Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, in the United States. It is a suburbof Atlanta, and is located approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown. The Census Bureau estimates the 2010 population at 28,546.
Lawrenceville was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on 15 December 1821. This makes Lawrenceville the second oldest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The city is named after Commodore James Lawrence, commander of the Frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. In 1821 a permanent site for the county courthouse was selected and purchased, the four streets bordering the square were laid out along with other streets in the village, and a public well was dug. Major Grace built the first permanent courthouse, a brick structure, in 1823-24 for a cost of $4,000. The courthouse presently on the square was constructed in 1885. The two most famous people born in Lawrenceville gained their fame elsewhere. Charles Henry Smith, born in 1826, left as a young man and lived most of his life in other Georgia towns. During the Civil War he wrote humorous pieces for Atlanta newspapers under the name Bill Arp. He has been described as the South's most popular writer of the late 19th century, though he is not much read today. Ezzard Charles, born in 1921, grew up in Cincinnati, where opportunities for African-Americans were far better at the time than in the Deep South. He eventually became the World Heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Joe Louis by unanimous decision on September 27, 1950.