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History

Since early Colonial times Georgia has had an Attorney General. Although the simple form of government adopted by the Trustees of the Colony in 1732 did not include an Attorney General, the need for a legal officer soon became apparent. Williams Stephens, though not a member of the bar, was selected in 1737 to serve as an unofficial counselor to Colonial officials. With the expiration of the royal charter in 1753 and the institution of a more conventional form of government, a Governor was appointed with the power to constitute courts and define their powers. Soon thereafter the King appointed William Clifton, Esquire, a distinguished English lawyer, to be Attorney General of Georgia. He arrived in Savannah in 1754 and immediately began drafting a plan for constituting courts. His report, presented on December 12, 1754, was the genesis of Georgia's present judicial system.

The Judiciary Act of 1797 provided for an Attorney General, whose duty was primarily the prosecution of criminals. The Constitution of 1868 made the Attorney General a constitutional officer, and he became the legal adviser to the Governor and the other departments of state government.

The Attorneys General of Georgia
1754 to Present
Colonial Period (1732-1776)
William Clifton 1754-1764
Charles Pryce 1764-1776
Post Colonial Period (1776-1806)
Williams Stephens 1776-1780
John Milledge 1780-1781
Samuel Stirk 1781-1785
Nathaniel Pendleton 1785-1786
Matthew McAllister 1787-1791
George Walker 1792-1795
David Brydie Mitchell 1796-1806
The Milledgeville Period (1807-1868)
Robert Walker 1807-1808
John Hamil 1808
John Forsyth 1808-1811
Alexander M. Allen 1811
Richard Henry Wilde 1811-1813
Alexander M. Allen 1813-1816
Roger Lawson Gamble 1816-1822
Thomas F. Wells 1822-1827
George Washington Crawford 1827-1831
Charles Jones Jenkins 1831-1834
Ebenezer Starnes 1834-1840
James Gardner 1840-1843
John J. R. Flournoy 1843-1847
Alpheus Colvard 1847-1851
John Troup Shewmake 1851-1855
William R. McLaws 1855-1859
Alpheus M. Rogers 1859-1861
Winder P. Johnson 1861
William Watts Montgomery 1861-1865
George Thomas Barnes 1865-1866
John Philpot Curren Whitehead 1866-1868
Constitutional Officer (1868 - Present)
Henry P. Farrow 1868-1872
N. J. Hammond 1872-1877
Robert N. Ely 1877-1880
Clifford Anderson 1880-1890
George N. Lester 1890-1891
W. A. Little 1891-1892
J. M. Terrell 1892-1902
Boykin Wright 1902-1902
John C. Hart 1902-1910
Hewlett A. Hall 1910-1911
Thomas S. Felder 1911-1914
Warren Grice 1914-1915
Clifford Walker 1915-1920
R. A. Denny 1920-1921
George M. Napier 1921-1932
Lawrence S. Camp 1932-1932
M. J. Yeomans 1933-1939
Ellis G. Arnall 1939-1943
Grady Head 1943-1945
Eugene Cook 1945-1965
Arthur K. Bolton 1965-1981
Michael J. Bowers 1981-1997
Thurbert E. Baker 1997-2011
Samuel S. Olens 2011