March 16, 1739 – Birth of George Clymer, American Founding Father

George Clymer, born on this date in history, is considered to be, in spite of few today knowing his name, a Founding Father of the United States, one of only six founders who signed both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

George Clymer reports that Clymer was a patriot partisan and leader in the disturbances in Philadelphia resulting from the Tea Act and the Stamp Act, as well as a Member of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety in 1773. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776 and served several years in such important committees as the Board of War and the Treasury Board. He played a large part, along with Robert Morris, in strengthening the authority of General Washington and improving the provisions of the Continental army.

In 1781 Clymer became a member of the Pennsylvania legislature. He returned to the American Congress in 1788 under the new constitution where he supported the presidency of George Washington. As a member of the four-person Pennsylvania delegation during the Constitutional Convention that drafted the Constitution, he attempted unsuccessfully to regulate the slave trade as part of the Constitution. Clymer himself was a slave owner, at least briefly through an inheritance. He was seven, and the slave died soon thereafter.

As for his legacy, his account in Wikipedia informs us that USS George Clymer (APA-27) was named in his honor, as was Clymer, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, and Clymer, New York. There is a George Clymer Elementary School in the School District of Philadelphia.

Clymer died on January 23, 1813 in Morrisville, PA, and was buried in the Quaker burial ground in Trenton, NJ.

Given his political stances, it is interesting to consider what he read. His library has been cataloged and is online here.


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