History of Burke County Georgia
Additional Historical material
Linda B. Barton
Historical Collections of Georgia:
Compiled From Original Records and Official Documents.
Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings of Public Buildings,
Relics of Antiquity, Historic Localities, Natural Scenery, Portraits of Distinguished Men, Etc., Etc.
By The Rev. George White, M. A., Author of the "Statistics of Georgia.
New-York: Pudney & Russell. Publishers. No. 79 John Street.
This county was laid out as St. George's Parish in 1758, and the name changed to Burke, in honour of Edmund Burke, the great champion of American liberty, in 1777. In 1793, a part was added to Screven; and in 1798, a part to Jefferson. Length, 32 1/2 miles; breadth, 32 miles. Area, square miles, 1,040.
The Savannah separates this county from South Carolina, and the Ogeechee from Emanuel. Briar Creek flows through its whole length, and is celebrated for the rich lands upon its borders.
The soil is generally very productive, peculiarly adapted to cotton, corn, & c.
Extract from the Census of 1850: --1,017 dwellings, 1,017 families, 2,757 white males, 2,359 white females; 80 free coloured males, 72 free coloured females. Total free population, 5,268. Slaves, 10,832. Deaths, 326. Farms, 712. Manufacturing establishments, 41.
Waynesborough is the seat of justice. It is 80 miles east of Milledgeville. Incorporated in 1812.
Alexander is a village of recent date, on the road from Waynesborough to Savannah
Burke Jail is noted for a battle which took place in 1779, between the British, commanded by Colonels Brown and McGirth, and the Americans, under the command of Colonels Twiggs and Few, in which the latter were victorious. In this engagement, Captain Joshua Inman, of the Americans, killed three of the enemy with his own hand.
A house of worship now owned by the Methodists, called the Old Church, is six miles southeast of Waynesborough, on the old Quaker road leading to Savannah. It was formerly an Episcopal Church, and had a glebe of forty-seven acres.
In 1770 and 1772, Rev. Alexander Findlay was rector of this Church.
In 1773, Mr. Findlay, finding the church and parsonage not finished, left St. George's and went to North Carolina.
In 1774, Rev. Mr. Seymour and Rev. John Holmes had charge of St. George's Church.
In 1776, 1777, 1778, Rev. Mr. Holmes, rector.
In 1780, Rev. Mr. James Brown, rector. * (From the Minutes of the Society for the Propagation of Religion in Foreign Parts.)
It is said that, after the location of Waynesborough for the county site, the Justices of the Inferior Court passed an order that the Old Church building should be torn down, removed to Waynesborough, and converted into a court-house; and that this would have been done, but for a lawyer by the name of Allen, who said that the passage of Scripture would be fulfilled, which says --"My house shall be called an House of Prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves." Pg. 283
Revolutionary Paper Connected With The History of Burke County.
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1774.
We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the Parish of St. George, in the Province of Georgia, do hereby publicly declare that we entirely disagree to the paper containing certain resolutions which were drawn up in the city of Savannah, by some persons met there on the 10th of August, 1774; because, although many of us gave votes that Mr. Jones and Mr. Lord should go to the said meeting, yet it was because we were told that unless we did send some persons there, we would have the Stamp Act put in force. By these and such like arguments, we were prevailed upon to do what we did; but as we find we were deceived, and that the said meeting was intended to draw up a paper that we think reflects very improperly upon our King and the Parliament, and may be of bad consequence to this Province, and can serve no good purpose, we therefore declare that we do not approve of the said paper; and we give our dissent in this public manner.
Francis Lewis Feyer
William M. Norell
Robert Douglass, Sen.
John Thomas, Sen.
Among some papers loaned us by the late Major Twiggs, we found the following, the insertion of which we believe will be interesting to our friends in Burke: --
A Return of the First Battalion of Burke County Militia, agreeable to order, with its present situation and rank, with the number of effective men in each Company, and the number of arms, shot-bags, and powder-horns, for the year 1792.
Captains 1st Lieut. 2d Lieut.
No of Men. No. of Arms. Shot-Bags, & c..
Samuel White Hopkin Dye John McGomery 44 23 23
Willis Watson Lark Robinson Martin Martin 68 50 30
Dill Sapp Wills Davies Henry Bryant 48 30 30
Daniel Evans Wm. Martin Basil Gray 38 20 20
Chas. Kilbee Lemuel Lasiter John Tredwell 48 27 27
John Buford Nich. Stregles John McCarroll 92 68 68
Wm. Edwards John Roberts John Wright 55 15 15
Wm. Coursey Wm. Parrimore John Salter 34 20 20
Laban Thompson Elihu Thompson Wm. Dunn 37 15 15
Benj. Matthews John Fryar Mich'l McCormick 82 41 41
Noah Williams James Rawles Aaron Justice 43 21 21
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