Savannah was founded on February 12, 1733, by James Oglethorpe. It was laid out according to a plan that Oglethorpe designed. It had alleys, streets, and squares which gave it a distinctive look from other American cities.
The colony of Georgia originally was to be established for three reasons. First, it was to be a colony to aid the poor in England. Secondly, it was to increase imperial trade and strengthen the Colonies. Thirdly, it was to provide protection for Carolina from the Spanish in Florida. Not all of the reasons were carried out, but they encouraged families to come assist in the founding of GA.
Savannah Georgia was founded on February 12, 1733, by James Oglethorpe. The city was laid out according to a plan that Oglethorpe designed. This plan had alleys, streets, and squares which gave the city a distinctive look that was different from other American cities. From the beginning, the colony's development was assisted by the Yamacraw Indians, who had a friendly relationship with the settlers.
As Georgia grew, Savannah lost its political importance as the colonial capitol, but gained importance as a port city. In both Georgia's past and present, Savannah has been Georgia's main port. During the colonial times, the port was used to export goods such as rice and cotton. Cotton was Georgia's king crop. The port was also used to import goods.
Georgia's first banking center was located in Savannah. Several other banks opened in Savannah, including the Central Railroad Banking Company which was established with the Central of Georgia Railroad, Georgia's first railroad. William Gordon, father of Juliette Gordon Low was instrumental in developing the railroad.
This railroad was built in 1843 and originally went to Macon. It was later expanded to Atlanta. This railroad allowed the amount of exports to increase, especially cotton. Savannah Georgia is home to many churches. Besides the first church, Christ Episcopal Church, there is the First African Baptist Church, which was the first Negro Baptist congregation in the United States. Since religion was important to the people of Savannah, many other churches were constructed for the many different denominations.
Savannah Georgia has had several catastrophes. In 1820, there were two major ones - the yellow fever epidemic and a terrible fire. In January a fire burned approximately 463 buildings. In April, just after the fire, a yellow fever epidemic occurred. By this time, about 6000 of the 7528 people in Savannah had evacuated the city. At the end of the year, when most of the yellow fever was gone, the fire and fever death tolls were up to 695. The burned portion of the city was rebuilt by 1825.
Today Savannah Georgia is recognized as a popular tourist destination, mostly because of historic preservation efforts. The downtown historic district, known as the Landmark District, has been designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark where visitors come to see the beautiful diversity of architecture from Savannah's past.