"Louis De Vorsey has written a detailed and stylishly-presented book. This book is particularly valuable in drawing attention to the detail and variety of information contained in the Congressional records, in the reports of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Coast Survey. The reader is left with a clear picture of old problems and new urgency."
Since 1732, when Georgia was created out of South Carolina territory, the boundary between the two states has been disputed. This controversy reignited in the 1970s, culminating in a suit filed by Georgia in the U. S. Supreme Court to ascertain the location of the true boundary line between the states.
De Vorsey’s book grows out of this controversy and is a detailed examination of the historical geography of that boundary. After reviewing the events that led to the 1977 litigation, De Vorsey provides a detailed analysis of Georgia’s original charter and the 1787 Treaty of Beaufort—two documents crucial to an understanding of the dispute. Using documentary and cartographic resources, he reconstructs the geographical conditions that existed at the time the documents were drafted and investigates how eighteenth-century Georgians and South Carolinians perceived these conditions.
In the course of his inquiry he discusses the tremendous natural forces that have sculpted and re-sculpted the unstable shorelines and islands formed by geologically youthful delta sediments. He considers, too, the impact of man on the environment as he attempted to control nature and improve navigability on the Savannah River.
The study concludes with a discussion of the particular areas of the Savannah River’s shores and islands involved in the Supreme Court litigation.
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