Declaration of Independence Signer, United States Constitution Signer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his mother died when he was a year old. His father, a sea captain, died when he was seven, and young George was raised by his aunt and uncle. His uncle, a wealthy merchant and judge, kept a large private library, and young George learned to love reading while growing up. Under his uncle's tutelage, he soon became a merchant in his own right. An early patriot, he headed the committee to persuade Philadelphia merchants not to sell British tea sent over in 1773, leading to a Philadelphia boycott, and served on the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. Elected to the Second Continental Congress, he was a fierce supporter for independence. Within days of the outbreak of war, he was elected a Captain of a volunteer battalion called the Pennsylvania Silk Stockings, because of the fancy uniforms. Although his unit did not actually fight in the war, Clymer used his merchant business to supply the Continental Army with gunpowder, flour, corn and tents. In 1777, Congress asked Clymer to investigate conditions on the Pennsylvania frontier, and he traveled to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh), where he made the first peace treaty between Congress and any Indian tribe. Married in 1765 to Elizabeth Meredith, he and his wife and family of eight children had to move several times during the Revolutionary War to avoid capture by the British. In 1787, he helped to write the US Constitution, becoming one of only six men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. From 1789 to 1791, he represented Pennsylvania in the US House of Representatives, and later served as the President of the Philadelphia Bank and of the Academy of Fine Arts. He was also a trustee for the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1797, when it looked as if the school would have to close, he and the other trustees took out personal loans to keep it going. George Clymer died in 1813 at the age of 73.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson