Governor Peter Early

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Governor Peter Early

Birthdate: (44)
Birthplace: Madison, Madison County, Virginia, United States
Death: August 15, 1817 (44)
Scull Shoals in Greene County, Georgia
Place of Burial: Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Lt. Joel Early and Lucy Early
Husband of Ann Adams Early - Sherwood
Father of Lucy Wilkinson Jones; Alexander Early; Augustus Early; Peter Early, Jr.; Thomas Early and 1 other
Brother of Lucy Mathews

Managed by: Private User
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About Governor Peter Early

Peter Early (June 20, 1773 – August 15, 1817) was an American lawyer, jurist and politician.

He was born near Madison, Virginia in 1773, the son of Joel Early and Lucy Smith. His cousin, Jubal Early, was the grandfather of Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early (1816–1894). Peter Early graduated from the Lexington Academy (current-day Washington and Lee University). He later graduated from Princeton College in 1792. His family moved to Wilkes County, Georgia that same year; however, Peter Early was studying law with Jared Ingersoll in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After finishing his legal studies, Early joined his family in Wilkes County, married Ann Adams Smith in 1793 and began his law practice in Washington, Georgia, in 1796.

Early was elected as a Representative from Georgia to the 8th United States Congress to serve the remainder of the term left vacant by the resignation of John Milledge, and he was reelected to the 9th Congress. During his congressional service, Early was one of the managers of the prosecution in the impeachment trials against John Pickering, New Hampshire United States District Court judge, in January 1804 and Samuel Chase, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in December of that same year. Early did not seek reelection in 1806 for the 10th Congress.

After his congressional service, Early was elected by the Georgia General Assembly as judge of the Superior Court of the Ocmulgee Circuit and presided over that court from 1807 until 1813. The respect and popularity he gained from his service on that bench propelled him to a successful campaign to be elected the 28th Governor of Georgia in 1813. He served one term which lasted through 1815 during which Early was instrumental in committing money on several occasions from the state treasury to help raise and supply additional troops from Georgia to the American military forces during the later half of the War of 1812.

Early moved back to Greene County, Georgia after his gubernatorial term, and he was elected to the Georgia Senate to represent his home county. During his term in this body, he died on August 15, 1817, at his summer home near Scull Shoals in Greene County and was buried on the west bank of the Oconee River near his home, Fontenoy Plantation, with a simple monument to mark his gravesite; however, his family reinterred his body in the Greensboro City Cemetery in 1914. Early County, Georgia was named in his honor in 1818.

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Governor Peter Early's Timeline

June 20, 1773
Madison, Madison County, Virginia, United States
October 18, 1799
Age 26
Washington, Wilkes Co., Ga.
Age 26
Age 26
Age 26
Age 32
Age 34
August 15, 1817
Age 44
Scull Shoals in Greene County, Georgia
Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia, United States