Category: Georgia

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Georgia sent four delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. They were: Abraham Baldwin, William Few, William Houston, and William Leigh Pierce.

Abraham Baldwin was born in Guildford, Connecticut in 1754. His father went deeply in debt to educate his children. Baldwin was educated in a village school growing up and then he was accepted to Yale in New Haven. He served as a chaplain for the Continental Army during the war. It was after the war that he realized he wanted to pursue his interest in law and politics. In 1783, he moved to Georgia and was granted permission by the legislature to practice law. In 1787, Baldwin made the journey to Philadelphia to the Constitutional Convention. He mainly focused on resolving the disputes between the small and large states. At first he supported Senate representation by population and property holdings, but he eventually changed his mind and sided with the small states, possibly because of his Connecticut roots.

William Few was born in 1748, in Baltimore, Maryland. Few and his family lived in near-poverty and his father decided that they could purse a better life if they moved to North Carolina, which they did in 1758. In 1771, Few, his father, and his brother joined the “Regulators”. The Regulators were a group of yeomen who disapproved of the royal governor. The brother was hanged and Few’s family was forced to relocate to Georgia. Although Few was a self-educated man, he proved to be a natural leader and was elected to Georgia’s congress during the war. He was absent for a great deal of the Constitutional Convention, but he always voted in favor of the nationalists. He also attended the state ratification convention and was one of elected as one of Georgia’s first senators in 1789.

William Houston was born in to politics in Savannah, Georgia, in 1755. His father, Sir Patrick Houston, served on the council of Georgia’s royal government. Houston was educated in law at Inner Temple in London. However, he had to return early because of the war. His family, coming from the upper class, remained loyalists, while Houston was a fervent advocate for the colonists. Houston served Georgia during the Continental Congress where he was tasked with handling a boundary issue with South Carolina. At the Constitutional Convention, Houston favored the large states and voted against equal representation in the Senate. This further divided Georgia’s delegates.

William Leigh Pierce was born in Georgia in 1740, but he grew up in Virginia. He served under General Nathanael Greene during the Revolution and he received a ceremonial sword for his service at the Battle of Eutaw Springs. When Pierce left the army, he made his home in Savannah. He started an import-export company called Pierce, White, and Call, which fell through after a year. He tried again in 1786 and created William Pierce & Company. Although Pierce did not have a political background, he did favor a stronger central government as long as the states retained some of their individual powers. He fully approved of the Constitution.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_founding_fathers_georgia.html

Religion in Colonial Georgia

Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe as a refuge for criminals. Along with criminals, in the early colonial times, Jews found refuge in the colony. The main church in colonial Georgia was the Anglican Church. The church constituted the most…

Georgia’s Culture

Many different groups settled in Georgia during the early 1700’s, mostly English, but also Scot-Irish, Sephardic Jews and Swiss. There was also a large population of Indians as well as the whole African population brought in by slavery. This mix…

Slavery in Georgia 1780’s

A huge part of Georgia’s economy was based on slavery. Based on the 1790 census, there were 29,264 slaves in the state of Georgia, which represented thirty-five percent of the total population. There were only 398 free blacks in the…

The Revolution in Georgia

The beginning years of the American Revolution were quite uneventful for Georgia. The war almost “began” in the South in 1778 when British warships sailed from New York Harbor to the South Carolina and Georgia coast to start their southern…

Currency in the Georgian Economy

In the 1780’s, $1,000 dollars worth of Georgian paper currency was only worth $1 in specie. This was until November 13, 1786, when all paper money was considered unredeemable. Georgian currency had the phrase “Pro bono publico”, meaning “For the good of the public”, printed on it, which came from their state constitution. They printed bills in denominations of 6 dollars, 1 shilling, 6 dollars and 2 shillings, 5 shillings, 10 shillings, and 20 shillings. The three higher denominations required three government signatures, and the lower three only required two.

http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCurrency/CurrencyText/GA-10-16-86.html

Life of Women

During the 1780s, the majority of women got married after they were pregnant. Most people did protest premarital sex, as long as the couple eventually married. Almost all of the southern population was yeomen, so woman’s tasks on the farm…

Georgia State Constitution

The state of Georgia was governed by two different constitutions in the 1780s. The First, which was established in 1777, lasted for twelve years until significant revisions were made in 1789. Being the fourth state to ratify the United States…