Signers share final resting place

George Walton and Lyman Hall -- two Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence -- were not born in Augusta or even the state.

Their remains, however, have rested for more than 150 years beneath a 50-foot pillar in the middle of Greene Street.

Walton, a Virginian who took up law in Savannah, Ga., spent his final years in Augusta at his home off what is now 13th Street. Nearby Walton Way is named for him.

Hall, a minister by training, was born in Connecticut and eventually moved to Georgia. He died on a plantation in Burke County, and his grave was moved to the monument site.

That the Signers' Monument, dedicated July 4, 1848, became a resting place for the two patriots probably indicates the legislative influence of former state Sen. Andrew J. Miller.

The memorial was funded in part with state dollars, and with the encouragement of the powerful Augusta lawmaker.

That two signers to one of America's most hallowed documents would be buried at the same site is unusual, but not unheard of. There are seven signers, including Benjamin Franklin, buried at Christ Church in Philadelphia -- two on the grounds and five in a nearby cemetery.

Button Gwinnett, Georgia's third signer to the document, is honored on the Greene Street monument, but the location of his grave in Savannah has long been a mystery.

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