On today in 1777, British-born Georgia Patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence Button Gwinnett receives a bullet wound in a duel along with his political rival, Georgia city Whig Lachlan McIntosh. Three days later, Gwinnett died because of the gangrenous wound. McIntosh was also shot in the duel, however the wound had not been fatal.
Button Gwinnett was created in Down Hatherly, Gloucestershire, England, and was baptized in Gloucester in 1735. He was married and started an occupation in trading despite the fact that still in Britain. In the 1760s, Gwinnett moved initial to Charleston, South Carolina, then to Savannah, Georgia, where he had established himself as a trader by 1765. Entering politics in 1769, he was elected to the Commons House of Assembly. Taking up residence on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia, in 1770, Gwinnett left commerce for farming. His politics have now been deeply influenced by his contempt for the wealthy and effective city Whigs of Savannah. Gwinnett’s political base of country Whigs contained less prosperous coastal dwellers like himself and backcountry farmers. When first created commander of Georgia’s Patriot forces, Gwinnett was forced to resign by the outcry of city Whigs. He proceeded to win election to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia and became a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
Gwinnett returned to Georgia instantly immediately after signing the declaration to locate city Whig Lachlan McIntosh commanding Georgia’s nascent military efforts. Determined to take manage of Georgia politics, Gwinnett became speaker of the legislature, guided the Georgia Constitution of 1777 into existence and took over as governor when Archibald Bulloch died abruptly in workplace.
Gwinnett then desired to lead an expedition to secure Georgia’s border with Florida. A dispute amongst McIntosh and Gwinnett significantly more than who command your time and effort ultimately resulted in their duel and Gwinnett’s death.