HISTORY OF SAVANNAH
Savannah's recorded history begins in 1733. That's the year General James Oglethorpe and the 120 passengers of the good ship "Anne" landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River in February. Oglethorpe named the 13th and final American colony "Georgia" after England's King George II. Savannah became its first city.
The plan was to offer a new start for England's working poor and to strengthen the colonies by increasing trade. The colony of Georgia was also chartered as a buffer zone for South Carolina, protecting it from the advance of the Spanish in Florida.
Under the original charter, individuals were free to worship as they pleased and rum, lawyers and slavery were forbidden - for a time.
Pre-Civil War Savannah was praised as the most picturesque and serene city in America. It was known for its grand oaks festooned with Spanish moss and its genteel citizenry. The Georgia Historical Society was founded in that era. Magnificent Forsyth Park acquired its ornate fountain, a sight worth seeing.
During the Civil War, the city suffered from sea blockades so strict that the economy crumbled. "Impregnable" Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River was captured by Union soldiers in 1862. The city itself did not fall until Union General William Tecumseh Sherman entered in mid-December after burning the city of Atlanta and everything else in his path on his "March to the Sea." Upon entering Savannah, Sherman was said to be so impressed by its beauty that he could not destroy it. On December 22, 1864, he sent a famous telegram to President Abraham Lincoln, offering the city as a Christmas present.
In the last 10 years more than 50 million people came to visit Savannah, drawn by its elegant architecture, ornate ironwork, fountains and green squares. Savannah's beauty is rivaled only by the city's reputation for hospitality. It has become one of the country's most popular vacation spots. We look forward to seeing you here.