John Macpherson Berrien

Born in New Jersey in 1781, John Macpherson Berrien (1781-1856) went on to become a prominent figure in Georgia history. After being admitted to the Georgia Bar at the turn of the 19th century, Berrien would go on to lead a successful career in law and politics. After serving as the Chatham County representative in the Georgia senate from 1822-1823, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1825. He served as US Attorney General under President Andrew Jackson from 1829-1831 before re-election to the U.S. Senate, serving from 1841 to 1852. While working at a private law practice in Savannah, in 1839 he cofounded and served as the inaugural president of the Georgia Historical Society. Alongside his indenture at GHS, Berrien also served as the president of the Georgia branch of the Society of the Cincinnati and the American Bible Society, as well as a trustee at the University of Georgia. Berrien died on January 1, 1856, and is buried in Savannah’s Laurel Grove Cemetery.