Georgia

May 11, 1803

Georgia’s First Land Lottery

Georgia’s lottery is nothing new. Between 1805 and 1833, the state held eight land lotteries. Seventy-five percent of Georgia was sold to roughly 100,000 people for bargain prices. As land-hungry Georgians began migrating westward after the American Revolution, the state negotiated treaties with the Creek and Cherokee tribes—or simply took their land—and then distributed the […]

January 12, 1798

James Jackson

James Jackson was a pugnacious politician with a fiery temper. Born in England in 1756, he came to Savannah as a teen and fought in the American Revolution. Jackson served in the first Congress under the new U.S. Constitution, and supported Thomas Jefferson’s fledgling Democratic-Republicans against Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists. Jackson was in the U.S. Senate […]

May 12, 1791

George Washington Visits

As first president, George Washington was the living symbol of the independent United States. After his inauguration, he embarked on a grand tour designed to cement allegiance to the fledgling American nation. He toured the New England states first and then traveled south. In May 1791, Washington came to Georgia for the first and only […]

January 28, 1791

Mary Telfair

Southern benefactor she was, Southern belle she was not. She nurtured the oldest public art museum in the South. Mary Telfair was born in Augusta on this day in 1791, the daughter of Governor Edward Telfair. She was a child of wealth and privilege, educated in private northern schools. Telfair’s formidable intellect matched her independent […]

January 2, 1788

Georgia Ratifies the U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution has always been contentious. Our sacred charter was born in controversy and remains so to this day. Georgia elected six delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Only four went. And only two—Abraham Baldwin and William Few—signed the final document. The convention, chaired by George Washington, had […]

February 10, 1787

William Few

He was the other signer from Georgia of the U.S. Constitution. William Few was born in 1748 in Maryland and moved to Richmond County near Augusta in the 1770s. Few was an active Patriot during the American Revolution. He served in the military, in the state legislature, and as a delegate to the 1777 Georgia […]

November 20, 1785

James Wright

He was the last Georgia governor who answered to the King. James Wright, born in London in 1716, came to South Carolina as a teenager when his father became the colony’s chief justice. In 1760, he was named by King George III as the third royal governor of Georgia. He thoroughly invested in the colony, […]

January 6, 1785

Samuel Elbert

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. […]

June 30, 1785

James Oglethorpe Died

The colony he founded is now the largest of the United States east of the Mississippi. James Edward Oglethorpe was born in 1696 in London and was educated at Oxford. He gained valuable military experience in the Austrian army fighting the Turks. Oglethorpe chaired a parliamentary committee charged with prison reform. It inspired him and […]

June 5, 1781

American Patriots Capture Augusta

Georgians might have been speaking with a different accent had it not been for a key Patriot victory in Augusta during the American Revolution. In 1778, the British launched their southern campaign, hoping to break the stalemate in the northern states and rally loyalists to their cause. Savannah fell and later, Charleston. Augusta then became […]