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This Day in Georgia History

August 15, 1817

Peter Early Died

To view the Peter Early historical marker, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Former governor Peter Early died in Greene County, Georgia. Born in Virginia in 1773, he moved to Oglethorpe County at age 20. Here, he practiced law until around 1800, when he moved to Greene County. In 1797, Early began a career in politics that would involve all three branches of government, as well as all three levels of government. That year, he was named to the board of trustees of the University of Georgia - a post he would hold for 17 years. In 1802, Early was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he fought efforts to tax slaves and totally ban slave importation during his two terms in Congress. Deciding not to run for reelection, he returned to Georgia, where he was elected a superior court judge. In 1813, the General Assembly elected Early as governor - an office he held for two years. In 1816, Greene County voters elected Early to the state Senate. In Dec. 1818, the year after his death, the General Assembly created a new county and named it in Early’s honor.

Image of Peter Early Died View large image
Source: Photo: Ed Jackson