The first County Seat of Telfair County, Jacksonville, was named for General Andrew Jackson. From 1807 to 1812 court met in various homes. In 1812 a courthouse was erected on the site of the present Methodist Church.
Jacksonville was an important point on the Blackshear Trail which followed the Altamaha and Ocmulgee rivers from Darien to Fort Hawkins. Two miles away a blockhouse, one of three in the county, was built by General David Blackshear as a refuge and a house of thanksgiving.
The center of a large and wealthy plantation economy, Jacksonville was a landing for freight and passenger traffic on the river before and for some years after the War Between the States. In 1870, McRae became the County Seat.
Among the distinguished early settlers of Jacksonville were General John Coffee, soldier, pioneer surveyor, member of Congress, and General Mark Willcox, Indian fighter. Each of these men has a county in Georgia named for him. Other pioneer residents included the McRae, Clements, Hatton and Pridgen families