1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Columbus (Georgia)

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COLUMBUS, a city and the county-seat of Muscogee county, Georgia, U.S.A., on the E. bank and at the head of navigation of the Chattahoochee river, about 100 m. S.S.W. of Atlanta. Pop. (1890) 17,303; (1900) 17,614, of whom 7267 were negroes; (1910, census) 20,554. There is also a considerable suburban population. Columbus is served by the Southern, the Central of Georgia, and the Seaboard Air Line railways, and three steamboat lines afford communication with Apalachicola, Florida. The city has a public library. A fall in the river of 115 ft. within a mile of the city furnishes a valuable water-power, which has been utilized for public and private enterprises. The most important industry is the manufacture of cotton goods; there are also cotton compresses, iron works, flour and woollen mills, wood-working establishments, &c. The value of the city’s factory products increased from $5,061,485 in 1900 to $7,079,702 in 1905, or 39.9%; of the total value in 1905, $2,759,081, or 39%, was the value of the cotton goods manufactured. There are many large factories just outside the city limits. Columbus was one of the first cities in the United States to maintain, at public expense, a system of trade schools. It has a large wholesale and retail trade. The city was founded in 1827 and was incorporated in 1828. In the latter year Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798–1859) established here the Columbus Independent, a State’s-Rights newspaper. For the first twenty years the city’s leading industry was trade in cotton. As this trade was diverted by the railways to Savannah, the water-power was developed and manufactories were established. During the Civil War the city ranked next to Richmond in the manufacture of supplies for the Confederate army. On the 16th of April 1865 it was captured by a Union force under General James Harrison Wilson (b. 1837); 1200 Confederates were taken prisoners; large quantities of arms and stores were seized, and the principal manufactories and much other property were destroyed.