Wilkes County, Georgia

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Wilkes County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2000, the population was 10,687. The 2007 Census estimate shows a population of 10,262.[1] The county seat is the city of Washington.[2] Referred to as "Washington-Wilkes", the county seat and county are commonly treated as a single entity by locals, including the area's historical society[3] and the Chamber of Commerce.[4] This is part of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Contents

History

Wilkes County, named for British politician and supporter of American independence, John Wilkes, is considered Georgia's first county, as it was the first of eight original counties created in the first state constitution on February 5, 1777. While the other seven counties were fashioned from existing colonial parishes, Wilkes was unique in that it was formed from land ceded in 1773 by the Creek and Cherokee Nations in their respective Treaties of Augusta.[5] It is located in the Piedmont, above the fall line on the Savannah River.

Between 1790 and 1854, Wilkes County's land area grew smaller as parts of it were used to make new counties. The Georgia legislature formed the counties of Elbert, Oglethorpe, and Lincoln entirely from portions of Wilkes County. Wilkes also contributed part of the lands used in the creation of Madison, Warren and Taliaferro, Hart, McDuffie, and Greene counties.[6]

Wilkes County was the site of one of the most important battles of the American Revolutionary War to be fought in Georgia. During the Battle of Kettle Creek in 1779, the American Patriot forces were victorious over British Loyalists.[7].

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