The University of Georgia was chartered in 1785, the first university founded by a state government. The charter was written by Abraham Baldwin, one of the two Georgians to sign the U.S. Constitution. The university was a land grant university. The university had no religious affiliation; its purpose was to educate leaders for the state whatever their religious affiliation. For the rest of the confederation period, the university remained an idea and plan, not yet a reality.
In 1786, the legislature appointed a commission to find a site for a permanent, centrally located capital. The commission purchased 1,000 of land near Galphin’s old trading post. It named the new city “Louisville,” to honor King Louis XVI of France for his help in America’s Revolutionary war. From 1796 until 1808, Louisville served as the capital.
The issue of slavery had divided the Baptists and Methodists into northern and southern branches in the mid-1840s. The war itself had split other denominations. While Catholics throughout the country remained in the Catholic Church, most Southern Catholics supported the South. Episcopalian leaders from throughout the South met in Augusta, Georgia, and voted to return to the U.S church. Southerners who were Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians stayed in their separate churches. Before the Civil War, most blacks belonged to the churches of their owners. Because the denominations for southern were Baptist and Methodist, the majority of African Americans also belonged to them. After the war, some African Americans remained with the churches they had attended before the war.