|Creator:||Milton, John, fl. 1784-1796|
|Creator:||Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807|
|Title:||Francis Tennille land grant|
|Quantity:||0.1 Linear feet (1 oversize folder A)|
|Abstract:||The collection consists of a land grant of 1000 acres in Washington County, Georgia to Francis Tennille. The grant is signed by Edward Telfair and is dated June 18, 1793. Signatures of T. McCall, J. Meriwether and John Milton are also present.|
One of Georgia's most prominent citizens, Edward Telfair served three terms as Georgia's governor in the late 1700s. He was the first governor to serve under the Georgia Constitution of 1789. Edward Telfair was one of the many Scotsmen who settled in Georgia during the mid-eighteenth century. He was born in 1735 on his family's ancestral estate in southwestern Scotland near the village of Kirkcudbright. He received only an elementary school education before taking a job with a firm of merchants. In 1758, when he was in his early twenties, he set sail for the English colonies in America with his brother William and a cousin. Telfair first settled in Virginia, where he represented the Scottish firm that employed him, then moved to North Carolina, and finally resettled in Georgia, where he joined William in Savannah in 1766. Telfair married Sarah Gibbons in 1774. Together they had six children-three sons and three daughters. Upon her death, their daughter Mary Telfair bequeathed the Telfair family home on Savannah's St. James Square to the Georgia Historical Society. This gift eventually became the Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the South. Two years after his arrival in Savannah, Telfair entered the political arena of the Georgia colony. In 1768 he was elected to the Commons House of Assembly as a delegate from St. Paul Parish, where he owned land. He became involved in the Revolutionary struggle (1775-83) against England's King George III and joined the Sons of Liberty, a group of artisans and shopkeepers who protested the Stamp Act and other royal declarations. In May 1775, when news of the New England battles of Lexington and Concord reached Savannah, Telfair joined Joseph Habersham, Noble W. Jones, John Milledge, and other Liberty Boys in breaking into the royal magazine and making off with 600 pounds of powder. Telfair was named in June 1775 to the Council of Safety, a body formed to supervise the enforcement of boycotts and to seek solutions to the growing crisis between the colony and the British crown. Telfair died on September 17, 1807, at his Savannah townhouse. His body was taken to Savannah's Colonial Cemetery, where a religious service was held and military honors were performed. He was buried in the family vault at his Sharon plantation near Savannah. In the year of Telfair's death, Telfair County was created and named in his honor. Years later, his remains would be removed to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, where in 1860 his surviving daughters erected a memorial to their father's memory. Edward Telfair, 1735-1807 -- New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrieved July 4, 2009)
Lieut. Francis Tennille, was the son of a French Huguenot, who emigrated from France after the Edict of Nantes, settling in Virginia. He was born in Virginia, in Prince William county, and came from there to Georgia in colonial days, locating in Washington County as a pioneer. During the Revolutionary War he enlisted for service in the Georgia Brigade of the Continental Army, being mustered in as lieutenant of the second battalion, afterwards being promoted first to the rank of captain, later being commissioned lieutenant colonel. He had the distinction of being one of the charter members of the Society of the Cincinnati in Georgia. He married Mary Bacon Dixon, a daughter of Robert and Ann (Bacon) Dixon, and granddaughter of Gen. Nathaniel Bacon, of Virginia, who was a lineal descendant of the famous English family of that name.
Washington County in east central Georgia was established on February 25, 1784. Georgia's tenth county, named for U.S. president George Washington, was settled by Revolutionary War (1775-83) veterans who were awarded grants to Creek and Cherokee lands. Beginning in 1786, seven counties plus portions of nine more were eventually cut from the original Washington County. The county currently encompasses 680 square miles, and its population, according to the 2000 U.S. census, is 21,176 (45.7 percent white; 53.2 percent black). On November 25, 1864, Union general William T. Sherman and his troops came through Washington County on their "March to the Sea." Sherman selected the Brown House as his headquarters. Two days later, when his army left Sandersville, Sherman ordered the courthouse and jail to be burned. In Tennille, railroad tracks were pulled up, heated, and twisted into "bowties." The county courthouse was lost to fires in 1855 and again in 1864. A new courthouse was completed in 1868 and enlarged in the Victorian style in 1899. Before the turn of the twentieth century, brick store buildings replaced the wooden ones that had been burned. Washington County -- New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrived July 4, 2009)
Francis Tennille land grant, MS 718. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.