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History of slavery in Georgia (U.S. state): Wikis


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Slavery in Georgia is known to have been practiced by the original or earliest known residents of the future colony and state for centuries prior to European settlement. However, the penal colony, under James Oglethorpe, is known to have been the only British colony to have banned slavery before legalizing it (1735). It was eventually legalized by royal decree in 1751.


Birthplace of the Cotton Empire

Georgia also figures significantly in the history of American slavery because of Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin, which was first demonstrated to an audience on Revolutionary War hero Gen. Nathanael Greene's plantation, near Savannah. The cotton gin's invention led both to the explosion of cotton as a cash crop as well as to the revitalization of African slavery in the Southern United States, which soon became dependent upon the growth and sale of cotton to manufacturers in the Northern United States and abroad.

Georgia slavery during the Civil War

Georgia voted to secede from the Union and join the CSA on January 19, 1861. Years later, in 1865, during his March to the Sea, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman signed his Special Field Orders, No. 15, distributing some 400,000 acres (1,600 km²) of confiscated land along the Atlantic Coast from Charleston, South Carolina to the St. Johns River in Florida to the slaves freed by Sherman's forces. Most of the settlers and their descendants are today known as the Gullah.

Slavery was officially abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, even though then-President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation from two years earlier had already officially freed all slaves within the Confederate States of America.


In 2002, the City of Savannah unveiled a bronze statue on River Street in commemoration of the African-Americans who were brought to Georgia as slaves through the city's port.

In 2005, Wachov Bank apologized to Georgia's African-American community for its predecessor's (Georgia Railroad and Banking Company of Augusta, Georgia) role in the use of at least 182 slaves in the building of that railroad.

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