Button Gwinnett

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Button Gwinnett (* 1735 in Down Heatherly , Gloucestershire , England ; † May 19, 1777 near Savannah , Georgia ) was one of the signatories of the American Declaration of Independence and the 3rd Governor of Georgia.


Gwinnett was born in England to the Reverend Samuel Gwinnett and his wife Anne. There is no reliable information about his date of birth. What is certain is that he was baptized on April 10, 1735 in St. Catherine Church in Gloucester . After finishing school he became a trader in Bristol . In 1755 he moved to Wolverhampton , where he married Ann Bourne two years later. In 1762 the couple moved to America. They first settled in Charleston , South Carolina , then moved to Savannah in 1765. Button sold his trading business and bought a piece of land on St. Catherine Island and built a plantation. 4 years later he was a well-known plantation owner and was elected to the provincial government.

He ended his military career as the commander of Georgia's Continental Militia when he was elected governor to the Continental Congress. After signing the Declaration of Independence, he returned to Georgia and helped build the state and was provisional president of Georgia until his death. He was succeeded as governor by John Treutlen .

On May 16, 1777, he was wounded in a duel with General Lachlan McIntosh , a political leader during the American Revolution and the Early Republic, and died three days later. It was in honor of Gwinnett County , Georgia named.

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