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This Day in Georgia History

August 23, 1781

John M. Berrien Born

Lawyer and well-known Georgia political John M. Berrien was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Two years later, his parents moved to Savannah, where at age 18 he began the practice of law. In 1822, he served a term in the Georgia state senate, and in 1824 the General Assembly elected him to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. In 1829, he resigned to serve as Pres. Andrew Jackson’s attorney general. In 1831, he returned to practice law in Savannah, where he helped form the Georgia State Rights party. In 1840, Berrien was reelected to the Georgia Senate, where he served for the next 12 years. Afterwards, he practiced law in Savannah until his death on Jan. 1 1856. The next month, the General Assembly created a new county and named it in his honor.