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William Few - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Monday, December 23, 2019

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Birth: June 8, 1748
Death: July 16, 1828 (age 80)
Colony: Georgia
Occupation: Merchant, Soldier, Judge, Politician
Significance: Signed the United States Constitution (at the age of 39); and served as a United States Senator from Georgia (1789-1793)

William Few Statue in Signers' Hall at the National Constitution Center

William Few was born to a family of limited means in Maryland, and as his family could not afford a formal education, Few educated himself. Burdened by unfertile land, Few's family moved South, eventually ending up in Georgia. As a supporter of Independence, Few was appointed to serve in the Continental Army but was not called into active duty until 1778 when the British began concentrating their efforts on Southern States such as Georgia. Few became a leader of the Continental Army's Western Georgia forces, and by the end of the Revolutionary War, Few was a respected military leader.

As the Revolutionary War was winding down, Few was elected to serve in the Continental Congress (Congress of the Confederation) in 1780 and served off and on until 1788. In 1787, Few was named a member of the Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia. At the Constitutional Convention, Few represented Georgia and helped to debate, draft and sign the United States Constitution

After the newly ratified Constitution was adopted, Few was elected to the United States Senate to represent the State of Georgia in 1789. Few held his seat in the U.S. Senate until his term ended in 1793. Few then returned to Georgia to serve in the state legislature and as a Federal Judge before he decided to move to New York City in 1799.  In New York, Few was a successful businessman and continued to participate in politics as he served in the New York State Assembly.  Few retired in 1815, and he lived in New York until his death in 1828.

William Few in Philadelphia

Few first lived in Philadelphia while he was a member of the Continental Congress while Philadelphia was the Capital city of the United States. Few helped to write the United States Constitution as a member of the Constitutional Convention which met at Independence Hall in 1787. Few also worked in Congress Hall as a United States Senator while Philadelphia was the Capital city of the United States. Today, you can also see a statue commemorating Few for his role in the creation of the United States Constitution in the Signers' Hall exhibit of the National Constitution Center. Signers' Garden pays tribute to the Founding Fathers, including those such as Few who signed the Constitution of the United States. The National Constitution Center, Congress Hall, Signers' Garden and Independence Hall are all visited on The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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