Liberty County in the town of Hinesville
Following its creation, Liberty County went many years without a courthouse. In 1791, the legislature named commissioners to construct a courthouse and jail in Sunbury, but apparently no courthouse was built. Six years later, the legislature moved the county seat from Sunbury to Riceborough. An 1836 act moving the county seat from Riceborough to a site known as the General Parade Ground authorized the sale of the jail at Riceborough but made no mention of a courthouse. Jordan and Puster indicate that the first known courthouse was a wooden structure built in 1849. They record that this building was replaced by a second courthouse built in 1867. The present two-story brick courthouse was built in 1926, with extensive wings added in 1965.
County Courthouse Historical Marker: Click here
The land that would form Liberty County was ceded to the English by the Creeks in the Treaty of Savannah
on May 21, 1733, confirmed and expanded by agreements of 1735 and 1736. By an act of March 15, 1758
, the colonial legislature created seven parishes. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Whig forces took control of government in Georgia. On Feb. 5, 1777, they adopted the state's first constitution -- the Constitution of 1777. Art. IV
of that document transformed the existing colonial parishes into seven counties, with Indian ceded lands forming an eighth county. Liberty County, which was sixth on the list and thus is considered Georgia's sixth county, consisted of all of Saint John, Saint Andrew, and Saint James parishes (see map
). The county was named to recognize the American colonies' declaration of independence from British rule.
In 1789, the legislature took land from Liberty County to enlarge Glynn County. Legislators created McIntosh County (1793) and Long County (1920) from Liberty County. Also, between 1794 and 1871, there were a number of acts shifting small amounts of land between Liberty and McIntosh counties.
Hinesville. In 1784, the legislature designated Sunbury county seat of Liberty County. However, Sunbury's location on the coast was inconvenient for most residents of Liberty County, so the legislature in 1797 designated a new county seat farther inland that would be named Riceborough. In less than 40 years, a movement had been launched to move the county seat again. In 1836, a referendum was held in Liberty County on the location of the county seat, and a majority of voters supported changing it from Riceborough. As a result, Liberty County's state senator, Charlton Hines, introduced legislation at the 1836 session of the General Assembly to establish a new county seat within one mile of a place known as the General Parade Ground (also referred to in the act as "Azoucks' old field"), which was located about 18 miles to the northwest of Riceborough. The legislation, approved on Dec. 30, 1836, also named a five-member commission with authority to select a site for construction of a courthouse, jail, and other public buildings, and to lay out and sell town lots. In 1837, the new county seat was named Hinesville in honor of Sen. Hines, who had made it possible. In 1916, the legislature incorporated Hinesville.
From the back
Liberty County Profile
February 5, 1777