Walter Terry Colquitt moved to Georgia as a small boy and always considered it to be his home. He attended local schools and continued to Princeton University, where he studied to be a lawyer. Upon his return he joined Samuel Rockwell in Milledgeville to study law. Finally starting his own firm in Sparta, then moving to Walton County, Colquitt became a judge after losing a race for Congress in 1826. By this time he was a brigadier general and circuit-riding preacher and extremely popular in Central and South Georgia, mostly for his strong support of states rights.
After serving on the bench for 6 years he was elected to the Georgia Senate. From there it was an easy step to the U. S. House of Representatives, then the U. S. Senate. Colquitt resigned in 1848 and returned to Georgia, preaching and practicing law.