ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Signers Monument in Augusta, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Signers Monument in Augusta, Georgia
The Signers Monument
Located in downtown Augusta, the Signers
Monument was built in 1848 and marks the grave of
two signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The Signers Monument
The monument has been a
beloved landmark of Augusta
for more than 160 years. Two
Georgia signers rest there.
Remembering the Signers
Fifty feet tall, the monument
covers vaults in which rest
George Walton and Lyman
Hall, two of Georgia's three
The Signers Monument - Augusta, Georgia
Georgia Signers of the
Declaration of Independence
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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View from Greene Street
The Signers Monument is at
the intersection of Monument
and Greene Streets. The latter
is named for Gen. Nathaniel
The Signers Monument
Dedication ceremonies for
the monument took place on
July 4, 1848. Original plans
were for all three of Georgia's
signers to be buried there, but
Button Gwinnett's remains
could not be found.
The Signers Monument in Augusta honors
and marks the final resting place of two of
Georgia's three signers of the Declaration of

Located at the intersection of Greene and
Monument Streets, the monument itself is a
historical landmark, having stood in the
same location since 1848. When built it
fronted Augusta's old city hall, now the site of
the modern Government Complex.

It is sad to reflect that the signers of the
Declaration of Independence were held in
much higher esteem during their lifetimes
and years after their deaths than they often
are today. Across the fledgling nation, efforts
to honor them were carried out in various
states, North and South, during the years
between the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

Augusta, which served for a brief time as the
capital of Georgia and where the
home of
signer George Walton still stands, began an
effort to honor Georgia's three signers during
the early 1840s.

The plan was to erect a 50-foot tall oblisk at
the city's central intersection and to re-inter
the remains of George Walton, Lyman Hall
and Button Gwinnett in crypts at its base.
When built, the stone monument was likely
the tallest of its type in Georgia.

The dedication of the monument and laying
of its cornerstone took place on July 4, 1848.
Augusta Chronicle reported that the
event was one of great fanfare:

...The Masons, Odd Fellows and Sons of
Temperance, with their respective regalia
and badges, attended by an excellent band
of music, formed an imposing procession. It
marched from the Masonic Hall down Broad-
Street to Centre-Street; thence to Green-
Street, and thence to the City Hall near which
the Monument is to stand.

In the tradition of the day, the procession also
included the members of the Independent
and Augusta Fire Companies, the Clergy and
the Mayor and Members of the City Council.

The article, which was widely reprinted in
other newspapers across the nation, went on
to report that the "Rev. Mr. Rogers made an
excellent prayer" and that William C. Dawson,
the Worshipful Master of the Grand Masons
of Georgia "placed the corner stone in its
proper position."

It is a little known fact that the Masons placed
a time capsule under the monument on the
day they placed its cornerstone:

...Under it were deposited the daily papers of
the city, American coins of this year, and
other things supposed to be of interest to
remote posterity - well protected by glass.

A metal plate also was deposited. It was
engraved with the notation: "Erected by the
State of Georgia, and the City Council of
Augusta, over the remains of Lyman Hall and
George Walton - signers of the Declaration of
Independence of the United States."
W.T. Gould was the orator of the day and
delivered an address "characterised by good
sense, chasteness, eloquence and entire
appropriateness to the occasion" to a crowd
described as a "large and most respectable
auditory." Those attending undoubtedly knew
they were participating in history.

As the newspaper account noted, the
remains of only two of Georgia's signers -
Lyman Hall and George Walton - were
placed in the crypt at the base of the 50-foot
oblisk. The state's third signer, Button
Gwinnett, was killed in a duel at Savannah in
1777 and his grave could not be found. He is,
nevertheless, honored in the carvings on the

Georgia's three signers of the Declaration of
Independence were honorable and brave
men of their times. By putting their names on
the great document, they knew that they faced
execution as traitors should the American
Revolution fail.

George Walton twice served as governor of
Georgia, was a colonel in the Revolutionary
Army, served six terms in Congress and one
as a U.S. Senator. He was wounded and
captured by the British at Savannah.

Dr. Lyman Hall was one of a group of ardent
pro-Independence men from Midway,
Georgia. He served as a representative from
his state in the Continental Congress.

Button Gwinnett was an Englishman who
moved to Savannah just before the outbreak
of the war. He served as President of
Georgia in 1777, but was killed in a duel with
General Lachlan McIntosh that same year.

The Signers Monument can be seen at the
intersection of Greene and Monument
Streets in Augusta and is free to visit. Its story
is detailed in a historical marker at its base.
Sites of the American Revolution