City Of Savannah Celebrates 225th Anniversary

Savannah’s first Mayor John Houstoun
Savannah’s first Mayor John Houstoun

The City of Savannah marked its 225th anniversary of municipal incorporation with a special proclamation and celebration at the Tuesday, December 23rd’s City Council meeting held 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 of Savannah elected as our first aldermen Joseph Clay, Jr., Joseph Habersham, John Houstoun, Edward Lloyd, Matthew McAllister, Justus H. Scheuber, and Samuel


One week later, 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 business of the first Council meeting. John 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, the first native-born Executive leader of the state. His role as first Mayor of Savannah was in accordance with his lifetime of service to Savannah, Georgia, and the United States. Under Houstoun’s leadership, the City’s first administration passed ordinances and created key City positions which helped set the municipal government on the right path to support our citizens and community as it has grown and flourished over the past two-hundred and twenty-five years.

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