GWINNETT, Button (1735-1777)

GWINNETT, BUTTON, a Delegate from Georgia; born in Down Hatherly, Gloucestershire, England, and baptized in 1735; pursued an academic course; engaged in mercantile pursuits in Bristol, England; immigrated to the United States and settled in Charleston, S.C.; engaged in commercial pursuits; moved to Savannah, Ga., in 1765 and entered business as a general trader; elected to the Commons House of Assembly, 1769; moved to St. Catherines Island, Ga., in 1770 and engaged in planting; delegate to the Provincial Congress at Savannah in 1776; Member of the Continental Congress in 1776; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; member of the State constitutional convention in February 1777; Acting President and commander in chief of Georgia from February to March 1777; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Georgia; engaged in a duel May 16, 1777, with Gen. Lachlan McIntosh, which resulted in his death, near Savannah, Ga., May 19, 1777; interment probably in the Old Colonial Cemetery (later called Colonial Park), Savannah, Ga.

Copley Press, Inc.
J. S. Copley Library
La Jolla, CA
Papers: 1776, 1 page.
A letter from Button Gwinnett to John Ashmead written on July 12, 1776. Button Gwinnett signs the letter as a Member of the Marine Committee. The letter is the only public document from Button Gwinnett in connection with National Affairs. There are five other signers of the Declaration of Independence who have signed this letter.


Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: In the John Hubbard Collection of Letters and Documents of Signers of the Declaration of Independence, 1750-1933, 0.33 linear foot.
Other authors include Button Gwinnett. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.


Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In the Charles Francis Jenkins Papers, 1924-1938, approximately 1,000 items.
The papers include correspondence relating chiefly to his research on the life, history, and genealogy of Button Gwinnett.


The John Work Garrett Library
Evergreen House
Baltimore, MD
Papers: In the Signers Collection, 1770-1826, 60 documents.
Subjects covered in the papers include Button Gwinnett.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1771-1774, 2 items.
Letters from Button Gwinnett.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: 1773, 1 item.
A note from Button Gwinnett to John Houston written on May 5, 1773.

Papers: 1777, 1 item.
A last will and testament of Button Gwinnett written on March 15, 1777.

Papers: 1777, 1 item.
A letter from Lyman Hall to Roger Sherman, Esa., written on May 16, 1777. A postscript on the letter, dated June 1, describes the duel of Button Gwinnett with Colonel Lochlan McIntosh, in which Button Gwinnett was killed.


The Rosenbach Museum & Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In the Jeremiah Dickinson Papers, 1786-1788, 4 items.
Subjects covered in the papers include Button Gwinnett.

Papers: In the A. S. W. Rosenbach Signers of the Declaration of Independence Autograph Collection, 1876-1952, 56 items.
Other authors include Button Gwinnett.

Papers: In the Joseph Stanley Will, 1770, 1 item.
The will of Joseph Stanley includes the signature of Button Gwinnett as a witness.


University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence Collection, 1776, 1 item.
An order to pay a bill signed by Button Gwinnett.

  • Clemens, William Montgomery. Button Gwinnett, Man of Mystery: Member of the Continental Congress: Signer of the Declaration of Independence: President of the Provincial Council of Georgia. Pompton Lakes, N.J.: W.M. Clemens, 1921.
  • Jenkins, Charles Francis. Button Gwinnett, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. 1926. Reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1974.
  • ------. The Gwinnett Bible. Philadelphia: N.p., 1926.