County History: Henry
County was created on May 15, 1821 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga.
Laws 1821 Extra. Session, p. 3). [Click
here to read the legal description of Henry County's original
boundaries.] Dooly, Houston, Monroe, Fayette, and Henry County were created
in that order by the
Land Lottery Act of 1821, which was enacted at a special session of the
General Assembly four months after the Creek Indians ceded lands between the
Ocmulgee and Flint rivers on Jan. 8, 1821 in the first
Treaty of Indian Springs. Henry County was organized by an act of the
legislature approved Dec. 24, 1821 (Ga. Laws 1821, p. 44). Later, portions
of Henry County were used to create the following counties: Newton (1821),
DeKalb (1822), Butts (1825), Spalding (1851), Clayton (1858), and Rockdale
Georgia's 52nd county was named for American Revolutionary patriot
who is probably best remembered for impassioned "Give me liberty or give me
death!" speech (see
for more information on the history of Henry County.
County Seat: The Dec.
24, 1821 act organizing Henry County authorized the justices of the inferior
court to select the location of the county seat. In 1822 or 1823, the court
selected one-half of land lot 134 in the seventh district as the location of
the county seat and laid out a town on this site. In an act of Dec. 17,
1823, the legislature declared this site the permanent seat of government
for Henry County and incorporated it as McDonough (Ga. Laws 1823, p. 188).
The town was named for
McDonough, a U.S. naval commodore who became famous during the War of
1812 for defeating a British fleet on Lake Champlain in 1814.
His son, Crawford Long, is generally recognized today as being the first
doctor to anesthetize his patients. Long, who practiced in Danielsville
before moving to Jefferson in 1841 had a brother who was a doctor and
remained in Danielsville.