Signers Monument

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Signers Monument is a granite obelisk located in Augusta, Georgia, on Greene Street. Signers Monument recognizes Georgia's three signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence: George Walton, Lyman Hall, and Button Gwinnett.

Signers Monument

Description[edit]

The monument is located on the 500 block of Greene Street in front of the Augusta Municipal Center, which was in 1848 the location of the City Hall. It is a granite obelisk, twelve feet square at the base and tapering to a height of fifty feet. It was originally surrounded by a substantial iron railing. A marble slab is inserted in its southern face, on which are engraved in alto-relievo the coat of arms of Georgia and the names, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton. It was designed by Robert French and dedicated in 1848.

Re-burial of signers[edit]

The group who built the monument decided to bury beneath its foundation stones the remains of the three Founding Fathers whose memories it was designed to promote. A committee was appointed to open the graves and superintend the removal and the reburial of the men’s bones.

In the case of Lyman Hall, this was not difficult. His tomb on his plantation in Burke County was well marked and his remains easily identified.

The committee had trouble locating the grave of George Walton. Although the place of his grave was remembered by some of the older locals, no stone marked the precise spot in the family burying ground at Rosney plantation, some nine miles from Augusta. A careful search was successful. The right femur provided evidence of when Colonel Walton was shot through the thigh during the British Army’s December 1778 assault upon, and capture of, Savannah.

The remains of Hall and Walton were taken from their respective graves and reburied beneath the monument.

It proved impossible to find the bones of Button Gwinnett, who had died in Savannah in 1777 of a wound inflicted during a duel. It was generally believed that Gwinnett had been buried in the old cemetery on South Broad Street in Savannah, but no gravestone could be found, and there was no one left alive to point out his unmarked grave.

Dedication[edit]

When completed, the obelisk was dedicated with a ceremony, which took place on July 4, 1848. Judge William T. Gould pronounced the oration, and the Masonic ceremonies were conducted by the Honorable William C. Dawson, Grand Master of the Georgia lodge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Jones Jr., Charles (January–June 1887). "Monument to Gwinnett, Hall, and Walton: Signers of the Declaration of Independence". Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries Illustrated. New York City: Historical Publication Co. XVII: 133–34. Retrieved 2008-03-23.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°28′18″N 81°57′42″W / 33.47164°N 81.961546°W / 33.47164; -81.961546