Lyman Hall was born April 12, 1724 in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Hall followed his family tradition of studying for the ministry at Yale College, as did seven of his siblings.
Upon graduating from Yale in 1749, Hall became a Pastor in Stratfield Parish (now Bridgeport, CT.).
Hall must have created an outrage among his parishioners, as an outspoken group opposed his ordination.
Then in 1751, Hall was dismissed after charges against his moral character which, according to a later biography, “were supported by proof and also by his own confession.”
Hall continued to preach for the next two years, filling vacant pulpits, as he studied medicine at Yale and taught school.
He married Abigail Burr in 1752, however, she died in 1753.
Hall graduated from Yale Medical College in 1756 and moved to Charleston, South Carolina to establish a medical practice.
He married again to Mary Osborne in 1757, and established himself as a physician at Dorchester, South Carolina; a community near Charleston settled by Congregationalist migrants from Dorchester, Massachusetts.
When these settlers moved to the Midway District of Georgia (now Liberty County), Hall moved with them. He purchased land and established a rice plantation in the newly founded town of Sunbury in 1760, while continuing to practice medicine.
On the eve of the American Revolution, the community of Sunbury became a hotbed of radical sentiment in a predominantly British loyalist colony.
In 1774, by this time partisan in revolutionary politics, Hall earned the unflattering attention of the Royal Governor, James Wright.
Though Georgia was not initially represented in the First Continental Congress, through Hall’s influence, St. John’s Parish in which Sunbury was located, was persuaded to send a delegate – Lyman Hall himself – to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the Second Continental Congress.
He was admitted to a seat in Congress in 1775, a seat that he held until 1780.
Lyman Hall became one of the three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence.
During the Revolutionary War, Hall was involved in provisioning food and medicine for the Revolutionary Armies.
Hall returned to his adopted state of Georgia in 1777 when state matters, including the situation of a longtime friend Button Gwinnett, demanded his attention.
A short time later, the war reached Sunbury. Hall’s property was burned and he stood accused of high treason.
Hall fled to Charleston, which was also overtaken by the British.
He then fled to Connecticut, some say, where he was harbored by family until the British evacuation in 1782.
Governor of Georgia
Lyman Hall then returned to Georgia, settling this time in Savannah.
In January 1783, Hall was elected Governor of Georgia.
While governor, Hall advocated the chartering of a state university, believing that education, particularly religious education, would result in a more virtuous citizenry. His efforts led to the chartering of the University of Georgia in 1785.
At the expiration of his term as governor, Hall resumed his medical practice.
In 1790, Hall built a new plantation near Augusta, Burke County, Georgia.
Lyman Hall died October 19, 1790 at the age of 66.
Lyman Hall is memorialized in Georgia where Hall County, Georgia bears his namesake; and in Connecticut, his native state, where the town of Wallingford honored him by naming a high school after its distinguished native son.
Signers Monument, a granite obelisk in front of the courthouse in Augusta, Georgia, memorializes Hall and the other two Georgians who signed the Declaration of Independence.
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