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This Day in Georgia History

December 03, 1832

Nine Counties Created

Gov. Wilson Lumpkin signed legislation creating Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union, Cobb, Gilmer, Murray, Cass (later Bartow), Floyd, and Paulding counties. All were created from Cherokee County, which consisted of all lands in Georgia then occupied by the Cherokee Nation. Because the Cherokees had not ceded these lands, and in fact many would remain until removed by force in 1838, the new counties were “paper counties” only at the time of their creation. Forsyth County, Georgia’s 81st, was named in honor of John Forsyth - former state attorney general, U.S. congressman, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state (under presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren), and U.S. minister to Spain (who negotiated the U.S. purchase of Florida from Spain). Lumpkin County, Georgia’s 82nd, was named for Georgia governor Wilson Lumpkin, who held office at the time of the county’s creation. Formerly U.S. representative, and later elected U.S. senator, Lumpkin was active in all three roles in seeking removal of Georgia’s Cherokee Indians. Union County, Georgia’s 83rd, was named in recognition of the federal union. When the legislation to create the new county was being debated in the Georgia General Assembly, John Thomas (who represented the area) suggested the name “UNION, for none but union-like men reside in it.” True to its name, 30 years later during the Civil War, the county remained strongly tied to the Union. Cobb County, Georgia’s 84th, was named for former U.S. congressman and senator and state superior court judge Thomas W. Cobb. Tradition holds that Cobb’s wife, Marietta, was also honored when legislators named the county seat of Cobb County. Gilmer County, Georgia’s 85th, was named for two-time Georgia governor (1829-1831, 1837-1839), state legislator, and U.S. congressman George R. Gilmer - a strong proponent of state sovereignty over Cherokee lands in Georgia. Gilmer was governor at the time of the Cherokee’s forced removal to the west. Murray County, Georgia’s 86th, was named for attorney, state legislator, and speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Thomas W. Murray. At the time of his death, Murray was a candidate for the U.S. House. Cass County, Georgia’s 87th, was named for Gen. Lewis Cass of Michigan. Because of Cass’s support for abolition and the Union, the General Assembly renamed Cass County in December 1861 in honor of Georgia Confederate Gen. Francis Bartow, who died July 21, 1861, at the Battle of First Manassas in Virginia. Floyd County, Georgia’s 88th, was named for Gen. John Floyd, who was involved in various campaigns against the Creek Indians in the early 1800s. Floyd later served in the Georgia General Assembly and U.S. Congress. Paulding County, Georgia’s 89th, was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero John Paulding.