“Meadow Garden”, Home of George Walton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence in Georgia

Meadow Garden
George Walton

George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Virginia, but left an infant orphan when both of his parents died. As was customary in those days he was adopted by an uncle who entered him into the apprenticeship as a carpenter. Afterwards, Walton removed to Savannah where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1774. During the Revolutionary War he advocated the patriot cause and was elected Secretary of the Georgia Provincial Congress and President of the Council of Safety. In 1776 he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, a on July 4th signed the Declaration of Independence for Georgia along with Button Gwinnett and Lyman Hall. During the war, he served in the battalion of General Robert Howe and received a commission as colonel of the First Georgia Regiment of Militia. During the Battle of Savannah in 1778 Walton was hit in the thigh by a ball and thrown from his horse. Then, taken as a prisoner to Sunbury Prison. In October 1779, Walton was elected Governor of Georgia for the first time, a position he held for only two months. In November 1795, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the 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. After the war, he helped to found the Richmond Academy in Augusta and Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in Athens. He built his home on lands confiscated from Tories outside of Augusta, called “Meadow Garden”