Updated:
Original:
Year
1777
Month Day
February 22

Archibald Bulloch dies under mysterious circumstances

On this day in 1777, Revolutionary War leader and Georgia’s first Provisional Governor Archibald Bulloch dies under mysterious circumstances just hours after Georgia’s Council of Safety grants him the powers of a dictator in expectation of a British invasion.

Bulloch was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1730 to a Scottish father, James, and his Puritan wife, Jean. He was educated and practiced law in South Carolina, and received a commission in the colony’s militia. Bulloch moved to Savannah, Georgia, in 1764 and married Mary de Veaux, the daughter of a prominent Savannah judge and landholder. He quickly became a leader in the state’s Liberty Party and was elected to the Commons House of Assembly in 1768, to the post of speaker of the Georgia Royal Assembly in 1772 and finally to the Continental Congress in 1775.

On June 20, 1776, Bulloch was elected the first president and commander in chief of Georgia’s temporary government, posts he held until February 5, 1777, when Georgia adopted its state constitution. Just over three weeks later, on February 22, 1777, Georgia faced a British invasion, and the state’s new government granted Bulloch executive power to head off the British forces. A few hours later, Bulloch was dead. The cause of his death remains unknown but unsubstantiated rumors of his poisoning persist.

Archibald Bulloch has gone down in history as one of the American Revolution’s great leaders; he is also known as the great-great-grandfather of America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt’s son, Archibald, and Bulloch County, Georgia, were both named in the Georgia Patriot’s honor.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

U.S. hockey team makes miracle on ice

In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the ...read more

Battle of Buena Vista begins

During the Mexican-American War, Mexican General Santa Anna surrounds the outnumbered forces of U.S. General Zachary Taylor at the Angostura Pass in Mexico and demands an immediate surrender. Taylor refused, allegedly replying, “Tell him to go to hell,” and early the next morning ...read more

Suharto takes full power in Indonesia

On February 22, 1967, Indonesian President Sukarno surrenders all executive authority to military dictator General Haji Mohammad Suharto, remaining president in title only. In 1965, Suharto, a senior army officer, narrowly saved Sukarno from a communist coup. In the aftermath, he ...read more

The U.S. acquires Spanish Florida

Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams sign the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agrees to cede the remainder of its old province of Florida to the United States. Spanish colonization of the Florida peninsula began at St. Augustine ...read more

Tet Offensive ends

The American war effort in Vietnam was hit hard by the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive, which ended on this day in 1968. Claims by President Lyndon Johnson that the offensive was a complete failure were misleading. Though the North Vietnamese death toll was 20 times that of its ...read more

first-10-presidents-washington-promo

George Washington is born

On this day in 1732, George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington eventually led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known ...read more

Gang commits largest robbery in British history

In the early morning hours of February 22, 2006, a gang of at least six men, some of them armed, steal £53 million from the Securitas bank depot in Kent, Great Britain. It was the largest such theft in British history. The plot was well planned. On the evening before, two men, ...read more

Lee Petty wins first Daytona 500

On this day in 1959, Lee Petty defeats Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish at the just-opened Daytona International Speedway in Florida to win the first-ever Daytona 500. The race was so close that Beauchamp was initially named the winner by William France, the owner of the track ...read more

Mussolini wounded by mortar bomb

On February 22, 1917, Sergeant Benito Mussolini is wounded by the accidental explosion of a mortar bomb on the Isonzo section of the Italian Front in World War I. Born in Predappio, Italy, in 1883, the son of a blacksmith and a teacher, Mussolini was well-read, largely ...read more