Orphan to Founder
George Walton began life very differently from many of our founders. He was born in Virginia in late 1749 or early 1750. His father died near the time of this birth, and by the age of seven, he lost his mother as well. As a result, he was raised by his uncle in a family of thirteen children. At just fourteen years old, he apprenticed as a carpenter. However, he educated himself and soon moved to Georgia to apprentice as a lawyer. Beyond all expectations, Walton pushed past every barrier to play a vital role in the founding of our country.
George Walton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
George Walton quickly became involved in the fight for independence. He served as secretary of the Provincial Congress and then president of the Georgia Council of Safety. In 1776, he was elected to the Second Continental Congress, where he voted on and signed the Declaration of Independence. Only 26 years old, he was one of the youngest men to sign the document.
In addition to serving in the Congress and signing the Declaration, George Walton led a distinguished career. As a colonel in the Georgia Militia, he fought in the First Battle of Savannah. During the battle, he was shot and then captured by the British. Colonel Walton was a prisoner of war for eight months before his release.
Throughout his life, George Walton served in the Continental Congress a total of five times. He was twice governor of Georgia, a U. S. senator, and three-time chief justice of Georgia. Walton lived his life in service to his state and his nation, serving in all three branches of government and the military.
Most importantly, George Walton shows us that life is full of possibilities. He pushed past every boundary and rose to serve his country. He gives us a unique lens to view our founders.