After a number of outdoor orations and a few minor obstacles the first graduating class at UGA would soon be reality. Despite the looming fear of indian attack, the commencement ceremony of 1804 was uneventful.
The War of 1812 and a lack of State funds nearly closed the University during these early days. In 1830 fire destroyed the Chapel and with it the boundary between "town and gown". A new chapel was completed in 1835 but there was still some question as to the division of Athens and Georgia. Southern eyes focused on the border bash at the Georgia Florida boundary while UGA struggled with a territorial crisis in its own back yard.
The vision of the Senatus Academicus was finally realized in 1831 with the completion of the first Georgia State Botanical Garden.
The eye roamed with delight through the winding walks into shady dells and over flower beds of exquisite beauty. Near the center of the garden was a cool spring, delightfully shaded by trees with benches around it, where the college boys, after quenching their thirst were fond of sitting, to chat and crack jokes. At almost every turn some pleasant surprise greeted the eye... a splashing waterfall or a placid little lake with a graceful willow growing beside it.
-Samuel Boykin Franklin College Student 1848 to 1851
With elements still visible the garden is located at the Broad, Finley, Reese and Pope Square in Athens northwest of the UGA campus.
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