George W. Towns, Governor

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George Washington Bonaparte Towns

Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: Wilkes County, Georgia
Death: 1854 (53)
Place of Burial: Rose Hill Cemetery Macon Bibb County Georgia
Immediate Family:

Son of John George Towns and Margaret Hardwick
Husband of Margaret Jane Towns and Mary Winston Towns
Father of Mary Winston Gaines
Half brother of Luke Towns, Sr. (slave)

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Immediate Family

About George W. Towns, Governor

George Washington Bonaparte Towns (May 4, 1801 – July 15, 1854) was a United States lawyer, legislator, and politician. He was a U.S. Representative, and the 39th Governor of Georgia from 1847 to 1851


Towns was born in Wilkes County, Georgia to Margaret George Hardwick and John Towns in 1801. His parents were Virginians who had moved to Georgia and settled in Wilkes County.

Shortly after his birth, the Towns family moved throughout Georgia, where he received a small preparatory education. He then began to study medicine in Eatonton, but after his studies were interrupted by an injury, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, which had recently joined the Union. There, he studied law and, in 1824 was admitted to the Montgomery bar.

As time went by, Towns continued to gain prominence and in 1826 acquired the Alabama Journal newspaper. During that same year he married his first wife, Margaret Jane Campbell, whose poor health led to her death several days after the marriage ceremony. Following the death of his wife, Towns moved back to Georgia and settled in Talbot County.


In 1828, Towns became one of the original town commissioners of Talbotton, where he also established a law office. During this period Towns served as colonel in the 65th Regiment of the Georgia Militia.

Towns began his 22-year-long political career in 1829 as a strong Unionist and opponent of nullification in the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate. He subsequently served as a U.S. Representative, and the 39th Governor of Georgia from 1847 to 1851.

By the end of his time in politics, Towns had become a radical secessionist who believed the federal government was controlled by abolitionists bent on repressing the South.


Towns died in Macon, Georgia on July 15, 1854, and is interred at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia.

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George W. Towns, Governor's Timeline

Wilkes County, Georgia
Age 41
Age 53
Rose Hill Cemetery Macon Bibb County Georgia