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Edward Telfair - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Birth: 1735
Death: September 17, 1807 (age 71 or 72)
Colony: Georgia
Occupation: Merchant, Politician
Significance: Signed The Articles of Confederation (at the age of 42 or 43); served as a member of the Continental Congress (1778-1783); served as the Governor of Georgia (1786-1787 and 1789-1793)

Articles of Confederation - Original 1777 Printing

Edward Telfair was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in Scotland, Telfair immigrated to Virginia in 1758, and he worked in the slave trade as a merchant. Telfair grew his business, and he eventually moved to Savannah, Georgia.

Telfair was an outspoken critic of the British and an early supporter of American independence. Telfair was a member of the Sons of Liberty, and he served on the Georgia Committee of Safety from 1775 to 1776. In 1778, Telfair was appointed to the Second Continental Congress.  After news arrived in Philadelphia that Georgia had ratified the Articles of Confederation, Telfair signed the Articles on July 24, 1778.

Telfair subsequently returned to Savannah, Georgia in 1783 after serving five years in Congress. Upon his return to Georgia, Telfair was elected as the Governor of Georgia. Telfair served as Governor of Georgia from 1786 to 1787 and again from 1789 to 1793.

Edward Telfair in Philadelphia

Edward Telfair traveled to Philadelphia to serve as a member of the Second Continental Congress. While in the Continental Congress, Telfair worked at Independence Hall, where he signed The Articles of Confederation. 

Today, Independence Hall is one of the stops visited along The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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