Holes In the Head

In Random Recollections of a Long Life, the priceless Edwin J. Scott plainly states that Shultz took his life in his hands after a court ruling against his ownership of the bridge. “In a fit of desperation… he attempted to commit suicide by discharging a loaded pistol in his mouth, but it happened to range upwards and outwards, so that the load came out between his eyes, frightfully mutilating him for the time, and leaving indelible marks of the powder in his face, yet, strange to say, he recovered, with his eyesight unimpaired….

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Bridge Builder, Lewis Cooper

“DIED, on Sunday last [28 September 1817], Mr. LEWIS COOPER. He was an ingenious mechanic, and the principal architect who constructed the bridge which now proudly ornaments our river. He has left an amiable wife and children to regret his loss.” (Augusta Chronicle, 1 October 1817.)

Lewis Cooper headstone

Lewis Cooper headstone at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Augusta, Georgia. ‘In veneration of his Character & as a tribute of Respect to his Memory this Stone is erected by his disconsolate widow and surviving Children, to mark the spot where lie the Remains of LEWIS COOPER, A Native of Newark (New Jersey) who died Sept. 28, 1817; Aged 32 years.’

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Images of the Augusta Bridge

Augusta Bridge 1816

The Augusta Bridge 1816 as depicted on a Bridge Bill, with prominent toll booths and heavy traffic. (Courtesy Carl A. Anderson and David Marsh, Georgia Obsolete Currency)

The new wonder crop, cotton, gave upcountry South Carolina a product to sell rather than simply eat. Cotton had to be delivered to a cash market, either Charleston on the coast, or the fall line port of Augusta. But Augusta was on the wrong side of the Savannah River, and as described by Henry Shultz himself, at least two previous attempts to build a bridge there had failed.

“. . . . in the year 1791 the Legislature of the State of South Carolina granted to Wade Hampton the power to build a Bridge across the Savannah River from the State to the City of Augusta Georgia, at his own expense . . . . the said Wade Hampton built two bridges, one after the other at great expense both of which were swept away by the flood of the river, after which this great enterprize was abandoned as altogether impracticable and so remained, until 1813 . . . “

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Dock Adams’ Amazing Testimony

Dock Adams was captain of the militia company during the Hamburg Massacre. His testimony covers 40 pages of South Carolina in 1876, the report of the Senate investigation. This is as close as we can get to what the citizens of Hamburg went through that night.

It’s no easier to read than anything else that has to do with the massacre. But this is Dock’s voice, and his actions that night reveal a character of leadership and enterprise that is confirmed by other testimonies.

Read SC in 1876 – Dock Adams (PDF)