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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - William Few Jr. helped Georgia Patriots
roger allen
Roger Allen

      William Few Jr. was born in Baltimore, Md., on June 8, 1748 to William Few and Mary Wheeler. They were poor tobacco farmers, and along with many of their neighbors became bankrupt because of a series of droughts.
      Therefore, nearly the entire community literally moved from northern Maryland to the banks of the Eno River in Orange County, N.C., when William Jr. was 10.
      The Fews became active in the Regulator Movement, in which the "Tidewater" merchants placed heavy economic burdens on the "Back-country" farmers.
      Everything came to "a head" when a large number of unarmed western farmers clashed with North Carolina government militia in the "Battle of the Alamance."
       Brother James was hanged for his part in the affair, and the Few homestead was ransacked by the militia commanded by William Tryon, who was a British soldier acting as the governor of the province of North Carolina.
      After the British Crown began levying heavy taxes on all North Carolinians, they stopped fighting each other and banded together to fight their new enemy, the British Army and its colonial administrators.
      Few left North Carolina to go join his relatives already there in Georgia in 1775. Here, Few joined the Richmond County militia united commanded by his brother Benjamin.
      When Georgia was threatened in 1778 by a combined force of Loyalist militias and British regulars based in Florida, Few entered active duty. Unfortunately, the military effort was a disaster, resulting in half of the Americans being killed.
      Shortly thereafter, the British captured Sunbury, Augusta and Savannah. Few rose to second in command of the Richmond County Regiment, which continued to battle the British and Loyalists through 1779.
      A new American commander, Major General Benjamin Lincoln, attacked the British at Savannah, which resulted in another bloody defeat for the Americans.
      Few's Regiment continued to harass the British, keeping much-needed British regulars in Georgia instead in the northern arena of combat. After General Nathaniel Green drove the British out of Georgia, Few returned to his home to assume political leadership in the state.
      Few served in many positions, including as delegate to Continental Congress, delegate to the Philadelphia Convention to frame the U.S. Constitution, member of the Georgia Convention that ratified U.S. Constitution, and as a member of Executive Council of Georgia.
      In addition, he was later elected as state legislator from Richmond County, surveyor-general, senior justice for Richmond County, judge of Second Judicial Circuit of Georgia, trustee of the new University of Georgia, commissioner of Confiscated Estates, as a U.S. Congressman, and as a U.S. Senator.
      After Few moved to New York in 1799 with his wife Catherine Nicholson, who was a native New Yorker, he served as the inspector of New York Prisons, alderman of 8th Ward of New York City, director of the Manhattan Bank, president of the City Bank, commissioner of loans, and as a member of New York Legislature.
      Buried at first in the cemetery of the Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill Landing in 1828, Georgians began an effort to have him moved south, eventually having him re-interred at Saint Paul's Church in Augusta in 1973.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger dodger53@hotmail.com

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