Savannah Georgia History


Savannah is the fifth largest city in Georgia. The city was established in 1733, and became the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia. Later it became the first state capital of Georgia. The city served as a strategic port during the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

The Native American tribes of Yamacraws were the first known settlers in and around Savannah. They met the newly arrived European settlers in the 18th century. In November 1732, a ship from Britain carrying 114 colonists sailed for the region, and the settlers landed at Yamacraw Bluff. In July 1733, a group of 40 Sephardi Jews from Portugal and Spain landed in Savannah as well.

In 1754, Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a Royal Colony of the British. In 1763, after the Treaty of Paris, Savannah began to have economic ties with the interior, and a flourishing trade of deerskins started taking place. In 1778, Savannah came under British and Loyalist control during the American Revolutionary War. The University of Georgia, which became the country’s first state-chartered, public university was founded during this time. The Savannah Golf Club opened in 1792, and became the first known American golf club.

Cotton industry flourished in Savannah in the 19th century, with the establishment of the Savannah Cotton Exchange. The railroad connected the city to the markets along the interior and the coast during mid-19th century. The economy of Savannah diversified with the arrival of heavy industry and manufacturing at the turn of the 20th century.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the city saw the emergence of several distinguished buildings. The Historic Savannah Foundation was formed to preserve the ancient buildings in the region. The Savannah College of Art and Design was founded in 1978.