MATTHEW TALBOT was born in Bedford County, Virginia, circa 1767. His family moved to Georgia after the Revolutionary War ended. After serving as captain in the Georgia militia, he entered into a career in politics. He served as superior court clerk in Elbert County, from 1700 to 1791. He was a delegate to the state constitutional conventions of 1795 and 1798 and was a member of the Georgia state senate in 1799, from 1801 to 1803, and from 1808 to 1822, serving six terms as president of the senate. On October 24, 1819, Governor William Rabun died in office, and Talbot, who was president of the state at that time, assumed the duties of governor. During his short tenure, he continued to carry out the policies and programs of the Rabun administration. After leaving office on November 5, 1819, Talbot ran unsuccessfully for the governorship in 1823, losing after a battle in the legislature that lasted three days before a selection could be made. This resulted in the legislature changing the system of electing governors by election by popular vote. In 1827 he once again was a gubernatorial candidate, but passed away before the election. Governor Matthew Talbot died on September 17, 1827, and he is buried in the Smyrna Church Cemetery in Wilkes County, Georgia. Talbot County in middle Georgia and the town of Talbotton were named in his honor.

Sources:

Cook, James F. Governors of Georgia, 1754-2004. 3d ed. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2005.

Biographical Sketch of Matthew Talbot

Political Graveyard

Smyrna Churchyard