DAVID EMANUEL, according to some sources the first Jewish governor to serve any state; was born in Pennsylvania in 1744. He served during the Revolutionary War as a captain and colonel in the Georgia militia. He was captured near McBean Creek, but escaped, making his way back to American forces. Emanuel entered politics in 1780 as a commissioner who supervised the abjuration oath given to Burke County residents. He was captured by the British in 1781. He served as a justice of the peace in Burke County’s in 1781 and 1782. He served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives 1782, 1783, 1785 to 1787, 1789, and 1796. He was associate justice of Burke County in 1784 and 1786, was commissary general in 1786 and 1787; and, on April 10, 1792, he became receiver of district tax. Emanuel also was a delegate to the 1789 and 1795 state constitutional conventions was a member of the Executive Council in 1786, and was a member of the Georgia Senate from 1797 to 1803, serving part of that time as President. On March 3, 1801, Governor James Jackson resigned from office, and Emanuel, who was president of the Senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governor’s office. During his short tenure, he continued to carry out the policies and programs of the Jackson administration. After leaving office on November 7, 1801, Emanuel returned to his seat in the senate, where he served until his death. He also was commissioner of the 1807 Land Lottery. Governor David Emanuel died on February 19, 1808, at his home near Waynesboro in Burke County. Four years later, Emanuel County was created in his honor.
Cook, James F. Governors of Georgia, 1754-2004. 3d ed. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2005.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol.1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.