Revolutionary War Historical Article

George Clymer of Pennsylvania: Signer of the Constitution of the United States

Editor's Note: This article was reprinted from the August 1984 Edition of the Valley Compatriot Newsletter


George Clymer was the son of an English immigrant and was orphaned in 1740 and reared by his uncle, a close personal friend of Benjamin Franklin. His uncle left him his business and fortune. Through his wife's family, George met George Washington many times in his youth. When the War with England started, George became an early Patriot and was a Captain of a Volunteer Company in Cadwalader's Brigade. In 1773 he was chairman of the "Philadelphia Tea Party", forcing the resignation of all merchants named by the British to sell tea. A member of the council of safety, he became one of the first Continental Treasures (29 July 1775 thru 6 August 1776). He converted all his specie to Continental Currency.

On July 20th, 1776 he and four others were named by his State to replace the five delegates who did not sign the Declaration of Independence. After the battle of Brandywine, his home was sacked by British Soldiers forcing him to leave Chester City for a time.

On September he was named Inspector of the Northern Army at Ticonderoga and advocated increasing General Washington's powers. In 1777 he was named commissioner to treat the Indians at Fort Pitt. In 1780 he was one of the founders of the Philadelphia bank formed to supply the army and was re-elected to the Continental Congress serving from 1780 to 1782. Although a strong supporter of the Confederation, he was a member of the Federalist Constitutional Convention and in November of 1788 was elected to the first Congress. He declined re-election in 1791 but served at George Washington's request, as collector of duty on spirits, and in 1796 helped negotiate a treaty with the Creeks and Cherokee Indians. He was noted for his brevity, both in speech and in his writings.

He lived until 1813.

Back to Index of Biographies

Back to Historical Archives

link to aboutus