Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, was one of the original seven Confederate states, it was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city.
Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, to the west by Alabama; the state's northernmost part is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains system. The Piedmont extends through the central part of the state from the foothills of the Blue Ridge to the Fall Line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the coastal plain of the state's southern part. Georgia's highest point is Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet above sea level. Of the states east of the Mississippi River, Georgia is the largest in land area. Before settlement by Europeans, Georgia was inhabited by the mound building cultures; the British colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. The colony was administered by the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America under a charter issued by King George II.
The Trustees implemented an elaborate plan for the colony's settlement, known as the Oglethorpe Plan, which envisioned an agrarian society of yeoman farmers and prohibited slavery. The colony was invaded by the Spanish during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the king; the Province of Georgia was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The State of Georgia's first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778, was the 4th state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 2, 1788. In 1829, gold was discovered in the North Georgia mountains leading to the Georgia Gold Rush and establishment of a federal mint in Dahlonega, which continued in operation until 1861.
The resulting influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia's tribes. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester v. Georgia that U. S. states were not permitted to redraw Indian boundaries, President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling. In 1838, his successor, Martin Van Buren, dispatched federal troops to gather the tribes and deport them west of the Mississippi; this forced relocation, known as the Trail of Tears, led to the death of over 4,000 Cherokees. In early 1861, Georgia became a major theater of the Civil War. Major battles took place at Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea. 18,253 Georgian soldiers died in service one of every five who served.
In 1870, following the Reconstruction Era, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be restored to the Union. With white Democrats having regained power in the state legislature, they passed a poll tax in 1877, which disenfranchised many poor blacks and whites, preventing them from registering. In 1908, the state established a white primary, they constituted 46.7% of the state's population in 1900, but the proportion of Georgia's population, African American dropped thereafter to 28% due to tens of thousands leaving the state during the Great Migration. According to the Equal Justice Institute's 2015 report on lynching in the United States, Georgia had 531 deaths, the second-highest total of these extralegal executions of any state in the South; the overwhelming number of victims were male. Political disfranchisement persisted through the mid-1960s, until after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. An Atlanta-born Baptist minister, part of the educated middle class that had developed in Atlanta's African-American community, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a national leader in the civil rights movement.
King joining with others to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957 to provide political leadership for the Civil Rights Movement across the South. By the 1960s, the proportion of
The Coosa River is a tributary of the Alabama River in the U. S. states of Georgia. The river is about 280 miles long; the Coosa River begins at the confluence of the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers in Rome and ends just northeast of the Alabama state capital, where it joins the Tallapoosa River to form the Alabama River just south of Wetumpka. Around 90% of the Coosa River's length is located in Alabama. Coosa County, Alabama, is located on the Coosa River; the Coosa is one of Alabama's most developed rivers. Most of the river has been impounded, with Alabama Power, a unit of the Southern Company, owning seven dams and powerhouses on the Coosa River; the dams produce hydroelectric power, but they are costly to some species endemic to the Coosa River. Native Americans had been living on the Coosa Valley for millennia before Hernando de Soto and his men became the first Europeans to visit it in 1540; the Coosa chiefdom was one of the most powerful chiefdoms in the southeast at the time. Over a century after the Spanish left the Coosa Valley, the British established strong trading ties with the Creek bands of the area around the late 17th century, much to the dismay of France.
With a base in Mobile, the French believed that the Coosa River was a key gateway to the entire South and they wanted to control the valley. The main transportation of the day was by boat; the convergence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers near present-day Montgomery forms the Alabama River, which has its mouth at Mobile Bay, the port used by the French for travel around the Caribbean and to France. They wanted to retain control of both the the Alabama rivers. In the early 18th century all European and Indian trade in the southeast ceased during the tribal uprisings brought on by the Yamasee War against the Carolinas. After a few years, the Indian trade system was resumed under somewhat reformed policies; the conflict between the French and English over the Coosa Valley, much of the southeast in general, continued. It was not after Britain had defeated France in the Seven Years' War that France relinquished its holdings east of the Mississippi River to Britain; this was stated in the Treaty of Paris signed by both nations in 1763.
By the end of the American Revolutionary War, the Coosa Valley was occupied in its lower portion by the Creek and in the upper portion by the Cherokee peoples, who had a settlement near its start in northwest Georgia. After the Fort Mims massacre near Mobile, General Andrew Jackson led American troops, along with Cherokee allies, against the Lower Creek in the Creek War; this culminated in the Creek defeat at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Afterward, the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814 forced the Creek to cede a large amount of land to the United States, but left them a reserve between the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers in northern Alabama. There the Creeks were encroached on by European-American settlers who had begun moving into their territory from the United States. During the 1820s and 1830s the Creek and all the southeastern Indians were removed to Indian Territory; the Cherokee removal is remembered as the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee capital city of New Echota was located on the headwater tributaries of the Coosa River, in Georgia, until the tribe's removal.
The Creek and Choctaw removals were similar to the Cherokee Trail of Tears. After the removals, the Coosa River valley and the southeast in general was wide open for American settlers; the cotton gin made short-staple cotton profitable to process, it was a new cotton hybrid that could be grown in the upland regions. The first river town to form in the Coosa Basin was at the foot of the last waterfall on the Coosa River, the "Devil's Staircase." Settlers soon adopted the native name Wetumpka for this new community. The Coosa River was an important transportation route into the early 20th century as a commercial waterway for riverboats along the upper section of the river for 200 miles south of Rome; however and waterfalls such the Devil's Staircase along the river's lowest 65 miles blocked the upper Coosa's riverboats from access to the Alabama River and the Gulf of Mexico. The building of the dams on the Coosa - Lay and Jordan — allowed Alabama Power to pioneer new methods of controlling and eliminating malaria, a major health issue in rural Alabama in the early 1900s.
So successful were their pioneering efforts in this area, that the Medical Division of the League of Nations visited Alabama to study the new methods during the construction of Mitchell Dam. For a time, the Popeye the Sailorman cartoons were inspired by Tom Sims, a Coosa River resident in Rome, Georgia, familiar with riverboat life and characters of the early 1900s; the following table describes the seven impoundments on the Coosa River from the south to north built by the Alabama Power Company as well as the tailwater section below Jordan Dam. Harvey H. Jackson III in a book Putting Loafing Streams To Work characterized the importance of the first Coosa River dams as follows: In the Middle Coosa River Watershed, 281 occurrences of rare plant and animal species and natural communities have been documented, including 73 occurrences of 23 species that are federal or state protected. Ten conservation targets were chosen: the riverine system, matrix forest communities, gray bat, riparian vegetation, mountain longleaf pine forest communities, red-cockaded woodpecker, critically imperiled aquatic species, southern hognose snake
The Etowah River is a 164-mile-long waterway that rises northwest of Dahlonega, north of Atlanta. On Matthew Carey's 1795 map the river was labeled "High Town River". On maps, such as the 1839 Cass County map, it was referred to as "Hightower River", a name, used in most early Cherokee records; the large Amicalola Creek is a primary tributary near the beginning of the river. The Etowah flows west-southwest through Canton and soon forms Lake Allatoona. From the dam at the lake, it passes the Etowah Indian Mounds archaeological site, it flows to Rome, where it meets the Oostanaula River and forms the Coosa River at their confluence. The river is the northernmost portion of the Etowah-Coosa-Alabama-Mobile Waterway, stretching from the mountains of north Georgia to Mobile Bay in Alabama; the Little River is the largest tributary of the Etowah, their confluence now flooded by Lake Allatoona. Allatoona Creek is another major tributary, flowing north from Cobb County and forming the other major arm of the lake.
The U. S. Board on Geographic Names named the river in 1897; the river ends at 571 feet above mean sea level. The river is home to the Etowah darter, listed on the Endangered Species List. Country singer-songwriter Jerry Reed made the Etowah the home of the wild, misunderstood swamp dweller Ko-Ko Joe in the 1971 song "Ko-Ko Joe"; the fictional character, reviled by respectable people but dies a hero while saving a child's life, is alternately known as the "Etowah River Swamp Rat" in the song. Reed, a native of Atlanta, took some liberties with Georgia geography in the song, including the non-existent "Appaloosa County" and "Ko-Ko Ridge" as part of the song narrative’s setting. Acworth Creek Allatoona Creek Amicalola River Big Dry Creek Boston Creek Butler Creek Cane Creek Canton Creek Clark Creek Downing Creek Dykes Creek Euharlee Creek Hall Creek Hickory Log Creek Illinois Creek Kellogg Creek Little Allatoona Creek Little River Long Swamp Creek McKaskey Creek Noonday Creek Owl Creek Petit Creek Proctor Creek Pumpkinvine Creek Raccoon Creek Rocky Creek Rubes Creek Shoal Creek Sixes Creek Settin Down Creek Stamp Creek Tanyard Creek Two Run Creek Lumpkin County, Georgia Dahlonega Dawson County, Georgia Dawsonville Forsyth County, Georgia Cherokee County, Georgia Canton Bartow County, Georgia Cartersville Floyd County, Georgia Rome U.
S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Etowah River
The Alapaha River is a 202-mile-long river in southern Georgia and northern Florida in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suwannee River; the Hernando de Soto expedition narrative records mention a "Yupaha" village they encountered after they left Apalachee, "the sound of, suggestive of the Alapaha, a tributary of the Suwanee." Another reference to a village of "Atapaha" "so resembles Alapaha that it is reasonable to suppose they are the same, that the town was on the river of that name." John Reed Swanton's landmark Indian Tribes of North America places the Indian village of Alapaha near where the Alapaha River met the Suwanee, noted that an Indian village of "Arapaja" was 70 leagues from St. Augustine, Florida on the Alapaha River. In the 1840s a German travel writer, Friedrich Gerstäcker wrote a dime novel called Alapaha, or the Renegades of the Border, giving the name to a noble Cherokee "squaw." A translation of this novel was published in the 1870s as #67 in a series of American narratives published by Beadle.
During the American Civil War, the swamps along the Alapaha River in Berrien and Echols counties became a refuge for a number of gangs of Confederate deserters. The Alapaha River rises in southeastern Dooly County and flows southeastwardly through or along the boundaries of Crisp, Turner, Ben Hill, Tift, Atkinson, Lanier and Echols Counties in Georgia, Hamilton County in Florida, where it flows into the Suwannee River 10 miles southwest of Jasper. Along its course it passes the Georgia towns of Rebecca, Willacoochee and Statenville. Near Willacoochee, the Alapaha collects the Willacoochee River. In Florida, it collects the Alapahoochee River and the short Little Alapaha River, which rises in Echols County and flows southwestward; the Alapaha River is an intermittent river for part of its course. During periods of low volume, the river becomes a subterranean river. At 2.3 miles downstream from Jennings, Florida the Dead River enters the Alapaha River. It is a dry river bed with a number of sinkholes, including the Dead River Sink.
During periods of low water flow, the Alapaha River downstream from the confluence of the Dead River and the Alapaha River flows upstream into the Dead River. A few more miles downstream is a second sinkhole variously known as the Alapaha River Sink, Suck Hole, or the Devil's Den on the western bank of the river. At the latter point during the periods of low water flow, the Alapaha River disappears underground leaving a dry bank for much of the remainder of its course; the Alapaha River reappears at the Alapaha River Rise, about a half mile upstream from the confluence of the Alapaha River and the Suwanee River. During a period of low rainfall over 11 miles of the riverbed can be dry as the river goes underground; the United States Board on Geographic Names settled on "Alapaha River" as the stream's name in 1891. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has been known as: Columbia Gazetteer of North America entry DeLorme. Georgia Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-253-6.
U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Alapaha River U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little Alapaha River Underground: The Alapaha River as an Intermittent River
Lake Strom Thurmond
Lake Strom Thurmond designated J. Strom Thurmond Reservoir at the federal level, Clarks Hill Lake by the state of Georgia, is a reservoir at the border between Georgia and South Carolina in the Savannah River Basin, it was created by the J. Strom Thurmond Dam during 1951 and 1952 by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers near the confluence of the Little River and the Savannah River. At 71,000 acres, it is the third-largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi River, behind the Kentucky Lake on the Tennessee River and Lake Marion on the Santee River; the J. Strom Thurmond Dam is located upstream from Georgia; the Thurmond Lake and Dam is one of the southeast's largest and most popular public recreation lakes. The dam Built by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 but the lake was filled during 1951 and 1952 as part of a flood control and navigation project, its authorized purposes now include recreation, water quality, water supply, fish and wildlife management. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks and campgrounds conveniently located around the lake to pursue a variety of outdoor recreational experiences -making Thurmond one of the 10 most visited Corps lakes in the nation.
Thurmond Lake is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah and Little Rivers. The lake is created by the J. Strom Thurmond Dam located on the Savannah River 22 miles above Augusta Georgia and 239.5 miles above the mouth of the Savannah River. The lake extends 39.4 miles up the Savannah River, 29 miles up the Little River in Georgia, 6.5 miles up the Broad River in Georgia, 17 miles up the Little River in South Carolina, at normal pool elevation of 330 mean sea level, Thurmond Lake comprises nearly 71,100 acres of water with a shoreline of 1,200 miles. The entire Thurmond "Project" contains 151,000 acres of water. J. Strom Thurmond Lake and Dam is the first Corps of Engineers project to be built in the Savannah River Basin. Hartwell Lake and Dam the second project built in the basin was completed in 1963, a third project, Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam was completed in 1985. Together these three lakes form a chain of lakes, 120 miles long. Congress authorized Thurmond Lake in 1944 and construction began in 1946.
The project was completed in 1954 at a cost of $79 million. Due to a clerical error in the original Congressional Authorization, the project was authorized to build "Clark Hill Dam", creating "Clark Hill Lake", with the "s" at the end of "Clarks" accidentally omitted; the authorization document outlined the plan of development for the basin with authorized purposes of power production, incidental flood control, navigation. Recreation, water quality, water supply, fish & wildlife management were added as authorized purposes. 26 years after the construction of the dam, both the dam and lake were renamed to "Clarks Hill Dam" and "Clarks Hill Lake" in legislation sponsored by Strom Thurmond. The 1966 Flood Control Act authorized the building of Trotters Shoals Lake and Dam on the Savannah River between Clarks Hill Lake and Hartwell Lake; this lake was renamed to commemorate a late senator from Georgia, Richard B. Russell, important in supporting the building of dams on the river; this created a movement to rename Clarks Hill Lake after J. Strom Thurmond, the longest-serving senator in US history, from Edgefield on the South Carolina side of the lake.
This movement gained support due to the senator's great popularity in the area, in 1988 the project was congressionally renamed "J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake at Clarks Hill" Until 1987, the lake was called Clarks Hill Lake, after the nearby South Carolina town of Clarks Hill, the Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke, whose burial place, on the grounds of Georgia's Elijah Clark State Park, is on the western shore of the lake. On December 3, 1987, two days before long-time South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond's 85th birthday, Representative Butler Derrick of South Carolina introduced a bill before Congress to rename the lake after Thurmond; the bill passed through Congress and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on December 23, 1987. Many residents of both states were upset by the sudden change of name of the lake and the dam, which had not been open to public comment. In response, a group of Georgia legislators, led by Representative Doug Barnard, Jr. introduced a federal bill to rename the lake as "Clarks Hill" once again.
That bill, was unsuccessful, the name remained unchanged. On April 4, 1989 the State of Georgia legislature passed House Resolution No. 115 making "Clarks Hill" the official state name for both the dam and associated reservoir. Accordingly, Georgia's state map still refers to the lake as Clarks Hill. Many residents of Georgia as well as South Carolina still refer to the lake by its original name. List of lakes in South Carolina Great Lakes of Georgia: Clarks Hill U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: J. Strom Thurmond Reservoir Savannah Water Control Home page J. H. Dent Farm - Savannah River Project
Dougherty County, Georgia
Dougherty County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U. S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 94,565; the county seat and sole incorporated city is Albany. Dougherty County is included in GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Dominated by cotton plantation agriculture in the nineteenth century, it was part of what has been called the Black Belt of the South, its population continues to be majority African American. The county was created by the Georgia General Assembly on December 15, 1853, from a part of Baker County, it was named after a respected judge and lawyer from Athens, Georgia. In 1854 and 1856 small areas were added from Worth County; as noted above, the county was developed by European Americans using enslaved African Americans as workers for the production of "King Cotton" as a commodity crop. Its county seat of Albany, Georgia is located on the Flint River, the chief means of transportation for shipped products. Albany was served by seven railroad lines, adding to its significance as a market center.
The city was a center of the Civil Rights Movement during the early 1960s. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 335 square miles, of which 329 square miles is land and 5.9 square miles is water. The majority of Dougherty County is located in the Lower Flint River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin; the northeastern corner of the county, northeast of Albany, is located in the Middle Flint River sub-basin of the same ACF River basin. A small portion of Dougherty County, north of Albany, is located in the Kinchafoonee-Muckalee sub-basin of the larger ACF River Basin; the remaining western portion of the county is located in the Ichawaynochaway Creek sub-basin of the same ACF River Basin. Lee County – north Worth County – east Mitchell County – south Baker County – southwest Calhoun County – west Terrell County – northwest As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 94,565 people, 36,508 households, 23,422 families residing in the county; the population density was 287.7 inhabitants per square mile.
There were 40,801 housing units at an average density of 124.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 67.1% black or African American, 29.6% white, 0.8% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.0% from other races, 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 6.1% were English, 6.0% were American, 5.3% were Irish. Of the 36,508 households, 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.7% were married couples living together, 25.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.8% were non-families, 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.08. The median age was 33.2 years. The median income for a household in the county was $32,435 and the median income for a family was $39,951. Males had a median income of $34,444 versus $27,848 for females; the per capita income for the county was $19,210. About 22.7% of families and 28.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.7% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 census of 2000, there were 96,065 people, 35,552 households, 24,282 families residing in the county. The population density was 292 people per square mile. There were 39,656 housing units at an average density of 120 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 60.13% Black or African American, 37.80% White, 0.23% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, 0.74% from two or more races. 1.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The largest European ancestry groups in Dougherty County are English, Irish, "American", German and Scots-Irish. There were 35,552 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.90% were married couples living together, 23.20% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.70% were non-families. 26.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the county, the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 20.90% from 45 to 64, 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.30 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,934, the median income for a family was $36,655. Males had a median income of $30,742 versus $22,254 for females; the per capita income for the county was $16,645. About 19.60% of families and 24.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.30% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over. Albany Putney Ocmulgee National Register of Historic Places listings in Dougherty County, Georgia W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk contains two essays that are surveys of race relations in Dougherty County from Reconstruction to the end of the 19th century. "Of the Black Belt" "Of the Quest of the Golden Fleece" Dougherty County official website Official Downtown Albany website New Georgia Encyclopedia Georgia Place Names Dougherty County Courthouse history Dougherty County historical marker
Albany is a city in the U. S. state of Georgia. Located on the Flint River, it is the seat of Dougherty County. Located in southwest Georgia, it is the principal city of Georgia metropolitan area; the population was 77,434 at the 2010 U. S. Census, it became prominent in the nineteenth century as a shipping and market center, first served by riverboats and by railroads. Seven lines met in Albany, it was a center of trade in the Southeast, it was part of the extensive area in the Deep South of cotton plantations. From the mid-20th century, it received military investment during World War II and after, that helped develop the region. Albany and this area were prominent during the civil rights era during the early 1960s as activists worked to regain voting and other civil rights. Railroad restructuring and reduction in the military here caused job losses, but the city has developed new businesses; the region where Albany is located was long inhabited by the Creek Indians, who called it Thronateeska after their word for "flint", the valuable mineral found in beds near the Flint River.
They used it for making other tools. In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, the United States made treaties to extinguish Creek and other Native American land claims in the Southeast; the US Army forcibly removed most of the native peoples to Indian Territory, lands west of the Mississippi River. European-American settlement began with Nelson Tift of Groton, who took land along the Flint River in October 1836 after Indian removal. Tift and his colleagues named the new town Albany after the capital of New York. Alexander Shotwell laid out the town in 1836, it was incorporated as a city by an act of the General Assembly of Georgia on December 27, 1838. Tift for decades was the city's leading entrepreneur. An ardent booster, he promoted education and railroad construction. During the Civil War he helped build two ships, he opposed Radical Reconstruction inside the state and in Congress, was scornful of the Yankee carpetbaggers who came in. Historian John Fair concludes that Tift became "more Southern than many natives."
His pro-slavery attitudes before the war and his support for segregation afterward made him compatible with Georgia's white elite. This area was developed for cotton cultivation by planters, who used numerous enslaved African Americans to clear lands and process the cotton; as a result of the planters' acquisition of slave workers, by 1840 Dougherty County's majority population was black, composed overwhelmingly of slaves. The market center for cotton plantations, Albany was in a prime location for shipping cotton to other markets by steamboats on the river. In 1858, Tift hired Horace King, a former slave and bridge builder, to construct a toll bridge over the river. King's bridge toll house still stands. Important as a shipping port, Albany became an important railroad hub in southwestern Georgia. Seven lines were constructed to the town. An exhibit on trains is located at the Thronateeska Heritage Center in the former railroad station. After the war, Carey Wentworth Styles founded the newspaper Albany News.
In the early years following the war, like Tift, took great exception to the Radical Reconstruction program in force, advocated for a more moderate response based on his interpretation of Georgia's rights under the Constitution. Styles backed "constitutional reconstruction" advanced by Benjamin H. Hill and sought support for the idea from the national Democratic party. While on a trip to Atlanta in May 1868, to meet with Democratic party leaders, Styles took measure of the contemporary Atlanta newspapers, found them lacking. Styles believed them to be little more than organs for the Radical Republican reconstruction agenda, he resolved to bring a paper aligned with the Democratic party viewpoint to the Atlanta market, one supporting his constitutional reconstruction ideals. Styles moved from Albany to Atlanta, on May 9th he announced that he had obtained the necessary financial backing to purchase the Daily Opinion. On June 16, 1868 the new Democratic daily printed its first edition, under the name The Constitution.
Styles' tenure at the Atlanta Constitution would be brief. Unable to pay for his portion of the purchase, when the sale of his Albany News fell through, Styles was forced to surrender his interest in the paper to his joint venture partners. Styles returned to Albany as editor of the News. In 1872, he was elected to the Georgia Senate, representing Augusta and surrounding communities, in an ironic turn of events, having killed a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in his earlier years. After his legislative service, Styles returned to Atlanta. While integral to the economic life of the town, the Flint River has flooded regularly, it caused extensive property damage in 1841 and 1925. The city has been subject to tornadoes. On February 10, 1940, a severe tornado hit Albany, killing eighteen people and causing large-scale damage. On April 11, 1906, the Carnegie Library, created by matching funds from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, was opened downtown. A segregated facility under Jim Crow laws, it was not open to African Americans until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
It functioned as a library through 1985. In 1992, after renovation, the building was reopened as the headquarters of the Albany Area Arts Council. In 1912, the downtown U. S. Po