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George Clymer - One of America's Founding Fathers

Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Birth: March 16, 1739
Death: January 23, 1813 (age 73)
Colony: Pennsylvania
Occupation: Merchant, Politician
Significance: Signed The Declaration of Independence (at the age of 37); signed the United States Constitution (at the age of 48); served as the President of Delaware (1777-1778); served as United States Congressman from Pennsylvania (1789-1791); Clymer was one of only six people to sign both The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

George Clymer Statue in Signers' Hall at the National Constitution Center

George Clymer was born in Philadelphia in 1739, but was orphaned at the tender age of 1. He grew up with his aunt and uncle's family, and he was also apprenticed as a merchant under his uncle. Clymer became a successful merchant and an ardent patriot, leading demonstrations against the Stamp Act and the Tea Act in Philadelphia. 

Clymer became an early advocate of total Independence from Great Britain, and he was appointed to the Second Continental Congress in 1776. When Clymer entered the Second Continental Congress, his desire for total Independence put him at odds with many of Pennsylvania's other delegates who were largely comprised of pacifist Quakers and cautious businessmen. But both Clymer and Benjamin Franklin were vocal advocates for Independence and led the Pennsylvania delegates toward supporting Independence. Clymer signed The Declaration of Independence and then remained in Congress until 1777.

In 1780, Clymer was elected to serve in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Then Clymer was named a member of the Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia during the Summer of 1787. At the Constitutional Convention, Clymer helped to draft, debate and signed the United States Constitution. He is one of only six Founding Fathers who signed both The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. 

After the Constitution of the United States went into effect, Clymer was elected as one of the first Congressmen from Pennsylvania, but he held the seat for only one term. Clymer returned his concentration to managing his businesses while also accepting government positions until his death at the age of 73 in 1813.

George Clymer in Philadelphia

George Clymer grew up in Philadelphia, and he spent most of his life in Philadelphia. While he was a member of the Second Continental Congress, Clymer worked at Independence Hall, where he signed The Declaration of Independence. Clymer worked again at Independence Hall when he helped write the United States Constitution in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. From 1790 to 1791, Clymer served in the United States House of Representatives and worked at Congress Hall.

The statue of "The Signer" in Signers' Garden is based upon George Clymer

Today, you can also see a statue of Clymer inside of the National Constitution Center in their Signers' Hall exhibit. A plaque commemorating Clymer for signing The Declaration of Independence can also be found on Signers' Walk on the 600 block of Chestnut Street. Signers' Garden also pays tribute to all of those who signed The Declaration of Independence and/or the United States Constitution, or in the case of Clymer, both of these founding documents! Signers' Garden also pays particular tribute to Clymer since he was the inspiration for the statue of "The Signer" that appears in the center of Signers' Garden. The National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Signers' Walk, Signers' Garden and Congress Hall are all visited on The Constitutional Walking Tour!

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