History


Columbia county was created 10 December 1790 and 5 March 1856 by taking land from Richmond County. It also took land from McDuffie county on 23 August 1872. Columbia gave up land to Warren County 19 December 1793 and again gave up land to McDuffie County on 18 October 1870 and 23 August 1872.

COLUMBIA, a county in the east part of Georgia, bordering on Savannah river, which separates it from South Carolina, contains about 500 square miles. The Little River forms the boundary on the north-west. The surface is uneven; the soil was once fertile, but has been injured by improvident cultivation. Cotton and maize are the chief productions. In 1850 this county produced 11,336 bales of cotton; 434,777 bushels of corn; 94,641 of oats; and 78,115 of sweet potatoes. There were 3 saw mills, 1 agricultural implement manufactory, and 1 tannery; 20 churches, and 490 pupils attending academies and other schools. The county contains granite, hornblende, and other primary rocks. A gold mine near Little river has been worked profitably. The Georgia railroad passes through the county. Formed in 1790, having been separated from Richmond county. Capital, Appling. Population, 11,959, of whom 3689 were free, and 8270, slaves.


Columbia County is situated to the north and west of Augusta, Georgia. The 1820 U.S. census reports Columbia County as being “41miles long on the stage road by 30 wide....great part by actual measurement. The eastern edge of the county is bordered by the Savannah River which acts to separate Georgia from South Carolina. Columbia County ran to the west, at least as far as Thomson, Georgia. However, the 1870 State Legislature narrowed Columbia by making the town of Thomson the county seat for a new McDuffie County. To the south of Columbia County is Richmond County and to the north of Columbia County is Lincoln County.

Beginning in the 1770’s, numerous people begin crossing the Savannah River and migrating into Columbia County. Frequently, the settlers were from Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland or simply the older colonies. Some of the original settlers acquired their lands by headrights or bounty land grants. After February 17, 1783, State Legislation was passed which provided each head of the household headrights. A married man could obtain 200 acres, plus 50 additional acres for each member of his family and each slave at a cost of from one to four shillings per acre.

Bounty land grants were made to veterans of the Revolutionary War in lieu of monetary compensation for military service. Grants were limited to 1,000 acres and the applicant was required to live on the total acreage. The individual could then apply to the Governor’s office for the grant and pay all necessary fees.
The grant would then be issued and recorded.

During the late 1700’s or early 1800’s, what appears to be a very popular location to catch the ferry from South Carolina over to Georgia was a place located in the northeast corner of Columbia County just below Keg Creek; or just below what is known today as Clarks Hill Lake. The road leading from the ferry down to the Village of Appling, the present county seat, was called Scott’s Ferry Road. Today the road continues to maintain the name or to be referred to as Interstate Highway 221. Since Samuel C Scott owned the Georgia land at the ferry crossing; as late as 1806, and because the ferry was known as Scott’s Ferry, it is probable the road was named after him. After arriving in Georgia by ferry and traveling west along Scott’s Ferry Road, the first major road intersecting Scott’s Ferry Road and running north to south would be a road named Petersburg Road. Petersburg Road virtually led down to Augusta, Georgia. Only two small sections of Petersburg Road remain today.....the northern tip extending from Clarks Hill Lake to Scott’s Ferry Road and the southern tip located on the outskirts of Augusta, Georgia., the remainder having been vacated by the timber industry.

The area surrounding Scott’s Ferry Road and Petersburg Road was a very popular place in the early 1800’s. The original settlers were not only friends and neighbors, but their children often married each other. Consequently, people would often be related to their neighbor in some form or fashion. In 1820, the area east of Petersburg Road and over towards the Savannah River was known as “District Number 2”. Families listed in the district at that time were: Thomas Benning, Benjamin Berry, John Garnett, Joshua Foster, William Pulliam, Reuben Luke, John Avery, Humphrey Evans, John Lyon, William Meriwether, Edmond Lyon, Pleasant Benning, James Toole,Joseph Germany, James Alexander, Reuben Willingham, John Eubank, Alexander Pearre and Thomas Lyon.

The area around the intersection of Scott’s Ferry Road and Petersburg Road was known as District Number 3. In articles written by Dr. H. R.Casey for the Columbia Sentinel in 1883, Dr. Casey mentions District number 3 as being famous in the flush times of Columbia County and certainly stopping at Luke’s Store" for “a little fun and frolic must have been the thing to do in those days. The District Captain for Number 3 was Samuel Payne. The families in his district were : James Lamkin, Asa Avery, Jane Reid, James Luke, Cabel Eubank,
Leonard Peek, John Gray, Rebecca Garnett, Nancy Garnett, Isaac Willingham, Richard Merriweather, Jacob Dunn and Robert Pollard.

On the west of District Number 3 was , of course, District Number 4 which is estimated to be the area rounding and to the west of what is today Pollard’s Corner. Later, these three districts became known as the 135th Georgia Militia District. It is this northern area of Columbia County that many early families can be found settling, acquiring land and raising their families.


More History and Information about Columbia County

Information Furnished by: Bev Hockett

HISTORY OF COLUMBIA COUNTY 1790-1945 Call # RCH F292 C737c73x
Columbia Co. named for Christopher Columbus--Created by taking from Richmond County. It is bounded by Lincoln on NW, Richmond on SE & McDuffie on SW. County population in 1900 was 10,653, a loss of 628 since 1890. Census of 1801 showed total population of 8,452 as compared to 5,473 for Richmond. In 1860 there were 3,617 whites & 8,272 Negroes. Records reveal that when the slaves were freed, the planters of Columbia Co. lost about $1,600,000. Before the Civil War there was much wealth in the county. The soil of 2/3 of the land is red clay. In the pine lands of the southern part of the county, the soil is sandy with clay subsoil. On the river the lands are fertile & produce good crops of cotton, corn, sugar-cane, potatoes, melons & peas. Peaches grow well.

OCONEE WAR--At Hopewell on the Kiokee a treaty of good will between state of Georgia & the Creek nation of Indians was negotiated Apr. 17, 1786. But the treaty was repudiated by the Indians, & for more than 10 years was a dominant spirit of the long protrated struggle known as the Oconee War.

FIRST SETTLERS Arrive in Columbia County

The 1st white people to settle in present Columbia County were a small group of Quakers. They came from the Carolina’s, & purchased land from the Uchee (Yuuchi) Indians in 1751. Fear of the Creek Indians drove the peace-loving Quakers back to the safety of Fort Augusta in 1754. Some of them returned in 1773, after peace was made with the Indians. Around 1754, the next group of settlers arrived in Columbia County under the leadership of Edmund Grey. 
They settled around the Little River & called their town Blendon (Brandon). These people were supposed to be Quakers, but many doubted their authenticity. Reports about the people of Brandon conflict. Some say the Indians drove them out & others say Governor Reynolds ordered their departure. One thing is certain; Governor Reynolds & Edmund Grey did not hit it off. The very 1st House of Assembly in Georgia started off with an election dispute. Some of the delegates from the other Parishes were accused of being illegally elected. Grey, though unquestionably elected, refused to take his seat in protest, favoring the candidates not allowed their seats. Not only did he not take his seat, he wrote letters encouraging the other duly elected representatives to join him. The Governor got a copy of the letter & ordered Grey out of the Assembly. From then until his departure, Grey & Reynolds were arch 
enemies. Grey & his associates are reported to have left Brandon & set up in a neutral territory between the English & Spanish that became a refuge for outlaws.  Joseph Maddox & Jonathan Sell led 40 Quaker families into Georgia in 1768 to settle on lands formerly occupied by Grey & his associates. 
The group came from North Carolina by ox-cart & horse-back. In a short time people of all faiths joined them. Joseph Maddox & his followers called their town WRIGHTSBORO, in honor of Governor James Wright. Although the principle inhabitants of Wrightsboro were Quakers, Maddox encouraged people of all faiths to live in his community. 

COLUMBIA COUNTY & THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

When the seeds of revolution started taking root along the coastal regions, the people in Columbia County wanted no part of it. In the 1st place, most of the people probably never heard about tea; 2nd the constant threat of the Indians made the protection of the British most enticing & 3rd, the inhabitants of the Lower Country (Savannah & the coastal regions) & the Upper Country (Augusta, Columbia County land & Wilkes County) didn’t get along at all. They 
signed a petition (see information elsewhere about signing petition in Columbia Co)Historians report only 2 minor battles in today’s Columbia County. 
After the British occupied Augusta, Feb. 1, 1779, Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell sent a detachment to Middleton’s Ferry, under Captain Whitney to guard the river crossing & prepare to occupy Wilkes County, then the only part of Georgia not under British control. However, on Feb. 9, Col. Leonard Marbury’s Patriot Dragoons, reconnoitering from the station at Brownsboro, took the Loyalist by surprise & captured Captain Whitney & 16 of his men, Another noted 
action in our county reports that Col. Clark gathered 500 men at Soap Creek, 40 miles above Augusta on Sept. 11, 1780 on his way to attempt to drive Col. Thomas Brown & the British out of Augusta. As a Quaker‘s religion forbade him to bare arms, many people in Wrightsboro were caught in the middle. The government in charge, whether British or Patriot, in deference to the Quaker’s beliefs, did not force them to join the militia. Instead, the Quakers were 
assessed an extra 25% tax to carry on the war effort.Until late 1780 & 1781 the Quakers had managed to stay pretty much out of the conflict. Then a group of Patriots raided the town of Wrightsboro, killed 50 people, & destroyed most of the crops & cattle. Basically, the people of Columbia were divided along generation & religious lines. The older people felt close ties to England & the young leaned toward the Patriots. Often it was a survival situation with many swearing allegiance to whoever was in control at the time. Confiscation of property was often the price of loyalty to the wrong side. As the war progressed the Baptist usually supported the Patriots & the Quakers were either neutral or loyal to the Crown At least 3 of the 11 chaplains in the Patriot’s army in Georgia were from Columbia County. They were Daniel Marshall, his son Abraham & Silas Mercer.  The preliminary article of peace were signed Nov. 30, 1782. The American Colonies, with the help of the French & Spanish, had won their freedom from the mother country, England, & became the United 
States of America.

WHERE SHALL WE BUILD THE COURTHOUSE & JAIL?

When the Georgia Patriots declared their Independence of England, & former local Governments, they divided the State of Georgia into 8 counties to replace the 12 Parishes set up by the Crown. The former St. Paul’s Parish became RICHMOND COUNTY. Originally Richmond county consisted of 12,000 square miles & included all of modern Richmond, Columbia, & McDuffie Counties. The Constitution of 1777 provided for public building--a courthouse & jail to be erected in each county. Under the Constitution of 1777, “all white males who owned property worth 10 pounds or had a mechanics trade, & had lived in the state 6 months” were required by law to vote. Anyone who met the qualifications & “who should not have enough interest in his government to vote should be fined 5 pounds. Elections at this time, were held annually & there was only one voting place in each county. .During the Revolution, the House of Assembly appointed William, Few Sr, John Pratt, & William Jackson t o arrange for a courthouse & jail in Richmond County. The Assembly claimed “the remote situation of Brownsboro rendered it a very unsafe place for a jail & courthouse & ordered the buildings built at Augusta. No building were constructed & in 1783, the Assembly appointed William Few Jr. & Robert Middleton to bring a bill establishing a courthouse & jail in their county. Since elections were already held at 
Brownsboro, & Few was on the committee, there seemed little doubt that Brownsboro would be the county seat. Few decided, after 3 readings, he didn’t like the wording & offered an amendment giving the people a choice between Little Kiokee Creek, Brownsboro & August. The Richmond Delegation split & the motion failed. Few & his allies offered a motion to build the building s on the new road between Augusta & the KIOKEE meeting house, where said road crosses the LITTLE KIOKEE CREEK. Again, the Richmond delegation split & the motion was defeated.   Finally, the original bill was passed.  However, the fight was not over. The Richmond Grand Jury presented a grievance on “the repeated contention for fixing to the courthouse in the county.” They recommended that such attempts be surpassed until the Constitution was revised. It took another 5 years for the Constitution to get revised. Richmond Co. public buildings were not mentioned again. By 1789, many new people had entered Richmond County. With no courthouse or jail, lawlessness increased with the population. People began to write the newspaper, urging voters to elect delegates to the Assembly that were in favor of division of Richmond County. So, on Dec. 10, 1790, the Legislature acted to relieve former inconveniences--establishing COLUMBIA COUNTY (which included most of modern McDuffie) from Richmond & Elbert County from Wilkes. Around the turn of the 19th century the seat of justice moved to its present location, then referred to as COLUMBIA COURTHOUSE. Columbia Courthouse became the social center of the area. Historians report that it was a center of wealth, intelligence &influence.

On Dec. 12, 1816, the town received a charter from the State Legislature. The former Columbia Courthouse changed its name to APPLING, in honor of John Appling, on whose land the courthouse stood. Shortly after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, cotton replaced tobacco as the major cash crop. Soon large plantations began to develop. More & more slaves were brought in to work the cotton fields.. Unable to compete competitively with the slave labor, the 
Quakers left Wrightsboro. A large number of them re-settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1812 when the United States again fought England, Daniel Appling from Columbia County served his country with distinction. For his gallantry, the State Legislature voted to award him a gold sword & name a county in Southeast Georgia in his honor.

RELIGION in Columbia Co

Religion has always been a vital part of Columbia County’s cultural & social life. During the first half of the 19th century, many new churches were established. Shiloh Methodist was one of the earliest meeting houses for the METHODISTS in the county. Salem, Whiteoak & Dunn’s Chapel are among other early meeting houses for the Methodist faith. The BAPTIST religion, well established before the Revolutionary War, continued to spread into every section of the county. Sheron Baptist was established in 1799 by Daniel Marshall’s son, Abraham. Damacus Baptist was founded in 1820 by Samuel Cartledge--the same Samuel Cartledge that had arrested Daniel Marshall for preaching the gospel prior to the Revolution.

EDUCATION

Education has always been important to Columbia County. At least 8 private academies were chartered. Among them were Appling Female, Kiokee, Shiloh, & Citizen’s Academy. These were the equivalent of todays high schools. Although state supported, the schools still charged tuition. The matter of primary education was taken care of by the parents. Many of the more wealthy provided private tutors for their children. For the less fortunate, the field school became the solution. The teachers, always men, were hired, paid by & answered directly to the parents. Although the teachers were not always the best trained, (Discipline was considered more important than teaching methods) they filled a real need in the educational field in the early days of our country.

RAILROAD

In 1833, the iron rails of the Georgia Railroad started from Augusta, through Columbia County, on their way to Atlanta. Depots were built periodically & several new towns grew up along the track. Grovetown, 15 miles up the track developed into a summer home for the residents of Augusta attempting to escape the heat & malaria-carrying mosquitoes of the river bottom. Brezelia developed around the 20 mile post. A large hotel was built by the track. 
Sawdust developed as the main stopping point in the next 10 mile stretch. It was a lumber town, reported to be quite robust. Each of these towns had a telegraph & post office. It is reported that the railroad designers wanted to build the tracks thru Wrightsboro, but the citizens of the town refused to allow it, so the road was taken thru THOMSON instead.

PLANTATION SYSTEM-

The plantation system continued to prosper. Soon Augusta became the largest cotton exporting market in the world. Henry H. Cumming envisioned that were the waters of the Savannah River re-routed thru a canal, Augusta had great potential as a manufacturing center for the cotton it exported down the river. The CANAL, 1st surveyed in 1844, has its headgates in Columbia County. It originally was to be 5 ft. deep, 20 ft. wide at the bottom, 40 ft. wide at the top, & provide 600 horse-power of electricity along its 7 mile course.  Originally designed to attract new industry to the area, the CANAL was a smashing success. Within 5 years, the population of Augusta had doubled. In addition to providing cheap electricity, the canal also provided transportation. It is probably the ONLY CANAL in the country to serve both power & transportation needs. As the plantation system in Columbia Co. continued to prosper, the white population declined & the black increased. The 1859 census shows 802 families in the county. There were 3,731 free whites, 83,000 slaves & 66 free people of color.

COLUMBIA COUNTY GROWS

When Columbia County was created in 1790, the tide of prosperity had begun to rise very high. Many new people came into the county from
Virginia & North Carolina. Land was granted under the headright system & many 200 acre farms were opened in the upper & eastern parts of the county. The Virginians who came into Columbia County at this time were not adventurers, but men of means who brought their families, slaves & tobacco plants with them. Soon tobacco became the major staple crop. The close proximity of the area to the market at Augusta helped a great deal. Many shipped their 
tobacco to market by boat. A special boat was constructed to get it over the rapids. This boat was called a “Petersburg Boat” after a tobacco center that developed in Wilkes County. Other farmers chose the land route to market & built the now famous “Tobacco Road”. The road was built rolling the tobacco in large barrels called “hogsheads”. In 1792 Reverend Asbury, the 1st Methodist Bishop in the United States visited Columbia Co. Here he found many Methodist friends from Virginia. Open-air meetings were held at the Old Whiteoak Campground (see information about Whiteoak Campground further down the page) Moses Waddel, a Presbyterian Minister, moved into the county in the mid 90’s & established a school on the KIOKEE CREEK called CARMEL 
ACADEMY, which lasted for 6 years. Its most outstanding student was William Crawford (who is mentioned below) as serving his country with distinction etc. Moses met & married Catherine Calhoun, sister of John Calhoun. John was an orphan & came to live with his sister & attend Carmel Academy. He left the school & entered the Junior Class at Yale, After completing his education, he entered politics, gained National fame & was Harris’s competition for the Democratic nomination for President of the U.S. in 1824. The Calhoun-Waddel marriage lasted only 1 year, when Catherine died. 4 years laer, Waddel re-married. to his old college sweetheart, Miss Eliza Woodson Pleasants. The couple had wanted to marry earlier, but Miss Pleasant’s parents had objected to him taking their daughter to the “wilds of North Georgia” (Columbia County) in 1795. Carmel Academy was opened for 6 years & after it closed Moses Waddel moved on & established several schools in South Carolina. In June 1819 Waddel accepted the presidency of the UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA. His 
administration at the Univ. of GA was marked with success & under Waddel’s leadership the college improved in every way.  The creation of Columbia County apparently did not solve the political turmoil. Now Columbia Co. residents could not agree on the best place for the courthouse. For a short time the county seat was located at Cobham, then its moved to KIOKA, where the 1st courthouse was built.

COLUMBIA COUNTY NEWSPAPER ARTICLES 

Columbia County’s Past by Janette Kelley--April 15, 1981  When the Quakers arrived in Wrightsboro, they found thick, virgin forest very gloomy & uninviting. The trees were so large & thick that there was no undergrowth. Upon arrival, the 1st things the Quakers had to do was to cut down trees for a clearing & make a temporary shelter. The 1st shelters were simple “lean-tos” shingled with slabs of bark or white oak shakes. The next step was to clear land intended for crops. The Quakers “girdled” the trees & planted the seeds around the stumps with a hoe. After the crops were planted, the people built log cabins for winter occupancy. All the neighbors would join in at a “cabin raising”. The dwelling would be erected in short order, reports Baker in “The Story of Wrightsboro”. The cabins had either dirt or “puncheon” (split logs, flat side up) floors. One Quaker historian states, “Greased paper was used in the 
windows, with wooden shutters.  The Quakers also fashioned table-tops & benches from split logs, using saplings for legs. Beds were built into the corners of the room. Although there was a peace treaty, the Indians often raided the Quaker settlement. They drove off the livestock & ruined the crops. Quaker religion forbids the bearing of arms. 1st appeals to Governor Wright for militia were denied. Finally, after about 1/3 of the people had left in 1771. Governor Wright sent help for fear the new town would fail completely. Many returned after Governor Wright interceded. Between the Indians & a poor growing season, the 
1st Quaker crop failed miserably. If it had not been for the foresight of s the Quakers to bring in a good supply of gun-powder, nails & salt, the prospects of survival would have been dismal indeed. Until a crop could be raised, the people had to live “off the country” which was not too difficult. Turkeys were so 
plentiful, Baker reports, the dried breast was used for bread. All sorts of game & fish were plentiful. Also abundant assortments of wild berries, fruits & greens were available. The pelts of the game animals were traded in Augusta for salt, gun-powder & other necessities. Once the land was cleared for farming, the Quakers used ox-drawn plows. People made their own wooden harrows, hay-forks & rakes. They reaped their grain crops with scythe & sickle.

As soon as the Quakers raised a crop, they had another problem.  They had to get the crop to market. An individual could go anywhere on horseback, but farm produce needed wagons, & wagons needed roads, not paths. The people solved the problem during 1769 when their 1st road was completed in Augusta. It followed roughly the present route of Georgia 232. Although Wrightsboro had some tedious moments, it survived a low point in 1671 & experienced a steady growth for many years.

COLUMBIA COUNTY’S PAST by Janette Kelley Aug. 4, 1982
COLONIAL LIFE ALONG THE RIVER

James Edward Oglethorpe on Feb. 1, 1733, established the 1st English settlement in Georgia on the banks of the Savannah River. Calling the town “Savannah” after the river by which it was built, Oglethorpe laid out his town on the first high bluff, which was called Yamacraw. The bluff, according to C.C. Jones in his “History of Georgia, Vol. 1” rises 40 feet above the level of the water, & possesses a bold frontage on the waterfront of nearly a mile. This made it large enough for a settlement of considerable magnitude. The river in front was capable of floating ships of ordinary tonnage. Also, there was a good place for them to lie so near the shore that their cargo could easily be discharged. Although the English at Charleston had made a treaty with the Indians to 
establish no more settlements south of the Savannah, with the help of a half-breed married to an English trader, Oglethorpe was able to obtain permission from the Indians to build his town. Amanda Johnson, in her “Georgia As Colony & State, Vol. 1” reports that among the 114 men & women in Oglethorpe’s colony, there were carpenters, , bricklayers, mechanics, farmers, 3 bailiffs, 2 constables, 2 tithing men, one conservator of the peace & 1 clergyman. With considerable help from South Carolina, which was very anxious to see the colony of Georgia succeed as a barrier against the Spanish, Savannah, in 15 months, had become a beautifully laid out city, complete with a heavy barrier of palisades, a battery at the end of the bluff, a beacon 90 ft. high & 
cannon to protect the passage to the river. The Trustees, anxious to reinforce the lone city, made very attractive offers to settlers.  In 1735, Oglethorpe officially established the city of Augusta. According to “Augusta, Georgia & North Augusta, South Carolina,” published by the Chamber established on the Fall Line of the Savannah River in 1717. Owned by traders from South Carolina, Fort Moore was used as a meeting point with the Indians. When Oglethorpe decided to change it from a fort to a settlement, he renamed it Augusta, in honor of Princess Augusta, Mother of the King, George III. From this time until the 
Revolutionary War, the English carried on an ever-growing & profitable trade with the Indians. By the beginning of the war, the entire deer population along the Savannah had been whipped out. The traders found the Indian canoes too small, so they developed “Pole Boats,” called by that name because the boats were guided by poles down the river & pushed upstream in the same manner.  After slaves became legal in 1748, rice plantations soon developed 
around the lower Savannah River, During the 50’s & 60’s of the 18th century, a planter aristocracy began to flourish. All the work was done by slaves. They waded in the marshes, tending the rice, then loading it on flatboats bound for the deep harbors at Savannah & Charlestown. Further upstream around our area, a harder & ore lonely life-style developed. Most of the pioneers in this area could not afford slaves; or 1 or 2 at the most. In the early days there was a system of sturdy, independent yeoman farmers of which Oglethorpe had dreamed. Once the ban on slavery was lifted, many South Carolinians moved across the river & settled between the Savannah & the Altamaha Rivers. A community of Quakers settled in the quiet retreats of the Georgia Wilds along the Little River about 30 miles from where it flows into the Savannah. A large group of Virginians came across the wilderness & settled in what later came to be called Wilkes County. The area was opened for settlement in 1773 by a treaty with Cherokees & Creeks. On the eve of the Revolution, the boundaries of Georgia reached as far north as the junction of the Keowee & Tugaloo rivers, which are tributaries of the Savannah.

COLUMBIA COUNTY’S PAST by Janette Kelley Apr. 29, 1981
WHO CARES ABOUT TEA (this had to happen before the Rays & Bobos came to Georgia. They came after the Revolutionary War) When the seeds of rebellion were sprouting along the coastal regions of Georgia, people in the Columbia County territory were uninterested. As Columbia County today was north Georgia then, the people were more loyal to Gov. Wright & the British. White people had had legal title (from the Indians) to settle in the Columbia 
County territory only since 1763. As these people were, for the most part, just getting the land cleared & houses built, they had little use for stamps. According to the late Pearl Baker in her “Story of Wrightsboro,” most of the residents never heard of tea. Many were 1st generation from England & had very close ties with the Mother country. Also Wrightsboro people were close friends of Gov. Wright. He had befriended them & was a principle landowner in the town. The Quaker religion forbade them to bear arms, but the neighborhood still needed protection from the Indians. The Indians still made regular raids on the crops & outlying homes. Therefore, when the “Liberty Boys” met & selected delegates to the Continental Congress, July 4, 1775, the people of Kiokee, Broad River & Wrightsboro published petitions against the proceedings in the “Georgia Gazette.” No less than 115 residents of Wrightsboro signed 
the petition. About the same time, 77 men from the Broad River & Kiokee communities signed a similar petition. Consider the later actions of these men Dr. Edward J. Cashin, Jr. in his article “The Little Revolution of Colonel Wells” in the 1974 summer issue of Richmond County History, suggests that the people of north Georgia (Columbia County) were not as loyal to the king as the petitions would imply.

COLUMBIA COUNTY’S PAST by Janette Kelley Dec. 10, 1980  
CHURCHES OF COLUMBIA COUNTY GA--WHITEOAK CAMPGROUND

Whiteoak Campground continues to hold open-air meetings in the same setting in which they were held in 1792. According to George Smith in “Methodism in Georgia,” Bishop Asbury, the 1st METHODIST Bishop in the United States, visited Old Whiteoak Campground. Smith reports that though it was spring, the weather was still cold. Asbury, who had crossed over to Georgia from South Carolina in Screven County, had to ride from 7 a. m to 7 p.m. to find a place to 
stop. At this time there was not a bridge in Georgia, not a turnpike, & in many counties, not a pane of glass. Upper Georgia had log cabins with bedaubed cracks, dirt floors, & a stick & dirt chimney. When Bishop Asbury finally came upon a kind-hearted settlement, he held services at his cabin & was seated to a plain style dinner of bear or deer meat & hominy. He continued on his way for miles before he reached another house. When sbury came upon a stream, he & his horse swam it. It is reported by Perry Dozier in a pamphlet he prepared on the Whiteoak Campground that in 1796, Asbury crossed the Savannah River near Augusta, visited Augusta, rode on thru Columbia County to Whiteoak where he preached, then had to ride 15 miles & swim Little River into Wilkes County before he could get dinner. At the early camp meetings, there were neither tents to dwell in nor roofs to shelter the worshippers from the 
weather. A grove & a spring were selected as sites for the meetings. A stand was built for the preacher & logs were cut for seats. People flocked to the meetings in wagons & ox-carts. Again, in 1802, Bishop Asubry preached at Whiteoak Campground. This time he didn’t have to go quite as far for dinner. He went home with Captain Ignatius Few. The Captain’s oldest son, Ignatius A. Few, expressed concern about his soul. The Reverend Asbury counseled & 
prayed with the young man. Nearly 25 years later, Ignatius A. Few was converted. He became a minister & 1st president of EMORY UNIVERSITY.

Old Whiteoak Campground was used continually until sometime during the Civil War. For several years there were no camp meetings in the area. However, in 1872, the present site of Whiteoak Campground was laid out. It was built several miles further east into Columbia County. The arbor pulpit was built & the camp was laid off. The 1st service in the new camp ground was held on Friday night before t he second Sabbath in Sept. 1873. Meetings have been held regularly ever since. Today (1980) Whiteoak Campground also serves as the Augusta District Methodist Camp & is supported by 90 churches in the 
area. Several permanent building & a pool have been added over the years. Whiteoak Campground continues to be a special place of relaxation & meditation. Folklore has it that more Bishops have preached at Whiteoak than at any other one place.

COLUMBIA COUNTY’S PAST--by Janette Kelley Nov 5, 1980
CHURCHES OF COLUMBIA COUNTY--KIOKEE BAPTIST CHURCH

KIOKEE BAPTIST CHURCH, located in Appling & organized in 1772, was the 1st Baptist Church in the state of Georgia. Although three is some conflict on the exact dates & locations of early building, the 3rd building, “Old Kiokee Church” was built in 1808 & still stands 3 miles west of Appling. Daniel Marshall organized Kiokee & served as its pastor until his death on Nov. 2, 1784. Marshall, converted in 1727, took his religious duties quite seriously, & was soon ordained deacon in the Congregational Church in Winsor, Conn. However, it seems that his thoughts leaned toward the Calvanist theology. Marshall heard & was greatly influenced by George Whitfield. In 1744, Daniel Marshall was leader in the Separatist Movement in Connecticut. Accused of being “tainted” with “heresy”, he preached against infant baptism & encroachments on the democratic principle of church policy. Daniel became a Baptist & joined the Philadelphia Association, which, according to Mosteller’s “History of the Kiokee Baptist,” gave him a license to preach. With his brother-in-law accompanying him, Marshall & his family moved through Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina, preaching whenever they could get a crowd to listen. In time, Marshall & his family got to Georgia.  One day, according to the “History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia,” Marshall was conducting a religious service in a shady grove. During the opening prayer, while on his knees, he heard a voice say, “You are my prisoner!” Rising, the sedate, earnest-minded man of God, whose sober mind & silver locks indicated the 65 years that had passed since his birth, found himself confronted by an officer of the law. Marshall was astonished at being arrested under such circumstances. The officer, Sam Cartledge, informed Marshall that he was arrested for “preaching in the Parish of St. Paul.” By doing so, he had violated a legislative enactment of 1758, which established religious worship in the Colony of Georgia “according to the rites & ceremonies of the “Church of England.”

Rev. Abraham Marshall reported in the Analytical Repository that his father was made to give security for appearance in Augusta the following Monday to answer for his violation of the law. According to Dr. J.H. Campbell, after Constable Carledge was satisfied with the security given, he released Marshall, to the surprise of everyone. On the following Monday, Marshall went to court. His son, Abraham, reported in the Analytical Repository that “He was ordered to come, as a preacher, no more to Georgia.” Daniel Marshall replied with the Apostles, “Whether it be right to obey God or man, judge ye.” Marshall continued to preach in Georgia & organized the first Baptist Church--Kiokee-in present day APPLING. He organized a system for the spread of the gospel throughout the area. When a convert decided God had called him to preach, the man became a licentiate of Kiokee Church. When, according to the “History of the Baptist Denomination,” a licentiate converted a goodly number of people in the area, the people organized a church. The licentiate was then ordained a minister & usually became pastor of the church. Licentiates preached wherever they could find receptive audiences. Often they held services under a tree or in 
the house of a friend. Notable in Columbia County’s history among the early licentiates are : Loveless Savidge, sheriff at the time of Daniel’s arrest. 3 years later, he became first pastor of Abilene in Martinez. Samuel Cartledge, Daniel’s arresting officer, who in later years organized Damascus near Little River. Silas Mercer, for whose son Mercer University is named. Silas was a prime promoter of educational & missionary work among the Indians.  Abraham Marshall, Daniel’s son & successor at Kiokee, founder of Sheron in Winfield, & the Meeting House on Greene Street which later became 1st Baptist Church of Augusta (now Landmark) where the Southern Baptist Convention was organized.  Daniel lived to see 5 churches established in Georgia. He organized 
them into a group called the Georgia Association. The Association met for 3 day bi-annually, at different churches. These were days of fasting, worshipping & business discussions.  In 1789 Kiokee was chartered by the State of Georgia. Charter trustees were Abraham Marshall, William Willingham, Edmund 
Cartledge, John Landers, James Simms, JOSEPH RAY & Lewis Gardener. According to Asplund’s Register, the one Baptist Church in Georgia in 1772 had grown by 1794 into 60 Baptist Churches with 4,500 members.

Prior to the Civil War, most congregations consisted of black & white members. Old Kiokee Church has a section built in the balcony for the blacks who were slaves. After the Civil War, the blacks wanted separate places of worship. As a rule, the older churches helped the Negroes build churches.  According to Mozart, Kiokee lost 2/3 of its membership when the races divided. Kiokee’s congregation celebrated its bicentennial by renovating the old building & restoring it as nearly as possible to its original appearance--according to the records which could be found. In addition, the members built an amphitheater between the old church & the Baptismal pool. The pool, built in 1801, is still used (1980). Pageants are held periodically at the theater. In 1970, Kiokee became a full-time church, which means the church as a pastor whose only job is to serve the pastoral needs of that congregation.

COLUMBIA COUNTY’S PAST--by Janette Kelley Feb. 4, 1981
WEALTH, INTELLLIGENCE & INFLUENCE

Columbia Courthouse (now Appling) during the 1st years of the 18th century was the social center of the area. George C. Smith reports in his “History of Georgia” that Appling was a center of wealth, intelligence & influence. Moses Waddell’s CARMEL ACADEMY was located 2 ½ miles west of the town. It was this school that William H. Crawford received his only formal education. Among Crawford’s accomplishments in future years were that he represented his country in the Courts of France & is reported to be the only man Napolean Bonaparte ever bowed to . Napolean was impressed, according to historians, with Crawford’s gracious manners & fancy court dress. Crawford was also Secretary of War, Secretary Treasurer, & missed becoming President of the United States by one vote. Another of Waddell’s students at Carmel was his brother-in-law, John C. Calhoun. Calhoun later represented South Carolina in the United States Senate & held several national offices. Ironically, it was Calhoun that Crawford defeated for the Democratic nomination for president. Historian report the 2 young men did not like each other during their school days & the friction carried on to vying for the Presidency. Thomas W. Cobb, also from Appling, studied law under Crawford, & went on to represent his states in the United States House & Senate. Abraham Baldwin, nationally known as the saver of the Federal Convention of 1787 by advocating compromise, chose Appling as his permanent home. The OLDEST BAPTIST CHURCH IN 
GEORGIA, Kiokee, is located in APPLING. The name Columbia Courthouse was officially changed to Appling in 1816 when the village was incorporated. The name Appling was chosen after John Appling sold the land to the county at a nominal fee for the courthouse. Appling’s son Daniel served with distinction in the War of 1812 & received a gold sword from the State Assembly for his valor. Appling was on the main stage line to Washington. A large hotel was built & there were several stores. The old hotel still stands (1981) behind the offices of the probate judge & the clerk of the Superior Court. . Of the 150 or so Georgia counties created since Columbia, the names of Appling residents were chosen for 4: Crawford County for William H. Crawford; Appling County for Daniel Appling; Baldwin County for Abraham Baldwin; & Cobb County for Thomas W. Cobb. In addition to having a county named in his honor, both the town of Crawford & Crawfordville in Georgia, honor William H. Crawford.

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN GEORGIA (Historical marker)

This building, KIOKEE CHURCH’S 6th meetinghouse was erected in 1937 with the help of many Georgia Baptists as a monument to Daniel Marshall. Not later than 1770 he was arrested for preaching in Colonial Georgia at a site east of this marker. At a trial in Augusta before Colonel Edward Barnard & Parson Edward Ellington of the Church of England he was ordered to “desist from preaching in the province”. His wife, Martha defended him “with solemn 
denunciation of the law, quoting with fluency passage after passage of scripture.” Marshall also replied “whether it be right to obey God rather than man, judge ye”. He continued to preach. His arresting officer, Samuel Cart ledge , was converted, became a member of Kiokee Church which Marshall began in 1772, was also ordained & organized & pastored churches in the area. Colonel Bernard became a close friend. Thereafter religious persecution 
ended in Georgia. The Marshall Historical Site where Marshall lived & died is east of this site on Tubman Road one mile past Old Kiokee Church.

GEORGIA MILITARY LIFE--source--Georgia Heritage--documents of Georgia History 1730-1790 by Georgia Commission For the National Bicentennial Celebration 1776-1976 Augusta State University--Reece Library Reference room Call # Ref F289 G37 1973The American army was plagued throughout the war by a lack of proper discipline & unity, problems which arose in part from the conditions of frontier isolation & independence under which many of these soldiers had grown up. Added to this situation was the unfortunate truth that the colonies were hardly prepared for sustained fighting. Powder & lead were in chronic short supply, & the powder often arrived at the front too damp for use. Uniforms, at least until 1778 when the 1st shipment of them arrived from France, were almost nonexistent; even after this, they were too few to go around. Soldiers reported in their civilian clothes & went on to fight in 
them. Most of them also brought their own weapons from home. Not surprisingly, these were of every possible design & were sometimes makeshift or outdated as well. Georgians fought throughout the Revolution in both Continental regiments & the state militia. While little information still exists on the actual conditions under which soldiers from Georgia went to war, we may assume that they were little different from those in any other colony. Militiamen in all 13 states often engaged in guerrilla fighting rather than the more traditional battle methods used by the British & were usually active only in times of immediate danger to their respective states. They were on occasion a greater pain to their own allies than to the enemy, being sometimes prone to desertion, insubordination, & a tendency to break & run in the face of heavy fighting. The Continental troops covered more territory, fought more battles, & were in general much superior soldiers. Infantrymen were the most crucial division. Their most commonly used weapon was the flintlock musket with a bayonet attached. It was not completely effective, having a maximum range of only about 80-100 yards. The American rifle was also used but did not command as much importance as a Revolutionary weapon as is popularly believed. Although accurate by as much as 200 yards more than a musket, it was not suited to 
bayonets & took too long to re-load. In an era when armies still engaged at close range for battle, speed in reloading was too vital a factor to be often sacrificed. Brown was the official uniform color during the 1st years of the war, but after the 1st shipment from France to the colonies, this was changed to blue, with facings that varied according to each state or region. When food was available, the average soldier ate very well, but all too often it was difficult to come by. A typical daily ration for a soldier stationed near Boston in plentiful times included one pound each of bread & meat (beef, pork, or fish); 1 pint of milk; ¼ pint of peas or beans’ 1 quart of spruce or malt beer. Rice was substituted if milk was not available, & once a week he also received 6 ounces of 
butter & ½ pint of vinegar, which was used in cooking to aid in prevention of scurvy. Of course, rations varied from camp to camp & from colony to colony, & often enough, the soldiers went hungry or ate only bread.Disease was also a factor to be reckoned with. Crowded & unsanitary camp conditions, together with fatigue & unaccustomed or inadequate diet, made the army ready prey to typhoid, pleurisy, dysentery, & other illnesses. Fortunately, after 1777 the smallpox vaccination had become common enough to keep at least that disease under control. Medicine in the 18th century was crude & limited, having 
made small progress since medieval times. Doctors usually resorted to blood-letting as a general cure-all. Only a few operations--amputations, extraction of musket balls--ere performed with any frequency, since anesthetics had not yet been invented, & surgery itself presented almost as much threat to the life of the patient as did his wound itself.

SLAVE LIFE IN GEORGIA--source: Georgia Heritage--documents of Georgia History 1730-1790 by Georgia Commission For the National Bicentennial Celebration 1776-1976 (Augusta State University--Reece Library Reference room Call # Ref F289 G37 1973
Slaves had begun to appear in large numbers in Georgia even before the ban against them was lifted, & by the time of the Revolution almost half of the colony’s population was black. They were nearly universally considered to be unthinking, inferior beings, but regardless of their attitudes or motives, most owners found it in their own interest to keep their slaves as happy, healthy, & well cared for as possible. SLAVE CABINS were grouped together in rows 
in a specific area of the plantation grounds & were designed to provide for only the most basic functions of living. Most were one-room, without floors or windows or any furniture beyond an occasional table or chair. Beds might be collections of straw or old rags boxed in with boards. Treatment & maintenance varied as widely among the various colonies as it did among individual owners, but in GEORGIA a typical planter might give each of his adult slaves a weekly food allowance of some sort of meat or fish--usually pork or salt herrings--& about 8 quarts of corn meal. On some plantations they were permitted to raise chickens or plant small gardens to supplement this diet. Holidays & other special occasions often meant a gift of sugar, coffee, extra meat, or perhaps some rum from the owner. Clothing was likewise very limited. On the average, enough coarse tow cloth--known as “Negro cloth” was handed 
out each year to make 2 garments per slave. Hats & shoes were on most plantations given only to those who chopped wood or built fences, & then only in winter. Young children wore nothing but shirts; older ones & adults received either pantaloons or a gown, & some sort of jacket or overcoat for cold weather. The great majority of slaves worked in the cotton or rice fields on crops which required long hours of careful & tedious tending. Their day 
was a long one--from daylight to noon, when a meal was served, & then on until dusk--but usually it did not end even then until the field hands had also completed such additional chores as gathering wood or feeding the livestock.  In great contrast was the life led by a small & elite group of slaves who were separated from their families & other slaves as children to become “house Negroes.” They were raised in the owner’s house, often sleeping on pallets on the floors of the bedrooms, to become maids, butlers, & personal valets. Frequently they were much petted & given many favors, & consequently most slaves believed that to be selected as a house servant was the highest possible honor they might receive. Most of them were model slaves, reporting any rebellious talk, thievery, or other wrongdoing among the other slaves. Not surprisingly, the house slaves were often more feared & resented by their counterparts in the field than were the masters themselves.


Early History & Settlers
Written by Stephanie Harrison ( conquestmusic@comcast.net ) 

Columbia County is situated to the north and west of Augusta, Georgia. The 1820 U.S. census reports Columbia County as being "41 miles long on the stage road by 30 wide...great part by actual measurement." Columbia County was formed from Richmond County in 1790. The eastern edge of the county is bordered by the Savannah River which acts to separate Georgia from South Carolina. Columbia County ran to the west, at least , as faras Thomson, Georgia. However, the 1870 State legislature narrowed Columbia County by making the town of Thomson the county seat for a new McDuffie County. To the south of Columbia County is Richmond County and to the north Lincoln County.

Beginning in the 1770's numerous people begin crossing the Savannah River and migrating into Columbia County. Frequently, the settlers were from Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland or simply the older colonies. Some of the original settlers acquired their lands by "headrights" or "bounty" land grants. After February 17, 1783, State legislation was passed which provided each head of the household "headrights" or "bounty" land grants. After February 17, 1783, State legislation was passed which provided each head of the household "headrights". A married man could obtain 200 acres, plus 50 additional acres for each member of his family and each slave at a cost of from one to four shillings per acre. "Bounty" land grants were made to veterans of the Revolutionary War in lieu of monetary compensation for military service. Grants were limited to 1,000 acres and the applicant was required to live on the land for at least a year and cultivate a minimum of 3% of the total acreage. The individual could then apply to the Governor's office for the grant and pay all necessary fees. The grant would then be issued and recorded.

During the late 1700's or early 1800's , what appears to be a very popular location to catch the ferry from South Carolina over to Georgia was a place located in the northeast corner of Columbia County just below Keg Creek or just below what is known today as Clark's Hill Lake. The road leading from the ferry down to the "Village of Appling", the present county seat, was called Scott's Ferry Road. Today the road continues to maintain the name or be referred to as Interstate Highway 221. Since Samuel C Scott owned the Georgia land at the ferry crossing, as late as 1806, and because the ferry was known as "Scott's Ferry"; it is probable the road was named after him. After arriving in Georgia by ferry and traveling west along Scott's Ferry Road, the first major road intersecting Scott's Ferry Road and running north to south would be a road named Petersburg Road. Petersburg Road virtually led down to Augusta. Only two small sections of Petersburg Road remain today.....the northern tip extending from Clarks Hill Lake to Scott's Ferry Road and the southern tip located on the outskirts of Augusta, the remainder having been vacated by the timber industry.

The area surrounding Scott's Ferry Road and Petersburg Road was a very popular place to settle in the early 1800's. The original settlers were not only neighbors and friends, but their children often married each other. Consequently, people would often be related to their neighbor in some form or fashion. In some instances, families arrived from the same State and county to settle in Georgia, ie: Lamkins and Evans families were from Mecklenberg County, Va., so it is probable that they were following friends, neighbors or possibly relatives to the area.

In 1820, the area east of Petersburg Road and towards the Savannah River was known as District No 2. Captain James Walker was in charge of District No. 2. Families listed in the district at that time were:

Thomas Benning, Benjamin Berry, John Garnett, Joshua Foster, William Pulliam, Reuben Luke, Michael Reid, Ezkiel Reid, Thomas Luke, John Avery, Humphrey Evans, John Lyon, William Merriwether, Edmond Lyon, Pleasant Benning, James Toole, Joseph Germany, James Alexander, Reuben Willingham, John Eubank, Alexander Pearre, and Thomas Lyon. 

The area around the intersection of Scott's Ferry Road and Petersburg Road and west of District No 2 was known as District No 3. Captain of District No 3 was Samuel Payne. The families in his district were:
James Lamkin, Asa Avery, Jane Reed, James Luke, Cabal Eubank, John Foster, Ann Lamkin, Archer Avery, James Boyd, William Eubank, Leonard Peek (Peak), John Gray, Rebecca Garnett, Nancy Garnett, Isaac Willingham, Richard Merriwether, Jacob Dunn and Robert Pollard. 

District No 3 was noted by Dr H. R. Casey in the book Our Heritage, compiled by Janette S. Kelly, 1983, as being "famous" in the "flush times" of Columbia County and certainly stopping at "Lukes Store" in District No 3 for a little "fun and frolic" must have been the thing to do in those days.

On the west side of District No 3, was of course District No 4 which is estimated to be the area surrounding and to the west of what is today called Pollard's Corner. Pollard's Corner is the intersection of Scott's Ferry Road and Washington Road. 

Later, these three districts became known as the 135th Georgia 
Militia District (GMD).


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