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William A. Golding

Founder of the Dorchester Academy

William A. Golding was a former slave who was elected to the Georgia legislature in 1868.  He and 33other African American legislators were expelled from the Georgia General Assembly September of 1868. Golding and the others were reseated in 1870 by a second string of Reconstruction laws.  Golding took his job as representative of Liberty County very seriously.  Although he was poorly educated, Golding realized that newly emancipated African Americans needed a school in which to learn.  In 1869, Golding sought and received funds for the Freedmens Bureau to support the Homestead School where his wife taught classes.  He also wrote to the American Missionary Association (AMA) requesting a teacher to help teach the African American citizens of Liberty County.  In order to show his dedication, Golding sold one acre of land to the AMA to be used for a freedmen school.  He worked closely with the school and the teachers throughout the 1870s.  Golding even helped secure $300 for the Peabody Fund in 1875 for the Homestead School, which later became the Dorchester Academy in 1878.  William A. Golding died in Liberty County in 1889. 

The Legacy of William A. Golding

On the northeast corner of the Georgia State Capitol grounds facing Capitol Avenue stands a statue called Expelled Because Of Their Color.  The six foot tall bronze sculpture, created by the late John Thomas Riddle, Jr, is a memorial to the African American legislators who were expelled from the Georgia General Assembly in 1868.  The inscribed names on the base of the sculpture include William A. Golding, founder of Dorchester Academy.