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Forsyth and Cherokee counties grew up quickly after the 1831 annexation of Cherokee County by the state of Georgia. In 1825, the area that would become Cherokee and Forsyth counties was part of the Cherokee Nation. The few whites living in the area were Christian missionaries and the occasional merchant overseeing the transportation of goods through the Cherokee Nation to Tennessee. After the discovery of gold in the Cherokee Nation and the annexation of the area in 1831, a radical demographic shift occurred. By 1835, the overwhelming percentage of Forsyth and Cherokee county residents were small farmers and gold prospectors who had won their land in the 1832 Georgia land lottery. The farms were generally small, a product of a land lottery system which limited the size of individual farms to 140 acres. Gold mining proved to be more speculative than profitable for the vast majority of prospectors. Without independent means of wealth and little in the way of gold prospects, most of these folks would settle into the demanding life of the yeoman farmer.

 

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