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This Day in Georgia History

February 26, 1854

Okefenokee Draining Contemplated

Gov. Herschel Johnson signed an act of the General Assembly directing the governor to determine the feasibility of draining the Okefenokee Swamp. As stated in the preamble of the act, “the State of Georgia holds the title to a large tract of unimproved, and at present worse than useless land, known as the Okefenoke Swamp … [and] … in the opinion of many intelligent persons … said lands could be rendered so valuable by drainage as to yield a large revenue to the State.” Fortunately, Gov. Johnson never seriously pursued the legislation’s goal of draining the Okefenokee.