Tuesday, December 23, 2014

City celebrates 225 years of municipal government

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

The City of Savannah will mark its 225th anniversary of municipal incorporation with a special proclamation and celebration at today’s City Council meeting, 2 p.m. at City Hall.

On February 10, 1787, by act of the Georgia General Assembly, the Town of Savannah was placed under the authority of a Board of Wardens, elected by the lot holders of each ward.

The City of Savannah was incorporated by an amendment to the 1787 act passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed by Governor Edward Telfair. The act of December 23, 1789 renamed the local government the City of Savannah and placed it under the administration of a Mayor and Aldermen.

On March 1, 1790, in accordance with the City’s charter, the owners and occupiers of lots and houses in Savannah voted for their first aldermen, one representing each ward for terms of one year, in the first City election held at the public market in Ellis Square.

The citizens elected as the first aldermen Joseph Clay, Jr., Joseph Habersham, John Houstoun, Edward Lloyd, Matthew McAllister, Justus H. Scheuber, and Samuel Stirk. On March 8, 1790, the new aldermen gathered in the Court House to elect Savannah’s first mayor from their own body, and having selected John Houstoun, proceeded to the first Council meeting.

Houstoun was an influential lawyer, one of the original “Sons of Liberty,” one of Georgia’s first delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775, and second Governor of the State of Georgia. 
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