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George Clymer AP-57 - History

George Clymer AP-57 - History



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George Clymer

George Clymer, born in Philadelphia, Pa., 16 March 1739, was a Philadelphia merchant and prominent American patriot. Among the first to advocate complete independence from Great Britain, he became a member of the Pennsylvania Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and was elected to the Continental Congress, serving as one of two treasurers from July 1775 to August 1776. He signed the Declaration of Independence 2 August 1776. During the War of Independence, he fought in the Battle of Princeton and served on many commissions that dealt with the war and financial matters. He joined Robert Morris and others in founding the Bank of Pennsylvania

in 1780. He again served in the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1783 and was an influential member of the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1785 until 1789. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and from 1789 to 1791 served in the First Congress. President Washington appointed him Supervisor of Internal Revenue for Pennsylvania in 1791, but he resigned after the Whisky Rebellion in 1794. In 1796 he served on a special commission that negotiated a treaty with the Greek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia. George Clymer enjoyed a wide reputation for patriotism, learning, and ability in financial matters. He died in Morrisville, Pa., 23 January 1813.

(AP~57: dp. 11,058; 1. 489'; b. 69'6"; dr. 27'4"; s. 18.4 k.; cpl. 512; trp. 1,304; a. 1 5", 4 3", 8 20mm., 4 .50 cal. mg.; cl. Arthur Middleton; T. C3 P)

George Clymer (AP-57) was laid down as African Planet under Maritime Commission contract 28 October 1940 by Ingalls Shipbuilding Co., Pascagoula, Miss.; launched 27 September 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Kathryn Stapleton, renamed George Clymer 9 January 1942, acquired by the Navy 15 June 1942; and commissioned the same day, Captain Arthur T. Moen in command.

George Clymer sailed 21 June via Charleston to Norfolk where she arrived 30 July for training in Chesapeake Bay. She embarked 1,400 men of the 9 th Infantry Division and departed 23 October for the amphibious invasion of French Morocco. After joining Rear Admiral Monroe Kelley's Northern Attack Group off the Moroccan coast 7 November, at midnight 8 November she debarked assault troops on special net-cutting and scouting missions against garrisons at Mehedia and the fortress Kasba. Just before dawn the first wave of troops hit the beach and encountered resistance from the Vichy French. Enemy shore batteries fired on the assembled transports and straddled George Clymer before she opened the range. Hard fighting continued ashore until 11 November. George Clymer debarked troops, unloaded cargo, and treated casualties until 15 November when she sailed to Casablanca to complete of off loading cargo. She departed for the United States the 17th, arriving Norfolk 30 November.

After embarking more than 1,300 Seabees, George Clymer sailed 17 December for the Pacific. One of the first transports to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific, she reached Noumea, New Caledonia, 18 January 1943; sailed 23 January for the Fiji Islands, and arrived Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 30 January. Redesignated (APA-27) on 1 February, she sailed in convoy 5 February for Guadalcanal, Solomons, where she arrived the 7th to debark reinforcements and embark casualties and Japanese prisoners of! war. During almost the next 9 months she sailed the Southwest Pacific, carrying cargo and rotating troops from bases in New Zealand, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the Fijis to Guadalcanal. On 19 April she evacuated 38 Chinese and Fijian women and children, who had hidden from the Japanese for more than a year, from Guadalcanal and transported them to Noumea.

As flagship of Rear Admiral T. S. Wilkinson's 3d Amphibious Force, George Clymer departed Guadalcanal 30 October for the invasion of Bougainville. Closing Cape Torokina 1 November, she debarked men of the 2d Marine Raider Battalion before Joining other transports in a combined bombardment of enemy positions on Cape Torokina. She returned to Port Purvis, Florida Island, 3 November; and during the next 2 months she made three runs to Bougainville, carrying reinforcements and cargo from the Fijis and Guadalcanal.

George Clymer continued troop-carrying and supply runs in the Southwest Pacific until 4 June when she departed Guadalcanal for the invasion of the Marianas. Steaming via Kwajalein, she operated off Saipan from 17 to 30 June while serving as flagship of Rear Admiral L. R. Reifsnider's Southern Attack Group. She reached Eniwetok 4 July; departed 17 July for the assault against Guam - and arrived off Agat 21 July. After debarking assault troops, she served as receiving ship, boat pool tender, and medical station for the Southern Transport Group. She remained at Guam until 20 August; steamed via Saipan to Hawaii; and arrived Pearl Harbor 31 August.

Underway again 15 September, George Clymer steamed via Eniwetok and Manus, Admiralties, to the Philippines, where she landed nearly 1,000 troops at Dulag 21 October during the invasion of Leyte. She returned to Manus 28 October; and, following a troop and cargo-carrying mission to New Britain and back, she sailed 11 November for the United States and arrived San Francisco 3 December for overhaul. Sailing 26 January 1945, she reached Guadalcanal 11 February and for more than a month trained for the invasion of Okinawa. She departed Ulithi, Carolines, in convoy 27 March; arrived oil! Hagushi 1 April; then debarked troops and unloaded cargo before departing 5 April. Steaming via Saipan and Pearl Harbor, she arrived San Francisco 9 May.

After conversion to a transport squadron and relief amphibious force flagship, she ,transported 1,200 Seabees to Pearl Harbor from 21 to 27 July. After returning to San Francisco 5 August with wounded veterans embarked, she sailed 12 August for the Philippines. She reached Manila 7 September; embarged nearly 1,000 occupation troops of the 33d Infantry Division; and transported them to Japan, arriving Wakayma 25 September. Between 3 and 21 October she made a similar voyage from Leyte to Japan; then, a~part of the "Magic-Carpet" fleet, between 31 October and 14 November she carried more than 1,200 veterans from Saipan to San Francisco. Between 27 November and 28 December she cruised to Guam and Saipan and returned to San Pedro with homebound troops.

Prior to the outbreak of Communist aggression in Korea, George Clymer supported various naval operations in the Pacific. From 1 June to 20 August she served at Bikini Atoll as flagship for Transport Division 11 during atomic bomb tests in the Marshall Islands. She conducted training operations along the Pacific coast until 15 December 1947 when she departed San Pedro for the Far East. Arriving Tsingtao, China, 20 January 1948, for more than 6 months she operated along the Chinese coast supporting the Nationalist Chinese troops during the Chinese Civil War. She departed Tsingtao 5 August; embarked troops at Guam, and transported them via the Panama Canal to Morehead City, N.C., where she arrived 17 September.

George Clymer returned to San Diego 4 October, and during the next 19 months she operated o~ the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, and in Hawaiian waters. After the invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops, she departed San Diego 14 July and carried units of the 5th Provisional Marine Brigade to Pusan, South Korea, where she debarked them 2 August to help stem the Communist advance at Masan. After returning to Yokosuka, Japan, 7 August, she embarked men of the 1st Marine Division at Kobe for the amphibious invasion at Inchon 15 September. Following the successful landings, she served as amphibious control and hospital ship before returning to Sasebo 29 September with casualties. She returned to Inchon 8 October to embark marines, and on 17 October she sailed for Wonsan, where she landed troops the 25th. Departing Wonsan 30 October, she steamed via Yokosuka to the United States and arrived San Diego 24 November.

George Clymer departed San Diego 4 June 1951 and, after embarking troops at San Francisco, she sailed 6 June for the Far Fast, arriving Yokosuka 20 June. During the next 10 months she supported the effort to repel Communist aggression in Korea; participated in amphibious landings along the Korean coast; rotated troops between Japan and Korea, and cruised Far E:astern waters from the Sea of Japan to the South China Sea to meet the demands of military forces in Asia. On 15 October she rescued nearly 500 survivors from the Japanese merchantman, Kongo Maru, caught during a typhoon at Uku Shima, Japan. She departed Yokosuka 1 April 1952; returned to the United States for 7 months; then sailed from San Diego 12 November for a third deployment off Korea. After reaching Yokosuka 29 November, she took part in troop-rotation runs between Korea and bases in Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. On 27 July 1953, as the armistice which brought an uncertain peace to Korea was signed at Panmunjom, she departed Yokosuka for the United States, arriving San Diego 22 August.

Since the termination of hostilities in Korea, George Clymer has deployed to the Far East on numerous occasions as an important unit of the always-ready force for peace, the 7th Fleet. Capable of carrying combat-ready troops to any beach in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, she had provided vital support during the continuing struggle to meet and repel Communist aggression. Whether in the Strait of Formosa, the Gulf of Tonkin, or along the coast of Vietnam, she has remained ready to intervene promptly and powerfully whenever needed. In August 1964 she cruised the South China Sea in an advanced state of readiness following the Gulf of Tonkin incident. During the summer of 1965 she deployed to South Vietnam, where she participated in amphibious landings at Da Nang and Ohu Lai. At present she continues to bolster the American effort to thwart Communist aggression in South Vietnam.

George Clymer received five battle stars for World War II and seven battle stars for Korean conflict service.


Clymer, New York

Among the new towns taken directly from the "mother town," Chautauqua, was Clymer, organized February 9, 1821, and given the name of the patriotic Pennsylvanian, George Clymer, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The town of Mina was set off from Clymer in 1824 and French Creek in 1829, leaving Clymer an area of 21,985 acres, bounded on the north by Sherman, east by Harmony, west by French Creek, south by Pennsylvania. The surface is a hilly upland, well adapted to grazing and dairying, being well watered. The soil responds well to cultivation and the Western New York & Pennsylvania railroad traverses the town from north to south, with stations in Clymer, North Clymer, Clymer Center and Joquins. Clymer Hill is in the western part of the town.

At Clymer, tanning leather was once an important business, and about 1860 Leonard Kooman established there one of the largest tanneries in the county. The first tannery was built on lot 35 by Ebenezer Brownell shortly after 1830. Walter L. and Loren B. Sessions conducted extensive tanning operations on the Brownell site in later years.

Original Purchases:
1820-May, Win. Rice, 59 July, Gardner Cleveland, Sr., 58
1821-October, Horace and Anson Starkweather, 43 Jos. Wing, 51 November, John Cleveland, 58.
1822-March, Thos. Russell, 50.
1823-January, Leonard Amidon, 52 October, Wm. Rice, 60.
1824-June, Eben. Brownell, 35 Harry E. Brownell, 28 Jos. Brownell, 50.
1825-May, Amon Beebe, Jr., 30 August, Elisha Alvord, 21 October, Jos. W. Ross, 56, 55.
1826-April, Chas. Ross, 56 May, Moses Randall, 23 July, David Phinney October, Jere. Glidden, 3, 8.
1827-March, Darius and Walter Freeman, 47 Ralph Petit, 47 April, Jere. Doolittle, 37 May, David Glidden, 16 June, Samuel Bligh, 32 August, Andrew Glidden, 16 September, Oscar F. and Daniel C. Glidden, 8 October, Francis F. Allen, 2.
1828-May, Alvah Marsh. 40 Archaelaus Chadwick, 1 John Petit, 47 July, Benj. Sullivan, 63 Samuel Ross, 27.
1829-July, Lyman Brown, 26 September, Jere. Chamberlain, 53 October, Urbane Hitchcock, 15.
1830-August, Harry B. Brownell, 28 September, Jackson Johnson, 33 Thos. Russell. 50.

Settlement was commenced in 1820 by Gardner and John Cleveland, who located on lot 58, in the southwest corner. The next year William Rice settled on lot 59, and in 1822 came Horace and Anson Starkweather and Joseph Wing. Eighteen families had located in the territory embracing the original town of Clymer in 1822. Nathaniel and William Thompson, Thomas Russell and Harry E. Brownell came in 1823. The first town meeting was held April 3, 1821, at the house of Gardner Cleveland, where were elected: Ande Nobles, supervisor William Rice, Roger Haskell, John M. Fitch, assessors David Waldo, clerk Roswell Coe, John Cleveland, Alexander Findley, commissioners of highways Ephraim Dean, Ande Nobles, John Lynde, school inspectors John Heath, Roger Haskell, school commissioners Alexander Findley, Roswell Coe, poor masters Ande Nobles, Alexander Findley, overseers of highways William Thompson, Amon Beebe, Roger Haskell, fence viewers, etc. Ande Nobles, sealer Eli Belknap, constable and collector. Before 1830 quite a settlement was made. Here had come and located Leonard Amidon in 1824 Charles Ross in 1824, on Clymer Hill Ebenezer Brownell and Joseph Brownell in 1824 on lots 35, 28, 50 Peter Jaquins in 1825 David Phinney in 1826 Silas Freeman with thirteen children came to Clymer Hill in 1828. His son, Leonard B., resided in this and adjoining towns for many years.

Other early settlers were: Alexander Maxwell, Elisha Alvord, Joseph Ross, Samuel Ross, Moses Randall, Jeremiah Glidden, Jeremiah R. Doolittle, David and Andrew Glidden, Samuel Bly, Oscar F. and Daniel C. Glidden, Francis F. Allen, Alvah Marsh, Archelaus Chadwick, Ralph and John Petitt, Benjamin Sullivan, Lyman Brown, Jeremiah Chamberlain, Urbane Hitchcock, Samuel Wickwire, Charles Brighton, John S. Sessions.

The Cleveland and Rice families had many representatives. Gardner Cleveland, a Revolutionary soldier, had three children and thirtyfour grandchildren. William Rice had twelve children of whom three became prominent: Victor M., born in Mayville in 1818, was educated at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., and from 1848 to 1854 was connected with the city schools of Buffalo, and in 1854 city superintendent. From 1854 to 1867 he was State Superintendent of Public Instruction William S., for twenty-one years teacher in Buffalo city schools, and several years city superintendent of Buffalo schools. Emily A., long principal of Yonkers Female Seminary. William Rice was many years a justice, and in 1840 was one of the three representatives of the county in the State Assembly.

Ira F. Gleason (whose father Ira settled early in French Creek, coming from Connecticut), came from Madison county in 1831 to French Creek, thence in 1837 to Clymer Village and engaged in trade, which he conducted continuously for twenty years. He held many important offices-justice, supervisor, etc. Young gives the early merchants thus: "The first store is said to have been kept by John Stow in 1823. John Heath and Joseph H. Williams succeeded him. Alvin Williams succeeded them, and also kept an inn, the first in town in 1826. Later were Gardner Cleveland, Jr., and Howard Blodgett Ira F. Gleason and John Williams Gleason and Stephen W. Steward Stephen W. Steward Ayers & Blood. In 1875 William B. Blodgett and Arthur Beach were general merchants Ayers & Coffin, druggists Willis D. Gallup & Son, hardware and stoves."

One of the early and industrious pioneers of Clymer was Peter Jaquins, a soldier in the War of 1812. He moved from Guilford, Chenango county, to Cattaraugus county in 1820. In 1824 he bought a lot in Clymer, and in 1825 made his home here and erected the first saw and grist mills in the town. He was an excellent hunter, and it is said "that he captured nearly one hundred wolves previous to 1812, for which he received an average bounty of twelve dollars per head." His children were: Bruce, who located near his father Edward, who went to Kansas Wallace Art, a farmer and cattle dealer, who married Frances Vrooman Elizabeth. The name of this enterprising pioneer is perpetuated in the post office called Jaquins.


James, John and David Petitt, brothers, emigrants, arrived at New York about 1789 to become citizens of the New World. One of them settled on Long Island, one located in New Jersey and James made his home on the west shore of Lake Champlain. Here his son Ralph was born at Willsborough, Essex county. Ralph when a young man went to Genesee county, where he married Julia Lyons, March 25, 1827, and the next month the young couple came to Clymer and commenced housekeeping in the primitive house erected on Mr. Petitt's location on lot 47, on Clymer Hill. Mr. Petitt was thereafter a lifelong resident of the town and held numerous local offices. Ten of his children attained maturity.

Lyman Brown, a native of Kingston, Pa., born May 30, 1801, subsequently was a resident of Hamburg, Erie county. In 1820 he bought land on lot 26 in Clymer, and in 1831 became a settler of the town, where he resided until his death in 1873 his wife died the same year. Mr. Brown was extensively engaged in cattle dealing, was supervisor in 1848, and held other town offices. His sons were Jesse, Martin, Homer. Jesse was born May 9, 1825, in Erie county, married Louisa Bligh, of North Clymer in 1851 he followed the vocation of his father, served as town superintendent, supervisor several years, inspector of elections many years, and loan commissioner several terms.

In 1832 Gideon Brockway, with his wife and four children, removed from Southampton, Mass., to Clymer, purchased a farm and resided here until his death. His youngest son, Richard B., accompanied his father and made Clymer his home. Beman, oldest son, came a year later to visit his parents, and as he says, "in the winter of 1833 I taught a district school in Clymer, for which I was about as well qualified as the average citizen is to edit a newspaper. However, I made out to stand the occupation three months, which were the longest ones I remember to have passed in my whole life." Mr. Brockway proved his ability to "edit a newspaper" not many years after, by making a success of the "Mayville Sentinel," which he edited and published for ten years. He was on the editorial staff of the "New York Tribune" with such men as Horace Greeley and Charles A. Dana as companions. At the time of his death, December, 1892, he was the oldest newspaper editor and publisher of the State, and the owner of the "Watertown Daily and Weekly Times." In him all elements of a strong character were so united as to cause one to say, "He was a man!'

Williard McKinstry writes in the "Fredonia Censor" in 1885 this of the town:


"The dwellings fifty years ago were mostly of logs. Some noted characters have lived in this vicinity. Horace Greeley's parents about two miles from the village, and this was their post office address. J. G. Cleveland, since connected with the New York "Tribune," spent his boyhood days here. William Rice, a member of the Legislature in 1840, was the village blacksmith, and his son, Hon. Victor M. Rice, has since occupied a prominent position as State Superintendent of Public Instruction and was the founder of the free school system of this State. He struggled to get an education. His first school books were bought by his going to the woods and cutting wood for the ashery and drawing it there with a pair of steers which he had broken, made the exchange with my uncle who then carried it on. Hon. Silas Terry, a most worthy citizen, held a seat in the Legislature of 1840, and his son, L. S. Terry, who has been Supervisor several times, is one of the progressive farmers of the town. When Senator Lorenzo Morris first commenced practicing law he opened an office over Ira F. Gleason's store in Clymer, and Stephen W. Steward did mercantile business here before founding the First National Bank of Corry. It is a prosperous agricultural town, and the railroad and the building up of the City of Corry, eight miles distant, have given it a good market and prosperity. It has an excellent soil and contains many splendid farms. Hon. WaIter L. and Loren B. Sessions passed their youthful days with their father, John S. Sessions, an early settler on a farm in this town, and have always had a strong support here in their political aspirations. Although a small town Clymer has exerted an important influence at times in politics of the State through the men who have lived here."

Garrett Slotboom, a Hollander, came to Clymer in 1850, and died here in 1885. He had served his time in the Dutch army, married a daughter of John Nuytinck. His son, John A., was born in Holland, educated in the Clymer schools, and assisted his father in farming. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company D, 112th Regiment, New York Volunteers, and served until the close of the war. He was wounded at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1, 1864. In i866 he commenced merchandising at Clymer Hill, continued twenty-five years, then located at Clymer Village. He served as justice of the peace and supervisor. He married Magdelene, a daughter of Peter Kooman (who settled in Clymer about 1858. He was born near Antwerp, Holland, emigrated to Buffalo in 1847. He died January 6, 1879). The Hollanders, many of whom have made their homes in the town, are useful and worthy citizens. Hon. G. W. Patterson, the land agent, it is said, was so impressed with the value of obtaining such frugal, honest and industrious people as residents, that he made extra inducements to secure their coming. About 1846 the first nucleus was formed here and now a large percentage of the town's best citizens are of this stock.

John Steward, Jr., settled in Harmony in 1821 and had a large family his sons were, John, Stephen W., Eliphalet, and Alfred W. Stephen W. was for some years a. merchant in Clymer and was later one of the most prominent in founding the First National Bank in Corry, Pennsylvania. Alfred W., a farmer and cattle dealer, resided in the village. Sardius located in Harmony and was prominent.

Otis D. Hinckley was a resident of Clymer since 1850 and one of the town's most active and useful residents. He was for a time a merchant, but long and extensively employed as a surveyor. He was almost continually in office as justice of the peace, was justice of sessions of the county court, represented the First Assembly District in the State Legislature of 1875 and served as clerk of the Board of Supervisors for twenty years with marked ability.

William Emery, son of Gilbert Emery, an early settler of Harmony, born in Harmony, April 19, 1840, was a farmer and lawyer, and long held the office of justice of the peace and other positions of trust. Byron King, son of James King, another son of Clymer, was one of its most substantial citizens. Maurice Smith, son of Walker Smith, was also born in the town, and a farmer. J. B. Johnson was also a farmer and a lumberman. Other residents who have been of local importance were Hon. Silas Terry, Artemas Ross, Esq., James Wiltsie, Daniel Huribut, John B. Knowlton, H. E. Brownell, Jesse Brown, W. D. Gallup, Otis D. Hinckley, Ira E., William B. and Charles S. Gleason, Stephen W. Steward, Charles Brightman, Hartson S. Ayer, and John Bidwell, who headed the national ticket of the Prohibition Party, was a native of the town.

The religious denominations are: Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, United Brethren and Dutch Reformed. A good interest has been manifested in education, and, besides the district schools, a union school of three departments is conducted at Clymer Village.

Young carefully gathered facts concerning the early mills. He says in 1875:


"The first sawmill was built by Peter Jaquins in 1825 be added a gristmill the next year. Eight years after both were burned. A new sawmill was built and eight years thereafter that was burned and Mr. Jaquins again built one, which he subsequently sold to Porter Damon and John Williams, who also built a gristmill. Williams sold his interest to Damon. The mill passed to his sons, Loren and Andrew. The latter sold to Hartson S. Ayer & Brother and the sawmill was sold to Hall & Shepard. Hall sold to Welch and Shepard & Welch erected a large three-story planing and shingle mill. William Rice built a gristmill below the village on the west branch of the Broken-Straw and sold it to Judson Hurlbut, who built a sawmill. Daniel Huribut built a sawmill on Big Broken-Straw, on lot 50, a mile below the Shepard & Welch mill. John B. Knowlton now owns the mill, with machinery for planing, turning and the manufacture of agricultural implements. Thomas Card built a sawmill on lot 20, where he still owns a mill. James Upton built a sawmill on lot 45 the dam is built of stone from a large quarry near the mill. B. Parker early built a mill on lot 9. A stream sawmill was built by Shepard & Havens at Clymer Station, and is now owned by William Havens. A stream mill has also been recently built near the center of the town by Charles Maxwell and Joshua Hatton."

Clymer Village and station are practically one place, which is a thriving place of trade.

The first physician was Dr. Roswell F. Van Buren, who was in practice from 1826 to 1836, when he moved to Carroll. Dr. S. G. Peck settled early on 'lot 6, and practiced many years. Dr. Harvey A. Phinney succeeded to Dr. Van Buren's practice and continued a physician until his death in the fifties. Later were Drs. George R. Spratt, J. M. McWharf, Artemas Ross, L. P. McCray and others.

Supervisors-1821, Ande Nobles 1822-23, John Heath 1824-27, Gardner Cleveland 1828, A. S. Underwood 1829, Alex. Wilson, Jr. 1830, John Heath 1831-24, Wm. Rice 1833, Harvey A. Phinney 1836-39, Wm. Rice 1840, Ira F. Gleason 1841-42, Wm. Rice 1843-44, Moses Randall 1845, Wm. Rice 1846-47, Samuel Bly 1848, Lyman Brown 1849-50, Chas. Brightman 1851*55, Stephen W. Steward 1856, Jesse Brown 1857, Stephen W. Steward 1858-59, Chas. Brightman 1860, Herules Rice 1861, L. S. Terry 1862-63, Hartson S. Ayer 1864-67, Joshua Hatton 1868-70, Hartson S. Ayer 1871-72, Jesse Brown 187374, Otis J. Green 1875, Jesse Brown 1876-78, O. D. Hinckley 1879-82, Lawyer S. Terry 1883-89, John A. Slotboom 1890-96, James D. Gallup 1897-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20, Lorenzo P. McCray, who in 1914-15-16-17, was chairman pro tem. of the board and in 1918-19 was its capable chairman. He is now serving his twenty-fourth term on the board, only one other member Joseph A. McGinnies having served a longer term.

Clymer reported to the State census bureau in 1915 a population of 1,316 citizens and 25 aliens. The Mohawk Condensed Milk Company of Clymer was reported as employing 31 hands, and four small factories employing eleven hands were operated within the town limits. The full value of real estate in the town in 1918 was $970,726 assessed value, $761,603.


Contents

George Clymer sailed 21 June via Charleston to Norfolk, Virginia where she arrived 30 July for training in Chesapeake Bay. She embarked 1,400 men of the 9th Infantry Division and departed 23 October for French Morocco.

Invasion of French Morocco [ edit ]

After joining Rear Admiral Monroe Kelley's Northern Attack Group off the Moroccan coast 7 November, at midnight 8 November she debarked assault troops on special net-cutting and scouting missions against garrisons at Mehedia and the fortress Kasba. Just before dawn the first wave of troops hit the beach and encountered resistance from the Vichy French. Enemy shore batteries fired on the assembled transports and straddled George Clymer before she opened the range. Hard fighting continued ashore until 11 November. George Clymer debarked troops, unloaded cargo, and treated casualties until 15 November when she sailed to Casablanca to complete offloading cargo. She departed for the United States the 17th, arriving at Norfolk 30 November.

Transfer to the Pacific [ edit ]

After embarking more than 1,300 Seabees, George Clymer sailed 17 December for the Pacific. One of the first transports to serve in both the Atlantic and Pacific, she reached Nouméa, New Caledonia, 18 January 1943 sailed 23 January for the Fiji Islands, and arrived Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 30 January. Redesignated (APA-27) on 1 February, she sailed in convoy 5 February for Guadalcanal, Solomons, where she arrived the 7th to debark reinforcements and embark casualties and Japanese prisoners of war. During almost the next 9 months she sailed the Southwest Pacific, carrying cargo and rotating troops from bases in New Zealand, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and the Fijis to Guadalcanal. On 19 April she evacuated 38 Chinese and Fijian women and children, who had hidden from the Japanese for more than a year, from Guadalcanal and transported them to Nouméa.

Invasion of Bougainville [ edit ]

As flagship of Rear Admiral Theodore Stark Wilkinson's 3rd Amphibious Force, George Clymer departed Guadalcanal 30 October for the invasion of Bougainville. Closing Cape Torokina 1 November, she disembarked men of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion before joining other transports in a combined bombardment of enemy positions on Cape Torokina. She returned to Port Purvis on Florida Island in the Solomons, on 3 November and during the next two months she made three runs to Bougainville, carrying reinforcements and cargo from the Fijis and Guadalcanal.

Invasion of the Marianas [ edit ]

George Clymer continued troop-carrying and supply runs in the Southwest Pacific until 4 June 1944 when she departed Guadalcanal for the invasion of the Marianas. Steaming via Kwajalein, she operated off Saipan from 17 to 30 June while serving as flagship of Rear Admiral Lawrence Fairfax Reifsnider's Southern Attack Group. She reached Eniwetok 4 July departed 17 July for the assault against Guam - and arrived off Agat 21 July. After debarking assault troops, she served as receiving ship, boat pool tender, and medical station for the Southern Transport Group. She remained at Guam until 20 August steamed via Saipan to Hawaii and arrived Pearl Harbor 31 August.

Invasion of Leyte [ edit ]

Underway again 15 September, George Clymer steamed via Eniwetok and Manus, Admiralties, to the Philippines, where she landed nearly 1,000 troops at Dulag 21 October during the battle of Leyte. She returned to Manus 28 October and, following a troop and cargo-carrying mission to New Britain and back, she sailed 11 November for the United States and arrived San Francisco 3 December for overhaul.

Invasion of Okinawa [ edit ]

Sailing 26 January 1945, she reached Guadalcanal 11 February and for more than a month trained for the invasion of Okinawa. She departed Ulithi, Carolines, in convoy 27 March arrived off Hagushi 1 April then debarked troops and unloaded cargo before departing 5 April. Steaming via Saipan and Pearl Harbor, she arrived San Francisco 9 May.

After conversion to a transport squadron and relief amphibious force flagship, she transported 1,200 Seabees to Pearl Harbor from 21 to 27 July. After returning to San Francisco 5 August with wounded veterans embarked, she sailed 12 August for the Philippines.

After hostilities [ edit ]

She reached Manila 7 September embarked nearly 1,000 occupation troops of the 33rd Infantry Division and transported them to Japan, arriving Wakayama 25 September. Between 3 and 21 October she made a similar voyage from Leyte to Japan then, as part of the Operation Magic Carpet fleet, between 31 October and 14 November she carried more than 1,200 veterans from Saipan to San Francisco. Between 27 November and 28 December she cruised to Guam and Saipan and returned to San Pedro, California with homebound troops.


A Biography of George Clymer 1739-1813

Clymer was orphaned in 1740, only a year after his birth in Philadelphia. A wealthy uncle reared and informally educated him and advanced him from clerk to full-fledged partner in his mercantile firm, which on his death he bequeathed to his ward. Later Clymer merged operations with the Merediths, a prominent business family, and cemented the relationship by marrying his senior partner's daughter, Elizabeth, in 1765.

Motivated at least partly by the impact of British economic restrictions on his business, Clymer early adopted the Revolutionary cause and was one of the first to recommend independence. He attended patriotic meetings, served on the Pennsylvania council of safety, and in 1773 headed a committee that forced the resignation of Philadelphia tea consignees appointed by Britain under the Tea Act. Inevitably, in light of his economic background, he channeled his energies into financial matters. In 1775-76 he acted as one of the first two Continental treasurers, even personally underwriting the war by exchanging all his own specie for Continental currency.

In the Continental Congress (1776-77 and 1780-82) the quiet and unassuming Clymer rarely spoke in debate but made his mark in committee efforts, especially those pertaining to commerce, finance, and military affairs. During the War for Independence, he also served on a series of commissions that conducted important field investigations. In December 1776, when Congress fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore, he and George Walton and Robert Morris remained behind to carry on congressional business. Within a year, after their victory at the Battle of Brandywine, Pa. (September 11, 1777), British troops advancing on Philadelphia detoured for the purpose of vandalizing Clymer's home in Chester County about 25 miles outside the city. His wife and children hid nearby in the woods.

After a brief retirement following his last term in the Continental Congress, Clymer was reelected for the years 1784-88 to the Pennsylvania legislature, where he had also served part time in 1780-82 while still in Congress. As a state legislator, he advocated a bicameral legislature and reform of the penal code and opposed capital punishment. At the Constitutional Convention, where he rarely missed a meeting, he spoke seldom but effectively and played a modest role in shaping the final document.


George Clymer 1739 - 1813

George Clymer was born in Philadelphia in 1739. His father Christopher Clymer, a sea captain and an Episcopalian, and his mother Deborah Fitzwater, a disowned Quaker, died by 1746. As a result, Clymer was raised by his aunt Hannah Coleman and her husband William Coleman, a wealthy Quaker merchant and one of Penn’s founders and first trustees. After apprenticing in an accounting house, George Clymer established himself as a merchant in the late 1750s. He came into a substantial inheritance at the death of his uncle in 1769.

In 1767 Clymer was made a City Councilman, and later a City Alderman. An early supporter of independence, he served on a number of local revolutionary committees and in 1775 was appointed a joint treasurer of the fledgling nation. As an elected member of the Continental Congresses, Clymer signed the Declaration of Independence.

After the Revolution Clymer served as a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1785-1788), and later as a member of the Constitutional Convention. Under the new government, he served as a Pennsylvania representative to the first U.S. Congress. During the 1790s he was appointed a federal collector of excise taxes and as a negotiator of a treaty with the Creek and Cherokee Indians. After retiring from public life, Clymer served as the president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and also of the Pennsylvania Bank.

Clymer was elected a trustee of the Academy and College of Philadelphia in 1779, serving in that capacity until 1791 including a stint in 1779 and 1780 as the board’s treasurer. He did not serve as a trustee of the University of the State of Pennsylvania during its existence from 1779 to 1791, but at the union of this institution with the College he was elected trustee of the resulting University of Pennsylvania. He served until his death in 1813.

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George Clymer AP-57 - History

Name:
Indiana County [George Clymer]

Region:
Laurel Highlands/Southern Alleghenies

County:
Indiana

Marker Location:
New Courthouse Sq., 8th and Philadelphia Sts., Indiana

Dedication Date:
September 10, 1982

Behind the Marker

George Clymer was one of the few founding fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federal Constitution. A leading Philadelphia merchant, he used his commercial expertise to combat the financial problems of the Confederation government.

Orphaned in 1740, only a year after his birth in Philadelphia, Clymer was raised, educated, and apprenticed to the mercantile business by a wealthy uncle, Quaker merchant William Coleman. The youngster demonstrated great promise as he advanced from clerk to full-fledged partner in his uncle's mercantile firm. After his uncle's death, Clymer merged operations with the Merediths, a prominent Philadelphia business family, and cemented the relationship by marrying his senior partner's daughter, Elizabeth, in 1765.

When tensions between the colonies and Great Britain escalated in the early 1770s, Clymer became angered by the economic restrictions on his business. One of the first Pennsylvanians to recommend independence, he served on the Pennsylvania Council of Safety, and, in 1773, headed a committee that forced the resignation of Philadelphia tea consignees appointed by Britain under the Tea Act. Channeling his considerable energies into financial matters, Clymer in 1775-76 served as one of the first two Continental treasurers, and helped underwrite the war by exchanging all of his own specie for Continental currency.

Quiet and unassuming in person, Clymer rarely spoke in the proceedings of the Continental Congress, in which he served two terms, 1776-77 and 1780-82. Instead, he made his contributions as a member of the commerce, finance, and military affairs committees. He also signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. When Congress fled from Philadelphia in December 1776, Clymer remained behind with George Walton and Robert Morris to conduct congressional business. The following year, after the British victory at the Battle of Brandywine, Redcoat troops advancing on Philadelphia detoured to vandalize his home in Chester County, about twenty-five miles outside the city. His wife and children hid nearby in the woods.

After the war, Clymer served in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1784 to 1788. There he advocated a bicameral legislature, reform of the penal code, and end of capital punishment. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Clymer rarely spoke, but he did play a modest role in shaping the final document, which also bears his signature.

Clymer then served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the First Congress (1789-91), and as a collector of the much detested excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania (1791-94). In 1795-96 he sat on the presidential commission that negotiated a treaty with the Cherokee and Creek Indians in Georgia. It was during this time that he resided at Summerseat, a two-story Georgian mansion along the banks of the Delaware River in Bucks County that had previously belonged to Robert Morris.

After he retired from politics, Clymer advanced various community projects, including the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and served as the first president of the Philadelphia Bank. Like many other contemporaries, Clymer also speculated in western lands, and donated the land upon which the town of Indiana was laid out in the early 1800s. He died at Summerseat, in 1813 at the age of seventy-three. He is buried in the Friends Meeting House Cemetery at Trenton, New Jersey.


George Clymer Papers, 1745-1848

George Clymer was a successful merchant, well-known politician, and a generous philanthropist, but is today most famous for being a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As a proponent of independence, he joined various local political committees including six of the seven Philadelphia resistance committees. From there, he entered the national political arena and in 1776 was elected to the Second Continental Congress where he signed the Declaration of Independence.

The George Clymer Collection is a small one and not reflective of his varied pursuits. There are twenty-seven documents, most of which are not signed by Clymer those that are signed by Clymer are dated between May 3, 1800 and January 22, 1813. The items represent not Clymer's political activities but his ordinary legal and real estate transactions.

George Clymer (1739-1813, APS 1786) was a Philadelphia merchant, politician, and philanthropist. Today, he is most famous for being a Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. He went from a successful career as a merchant into local and then national politics. As a member of Pennsylvania's Proprietary Party he opposed making Pennsylvania a royal colony. He was an ardent proponent of independence and belonged to several local political committees that actively resisted British policies. In 1776 he entered the national political arena with his election to the Second Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. He subsequently also signed the Federal Constitution, and, as a Federalist, was a strong supporter of Alexander Hamilton's financial plan.

Born in 1739 in Philadelphia, Clymer was the son of Christopher Clymer, a sea captain, and Deborah Fitzwater, a Quaker disowned for marrying Clymer, an Episcopalian. Orphaned at age seven, Clymer was raised by his maternal aunt, Hannah (Fitzwater) Coleman, and her husband William Coleman (1705?-1769, APS 1743), a wealthy and respected Quaker merchant, friend of Benjamin Franklin, and one of the founders of the American Philosophical Society.

By the late 1750s, Clymer was a wealthy merchant himself. In 1759 he formed a partnership with Henry and Robert Ritchie for the importation of European and East Indian goods. In 1765 he married Elizabeth Meredith, the daughter of the prominent Quaker merchant Reese Meredith (1771?-1778). The couple eventually had eight children, five of whom lived to adulthood. Clymer's fortune was greatly augmented when first his maternal grandfather and then Coleman left him substantial inheritances, including land and an interest in the Durham Iron Works. In 1772 Clymer, his father-in-law, and his brother-in-law Samuel Meredith entered into a partnership to form the merchant house Meredith and Sons, later re-named Meredith and Clymer. By 1774 Clymer had the second highest residential tax assessment in Philadelphia and ranked third in gross income from property.

Clymer's high social standing is reflected in his many social and cultural activities. He was a member of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company, and the Mount Regale Fishing Company. He was also a contributor to the Pennsylvania Hospital, the Silk Society, and the College of Philadelphia. In addition, his wealth allowed him to indulge his interest in politics. In 1767 he joined the Philadelphia Common Council seven years later he became city alderman. He also served as justice of the peace for the city and county courts in 1772.

Clymer was an early supporter of independence. He signed non-importation agreements in 1765 and 1770. After the outbreak of hostilities with Great Britain he served as captain of a volunteer company. In this capacity he helped arrange the purchase of gunpowder and oversaw the fortification of Philadelphia. Between 1770 and 1776 he was a member of various local political committees, including six of the seven Philadelphia resistance committees, such as the committees of safety, of correspondence, and of inspection and observation. On at least two occasions he traveled to Boston, where he met Josiah Quincy, Jr., and Samuel Adams. He was elected to the state constitutional convention of 1776, where he opposed the plan for a unicameral legislature. He did not sign the new state constitution and became a leader of the Anti-Constitutionalist party. He was elected to the assembly in 1776 and 1778.

In 1776 he was elected to the Second Continental Congress and in consequence signed the Declaration of Independence. He sat on the Board of Treasury and the Board of War, and he was a member of the three-man executive committee that remained in Philadelphia after Congress fled to Baltimore. In 1777 his house in Chester County was looted and burned by British soldiers.

Clymer was reelected to Congress in February 1777, but failed in his bid for reelection in September 1777. Instead he was sent as a commissioner to Fort Pitt to help alleviate tensions between Native Americans and European settlers there. Clymer came away from this mission with s sense of sympathy for Native American apprehensions about the advance of settlement. He also developed strong anti-frontiersmen sentiments.

In 1780 Clymer served as co-director of the Pennsylvania Bank, a non-profit, subscription-based organization that had been founded to secure provisions for the troops. In 1780 and 1781 he was again elected to Congress. During this time he was a member of the finance committee and the committee charged with requesting the southern states to comply with the requisitions of Congress. In 1782 he moved his family to Princeton, New Jersey, apparently to have his sons educated there. However, within two years he was back in Philadelphia.

After the war he was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1785 to 1788, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was elected as a pro-administration candidate to the First Congress in 1789 where he served as chairman of the Committee on Elections. Clymer was a strong supporter of locating the federal capital in Philadelphia, and a leading advocate of Alexander Hamilton's financial program. One of his last - and least successful - political appointments was federal revenue inspector for Pennsylvania in 1791. He was responsible for collecting the federal excise on spirits, a tax that was particularly unpopular in the western counties. Widespread opposition prevented him from collecting the tax, and, unable to diffuse the growing protests that became the Whiskey Insurrection, he resigned in 1794. (His son Meredith was one of the troops dispatched to western Pennsylvania by President Washington to put down the rebellion.) The following year George Washington assigned him to a commission that in 1796 negotiated the Treaty of Coleraine with the Creeks of Georgia. His close friend Benjamin Rush gave him a list with queries about the Indian customs and habits that Clymer completed and returned, with some comments of his own.

Clymer's business ventures during and after war served to increase his wealth. In 1779 and 1780 Clymer and Meredith engaged in a lucrative trade with St. Eustatius. After his retirement as a merchant in 1782, he focused on his real estate investments in Kentucky, New York, Indiana and Pennsylvania. He also served as president of the Philadelphia Bank from 1803 until his death.

Clymer's later years were occupied to a large extent with philanthropic work. He was a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania from 1779 to 1813. In addition, he was an active supporter of the Philadelphia Dispensary for the Medical Relief of the Poor in 1786 and the Society for Promoting the Manufacture of Sugar from the Sugar Maple in 1792. He was also the first president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, founding member and vice president from 1805 to 1813 of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, and vice president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Society, and of the Society for Political Inquiries. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1786. He rarely attended meetings, but he contributed funds toward the construction of its new hall. Clymer died in 1813 at his home, "Summerseat," in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, where he had resided since 1806.

This small collection contains just twenty-seven documents these are dated between October 31, 1785 and June 6, 1848. The majority of these items are legal documents not actually signed by George Clymer, such as deeds, powers of attorney, and financial documents. Those penned by and/or signed by Clymer are dated between May 3, 1800 and January 22, 1813, years following Clymer's political career.

During later life he was involved with the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, and the Philadelphia Bank. His papers, however, do not document his involvement with these institutions either but rather reflect typical legal and financial transactions.

The George Clymer Papers might have appeal for one interested in peripheral information about the founding fathers or signers of the Declaration of Independence.


George Clymer AP-57 - History

Learning makes the man, is an adage too old to be used as a quotation but which time or angels can never stamp with truth. Unless the _man_ is made by the Creator of all good, learning cannot do it. The mental powers of man are as diversified as the soils of earth and as well deserve classification. Upon the minds of some we may pour a continued stream from the fountain of knowledge but like the desert of Sahara they are barren of fruit or flower. Upon other minds laborious efforts produce an improvement but never enrich them. Their upper crust is too light--their substratum too porous to retain the fructifying substances lavished upon them. Others yield a liberal harvest by good culture and become valuable by use. Like the alluvial prairies, others are adorned with fruits and flowers. They only require the introduction of seed to afford all the rich varieties of products that may be desired. Expose them to the genial rays of the sun of science--the germs of genius will immediately spring up--the embryo forms will bud and blossom like the rose.

The mental powers of George Clymer were composed of a deep and prolific mould capable of producing the richest fruits. Fortunately for our country it was not appropriated entirely to ornamental flowers and blooming shrubbery but to the substantial fruits that invigorate and support life. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1739. His father removed to that city from Bristol, England and died when George was but seven years old. William Coleman, his maternal uncle, took him into his family, treated him as a son and made him heir to most of his property. Being a literary man he gave his nephew every facility for the acquirement of a good education. He had an extensive library and rejoiced to see it explored by young George who manifested an early taste for reading and investigated critically every subject that came before him. He traced it through all its meanderings to its primeval source. This trait in his character rendered him vastly useful in the momentous concerns of his subsequent life. He dug deep and laid firmly the foundations of his education--the superstructure was on a firm basis.

From the seminary George went into the counting-house of his uncle and became thoroughly acquainted with the mercantile business in which he finally embarked. This calling was too precarious to suit his equipoised mind. He was opposed to sudden gains or losses--the one elated the mind too much--the other depressed it too low--destroying the divine equilibrium calculated to impart the greatest happiness to man and assimilate him to his Creator. He believed a virtuous equality in life more conducive to the prosperity of a nation than to have the majority of wealth wielded by a favored few. The former tended to republicanism--the latter to aristocracy. He was in favor of equal rights, a patriot of the Roman school, a philanthropist of the first water--opposed to all monopolies. His genius was of that original order, that, like some comets, visit our world only at long intervals. It traversed the circuit of human nature, metaphysics, philosophy, physiology, ethics and general science without an apparent effort--drawing from each conclusions peculiarly its own. He was a _virtuoso_, an amateur, a deep logician and an acute mathematician. A love of liberty was innate with him. His mind was richly stored with the history of other times and nations--he was well versed in the principles of law and government--he understood the chartered rights of his country and felt, most keenly, the increasing infringements upon them by the very power that was bound by the laws of nature, man and God to respect them. He was among the first to resist the oppressors of his country and proclaim to his fellow-citizens the principles of freedom. At the _tea meeting_ held by the people of Philadelphia on the 16th of Oct. 1773, his powerful reasoning, deep sincerity, ardent zeal and enthusiastic patriotism--commanded the admiration of all who heard him. Free from pedantry and naturally retiring--his powers of mind were known only to his immediate friends. From that time his talents were claimed as public property. He was compelled to surrender possession without the formality of a _mandamus, quo warranto certiorari_ or appeal.

When the final crisis arrived--when the shrill war-cry came rushing through the air from the heights of Lexington, Mr. Clymer took command of a company under Gen. Cadwalader and repaired to the tented field. He was a member of the Council of Safety and had served on most of the committees to prepare petitions, remonstrances and other measures of redress. On the 29th of July 1775 Congress called him from the camp to aid Michael Hillegas in managing the public treasury. He subscribed liberally to the loan raised for the public service and placed all the specie he could raise into the public chest and took in return ephemeral paper. His examples and influence caused many to rush to the rescue regardless of consequences. In July 1776 he was elected to Congress after the 4th and on taking his seat placed his name upon the Declaration of Independence. A part of the preceding delegation from Pennsylvania, finding the Declaration of Rights would be adopted, were seized with crown fits and nothing but absquatulating powders promised any relief to the spasmodic attack. As security for the payment of this medicine they put in leg bail and vanished. The people promptly filled their places with men who dared to be free.

In September of that year Messrs. Clymer and Stockton were sent by Congress to visit the northern army and confer with Gen. Washington upon future arrangements. In December of the same year Congress retired to Baltimore in consequence of the approach of the enemy, then devastating New Jersey. Mr. Clymer was one of the committee left to superintend the public interests and brave the perils that were rushing on like a tornado. He was re-elected to Congress and in April 1777 was again upon a visiting committee to the army to confer with Washington upon all subjects that required prompt attention which were neither few, small or far between. In the autumn of that year a fresh momentum was given to the patriotism of Mr. Clymer. He had removed his family and goods to Chester county. Immediately after the battle of Brandywine the tories led the British to his house who destroyed a large amount of his property. His family fled just in time to be saved the worse than savage tortures inflicted upon every prominent patriot's wife and mother they could seize. This sacrifice upon the altar of liberty strengthened him in the cause of freedom imparting fresh vigor to his exertions. Such conduct on the part of the British operated as a talisman in consolidating the colonies in one solid phalanx of unyielding opposition. Its eloquence soared above all words--it was action--action--action--demoniac action.

In December 1779 Mr. Clymer was one of a committee sent to Fort Pitt to induce the Indians to desist from hostilities. The mission consumed four months and was principally executed by him alone, narrowly escaping the tomahawk during his absence. It was found necessary to carry the war into the Indian settlements. During the year after his return he devoted his time in raising supplies for the army then in a very destitute condition. In 1780 he was again returned to Congress and served until November when he was associated with John Nixon in the organization of the Bank of North America which contributed largely in raising the prostrate credit of the government and yet stands upon a firm basis with fair prospects of surviving whilst our Republic continues. In May 1782 he was associated with Mr. Rutledge on a mission through the Southern States to induce them to meet more promptly the requisitions for supplies. During the entire period of the Revolution he devoted his whole time to the service of his country and discharged every duty faithfully. He stood high as an able and efficient co-worker in the vineyard of Liberty and when the harvest was past and the war ended, he retired from the field crowned with living honors enduring as the historic page.

When peace was proclaimed he removed to Princeton, N. J. for the purpose of resting from his toils and educating his children. The ensuing year he was persuaded to return to Philadelphia. He was immediately elected to the legislature and contributed largely in cutting from the old Constitution and laws of his native state the obnoxious branches of tyranny that still clustered around them. He stripped the penal code of its inquisitorial features and originated and successfully advocated the abolishment of death in all cases except for murder in the first degree. He was the father of the salutary penitentiary system now in full force at Cherry Hill near the city of Philadelphia--solitary confinement and labor. It may not be known to every reader that prisoners were formerly compelled to labor in chains, often in public places. The superiority of solitary confinement over all other modes of punishment has been fully demonstrated and is in a slow course of adoption throughout the confines of civilized humanity.

The mind of Mr. Clymer was prolific and happy in plans of usefulness and utility. To benefit his country and better the condition of mankind was his constant aim. To effect this he saw the necessity of reducing every department of government to system and order. American Independence was achieved--to preserve it by reconciling conflicting interests, green-eyed jealousies, incongruous clamors and imaginary evils, was a herculean task only in embryo. He hailed with joy the convention to form the Federal Constitution and had the pleasure of being a member. The result of the labors of that body was charged with a deeper interest than the war-struggle for victory over the invading armies of England. It involved the fate of our infant Republic--then trembling on the verge of ruin. One more plunge and it would have been lost in the gulf of primeval chaos. The conflict was between members of the same family who had fought the enemy in one solid unbroken phalanx--now this band of brothers were separated by local interests and sectional jealousies. To bring the issue to a safe termination it required the deepest sagacity, the acutest wisdom, the most matured judgment, the profoundest legal learning, the most disinterested patriotism, the most exalted charity and the purest spirit of conciliation. Happily for our country and the cause of liberty these noble principles predominated--the glorious work was accomplished in which Mr. Clymer participated largely.

This noble patriot was elected to the first Congress that convened under the Federal Constitution. He was a stern republican in every thing. He was very properly opposed to tacking any titles to the name of any public man except that of the office which he held. Excellency, Honorable, &c., he considered to be what they really are--shadows of a shadow, too vain and imbecile for a freeman. He was wisely opposed to the right of instruction from his constituents because they must decide without hearing evidence or argument and were themselves uniformly directed by a few designing men actuated by motives based on prejudice or ignorance. He could not be made the passive tool of demagogue power or the automaton of party spirit. We greatly need many more of the same sort at the present time. In the organization of the general government he took a very active part. Every subject presented to Congress he analyzed with the acumen of a sage, philosopher and statesman. He was continued a member until 1790, when he made an effort to close his public career. But this he was not permitted to do. Under the Act of Congress passed in 1791, imposing a duty on distilled spirits Mr. Clymer was appointed to enforce its collection in his own state. In Pennsylvania this law produced the _whiskey rebellion_ which required military force to restore order. No display of force could prevent Mr. Clymer from the performance of his duty. He appointed collectors in the different counties, advising the people to submit to the law whilst in force and pursue the constitutional remedy for its repeal if they believed it wrong. During the height of the excitement he mingled freely with the mobocracy when but few men would have been spared if clothed with the same office. When order was restored he resigned his situation. The last public service he consented to render was in conjunction with Colonels Pickens and Hasskins in negotiating a treaty with the Creek Indians which was consummated on the 29th of June 1796. He then retired to enjoy the fruits of his labors without any to disturb or make him afraid. He had periled his life, fortune and honor for his country--he had been her fearless advocate amidst the storms of revolution, civil discord and open rebellion--in his retirement he saw her peaceful, prosperous and happy with the illustrious Washington directing her destiny to fame and glory. The measure of his ardent desires was filled--he asked no more.

Although retired from the more prominent public arena, Mr. Clymer did not seek for inglorious ease--he remained active through life. He took a deep interest in every kind of improvement and to many extended his fostering care. He was a friend to the laboring classes and became familiar with the principles of agriculture and the mechanic trades. Among his private papers are many drawings of plans for bridges, canals, and various kinds of machinery and implements of husbandry with numerous recipes relative to the fine arts. Like Franklin he extended his researches to almost every subject within the grasp of man and extracted the essential oil from each. He always sought for solid substance that was of substantial use. He was opposed to pedantry, pomp and parade. He was what would now be called a plain blunt man. His bluntness was not of an offensive kind to common sense men. It consisted in laconic truth dressed in republican simplicity--a garb that was much admired _then_ but is quite out of fashion _now_--a change of rather doubtful utility. Although he originated many important measures in the national and state legislatures, he seldom spoke in the forum and was often unknown to the public when the author of wise and salutary propositions. He was ambitious only to do good and was not anxious that his name should be wafted on the breeze of popular applause or sounded in the high places of the earth. To be instrumental in benefiting the human family was the _ultimatum_ of his soul.

When the importance of a subject induced Mr. Clymer to rise in debate he was listened to with profound attention. As a speaker his example is worthy of all imitation. Without any effort at refined eloquence he expressed in strong language what he strongly felt. He came directly to the point--adhered closely to it in a strain of keen, cutting, conclusive and laconic reasoning avoiding recrimination--was always brief, often casting into the shade in a few moments the labored and finely dressed speeches of his opponents that had cost them days, perhaps weeks to prepare and hours to deliver. He aimed his blows at the syllabus of their finely spun arguments and often demolished their ornamented superstructure at one bold stroke with the damask blade of sound logic drawn from the scabbard of plain common sense and wielded by the vigorous arm of lucid reason.

This useful man closed his earthly career at the residence of his son in Morrisville, Berks County, Pa., on the 23d of January 1813--most deeply mourned by those who knew him best. He was of the middle size, well formed, fair complexion, with a countenance attractive, intelligent, ingenuous, pleasing and expressive of a strong mind. In the private walks of life he was a model of human excellence. He was proverbial for punctuality in all things, if only to take a walk with a friend or present a promised toy to a child. In conversation he was agreeable and instructive--illuminating and enlivening the social circle with apothegms, aphorisms and pungent anecdotes--imparting pleasure and intelligence to all around him. In all this he was modest, chaste and discreet--avoiding any appearance of superiority, never making personal allusions even to his opponents. He spoke ill of no one and rebuked slander whenever he discovered it. His morals were of the purest order--his philanthropy of the loftiest kind. As a public servant, a private citizen, a kind husband, a faithful father, a warm friend, an honorable opponent and a noble patriot--George Clymer had no superior. He visited the widow and the fatherless in their distress and relieved them. He kept himself unspotted from the world and did all the good in his power. His were the fruits of primitive Christianity as taught by the Apostles. Let his examples be imitated by all--then our UNION is safe.

Source: Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution, by L. Carroll Judson: Copyright, 1854 Available for download at the Project Gutenberg website.


Delegate Discussions: Benjamin Rush's Characters

In February 1790, Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote a letter to John Adams, disparaging the histories of the American Revolution that had been written thus far: "Had I leisure, I would endeavor to rescue those characters from Oblivion, and give them the first place in the temple of liberty. What trash may we not suppose has been handed down to us from Antiquity, when we detect such errors, and prejudices in the history of events of which we have been eye witnesses, & in which we have been actors?" John Adams felt much the same, lamenting in his response written in April, "The History of our Revolution will be one continued Lye from one End to the other. The Essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklins electrical Rod, Smote the Earth and out Spring General Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his Rod--and thence forward these two conducted all the Policy Negotiations Legislation and War . These underscored Lines contain the whole Fable Plot and Catastrophy."

In the context of this conversation, Rush informed Adams that he had written "characters of the members of Congress who subscribed the declaration of independence." These characters are a part of Rush's autobiography, Travels Through Life or Sundry Incidents in the Life of Dr. Benjamin Rush, which was completed around 1800. The autobiography was intended for Rush's children and was later published, but in 1790, Rush offered Adams a glimpse. Read more about Delegate Discussions: Benjamin Rush's Characters


References

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