July 4 ceremony to honor Declaration signers

People gather in front of the Signers Monument honoring all three of Georgia’s Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the final resting place of two of them, including Augusta’s own George Walton, July 4, 2014, in Augusta, Georgia. File/Staff

Augusta will again commemorate its Revolutionary War history this Fourth of July with a ceremony at the Signers Monument, where two of the Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried.

 

Delaware Justice of the Peace James Hanby revived the event seven years ago and makes an annual pilgrimage to Richmond County, where he graduated from Hephzibah High School in 1989, to celebrate.

“This is an opportunity not available to most of the nation, to honor all three of the signers from Georgia at the place where two of the three are buried,” Hanby said, “and to have the chance to experience visiting the home of one of those signers.”

Hanby is descended from John Dickinson, the patriot who refused to sign the declaration but went on to serve as governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The 50-foot obelisk at Greene and Monument streets in downtown Augusta serves as the final resting place of Georgia signers George Walton and Lyman Hall. The third, Button Gwinnett, was buried in a Savannah grave whose location was lost.

Local historian Erich Frazier will speak about Elijah Clarke, the Revolutionary War hero for whom Clark’s Hill Lake was named, Hanby said.

The 8:30 a.m. event will include jazz, solos, presentation of flags and wreaths, several speakers and participation by historic groups and children.

At 10 a.m., Daughters of the American Revolution will host free tours of Meadow Garden, Walton’s historic home in Augusta.

If your group would like to take part in the ceremony, contact Hanby at Signersmonument@gmail.com, by phone at (302) 824-0186 or visit the “Augusta Signers Monument” Facebook page.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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