Personal letters of Abraham Baldwin and William Few, Georgia’s two signers of the U.S. Constitution, are on exhibit at the University of Georgia Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library in observance of Constitution Day, Sept. 17.
Few and Abraham Baldwin, who were close friends, were appointed as two of six state delegates to the Constitutional Convention, two of whom never attended and two others of whom did not stay for the duration.
This exhibition features original manuscripts and correspondence written by Few and Baldwin. The Hargrett Library owns more than 250 letters of William Few and his wife, Catherine, and their daughter Frances. These letters reveal much about his activities in the state of Georgia until he moved permanently to New York about 1800. Baldwin, the first president of The University of Georgia, is mentioned frequently in Catherine Few’s letters. The exhibit will be on display through September.
As the first president of UGA, Baldwin’s papers are located in the University Archives within the Hargrett Library. After being elected to the Georgia state legislature, he developed a comprehensive educational plan that ultimately included land grants from the state to fund the establishment of the University of Georgia (at the time also known as Franklin College) in Athens. Through Baldwin’s efforts, the state approved a charter for the University of Georgia in 1785. Baldwin served as the first president of the institution during its initial planning phase, from 1786 to 1801 when it was opened to students.
The Hargrett Library is part of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries at 300 S. Hull St.