William Henry Drayton and the Annexation of Georgia

William Henry Drayton and the Annexation of Georgia

William Henry Drayton was an American Revolutionary who, once he adopted the cause, was at the forefront of South Carolina rebel politics.

Loyalist Simpathies

As a grandson of the Royal Governor of South Carolina, William Henry Drayton was reluctant to adopt the rebel cause.  

Drayton published several essays critical of the Stamp Act Congress early in the tensions with the Mother Country.  This led to his appointment on the Colonial Council and Colonial Court of South Carolina.

After the passage of the Intolerable Acts, however, he changed his mind.

Going Radical

William Drayton wrote a pamphlet titled American Claim to Rights, which supported the idea of a Continental Congress.

This action led to his dismissal from his positions in the colonial government.

Shortly thereafter, however, South Carolina created a provincial government and Drayton became a member.  Additionally, he was selected to be Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Along with his friend Arthur Middleton, Drayton designed the seal of South Carolina.

Eventually, he would attend the Continental Congress.  Drayton went on to sign the Articles of Confederation for South Carolina before his untimely death of typhus at the age of 37.

Annexing Georgia

About six months after the United States declared independence from Great Britain, a curious event took place in the southern states.

South Carolina voted unanimously to annex Georgia.

The delegates who took this vote believed they two States acting as one would benefit both commercially and in the war.  George was only established about 35 years before this time and was very sparsely populated.  What’s more is it was a hotbed of Loyalists.  Much like Canada, Georgia had refused the call to the First Continental Congress and it was a struggle to get delegates to the Second.

The leader in the fight to have South Carolina absorb George was William Henry Drayton.

After the South Carolina vote, Drayton went to Georgia where he spoke in front of their Assembly.  Georgia decided against the consolidation.

This did not deter Drayton, who went back to Georgia the next summer to rally favor from the general public.  Eventually, he got too out of hand and Governor Treutlen offered a reward for anyone who would arrest Drayton.

He never returned to Georgia again.

 

What do you think America would have been like if South Carolina annexed Georgia?  Would the American flag only have 12 stripes on it? 

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