Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BALDWIN, Abraham, statesman, born in Guilford, Connecticut, 6 November 1754; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 4 March 1807. He was graduated at Yale in 1772, and held a tutorship there from 1775 to 1779. From 1777 until the close of the war he was a chaplain in the army. At General Greene's request, he removed in 1784 to Savannah, where he was admitted to the Georgia bar, and in the same year sent to the state legislature. Here he originated the plan of the University of Georgia, drew up the charter by which it was endowed with 40,000 acres of land, and, notwithstanding the prejudices of many members of the assembly against the project, secured its success. He was afterward president of the University for several years. He was a delegate to the continental congress from 1785 to 1788, and was a member of the constitutional convention, 25 May to 17 September 1787, taking an active part in its discussions. He was a representative in congress from 1789 until 1799, and was then sent to the senate, where he remained until his death, serving again as its president pro tempore in 1801 and in 1802. While in congress he voted in favor of locating the seat of government on the Potomac. After the death of his father, in 1787, he took charge of his six half-brothers and sisters and educated them. One of these was Henry Baldwin, noticed below; another was the wife of Joel Bar-low, the poet. A large number of needy young men owed to him the means of obtaining an education.
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