Hamburg, South Carolina versus Augusta, Georgia in Mills' Atlas, 1825 Economic War to the Death

Henry Shultz and his Town of Hamburg, SC


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In 1806 the remarkable Henry Shultz appeared in the United States at Augusta, GA. His aggressive and intelligent vision gained the respect and confidence of local citizens, investors, and the legislatures of Georgia and South Carolina. His cantankerous independence led to resentment, bankruptcy, manslaughter, and attempted suicide. He lived a long life, but only long enough to see the unravelling of his Town of Hamburg, SC and failure in his spiteful commerce war with Augusta.

Incredibly, his story lacks telling in any great depth. Occasional (and welcome) local newspaper articles keep the memory alive, but the story remains embarrassed by the blank in Shultz's early life in Hamburg, Germany, and in his American family life. The lack of a single hit on Google brings the insult fully up to date, hence this project.

[First] Bank of Hamburg, SC note, signed by Henry Shultz, 1824. Courtesy of Mr. Truman Shivers I seek to present, non-commercially on the Web, the life and times of Henry Shultz,    the Augusta Bridge,    Hamburg in its prime,    the South Carolina Rail Road, and    Hamburg's second life with fresh, visual, engaging, and historically traceable content. I will also log Hamburg genealogical data as time permits. Already I have interest, assistance, and crazy stories from local historians and enthusiasts. I seek information, hints and tips, leads, access to documents, low gossip, artifacts, and anything else that leads to a ripping tale for all to enjoy. And perhaps a good stirring of the pot will lead to a permanent result from some qualified person.

Peter J. Hughes

Augusta, Georgia
August, 2003

The old Town of Hamburg, South Carolina as shown in Bird's Eye View of Augusta, 1872
The Town of Hamburg, SC as shown in Bird's Eye View of Augusta, 1872, by C. N. Drie, courtesy of the Augusta History Museum. The 'elegant and substantial' Augusta Bridge, built by Henry Shultz in 1813, is in the upper left, and remained in service until 1888. Hamburg, SC enjoyed a brief success as an upriver trading point, but with the spread of railroads in the 1850's lost its position. Becoming something of a ghost town by the time of the Civil War, it gained a second life as a haven for freedmen. Its days finally became numbered with Augusta's construction of a protective levee in 1915; Hamburg, remaining defenseless, was swept away for good in the massive double flood of 1929. After World War II the Savannah River has been regulated by the Strom Thurmond dam, allowing executive golf course homes of adjacent North Augusta to grow back over the site.

Hamburg was the site of a key event in South Carolina's history, the Hamburg Massacre of 8 July 1876. Seven men died when an impossible situation exploded in blood. It is my opinion that all seven, who were trying to build a better life for themselves, deserve to be remembered.

  • Allan Attaway
  • Jim Cook
  • McKie Meriwether
  • Albert Myniart
  • Moses Parks
  • David Phillips
  • Hampton Stephens

Bank of Hamburg banknote image courtesy of Mr. Truman Shivers.

Read the Story of Hamburg as told in Chapman's History of Edgefield County, pp.236-243

Henry Shultz recently spoke at the South Carolina Historical Societies conference at North Augusta, and the next day featured a visit to the site of the 'stirring events' of July 8, 1876. Here is the take of Leonard Todd, author of Carolina Clay, the story of Dave the potter.

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