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Samuel Elbert

Gov. Samuel Elbert

  • January 6, 1785 - January 9, 1786
  • Whig (conservation faction)
  • January 1, 1740
  • November 1, 1788
  • South Carolina
  • Married Elizabeth Rae; six children
  • Army


SAMUEL ELBERT, Revolutionary War soldier and governor of Georgia, was born in Prince William Parish, South Carolina or Savannah, Georgia, in 1740. He settled in Savannah and established a successful mercantile business. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a captain of a grenadier company, and later attained the rank of colonel in a Continental Army battalian. In the Battle of Brier Creek in March 1779, he was wounded, became a prisoner of war, and was released in a prisoner exchange in June 1781. Afterwards, he was commissioned brigadier general in the Continental Army. Elbert first entered politics in 1769, serving as a representative from St. Mathews Parish and Ebenezer. In 1775, he was a member in the Council of Safety and the provincial congress. He also won election to the Continental Congress in 1784, but declined to serve. In 1785, he won election to a one-year gubernatorial term. During his tenure, legislation was sanctioned that chartered the University of Georgia. After leaving the governorship, Elbert served as Assistant Justice of Chatham County from 1786 to 1788 and Sheriff of Chatham County, in 1787 and 1788. Governor Samuel Elbert passed away on November 1, 1788, and was buried in the Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. Elbert County in northeast Georgia was named in his honor in 1790.


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

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