January 6

Samuel Elbert

January 6, 1785 - Savannah

Samuel Elbert had every reason to support the British during the American Revolution. A successful and conservative Savannah businessman, he might favor security over revolution, but Elbert, like many Americans, chose a different path.

His business made him a colonial leader in the colony, and his revolutionary fervor made him a captain in the militia. As tensions increased with the mother country, Elbert joined fellow patriots at Tondee’s Tavern to resist British policies. In early 1776, he assumed command of both the Georgia militia and Georgia’s Continental troops.

Elbert fought in nearly every military action in Georgia during the war. Taken prisoner at the battle of Brier Creek near present-day Sylvania. He was exchanged three years later and serving under General George Washington, he commanded a brigade at Yorktown.

After the war, Elbert was elected to the Continental Congress, and served as Georgia governor before his death at age 48.

Both Elbert County and Elberton are named for the revolutionary hero who was elected governor on January 6, 1785, Today in Georgia History.