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This Day in Georgia History

March 03, 1801

David Emanuel Became Governor

David Emanuel, president of the Georgia Senate, assumed the office of governor following the resignation of James Jackson, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate. Emanuel, generally believed to be the first Jewish governor of any state in the U.S., served just over eight months before retiring from politics. He was born in Pennsylvania around 1743, but little is known about his early life. Around 1756, his family moved to Georgia. By 1770, Emanuel was living in Burke County. During the American Revolution, he served both as a soldier and a member of the Whig’s executive council. After the war, Emanuel represented Burke County in the legislature for many years, also serving in the constitutional conventions of 1789 and 1795. In 1796 was appointed to the commission to investigate the infamous Yazoo Act. He died at his home in Burke County on Feb. 19, 1808. Four years later the Georgia legislature named a new county in his honor.