George Washington Towns was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, May 4, 1801, and died in Macon, Georgia, July 15, 1854. A lawyer and resident of Talbotton, Georgia, Towns served as state legislator, U.S. Congressman, and Governor of Georgia (1847-51). During his administrations he led the fight for the amelioration of the slave code, obtained the adoption of the ad valorem system of taxation, completed the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and became an early advocate of free public schools. Towns wrote Georgia's inscription on the Washington Monument: "The Constitution As It Is, the Union As It Was."