Ohoopee, Ogeechee, and Canoochee are all rivers in the local area. The Lower Creek Indians first lived in the territory of Georgia known as Emanuel County. They hunted for deer and other wild game for food and pelts, held their War and Green Corn Dances and fished in the Ohoopee and Canoochee Rivers.
In 1540, Spanish explorer General Hernando De Soto traveled through Georgia and by 1732 a Royal Charter for the state was granted to Englishman James Oglethorpe. The new colonists were to be citizen-soldiers. They were to supply the mother country with natural resources and keep the Spanish, French, and Indian groups of people from establishing relationships from the better established colonies to the North.
In 1741, the Trustees divided Georgia into two counties: Savannah and Frederica. The Savannah county was later divided into districts and these districts were divided into eight parishes for establishment of religious worship in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.
On February 5th, 1777, the parishes were replaced with counties, this being ratified by the first State Constitutional Convention in Savannah.
In 1812, Emanuel County was created by the Georgia Legislature, being taken boldly from territories then embraced by Bulloch and Montgomery counties. Emanuel County was named after David Emanuel who served as Governor of Georgia in 1801.
On November 18, 1814, an act was approved by newly elected Governor Peter Early designating a site for public buildings in Emanuel County. The County Commissioners agreed upon a county seat and it was made permanent by act approved on December 6th 1822. The name of the town was to be Swainsboro.