JARED IRWIN was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina around 1750. His parents settled in Georgia when he was seven. He became a dedicated patriot and soldier in the American Revolution. Serving as a brigadier general after the war, he led a Georgia militia against the Creek Indians, defending the Georgia border. Irwin entered politics in 1787 and in 1788 served in the convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution. He was a member of the state constitutional conventions of 1789, 1795 and 1798. After being elected by the state legislature, Irwin was sworn into the governor’s office on January 15, 1796. During his tenure, he supported the nullification of the Yazzo Act. Irwin finished his term on January 12, 1798, and was elected president of the 1798 state constitutional convention. He also was president of the Georgia Senate from 1804 to 1806. On September 23, 1806, Governor John Milledge resigned from office, and Irwin, who was president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governor’s office. he became the first governor to reside in the new state capitol of Milledgrille. After finishing Milledge’s term, Irwin was reelected to a second term as governor. During his second administration, the state was challenged with bankruptcy woes due to restrictions that were placed on cotton and tobacco, and because the Bank of the United States had begun to recollect on outstanding loans. Legislation was enacted that helped to relieve debtors, which allowed for one-third of the loan to be paid when due and for the balance to be paid within an allotted extension. After leaving office on November 10, 1809, Irwin served several more terms in the Georgia Senate and again was president of the senate in 1810. He was a Presidential elector in 1816. Governor Jared Irwin died in his home in Union Hill in Washington County, Georgia, on March 1, 1818, and is buried there in the family cemetery. Irwin County in south Georgia was named in his honor in 1818.
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.
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