Georgia History Timeline

By | May 12, 2022

The Spaniards arrived here in 1540, destroying the quiet way of life of the American Indians. In only a few short years, forts and missions were built along the offshore islands; all subsequently becoming easy targets for the pirates who terrorized the area.

In the late 17th century, the British and Spanish fought for control. The English (and their Indian allies) were finally gaining power, and by the 1720s there was talk (in England) of a new British colony, one to be named Georgia after the king.

In 1732 King George II of England allowed the charter and this new colony to be the last of the original thirteen colonies established in America.

Led by General James Oglethorpe, the first colonists arrived in Georgia and founded Savannah in 1773. Just three years later, Georgia and other colonies rebelled against British rule. They signed the Declaration of Independence, and from north to south, the war of independence swept across this newfangled land. English troops passed through the southern and captured Savannah, and in quick order they controlled most of Georgia. However, when General Cornwallis surrendered his British troops in 1781, the bloody land war for independence was over and Georgia would become the fourth state to ratify America ‘s new constitution.

  • Topschoolsintheusa: Guides to study in Georgia, including geography, climate, economy, and tourism of the state.
  • A2zcamerablog: Offers general information about Georgia, covering history, population, economy and county list.
  • Campingship: State outline of Georgia, including geography location, state capital, brief history and a list of largest counties by area.

With its resources and geographic location, Georgia has rapidly developed into a regional center of commerce. The population expanded and controlled Indian lands were almost gone by the 1820s.

Eli Whitney’s cotton invention of the gin propelled cotton production into one of Georgia’s most significant industries. The wealth gained from the endless toil of black slaves in cotton farming was a burning issue between North and South, and that thorny debate and other slave issues ignited a tragic civil war.

Abraham Lincoln became president of the United States in 1861, and shortly thereafter Georgia and other southern states withdrew from the Union and joined the Confederacy. Civil War America played across the south; at the end of the war, Georgia was razed to the ground, Savannah was in ruins, and Atlanta burned right to the ground.

Georgia timeline

1400s – 1500s

  • (1498) Explorer John Cabot made a second trip to North America; may have explored the coast of Georgia
  • (1526) Lucas Vasquez de Aillon established the first colony on the island of Sapelo
  • (1540) Hernando De Soto of Spain explored Georgia
  • (1562) French Huguenots built Fort Charles at Port Royal (Savannah)
  • (1565) Spanish established missions along the coastline
  • (1597) Gol Indians attacked Spanish missions; Mokama Indians helped stop Spanish uprisings


  • (1629) King Charles I granted a charter to Sir Robert Heath, included most of present-day Georgia
  • (1663) King Charles II gave a 1629 charter to the Earl of Claredon, Duke of Albermarle, Sir George Carteret and five others
  • (1670) Agreement between England and Spain, if land ownership would define ownership in the eastern half of North America
  • (1673) Spaniards build a fort on St. Catharines Island
  • (1680) English attack that fort
  • (1681) Spanish left St. Catharines Island, moved to Sapelo Island


  • (1721) British build Fort King George settlement
  • (1729) Seven landowners ceded their land rights to King George II of England
  • (1732) King George II issued Georgia’s first official charter; the trustees chose Savannah as the colony’s first settlement; an agreement reached between the Lower Creek Indians and the colonists (Treaty of Savannah)
  • (1733) Jews in Savannah establish Mikai Israel, the oldest congregation practicing Reform Judaism in the US.
  • (1734) German settlers founded Ebenezer
  • (1735) Alice Riley hung for participation in murder, first woman to be executed; the Scottish Highlanders founded New Inverness; The trustees enacted a new law banning slaves; Augusta founded
  • (1741) The Trustees divided Georgia into two counties – Savannah and Frederica
  • (1742) Battle of the Bloody Marsh between Spanish and English; English halted invasion of St. Simons Island
  • (1749) Anti-Slavery Act repealed
  • (1752) Trustees surrendered charter to British government; Georgia became a royal colony
  • (1754) John Reynolds appointed first royal governor
  • (1757) Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Savannah, ceded to the islands of St. Catharines, Ossabaw and Sapelo and reserve by Savannah
  • (1758) Georgia divided into eight counties
  • (1764) Sugar Act passed by the British to raise revenues from the colonies; first a serious dispute between the colonies and Great Britain
  • (1765) Controversial Stamp Act passed by the British
  • (1766) Stamp Act repealed; South Carolina threatened to invade Georgia, seized two ships and destroyed cargo
  • (1767) Parliament passed Townshend laws, taxes levied on glass, lead, paint, paper, tea
  • (1773) Treaty of Augusta, indentured by Brooks and Cherokees; ceded lands; Chai law passed by Parliament
  • (1774) First Continental Congress held in Philadelphia; Georgia is the only colony not to take part
  • (1776) Declaration of Independence, signed by all colonies, terminated all links with Great Britain
  • (1777) Georgia’s first state constitution adopted; counties are replaced by counties; British ships blocked the port of Savannah
  • (1779) British captured Augusta; The 34-day siege of Savannah took place
  • (1781) Augusta taken back by Patriot forces
  • (1782) British troops surrender Savannah; troops evacuated
  • (1787) Georgia fourth state to ratify US constitution
  • (1788) Georgia became the fourth state
  • (1792) Eli Whitney invented cotton gin at Mulberry Grove Plantation in Georgia
  • (1795) Fraud with Yazoo Land took place; an agreement between Spain and the United States settled the border between Georgia and the Spanish territory of Florida
  • (1799) First state the accepted seal


  • (1807) State capital moved to Milledgeville; border between Georgia and North Carolina established
  • (1811) Fighting between sailors in Savannah caused three days of riots
  • (1812) War of 1812 started
  • (1815) British fort burned at Point Peter in the final battle of the War of 1812
  • (1817) First Seminole War began; Indians raided white settlements
  • (1818) First Seminole War ended
  • (1819) The steamer SS Savannah sailed from Savannah to Liverpool, England, the first steamboat to cross the Atlantic
  • (1820) Savannah fire destroyed 463 buildings; most homeless people
  • (1824) Hurricane hit Simons Island; 83 killed
  • (1827) All the Indian lands of the Creek which yield to Georgia
  • (1828) Gold discovered; the gold rush has begun
  • (1835) Seminole Indians ambushed US troops, killed 105; start of the Second Seminole War
  • (1836) Seminoles massacred Major Francis Dade and troops of 103 men
  • (1837) Seminole chief, Osceola, taken prisoner
  • (1838) Cherokee and Creek Indians forced out of Georgia (Trail of Tears) ; Seminole chief, Osceola, dies
  • (1842) Crawford Long became the first person to use anesthesia during surgery
  • (1861) Civil War has begun; Savannah’s volunteer militia captured Fort Pulaski; The Decree of Schism was passed; Georgia ratified the Federal Constitution; Georgia took possession of the American Mint at Dahlonega; President Lincoln orders blockade of southern ports
  • (1862) Union calls for captured Fort Pulaski; Union hijackers stole a locomotive to (unsuccessfully) destroy bridges and tracks between Atlanta and Chattanooga (Great Loco Chase) ; Atlanta became a federal military post
  • (1863) President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation; Allies defeated at the Battle of Chickamauga, over 18,000 killed
  • (1864) Many Civil War battles took place in Georgia; William T. Sherman led armies through Georgia to Savannah (March to the Sea) ; gone Atlanta on fire
  • (1865) The Civil War is over
  • (1868) Atlanta became the capital

Georgia History