The minister of Charleston's Congregational Church, Jedidiah Morse, was a renowned gazetteer. In the 1812 edition of his “American Universal Geography,” or a “View of the Present State of all the Kingdoms, States, and Colonies in the Known World,” Bulloch County makes its first appearance.
Morse, the father of Samuel Morse, who invented “Morse Code” wrote that the population of the new Bulloch County in 1810 was 2,305 people, of whom 1,879 were free and 426 were slaves. Bishop Davenport, in his 1833 book “A New Gazetteer or Geographical Dictionary of North America” also included a description of the new “Bullock County.”
“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.
Listing 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.
According to Morse, most of the Indian tribes in the area belonged to the Muskogee tribe, commonly called the “Creek Nation” because of their habits of building their villages alongside the state's numerous creeks and rivulets. He gave their population as being a total of 17,280, of whom 5,360 were their warriors.
As for the crops and livestock being grown or raised in the Wiregrass and coastal areas of Georgia, Morse lists the following: “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 adds to this list the wide array of fruits found now being grown in Georgia. These included: “melons in great perfection, figs in plenty, oranges, pomegranates, olives, lemons, limes, citrons, pears, and peaches...and grapes of large size and excellent flavor.”
The layout of the city of Savannah, the largest in the state, resembled a gigantic parallelogram. The city's ten squares, each comprising an acre of property, had in the center of each a watering pump for the use of nearby residents.
Ever the immigrant center, Savannah's population rose ever so dramatically: that the total population rose from 2,300 citizens in 1787, to 5,235 residents in 1810. Of these, 2,490 were free whites, 550 were free blacks, and 2,195 were slaves.
The capital of the state at this time was Milledgeville, in Baldwin County, on the banks of the Oconee River. In addition to being the seat of government, Milledgeville was also where crops were sent to be shipped downriver to Darien. It had a population of 1,246 residents in 1810.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger email@example.com