A theology degree from Yale led to chaplaincy in the Army for New England-born Abraham Baldwin. After the war, he followed his friend Nathanael Greene to Georgia, to settle in Augusta, practice law, and start his stellar political career.
As a state legislator, Baldwin staunchly believed that education was the key to Georgia’s future. When the General Assembly earmarked 40,000 acres of land for a college, Baldwin wrote the school’s charter – and the University of Georgia became the country’s first state-chartered university.
Baldwin was the school’s first president, establishing Athens as home for the college on the banks of the Oconee River. Baldwin’s political star kept rising.
He was one of Georgia’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and then served in the U.S. Congress for 10 years and the Senate for eight more, where he died in office in 1807.
The father of the University of Georgia was a Yale Bulldog, born in Connecticut on November 22, 1754, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.