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Lyman Hall
About North Georgia

Biographical

Born: April_12, 1724 Wallingford, Connecticut,
Died: October_19, 1790 Burke County, Ga.

Early Life

Lyman Hall
Lyman Hall was born and grew up in a Connecticut Congregationalist community. He studied theology at Yale College, graduating in 1747. Following two years of study under his uncle, Rev. Samuel Hall, Lyman was ordained into the Congregational ministry in 1749 and accepted a position in a church in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1750 he received his Masters of Theology. In 1751 his Bridgeport ministry became tumultuous and he resigned. About this time he began to study medicine.

Move to Georgia

Hall left his ministry and moved to South Carolina in 1753 or 1754 to join an existing Congregationalist community, Dorchester. Lyman and his family continued south with them later in 1757 to Georgia to join the community of Midway established in 1752. Although his abilities were wide-ranging, he considered himself a farmer first and foremost. He established a physicians practice in the town of Sudbury upon moving to Georgia.

His relocation from South Carolina to St. Johns Parish brought him into the hotbed of revolutionary politics in Georgia. Savannah had been afforded a British atmosphere while the outer areas of the state were afforded little protection from Indians, Spanish, French and other Georgians.

Election from St. John's

First, Lyman Hall led a St. John's delegation to the earliest colonial meetings in Savannah. The first organizing meeting at Tondee's Tavern on July_24, 1774 and the second meeting, also at Tondee's, on August_10, 1774. At the second meeting the radicals, including Hall, proposed sending delegates the Continental Congress forming in Philadelphia.

After considering the proposal it was defeated and the St. Johns radicals tried to organize a majority of the parishes to support a delegate. Four parishes, St. Johns, St. Andrew, St. George and St. David sent representatives to the meeting and selected Lyman Hall as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

After a similar failure to motivate the radical elements of the colonial government in January, 1775, Hall attempted to align his parish with the more radical South Carolina.

Unhappy with the progress of the radicalization of Georgia, Hall and others boycotted slaves imported into the harbor at Savannah. They quickly expanded their boycott to cover essential products that could be easily purchased in South Carolina and imported to Sudbury, the shallow-draft port for St. John's parish. During this time it was proposed that St. John's secede from Georgia and join South Carolina, but Dr. Hall did not originate this proposal.

Independence Hall
Hall was elected by the parish to represent it at the Continental Congress, but refused to go because he had not been elected by the entire state. He brought with him money, food and gunpowder for the relief of Massachusetts, beleaguered by the revolt and already under attack.

In May, 1775, six-foot tall Lyman Hall had to dip his head as he crossed the threshold of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the entire state of Georgia had declined to send delegates, St. John's opted to send Lyman Hall to the Second Continental Congress.

Declaration of Independence

Georgia finally organized a Provincial Congress in January, 1776. That February, Button Gwinnett, George Walton, and Lyman Hall were appointed delegates to the Continental Congress from Georgia and signed the Declaration of Independence on August_2, 1776. Although elected to the congress through 1780, he left Philadelphia in 1777 to return to Georgia before the Second Florida Expedition

Return to Georgia

Lyman Hall supported his old friend, then governor Button Gwinnett in his fight with fellow Georgian Lachlan McIntosh, and following Gwinnett's death after a duel with McIntosh, he served as executor of Gwinnett's will. Hall, an enemy of the crown after signing the Declaration, was accused of high treason by the British and, as a result, both his Midway rice plantation and Sudbury house were burned during the British occupation in 1778. He fled the state until the British left, living in both Charleston and Connecticut before safely returning to Georgia.

Governor Lyman Hall

Lyman Hall was elected governor of the state of Georgia by the General Assembly on January_9, 1783. As the first post-Revolution governor Hall was presented with a broad range of problems and little money to use to correct them. First and foremost in Hall's mind was rebuilding a government and court system destroyed by the Revolution. In his inaugural address, however, the rebuilding he inspired was a frenzy of school and church building according to papers of the day.

Hall proposed giving state land grants to build colleges which eventually resulted in the formation of the present day university system. He also gave "headrights" (land grants) to Georgians who fought in the Revolution. He appointed John Martin, the previous governor, to handle treaties with the Cherokee and Creek. After his one-year term as governor he served in the assembly and as a judge. Hall County in North Georgia is named in his honor.

Personal life

Hall married twice, first to Abigail Burr, the daughter of Thaddeus Burr and Abigail Sturges, parishioners of the Bridgeport Congregational church where Hall served. She was born on March_24, 1729 and married Hall on May_20, 1752. Abigail died on June_26, 1753. He then married Mary Osborne, also of Fairfield, Connecticut and a relative of Abigail Burr later in 1753. Lyman and Mary had a son, John, who died childless in 1791. Mary died in 1793.

His body was originally buried in Burke County, northwest of Savannah. It was disinterred and moved to the Signers Monument in Augusta in 1848.

Letter to Hall from Archibald Bulloch
These are the instructions given to Hall before his departure to the Continental Congress

American Revolution In Georgia

County: Hall County

American Revolution In Georgia
Georgia's role in the American Revolution
Biographies
Biographies of famous, not so famous and infamous people from the North Georgia area or who had an effect on North Georgia

Article Links
American Revolution In Georgia
Button Gwinnett
George Walton
Hall County
Lachlan McIntosh
Letter to Hall from Archibald Bulloch
Second Florida Expedition
Tondee's Tavern

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