Abraham Baldwin Has Sixteen Years of Distractions

Abraham Baldwin Has Sixteen Years of Distractions

Abraham Baldwin was a signer of the United States Constitution.

Baldwin would go on to found the University of Georgia and participate in the United States Congress for the first seventeen years of the nation’s existence.


Abraham Baldwin

Abraham Baldwin was the son of a Connecticut blacksmith who rose above his station. His brilliance was noticed at an early age and he was accepted into Yale. After graduating, Abraham studied divinity and became a Congregationalist Minister.

By that time, the Revolutionary War was well underway. Baldwin did his part by becoming a Chaplain in the Continental Army.

When the war ended, and he was no longer needed to lead soldiers in prayer, Abraham was offered the position of Professor of Divinity at Yale. He decided instead to study law.



After passing the bar, Baldwin was convinced by Nathanael Greene to move to Georgia.

Closely following his relocation, Abraham was persuaded by Governor Lyman Hall (another Connecticut transplant and a signer of the Declaration of Independence) to assist in founding a university.  

Baldwin wrote the original charter for the University of Georgia. He was named the first President of the University and spent the next sixteen years getting the school off the ground.

Sixteen years may seem live a very long time, but Abraham was not being lazy. Quite the opposite, he was entrusted with several important tasks by his adopted State.



The same year he founded his university, Abraham Baldwin was sent to the Confederation Congress as a Delegate from Georgia.

Two years later, Baldwin was one of two representatives from his State to attend the Philadelphia Convention. When this Convention ended, Abraham became a signer of the United States Constitution.

After the Constitution was ratified, Baldwin became an inaugural member of the House of Representatives. He remained in the House for a decade when he was chosen as a United States Senator.


President Pro Tempore

1801 may well have been the most eventful year of Abraham Baldwin’s life.

First, after sixteen years, the University of Georgia was finally opened. As it’s first students began their studies, Baldwin resigned his position as University President. He had established the college, as was his goal, and now he was prepared to allow another person to educate the pupils.

Additionally, this is the year that Abraham was chosen as President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate. This office made Abraham Baldwin the second most powerful member of the nation’s highest legislative body.

Though he was only President Pro Tempore for one year, Baldwin remained a Senator until his death six years later.

To continue reading about Founders from Georgia, you should browse my articles on Button Gwinnett and Edward Langworthy.

Abraham Baldwin has just one biography I know of titled ‘Patriot, Educator, and Founding Father.’ If you would like to learn more about him, you can pick it up from our affiliates at Amazon through the link below.

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