Laurens County was one of six new counties created by an act of
the General Assembly approved Dec. 10, 1807 (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3).
According to that legislation, Laurens County's original boundaries
were specified as:
. . . all that tract or parcel of land herein after pointed out,
long and being in the county of Wilkinson, beginning at the mouth of
Big Sandy Creek, on the Oconee river, running south sixty degrees
west to the Ocmulgee river; thence down the meanders of the same to
the upper corner of the fourteenth district on said river; thence
north sixty degrees cast to the Oconee river; thence up the same to
the beginning. . . .
Georgia's 34th county was named for Col. John Laurens of South
Carolina. Laurens, who had been aide-de-camp to George Washington, was
involved in numerous battles -- including the siege of Savannah -- and
was killed in battle in 1782.
On Dec. 13, 1808, the legislature created Pulaski County from
Laurens County (Ga. Laws 1808, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 52). On Dec. 11,
1858, portions of Laurens County were used to create Johnson County
(Ga. Laws 1858, p. 32).
The Dec. 1807 legislation creating Laurens County made no
provision for designating a county seat but provided that courts and
public business be conducted at the house of Peter Thomas. It is not
clear where Thomas lived, but it may have been at or near a settlement
known as Sumterville, which was situated on the confluence of Turkey
Creek and the Oconee River about eight miles from what would become
On Dec. 1, 1809, the General Assembly designated Sumterville as
county seat (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 10). However, on Dec. 13, 1810, the
legislature named John G. Underwood, Jethro Spivey, Benjamin Adams,
John Thomas, and William H. Mathews as commissioners to purchase up to
200 1/2 acres at or within two miles of the place known as Sand Bar on
the Oconee River for location of the county seat (Ga. Laws 1810, p.
95). The commissioners selected land lot 232 in the 1st District --
site of the new town of Dublin -- and on Dec. 13, 1811, the
legislature formally designated Dublin as county seat. Jonathan
Sawyer, an Irish immigrant, had agreed to donate the land for erection
of public buildings providing the town was named for Dublin, Ireland
-- the original home of his wife. The General Assembly incorporated
Dublin by an act of Dec. 9, 1812 (Ga. Laws 1812, p. 94).