Resolving Foreign Fees - Edward Telfair Refunds The Ambassadors

Resolving Foreign Fees - Edward Telfair Refunds The Ambassadors

Edward Telfair was a signer of the Articles of Confederation.

Telfair went on to serve as Governor of Georgia as well as a negotiator of land disagreements.


Edward Telfair

After moving from Scotland to North America, Edward Telfair bounced around for a while. 

Eventually ending up in Savannah, Georgia, Telfair established a merchant first which quickly blossomed and made him a tidy fortune.

When America was ripe for a revolution, Edward joined the local Committee of Safety and was elected to the Provincial Assembly.

Telfair became known to all as a Patriot and was sent as a Delegate to the Continental Congress.

Edward spent the better part of five years as a Congressman during which time he became a signer of the Articles of Confederation.



Resolving Foreign Fees

Telfair’s most notable contribution to the American Founding involved paying the ambassadors and consuls serving the United States overseas. 

In May of 1782 the Continental Congress decided to elect a commissioner to determine just how much money was owed and what was the best way to pay it off.

Then, everyone seemed to forget to choose someone for the position. 

Edward Telfair got the ball rolling two months later when, seemingly out of nowhere, he motioned to give the commissioner a salary of $4,000 a year.

Suddenly, the Continental Congress acted by establishing a committee to work on the issue. They decided on Thomas Barclay as the best candidate though, curiously, they decided not to choose a salary until more was known about the workload.


Common Ground

Edward was asked to negotiate a treaty in an attempt to end the Cherokee-American Wars in the South.

Unfortunately, this series of wars were impossible to end and his attempts at peace were for naught.

Additionally, he represented Georgia in a land dispute with North Carolina. 


Executive

After the Revolutionary War ended, Telfair shot up the latter of State politics.

By 1786 he was elected to the first of three terms a Governor of Georgia. During this time, he was one of many, many State politicians who benefited from the Yazoo Land Fraud.

During the first election of a President of the United States, George Washington won handily, with John Adams the clear VP.

However, in total 12 people received a vote for President (at the time, whoever had the second most votes was VP).

Edward Telfair, in the first Presidential Election, received one vote for America’s highest office.


Want to learn about other leaders of Revolutionary Georgia?

Great! Try one of these stories:

John Adam Treutlen - From Indentured Servant to Governor

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall Doesn’t Wait for Georgia

Telfair’s land negotiations took place in the southern back country.

The James Swisher book below discusses the importance of this area throughout the Revolutionary War.

Pick up a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same) .

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