TELFAIR, Edward (1735-1807)

TELFAIR, EDWARD, (father of Thomas Telfair), a Delegate from Georgia; born in ``Town Head,'' Scotland, in 1735; was graduated from the Kirkcudbright Grammar School and subsequently acquired a thorough commercial training; immigrated to the United States in 1758 as agent of a commercial house and settled in Virginia; moved to Halifax, N.C.; established a commission house in Savannah, Ga., in 1766; member of the council of safety in 1775 and 1776; delegate to the Provincial Congress at Savannah in 1776; member of the committee of intelligence and other important committees in 1776; Member of the Continental Congress 1778, 1780, 1781, and 1782; one of the signers of the Articles of Confederation and a delegate to the State ratification convention; commissioner to treat with the Cherokee Indians in 1783; designated agent on the part of Georgia to settle the northern boundary of the Commonwealth in February 1783; Governor of Georgia in 1786 and 1790-1793; died in Savannah, Ga., September 17, 1807; interment in Bonaventure Cemetery.

Duke University
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1762-1831, 911 items.
The papers of Edward Telfair contain personal, business and political correspondence and other papers, concerning Edward Telfair's mercantile interests in Savannah, his legal work, the Revolution in Georgia, Georgia patriots, planting in Georgia, especially rice and tobacco, the Creek Indians in the 1780s and 1790s, slaveholding and economic conditions in Georgia, land speculation and settlement, the establishment of the federal government, politics during the 1790s, Edward Telfair's administration as governor, and American trade with Great Britain. The bulk of the material is for the period 1771-1807. Included are scattered letters from many Georgia patriots and politicians including Abraham Baldwin, Joseph Clay, Sr., Seaborn Jones, Jr., and others.


Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: 1806, 1 item.
Act, 1806, is an amendment titled "An Act for ordering and governing slaves within this province and for establishing a jurisdiction for the trial of offenses committed by such slaves and other persons therein mentioned and to prevent the inveighing and carrying away of slaves from their masters, owners, or employers". The act was signed by Edward Telfair, as well as others.

Papers: In Pickett's, History of Alabama and incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi: scrapbooks, ca. 1880-1919, 1.5 cubic feet.
Other authors include Edward Telfair.


Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA
Papers: In the Clay, Telfair and Company Papers, 1783-1795, 3 volumes.
Persons represented include Edward Telfair.

Papers: In the Basil Cowper Papers, 1800-1803, 2 items.
Other authors include Edward Telfair.

Papers: In the Samuel Elbert Papers, 1776-1786, 1 box.
Persons represented include Edward Telfair.

Papers: In the Georgia Executive Council Papers, 1777-1788, 1 folder and 1 volume.
Persons represented include Edward Telfair.

Papers: In the Jacob Minis Colonial Papers, 1768-1793, 1 volume.
Persons represented include Edward Telfair.

Papers: In the Mordecai Sheftall Papers, 1780-1796, 1 folder.
Persons represented include Edward Telfair.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection, 1792-1793, 6 items.
Land grants issued by Edward Telfair as governor of Georgia to Samuel Beckcom, Benjamin Kitchen, Israel Robinson, and Francis Tennil; and two Georgia state seals.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: 1787, 1 item.
A letter from George Walton to Edward Telfair written on May 26, 1787.

Papers: 1791, 1 item.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Governor Telfair written on March 26, 1791.

Papers: 1805, 1 item.
A letter from William Few to Edward Telfair written on February 22, 1805.

Papers: 1807, 1 item.
A letter from Edward Telfair to an unidentified recipient written on May 12, 1807.


Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
Toledo, OH
Papers: 1791, 1 sheet.
A letter from Anthony Wayne to Edward Telfair, Governor of Georgia, written on June 20, 1791. In the letter, Anthony Wayne spells out his view of fair policies to be pursued with the Creek Indians. The letter was written while Anthony Wayne served as a Georgia Congressman.


University of Georgia Libraries
Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Athens, GA
Papers: 1790, 1 item.
A letter from Zachariah Cox to Edward Telfair and John Milton written on January 13, 1790. In the letter, Zachariah Cox writes regarding the Tennessee Land Company and certifies that Stephen Heard, William Downs, Henry Candler, John F. Gardner, Daniel Gaines, Middleton Woods, William Cox, and Thomas Carr are associates in the Tennessee Land Company, an investment company which purchased Yazoo land.


University of Virginia
The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1790, 1 item.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, to Edward Telfair, Governor of Georgia, written on April 6, 1790. In the letter, Thomas Jefferson discusses acts of Congress on western land claims of North Carolina and exportation of uninspected goods.

  • Coulter, E. Merton. ``Edward Telfair.'' Georgia Historical Quarterly 20 (June 1936): 99-124.