Georgia History

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The following important events in the history of Georgia affected political boundaries, record-keeping, and family movements.

1732:  King George II of England granted a charter for the colony of Georgia as a place of refuge.

1733:  James Oglethorpe founded the city of Savannah, as a refuge for English debtors.

1733:  Indian land ceded

1734:  German-speaking Salzburgers began to settle at Ebenezer, in present-day Effingham County.

1752:  The charter was surrendered and Georgia became a crown colony.

1763:(February 10,) The French and Indian War came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris 1763.

1763: Indian land ceded

1773 & 1783:  Indian land ceded

1788:  Georgia became a state.

1790: Indian land ceded

1802: Indian land ceded

1802: Georgia relinquished its claims to lands west of the Chattahoochee River. These lands became part of Mississippi and Alabama.

1804,1817,1818,1819, 1821, 1826 & 1833:  Indian land ceded

1805, 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827 & 1832: Georgia Land Lotteries

1828:  The discovery of gold on Cherokee land prompted the Georgia state legislature to declare that all Cherokee land would be open to white settlement.

1832:  Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet and essayist, wrote to President Van Buren appealing against the removal of the Cherokee  tribe beyond the Mississippi.

1835: Treaty of New Echota: the Cherokee Nation ceded all its remaining land.

1838: (May 25,) Removal of the Cherokee Indians began under the command of General Winfield Scott. General Charles Floyd was in command of field operations.

1838: (December) The remaining Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from Georgia by Federal Troops to Indian territory west of the Mississippi River. (Trail of Tears and White River Trace) The survivors reached northeastern Oklahoma in March 1839.

1784-1820:  Thousands of Americans moved to Georgia seeking inexpensive land. The first land lottery was held in 1805.

1861:  Georgia seceded from the Union. It was readmitted in 1870.

  • A detailed history of Georgia's counties and early settlers is in George Gillman Smith, The Story of Georgia and the Georgia People, 1732-1860, Second Edition 1901, Macon, Georgia: G.G. Smith, 1901; Family History Library book 975.8 H2sg; microfilm 908502).

References to additional historical materials are found in:

  • Dorsey, James E. Georgia Genealogy and Local History: A Bibliography. Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Company, 1983. (Family History Library book 975.8 D23d.)
  • Simpson, John Eddins. Georgia History: A Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Incorporated, 1976. (Family History Library book 975.8 H23s.)