Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at the founding and general history of southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
The Rev. Thomas Adiel Sherwood, in his geographical “Gazetteer of the State of Georgia” (1827), wrote that Georgia had three very different physical regions: the area above the 35th parallel; the area between the 35th and the 33rd parallels; and the area below the 33rd parallel.
As to Bulloch County, Statesboro itself lay at 32 degrees north latitude, placing it on an approximate parallel with the modern cities of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Hamilton, Bermuda; Isfahan, Iran, and even Benghazi in Libya.
Bishop Davenport, in his book “A New Gazetteer or Geographical Dictionary of North America” (1833) described the new “Bullock County.” Davenport wrote, “Bullock County (is) bounded by Bryan SE., Tatnall SW., Emanuel NW., and Scriven and Effingham NE.”
According to Davenport, the county was approximately 45 miles long and 12 miles wide and encompassed an area of 540 square miles. He listed the “chief town” as “Statesborough.”
Davenport recorded that according to the latest figures (1830 census), the population of “Bullock County” included “1,933 whites and 653 colored, for a total population of 2,586.”
Morse had written that the local indians were known as the “Creeks” because of their habits of building their villages alongside the state's creeks. The area, he wrote, had a Native American population of 17,280 people, of whom 5,360 were warriors.
As for Bulloch County’s crops, he listed “rice, maize, potatoes, beans, peas and cabbages.” He also wrote of large numbers of “tame cattle, hogs, turkies, ducks and other poultry” being raised by Georgia's residents.
Davenport, in his atlas, added that there were being grown “melons in great perfection, figs in plenty, oranges, pomegranates, olives, lemons, limes, citrons, pears and peaches...and grapes of large size and excellent flavor.”
Georgia’s population increased dramatically. Whereas in 1790 there were 82,548 people living in the state, it kept increasing: in 1800, to 162,686; in 1810, to 252,433; in 1820, to 344,773; and in 1830, to 516,823. In 1840, 691,392 people called Georgia home.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at email@example.com.