When, the prospectus for this compilation was issued, neither the publisher nor the editor could make any reliable estimate of the size of the volume not a page of it having then been prepared. We soon discovered that it was impossible to crowd into the space which we at first proposed as a limit, more than half the matter that ought to go into the work, and as the price at which it was offered could not justify the furnishing of a volume of double the number of pages contemplated, we concluded to extend the work and divide it into two parts, each covering the space of about nineteen years. The first part is now presented.

The editor is conscious of many defects and deficiencies. These were unavoidable. The newspaper files, upon which he had mainly to rely, were wholly missing for the years 1835 and 1836, and many numbers were missing from the flies of other early years within our reach. We procured a file of the Macon [Georgia] Messenger for the years 1835-6, which enabled us to supply many incidents of the Creek war. Old citizens assisted us with their recollections, and though we could not make up a perfect history of that stirring time from these disconnected data, we trust that we have given enough to interest and inform most readers. Of course our chapters for these two years are deficient in minor local incidents that the papers of the city would have furnished had they been accessible.

The editor pleads, also, his pressing and unflagging work upon a daily newspaper, as an excuse for the lack of a better arrangement of the facts in this publication, as well as its very plain style. He can say, indeed that he has only had snatches of time to devote to it. Some old citizens will no doubt be disappointed because it does not contain incidents worthy of note within their remembrance. But even they might have overlooked some incidents equally noteworthy that are reported. It would have been impossible for any one person, with the imperfect records at hand, to gather up all the facts deserving mention.

It will be seen that we have not included any living persons in the short personal sketches contained in this part, and we have endeavored to avoid any compliment (however deserving) to persons now living. These brief sketches are not brought up as closely as they should properly have been, but omissions in this respect will be supplied in the remainder of the work.

Prior to the year 1839 we had to rely entirely on the newspapers for records of marriages and deaths, and they are deficient. There are records of marriages in the Ordinary's office, commencing with that year, and we have been kindly permitted to use them. But the death roll is still incomplete.

The newspapers for the years over which we have gone devoted little space and paid but little attention to local affairs-much less than they now do. We have been surprised to find that they often contained but very slight mention, and sometimes none at all, of local questions, which, as we learn from allusions in the proceedings of Council, must have much interested the city and its people. As there was a marked improvement in this respect in the newspapers of later date, as the files are more complete, as well as the written records, we can safely promise that there will be fewer omissions in the second part. That part will also conclude with interesting statistics in reference to the factories, churches, &c., at the present time.

With this explanation we submit the first half of our work to the public, hoping that it contains matter that will interest and inform them, with all its imperfections.

The Editor


Gen. James N. Bethune informs us that the lot which brought the highest price at the first sale was not the south-west corner of Broad and Crawford streets, as stated on page 12, but "the opposite corner;" also that according to his recollection it was purchased by Henry C. Cook and John Fontaine for $1,875. Our information was derived from another old citizen, as to the location and purchasers. The Enquirer states that the price was $1,855.

We have given two dates for the arrival of the first steamboat on the authority of the Enquirer, the other on that of an old citizen. Subsequent inquiry almost convinces us that the 22d of February, 1828, was the time, and the "Steubenville," the boat.

On page 30 we attribute to Opotheoholo a boast that was made by another Indian chief, Pushmataha.

On page 89, "A. B. Bozan" should have been printed A. B. Ragan.

On page 107. "Philip T. Schulz" should have been printed Philip T. Schley.

There are no doubt some unavoidable mistakes made in transcribing or printing a few proper names.


Source: Columbus, Georgia from its Selection as a Trading town in 1827 to its Partial Destruction by Wilson's Raid in 1865, compiled by John H. Martin, Published by Thos. Gilbert, Book Printer and Binder, Columbus, GA, 1874

Transcribed by Judy White 2014©