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Nathan Brownson

Gov. Nathan Brownson

  • August 18, 1781 - January 3, 1782
  • Whig
  • May 14, 1742
  • October 18, 1796
  • Connecticut
  • Yale College (now Yale University)
  • Married three times—Elizabeth Lewis, Elizabeth Dunham, Elizabeth McLean; two children
  • Army
  • Physician/Dentist


NATHAN BROWNSON, a physician and governor of Georgia, was born in Woodbury, Connecticut on May 14, 1742. His education was attained at Yale College, where he graduated in 1761. He went on to study medicine, and then established a medical practice in Liberty County, Georgia, in about 1774. He also became a leader during the Revolutionary movement, as well as serving as an army surgeon during the war. Brownson first entered politics as a member of the provincial congress, a position he held in 1775. He also served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1778. In 1781 he was elected Speaker of the Assembly, which then elected him governor. During his tenure, the British were driven out of Augusta, and measures were initiated to restore Georgia to its prewar status. After leaving the governorship, Brownson continued to stay politically active. He served as deputy purveyor for southern hospitals in 1781 and again in 1782; was assistant state justice from 1784 to 1789; was a member of the Georgia House of Assembly from 1785 to 1788; and served as a member of the 1787-1788 state convention that ratified the federal constitution. He also served in the state constitutional conventions in 1788 and 1789 as well as serving as the first president of the Georgia State Senate from 1789 to 1791. In his last public service endeavor, he laid the groundwork for the creation of the University of Georgia. Governor Nathan Brownson passed away in Liberty County, Georgia, on October 18, 1796.


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

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