Hancock County on the Ogeechee River was created from Greene and Washington counties in 1793, the fifteenth county organized. It was named for John Hancock, whose name heads the list of signers of the Declaration of Independence. At its signing, Hancock had been president of the Continental Congress.
Sparta, the county seat, was named for the ancient Greek city, probably because its early residents realized they would need Spartan characteristics to survive. Across the Oconee River from the new county was Indian territory, and Hancock County remained on the frontier for ten years before more westerly lands were ceded to the State of Georgia. Border wars erupted sporadically for forty years in that area.
When first organized, Hancock County included part of present Taliaferro County.
A spot on the Oconee River in Hancock County had been the scene of a disputed treaty in 1786. Fifty-nine head men of the Creek Nation had met at Shoulder Bone Creek on the Oconee with nine representatives of the existing Georgia counties, among them John Habersham for Chatham County and John King for Wilkes. The treaty would have ceded all lands east of the Oconee River to the state, as had already been done in an earlier, overlapping treaty. The Indians left five tribesmen in the hands of the Georgians as a guarantee. In a short time, however, Chief Alexander McGillivray repudiated the Shoulder Bone Creek Treaty, saying that the negotiators were not representative of the Creek Confederation. He was a sympathizer of the Spaniards in Florida.
Hancock County has sent four governors to the Georgia capital: Nathaniel Edwin Harris, James McDonald, William Jonathan Northen, and William Rabun.
An historic trading path connecting Augusta with Mississippi River tribes, the Chickasaws and Choctaws, wound through Hancock County north of Sparta, crossing the Oconee River near the route of Georgia Highway 16.
Source: Foundations of Government - The Georgia Counties, Association County Commissioners of Georgia, 1976.
Latest News in this County
Barrow to Host “Congress on the Corner” in Sandersville, Sparta, and Milledgeville
July 27, 2009
This Saturday, August 1, Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) will be hosting “Congress on the Corner” in Sandersville, Sparta, and Milledgeville. “Congress on the Corner” is an opportunity for citizens to meet one-on-one with Congressman Barrow and to talk about what’s going on in Washington.
Obama Signs Barrow's Bill to Rename Sparta Post Office in Honor of City Councilwoman Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim
June 22, 2009
Washington, D.C. - On Friday, June 19, President Obama singed H.R. 663, to rename the Post Office Building in Sparta, GA, the "Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim Post Office Building." H.R. 663 was introduced by Congressman John Barrow (GA-12). The bill passed the House of Representatives in February of this year.
Barrow Announces $32,375,000 in Direct Allocations of Recovery Zone Bonds for Communities in Georgia’s 12th District
June 12, 2009
Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced today that the U.S. Treasury Department has made $25 billion in bond authority available under the Recovery Zone Bonds program. Of that money, $32,375,000 will be available to communities in Georgia's 12th District. Recovery Zone Bonds were created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Congress passed and President Obama signed into law earlier this year. Recovery Zone Bonds are targeted to areas particularly affected by job loss. They will help local governments obtain financing for much needed economic development projects, such as public infrastructure development, at lower borrowing costs.
GEORGIA’S 12TH DISTRICT AWARDED $266,319 IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER PROGRAM
April 9, 2009
Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced today that $266,319 has been awarded to the 12th District of Georgia by the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). Federal funds totaling $100 million were made available to the EFSP, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to bring immediate relief to communities to address unemployment, poverty, and other needs during the economic crisis.
Barrow Announces 12th District Schools to Receive an Estimated $70.9 Million
April 1, 2009
Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced today that an estimated $70,969,000 in emergency education funding has been released for schools in Georgia's 12th District to help save education-related jobs and maintain programs for low-income students and students with disabilities. Schools in the 12th District will receive an estimated $42,376,000 in Title I funds and $28,593,000 in IDEA funds.
House Passes Barrow Bill to Rename Sparta Post Office in Honor of City Councilwoman Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim
February 13, 2009
Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 663, sponsored by Congressman John Barrow (GA-12), to rename the Post Office Building in Sparta, GA, the "Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim Post Office Building." H.R. 663 passed by voice vote.
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