PORT AND CITY.
ADDRESSED TO THE
Commercial and Business Men of the United States
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
GEORGE F. NESBITT AND CO., PRINTERS COR. WALL AND WATER STREETS
ITS PORT AND CITY
THE President and Directors of “The
City of Brunswick,” desiring to afford exact and authentic
information concerning the objects, plans and purpose of the
Company, present to the public the following facts and
The port of Brunswick lies about midway on the coast of
Georgia, in latitude thirty-one degrees north; longitude, eighty-one
degrees, thirty minutes. The waters by which it is formed are
commonly known as “Turtle River.” Correctly speaking, this river is
a great inlet, or arm of the sea—the waters of which are as salt as
the ocean itself. It passes between two islands, known by the names
of Jekyll and St. Simon, forming a wide, deep and swift column, and
flowing into the interior upwards of twenty miles. It is the only
salt-water harbor on our southern Atlantic coast.
Safe, easy and uninterrupted communication with the sea
is secured at all times. Ships, whose masters or crews had never
before seen the port, can enter in perfect safety without a pilot.
This is frequently done, in stress of weather, by coasting vessels
of heavy burthen, by night as well as by day. Once in port, they
find the best anchorage, completely land-locked, and certain shelter
from the storm. So capacious is the roadstead, that the largest
navy in the world may find a secure haven at every season of the
year, and in any state of the elements. The harbor also presents
positions for defence strong enough to render it impregnable: thus
affording protection alike from the violence of the sea, and the
batteries of an enemy.
Some years ago, the Government of
the United States, acting under a resolution of the Senate,
appointed a Board of Commissioners to examine the harbors south of
the Chesapeake Bay, in order to determine their comparative
advantages for the establishment of a Naval Depot. Three
distinguished officers of the navy, Commodores Woolsey,
Claxton and Shubrick, were assigned to this duty. After
personal inspection of the several ports whose natural facilities
gave them a claim on the public attention, the Commissioners, in
their report to the Navy Department, designated Brunswick as uniting
the greatest number of requisite qualifications, and as holding a
position near the great outlet of the commerce of the West Indies
and the Gulf of Mexico, which would be invaluable in a state of
maritime warfare. The report is now on the files of the department,
and constitutes the basis upon which the statement in this paragraph
The site of Brunswick is a beautiful bluff of close
sand, perfectly dry, and very eligible for a city of the largest
dimensions. The land rises on a regular grade. Commencing at
Brandy Point, on a level with high water, it ascends gradually until
it reaches an elevation, on the north line of the old Oglethorpe
town, more particularly referred to hereafter, of fifteen feet.
From thence, the ascending grade continues, with the same
regularity, to the point of the Canal Lock on O Street, at an
elevation of thirty feet above high-water mark. And this is about
its summit-level. The best anchorage may be found near the bluff,
ranging along the whole extent of the town, in from twenty to forty
feet water at the lowest time of tide.
The neck of land on which Brunswick is situated, has a
width, at its centre, of one and a half miles; the front being on
Oglethorpe Bay, or Inner Harbor, as it is called. Its extreme
length, from south-east to north-west, along the Oglethorpe Bay, is
about three and a quarter miles. It is bounded on the east by St.
Simon’s Sound; on the west by Oglethorpe Bay and Turtle River; on
the south by St. Simon’s Sound; and on the north by a high Pine
Land, (so called.) This high Pine Land runs gradually back about
twenty-five miles, until it reaches the sand hills in Wayne County,
at an elevation of ninety-two feet above tide-water at Brunswick.
And this is the highest point of land on the line of the Brunswick
and Florida Railroad.
The distance of Brunswick from the
ocean is about six miles. Its highest temperature is ninety-four
degrees—its lowest, twenty-two degrees: with a mean
temperature of sixty-seven. The summer-heats are tempered by cool
breezes regularly setting in from the sea; and the diseases ascribed
to some parts of the low country of Georgia are unknown there.
Pure water, and a salubrious climate at all seasons of the year,
offer securities for health and comfort, to an extent not to be
found in any other port on the southern coast.
The superior position of Brunswick, and the natural
advantages possessed by its harbor for a great commercial and
maritime settlement, have been long known and understood. About a
century ago, General Oglethorpe, when Commander-in-Chief of
Georgia and South Carolina, designated this harbor as the only one
on the southern sea-board adapted for a naval depot, and as being,
also, the best, in all respects, for a commercial emporium. Under
instructions from the then reigning monarch of England, George II.,
the governor laid out the town of Brunswick. Subsequent to
that event, a British seventy-four gun ship entered the harbor, and
lay at anchor there for a whole year. In the year 1790, when nearly
all the surrounding territory was in the undisturbed possession of
the Indians, and when no produce could reach the port, except along
the coast, a sale of the town lots took place. Such was the
estimate of their value, even at that early day, that some lots were
sold at prices varying from £500 to £800 sterling—or, from $2,400 to
upwards of $4,000 each.
The State of Georgia holds an elevated rank among her
sister confederates of the Union. From the mountains to the
sea-coast, she possess almost every variety of soil and climate.
She is gifted abundantly with mineral vegetable and agricultural
wealth. But her growth has been impeded, her energies have been
crippled, and her material resources in a great degree locked up, by
the want of a safe, direct, and ready access to the sea. In other
words, she has hitherto been without a good port. That
great, paramount necessity, long comprehended, but never
before provided for, is now about to be supplied. An outlet for her
immensely valuable productions, and an inlet for all the foreign
necessaries and luxuries which she may desire, is to be opened to
During the last session of her Legislature, a charter
was granted to the proprietors of the city of Brunswick, under which
organization of the company has been effected.
The capital stock has been fixed at three millions of dollars,
($3,000,000,) in thirty thousand shares of one hundred dollars
The property of the company consists of three thousand
and fifty-seven city lots, including the old town of Brunswick, as
laid out by Governor Oglethorpe—embracing, as already state,
an area of about three miles and a quarter—directly upon the
water-front. In addition to the city lots already surveyed and
located, the company own several tracts of land adjoining and in the
immediate vicinity, comprising fourteen hundred and sixty-five
acres. In the purchase of these lands, and in the improvements upon
them, the sum of six hundred thousand dollars has already been
expended. A spacious hotel, with out-buildings, wharves,
store-houses, dwelling-houses, and land culverts, for the drainage
of the city, have also been constructed.
The great stream known as the Altamaha River penetrates,
with its branches, the heart of the State of Georgia, from the ocean
to the mountains. It is the largest river on this side of the
Mississippi; but it flows into the sea, for some miles near its
mouth, over a number of banks and shoals, inaccessible to vessels of
The first grand object to be effected was to unite this
river, having no good harbor at its mouth, with the port of
Brunswick, which has no navigable river running into the interior.
And this object is now almost accomplished by means of a canal.
The Altamaha has two large branches, or divisions,
called the Ocmulgee and the Oconee. It is navigable by steamboats,
at all seasons of the year, to its junction with these branches.
And it runs a distance of about one hundred miles, by land, from the
mouth of the canal to the point at which the junction is formed.
The largest of the two branches is the Ocmulgee, or
southern branch. It is navigable, for river steamboats, to Macon—a
distance, by land, of 130 miles above its junction with the
Altamaha; and a distance from the same point, by the courses of the
river, of 250 miles.
The other, or northern branch—the Oconee—is navigable,
by steamboats, to Milledgeville—a distance of 200 miles from its
junction with the Altamaha.
Above the point of steamboat navigation, each of these
branches is navigable for lumber a distance of 100 miles. There are
innumerable tributary streams, navigable by
small boats and rafts, emptying into the river and its branches in
all directions; and which, if followed through their multiplied
windings, would cover a navigation not less, in extent, than four to
seven thousand miles.
The neck of land which separates the harbor of Brunswick
from the navigable waters of the Altamaha River is distant thence,
in a northerly direction, less than twelve miles. It has been
stated that a canal connecting the two points is very near
completion. This work has been constructed under the authority of
the State of Georgia. The sum of six hundred thousand dollars has
been expended upon it. So important was the object deemed by the
State authorities, that the Legislature adopted a resolve empowering
the Governor to appoint three Commissioners, whose duty it should be
to examine the port of Brunswick, and to report, upon oath, whether
or not it would be advisable for the State to render her aid in
opening the navigation to the interior. Three distinguished
citizens, judges of the courts, were appointed—Messrs. John G.
Polhill, Hugh Lawson, and Moses Fort. After
accurate personal inspection, they reported that it “was
highly advisable for the State to render aid efficiently and
promptly.” Upon the faith of this report, the sum of fifty thousand
dollars ($50,000) was subscribed and paid by the State towards the
completion of the canal. Its length will be twelve miles. Its
junction with the Altamaha River is at a point called Six Mile
Creek, on the south branch, and is about twenty miles from the mouth
of the river. A lock, to be supplied by tide water, is to be
constructed at each end of the canal. The contractors have bound
themselves to complete the work during the present spring, and the
force now employed upon it is sufficient for the purpose.
This canal will change the whole course of trade on the
Altamaha and its waters. Planters can send their crops to Brunswick
direct by the river, and thus avoid the expense, risk, and delay of
tran-shipment, at Darien, for Savannah and Charleston. Produce can
be carried by steamers much cheaper than by railroad, and still
yield large profits to the former.
The lumber trade alone presents an array of facts well
worthy of attention. Its importance and extent are not generally
understood. The Altamaha and all its branches abound in forests and
the finest yellow pine, equal in quality to any that can be found on
and sufficient in extent to supply the markets
of the world. White oak, cypress, live oak, and various other
timbers, are also to be found in abundance. Any quantity of this
timber may be brought into market through the canal. Five hundred
million feet (500,000,000) a year can easily be produced. It can be
cut and delivered at Brunswick at less cost per one thousand feet,
than it can be cut and delivered on any other river known on the
Atlantic coast. When it arrives at the port of Brunswick, it has
reached a point where ships of the largest class can be freighted
with it for any part of the world. It is a fact little known, but
worthy of record here, as a matter of commercial history, that four
hundred million feet of timber (400,000,000) are annually brought to
Troy an Albany, through the Erie Canal—a distance of 364 miles; and
a large portion of it coming from the lakes.
In the West Indies, and almost within sight, as it were,
of the pine forests of Georgia, the State of Maine finds one of her
best and larges markets. The Island of Cuba alone consumes forty
millions of feet for the single article of sugar-boxes. Yet this
supply is brought from our Eastern country, passing on its voyage
the very gateway of Brunswick, a distance of nearly 2,000 miles, and
is sold at remunerative rates.
The statistics of Maine and of the Province of New
Brunswick, convey some interesting information respecting the extent
of the timber trade in those regions. The State of Maine builds
more ships than all the other States of the Union, as the following
summary will show:—
Vessels built in the United States in 37 ½ years, from
1815 to 1852:—
1815 a 1824, 10 years, 8,604
vessels, 879,858 tons.
1825 a 1834, 10 years, 9,147
vessels, 1,089,805 tons
1835 a 1844, 9 ½ years, 8,005
vessels, 1,050,418 tons
1845 a 1852, 8 years, 11,599
vessels, 2,072,575 tons
37 ½ years 37,355
vessels 5,092,656 tons
1848, 1851 vessels built, 318,076
tons } 2 greatest years.
1852, 1844 vessels built, 351,494 tons } 2 greatest
Another important item in the
business of Brunswick, and in the revenues of the canal, will be the
article of turpentine. The pine lands of Georgia, including at
least one-sixth of all its territory, have been hitherto
unproductive. Large tracts of this territory,
thus opened, have been explored by gentlemen
from North Carolina, with reference solely to its manufacture. The
facilities for carrying on this branch of commerce, are without
limit. Arrangements having that object in view, are now in
progress, and, from this consideration alone, an increased value of
200 per cent. has already been given to the lands.
All the other products of the county—cotton, rice,
sugar, corn, flour and stock—must, also, seek a market through this
canal. It is a safe and moderate calculation to estimate the cotton
alone at 100,000 bales a year, with a steady prospective increase on
that number. All the sea-island cotton which now grows south-west
of the Altamaha River—all that which now issues from St. John’s
River, and other points in Florida, must naturally go to Brunswick
as the nearest shipping port. This is a sort of “longshore”
business, entirely distinct from that of the railroad or canal.
Other and greater benefits, however, are to flow from
this enterprise, and from others immediately connected with it.
The Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company are now
constructing a line of road, designed ultimately to connect
Brunswick, in Georgia, with Pensacola, in Florida—or, in other
words, the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico—thus cutting off
the circuitous and critical navigation round the Capes of Florida.
The great national importance of such a work has long been felt and
acknowledged. The line is to run, in the first instance, from
Brunswick to the Gulf of Mexico, via Thomasville, in Thomas County,
Georgia, to the port of St. Mark’s, in Florida; with a branch from
the main line at Troupville, to Albany, Flint River. This river,
which is the principal tributary of the Chattahoochee, affords a
steamboat navigation to Pinderton, in Georgia, at the end of the
railroad communication with the big bend of the Ocmulgee.
The road is now under contract, and the work is
prosecuted under the most experience and energetic management. The
company propose, at the earliest practicable moment, to extend it
from Thomasville to Pensacola, in a direct line.
It will penetrate the finest cotton-growing region of
the United States. The rich and fertile cotton-lands on the line of
the road are rapidly inviting settlements of wealthy planters, from
the sea-board further north. The distance saved by the road, when
it reaches Florida, to all commerce of the States bordering on the
Mexico, will exceed 1,000 miles, for each
passage to and fro Europe and the Northern sea-board, and the
insurance against sea-risks will be reduced one-half.
Other and great improvements must soon follow. The
States of the West are projecting and constructing various links of
communication; and the time is not far distant when an immense
system of railroads will cover, like a network, the whole valley of
the Mississippi. And all these lines must ultimately be more or
less tributary to the growth and business of Brunswick.
By the adoption of the Brunswick and Florida route, only
400 miles of railroad will be required, on an easy grade and on a
course almost straight, to connect the Mississippi River, at
Vicksburg, with the Atlantic Ocean. At a freight of 3 cents per ton
per mile, a 500 lb. bag of cotton can be carried from New Orleans to
Shipping Port of Brunswick, for -----------------------
Freight from Brunswick to Liverpool, ½ d. per lb. ---------------5
Insurance on $50, at 1 ¼ per cent., -----------------------------0
Making, by this route, the cost of taking a bale from New
Orleans to Liverpool, ---------------------------$8 63
While, from New Orleans, around Florida to Liverpool
the freight ranges from 5/8 d. to 1 ¼ d. per lb.
If we call the freight and Mississippi River and
port charges 7/8 d. per lb., it will be on a 500 lb
bale ---------------------------------------------$8 75
Insurance ranges from 2 to 3 per cent.; if we call it 2
per cent. on $50, ---------------------------------1
00 $9 75
Difference in favor of the Brunswick route, per bale,
From Mobile to Brunswick, 300 miles, at same
rate is, ------------------------------------------$2 25
Freight from Brunswick to Liverpool, ½ d. per lb., ------- 5 00
Insurance do. do. $50, 1 ¼ per cent. ---
While around Florida the expenses are same as from
New Orleans, ------------------------------------------$9
Difference in favor of the Brunswick route, per bale, ------------$1
Besides the gain in time by this mode of forwarding.
To those districts of the States of
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida, which are situated
near the line of the road, the amount saved will far exceed the
estimate given; whilst to the States of Tennessee, Louisiana, and
all the northern sea-board States, the advantages by this route will
be equally great.
The distance from the northern
commercial towns, to Tehuantepec, will also be shortened about as
much as the distance to and from Europe; and a valuable avenue will
thus be opened for trade and travel to Mexico, via Vera Cruz; and by
the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to California and the Pacific.
The Secretary of the Treasury, in his last annual
report, (January, 1853,) states the annual amount of the
agricultural, mineral and manufacturing productions of the United
States at not less than three thousand millions, (3,000,000,000,) a
large portion of which is transported river, canal, or coasting
vessels, or on railroads, and which, in the course of trade, changes
hands several times before reaching the domestic consumer;—making an
aggregate amount of internal and coastwise traffic counting by
thousands of millions; whilst the whole amount shipped to foreign
countries, and finding an outlet in foreign markets, is only one
hundred and fifty millions, (150,000,000,) or one-twentieth part
of the entire production of the country. In the same document, the
Secretary states, that the coastwise trade, to and from the
American ports on the Gulf of Mexico, is of itself, probably, nearly
equal, in point of value, to the entire export of American
productions to foreign nations.
The completion of these two great works—the canal and
the railroad—will give to Brunswick the full benefit of her natural
advantages, and place her in a position to become the great
commercial emporium of the South. There is no sound reason why
goods should not be bought as cheap, and produce command as high a
price at Brunswick as at Charleston or New Orleans. Ships from
Liverpool, Bordeaux, or the East Indies, can go to Brunswick as
readily as to New-York or Charleston. And many causes combine to
render this the cheapest commercial port in the United
States. Among these are the deep water—the bold shore—the city side
from which wharfs can be readily and cheaply projected—the facility
of approach to the harbor, no pilotage being necessary, and there
being no currents to contend against—the safe anchorage, and the
healthy climate. There will be no delay either in running into port
or putting out to sea—no heavy river charges—and no loss of time to
increase the cost of merchandise.
The busy hum of a large, industrious and energetic
population, will soon be heard in the streets of Brunswick. Seamen
and ships will be profitably employed there. Cotton, grain, sugar,
lead, pork, wool, and every other home
production will go there; and the merchant of large capital will
soon find lucrative objects in which it can be invested. Yards for
building ships—factories for making carriages, and for other
mechanical and manufacturing purposes, will be established on a
large scale. Blacksmiths and shipwrights are already there, and the
prices of lumber, and the wages of mechanics are much the same as in
the timber regions of Maine—no higher. Steam mills are now in
process of erection, and it is believed that at least 500 vessels
will be laden with lumber for the English and French markets, and
for the Northern States, during the next season.
The tide of emigration has already turned towards
Brunswick. Large quantities of land are being purchased on the
waters of the Altamaha. Experienced lumberman from Maine and North
Carolina are engaged in the enterprise. Some of them are erecting
sawmills to go into operation immediately on the completion of the
canal. Cotton houses and cotton presses will also be erected.
Mercantile houses for lumber, agencies for the purchase of cotton,
turpentine agencies, banking houses, and commercial projects of
every description will spring into existence immediately on the
opening of the port.
Various powerful causes are at work to build up, in this
new field of enterprise, a trade and business far outreaching any
reasonable estimate which the Directors are willing at this time to
lay before the public. It is sufficient for them to know that the
day is near at hand when the City and Port of Brunswick will present
to the country a solid, permanent structure of commercial and
maritime prosperity not surpassed, in its relative importance, by
that of any port on the American continent.
By order of the Board of Directors,
THOMAS A. DEXTER, Secretary.
AMOS DAVIS, Treasurer.
Office of the Proprietors of the City of Brunswick,}
cor. Of Broadway and Wall St., New-York, March 1, 1853}