|Designer||Scroggs & Ewing (Augusta) and Kuhlke & Wade|
|Seat Information||Founded in 1736, Augusta early became the most important population and economic center for its region. The Constitution of 1777 created Richmond and seven other new counties -- but made no provision for county seats. Nevertheless, except for the two occasions during the American Revolution when it was under British control, Augusta has served as de facto or legal county seat of Richmond County throughout the county's history. Early pressures to move the county seat to a more central location ended in 1790, when the legislature created Columbia County from the northern half of Richmond County. Named for the daughter-in-law of King George II, Augusta was given a town government by the legislature in an act of Jan. 23, 1780 and even a city charter in 1789 (Ga. Laws 1789, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 25). However, it was not officially incorporated by the General Assembly until 1798 (Ga. Laws 1798, p. 3).|
|Courthouse Details||In an act of Jan. 23, 1780, the Georgia legislature provided for a government for Augusta and directed the new town commissioners to build a courthouse, jail, and seminary of learning. Shortly thereafter, British forces recaptured Augusta, and no action on a courthouse was taken until after the war. In 1783, the legislature reappointed a town commission and directed to implement the 1780 plan for Augusta. Instead of building a courthouse, however, the commission in 1784 purchased a house on Bay St. and enlarged it to serve as a multi-purpose facility. Here, Richmond County's first academy opened on April 12, 1785. The building also serve as county courthouse and meeting hall for the state legislature (as Augusta was now state capital). In 1801, the city of Augusta constructed a new building on Telfair St. to serve as city hall. Known as the "Government House," this building also served as Richmond County courthouse. In 1820, a new brick courthouse with clock tower was built on Greene St. Wings were added to the courthouse in 1870, and the entire structure remodeled in 1892. In 1956, construction began on a new Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, with the facility completed the following year.|
|County Area||328.5 Square Miles|
The land that would form Richmond County was ceded to the English by the Creeks in the Treaty of Savannah on May 21, 1733, confirmed and expanded by agreements of 1735 and 1736. By an act of March 15, 1758, the colonial legislature created seven parishes. The area of present-day Richmond County primarily fell within St. Paul Parish. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Whig forces took control of government in Georgia. On Feb. 5, 1777, they adopted the state’s first constitution—the Constitution of 1777. Art. IV of that document transformed the existing colonial parishes into seven counties, with Indian ceded lands forming an eighth county. Richmond County, which was second on the list and thus is considered Georgia’s second county, consisted of all of St. Paul Parish. The county was named for the third Duke of Richmond, Charles Lenox (1735-1806), who was British secretary of state and sympathetic to the cause of the American colonies.
In 1790, Columbia County was created from the northern half of Richmond County (Ga. Laws 1790, p. 9).
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|Legal Organ||The Augusta Chronicle|
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