DescriptionDeclaration Signer George Walton Autograph Letter Twice-Signed "Geo Walton" at close and also on the address leaf. Two and a quarter pages with integral address leaf, 8.75" x 14", Wilmington [Delaware], April 4, 1780, addressed to "Seaborn Jones, esquire; Charles-Town". Walton writes this while on his way to Philadelphia for the meeting of the Continental Congress; he had to stop in Wilmington because of problems with a leg wound received at the siege of Savannah and is reprimanding Jones for various decisions that he had made including the one to stay in Charleston while Walton had wished him to be in Georgia or traveling northward with him. He is sympathetic Jones's situation and even writes to General Lincoln about it, wanting only the best for him. It reads, in part:
"I received your letter... whilst I was at Mr. Brisbane's; but at a time when I was almost at the verge of death by an indisposition caused by the wound in my thigh and of which I was not recovered when I set out.... I must seriously tell you, that every inconvenience and every disagreeable occurrence, which you now experience is ascribable only to yourself. Every letter which you latterly wrote...expressed an intention of remaining in Charles-town. The last...said, 'The people of this town are recovered from their fright, and we are preparing to stand a seige....' I said to those about me, 'Damn the fellow, what has he to do with the seige, when he knows that I wish him to be in Georgia, and in case of its falling, to go with me to the northward?' ...You told me that you had retained a sum of money to move out when necessary; and which you enclosed to me.... Did this look like adhering to my counsel, either of going to Georgia, or to the northward with me? I could conclude no otherwise than I did; and I made the conclusion with chagrin.... I would have given any consideration to have had you with me, to have accompanied me in my disordered state to Philadelphia.... I hear you are exposed to disgraceful connections; but let me assure you that this is a radical fault.... I have no idea of any young fellow, of your advantages, sinking through your own means, or want of ambition. You may depend upon it, until you ardently seek better and superior company, you will be always thus exposed, and merely weeping. I am however...sorry for your situation and have this day wrote to General Lincoln.... You have, by a mistaken conduct, or want of attention, lost an opportunity which your life may not recover. My best intentions repeat to me that it is in no way my fault.... Your own good sense ought to convince you that I can have no motive in doing anything for you, but what is intended for your advantage. If our affairs should be fortunate at the southward...! shall be glad to see you, and I have no doubt of having it in my power of making a provision for you. I sincerely wish you well, for I am with unfeigned regard, your very humble servant."
George Walton was born in Virginia in 1741 and moved to Savannah, Georgia, 1769 to study law; he was admitted to the bar in 1774. He was deeply involved with the patriot movement and, in 1776, was elected to the Continental Congress where he signed the Declaration of Independence. In 1777, he played a role in the duel in which Lachlan McIntosh shot and killed Button Gwinnett. In 1778 he was commissioned a Colonel in the Georgia Militia and was injured in battle and taken prisoner. After being freed in 1779, he was elected Governor of Georgia, but held the office for only a short time. He returned to the Continental Congress in 1780 and stayed in Philadelphia until 1783. He once again served as Georgia Governor, 1789-1790, and later as a U.S. Senator, 1795-1796. Walton died in 1804 at his home near Augusta.
Seaborn Jones was born in North Carolina in 1759 and served in the Revolutionary War. He was in Charleston at this time assisting in building the town's fortifications. Four days after the date of this letter, the British began their bombardment. General Lincoln surrendered on May 12 and Jones, along with 4500 other troops, was taken prisoner. After his release, he practiced law and, in 1782, was elected Clerk of the Executive Council of Georgia. At age thirty, he became Speaker of the Georgia House and in 1791, was on the committee that welcomed George Washington to Augusta. He became a presidential elector that same year and cast his vote in the 1792 election. In 1798 he became a trustee of the University of Georgia and was the mayor of Augusta. He died a wealthy and well-respected man in 1815 at Augusta.
Condition: Evenly toned with a few areas of dampstain. Two tears in the left margin extend up to one inch into the text; the paper has been replaced and the words reconstructed. Detracts very little. Originally sold by Kenneth Rendell with his description and receipt included.
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