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James Armstrong (Georgia politician)

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James Armstrong
State Assembly of Georgia
Personal details
Died1800 (aged 71–72)
Political partyFederalist

James Armstrong (1728–1800) was a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1787–1790. Before this, he served in the Continental Army, in the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment, 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment, and Lee's Legion, rising to the rank of captain during the war. He was captured in 1781 by the British, in South Carolina, and remained a prisoner until the end of the war. During the United States presidential election of 1788–89 he received one electoral vote. He died in 1800.


James Armstrong was born in 1728, in Pennsylvania. Much of his early life is unknown.[1] He served in the Revolutionary War, starting in February 1776 when he became Regional Quartermaster of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Army. He became an ensign of the 5th Company of the same regiment on 21 May, and was promoted to second lieutenant on 11 November. He was commissioned as first lieutenant of the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment in April 1777, and subsequently joined the 1st Mounted Troop of Lee's Legion.[2][3][4] During his service with Lee's Legion Armstrong was captured by British dragoons led by Major John Coffin, in Dorchester, South Carolina, on 30 December 1781, along with four privates under his command.[5][6] He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, by which time he had been promoted to captain.[1] Armstrong was considered to be a brave and daring commander by many, including Alexander Garden.[7]

After the war, Armstrong was admitted as an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the state of Pennsylvania and later transferred his membership to the state of Georgia.[8] Armstrong settled in Camden County, Georgia, as one of the first settlers of Colerain. Armstrong accumulated 66,000 acres of land by claiming land bounties offered to war veterans by Georgia. He represented Camden County in the Georgia General Assembly in 1787 and 1790, and served on the Executive Council from 1788–1790.[1] He was a member of the Federalist Party.[9] He died in 1800.[10]

Election of 1788–1789[edit]

James Armstrong was given one electoral vote in the United States presidential election of 1788–1789 by George Walton, one of the five Georgian electors who were selected by the Georgia General Assembly on 7 January 1789.[11] The election resulted in a win for George Washington, who received 69 electoral votes. Other candidates included: John Adams with 34 electoral votes, John Jay with nine electoral votes, Robert H. Harrison with six electoral votes, John Rutledge with six electoral votes, John Hancock with four electoral votes, George Clinton with three electoral votes, Samuel Huntington with two electoral votes, John Milton with two electoral votes, Benjamin Lincoln with one electoral vote, and Edward Telfair with one electoral vote.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Jensen, DenBoer & Becker 1976, pp. 294–295.
  2. ^ Twohig et al. 1985, p. 218.
  3. ^ Saffell 2009, p. 185.
  4. ^ Saffell 2009, p. 278.
  5. ^ Petit 1976, p. 149.
  6. ^ Showman 2005, p. 140.
  7. ^ Steele 1993, p. 25.
  8. ^ Metcalf, p. 36.
  9. ^ Thomas 2015, p. 45.
  10. ^ Jensen, DenBoer & Becker 1976, p. 294.
  11. ^ Jensen, DenBoer & Becker 1976, p. xviii.
  12. ^ Bass Jr. 2009, p. 381.


  • Bass Jr., Harold F. (2009). Historical Dictionary of United States Political Parties. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810863224.
  • Jensen, Merrill; DenBoer, Gordon; Becker, Robert A. (1976). The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections, 1788-1790, Volume 4. University of Wisconsin. ISBN 9780299121204.
  • Metcalf, Bryce (1938). Original Members and Other Officers Eligible to the Society of the Cincinnati, 1783-1938: With the Institution, Rules of Admission, and Lists of the Officers of the General and State Societies Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc.
  • Petit, James Percival (1976). South Carolina and the Sea: Day by Day Toward Five Centuries, 1492-1976 A.D. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. OCLC 2476964.
  • Saffell, W.T.R. (2009). Records of the Revolutionary War. Heritage Books. ISBN 9780788412226.
  • Showman, Richard K. (2005). The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, Volume 13. University of North Carolina. ISBN 9780807829431.
  • Steele, Rollin M. (1993). The Lost Battle of the Alamance, Also Known as the Battle of Clapp's Mill: A Turning Point in North Carolina's Struggle with Their British Invaders in the Very Unusual Year of 1781. University of Virginia. OCLC 32826536.
  • Thomas, G. Scott (2015). Counting the Votes: A New Way to Analyze America's Presidential Elections: A New Way to Analyze America's Presidential Elections. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781440838835.
  • Twohig, Dorothy; Grizzard, Frank E.; Hoth, David R.; Lengel, Edward G.; Ferraro, William M.; Huggins, Benjamin L. (1985). The Papers of George Washington: July-September 1778. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 9780813925790.

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