"This division of the State embraces the country lying between the heads of tide water in the east, and the Ocmulgee River in the west, and south to the corner of Liberty, Tattnall, and Appling, while the counties of Twiggs, Wilkinson, Washington, Glascock, Jefferson and Richmond, indicate its limits in the North. It differs from Middle Georgia in several important respects; its geological formations are tertiary instead of metamorphic; its average elevation is only about 250 feet above the sea; its surface is more level; its soils, for the most part, loamy or sandy; subsoil clay, red and yellow, 4 to 6 inches below the surface in clay lands, 8 to 12 inches in sandy lands; its forest growth is principally pine; it contains calcareous marls in considerable deposits. It is also the commencement of the section in which the sugar cane can be profitably cultivated, while its rocks, which are few, are of a sedimentary character, with iron ore and Buhr stone in several localities. Deposits of kaolin and pipe clay are found along its entire length from east to west. Its water powers are less than those of Middle Georgia, and its drinking water, while good, is less cool and pure. While pine is the leading forest growth, and the chief timber for building and export; there are also large bodies of oak and hickory. The soils in such localities are either clayey or gray, mostly the latter, and admirably adapted to the production of cotton and corn; cypress abounds in the swamps and lowlands. The county of Burke was, for many years, and until the late revolution in our system of labor, the leading cotton producing county of the State The comparatively fresh lands of Decatur have, of late years, enabled her to claim and hold the championship in this particular product. Cotton, with corn, wheat, (the adaptation to which lessens as we proceed southward into the pine lands,) oats, rye, barley, sugar cane, potatoes, constitute the staple products of the section. The average yields per acre with fair culture: are cotton, 650 lbs.; corn, 14 bushels; wheat, 12 bushels; oats, 25 bushels; cane syrup, 300 gallons; potatoes, 150 bushels; barley 30 bushels. There is much high culture in the district, and these results are often quadrupled. The seasons for planting and harvesting are nearly the same as those of Middle Georgia, perhaps from 10 to 14 days earlier. The district is famous for its excellent fruit, especially peaches, strawberries and melons, large quantities of which are exported annually to northern markets. Richmond, Burke and Washington being the principal counties engaged in the trade. The fig, grape--especially scuppernong--pear, plum, are all grown successfully. All the vegetables thrive well.

The district is well watered, and water powers are ample for all purposes. The climate is perceptibly milder in winter than that of Middle Georgia, and the average temperature in summer higher; snows light, and only fall once in every four or five years. The average price of wood-land in the oak and hickory section is $7 to $10 per acre, and improved lands $4 to $6; in the pine country uncleared lands can be bought from $1 to $2 per acre; improved farms from $3 to $4. Both can be had on a liberal credit. In the upper half of the district, the average wages of good field hands is $9 per month, with rations; in the pine lands, $7; ordinary mechanics, $1 to $2 per day.

The people are among the best in the State, and desire to fill up their surplus lands with industrious and thrifty immigrants.

The Bermuda and sedge grasses of the old fields in the upper tier of counties, and the wire grass and cane of the southern tier, afford the finest ranges for cattle and sheep the greater portion of the year. The southern counties abound in fish, deer, and nearly every species of wild game."

source: A manual of Georgia for the use of immigrants and capitalists / prepared under the direction of Thomas P. Janes, commissioner of agriculture

author: Georgia. Dept. of Agriculture; Janes, Thomas P.
extent: ii, 119 p. ; 21 cm.
publication: Atlanta: [s.n.], 1878

Eileen B. McAdams copyright 2003