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George W. Crawford

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George W. Crawford

The Honorable
George W. Crawford
Portrait of George W. Crawford
21st United States Secretary of War
In office
March 8, 1849 – July 23, 1850
President Zachary Taylor
Preceded by William L. Marcy
Succeeded by Charles M. Conrad
38th Governor of Georgia
In office
November 8, 1843 – November 3, 1847
Preceded by Charles J. McDonald
Succeeded by George W. Towns
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
January 7, 1843 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Jabez Y. Jackson
Succeeded by Edward J. Black
Howell Cobb
Mark A. Cooper
Hugh A. Haralson
John B. Lamar
John H. Lumpkin
John Millen
William H. Stiles
Personal details
Born George Walker Crawford
(1798-12-22)December 22, 1798
Died July 27, 1872(1872-07-27) (aged 73)
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Mary Ann McIntosh Crawford
Children William Peter Crawford
Sarah MacIntosh Crawford
Anna Elizabeth Crawford
Charles Crawford
Parents Peter Crawford
Mary Ann Crawford
Alma mater College of New Jersey
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Profession Lawyer, Politician

George Walker Crawford (December 22, 1798 – July 27, 1872) was a licensed Richmond County on a platform of state's rights.

George Crawford served in the Governor's Mansion. Crawford also served as United States Secretary of War from 1849–50.[1]

Crawford's time in gratuity of substantial remuneration for his services' Crawford's political adversaries framed it, as the Galphin Affair – marking the end of Crawford's political aspirations. When President Taylor unexpectedly died while in office, Crawford resigned his position as Secretary of War and entered political retirement.

In 1861, however, Crawford was elected a delegate from Richmond County to the state's Union.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Attorney General of Georgia 2
    • The code duello 2.1
  • Congressman 3
  • Governor of Georgia 4
  • Secretary of War 5
  • Georgia Secession Convention 6
  • Death and legacy 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Crawford was born on December 22, 1798, in [3]

Peter Crawford acquired a sizable tract of land that he called Belair Plantation. The homestead was situated close to his uncle, Joel Crawford. Peter's uncle Joel fathered William H. Crawford, soon becoming a politician renowned locally for his political service to the state and for two presidential bids – running in 1816, and then again in 1824.[4]

George Crawford grew up on the family's estate, heavily influenced by his father, and his

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard W. Habersham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Edward J. Black
Howell Cobb
Mark A. Cooper
Hugh A. Haralson
John B. Lamar
John H. Lumpkin
John Millen
William H. Stiles

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas F. Wells
Attorney General of Georgia
Succeeded by
Charles J. Jenkins
Preceded by
Charles J. McDonald
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
George W. Towns
Preceded by
William L. Marcy
U.S. Secretary of War
Served under: Zachary Taylor

March 8, 1849 – July 22, 1850
Succeeded by
Charles M. Conrad
  • George W. Crawford at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • George W. Crawford at The New Georgia Encyclopedia
  • "Death of Ex-Governor Crawford", Federal Union (Milledgeville), August 7, 1872. From the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive, Digital Library of Georgia.
  • George W. Crawford at Find A Grave

External links

  1. ^ . Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  2. ^ . Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Seaborn, Barbara (May 04, 2005). . Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  4. ^ . Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Knight, Lucian Lamar (1917). . Lewish publishing Company. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Cook, James F. (2005). . Mercer University Press. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  7. ^ . Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Knight, Lucian Lamar (1880). . Harvard University Press. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  9. ^ . Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Jones, Charles Colcock; Dutcher, Salem (1890). . Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  11. ^ . Retrieved July, 16, 2013.
  12. ^ (January 1, 1944). . Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  13. ^ . Retrieved July 19, 2013.


See also

Crawford's biographer Len Cleveland said that in researching his material he observed that "Crawford's entire political career was motivated by a traditional sense of duty rather than by deep political convictions".[6] Robert Toombs spoke well of Crawford, Saying, "There are but few abler and no purer men in America, and he has administrative qualities of an unusually high order."[13]

[12] On November 16, 1943, the keel was laid for the

Crawford died on July 27, 1872, at his Belair estate, located near St. Paul's Episcopal Church and he was buried in Summerville Cemetery located in Augusta.[6]

Death and legacy

The delegation approved the ordinance January 19, 1861, with 208 voting in favor of secession and 89 opposed. The delegates signed the document in celebratory fashion two days later in the Lincoln's and Johnson's amnesty proclamations because of his leadership status. Crawford escaped the harsh consequences of an adjudication of guilt in 1865, when Johnson approved his direct application for amnesty thereby restoring Crawford as a citizen of the United States in good stead – with full protection of his person and property against all forms of reprisal.[11]

In 1861, Crawford was elected as a delegate from Ordinance of Secession, the official document announcing the state's formal intent to secede the federal Union – originally as an independent republic, ultimately to join the Confederate States of America.

Ordinance of Secession
Facsimile of the 1861 Milledgeville, Georgia January 21, 1861

Georgia Secession Convention

Crawford was subsequently investigated by a commission and completely exonerated of any wrongdoing yet his critics continued casting aspersions.[6] Crawford resigned along with the rest of the Taylor administration in 1850, when Millard Fillmore became president after Taylor's sudden death while in office.

When Indian Trade. Crawford received a large payment for his services and several of his political foes seized upon the opportunity to suggest impropriety.

Secretary of War

, an important Whig campaign endeavor for years. Georgia Central Bank He redrew the state's congressional maps, and reformed the state penitentiary – making it "a more economically sound institution". Crawford also succeeded at dismantling the [6] Crawford's administration established the

. Western and Atlantic Railroad Besides implementing sound budget policy, Crawford was able to expand educational opportunities in the state and hasten construction of the state-owned [6] With the legislature's support, Crawford was able to effect the Whig's agenda which focused on debt reduction and fiscal restraint. Crawford's administration was able to reduce expenditures more than $66,000 in its first year and nearly eliminate the state's debt of $500,000 before being succeeded by

George W. Crawford was the state legislature in 1843, as well. Crawford was reelected in 1845, defeating Democratic challenger Matthew H. McAllister by a margin of 1,751 votes.[6]

Governor of Georgia

In 1837, Crawford was elected to the House of Representatives. There, Crawford distinguished himself as a fiscal conservative. He was elevated to the United States House of Representatives as a Whig to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Richard W. Habersham. His term there was short, only serving from January 7 to March 3, 1843.


She moved with her children to [6] He was known to have made anonymous financial contributions to Burnside's widow and children[6] though he was remembered as saying it made no amends – and for having expressed lament shortly before his own death in 1872.[8]

Thomas E. Burnside was interred in the private burial ground of Colonel John Crowell, renowned for his participation in the War of 1812. The Colonel lived near the site where the duel had taken place and personally ensured every protocol of respect was accorded at Burnside's burial. Two weeks passed before Mrs. Burnside received word of her husband's demise. It was said that she nearly died herself from distraught upon receiving the news.[8]

Fort Mitchell, Jan. 24, 1828
Dear Wife and Mother:
    Tomorrow I fight. I do it on principle. Whatever may be my fate, I believe I am right. On this ground I have acted and will act. I believe I shall succeed, but if I do not I am prepared for consequences. Kiss the children and tell them that if I fall my last thought was of them. Yours most affectionatelyThomas E. Burnside[8]

Dueling had already been outlawed in Georgia so the two belligerents, with their seconds, traveled together by train to Fort Mitchell, Alabama where the practice was still legal – to finish what by then had become a "well-publicized fight". Burnside seemed to have sensed the duel would not end in his favor, dispatching a letter to his wife on the eve of the fateful encounter:

Inexplicably, Burnside contacted Crawford telling him that he was the author. Crawford immediately challenged Burnside to a duel which Burnside accepted, although with reluctance.[8] The code duello was waning in vogue but it was still held as a measure which an honorable man was obliged to endure. Burnside was aspiring his own political career which showed promise of upward mobility. Burnside felt he would be shamed with dishonor if he refused, and in his era, without honor there was no career in politics.[8]

When George Crawford read the anonymous letter to the editor published in The Augusta Chronicle he was incensed by the prose – sharply criticizing the political views of his father, then declining in health. Crawford regarded it as an attack on his father's good name. Crawford demanded the newspaper editor give him the author's name but the editor refused, protecting Burnside's identity by telling Crawford the letter was from a woman, and that for this reason, he would not release the person's name.[8]

The code duello

He shot Burnside dead in the infamous duel, prompting the state to pass new legislation; "forbidding persons involved in duels from holding office".[6] The restriction only applied to duels fought after the law was enacted and did not affect Crawford's career.[9] He continued serving as attorney general until 1831, when he was succeeded by Charles J. Jenkins.[10]

attorney general in 1827. The following year, Crawford challenged Congressman Thomas E. Burnside, Ambrose Burnside's uncle,[8] to a duel over published defamation Burnside had written about Crawford's father.

Attorney General of Georgia

[6] In 1826, George Crawford married Mary Ann MacIntosh, having four children of the marriage: William Peter, Sarah MacIntosh, Anna Elizabeth, and Charles. George W. Crawford embarked on his political career the following year, accepting a

[7] George Crawford built on his homeschooling at the


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