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Georgia, the state's largest city, and the seat of Fulton County. It is also one of the most important commercial, financial, and transportation centers of the southeastern United States. census, the population of Atlanta is 420,003, although the metropolitan area (comprising twenty-eight counties and more than 6,000 square miles) has a population of more than 5.2 million.
In 1843 the name of the town was changed to Marthasville, in honor of the daughter of former governor Wilson Lumpkin, who had played a key role in bringing the railroad to the area.Two years later the city adopted a new name—Atlanta.Supposedly a feminine version of the word Atlantic, the name was first used by John Edgar Thomson, chief engineer of the Georgia Railroad, to designate his railroad's local depot.Governor Lumpkin, on the other hand, is said to have maintained that the city's new name was yet another tribute to his daughter, whose middle name was Atalanta, although this story appears to be to 9,554 people and was already the fourth largest city in the state.Enslaved African Americans and free persons of color were part of this population, although in smaller numbers than in the older, larger port cities of the South.Sherman and his troops moved closer on their Atlanta campaign.
From July 20 to August 25 Atlanta was subjected to a withering aerial bombardment.Transportation innovations and their connections to Atlanta helped establish the city as a state and regional center of commerce and finance.Issues of race and race relations, dating back to the years before the Civil War (1861-65), have affected the layout of the city and its political structure, municipal services, educational institutions, and sometimes conflicting images as a segregated southern city and a "black mecca." And the Atlanta spirit—part civic boosterism, part vision, with a healthy dose of business interests and priorities—has provided the city with an ever-changing set of goals and definitions of what Atlanta is and what it can become.important developments in the 1830s: the forcible removal of Native Americans (principally Creeks and Cherokees) from northwest Georgia and the extension of railroad lines into the state's interior.In 1837 engineers for the Western and Atlantic Railroad (a state-sponsored project) staked out a point on a ridge about seven miles east of the Chattahoochee River as the southern end of a rail line they planned to build south from Chattanooga, Tennessee.The town that emerged around this zero milepost was called Terminus, which literally means "end of the line." Had this remained the town's only rail connection, Atlanta might well have stayed a small, end-of-the-line frontier town.For example, the Committee on Public Safety, organized in 1861, and the Vigilance Committee, formed the following year, focused much of their attention and energies on ferreting out suspected spies and exposing abolitionists and Union sympathizers.