William Few Jr. (1748-1828)

Founding father, legislator, pioneer, and financier, William Few Jr. is best known as a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
Few was born in Maryland in 1748, to Mary Wheeler and William Few Sr. For some years the family lived in North Carolina, where Few's brother James was hanged for his part in the Regulator Insurrection, an uprising against what many citizens viewed as unfair taxation practices by the royal government. Embroiled in political difficulties in North Carolina, the family moved to upper Richmond County, Georgia, in the mid-1770s. During the American Revolution (1775-83), Few fought in the Battle of Burke County Jail, served in the state legislative sessions, and took part in the 1777 constitutional convention. In 1780 he was elected to the Continental Congress. In the decade following the war, he, more than anyone, lobbied for the upper part of Richmond County to become a new county, a dream realized when Columbia County was created in 1790.
In 1786 Few was appointed to Congress by the state legislature; the next year he represented Georgia in the constitutional convention at Philadelphia that drafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787. His signature is on that document, along with that of Abraham Baldwin. Few missed large portions of the proceedings because of his congressional service. He wasn't in Philadelphia during all of July and part of August, and he never made a speech to the Continental Congress. Nonetheless, Few did assist in shepherding the new Constitution through its first obstacle, approval by Congress. He later served four years as a U.S. senator, one term as a state representative, and three years as judge of the Second Judicial District in Georgia. He was an outspoken opponent of the infamous Yazoo land fraud, though his political enemies tried to implicate him in this scam.
In 1799 he moved to New York City, where he served as a member of the New York legislature for four years. He became an officer in the Manhattan Bank and president of City Bank. He and his wife, Catherine Nicholson, had three daughters. Few died on July 16, 1828. During the nation's Bicentennial in 1976, his remains were moved from New York to St. Paul's Cemetery in Augusta.
close

Loading

Further Reading
Charles C. Jones Jr., "William Few, Lieutenant-Colonel Georgia Militia in the Revolutionary Service," [with an] "Autobiography of Colonel Few of Georgia," Magazine of American History, November 1881, 340-58.

Gerald J. Smith, To Seek a Newer World: A History of Columbia County, Georgia (Murfreesboro, Tenn.: Southern Heritage Press, 2001).
Cite This Article
Smith, Gerald J. "William Few Jr. (1748-1828)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 08 June 2017. Web. 22 June 2017.
From Our Home Page
Late Victorian Architecture: Overview

Across Georgia, the period from 1895 to 1920 was an era of expansion and growth.

Read more...
Boundaries of Georgia

The boundary lines that define the state of Georgia are significant for a variety of reasons, such as ownership of physical territory, jurisdiction for the state's

Read more...
Paleontology of the Coastal Plain Province

Sedimentary deposits of Georgia's Coastal Plain cover mo

Read more...
Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band, formed in 1969 and featuring twin guitars and twin drums, created the "southern rock" genre by brilliantly mixing bl

Read more...
Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries