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This Day in Georgia History

February 09, 1752

George Handley Born

Gov. George Handley was born in England. He moved to Georgia in May 1775 and almost immediately became involved in the revolutionary movement. He joined the Continental Army in 1776 and reached the rank of lieutenant before retiring in 1782. Moving to Augusta after the war he became active in local politics, serving as a justice of the peace for four different counties. Moving to the state level, Handley served as secretary of the executive council in 1785 and 1786, before becoming inspector-general of the militia. He was also a delegate to the state convention that unanimously ratified the U.S. Constitution.

On Jan. 24, 1788, the Georgia House of Assembly elected Handley governor. During his administration, Georgia wrote a new state constitution, with Handley acting as president of the convention. He was able to convince Creek chief Alexander McGillivray to suspend hostilities pending the creation of the new federal government. After his year as governor, Handley was appointed collector of the Brunswick port by President George Washington. He served in this post and as sheriff of Richmond County until his death on September 17, 1793.