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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: Georgia's counties multiply, petition creates Bulloch in 1795
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at the founding and general history of southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.

 

In April of 1741 the trustees divided the Province of Georgia into two counties: Savannah and Frederica. Savannah County contained: "All settlements on the Savannah River and upon both banks of the Great Ogeechee River." 

The Georgia General Assembly then passed the "Act of March 15, 1758," which read: "AN ACT for constituting and dividing the several districts and divisions of this province into parishes."

The colony of Georgia now consisted of eight parishes: Christ Church, Saint Matthews, Saint George, Saint Paul, Saint Philip, Saint John, Saint Andrew and Saint James. Additional parishes were added later: Saint David, Saint Patrick, Saint Thomas and Saint Mary.

Georgia's Constitutional Convention held in Savannah in 1777 then reestablished the county style of government. The new counties were: Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn and Camden.

After the Revolution, Augusta was not only the southwestern frontier of the new United States, but from 1786 through 1795, Augusta was also the capital of Georgia.

The citizens of what is now Bulloch County asked the governor in 1795 to create a new county from Scriven (now Screven) and Bryan counties. Their petition explained why. 

The primary problem was "the inconveniency the citizens of Scriven County labour under, when of necessity they are obliged to attend on public requisitions, having Ogeechee River to cross, generally full of water and badly accommodated with flats canoes." 

So, they wrote, "We petition your honors that the county of Bryan extend no farther up Ogeechee river than Bryan's Cowpen fence…and that part of Scriven County lying on the south side of Great Ogeechee river as high up said river as Skulls Creek be a separate and distant county."

Bulloch's boundaries (1796) were bounded to the north by Scriven; on the east by the Ogeechee River, which divided it from both from Scriven and Effingham, on the south by Bryan, and on the west by Tattnall. 

The minister of Charleston's Congregational Church, Jedidiah Morse, published the "American Universal Geography" (or the "View of the Present State of all the Kingdoms, States and Colonies in the Known World") in 1812. This is apparently the first public inclusion of Bulloch in any such text.

 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com.

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