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All of these facts were found at the Washington-Wilkes Visitor Center.

You can visit their website @ http://www.washingtonwilkes.org/cityindex.html

  • 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 United States '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 Griggs home.

  • 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 longer there).

  • 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 1833.

  • 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.



Thanks toHidden Ancestors for hosting this site!

County Coordinator:

Georgia State Coordinator:
Ed Gordon

Assistant State Coordinator:
Vivian Price Saffold

Last Updated: 

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