Tag Archives: American Revolution

Savannah, Georgia

2012 Savannah SantaCon

Savannah, Georgia

The Southern United States can boast quite a few cities, but none more than Savannah, Georgia for its ultimate southern charm, southern belles, manors, and plantations. Named after the river it was along, most likely derived from variant names of the Shawnee who once lived in the area. This tribe destroyed the Westo here. The Shawnee were also known as the Savano, Shawano, and the Savannah, hence the namesake. Savannah lies roughly 20 miles upriver along the Savannah river from the Atlantic Ocean and encompasses over 108 square miles. The city layout was founded by James Oglethorpe under his “Oglethorpe Plan”. General Oglethorpe, a well known British philanthropist and representative of King George II for the American Colonies, was originally sent to the area to create a buffer south of the Savannah River to protect the area from Spain in Florida and France in Louisiana. They landed this area in 1733 near Yamacraw Bluff where they were greeted by the Yamacraws, Tomochichi, and John/Mary Musgrove (Indian traders who served as translators for them). It is at this point that the city was founded, as well as the colony of Georgia. By 1751, it became a Royal Colony and the official capital of colonial Georgia. When America was approaching its dissent and revolution, and issues with British taxation were in upheaval, the armed resistance from Lexington and Concord reached Savannah in May of 1775, and upon congress approval, Georgia delegates decided to join the other 12 colonies to unite against the British. It was a strategic port during the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. On September 11, 1779 American forces led by General Benjamin Lincoln and Count Casimir Pulaski met northwest of Savannah. This was followed by the French fleet debarking over 3,200 French, Irish, and Haitian soldiers to march on Savannah to support the American attack. Allied forces laid siege to the city under a 5 day bombardment. It failed, and Savannah remained under British Control for more than 6 months until General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown Virginia in October of 1781. Today it is a hotspot for tourism, as well as being a major industrial center and seaport. Georgia’s 5th largest city, Savannah attracts millions of tourists annually, and is most known for its iconography, architecture, being the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the US Girl Scouts), the Georgia Historical Society, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First African Baptist Church, the Mickve Israel Temple, its downtown area, and being one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.

Savannah, Georgia

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Niagara River

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Niagara River

A massive river that flows between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie for approximately 35 miles in length. It is home to the famous “Niagara Falls” both on the U.S. and Canadian sides. It is dotted with falls, whirlpools, and rapids along its course. There are also several islands along the run of the river: The two largest and most popular are the Navy Island and the Grand Island. Other popular ones include Goat Island, Luna Island, and Squaw Island. The river forms the border between Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. Many legends amiss around the river, as does its name origin. An Iroquois belief is it was named after a branch of the Neutral Confederacy called the “Niagagarega” in the late 17th century. Others state it was named after the Iroquois village “Ongniaahra” or “point of land cut in two”. Today the river is dotted with, especially within the Falls area, hydroelectric power stations. The two most famous of which is the Sir Adam Beck Hydro-electric Power Station in Canada and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in the U.S.A. It was America’s first waterway to harness large scale hydro-electricity. Ships coming down the Niagara River use the Welland Canal of the Saint Lawrence Seaway to bypass the Falls. The Falls drop over 325 feet along its gorge fallway. It has two tributaries – the Welland River and Tonawanda Creek which were adapted into Canals for ship traffic such as the Erie Canal and the Welland Canal. The first European exploits of the area begin in the 17th century with French explorer Father Louis Hennepin published in the 1698 “A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America”. Some of the first railways built in America were built along this river, including the inclined wooden tramway built by John Montresor in 1764 called “The Cradles” and “The Old Lewiston Incline”. The River has seen its share of battles and wars, including ones between Fort Niagara (U.S.) and Ft. George (Canada) during the French and Indian War, American Revolution, Battle of Queenston Heights, and War of 1812. It was also very important during the American Civil War as a point where slaves crossed via the Underground Railway to Canada.

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Yorktown, Virginia

Old Yorktown, Virginia * http://www.yorkcounty.gov/tourism/


Yorktown, Virginia

Yorktown was named after England’s York and was established as a port for shipping tobacco to Europe. It is the 3rd part of Virginia’s infamous “Historic Triangle” that connects it with Jamestown and Williamsburg. Yorktown is a small village of roughly 203 citizens (2000 census) and is considered a “Census-designated place” in York County, Virginia. It is also York County’s county seat and is one of the eight original shires that formed in colonial Virginia in 1634. Yorktown is most famous for the surrender of General Cornwallis of the English army to General George Washington of the newly forming United States of America in 1781. It was this surrender that effectively ended the American Revolutionary War even though the war continued for another year. It was here as well that another American war – the American Civil War (1861-1865) prominently figurred as a placehold in being a major port that supplied northern and southern towns thereby placing it into being a battlefield a second time. There are only 9 buildings that survive from the Colonial period as well as many of the earthworks dug by the besieging American and French forces. There is also a memorial to the French war dead of the battle. Its a small quaint town. Nothing like Jamestown or Williamsburg and holds an attraction of its own. While I was visiting, most of the museums of historic buildings were closed and there were no activities. It does have a nice public white-sand beach great for summer activities and a little bit of shopping. Its a nice exit to the excitement of Jamestown and Williamsburg. Rating 3.5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/22/2008.

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