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This Day in Georgia History

July 25, 1889

William A. Golding Died

Black Georgia politician William A. Golding died in Liberty County, where he was born 80 years earlier. Little is known about most of his life, but presumably he was a slave until gaining freedom at the end of the Civil War. Shortly thereafter he was elected to represent Liberty Council in the Atlanta convention that drafted the Constitution of 1868. That year he was among the first African Americans elected to the Georgia General Assembly, though that fall the black legislators were expelled until a second round of Reconstruction allowed him to regain his seat in January 1870. In some ways, Golding was better remembered for his work in promoting the education of black youth in Liberty County. Though barely literate, he recognized the importance of education and was a major factor in creation of what would become the Dorchester Academy.