Telfair, Edward, approximately 1735-1807

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Edward Telfair was a merchant, member of the Continental Congress, and Governor of Georgia. He served three terms as Governor of Georgia and was the first governor to serve under the Georgia Constitution of 1789.

From the guide to the Edward Telfair Papers, 1762-1831 (bulk 1771-1807), (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Edward Telfair (1737-1807) was born near Kirkudbright, Scotland, where he was educated in the public school system. He moved from Scotland to Virginia but soon relocated to Georgia in 1766, where he became a merchant. He was a member of the Commons House of Assembly from St. Pauls Parish, Augusta, but soon made his home in Savannah. He was an active patriot in the Revolutionary War, a member of the Provincial Congresses, and a member of the Continental Congress. He held several civil offices in the state, becoming it s Governor for the periods of 1786-1787 and 1789-1793.

From the description of Edward Telfair papers, 1774-1807. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 144570301

Indian commissioner, delegate to the Continental Congress, and governor of Georgia.

From the description of Edward Telfair grants, 1792-1793. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980856

Merchant, member of the Continental Congress, and Governor of Georgia.

From the description of Papers, 1762-1831; (bulk 1771-1807). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20188593

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)

From the description of Francis Tennille land grant, 1793. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 422080160

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Clay, Telfair and Company (Savannah, Ga.). Clay, Telfair and Company papers, 1783-1795 Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. Edward Telfair grants, 1792-1793. Library of Congress
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. Edward Telfair papers, 1774-1807. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume XII, Miscellany, 1769-1838. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Autograph letter signed : Philadelphia, to Governor Telfair, 1791 Mar. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786. Autograph letter signed : Charleston, to Joseph Clay, 1785 June 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Georgia. Governor (1789-1793 : Telfair). William McCree land grant, 1793, copy, 1859. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Georgia. Governor. Robert Middleton deed and plat, 1793. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Letter to the Governor of Georgia, Edward Telfair, 1790 April 6. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Few, William, 1748-1828. Autograph letter signed : to Edward Telfair, 1805 Feb. 22. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn John Morel agreement, 1774 December 2. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Telfair, Mary, 1791-1875. Mary Telfair papers, 1790-1875. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Miscellaneous letters, 1800s-1900s. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
creatorOf Georgia. Governor (1789-1793 : Telfair). Wilkes County land grant, 1791 April 12. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Thomas Addis Emmet collection, 1483-1876 (bulk:1700-1800) New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Continental Congress collection, 1773-1798. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Historical manuscripts, 1746-1908. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Elbert, Samuel, 1740-1788. Samuel Elbert papers, 1776-1786 Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Miscellaneous letters, 1786-1982. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Deneufville family. Papers, 1785-1850. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
creatorOf Johnston, George. State of Georgia act, 1806. Alabama Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Letter to the Governor of Georgia, Edward Telfair [manuscript], 1790 April 6. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Tennille, Francis, 1747-1812. Francis Tennille land grants and letters, 1790-1793. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Edward Telfair Papers, 1762-1831 (bulk 1771-1807) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
referencedIn Sheftall, Mordecai, 1735-1797. Mordecai Sheftall papers, 1780-1796 Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume 14, Miscellany, 1784-1860. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Wetter family. Wetter family papers, 1809-1963. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Georgia. Governor. Francis Tennille land grants and plats, 1793. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. Francis Tennille land grant, 1793. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Walton, George. Autograph letter signed : Savannah, to Edward Telfair, Esq., 1787 May 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. Papers, 1762-1831; (bulk 1771-1807). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Minis, Jacob Florance, 1852-1936. Jacob Minis colonial papers, 1768-1793 Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume XII, Miscellany, 1769-1838. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Cowper, Basil. Lease, 1871 Jan. 12 Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Cowper, Basil, d. 1802. Basil Cowper decision and bonds, 1800-1803. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Barnard, Timothy, 1745-1820. The following interrogatory's were put by the governor to Mr. Timothy Barnard : which produced the following answers : questionnaire, 1786 July 6. Newberry Library
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. Autograph letter signed, 1807 May 12. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Papers of the Continental Congress, Georgia State papers, 1775-1788. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Twiggs, John, 1750-1816. John Twiggs papers, 1781-1812. Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf Georgia. Governor (1789-1793 : Telfair). Washington County (Ga.) land grant and plat, 1793. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Georgia. Executive Council. Georgia Executive Council papers, 1777-1788. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume 14, Miscellany, 1784-1860. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Cox, Zachariah. Letter to Edward Telfair and John Milton, 1790 Jan. 13. Georgia Newspaper Project
creatorOf Brown, Bertram Erwin, b.1871. Pickett's, History of Alabama and incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi: scrapbooks, [188-?-]-[ca.1919]. Alabama Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Telfair, Edward, ca. 1735-1807. George Valley land grant Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn Georgia. Governor (1786-1787 : Telfair). Letter : Augusta, [Ga.], to Brig. Gen. [Elijah] Clark[e]. 1786 Sept. 15. Newberry Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baldwin, Abraham, 1754-1807. person
associatedWith Barnard, Timothy, 1745-1820. person
associatedWith Beckcom, Samuel. person
associatedWith Brown, Bertram Erwin, b.1871. person
associatedWith Chesapeake (Frigate) corporateBody
associatedWith Clay, Joseph, 1741-1804. person
associatedWith Clay, Telfair and Company (Savannah, Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cowper, Basil. person
associatedWith Cowper, Basil, d. 1802. person
associatedWith Cox, Zachariah. person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Deneufville family. family
associatedWith Elbert, Samuel, 1740-1788 person
associatedWith Emmet, Thomas Addis person
associatedWith Few, William, 1748-1828. person
associatedWith Georgia. Executive Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Georgia. Governor. corporateBody
associatedWith Georgia. Governor (1789-1793 : Telfair) corporateBody
associatedWith Georgia. Militia. corporateBody
associatedWith Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786. person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. person
associatedWith Johnston, George. person
associatedWith Jones, Seaborn. person
associatedWith Kitchen, Benjamin. person
associatedWith McCall, T. person
associatedWith Meriwether, J. person
associatedWith Milton, John, fl. 1784-1796. person
associatedWith Minis, Jacob Florance, 1852-1936 person
associatedWith Port of Savannah (Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Robinson, Israel. person
associatedWith Sheftall, Mordecai, 1735-1797. person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Telfair and Co. (Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Telfair, Mary, 1791-1875. person
associatedWith Tennil, Francis. person
associatedWith Tennille, Francis, 1747-1812. person
associatedWith Twiggs, John, 1750-1816. person
associatedWith United States. National Archives and Records Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Valley, George person
associatedWith Walton, George. person
associatedWith Wereat, John, ca. 1733-1799. person
associatedWith Wetter family. family
Place Name Admin Code Country
Georgia--Savannah
Georgia
United States
Georgia--Savannah
Georgia
Great Britain
Liberty County (Ga.)
Georgia--Washington County
United States
Georgia
Richmond County (Ga.)
Savannah (Ga.)
Subject
Murder
Merchants
Governor
Agriculture
Cherokee Indians--Government relations
Slave trade
Real property
Colonists
Land grants
Land settlement
Slavery
Executions and executioners
Creek Indians
Occupation
Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress--Georgia
Governors--Georgia
Indian commissioners
Function

Person

Birth 1735-01-01

Death 1807-09-17

Information

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SNAC ID: 71766061