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Savannah, Georgia


History of Savannah, Georgia


British Colony

Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a Royal Colony in 1754. Entrepreneurs and slaves were brought into the struggling colony, and Savannah was made the colonial capital of Georgia. The low marshes were converted into wild rice fields and tended by skilled slaves imported from West Africa where the strains of rice had been grown by European colonists, who grew rice from its native Southeast Asia.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was an important milestone in the development of Savannah marking the beginning of economic ties to the interior. Between 1764 and 1773, Savannah exported hides from 500,000 deer (2 million pounds) which established the city as a significant commercial port on the South Atlantic coast.

In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, Savannah came under British and Loyalist control. French and American forces held Savannah under siege from Sept, 1778- October 1779 but failed to reclaim the city. Savannah remained in British control until the Redcoats left of their own accord on July 11,1782.

In November 1864, General William Sherman and his army of 62,000 men began the march south to Savannah. Sherman and his troops captured Savannah on December 22, 1864.

19th century development in Savannah was dominated by the emergence of cotton as a widespread cash crop. The boll weevil outbreak of the 1920s dealt a devastating blow to the cotton market of Savannah and the South in general.

The city’s popularity as a tourist destination, modest in the 1970s, grew in the 1980s and was solidified by the best selling 1994 book and 1997 motion picture “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” both set in Savannah.

Next time you’re walking around Savannah, GA, take a tour with the Historic Walking Tour app!