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Crawford Family Plantations, Georgia

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  • Capt. Charles Crawford (1738 - 1813)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for GEORGIA with the rank of Captain. DAR Ancestor #: A027574 Capt Crawford served in the 2nd North Carolina Regiment, raised in August 1775. Source page 71 Wheel...
  • Peter Crawford (1765 - 1830)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of Private. DAR Ancestor #: A027647 Peter Crawford Cemetery
  • George W. Crawford, Governor, U.S. Secretary of War (1798 - 1872)
    George Walker Crawford (December 22, 1798 – July 27, 1872) was a Georgia politician during the nineteenth century. He served as the 38th Governor of Georgia from 1843 to 1847 and United States Secret...

This project will cover the ancestry and descendants of the Crawford Plantation, white and black.

Columbia County was created from Richmond County on December 10th, 1790. Columbia is Georgia’s 12th county and from her original boundaries were formed parts of Warren and McDuffie counties.

Main Properties

According to local lore, Charles Crawford, a captain in a militia company, came to the area from Virginia and built the house during or just after the Revolutionary War.

The Crawford house, known as Oak Hall, was said to be the oldest house in Columbia County before it burned down in 1968.

It was a two-story pine structure with six columns and an iron balcony. It had eight rooms, some with imported stained-glass windows. Washington Road likely ran between Oak Hall and the cotton gin.

(George LaVarnway's home on Crawford Place Road is built over the site of Oak Hall. Trees in his yard still bear scorch marks from the 1968 fire.)

When Peter Crawford left his home in Virginia soon after the Revolutionary War, he had good reason to move to Columbia County. His Uncle Joel, father of his soon-to-be famous cousin William H. Crawford, already lived here, and since Peter was a war veteran he was eligible for a "bounty grant," part of the land set aside by the state of Georgia for those who had fought for independence.

The Crawford grant, which Peter called "Belair," was located between Columbia Road and the present Fort Gordon. A sizable tract of land that he called Belair Plantation (near Augusta). The homestead was situated close to his uncle, Joel Crawford. (Had Interstate 20 been in existence 200 years ago, the highway would have cut the property in two.)

Eventually Belair became one of the area's largest plantations, and Columbia County attached the same name to a road running along one side. Today the plantation no longer exists, but Belair Road remains an important thoroughfare between the northeastern corner of the county and the Interstate.

Shortly after Columbia County's creation, Peter Crawford was commissioned the first Clerk of the Superior and Inferior Courts of Columbia County.

"Mr. Crawford, I apologize for taking so long to get back with you... Yes, I would be interested in receiving the information about Peter Crawford, and George W. Crawford. Interesting enough, my wife's ancestor Dr. Mclean actually purchased one of the Crawford Estates (the one that William H. Crawford owned; he ran for President against Andrew Jackson, but lost).

I am interested in learning more about George W. Crawford's Estate since local histotians (sic) do not know where it was located, but written records indicate that it was "palatial." The Bellair (Bel-Air or Bellaire) Estate was extremely extensive, encompassing several miles. The confusion lies in that Peter Crawford's Bellaire (Belair) was located several miles from the village of Belair, where Mr. Crawford is supposed to have lived. I think that these may have been 2 different plantation houses, but am not sure. I have seen an old photo which I am trying to verify as being one of the Crawford Plantation (houses think Tara from "Gone with the Wind").
Best regards,
John 

(See Re: George W. Crawford's Bel-Air Estate (Columbia County, Ga.)).-By John Roy April 03, 2008

John: I don't have info on Bel Air, but the Augusta

Chronicle (http://augustachronicle.com/images/headlines/120901/our_routes/Crawford_Plantation2.jpg) had an article with photo of  the Crawford Plantation "Oak Hall" built just after the Revolutionary War by Captain Charles Crawford on the
Washington Road in Columbia County, GA.It burned in 1968 and is now the site of George LaVarnway's home on Crawford Place Road.

(See Re: George W. Crawford's Bel-Air Estate (Columbia County, Ga.)). - By Donald Shirah December 03, 2007.

Crawford Family

(See Inventory of the Crawford Family Papers).

Crawford family members and descendants came to be among the most influential figures in the state.

The dynasty includes:

  • George W. Crawford (1798-1872), a state attorney general, U.S. congressman and Georgia governor.

George Walker Crawford was the only Whig governor of Georgia, 1843-1847. He began his term November 8, 1843. Crawford was a Representative from Georgia; born in Columbia Country, Ga., December 22, 1798; was graduated from Princeton College in 1820; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1822 and commenced practice in Augusta, Ga.; attorney general of the State 1827-1831; member of the State house of representatives 1837-1842; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Richard W. Habersham and served from January 7, 1843, to March 3, 1843; Governor of Georgia 1843-1847; appointed Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President Taylor and served from March 8, 1849, to July 23, 1850; presided over the State secession convention in 1861; died on his estate, "Bel Air," near Augusta, Ga., July 27, 1872; interment in Summerville Cemetery.

He was the fourth son of :

  • Revolutionary War soldier, Peter Crawford, and cousin to
  • William H. Crawford, a U.S. congressman, secretary of war, secretary of the treasury and an unsuccessful candidate to become sixth president of the United States;
  • Nathan Crawford, who helped found Augusta Medical College (Founded in 1828);
  • Peter Crawford, a Columbia County sheriff.
  • Joel Terrell Crawford (1783-1858), a U.S. Congressman, 1817-1821 is the brother of George Walker Crawford. He served as Representative from Georgia; born in Columbia County, Ga., June 15, 1783; completed preparatory studies; studied law at the Litchfield Law School; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Sparta in 1808; moved to Milledgeville, Ga., in 1811; served in the war against the Creek Indians as second lieutenant and aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Floyd in 1813 and 1814; resumed the practice of law in Milledgeville; member of the State house of representatives 1814-1817; elected as a Republican to the Fifteenth Congress and reelected to the Sixteenth Congress ( March 4, 1817-March 3, 1821); returned to Sparta, Hancock County, in 1828; member of the State senate in 1827 and 1828; appointed a commissioner to run the boundary line between Alabama and Georgia in 1826; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Georgia in 1828 and 1831; delegate to the International Improvement Convention in 1831; elected in 1837 a State commissioner to locate and construct the Western & Atlantic Railroad; died near Blakely, Early County, Ga., April 5, 1858; interment in the family burying ground on his plantation in Early County, Ga.
  • Charles Peter Crawford (1831-1900), lawyer, Confederate officer; son of Joel Crawford. Charles P. Crawford served in the Confederate Army and entered the service of the State of Georgia on the July 6, 1861 in Company A Battalion 11 as fourth sergeant. He was promoted to the rank of Captain of Company B Battalion 11 on April 16, 1862. Captain Crawford died at his home on Liberty Street in Milledgeville, Georgia, January 1900. According to the news article "Captain Crawford was one of the best posted lawyers of this section, and leaves a wife, one son and three daughters and hosts of friends all over the state to mourn his death".
  • Martha "Mattie" Williamson Crawford is the wife of Charles P. Crawford. Mrs. Martha Crawford was a daughter of Capt. W.T. Williamson of Milledgeville. She was born at McIntosh Reserve, Coweta County, Ga., January 8, 1836. January 8,1855, she was married to Mr. Charles P. Crawford. From 1855 to 1859 she lived in Americus; from 1859 to 1863 in Lee County; from 1863 to 871 in Florida, from 1871 to 1876 in Milledgeville, Georgia.
  • Anna Ripley Orme, wife of Charles P. Crawford from May 4, 1880 to his death January 1900. She was the daughter of Richard M. Orme publisher of the Southern Recorder & Milledgeville Mayor.
  • Sara Crawford is the daughter of Joel Crawford and sister of Charles P. Crawford.

Slaves

  • A gift of 16 slaves from Joel Evans Crawford to his son Charles, in an autograph document, signed 22 February 1855, mentioning the slaves by name. 1 page, docketed on verso. Crawford's autograph appraisal for the slaves which included two families, a husband, wife, and their four children, and another husband and wife and their two children.
  • Joel Evans Crawford was a slaveholder of over 100 slaves in Hancock County, Georgia.
  • An autograph document by Crawford authorizing his son to purchase seven or eight thousand dollars worth of land in Texas. October 2, 1857.
  • Benton, Eli A. Expansively describing methods and routes of traveling from Georgia to Texas, in an autograph letter, signed from Mount Zion, Georgia, to Joel Crawford. 6 pages, approximately 1500 words. Benton offers advice on traveling as Crawford's son Charles plans to move west, being especially concerned about traveling with slaves; the final two pages of the letter offer advice on evaluating land and suggest Eastern Texas in the vicinity of the Red River as the place to choose. September 25, 1857.