My Georgia History

Augusta, Georgia

You know, names change.  For example, the Savannah River hasn’t always been called the Savannah.  Before it was called the Savannah River, it was called the Westobu River, named after the Westos Indians.  The Westos Indians lived on either sides of the river.  But, the other Indian tribes didn’t like the Westos, because they were cannibalistic.  That’s right they ate people!  They were finally beaten in war. Those remaining of the Westos  Indians, became a part of the Creek nation.

And talking about names, did you ever wonder where our city name, Augusta, came from.  Let me tell you the story.

Years ago, in England in 1735, King George II, was on the throne.  He had three daughters and a son, Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales.  In 1733, Mercer painted a picture of the four children, in a portrait called, the “Music Party.”  They all looked so happy playing their instruments.  But that was not the case. Frederick didn’t get along with his sisters, or maybe, they didn’t get along with him. Frederick was getting to marrying age. You see his father, King George II, had a friend over near Saxe-Gotha, that’s near Germany.  King George wrote his friend to see if his daughter would marry his son.  Would she come to England and marry Frederick Prince of Wales?

Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales wedding was set for 1736.  They weren’t really sure the bride would show up, but she did.  The bride was Princes Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.  So Fredrick and Augusta were married. They said she was gangly and somewhat awkward, but Augusta was a good wife.  She didn’t care about politics, and took good care of her family. Prince Frederick never became King of England, but he and Augusta had a child that did.   In 1760 he became King George III.   When the two were married in 1736 James Edward Oglethorpe decided to name the Fort for her.   Fort Augusta, then Town, and now City, have carried her name for over 250 years.  A fort was named for Prince Fredrick down on the coast, Fort Frederica.

King George III was 22 when he ascended to the throne.  It’s interesting to note, that as young man, King George III’s heart was touched by a fifteen year old, daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Richmond County was named for him.  He sought advice from the Earl of Bute about this relationship, the Earl said no.  King George obeyed.  King George III was on the throne when the Americans had, had enough.   Steps had been taken and the Colonies were saying, “No taxation, without representation.”  On July 04, 1776 the “Declaration of Independence” was signed, and given to King George.  But, that’s another story.  As for the name Augusta, it comes from Princes Augusta, of Saxe-Gotha.

Written by: Mark Woodard

Research sources:

  1. The Story of Augusta. Cashin, Edward J. Spartanburg, SC. The Reprint Company Publishing. (1996)
  2. Augusta, A Pictorial History. Callahan, Helen. Richmond County Historical Society Publisher. (1980)
  3. Confederate City, Augusta Georgia 1860-1865. Corley, Florence Fleming. (1995)
  4. Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia. Jones, Charles C. Spartanburg, SC. The Reprint Publishers. (1890)
  5. From City to Countryside. Haltermann, Bryan M. (1997)
  6. Articles from the Augusta Chronicle.


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