Abraham Baldwin

Baldwin, Abraham, 1754–1807, American political leader, b. Guilford, Conn. After serving as a chaplain in the American Revolution, he studied law and in 1784 was admitted to practice in Georgia. He was a member (1785–88) of the Continental Congress and the leading Georgia delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787. His change of vote in that convention on the issue of the mode of representation in Congress brought about a tie between the large and small states. Baldwin served on the committee appointed to solve this problem. The compromise system of representation that it proposed (by population in the House of Representatives and by states in the Senate) was adopted. Baldwin was elected to the first House of Representatives and served until 1799. He then served in the Senate until his death. He was an industrious member of many committees and supported Jeffersonian policies. Earlier, while in the Georgia assembly, Baldwin wrote the charter of Franklin College, which later developed into the Univ. of Georgia.

See biography by H. C. White (1926).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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