JOHN A. TREUTLEN was born in Kurnbach, Wurttenburg, Germany, on January 16, 1734. He and his family were indentured for their debt of passage to America from Salzburg, where German, Swiss, and Austrian Protestants ahd fled to avoid persecution. In 1746 he arrived in Ebenezer, where General James Oglethorpe offered refuge to the persecuted. Treutlen became a successful merchant, as well as a prosperous landowner. He first entered politics in 1768, serving as justice of the peace. He was the commissioner and surveyor of roads; and served several terms in the Georgia House of Assembly. He also was a member of the Provincial Congress in 1775, and was an instrumental member of the committee that drafted Georgia’s first constitution. Under the newly sanctioned state constitution, Treutlen won election to the governorship of Georgia. During his tenure, political clashes between the radical and conservative factions of the patriots were dealt with as he conducted the war and thwarted South Carolina's effort to annex Georgia. In 1779 Treutlen moved to Orangeburg where he was elected to South Carolina's Assembly, a position he held from 1781 to 1782. In early spring of 1782 Treutlen's home was set on fire, and he was brutally murdered in full view of his family by Tories. He was honored on August 21, 1917, when Treutlen County was established in his memory.

Sources:

Cook, James F. Governors of Georgia, 1754-2004. 3d ed. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2005.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia

Our Georgia History

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