Marker text: JOSEPH VALLENCE BEVAN (1798-1830) Georgia's First Official Historian
There was "None. No none!" reads the epitaph on his tomb. "Against Whose Name the Recording Angel Would More Reluctantly Have Written Down Condemnation."
Born at Dublin, Ireland, son of a Georgia planter, Joseph V. Bevan attended the Univ. of Georgia for two years and graduated in 1816 from the College of S.C. after which he enlarged his education in England. There he became the friend of the celebrated William Godwin who wrote the young Georgian a widely-published letter suggesting a course of studies.
In 1824 Bevan became the first official historian of Georgia. The Legislature empowered him to collect and publish the papers and documents in the State archives. This he did with method and industry and was the first to recognize the importance of copying the Colonial records of Georgia in London.
Bevan served Chatham County in the Legislature in 1827. A former editor of the Augusta Chronicle, he became in 1828 co-editor and co-publisher of the Savannah Georgian. His projected history of Georgia was never completed, death cutting short the career of the popular Savannahian at the age of thirty-two.
025-85 Georgia Historical Commission 1964