Vol. V, Laws     (Compiled from December 22, 1927 to June 29, 1938)

Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1941.

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Chapter 466
June 16, 1938.  | [H.R. 6243.] 52 Stat., 752.

An Act To authorize a survey of the old Indian trail and the highway known as "Oglethorpe Trail" with a view of constructing a national roadway on this route to be known as "The Oglethorpe National Trail and Parkway"

Margin Notes
Chap. 466 Oglethorpe National Trail and Parkway. Preamble.
Chap. 466 Use of funds authorized for survey of old Indian and Oglethorpe Trail.
Chap. 466 Location of parkway.

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Whereas the ancient Indian trail, extending from Savannah, the scene of the English colonization of Georgia, northwestwardly along the route of the Savannah River in the direction of the city of Augusta, and thence in a northwesterly direction, furnished a trail along which passed the great Indian migrations and also furnished a means of communication between the Indian tribes traveling from the Middle West and North to the Southeast; and

Whereas General Oglethorpe, in establishing a thoroughfare from Savannah to Augusta (upon returning, in September 1739, from his famous treaty conference with the Creek Nation, which was held at Coweta), followed this ancient Indian trail-this thoroughfare having been used thereafter by the colonists of Georgia in establishing their trading posts and outposts along the banks of the Savannah River unto the great heart of the southeastern territory of the United States; and

Whereas this thoroughfare from Savannah to Augusta was designated in 1780 as a British military road; and

Whereas for nearly three-quarters of a century this thoroughfare was used as a stage road, President George Washington having traveled this road during his southern tour in 1791 in going from Savannah, to Augusta; and

Whereas many important and historic sites are located on or near this road, including (ascending from Savannah) Old Yamacraw; the Hermitage Plantation; New Yamacraw; the Indian Mound Irene (site of John Wesley's Mission); Mrs. Musgroves Cowpen ; Joseph's Town; Mulberry Grove (Nathaniel Greene's plantation and site of invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney); the town of Abercorn; Dacre's Tavern; New Ebenezer; Old Ebenezer (site of the Salzburger settlement in 1734); the Palachocolas river crossing; Mount Pleasant (site of the trading post and fort); Hudson's Ferry; Uchee Town; Brier Creek Battlefield (site of important Revolutionary War battle); Burton's Ferry; Telfare's Saw Mill; Telfare's Plantation; Stony Bluff (site of prehistoric Indian stone implement factory); Gorham's Ferry; Shell Bluff,(site of deposits of gigantic fossilized oysters five inches wide by twenty-four inches long); and

Whereas not only is the area traversed rich in historic and prehistoric sites but it contains tremendous scenic value, passing through deep,

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junglelike river swamps which abound in game; over small blackwater creeks well stocked with bass, perch, and bream; across flat pine barren lands and rolling hills, and along commanding bluffs on the banks of the Savannah River; and in the springtime when dogwood, laurel, and magnolias are in bloom the area becomes a veritable garden; and

Whereas the entire Indian trail and the original thoroughfare from Savannah to Augusta lends itself particularly well to treatment as a national historic parkway (aside from its own significance it appears entirely feasible and desirable to link this proposed parkway to other national parkways, now under construction, by developing the Cherokee Indian trail from Augusta over the mountains to Tennessee); and

Whereas the cities and counties located in the area through which this roadway passes are interested in the building of this national parkway-numerous organizations, associations, and private citizens having already sponsored many projects to mark various of the historic sites along the roadway; and

Whereas the Government has recently adopted a policy and set up a division in the Department of the Interior known as the "National Park Service" to engage in a national way in laying out parks, reservations, and building parkways: Therefore

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to use a sum not in excess of $10,000 of the regular roads and trails or parkway appropriations available to the National Park Service, with which to make a survey of the old Indian and Oglethorpe Trail throughout its entire length leading from the city of Savannah to the city of Augusta, Georgia, the same to be known as "The Oglethorpe National Trail and Parkway." The said survey shall locate the parkway as nearly as practicable in its original route. An estimate of cost of construction of an appropriate national parkway on this route, and such other data as would be valuable, shall be obtained by said survey, with the objective of determining matters concerning the construction of the parkway.

Approved, June 16, 1938.

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