John E. Coffee (December 3, 1782
– September 25, 1836) was a military leader and a United States Congressman for
the state of Georgia.
He was born in Prince Edward
County, Virginia and was a grandson of Peter Coffee, Sr. (1705-November 1771)
and Susannah Mathews (1701–1796). He is sometimes confused by researchers with
his first cousin John Coffee, a general in the Tennessee militia.
John E. Coffee moved with his
parents and family to a plantation near Powelton in
Hancock County, Georgia, in 1780. Coffee later settled
in Telfair County, Georgia in 1807, where he developed his own plantation.
During the Creek War (1813 to
1814) he served as a General in the State Militia, and the supply problems he
encountered along the Georgia and Florida frontiers led him to propose the
construction of a road linking the two. Old Coffee Road, as it is now known,
was built under the supervision of Coffee and Thomas Swain and opened in 1823.
It ran southwest from Swain's Ferry at the Ocmulgee River near Jacksonville,
Georgia to Tallahassee, Florida, and as the region's first vehicular route it
was of great aid to settlers.
John Coffee's grave at the Congressional
Cemetery. John Coffee served as a member of the Georgia Senate from 1819 to
1827. He was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the
Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth U.S. Congresses and served from March 4, 1833,
until his death on September 25, 1836. He was reelected to the Twenty-fifth
United States Congress on October 3, 1836 after his death; the announcement of
his death not having been received.
Coffee died on his plantation
near Jacksonville, Georgia, on September 25, 1836, and was buried there. In
1921 his remains were reinterred in McRae Cemetery, McRae, Georgia. There is
also a cenotaph for him at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Legacy and honors
In addition to Old Coffee Road,
Coffee County, Georgia and General Coffee State Park are named in honor of John
John E. Coffee is my 1st cousin 6X removed – David Arthur