Origins and early growth of Georgia RR : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Hello; I'm not a RR buff, but a writer and Georgia native. I'm hoping to do an article about a committee formed around 1820 by Gov. Troup, and the part played by a direct ancestor of mine named James Hamilton Couper in convincing the governor and his advisors to build railroads across the state rather than canals, as the committee originally planned. I only know about this from a chapter in James Bagwell's book, "Rice Gold", a biography of Couper.

The decision to use railroads as Georgia's primary transportation technology--when trains were still pretty new and untested--had an obvious impact on this state's future. I'd like to do some research on that committee, its decision-making process, the early development of RR in the state, and key figures in that process. I'll be talking to the folks at the state historical society, but will focus on the technology in its infancy.

Any suggestions, warnings or sources would be appreciated.

Trip Giudici, Brunswick

-- Carey "Trip" Giudici (, May 03, 2002


According to the book, "From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek" A History of Bryan County Georgia, by Buddy Sullivan, "Canal promoters in the 1820's envisioned a system which would link the Savannah, Ogeechee and Altamaha rivers with the Flint and Chattahoochee on the other side of the State, thus providing an unbroken waterway linking the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico. In December 1824, the Georgia lesislature granted to Ebenezer Jenckes a charter to build a canal between Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers. A year later he received a permit to extend this canal to the Altamaha river. By the end of 1830, work on the canal was completed at a total cost of $175,000. In Savannah in 1833, the Central of Georgia Railroad and Banking Company was formed. Construction began on the railroad in 1836, the same time the Savannah, Ogeechee, and Altaaha Canal Company declared bankruptcy".

-- Carey Stevens (, May 03, 2002.

Mr. Giudici -

I'm not certain I can help you, but if you'll contact me off-list I'll try. I've done some research on Georgia's railroads and am working on a book on the subject, but I've never heard of the committee you mention.

The earliest commercial venture involving a railroad in Georgia that I've been able to find was chartered in December, 1827. The charter was issued to one Thomas Spalding and his associates and involved building either a railroad or a canal between the Ocmulgee and Flint Rivers. To my knowledge nothing was constructed under this charter.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, May 03, 2002.

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