Abraham Baldwin

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Abraham Baldwin
Abraham Baldwin by Naegele.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
March 4, 1799 – March 3, 1807
Preceded by Josiah Tattnall
Succeeded by George Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1793 – March 3, 1799
Preceded by district created
Succeeded by James Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1793
Preceded by district created
Succeeded by Converted to at-large districts
President of the University of Georgia
In office
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Josiah Meigs
Personal details
Born (1754-11-23)November 23, 1754
Guilford, Connecticut
Died March 4, 1807(1807-03-04) (aged 52)
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Yale University

Abraham Baldwin (November 22, 1754 – March 4, 1807) was an American politician, Patriot, and Founding Father from the U.S. state of Georgia. Baldwin was a Georgia representative in the Continental Congress and served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate after the adoption of the Constitution. Baldwin was the founding father of the University of Georgia, first state-charted public institution of higher education in the United States and served as its first president.


After attending a local village school, Abraham graduated from Yale University in nearby New Haven, Connecticut in 1772, where he was a member of the Linonian Society. Three years later, he became a minister and tutor at the college. He held that position until 1779, when he served as a chaplain in the Connecticut Contingent of the Continental Army. He did not see combat while with the Continental troops.[1]

Two years later, he declined an offer from Yale for a divinity professorship. Instead of resuming his ministerial or educational duties after the war, he turned to the study of law and in 1783 was admitted to the bar.


Baldwin served as the first president of the University of Georgia during its initial planning phase, from 1785 to 1801. In 1801, Franklin College, UGA's initial college, opened to students with Josiah Meigs succeeding Baldwin as president to oversee the inaugural class of students. The school was architecturally modeled on Baldwin's alma mater, Yale. The University of Georgia's mascot, the Georgia Bulldogs were a tribute to Baldwin. Yale University is represented by the Yale Bulldogs.

Baldwin became very active in the legislature of Georgia, able to mediate between the rougher frontiersman because of his childhood as the son of a blacksmith and the aristocratic planter elite which farmed the coast. He became one of the most prominent legislators, pushing significant measures such as the education bill through the sometimes split Georgia.[1][2]

Death and Honory[edit]

On March 4, 1807, at age 52, Baldwin died while serving as a U.S. senator from Georgia. Later that month the Savannah Republican and Savannah Evening Ledger reprinted a eulogy of the statesman which had first appeared in a Washington, D.C., newspaper: "He originated the plan of The University of Georgia, drew up the charter, and with infinite labor and patience, in vanquishing all sorts of prejudices and removing every obstruction, he persuaded the assembly to adopt it."[3]

His remains are interred at Rock Creek Cemetery.

He has been honored by the United States Postal Service with a 7¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

Baldwin County, Alabama; Baldwin County, Georgia; Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia; Abraham Baldwin Middle School in Guilford, Connecticut; and Baldwin streets in Madison, Wisconsin and Athens, Georgia, are named in his honor.[4] The University of Georgia has erected a statue of Baldwin on the historic North Campus quad in his honor as its founding father.[5]


  1. ^ a b Wright, Jr., Robert K.; MacGregor Jr., Morris J. (1987). "Abraham Baldwin". Soldier-Statesmen of the Constitution. Washington D.C: United States Army Center of Military History. LCCN 87001353. OCLC 15549460. CMH Pub 71-25. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Rowe, H.J. (2000). History of Athens & Clarke County. Southern Historical Press. 
  3. ^ Abraham Baldwin (1754-1807). New Georgia Encyclopedia (2009-01-06). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  4. ^ Odd Wisconsin Archives. Wisconsinhistory.org (2006-03-29). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  5. ^ "Special Report on the Abraham Baldwin Statue Initiative". UGA's External Affairs. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
New Seat
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1793
Succeeded by
Converted to At-Large districts
Preceded by
Converted from district seats
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1793 – March 4, 1799
Succeeded by
James Jones
United States Senate
Preceded by
Josiah Tattnall
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
March 4, 1799 – March 4, 1807
Served alongside: James Gunn, James Jackson, John Milledge
Succeeded by
George Jones
Political offices
Preceded by
James Hillhouse
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
December 7, 1801 – December 13, 1802
Succeeded by
Stephen R. Bradley