George McIntosh Troup (September 8, 1780 – April 26, 1856) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Georgia. He served in the Georgia General Assembly, U.S. House of Representatives, and he U.S. Senate before becoming the 32nd Governor of Georgia for two terms and then returning to the U.S. Senate. A believer in expansionist Manifest Destiny policies and a supporter of native Indian removal, Troup was born to planters and supported slavery throughout his career. Later in his life, he was known as "the Hercules of states' rights."
Troup was born during the American Revolution at McIntosh Bluff, on the Tombigbee River in what is now Alabama (then a part of the Province of Georgia). He was the son of George Troup and Catherine McIntosh, the Georgia-born daughter of Captain John McIntosh, a British military officer and the chief of the McIntosh clan. (Catherine McIntosh was of the Chiefs of the MacGillivary clan lineage—she was a first cousin to Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and aunt of Creek Chief William McIntosh.)
Troup was twice married and the father of six children. He primarily lived in Dublin in Laurens County. Troup's plantation, Valdosta (sometimes spelled Val d'Osta), was named after the Valle d'Aosta alpine valley in Italy. In turn, the town of Valdosta, Georgia was named for Troup's plantation. Troupville, Georgia was also named for him.
Troup graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1797. He read the law with an established firm and two years later was admitted to the bar in Savannah, Georgia.
Troup entered politics, where he became a strong opponent of the Yazoo land scandal. A Democratic-Republican, Troup served one term as a state legislator (1803–1805). In 1806 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and was re-elected a total of four terms, serving until 1815. Along with fellow western Congressmen such as Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Troup was a part of the nationalistic movement which originated the term War Hawks who supported the United States' entry into the War of 1812. Troup defended Calhoun on the House floor when Rep. John Randolph of Roanoke of Virginia attacked Calhoun, Troup said after all, it was "the great mass of the House ... against the solitary gentleman from Virginia."
Troup was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he was supported by fellow wealthy plantation owners and served as chairman of the Senate Committee of Military Affairs.
Governorship of Georgia
Georgia political force William H. Crawford hand-picked Troup as his candidate for governor in 1819. However, Troup twice lost to Crawford's bitter rival, John Clark, who was supported by frontier settlers. In 1823, Troup ran again, as Clark was no longer eligible, and won. He advocated the removal of the Creek Indians from western Georgia. Troup wanted to move them to the Western Territory of the Louisiana Purchase, an idea first proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1803. In 1825, in Georgia's first popular election, Troup won by a razor-thin margin. He negotiated the controversial Treaty of Indian Springs on February 12, 1825, with his first cousin William McIntosh, a mixed-blood Creek chief. McIntosh and 49 other tribal leaders (predominantly from the Lower Creeks) ceded a large portion of Georgia, although they did not have the backing of the majority of the Creek Confederacy. He threatened an attack on Federal troops if they interfered with the treaty and challenged President John Quincy Adams, who conceded and allowed Troup to seize the remaining Creek land in Georgia. During Troup's tenure as governor, he also supported public education and the construction of new roads and canals.
Upon the expiration of his second term as governor, Troup returned to the Senate in 1829 as a Jacksonian Democrat, where he served on the Committee on Indian Affairs. He was a nominee for President of the United States at the States Rights Convention in January 1852 in Jackson, Mississippi.
Death and memorialization
Troup died while visiting one of his plantations near the Oconee River in Montgomery County, Georgia (now Treutlen County). He was buried on the Rosemont plantation.
Troup County was created from former Lower Creek land in 1826 and named for him.
During the American Civil War, an Athens, Georgia battery was named the "Troup Artillery" in his memory.