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  • ID: I4234
  • Name: William FEW
  • Surname: Few
  • Given Name: William
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 8 Jun 1748 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Death: 16 Jul 1828 in Fishkill, New York
  • _UID: CAA98F6F9731D5118680EF90A100BA0B0A33
  • Note:
    1. Member Georgia State Legislature 1777-79

    Delegate to Continental Congress from Georgia 1780-85

    Member U.S. Constitutional Convention 1787

    U. S. Senator from Georgia 1789-93

    State Court Judge 1796-99

    New York State Assembly 1802-05

    FEW, William, a Delegate and a Senator from Georgia; born near Baltimore, Md., June 8, 1748; moved with his parents to Orange County, N.C., in 1758; completed preparatory studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Augusta, Ga., in 1776; member, State house of representatives 1777, 1779, 1783, 1793; member of the State executive council in 1777 and 1778; engaged in the expedition for the subjugation of east Florida in 1778; presiding judge of the Richmond County court and surveyor general in 1778; served as lieutenant colonel of the Richmond County Militia in 1779; Member of the Continental Congress 1780-1782 and 1786-1788; original trustee for establishing the University of Georgia in 1785; delegate to the convention which framed the Federal Constitution in 1787; delegate to the Georgia convention that ratified the Federal Constitution in 1788; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1793; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1795; judge of the circuit court of Georgia 1794-1797; moved to New York City in 1799; member, State assembly 1802-1805; State prison inspector 1802-1810; United StatesCommissioner of Loans in 1804; director of the Manhattan Bank 1804-1814, and president in 1814; served as alderman in 1813 and 1814; died in Fishkill, N.Y., July 16, 1828; interment in Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery, Beacon, Dutchess County, N.Y.


    Dictionary of American Biography; Few, William. ?Autobiography of Colonel William Few of Georgia.? Magazine of American History 7 (November 1881): 343-58; ?Senator Few on the First Session of the First Congress, 1790.? American Historical Review 16 (July 1911): 789-90.

    2. William Few Writings and Biography

    Few was born in 1748. His father's family had emigrated from England to Pennsylvania in the 1680s, but the father had subsequently moved to Maryland, where he married and settled on a farm near Baltimore. William was born there. He encountered much hardship and received minimal schooling. When he was 10 years of age, his father, seeking better opportunity, moved his family to North Carolina.

    In 1771 Few, his father, and a brother associated themselves with the "Regulators," a group of frontiersmen who opposed the royal governor. As a result, the brother was hanged, the Few family farm was destroyed, and the father was forced to move once again, this time to Georgia. William remained behind, helping to settle his father's affairs, until 1776 when he joined his family near Wrightsboro, Ga. About this time, he won admittance to the bar, based on earlier informal study, and set up practice in Augusta.

    When the War for Independence began, Few enthusiastically aligned himself with the Whig cause. Although largely self-educated, he soon proved his capacity for leadership and won a lieutenant-colonelcy in the dragoons. In addition, he entered politics. He was elected to the Georgia provincial congress of 1776 and during the war twice served in the assembly, in 1777 and 1779. During the same period, he also sat on the state executive council besides holding the positions of surveyor-general and Indian commissioner. He also served in the Continental Congress (1780-88), during which time he was reelected to the Georgia Assembly (1783).

    Four years later, Few was appointed as one of six state delegates to the Constitutional Convention, two of whom never attended and two others of whom did not stay for the duration. Few himself missed large segments of the proceedings, being absent during all of July and part of August because of congressional service, and never made a speech. Nonetheless, he contributed nationalist votes at critical times. Furthermore, as a delegate to the last sessions of the Continental Congress, he helped steer the Constitution past its first obstacle, approval by Congress. And he attended the state ratifying convention.

    Few became one of his state's first U.S. senators (1789-93). When his term ended, he headed back home and served again in the assembly. In 1796 he received an appointment as a federal judge for the Georgia circuit. For reasons unknown, he resigned his judgeship in 1799 at the age of 52 and moved to New York City.

    Few's career continued to blossom. He served 4 years in the legislature (1802-5) and then as inspector of prisons (1802-10), alderman (1813-14), and U.S. commissioner of loans (1804). From 1804 to 1814 he held a directorship at the Manhattan Bank and later the presidency of City Bank. A devout Methodist, he also donated generously to philanthropic causes.

    When Few died in 1828 at the age of 80 in Fishkill-on-the-Hudson (present Beacon), he was survived by his wife (born Catherine Nicholson) and three daughters. Originally buried in the yard of the local Reformed Dutch Church, his body was later reinterred at St. Paul's Church, Augusta, GA.

    Source: National Archives and Records Administration

    3. From: Posted by Doris Rodriguez

    The Bible of William Few who married Catherine, daughter of Frances Witter and Mr. Nicholson, cites their issue: Frances Few b. 4/20/1789 m. Albert Chrystie of New York 4/1822, d. 3/26/1885 in Hastings, New York. Mary Few b. 12/18/1790 New York. Matilda Few b. 2/22/1794 Ga. M. In New York, Rev. Doc Knox. Albert Few b. 9/5/1797 Ga., d. 9/3/1810, New York, aged 13.

    4. Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904

    The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IV F Fewkes, Jesse Walter
    FEW, William, senator, was born in Baltimore county, Md., June 8, 1748; a direct descendant from William Few, who came to America with William Penn and settled in Pennsylvania. He removed with his parents to North Carolina in 1758 and there acquired his education chiefly through his own efforts. In 1776 he removed to Georgia and at once identified himself with public affairs. He was a representative in the Georgia legislature in 1777, 1779, 1783 and 1793; a member of the executive council, 1777; and in 1778 engaged in the expedition conducted by General Howe and Governor Houstoun for the subjugation of East Florida. He was elected surveyor-general of Georgia in 1778, and in the same year was appointed commissioner of confiscated estates and senior justice of Richmond county. In 1779 he became lieutenant-colonel of the county militia and was actively engaged in resisting the advance of Colonel Campbell upon Augusta, in guarding the frontiers of Georgia and in resisting the predatory attacks of the British, Tories and Indians He was a delegate to the Continental congress, 1780-82 and 1785-88. He assisted in reconstructing the state government of Georgia in 1781; was admitted to the bar in Savannah in 1784; was a delegate to the Philadelphia convention for revising the constitution of the United States in 1787; and in 1788 was a member of the Georgia convention which ratified the constitution of the United States. In 1788 he was elected a United States senator, and drew the Short term, serving from March 4, 1789, to March 2, 1793. In 1796 he was appointed a judge of the second judicial circuit of Georgia. He removed to New York city in 1799, and in 1801-04 was a member of the general assembly of New York. In 1804 he was appointed commissioner of loans. He was an alderman, 1813-14; director of the Manhattan bank, 1804-14, and president of the city bank, 1814. He died at the residence of his son-in-law, Albert Chrystie, at Fishkill-on-Hudson, N.Y., July 16, 1828.
  • Change Date: 26 Jul 2005 at 09:48:14

    Marriage 1 Catherine NICHOLSON b: 7 Aug 1764 in New York, New York
    • Married: 21 Jun or 8 Jul 1788 in New York City
    • Note:
      1. Marriage Notice

      Few, Hon, Mr. at New York, Hon. Mf. F., Delegat in Congress from Georgia, to Miss Nicholson, daughter of Commodore Nicholson (S. June 21, 1788) William Few, US. Senator

      2. William Few found in:
      New York #2, 1740s-1880s Marriage Index
      Comments: The gender of William Few is male. Spouse: Catherine Nicholson Marriage Date: Jun 08, 1788 The following source has been recorded for this marriage: DUTCH REF CHURCH, N.Y.C.

      3. William Few found in:
      Selected Areas of New York, 1639-1916 Marriage Index
      Gender: The gender of William Few is male. Spouse: Catherine Nicholson Marriage Date: Jun 8, 1788 County: New York Co. Location: This marriage is recorded and/or took place at New Amsterdam Reformed Church, New York City, NY. Source Information: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. "Marriages from 1639 to 1801 in the Reformed Dutch Church, New Amsterdam, New York City". 1940. Contains the following information: Pub Info spanning 1639-1801., page 262.
    1. Has Children Frances C. FEW b: 20/1 Apr/Jul 1789 in New York City
    2. Has No Children Mary FEW b: from 18 Dec 1790 to 7 Mar 1791 in New York City
    3. Has No Children Matilda FEW b: 22 Feb 1794 in Georgia
    4. Has No Children Albert FEW b: 5 Sep 1797 in Georgia
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