Commerce, Georgia

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Commerce is a city in Jackson County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,292 at the 2000 census.



Commerce is located at 34°12′23″N 83°27′40″W / 34.20639°N 83.46111°W / 34.20639; -83.46111 (34.206520, -83.461203)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²), of which, 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²) of it is land and 0.12% is water.

Native American History

Before white settlers arrived, the area around present-day Commerce was inhabited by the Creek and Cherokee. Two Cherokee settlements in the area were Yamacutah (Cherokee word meaning "to tumble," referring to a feature of the local shoals), situated near a now-lost sacred Stonehenge-like mound site; and Yamtrahoochee (meaning "Hurricane Shoals"). For the most part, this territory was a dividing line between the Creeks, who resided mostly to the South, and the Cherokees, to the North.

The Lacoda Trail, which extended from present-day Athens-Clarke County to the north Georgia mountains, was a significant Cherokee trade and travel route through this area. (GA Hwy. 334, which follows a nine mile section of this ancient trail, was designated the "Lacoda Trail Memorial Parkway" by the Georgia General Assembly in 1998.)

Around 1770, a complicated war between the Creeks and the Cherokee broke out in the area: in one sense, the war was to decide who had the rights to claim the territory between the Lacoda Trail and the Tishmaugu (now Mulberry) River, an issue exacerbated by English expansion from the East; in another sense, the battle was an extension of the conflicts between European settlement policy, the Creeks being loyal to the English and the Cherokees to the Spanish. According to local history, the battle began at Numerogo, north of present day Hurricane Shoals. The leader of the Creeks was Talitchlechee (other spellings: Talitcheliche, Taleache), who had fought against the Spanish alongside General Oglethorpe at St. Augustine. The battle was decided when Talitchlechee slew Amercides, the Cherokee king of noble Spanish birth. It is said that Amercides' wife, Elancydyne, rallied the retreating Cherokees by mounting her dead husband's white horse, and was herself killed in battle. The daughter of Amercides and Elancydyne was raised by the king's trusted brave, Umausauga, and later married a white settler named Johnson Josiah Strong; their marriage is said to be the first in the county.

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