Wilkes County (pop 10,500) originally
ceded from the Creek and Cherokee Indians in 1773 officially formed
by state decree on February 5, 1777.
County named for John Wilkes
(1727-1797), Elnglish parliamentaian and publicist.
Battle of Kettle Creek, February 14,
1779, American force defeated 700 tories thus checking the British
from occupying the entire state.
Washington (pop 4,950), first in
'incorporated' in the
name of George Washington on January 23, 1780.
Washington-Wilkes has the most
antebellum homes in Georgia-over 100.
First ordained Presbyterian minister
in Georgia, Reverend John Springer, in Georgia July 22, 1790.
First operating cotton gin in the
United States, 1793, at John Talbot's plantation Mt. Pleasant-now
First female newspaper editor in
Georgia and probably the Southeast, Sarah Porter Hillhouse, of
Washington's The Monitor in 1803-now the Slaton Home.
First white female executed in
Georgia, Polly Barclay, hanged west of town on Friday, May 13, 1806 (tree no
First State Chartered cotton mill
south of Connecticut, Bolton's Factory, in 1810, on Upton Creek.
First Methodist Church in Georgia
1787 - five miles southeast of current location (Liberty and Spring)
1819, Presbyterians est. 1825, and Baptists est. 1827.
First gold stamp operation in the
United States was set up by Jeremiah Griffin on Little River in
Home of Reverend Jesse Mercer
(founder of Mercer University in Macon), Baptist Minister.
Home of Robert Augustus Toombs
(1810-1885) one of the most important figured in mid-nineteeth
century American political life. Lawyer, state legislator, U.S.
Representative and Senator, First Secretary of State of Confederacy
(February 21-July 11, 1861), Confederate General (at Battle of
Sharpsburg [Antietam] 1862 - saving the day for General Lee by
holding union General Ambrose Burside at bay for four hours), he was
vitriolic critic of Jefferson Davis and "unreconstructed reberl".
(Georgia Historic Site)
Home of Edward Porter Alexander
(1835-1910) graduate of West Point (3rd Class of 1857), Confederate
General, Chief of Artillery for General James Longstreet at Battle
of Gettysburg, and credited as founder of the Signal Corps. Home
(circa 1801) first brick home North of Augusta.
Home of John Archibald Campbell
(1811-1889) Associate Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (1853-1861)
resigned when Georgia seceded to become Confederate Assistant
Secretary of War. Liberty St. next to Mary Willis Library)
Last Confederate Cabinet Meeting
(Georgia State Branch Bank - once on Square). Confederate Government
essentially disbanded at Washington May 4, 1865.
Last official act of the Confederate
States of America - May 4, 1865, President Jefferson Davis appointed
Captain Micajah Clark CSA Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
Site of final distribution of the
Confederate Treasury- May 4, 1865. Some still unaccounted.
First free Public Library in Georgia,
Mary Willis Library (Liberty at south Jefferson) 1888.