Fulton County encompasses Atlanta which has been the capital since 1868. 90% of the City of Atlanta is within Fulton County (the other 10% lies within DeKalb County). Fulton County is the principal county of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2011 census, the population was 949,599
Fulton County was created from the western half of DeKalb County in 1853.
During General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War, Sherman spared Roswell because he had a cousin who lived there. As a result, Roswell has more pre-Civil War historical buildings than anywhere else in north Georgia.
The county’s name is often assumed to be in honor of inventor Robert Fulton, who built the first successful steamboat in 1807. This assumption is likely because this steam engine was the predecessor to the steam locomotives which built Atlanta.[clarification needed] Some research now indicates that the name may have been in honor of Hamilton Fulton, a surveyor for the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Nonetheless, the county claims to be named after Robert Fulton.
At the beginning of 1932, as an austerity measure to save money during the Great Depression, Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the southwest became part of Fulton County. This gave the county its current long shape along 80 miles (130 km) of the Chattahoochee River. On May 9 of that year, neighboring Cobb County ceded to Fulton the city of Roswell and lands lying east of Willeo Creek, in order that the latter county be more contiguous with the lands ceded from Milton.