound was heard save the rippling of the stream:atwas a solemn pause; but time was precious, the blow must be struck, or all would be lost.
It was proposed to Colonel M. and Major Adams to cross the river and ascertain the situation of the Indians, so as to be able to lead their little band to certain victory. Colonel M. declined the hazardous enterprise. Major Adams resolved to go, and sought a companion; but he had nearly despaired of finding one who would volunteer to share his dangers, when a small and very feeble man, whose name was Hill, advanced from the ranks and proposed to accompany him.
Major Adams and his companion set out together; but the force of the current soon overpowered the brave Hill, and swept him down the stream. Major Adams sprang to his relief, and at the imminent hazard of his own life, rescued his friend from a watery grave; with his athletic arms he buffeted the rapid current, and bore the exhausted Hill to the bank which they had left. He then set out alone. The ford which he had to pass was narrow and difficult-making in a direct line across the river, nearly half way, opposite which was an island; it then turned down the stream a quarter of a mile or more, over rocks and shoals, sometimes scarcely knee deep, then up to the neck �and the trunks and limbs of old trees, which had drifted upon the island, with the dim light of the moon shining through clouds, cast upon them, had the appearance of so many savages ready to pounce upon their victim; but with a firm step Major Adams proceeded, and soon reached the bank in safety.
The town was situated on,he edge of the river swamp, about three hundred yards from the water, and so numerous and intricate were the paths leading in every direction fiom the ford into the swamp, and the darkness produced by the thick undergrowth was so great, that when he reached the hill, or dry land, he discovered by the fire around which the Indians had kept their revels and dance, shooting up, occasionally, a meteoric blaze, that he was far. below the point at which he aimed. Bending his course cautiously along the margin of the swamp, he soon reached the border of the town; an Indian dog seemed to be the only sentinel, and after a few half growls and barkings, as though he had but dreamed, sunk away into perfect quiet. In a few moments he was in the centre of the town. In addition to those in the cabins, innumerable warriors, with their rifles and tomahawks in their arms, lay stretched and snoring in every direction; the earth was literally covered with them.
Major Adams examined the fastenings of the cabin doors, by running his hand through the cracks and feeling the log of wood or the peg by which they were secured. He was convinced that no alarm had been given, and that the Indians did not, suspect an enemy was so near. A huge savage, close to whom he was passing, raised himself upon his elbow, grasped his rifle, and looked around, as though he heard, or dreamed he heard, strange footsteps. Major Adams perceiving him stir, threw himself down amidst a group of snoring Indians; the warrior perceiving nothing unusual, concluded he had dreamed, and again sunk into the arms of sleep. Our hero proceeded cautiously, examining with a military eye every point of attack and defence, arranged his plans, and was returning to the anxious army on the other bank of the river. His exertion in crossing the river had been great-he was fatigued, and perceiving an Indian pony tied to a sapling, and believing that the little animal would pursue the ford to which it was most accustomed, and probably show him one less difficult than that at which he had crossed, he resolved to ride it over the river. He did not perceive the bell which hung around its neck �frightened at his approach, it snapped the rope of bark with which it was fastened, and scampered off through the town with a hundred dogs at its heels, whose yells and the tingling bell produced a frightful roar through the wilderness. The clattering of Indian voices was heard in every direction. Major Adams sprang towards the river, but missed his path, and found himself surrounded by the briers and thick undergrowth of the river swamp. The Indians passed within a few paces of the place where he stood, half suspended by the briers, in the air; and returning from their fruitless search, he thought he heard them speak of strange sights and sounds, such as were told in Rome of the fall of " Great Cesar.? They returned, and again slept.
Major Adams proceeded in a direct line to the river, glided into the stream, and swam quietly and safely to the other bank. He told what he had seen, and stated his plans of attack. The little army listened, amazed and delighted with their gallant leader; each individual felt that the danger to which he had exposed himself was that theirs might be lessened, and with one voice, when orders were given to march, declared that they would be led by no other commander than their own intrepid Adams. Colonel M. was forced to yield. They were led across by Major Adams, and it is needless to say, to victory, without the loss of a man.
Scarcely a warrior escaped. The town was burned; but as far as possible, the women and children, of even the savages, were saved.
Posts may yet be seen standing in the midst of the saplings grown up where the town was burned, which are the only remains that serve to point out to the traveller the place where stood the Burnt Village.