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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Indian Dogs #genealogy #history #georgiapioneers

Jeannette Holland AustinDogs Played a Major Role in the Settlement of Middle Georgia
By Jeannette Holland Austin

It was the poor and industrious people of Virginia and North Carolina who settled middle Georgia. Lands were easily procured but for the cost of a survey and they first built log cabins for their homes and outbuildings. Those who first ventured beyond the Ogeechee River sought good spring water and elevation so as to afford an opportunity to take on the Creeks and Cherokees who would shoot arrows into the little stockade forts erected around those springs. Usually several families united in building and taking up residence inside the forts. As soon as this protection was completed, the work of clearing away the surrounding forest was commenced and the land prepared for cultivation. Sentinels were stationed at certain points in the neighborhood to keep a careful watch. Every community employed its hunters and scouts sent out to discover signs of the presence of the Indians. Because this duty was so perilous, sometimes the scout did not return. Indian DogWhen seed-time came, corn, a small patch of cotton and another of flax were planted, and cultivation continued under the same surveillance. Man's best companion, the dog, was trained to search for prowling Indians and every morning before plowing a new spot, the dogs were sent out first. If the report was no Indians, the cultivation began. Occasionally an emigrant brought with him a slave or two: these emigrants were considered to be wealthy and and invariably became the leading men in the communities. Those from Virginia were more frequently possessed of more slaves and properties than those from the Carolina, and those who came from an older country, a bit more refined and ambitious, sought the best lands for grain and tobacco. The settlement of the North Carolinian stressed good spring-water and pine-knots for his fire, and he worked with the assiduity and perseverance of a beaver to build his house and open his fields. The common necessity borne to them all created a rather pure democracy. The communities were usually from twenty to fifty miles apart, yet new settlers were always welcome.

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