Creek and Cherokee people originally held the land but lost it to whites in a treaty signed in 1773. The first non-Indians in the area were fur trappers and traders; the first white settlers came from North Carolina, followed soon by a large number of Virginians.
The area now forming Wilkes County saw action during the American Revolution, most notably on February 14, 1779, during the Battle of Kettle Creek, one of the most decisive conflicts of the war. British forces, solidly defeated by the Americans, were prevented from moving farther into west Georgia. Washington, the county seat, was laid out in the midst of the Revolution, retaining the name to honor General Washington and, thus, reputedly becoming the first town in the United States named for him.
Source: New Georgia Encyclopedia
Elbert, Lincoln, McDuffie, Warren, Taliaferro and Oglethorpe.