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|United States Senator
June 19, 1806 – November 14, 1809
|Preceded by||James Jackson|
|Succeeded by||Charles Tait|
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||February 9, 1818 (aged 60–61)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
John Milledge (1757 – February 9, 1818) was an American politician. He fought in the American Revolution and later served as United States Representative, Governor of Georgia, and United States Senator. Milledge was a founder of Athens, Georgia, and the University of Georgia.
John Milledge was born in Savannah, Georgia, the grandson of an original settler of Georgia. He was tutored privately and studied law. After being admitted to the bar, he opened a law practice in Savannah. At the onset of the Revolutionary War, Milledge was part of a group that took colonial governor Sir James Wright as a prisoner in 1775. He also took part in a raid of Savannah's royal armory to procure gunpowder for the revolutionary cause. When the British captured Savannah, Milledge escaped to South Carolina, where American patriots nearly hanged him as a spy. He participated in the Siege of Savannah in an attempt to drive the British forces out.
State legislature and U.S. Congress
After serving as the attorney general of Georgia, Milledge was member of the Georgia General Assembly. In 1792, the House of Representatives declared the seat of Anthony Wayne vacant due to disputes over his residency. Milledge was elected to the Second Congress to fill this vacancy and served from November 22, 1792, to March 3, 1793. Later, Milledge would be elected to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1795 to March 3, 1799. In 1801, he was again elected to Congress, this time as a Democratic-Republican, and served from March 4, 1801, until he resigned in May 1802 to become Governor of Georgia.
Governor of Georgia
Milledge was Governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806. As governor, he created Georgia's first land lottery to combat corruption in the distribution of former Creek land to settlers. He also reorganized the state militia, and built a road from Georgia to Tennessee passing through Cherokee lands. In 1803, Milledgeville, Georgia, state capital from 1804 to 1868, was named in his honor.
In 1806, he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James Jackson. In the 10th United States Congress, he was named President pro tempore of the Senate. He served as a Senator from June 19, 1806, until November 14, 1809, when he resigned.
The University of Georgia
While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Milledge was named to a commission to establish a site for the state university of Georgia. On July 25, 1801, Milledge bought with his own money some land on the Oconee River for the school, and named the surrounding area Athens, in honor of the city of Plato's Academy.
After retiring from the United States Senate, Milledge returned home, to live out his final years at his plantation near Augusta, Georgia. He died there, February 9, 1818,and was buried in Summerville Cemetery in that same city.
- "MILLEDGE, John, (1757 - 1818)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- "John Milledge". Find a Grave. Retrieved October 10, 2013.