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George Walton 1749–February 2, 1804) signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgiamarker and also served as Governor of that state.

Life and work

George Walton was born in Cumberland Countymarker, Virginiamarker. His parents died when he was an infant, resulting in his adoption by an uncle with whom he entered apprenticeship as a carpenter. Walton was a studious young man, but his uncle actively discour resignation of James Jackson. Walton only served in that position from November 16, 1795, to February 20, 1796, until a successor, Josiah Tattnall, was officially elected.

He was a political ally of Scotch-Irish General Lachlan McIntosh and a foe of Button Gwinnett. He and Gwinnett's political battles resulted in his expulsion from office and indictment for various criminal activities.

He was censured for his role in a duel which resulted in Button Gwinnett's death. He became Chief Justice of Georgia, 1783-89, Governor of Georgia in 1789, and U.S. Senator in 1795.

Walton also was colonel in the army and when he was riding his horse a cannonball was fired and it hit him in the leg. With a broken leg Walton was held captive for the british army for two years. In return for his freedom Walton started work for Great Britain as a British officer.

Offices held

The offices he held were:
  • Continental Congress (1776-78)
  • Colonel of the First Georgia Militia (1778)
  • Governor of Georgia (1779–80)
  • U.S. Congress (1780-1781)
  • Chief Justice of Georgia (1783-89)
  • Governor of Georgia (1789-90)
  • U.S. Senator (1795–96)


In addition, Walton served as a trustee of Richmond Academy and of the University of Georgiamarker. He was the youngest signer of the declaration at age 26.He helped fight in the Battle of Kettle Creek. George Walton was also a Freemason and member of Solomon's Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. at Savannah. Solomon's Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. was established by the renowned Freemason and General James Edward Oglethorpe on February 21, 1734. Solomon's Lodge is now the "Oldest Continuously Operating English Constituted Lodge of Freemasons in the Western Hemisphere".

Death

He died in Augusta, Georgiamarker on February 2, 1804, at his home, College Hill, near Augusta. He was initially buried at Rosney, home of his nephew Robert Watkins; however, he was reinterred in 1848 beneath the Signers Monument in front of the courthouse on Greene Street in Augusta. Walton Countymarker, east of Atlantamarker, is named for him. There are also at least two schools that bear his name. George Walton Comprehensive High Schoolmarker is a highly-regarded public school near Marietta, Georgiamarker. George Walton Academy is a private school in Monroe, Georgiamarker, the county seat of Walton County.

References



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