Back to former Georgia governors
John Martin

Gov. John Martin

  • January 3, 1782 - January 8, 1783
  • January 1, 1730
  • January 1, 1786
  • Rhode Island
  • Married twice—first wife's name is unknown; remarried Mary Deborah Spencer
  • Army


JOHN MARTIN, a Revolutionary War soldier, was born in Rhode Island in about 1730. Around 1767, he made his way to Georgia, settling just south of Savannah. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Martin entered into the war effort. He served as a first lieutenant with the Seventh Company and later attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. Martin also had a successful political career. He first entered politics in 1775, serving as member of the Georgia Provincial Congress. He also was a member of the Council of Safety; and served as mayor of Savannah in 1778 and Sheriff of Chatham County in 1778 and 1779. Martin next won election to the governor’s office in 1782. During his tenure, the last British troops left Savannah, the confiscation and banishment act of 1782 was sanctioned, and full pardons were issued to British soldiers who surrendered to General Anthony Wayne. After completing his term, Martin served as the state treasurer of Georgia, a position he held from 1783 to 1784, and he was Commissioner to hold Congress with the Creek and Cherokee Indians in 1783. Governor John Martin passed away in January 1786.


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

Georgia Historic Preservation Division

The New Georgia Encyclopedia

Recent Georgia Governors