Jared Irwin Monument

The monument in memory of Governor Jared Irwin (1750-1818) was erected on the town square in 1856 by an act of the State of Georgia Legislature. It was later moved to the present location after the construction of a new courthouse in 1869.

Jared Irwin was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and moved with his family to Burke County, Georgia, later to Washington County. He fought in the American Revolution and his political career spanned several decades with varied notoriety. The monument to this twice governor of Georgia (1796-1798) and (1806-1809) has withstood the test of time; surviving the Civil War with only one bullet leaving its 'mark.

Entering Sandersville during the occupation a Union Soldier described the monument as: "a splendid structure erected by the State and if the epitaph upon the same is all it reads, he (Irwin) never halted short of the 3rd heaven for the same covers the four entire sides."

The inscription reads:

Erected by the State of Georgia to the memory of Governor Jared Irwin, who died at his residence, Union Hill, Washington, Co., on the first day of March 1818 in the 68th year of his age.

A true patriot, he entered the service of his country as a Captain and soon rose to the rank of colonel in the Revolutionary War. As a soldier, he was brave and gallant. He distinguished himself at the sieges of Savannah and Augusta and in the battles of Camden, Brier Creek, Black Swamp, and several other engagements, he was at all times foremost leading his gallant band to victory. And not with his work, and in his person only did he do service for his country. From his private means, he erected a fortress in Burke County for the protection of the people of the surrounding districts.

His pure devotion to the cause of liberty marked him in the eyes of the enemy, and on more than one occasion was he plundered of his property, and his promises reduced to ashes.

As the close of the War of the Revolution, with the rank of General, he was actively engaged in the service of the state, in repelling the attacks and invasions of the hostile Indians; and here, again, was his liberality called into activity. He, at his own expense, built a for at White Bluff, for the security and protection of the frontier inhabitants against the savage attacks of the merciless foes.

General Irwin was one of the conventions which met at Augusta in 1788 and ratified the constitution of the United States. He was a member of the convention in 1789, which formed the constitution of the State of Georgia. In 1798, he was president of the convention which revised the constitution of the State of Georgia. He rendered distinguished to his country as a commissioner, in concluding several treaties with the Indians.

At the close of the War of Independence he was a member of the first legislature under our present form of government; a position which he occupied for several years. He was elected president of the senate frequently, at various periods from 1790 until the time of his death.

He was governor of Georgia from January 17, 1796, to the 11th of January, 1798. And again from the 23rd of September, 1806, to the 7th of November, 1809. His administration was distinguished for his justice and impartiality; and he was the honor, after several years' labor on his behalf, of signing the act rescinding the Yazoo Act.

In his private relations, Governor Irwin was beloved by all who knew him. The spotless purity of his Character, his benign and affable disposition, his widespread benevolence and hospitality, made him the object of general affection. To the poor and distressed he was ever a benefactor and friend.

In every position of public life, as a soldier, a statesman, and a patriot, the public good was the object and the end of his ambition; and his death was lamented as a national calamity.

But his memory will ever be embalmed in the hearts of his countrymen, and the historian will award him a brilliant page in the records of the country. Peace to his ashes! Honor to his name.

Mary Murphy January 2016