County Name Perpetuates Governor’s Legacy
George M. Troup, for whom Troup County was named, was the son of John Troup and Catherine McIntosh, and was born on the Tombigbee River, then in the territory of Georgia, on September 8, 1780. His maternal uncle, William McIntosh, married the daughter of an Indian chief, and their eldest son was William McIntosh, the president of the Creek Nation.
George M. Troup was graduated from Princeton in 1797. He was a Georgia congressman from 1807 to 1815, and in 1816 was elected as United States senator, but resigned in 1818. He was governor of Georgia from 1823 to 1827, and in 1829 was again elected as United States senator.
It was during his administration as governor that the treaty with the Creek Nation was negotiated by the United States for the cession of the territory, of which Troup County forms a part, as it was dated February 12, 1825.
His old home was in Laurens County and was named by the Troup family "Valdosta," but it is not the site of the city of that name. He died while visiting one of his plantations near Soperton in what was Montgomery, but now Wheeler County, on April 26, 1856, and was buried on the Rosemont plantation, about seven miles from Soperton. His grave is marked by a substantial monument, erected originally to the memory of his brother, who had died in 1848. One face of the monument bears this inscription:
"Erected by G. M. Troup, the brother, and G. M. Troup, Jr., the nephew, as a tribute to the memory of
R. L. TROUP
who died September 23, 1848
Aged 64 years."
On the opposite face of the monument is the following inscription:
GEORGE MICHAEL TROUP
Born September 8, 1780
Died April 26, 1856
No epitaph can tell his worth
The History of Georgia must perpetuate
His virtues and commemorate
There he teaches us the argument being exhausted To Stand by our Arms."
Governor Troup was a fearless and upright man, uncompromising in his allegiance to principles, and one of the most earnest advocates of States Rights in the commonwealth.
It is fitting here to record the address of welcome given by Governor Troup to LaFayette on the occasion of his visit to Georgia in 1825, which was delivered on the banks of the Savannah River. It is probable that this address inspired Col. Julius C. Alford to offer the home of LaFayette as a name to LaGrange at the public meeting held for the purpose of selecting a name for the county town.
"Welcome, LaFayette! 'Tis little more than ninety years since the founder of this state first set foot upon the bank on which you stand. Today 400,000 people open their arms and their hearts to receive you. Thanks to the kind Providence which presides over human affairs, you were called to the stand- ard of independence in the helplessness of the American Revolution and you have been graciously spared that in your last days the glory of an empire might be reflected upon your countenance amid the acclimations of millions."
"For you the scenes which are to come will be comparatively tranquil; the waters no longer turbulent but placid. No more dread of dungeons; no more fear of tyrants for you. Oh, sir, what consolation it must be to one who has passed through seas of trouble to know that between you and them are the countless bayonets which guard the blessings of freedom! Welcome, General! Friend of Liberty, welcome! Thrice welcome to Georgia!"
GEORGE MICHAEL TROUP.