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George Handley

Gov. George Handley

  • January 26, 1788 - January 7, 1789
  • February 9, 1752
  • September 17, 1793
  • Other
  • Married Sarah Howe; one child
  • Army


GEORGE HANDLEY, Revolutionary War soldier, was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England on February 9, 1752. Shortly after immigrating to America, Handley became involved in the Revolutionary movement as a Captain in the militia. He joined the Continental Army as a lieutenant, and later attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was captured in July 1780 and was a British prisoner until 1782. Handley first entered politics in 1783, serving as a justice of the peace for various counties, from 1783 to 1787 and associate justice in 1787 and 1788. He served as secretary of the Executive Council in 1785 and 1786. He was named the inspector general of the militia in 1787 and was a delegate to the convention that ratified the federal constitution. He voted to ratify the U.S. Constitution in January 1788 and served briefly as president of the Executive Council that same year. Handley next secured an appointment to serve as governor of Georgia. During his tenure, he presided over the convention that convened in November 1788 and drafted a new state constitution. Also, Indian attacks were dealt with, as well as an influx of new settlers into the state. After leaving the governorship, Handley served in the Georgia House of Assembly in 1789. He also served as collector of ports of Brunswick from 1789 until 1793; was sheriff of Richmond County from 1790 to 1793; and was Tax Collector of Richmond County from 1792 to 1793. Governor George Handley passed away at Rae’s Hall near Augusta at the young age of forty-one on September 17, 1793.


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

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