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This Day in Georgia History

December 26, 1831

Cherokee and Sumter Counties Created

Gov. Wilson Lumpkin signed legislation creating Cherokee and Sumter counties. Cherokee County, Georgia’s 79th, was created, though the county today is far different in terms of boundaries and size. The Dec. 26, 1831 legislation creating Cherokee County provided that it consist of the entire Cherokee Nation then existing in Georgia - an area of 6,900 square miles in Northwest Georgia. The action was an attempt to force the removal of the Cherokees from Georgia, but no action was taken to take control of what for the time being was a paper county. In the fall of 1832, Georgia held two land lotteries to give away the land in Cherokee County to fortunate drawers. However, the legislature prohibited whites from taking possession of lands still occupied by the Cherokee. On Dec. 3, 1832, new legislation was approved adding portions of Habersham and Hall counties to Cherokee County, and then dividing the entire area into eight new counties, plus a much smaller Cherokee County. Sumter County, Georgia’s 80th, was created from portions of Lee County and named for Revolutionary War general Thomas Sumter of South Carolina.