Today, the Georgia State Quarter Coin remembers the 227th anniversary of Georgia’s statehood by pulling from a 19th century history book.
In A History of Georgia, From Its First Discovery by Europeans to the Adoption of the Present Constitution in 1798, published 1859, William Bacon Stevens wrote:
The year 1788 was rendered still further memorable in Georgia, as within it Georgia signiﬁed her approval of the Federal Constitution, and took initiatory measures for establishing a new Constitution for herself.
The Continental Congress, on the 21st February, 1787, adopted a resolution, declaring the expediency of calling a Convention, “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and conﬁrmed by the States, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.” Georgia saw the necessity, and approved the plan, of a general Convention; and appointed as delegates to this body, William Few, Abram Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pendleton.
The Hon. William Few was the only delegate from Georgia present at the opening of the Convention, on the 25th May. Major Pierce took his seat on the 31st May; William Houstoun, on the 1st June; and Abram Baldwin, on the 11th June. Messrs. Walton and Pendleton did not attend. Of these members, Mr. Baldwin took the most prominent part; and he only, with Colonel Few, signed the draft of the Constitution, as it was proposed for ratiﬁcation to the several States, on the 17th September, 1787.
Agreeably to the request of the Congress of the Confederation, the Legislature of Georgia, on the 26th October, called a Convention, to meet at Augusta on the fourth Tuesday in December, to consider the proposed Constitution, “and to adopt or reject any part, or the whole thereof.” This Convention was composed of the leading men of the State; and John Wereat was elected its President. After due consideration of its several articles and provisions, the Convention did unanimously, and without proposing any amendments, on the 2d January, 1788, “fully and entirely assent to, ratify, and adopt the proposed Constitution” and, as the last name was signed to the ratiﬁcation, the good news was announced by a salute of thirteen guns, ﬁred by a detachment of Colonel Armstrong’s regiment, stationed for that purpose opposite the State House.
Georgia was the fourth State to ratify this great instrument, which gave shape and permanence to a government, for which the Americans had been struggling against oppression for twenty-ﬁve years; and to reach which desirable end, they had wet the soil of every colony with blood during the war of the Revolution. In reference to this prompt action on the part of Georgia, President Wereat, as the official organ of the Convention, writing to Congress, says: “We hope that the ready compliance of this State with the recommendations of Congress, and of the late National Convention, will tend not only to consolidate the Union, but promote the happiness of our common country.”
Happy statehood anniversary, Georgia.
The Georgia State Quarter Coin shows against a twilight view of Georgia’s gold capitol.