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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Augusta in Richmond County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Navigation

 
 
Navigation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
1. Navigation Marker
Inscription.
During the period of exploration and settlement of the North American continent, the earliest means of transportation were the rivers, and the Savannah River was the major artery of the Southeast.

Most of the river trade was in deerskins and furs, and other products of the forest. Later, as farming became established in the region, agricultural commodities were transported downriver on "Petersburg boats,” narrow flatboats designed to be maneuvered easily through the swift upriver rapids and named for an early north Georgia town now vanished.

As cotton rapidly replaced tobacco as the South's major crop in the nineteenth century, Augusta gained dominance as a regional market center. Loads of cotton from all directions in Georgia and South Carolina were sold and reloaded on rafts or flat-bottomed pole boats for shipment to the coast. William Longstreet, an Augusta inventor, demonstrated the first use of steam power on the river with a craft of his own design in 1808, ushering in the great era of the steamboat.

One veteran boatman remembered the Savannah as a lively highway through dangerous twisting banks with colorful names—Cut Finger Cut, Devil's Elbow, Head of Stingy Venus—a wild jumble conjured up by rivermen with humor and with fear. "It's the prettiest river in the world,”
Marker detail: Steamboat loaded with bales of cotton at the Fifth Street Dock, c1860 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
2. Marker detail: Steamboat loaded with bales of cotton at the Fifth Street Dock, c1860
he said, "and the meanest to navigate.”
 
Location. 33° 28.637′ N, 81° 57.721′ W. Marker is in Augusta, Georgia, in Richmond County. Marker can be reached from 7th Street north of Reynolds Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Augusta Riverwalk between 7th St and 6th St. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 7th Street, Augusta GA 30901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Colonial Church of Augusta (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Five Indian Nations (about 400 feet away); Fort Augusta (about 500 feet away); Railroads (about 500 feet away); Washington's Southern Tour (about 500 feet away); The Levee (about 500 feet away); U.S. Marshall Robert Forsyth (about 600 feet away); William Bartram Trail (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Savannah River. The Savannah River, named for a Native American tribe long forgotten, is a body of water that should be remembered as the reason the town of Augusta grew. All trails led to the river, which led to the port and the coast. Furs and deer skins, tobacco and cotton all went downstream. Money came back up. (Submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Navigation Marker (<i>wide view; Savannah River in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
3. Navigation Marker (wide view; Savannah River in background)
 

2. Longstreet actually invented steamboat. As early as 26 September 1790, Augusta's William Longstreet addressed a letter to Thomas Telfair, then governor of Georgia, asking his assistance, or that of the legislature, in raising funds to enable him to construct a boat to be propelled by steam power. This was three years before Robert Fulton's letter to the Earl of Stanhope announcing his theory “respecting the moving of ships by the means of steam.” Longstreet, ultimately securing funds from private sources, was able to launch a boat on Savannah River, which moved against the current at the rate of five miles an hour. This was in 1807, a few days after Fulton had made a similarly successful experiment on the Hudson River. (Submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 23, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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