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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Macon, Georgia

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A city and the county-seat of Bibb county, Georgia, U.S.A., in the central part of the state, on both sides of the Ocmulgee river (at the head of navigation), about 90 m. S.S.E. of Atlanta. Pop. (1900), 23,272, of whom 11,550 were negroes; (1910 census) 40,665. Macon is, next to Atlanta, the most important railway centre in the state, being served by the Southern, the Central of Georgia, the Georgia, the Georgia Southern & Florida, the Macon Dublin & Savannah, and the Macon & Birmingham railways. It was formerly an important river port, especially for the shipment of cotton, but lost this commercial advantage when railway bridges made the river impassable. It is, however, partially regaining the river trade in consequence of the compulsory substitution of drawbridges for the stationary railway bridges. The city is the seat of the Wesleyan female college (1836), which claims to be the first college in the world chartered to grant academic degrees to women; Mercer University (Baptist), which was established in 1833 as Mercer Institute at Penfield, became a university in 1837, was removed to Macon in 1871, and controls Hearn Academy (1839) at Cave Spring and Gibson Mercer Academy (1903) at Bowman; the state academy for the blind (1852), St Stanislaus' College (Jesuit), and Mt de Sales Academy (Roman Catholic) for women. There are four orphan asylums for whites and two for negroes, supported chiefly by the Protestant Episcopal and Methodist Churches, and a public hospital. Immediately east of Macon are two large Indian mounds, and there is a third mound 9 m. south of the city. Situated in the heart of the "Cotton Belt," Macon has a large and lucrative trade; it is one of the most important inland cotton markets of the United States, its annual receipts averaging about 250,000 bales. The city's factory products in 1905 were valued at $7, 2 97,347 (33.8% more than in 1900). In the vicinity are large beds of kaolin, 30 m. wide, reaching nearly across the state, and frequently 3 5 to 70 ft. in depth. Macon is near the fruitgrowing region of Georgia, and large quantities of peaches and of garden products are annually shipped from the city.

Macon (named in honour of Nathaniel Macon) was surveyed in 1823 by order of the Georgia legislature for the county-seat of Bibb county, and received its first charter in 1824. It soon became the centre of trade for Middle Georgia; in 1833 a steamboat line to Darien was opened, and in the following year 69,000 bales of cotton were shipped by this route. During the Civil War the city was a centre for Confederate commissary supplies and the seat of a Treasury depository. In July 1864 General George Stoneman (1822-1894) with 500 men was captured near the city by the Confederate general, Howell Cobb. Macon was finally occupied by Federal troops under General James H. Wilson (b. 1837) on the 10th of April 1865. In1900-1910the area of the city was increased by the annexation of several suburbs.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Macon, Georgia'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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