Dawson County, created in 1857, drew lands from Gilmer, Lumpkin and Forsyth counties. Originally it was part of the Cherokee Nation which was "given" to Georgia through a dubious treaty. Dawson County and its county seat of Dawsonville bear the name of Judge William C. Dawson. He compiled the laws of Georgia and commanded a brigade in the Creek Wars of 1836. He also served in both houses of the state legislature, then in the U.S. Congress prior to the Civil War.