Colonial Hall -- Biographies of America's Founding Fathers

-Signers of the Declaration
-Signers of the A. O. C.
-Signers of the U. S. Constitution
-Wives of the Signers
-Other Founders

Follow colonialhall on Twitter

Page 3

George Clymer


   In 1784, Mr. Clymer was again summoned by the citizens of Pennsylvania, to take a part in the general assembly of that state. Of this body he continued a member until the meeting of the convention to form a more efficient constitution for the general government; of which latter body he was elected a member, and after the adoption of the constitution, he represented the state of Pennsylvania, in congress, for two years; when declining a re-election, he closed his long and able legislative career.
   In the year 1791, congress passed a bill imposing a duty on spirits distilled in the United States. To the southern and western part of the country, this duty was singularly obnoxious. At the head of the excise department, in the state of Pennsylvania, Mr. Clymer was placed. The duties of this office were rendered extremely disagreeable, by reason of the general dissatisfaction, which prevailed on account of the law. This dissatisfaction was particularly strong in the district of Pennsylvania lying west of the Allegheny mountains, and here the spirit of discontent broke out into acts of open opposition. At the risk of his life, Mr. Clymer made a visit to this theater of insurrection, to ascertain the existing state of things, and if possible to allay the spirit of opposition, which was manifesting itself. His instructions, however, were so limited, that he was able to produce but little effect upon the turbulent and heated minds of the faction. Soon after his return, he was induced to resign an office, which, from the difficulty of faithfully discharging it, had become extremely disagreeable to him.
   In the year 1796, Mr. Clymer was appointed, together with Colonel Hawkins and Colonel Pickins, to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee and Creek Indians, in Georgia. With this object in view, he sailed from Philadelphia for Savannah, in the month of April, accompanied by his wife. Their voyage proved not only exceedingly unpleasant, but extremely hazardous, in consequence of a violent storm, during ,which, the crew were for several days obliged to labor incessantly at the pumps. Having satisfactorily completed the business of his mission, he again returned to Philadelphia. At this time, he closed his political life, and retired to the enjoyment of that rest which he justly coveted, after having served his country, with but few short intervals, for more than twenty years.
   At a subsequent date, he was called to preside over the Philadelphia bank, and over the Academy of Fine Arts, and was elected a vice president of the Philadelphia Agricultural Society, upon its re-organization, in 1805. These offices he held at the time of his death, which occurred on the 23d of January, 1813, in the 74th year of his age.
   The following extracts from an eloquent eulogy, pronounced before the Academy of Fine Arts, upon the character of Mr. Clymer, by Joseph Hopkinson, Esq. may properly conclude this brief biographical notice. After alluding to the election of Mr. Clymer to the presidency of the Academy of Fine Arts, Mr. Hopkinson happily observes: "At different periods of our national history, from the first bold step which was taken in the march of independence, to its full and perfect consummation in the establishment of a wise and effective system of government, whenever the virtue and talents of our country were put in requisition, Mr. Clymer was found with the selected few, to whom our rights and destinies were committed.

< Prev Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next Page >


Designed and Edited by John Vinci
Last modified September 24, 2005