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Edward Telfair: Wikis


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Edward Tellfair (1735 – September 17, 1807) was governor of the state of Georgia in 1786 and 1790–1793.

He was born in Town Head, Scotland, and graduated from the Kirkcudbright Grammar School then acquired a thorough commercial training. He immigrated to the United States in 1758 as agent of a commercial house and settled in Virginia. He moved to Halifax, North Carolina and then established a commission house in Savannah, Georgia in 1766. Telfair was a member of the council of safety in 1775 and 1776, and a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Savannah in 1776; member of the committee of intelligence and other important committees in 1776.

Telfair was a member of the Continental Congress for 1778, 1780, 1781, and 1782. He was one of the signers of the Articles of Confederation and a delegate to the State ratification convention. In 1783, he was commissioner to treat with the Cherokee Indians. Telfair was also designated agent on the part of Georgia to settle the northern boundary of the Commonwealth in February 1783, and eventually Governor of Georgia.

Later, Telfair was one of only 10 men who received electoral votes during the first election for President and Vice President of the United States [1], receiving the vote of an unrecorded elector from his home state of Georgia.

He died in Savannah, Georgia, and was buried in the Bonaventure Cemetery there. His son, Thomas Telfair, represented Georgia in the U.S. Congress. Georgia named Telfair County in his honor.


Edward Telfair was also a slave owner and slave consultant e.g.[2] Telfair's mercantile firm dealt in slaves, among other things, and the correspondence includes discussion of the management of slaves, purchase and sale of slaves, runaway slaves, the mortality rate of slaves born on a plantation, the difficulty of selling closely related slaves, and the relations between whites and free blacks.


  1. ^ Journal of the Senate, Vol 1, 1789, p8
  2. ^ Edward Telfair Papers, 1764–1831. 906 Items & 5 Volumes. Savannah, Georgia. Papers of a merchant, governor of Georgia, and delegate to the Continental Congress.

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