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|Founding Documents||Declaration of Independence|
George Walton (1741 – February 2, 1804) is an American Founding Father. He was a carpenter, a farmer, a lawyer, Secretary of the Provincial Congress of Georgia and president of the Council of Safety. George Walton was a delegate of Georgia to the Continental Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence. He was a Colonel of the First Georgia Militia and a prisoner of war. He was elected Governor of Georgia, appointed Chief Justice, a superior court judge, and a state Senator.
George Walton was born in Virginia. His father died a few months after his birth and his mom died before he was seven years old. He was raised by his Uncle, also named George Walton in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He would work as a carpenter for several years. At age nineteen, he would move to Georgia were his older brother John lived. George Walton was able to obtain a position in the office of Henry Young, Jr., a Savannah attorney, and studied law under his tuteledge. After completing the Bar, within two years he would hold one of the most successful legal practices in Georgia. Walton became one of the leading activists for the patriot cause in Georgia, zealously supported independence from Britain. Walton married Dorothy Camber in 1775 and they eventually had two sons.
At the formation of the Georgia provincial Congress, Walton was elected Secretary, and then made President of the Council of Safety. His committee was appointed on that occasion to correspond with the other colonies in opposition to the British government. In 1776, Walton became a member of the Continental Congress and quickly earned the respect of his colleagues. Philadelphia was under siege by the British and Congress had been displaced to Baltimore. Walton stayed behind and created an informal war office. In 1778, Walton was appointed a Colonel in the militia, commanding a battalion in the defense of Savannah. Walton was wounded in the thigh, fell from his horse, and was taken prisoner by the British troops. He would be exchanged in a prisoner swap for the captain of the British Navy. In 1779, he would be appointed Governor but that lasted only two months due to the British taking control of Georgia. In 1782, the British were driven out of Georgia and Walton attempted to rebuild his personal financial position which was destroyed by the war.
Walton fought fiercely in politics with fellow Georgian Button Gwinnett. In 1783, he was censured by the legislature for his involvement in a duel which led to the death Gwinnett. Walton held several judicial posts until 1789 when he was again elected Governor. Afterwards, he was immediately appointed a superior court judge. In June 1791, Walton acquired approximately fifty acres in Augusta Townshhip and established the farm estate Meadow Garden. In 1795, Walton would be a U.S. Senator of Georgia. He was not reelected.
Walton suffered intensely from long attacks of gout, most likely contributed to his death. He died at Meadow Gardens in 1804 at the age of sixty-four. He is buried at the Signers' Monument in Augusta.
- George Walton Comprehensive High School, a public school in Marietta, Ga.
- George Walton Academy, a private school in Monroe, Ga.
- National Society Daughters of the American Revolution- George Walton Chapter, Columbus, Ga.
- George Walton, Meadowgarden.org
- George Walton, Georgewalton.com
- George Walton, USHistory.org