Panoramic map of Albany, Georgia, published in 1885. County seat of Dougherty County, the city was originally founded by Nelson Tift in 1836. Tift, a merchant and land speculator, saw the location along the Flint River as ideal for a market that would serve the newly arriving cotton farmers that were settling southwest Georgia during this time of expansion, after the United States acquired the land from the Creek Indians. African American slaves outnumbered whites during this period as cotton farming increased. Barges loaded with cotton were shipped down the Flint River to Apalachicola Bay on the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1857 the first rail line arrived, allowing the city to cut transport time to the mills in the northern U. S. and Europe. Nelson Tift was one of the chief promoters of the railroads in Albany. He also secured ferry and bridge rights across the Flint River at Albany. The Tift Toll Bridge that is indexed on the map was designed and built by African American bridge-builder Horace King. The covered toll bridge and bridge house still stands in downtown Albany.
This map captures the city as it appeared twenty years after the Civil War. While many southern cities experienced devastation and destruction during the war, Albany and southwest Georgia were largely spared the massive damage other cities endured.
The map features clearly labeled street names.
Features numbered references to the following locations:
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