is a city in Coweta County, Georgia, 39 miles (63 km) southwest of Atlanta. In 1900: 3,654 people lived in Newnan, Georgia; in 1910: 5,548, and in 1940: 7,182. The population was 16,242 at the 2000 Census. Newnan is one of the fastest growing cities in Georgia, with an estimated population of 24,654 in 2005 and 27,097 in July 2006. The city is the county seat of Coweta County.
Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County (replacing the defunct town of Bullsboro) in 1828 and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. Newnan quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals and merchants. Much of Newnan's prosperity was due to the thriving cotton industry, which relied on slavery. Newnan was largely untouched by the American Civil War due to its status as a hospital city (for Confederate troops), and as a result still features much antebellum architecture. For this reason, Newnan is known as "The City of Homes." Celebrated architect Kennon Perry designed many of the town's 20th Century homes. During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate cavalry badly defeated Union forces at the nearby Battle of Brown's Mill.
On August 2, 1899, Governor Allen Candler traveled to Newnan to take control of a black prisoner, whom a mob was in the process of lynching. This was the first time that a Georgia governor personally stopped a lynching.
Newnan was host to the trial in 1948 of wealthy landowner John Wallace, the first white man in the south to be condemned to death by the testimony of African Americans, two field hands who were made to help with burning the body of murdered white sharecropper Wilson Turner. These events were portrayed in the novel
. The film version starred Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith, and June Carter.
The Newnan/Sharspburg area is home to three high schools, Newnan High School (founded in 1887), East Coweta High School (founded in 1946), and Northgate High School (founded in 1996). Newnan is also home to The Heritage School, a small private school. Newnan is served by the Coweta County School System.
The town is home to one of the few Georgia counties with a museum that focuses mainly on African American history. The Coweta County African American Heritage Museum and Research Center, or Caswell House, was opened in July 2003 in a donated mill village house once owned by Ruby Caswell. It has collected hundreds of family genealogical records by interviewing residents and going through the census records. The museum also houses the Coweta Census Indexes from 1870 to 1920. The first black library in the county was the Sara Fisher Brown Library. Built in the 1950s, the library has since been converted into the Community Action For Improvement Center .