Union County


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Union County was created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1832, p. 56). According to the 1832 act :

". . . the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth, and so much of the sixth and eleventh districts of the first section, as lies north of the mountains, and of the before-mentioned line to be run, shall form and become one county, to be called Union."

In way of background, by 1830, the Cherokee Nation consisted of most of northwest Georgia (see map), plus adjoining areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Even while Cherokee Indians remained on their homeland in Georgia, the General Assembly on Dec. 21, 1830 enacted legislation claiming "all the Territory within the limits of Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee tribe of Indians; and all other unlocated lands within the limits of this State, claimed as Creek land" (Ga. Laws 1830, p. 127). The act also provided for surveying the Cherokee lands in Georgia; dividing them into sections, districts, and land lots; and authorizing a lottery to distribute the land. On Dec. 26, 1831, the legislature designated all land in Georgia that lay west of the Chattahoochee River and north of Carroll county as "Cherokee County" (see map) and provided for its organization (Ga. Laws 1831, p. 74). However, the new county was not able to function as a county because of its size and the fact that Cherokee Indians still occupied portions of the land. On Dec. 3, 1832, the legislature added areas of Habersham and Hall counties to Cherokee County, and then divided the entire area into nine new counties -- Cass (later renamed Bartow), Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union -- plus a reconstituted and much smaller Cherokee County.

Georgia's 83rd county was named for the Federal Union, making Georgia one of 17 states with a county by this name. At the time of Union County's creation, many planters and political leaders in the South were upset over a tariff passed by Congress in 1828. Despite the rising sectionalism, a number of Georgians in north Georgia were loyal to the national government. Explaining the origin of Union County's name, John Thomas, the county's first state representative, reportedly explained, "Union, for none but Union men reside in it."

Portions of Union County were used to create Fannin County (1854) and Towns County (1856).

Union County Place Names

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