Lyman Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in 1721 in
to a father who "possessed" a "competent fortune." Lyman received the opportunity to acquire "a good education" and entered Connecticut at sixteen years of age. He graduated four years later and then began a study of medicine. He embarked on his medical studies with "great ardor" and "pursued them with perseverance." Yale College
Upon the completion of his studies and the receipt of the title of medical doctor, Lyman married Abigail Burr in May 1752. Abigail died in July 1753. Lyman married Mary Osborne about 1757 and moved to
Dorchester, South Carolina; the Hall family moved to Georgia a few months later where Lyman opened a medical practice in Sunbury, Parish. Lyman "purchased and cultivated a rice plantation" on the St. John's Savannah Road a "few miles from Midway." He became one of the "leading physicians" in the area as well as "highly prosperous." Because of his successful medical practice and his "superior intelligence, probity, and consistency of character," Lyman "won the unbounded esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens."
Lyman was also "a close observer" of what was happening in the Colonies and became one of the first Southern men to voice his feelings about the "oppression and misrule" carried out by the British against the Americans. He was not alone in his feelings due to the fact that "forty New England families" had accompanied him to
and still "cherished" the "principles of the Pilgrim Fathers." When the patriot cause of liberty began to sound, it appeared that all the Georgia Georgia patriots lived in St. John's Parish; this was due to the fact that most of the older settlers in Georgia came directly from Europe and did not have the "principles of freedom in woven with their character" as did the settlers from New England.
In early 1774 Lyman joined other
patriots in trying to "arouse" their fellow Georgians to join the cause of liberty, but they did not have much success. In July 1774 a meeting was held in Georgia , but there were no real commitments made. Lyman was very discouraged about the possibility of Savannah Georgia being represented at the General Congress meeting in in September and "returned to his constituents with a heavy heart." Philadelphia
The people living in
St. John's Parish were so disgusted with their fellow Georgians and so fired up with "zeal" for the cause of liberty as well as deep sympathy with the New England patriots that they resolved to declare independence from the rest of . They elected Lyman in March 1775 to represent them as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He took his credentials and reported at the Congress on May 13, 1775. Congress didn't quite know what to do with Doctor Hall until he proposed that he be allowed to debate and listen to the other delegates but not to vote for his colony. Georgia
Lyman continued as a delegate to the Continental Congress until the British invaded
in 1780. He returned home just in time to move his family to safety but had to leave his property exposed to the enemy. While he was away from home, his property was confiscated. Georgia
Just prior to the British leaving
Savannah in 1782, Lyman returned to and was elected to be the Governor of Georgia the next year. He held that office for only one term before he retired from public service and returned to domestic life. He was not allowed to enjoy his private life for very long before his only son died in his youth. Lyman did not live long after the death of his son and died in 1784 at age 63. Georgia
Lyman was "greatly loved and widely lamented." The 1848 the Georgia Legislature appropriated $1500.00 to erect "a lead monument to the memory of Lyman Hall, and George Walton, two delegates from Georgia, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Their remains [were] to be removed to
, where the monument [was] to be reared." Augusta
Facts and quotes are from Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, pp 230-233.