Wilkes County, an original County, was created by the Constitution of Feb. 5, 1777 from Creek and Cherokee Cessions of June 1, 1773. At first, it contained all of Oglethorpe, Elbert, Lincoln, and parts of Taliaferro, Hart, Warren, and Madison Counties. It was named for John Wilkes (1727-1797), English politician and publicist, who strongly opposed measures leading to war with the colonies. First County Officers were: John Dooly, Sheriff, comm. Feb. 9, 1778; Samuel Creswell, Surveyor, comm. Feb. 18, 1783; Benjamin Catching, Clk. of Sup. and Inf. Cts., comm. Jan. 2, 1785; Howell Jarrett, Coroner, comm. 1790.