If you dig a little bit you discover that Georgia has not had one, but two Randolph Counties. One that was created in 1807, but five years later the name was changed to Jasper County. Jasper County has the distinction of being the home of Trisha Yearwood – country singing star. The second Randolph County was created in 1828 from a portion of Lee County, and has the distinction of claiming the very first pecan tree brought to Georgia from Texas – the mother tree that gave birth to the pecan industry here in Georgia.
So, why did the first Randolph County become Jasper County? The answer is very simple. Both Randolph Counties were named for John Randolph, a United States Senator who claimed Pocahontas as an ancestor. He is quite an interesting character, but THAT is story for another day. I can tell you that when he became the master of his family’s plantation he took to referring to himself as John Randolph of Roanoke…..the name of the plantation, because he didn’t want to be confused with a relative known as “Possum John”. Oh my…….my mind is turning over several possible reasons for that moniker!
It seems the Georgia General Assembly took offense to John Randolph’s negative position regarding the War of 1812…..In fact, the declaration of war was passed by Congress by the smallest margin recorded on a war vote….so Randolph wasn’t the only Congressman who objected to going to war with Britain, but the esteemed men of the General Assembly wanted to make a point to the Senator, and they had his name stricken from the records. It was only later following the war when minds forgot his infraction that the second and current Randolph County was birthed.