Tuesday, September 25, 2007
George Walker Crawford (December 22, 1798 – July 27, 1872) was a Georgia politician during the nineteenth century. He served as the Governor of Georgia from 1843 to 1847 and United States Secretary of War 1849 to 1850. He is the cousin of William H. Crawford
Georgia Governor John Forsyth appointed Crawford attorney general of Georgia in 1827. The next year, Crawford challenged congressman Thomas E. Burnside to a duel over a series of accusations that Burnside published about Crawford's father. He shot Burnside dead, thus winning the fight. It did not affect his career and he continued to serve as attorney general until 1831.
He was elected Governor of Georgia, defeating Mark Anthony Cooper, becoming the only Whig to served a Georgia state governor. As governor, he helped expand the Western and Atlantic Railroad, redraw congressional maps and establish the Supreme Court of Georgia. He also focused on dismantling the Georgia Central Bank and reformed the state penitentiary to make it a more economically sound institution. In 1845, he won a second term.
Secretary of War
In 1861, Crawford was elected to represent Richmond County, Georgia in the Georgia State Secession Convention. Delegates selected Crawford as chairman for the proceedings and he oversaw the vote of secession. He died at his estate, located in the village of "Bel Air," near Augusta, Georgia on July 27, 1872. He was buried in the Summerville Cemetery located in Augusta.
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