October 19

Lyman Hall

October 19, 1790 - Darien, Savannah, St. Simons Island

Lyman Hall was an ordained minister, a doctor and one of three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence, quite a resume for a man born in Connecticut in 1747.

Hall was from old New England stock and graduated from Yale. He abandoned the congregational ministry for medicine and moved South, eventually settling in Georgia on land in St. John’s Parish—which was later renamed Liberty County. 

At a time when not all Georgians supported the Revolution,  Lyman Hall and many of his peers from St. John’s did. When Georgia refused to send delegates to the Second Continental Congress in 1775, St. John’s Parish sent Lyman Hall. A year later he joined fellow Georgians Button Gwinnett and George Walton in signing the Declaration of Independence.

Walton returned to Georgia after the Revolution and served as governor. His most notable achievement thrives to this day—the University of Georgia, chartered in 1785. 

The New England puritan who helped establish both Georgia’s independence and the first state-chartered university in the nation died on October 19, 1790, Today in Georgia History.