John Wereat

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John Wereat
John Wereat.jpg
Governor of Georgia
In office
August 6, 1779 – January 4, 1780
Preceded by Seth John Cuthbert
Succeeded by George Walton
Personal details
Born John Wereat
ca. 1733
Rode, Somerset, England
Died (aged 65–66)
Bryan County, Georgia, U.S.

John Wereat (ca. 1733 – January 25, 1799) was an American politician and the Governor of Georgia.

Personal life[edit]

Wereat was born in Road (now Rode, Somerset) in England, around 1733 and migrated to the colonies in 1759. He married the former Hannah Wilkinson. They arrived in Savannah in 1759, where John partnered with William Handley, who was related to Hannah.[1]

Political life[edit]

John Wereat was appointed to the Council of Georgia on April 14, 1766.[2] In the early years of the American Revolution, Wereat was a member of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety. From 1776 through the end of the war, he served as Georgia's Continental agent, representing the state in dealings with Congress. Wereat was a delegate for Georgia in the Continental Congress[3] and Governor of Georgia in 1779. During his term as governor, he fought against the Yazoo land fraud, organizing the Georgia Union Company in an attempt to buy western lands and prevent them from inclusion in the Yazoo sales.[4] The Yazoo land fraud left a stain on Georgia politics for years, finally being resolved under the governorship of James Jackson.

Wereat spent a year as a prisoner of the British in Charleston, South Carolina after initially being taken captive in Augusta in 1780.

After his gubernatorial term, Wereat served as state auditor from 1782 until 1793.[5] In December 1787 he presided over the state convention that unanimously ratified the new Federal Constitution.

John Wereat was in the Whig party along with John Martin and Lyman Hall.

Death and legacy[edit]

John Wereat died at his Bryan County, Georgia plantation on January 25, 1799.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lamplugh, George R. (1977). ""To Check and Discourage the Wicked and Designing": John Wereat and the Revolution in Georgia". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 61 (4): 295. JSTOR 40580411.
  2. ^ Journal of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations From January 1764 to December 1767. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1936. p. 269. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  3. ^ White, George (1996). Historical collections of Georgia. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co. p. 210. ISBN 080630376X. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  4. ^ Lamplugh, George R. (1988). "John Wereat and Yazoo, 1794-1799". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 72 (3). JSTOR 40581861.
  5. ^ Wereat, John. "[Letter], 1787 May 23 [to] George Mathews, Governor of Georgia, Augusta / John Wereat". Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Houstoun
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
George Walton