George Taylor: Our Country’s Founding Fathers and Influencing Citizens
Published 2:12 pm Monday, March 14, 2022
Polk County’s Charters of Freedom was dedicated on Constitution Day, September 17th, 2019, in Veteran’s Memorial Park on Gibson Street next to the House of Flags Museum in Columbus. These are full size replicas of the original Charters of Freedom on permanent display in the National Archives, Washington, DC. The Charters of Freedom consist of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
This is an American history educational moment of our Nation’s Founding Fathers and others who made a difference during the Revolutionary War era and how they served our Country. This article is part of a series introducing our Nation’s Founding Fathers and other influencing citizens prepared for us by Dr. David W. Streater, Education Director at Foundation Forward. This is the educational nonprofit organization that made the Polk County Charters of Freedom possible.
There is little information about George Taylor, known as the “Mystery Man.” George was born into poverty in 1716 in Ireland. At age 20, he traveled to America as an indentured servant to Samuel Savage. When Mr. Savage died, George took over Savage’s furnace business and married his widow, Anne. The Warwick Furnace Company thrived in making war materials, and the couple had two children.
Taylor was his own person, as he demonstrated when he openly censured Benjamin Franklin. Taylor believed Franklin did not rebuke Britain strongly enough at the beginning of the trans-Atlantic problems. Starting in 1764, Taylor held many public positions. George was consecutively elected to Pennsylvania’s provincial assembly and helped draft the guidelines for Pennsylvania delegates to the First Continental Congress. Later, he was appointed to replace a Pennsylvania delegate who refused to support Independence, and he also served in Congress through 1777. Taylor did not arrive in time to vote for Independence; he did sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776. Later, George was voted to the Supreme Council of Pennsylvania and served only six weeks as he became ill and died in 1781.
Ironically, Mr. Taylor was one of three from Ireland to sign the Declaration of Independence and one of two Declaration signers who are hardly known. This is unfortunate, as there are historical clues that George Taylor had “one of the most interesting lives of the 56 signers.”
Please visit the Polk County Charters of Freedom setting in Columbus, NC at the corner of Gibson and Ward Streets beside the House of Flags Museum. Visit the website of FoundationForward.com to learn more. Our appreciation goes to Vance and Mary Jo Patterson, the founders of Foundation Forward, a 501(c)c education nonprofit organization, that made the Polk County Charters of Freedom possible.
Teachers are encouraged to contact Dr. Streater for information and complementary student education materials to enhance experiential field trips to a Charters of Freedom setting. Everyone is welcome and urged to obtain a personalized engraved legacy paver for placement at their Charters of Freedom perpetual display. Please contact Dr. Streater (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an engraved legacy paver and free educational materials.
Dr. David Streater is the director of education for Foundation Forward, 501(c)3. He is a retired college instructor/administrator, and a retired probation and parole officer/administrator. David is a criminologist who has an acute history interest, served in the Navy, and is a resident of Burke County, North Carolina.
Submitted by Robert Williamson, House of Flags Museum