|Title:||Effingham County documents|
|Quantity:||0.03 Linear feet (1 folder; housed with minor collections MS 1537 to MS 1542)|
Effingham County, on Georgia's eastern border, is the fourth of the state's eight original counties. The first inhabitants were Creek Indians who lost their land when some of their leaders signed treaties with the English in 1733, 1735, and 1736. During the colonial period Georgia was divided into parishes, and in 1777 Effingham County, with an area of 479 square miles, was created from the parishes of St. Matthew and St. Philip. The county was named for Thomas Howard, the third earl of Effingham, who championed the cause of the colonies in the years leading to the American Revolution (1775-83). Springfield, Effingham's fourth county seat, was founded in 1799 and incorporated in 1838. In 2007 the old courthouse, built in 1908, was replaced by a new structure, the Effingham County Judicial Complex. Previous county seats were Tuckasee King (1784-87), Elberton (1787-97), and Ebenezer (1797-99). Tuckasee King was a river-landing community in the town of Clyo, and Elberton and Ebenezer are no longer active communities. Besides Springfield, other incorporated towns in the county are Guyton and Rincon. The first white settlers were Lutherans from Salzburg, Austria, who had been exiled to Augsburg, Germany, at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Attracted by offers of land and start-up funding from the Georgia Trustees, seventy-eight Salzburgers left Augsburg for Georgia under the leadership of their pastors, Johann Martin Boltzius and Israel Christian Gronau, as the "First Salzburger Transport." When they arrived in 1734, General James Oglethorpe offered them a low-lying area about twenty-five miles from Savannah, on the frontier of English territory. Naming their new community Ebenezer, the Salzburgers lived there in great hardship, struggling to grow crops and often contracting disease in the swampy area. With Oglethorpe's permission, the Salzburgers relocated two years later to a higher location on a ridge overlooking the Savannah River. Officially the new town retained the same name, but informally it became known as New Ebenezer. Notable residents of Effingham County include John Adam Treutlen, Georgia's first elected governor; Georgia superior court judge Richard H. Clark, who helped write the Georgia Code in the 1860s; and Herschel V. Jenkins, owner and publisher of the Savannah Morning News and Evening Press. Effingham County - New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/ (Retrieved March 26, 2009)
The collection consists of land transactions of the Polhill, Exley and Bryan families of Effingham County, Georgia. Also included are three Stone Mountain medallions.
Effingham County documents, MS 1540. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.