“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lawrenceville in Gwinnett County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Button Gwinnett

Button Gwinnett Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, November 20, 2008
1. Button Gwinnett Marker
Inscription. Button Gwinnett, for whom this county was named, was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1735, the son of a Church of England minister. He worked in the store of his father-in-law in Dexter for two years, then as an importer and exporter for three years. In 1765 he came to Georgia, opening a store in Savannah. The same year he sold his store, bought St. Catherines Island and moved onto it, becoming a familiar figure at Sunbury and Midway Church.

Button Gwinnett was elected Justice of the Peace in 1767; Commissioner of Pilotage in 1768; member of the Georgia Assembly (legislature) in 1769. He was sent to the Continental Congress early in 1776 and signed the Declaration of Independence Aug. 2, 1776. He later served as Speaker of the Assembly and was one of the chief drafters of the first State Constitution.

Mr. Gwinnett was chosen to fill the unexpired term of Archibald Bulloch as President of the Executive Council, or Provisional Governor of Georgia, on March 4, 1777. He served only a few months before being defeated for re-election by Governor John A. Treutlen. Politics resulted in a duel in which Gov. Gwinnett was killed by Gen. Lachlan McIntosh on May 16, 1777, and buried in an unknown, unmarked grave. He left so few signatures that one autograph sold for $51,000.
Button Gwinnett Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 21, 2015
2. Button Gwinnett Marker
The east side of the Gwinnett County Courthouse can be seen in the distance.
1954 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 067-1.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission, and the Signers of the Declaration of Independence marker series.
Location. 33° 57.404′ N, 83° 59.312′ W. Marker is in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in Gwinnett County. Marker is on North Clayton Street (Georgia Route 20) 0 miles from West Crogan Street (U.S. 29), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is on the lawn of the old Gwinnett County Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Lawrenceville GA 30045, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gwinnett County (here, next to this marker); Birthplace of Bill Arp (a few steps from this marker); Garrard’s Cavalry Raid (within shouting distance of this marker); Memorial to the Fallen of 1836 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Home of Major William E. Simmons (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Veterans of Gwinnett County, Georgia (within shouting distance of this marker); Watering Trough 1873 (within shouting distance of this marker); In Tribute to Ezzard Charles (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lawrenceville.
Regarding Button Gwinnett. There are fewer than 30 known examples of Gwinnett's signature, and examples have apparently now sold for over $150,000, well above the amount noted on the marker. In his biography in the New Georgia Encyclopedia (see link provided) the value of an autograph in 1983 was estimated at up to $250,000; that value may well be twice that today.

Gwinnett's burial place was unknown until recently, when it was confirmed that he was buried in Colonial Cemetery, in Savannah.
Also see . . .  Button Gwinnett (1735-1777). Button Gwinnett's biography on the New Georgia Encyclopedia. (Submitted on March 12, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
Additional keywords. Autographs
Categories. Notable PersonsPatriots & PatriotismPolitical Subdivisions
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 3,056 times since then and 78 times this year. Last updated on June 28, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1. submitted on March 9, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   2. submitted on June 21, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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