John Milledge

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John Milledge
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
June 19, 1806 – November 14, 1809
Preceded by James Jackson
Succeeded by Charles Tait
26th Governor of Georgia
In office
November 4, 1802 – September 23, 1806
Preceded by Josiah Tattnall, Sr.
Succeeded by Jared Irwin
Personal details
Born 1757
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
Died February 9, 1818 (aged 60–61)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican

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.[1] Milledge was a founder of Athens, Georgia, and the University of Georgia.

Revolutionary War[edit]

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.

Political career[edit]

State legislature and U.S. Congress[edit]

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[edit]

Milledge was Governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806.[2] 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.

U.S. Senate[edit]

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[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Anthony Wayne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

November 22, 1792 – March 3, 1793
Succeeded by
Thomas P. Carnes
Preceded by
Thomas P. Carnes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1795 – March 3, 1799
Succeeded by
Benjamin Taliaferro
Preceded by
James Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1801 – May 1802
Succeeded by
Peter Early
Political offices
Preceded by
Josiah Tattnall
Governor of Georgia
1802 – 1806
Succeeded by
Jared Irwin
United States Senate
Preceded by
James Jackson
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
June 19, 1806 – November 14, 1809,
Served alongside: Abraham Baldwin, George Jones, William H. Crawford
Succeeded by
Charles Tait
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Stephen R. Bradley
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
January 30, 1809 – May 21, 1809
Succeeded by
Andrew Gregg