Archibald Bulloch

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Archibald Bulloch
Archibald Bulloch 1.jpg
Archibald Bulloch c. 1775
3rd Governor of Georgia
In office
April 15, 1776 – March 4, 1777
Preceded by William Ewen
Succeeded by Button Gwinnett
Delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress
In office
1775–1775
Personal details
Born c. 1730
Charleston, South Carolina
Died February 22, 1777 (aged 46–47)
Savannah, Georgia
Political party Liberty Party
Spouse(s) Mary De Veaux
Profession lawyer, statesman

Archibald Bulloch (January 1, 1730 – February 22, 1777) was a lawyer, soldier, and statesman from Georgia during the American Revolution. He was also the great-grandfather of Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, and the great-great-grandfather of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bulloch was born and educated in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of James Bulloch and Jean Stobo Bulloch. He began to practice law in South Carolina and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the South Carolina militia. His family moved to Georgia in 1758, and Bulloch moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 1764. He was elected to the Commons House of Assembly of Georgia in 1768.

Revolution[edit]

Bulloch was an early supporter of the revolution in Georgia as a member of the Friends of Liberty. He served as President of the 1st and 2nd Provincial Congresses of Georgia, and was a delegate in 1775 to the Continental Congress. There, he won John Adams's praise for his "Abilities and Fortitude".[2] In the Continental Congress, he was a member of the Secret Committee, which was responsible for gathering war supplies.[3] Speaking to the Provincial Congress, Bulloch said, "This is no time to talk of moderation; in the present instance it ceases to be a virtue."[4]

Bulloch is also recorded as having been a Freemason in Georgia. His name is listed on the 1779 Masonic rolls of Solomon's Lodge No. 1 at Savannah[citation needed] along with George Walton, John Adam Treutlen, James Jackson,[citation needed] Nathaniel Pendelton, and General Samuel Elbert.[citation needed]

Bulloch would have been a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but decided to return to Georgia to aid the revolution there. He wrote to John Adams, "Such a series of Victory having attended the American Arms, emboldens us further to trust in Providence, that has so remarkably interposed in our behalf, and we cannot but entertain the most sanguine Hopes, of still preserving our most invaluable Liberties."[5] Adams was disappointed that Bulloch would not be able to sign the Declaration, saying, "I was greatly disappointed, Sir, in the information you gave me, that you should be prevented from revisiting Philadelphia."[6]

In 1776, Bulloch fought under the command of Colonel Lachlan McIntosh in the Battle of the Rice Boats and the Battle of Tybee Island. On June 20, 1776, he was chosen to be the first President and Commander-in-Chief of Georgia under the state's temporary republican government.[7] When he signed the state constitution on February 20, 1777, his position transferred from president to governor of Georgia. He was thus Georgia's first chief executive under a proper constitutional government, but the third chief executive in all, following the brief tenures of presidents William Ewen and George Walton.

Bulloch died in Savannah while preparing to defend against the British invasion of Georgia in 1777. There is some speculation that he was poisoned, though this has never been proven. His death was a severe blow, as his was the only leadership that united the Whig factions in the troubled young state. He is buried in Savannah's Colonial Park Cemetery.

Legacy[edit]

His son William Bellinger Bulloch later represented Georgia in the United States Senate. Archibald's great-great-grandson was President Theodore Roosevelt. His great-great-great granddaughter was First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt's son Archibald was named after his ancestor.

Bulloch County, Georgia, was named in his honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Schmidt (2002-09-19). "Archibald Bulloch (1730-1777)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  2. ^ "Archibald Bulloch historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Marston, Jerrilyn Greene (2014). King and Congress : The Transfer of Political Legitimacy, 1774-1776. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 220. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Niles, Hezekiah (1822). Principles and acts of the Revolution in America. Baltimore: W.O. Niles. p. 160. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Bulloch, Archibald. "To John Adams from Archibald Bulloch, 1 May 1776". Founders Online. National Archives. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Bulloch, Joseph Gaston Baillie (1907). A Biographical sketch of Hon. Archibald Bulloch, president of Georgia, 1776-77. n.p. p. 15. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Bulloch, Archibald, Appointment as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of Georgia". Commissions, State Officers Appointments, Assembly, Colony of Georgia, RG 49-1-10. Georgia Archives. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
William Ewen
(President of Council of Safety)
Governor of Georgia
1776–1777
Succeeded by
Button Gwinnett