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Male 1726 - 1782  (56 years)

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  • Name David CLARKSON 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born 3 Jun 1726 
    Christened 8 Jun 1726 
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 Nov 1782 
    • (1) Reynolds, Cuyler, Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley, Vol. 3, New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1914, pp. 1025-1026:

      David Clarkson, son of David and Ann Margaret (Freeman) Clarkson, was born in New York City, June 3, 1726, died at Flatbush, New York, November 14, 1782. He was given his early education in Europe, and continued to reside abroad until he was twenty-three years old. When he returned to America he engaged in business and had a large trade with many foreign countries. He built a home on Whitehall street, employing therefor Andrew Gaurtier, who subsequently constructed St. Paul's Chapel. In those days lotteries were popular, often conducted by the states, especially when raising funds for educational and philanthropic work, and in 1754 he was the winner of one-half of the capital prize in the lottery for founding the British Museum, which yielded him the handsome sum of $25,000. He added underwriting to his business and became one of the wealthy citizens. When his brother, Matthew, who lived at Flatbush, died, he purchased the homestead and used it as his country seat. In April, 1775, he participated in the meeting of Kings county which chose delegates to a provincial convention. He was a member of the New York committee of one hundred and a delegate from New York City to the provincial convention, in which body he figured prominently. He was one of three citizens who offered to guarantee advances of money made to the colony for emergent purposes, the amount being $7,500. The command of a regiment was extended to him in 1775, but he declined. When the great fight took place on Long Island, in 1776, his house was rifled by the British, and his city home was entirely destroyed by fire, September 21, 1776, at which time the family lost its handsome furnishings and valuable records. Accordingly he removed to New Brunswick, New Jersey, but later returned to Flatbush. He was a member of the first board of governors of King's College, 1754; was an original governor of the New York Hospital, 1770, and both vestryman and warden of Trinity parish, in fact a valued resident of the community.

      David Clarkson married, New York City, May 3, 1749, Elizabeth, daughter of Philip and Susanna (Brockholles) French, grand-daughter of Governor Anthony Brockholles. Philip French was the son of Philip and Anne (Philipse) French, the latter being the daughter of Frederick Philipse. Children: 1. David, born in New York City, November 15, 1751, died June 27, 1825. 2. Freeman, born February 23, 1756, died November 14, 1810; married Henrietta Clarkson; by whom: William Kemble, married Elizabeth Van Tuyl; Charles, married Elizabeth Lawrence; Freeman, married Catherine Balch; Elizabeth, unmarried. 3. Matthew, see forward. 4. Ann Margaret, born February 3, 1761, died November 2, 1824; married, November 16, 1784, Garrit Van Horne, whose married children were: Mary Elizabeth, married James Peter Van Horne; Mary Joanna, married Adam Norrie, of Scotland. 5. Thomas Streatfeild, born April 3, 1763, died June 8, 1844; married, October 30, 1790, Elizabeth Van Horne; he was a partner of his two brothers, conducting a large foreign trade at the northwest corner of Stone and Mill streets in New York, owning a number of vessels; their married children were: David Augustus, married Margaret Livingston; Elizabeth Streatfeild, married David Clarkson; Thomas Streatfeild, married Elizabeth Clarkson; Frances Selina, married Augustus Levinus Clarkson; Ann Augusta, married Clermont Livingston, and the unmarried children were: Frederica Cortlandt, Anna Maria, Frederica, Emily Vallete, Ann Margaret and Mary Matilda. 6. Levinus, born March 31, 1763, died September 28, 1843; married, February 23, 1797, Ann Mary Van Horne, and their married children were: Augustus Levinus, married (first) Frances Selina Clarkson, married (second) Emily C. McVickar; David L., married Margaret De Longy; Elizabeth, married Thomas Streatfeild Clarkson; Levinus, married Mary Livingston.

      (2) Purple, Edwin R., "Contributions to the History of the Ancient Families of New York: Varleth-Varlet-Varleet-Verlet-Verleth," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 9 (1878), p. 119:

      DAVID CLARKSON, JR., second son of David and Anna Margareta (Freeman) Clarkson, and grandson of Matthew Clarkson, Secretary of New York from 1689 to 1702 . . . was born June 3, bap. June 8, 1726. He was an opulent and prosperous merchant in New York for many years before the war of the revolution, but as he was an uncompromising Whig during the war, nearly the whole of his fortune was lost by his devotion to the popular cause. His death occurred Nov. 14, 1782. His wife died June 14, 1808, and was buried by his side in the cemetry [sic] of the Dutch Church, at Flatbush, L. I. They had issue seven sons and one daughter, viz.: 1. David, b. July 30, 1750; d. young. 2. David, b. Nov. 15, 1751, a captain in the Rev. Army, m. Jane Mettick, and d. s. p. June 27, 1825; 3. Philip, b. April 4, 1754, d. young. 4. Freeman, b. Feb. 23, 1756, m. Henrietta, his cousin, dau. of Levinus Clarkson, and d. Nov. 14, 1810; she d. Sept. 18, 1850. 5. Matthew, b. Oct. 17, 1758; a distinguished colonel in the Rev. Army, aid[e]-de-camp to Arnold and Gates, and subsequently known as General Matthew Clarkson; m., 1st, May 24, 1785, Mary Rutherfurd; she d. July 2, 1786; m., 2d, Feb. 14, 1792, Sarah Cornell; she d. Jan. 2, 1803; he d. April 25, 1825. 6. Ann Margaret, b. Feb. 3, 1761; m. Nov. 16, 1784, Gerrit Van Home, and d. Nov. 2, 1824; he d. Feb. 22, 1825. 7. Thomas Streatfeild, b. April 5, 1763; m. Oct. 30, 1790, Elizabeth Van Horne, and d. June 8, 1844; she d. Aug. 9,. 1852, in her 82d year. 8. Levinus, b. March 31, 1765; m., Feb. 25, 1797, Ann Mary Van Horne, and d. Sept. 28, 1845; she d. June 23, 1856, in her 79th year.

      (3) Clarkson, Matthew, The Clarksons of New York, a Sketch, Vol. 1, New York, NY: Bradstreet Press, 1875, pp. 177-186,189-273:

      David Clarkson, Jr., was the second son of David Clarkson and Ann Margaret Freeman, and was born on the 3d of June, 1726. When five days old he was christened in the Dutch church in Garden street, having for his sponsors his uncle, Matthew Clarkson, and his uncle's wife, Cornelia, the daughter of Johannes de Peyster.

      In consequence of the early death of his two younger brothers, and the great disparity in years which existed between himself and his father's other children, except Freeman, David found few playmates at home, and there were not many in the circle of his relatives; and limited as this number was, it became still more reduced upon the death of his uncle, in 1739, and the subsequent removal of his widow and her family to Philadelphia.

      Nothing more has been ascertained of young Clarkson at this period, beyond the single fact alluded to by himself in one of his letters, that he once knew the Dutch language better than the English.

      In 1741, at the age of about fifteen, he lost his grandfather, the Rev. Bernardus Freeman, whose wife had died only a few years previously. He had been accustomed to spend his summers with them at Flatbush. The family was now diminished to the one household, Mr. and Mrs. Clarkson, the subjects of our last sketch, and their four sons, Freeman, David, Matthew and Levinus.

      The two older boys were sent to England, and probably to the continent, in order, as it has been supposed, that they might benefit by that higher education which the Province had not the means of supplying. On this occasion they may have visited their father's aunt Katharine, who was the last survivor of the three daughters of the Rev. David Clarkson. Her death occurred not long afterwards, on the 11th of January, 1757, at Hitchin, Herts, at the extreme age of eighty-four years. Early in the spring of 1749, or perhaps in the preceding year, leaving Freeman in Europe, David returned to America. He had made the purchase, while in London, of "an Italian chaise, a neat Newmarket twig whip, and a green net for a horse."

      Soon after coming home; and before he was twenty-three years of age, he married, on the 3d of May, 1749, Miss Elizabeth French. This young lady was the daughter of Philip French and Susanna Brockholles, and grand-daughter of Governor Anthony BrockhoIles.

      Mr. French had been the owner of a large tract of land in New Jersey, comprising a portion, if not the whole, of what is now New Brunswick, but his fortune at this time was very much impaired. Two of his children were already married, Anne to David Van Horne, whose sister Was the wife of Governor William Burnet, and Susamm to William Livingston, a grandson of the first proprietor of the Manor on the Hudson, and an active and distinguished patriot of the Revolution, called by the British "the Don Quixote of the Jerseys." Mary, the only other daughter of Philip French, subsequently married the Hon. William Brown, at one time of Beverly, Massachusetts, and later of Salem, New Hampshire. Mr. Brown had been previously married to a daughter of Governor Burnet. . . .

      Miss Elizabeth French, now Mrs. Clarkson, was born December 27, 1724, and was baptized in the Garden street church, where nearly all the children of the Dutch and English families received the sacrament. Her sponsors were her uncle, Henry Brockholles, and her aunt, Mrs. Cornelius Van Horne. When Elizabeth was only five years old, her parents went to Europe on account of the delicate health of her mother, but the benefit which with expected to accrue from the change, and from the treatment of her case by foreign physicians, was not realized, and she died while in Europe. It is probable that during the absence of Mr. and Mrs. French their four daughters were committed to the care of their aunt, Mary Brockholles, with whom they continued to reside until they married. Soon after his return, Mr. French married again (in 1731-2) and had issue - a son, Philip.

      In 1749 David commenced to erect for himself a dwelling on the property in Whitehall street, which had been purchased of the city by his father in 1732. Mr. Andrew Guartier was employed as the architect, and if he acquitted himself as creditably in this building as he did sometime afterwards in the construction of St. Paul's Chapel, the house must have been an ornament to the city, and deserved a better fate than in 1776 befell it. It adjoined Mr. Oliver de Lancey's. Mr. Clarkson with his family moved into their new residence on the 25th of October, 1752, the furniture of which, in part, had been ordered from Europe, and embraced a variety of articles, though, necessarily, the larger portion was purchased in the Province. Of the latter, no catalogue remains. In the list of things imported, we find: Four festooned curtains, made up in London, of crimson mixed damask, trimmed with braid and thread lace, with four silk and worsted tassels; four green damask camblet curtains, also made in London, with silk lace and worsted tassels; an elbow chair of Virginia walnut, covered in damask, stuffed and nailed; eight other chairs, in damask, with stuffed seats; a rosewood tea-chest; an eight-day clock, in a walnut case; two large mirrors and two looking-glasses in carved gold frames, and one in a walnut frame; a glass pyramid; a pair of steel dogs with brass heads, and a walnut-tree dressing-glass, and, probably for the hall, a brass frame "lanthorn," with silk cords and brass pulleys. For the table service there was blue and white china, and for ordinary use "burnt china;" three punch bowls, two of blue and white and one of "burnt china;" a dozen flowered wine and a dozen jelly glasses; an equal number of syllabub and cut sweetmeat glasses; a large quantity of bottles, with the initials D. C., and complete sets of metal dishes and plates, with the family crest.

      In addition to all these articles, there were several pieces of silver plate, a library of nearly two hundred volumes, embracing not only the popular novels, but many standard works, and for family use, casks of Madeira wine.

      We now come to a time in Clarkson's personal history when we shall have the advantage of material in his own handwriting. This covers nearly the whole period from the year after his marriage until his death, and embraces his letter-book, his book of general invoices, a memorandum book, and thirteen annual almanacs, the latter comprising most of the years from 1751 to 1769.

      Almost the first entry in the almanac for 1751, reads thus: "Father dyed between eight and nine o'clock in the evening." The record was made on Easter-day, the 7th of April, and on the Thursday following occurs the further entry: "Buryed in the afternoon at six o'clock."

      Passing from this very cursory view of his earlier life we find him suddenly, at the age of twenty-eight, the subject of a brilliant piece of fortune. Already possessed of considerable property, and surrounded not only with all the comforts, but with many of the elegancies of life, he purchased in 1754, in company with Mr. John Riddell, a cousin of the Hon. John Watts, of New York, and afterwards, by inheritance, a Baronet, a ticket in the great lottery for the founding of the present colossal British Museum. This mammoth scheme was directly under the sanction of the Royal Parliament, and had all authorized capital, in shares, of ??300,000 sterling. Two-thirds of this amount were to be distributed as prizes, and the balance was to be appropriated to the purchase of Sir Hans Sloane's collection, and to the erection of a suitable building for it and the Cotton library.

      The ticket was procured through Mr. Thomas Streatfeild, and drew the highest prize, ten thousand pounds sterling. One-half of this sum, or twenty-five thousand dollars in gold, was Clarkson's share.

      Such good news for one of the colonists could not, of course, escape the lynx eye of the Weekly Gazette. Accordingly, we read in its issue of March 11, 1754:

      "We learn by letters, via Barbadoes, from London, that a prize of ??10,000 sterling, in the late State Lottery, is the property of Mr. David Clarkson, of this city, merchant, in conjunction with Mr. John Riddell, of Cura??ao, merchant."

      Unfortunately, we have no almanac for this year; if there had been one, it would doubtless have contained notes not unlike those inscribed on the covers of 1758 and 1759, "Successful 1758 of happy memory," and "Glorious 1759," - in which years the British troops were victorious in Canada and elsewhere, and Clarkson made largely by his insurances and other ventures.

      Clarkson was not, however, dependent upon this turn of fortune's wheel, nor did it alter, in any way, his mode of living. He still pursued, as he had from early life, his career as a merchant, and traded extensively with various parts of Europe. Among his correspondents were Pomeroy and Streatfeild, Samuel and Thomas Fludgers, Pomeroy and Hodgskins, and Joseph Mico, all of London; Thomas Pennington and Son, of Bristol; Daniel Crommelin and Son, of Amsterdam; John Gill, of St. Croix ; Hill, Lamar and Hill, of Madeira, and many others. His importations consisted of tea, coffee, spices, dry goods, and many other commodities required by the colonists.

      His integrity and wealth made his other engagements equally lucrative. As an underwriter of vessels he seems to have carried on an extensive business. No corporate companies then undertook the risks of insurance, and the merchant, not willing to incur the heavy loss which an accident at sea might at any moment occasion, sought to divide the hazard with some other merchant. Those who possessed the largest capital were, for this purpose, most in favor, and from this source alone Clarkson derived a handsome income.

      At what period the design of establishing a college in New York was first seriously entertained does not appear, but as early as October 23, 1746, it was ordered in the Assembly, of which his father was a member, that a bill be brought in for raising by public lottery a certain sum of money for the advancement of learning and towards founding a college in the Colony. The measure was approved at a subsequent session, and received the signature of the Governor before the close of the year. Success having attended this and other means for obtaining the amount needed, it was vested, in 1751, in ten trustees, of whom seven were members of the Church of England, and a number vestrymen of Trinity Church. The large majority of Episcopalians in the board, and an offer subsequently made by Trinity, "of any reasonable quantity of the church farm, for the erecting and use of a college," naturally suggested a "Church Establishment," and apprehensions thus excited caused violent opposition to the plan of procuring a royal charter. Mr. William Livingston, the only Presbyterian among the trustees, was its most formidable adversary. He was a gentleman by birth, and was already eminent by his superior education and by his industry and talents as a lawyer. A declared enemy of all church establishments, he was actuated by conscientious but mistaken views of the design and tendency of the incorporation he so zealously endeavored to defeat. The controversy was continued for some time, and on both sides was a very bitter one, but, notwithstanding every effort to prevent it, the charter, though long delayed, finally passed the seals on the 1st of November, 1754. In the list of "four and twenty of the principal gentlemen of the city" who were made the first Governors of Kings, now Columbia, College, occur the names of David Clarkson and his brother-in-law, William Livingston. Clarkson accepted the office, and thus became associated with his father in the founding of this institution; Livingston could not overcome his prejudices, and refused to take the required oaths.

      In 1757, the subject of this memoir was chosen a Vestryman of Trinity Parish, in which position he remained until 1769. In the succeeding year he received the appointment of Warden, and was again Vestryman from 1771 to 1777. His grandfather, the Secretary of the Province, had served the same corporation in the same capacity.

      Early in the year 1759, in one of the almanacs, occurs this record: "My Mother dyed, aged 52 years and 5 months." This entry was made on Friday the 26th of January, and on the Monday following, the record is confined to one word " Buryed."

      In the preceding summer, on the 1st of June, Matthew had married Elizabeth, a daughter of Abraham de Peyster and Margaret Van Cortlandt, and in time following spring Freeman took possession of the old homestead at Flatbush. There, as a bachelor, with books for his companions and a farm to furnish him amusement and occupation, he spent the remainder of his life. Levinus, the only other brother, continued to reside with David until 1761, when he made a trip to Europe; he returned in the following year, and on the 21st of February, 1763, married Mary, the very beautiful daughter of David Van Horne and Anne French.

      Just before the departure of Levinus for Europe, a settlement of their father's property had been made which yielded in personalty to each of the sons six thousand pounds. The estate further embraced considerable realty in the city, in the county of Westchester, and elsewhere. The following receipt from the youngest of the brothers shows the liberal spirit which regulated the distribution:

      "Received of my brother, David Clarkson, two hundred pounds, which I acknowledge he paid; one hundred pounds towards purchasing plate to make me equal with the rest of my brothers, - the other hundred they generously give me, imagining I have not received so many advantages from the estate as they have by that sum.


      "October 20, 1761."

      During these years the almanacs contain very few memoranda of interest. We learn by one entry that Mr. Clarkson "set out for Albany, in order to go to Montreal and Quebec," but he omits to state the impressions he received from his journey. This record was made on the 12th of June, 1761. Another entry, on the 21st of April, 1762, reads thus: "Ye lamps lit for the first time." The old plan of lighting the city by lanterns suspended from the windows had been abandoned, and lamps and lampposts were erected in the principal streets at the public expense.

      His family, in 1765, consisted of his wife, five sons and one daughter. The sons were David, Freeman, Matthew, Thomas Streatfeild and Levinus; Ann Margaret was the only daughter, and included in the household was her young cousin, Sarah Brown.

      Three years after the death of Mrs. Clarkson's sister, Mrs. William Brown, her two children, one ten years of age and the other six, their father having already died, were committed to the care of their aunts. Anne was sent to Mrs. David Van Horne's, and Sarah, until she became the wife of Edward Hall, of Maryland, remained at Mrs. Clarkson's. The older of the two, Anne, never married, but her cousin David always insisted, in his maturer life and when still a bachelor, that he and Nancy would certainly have made a match if it had not been for some little matter of difference. This declaration, which was often repeated in the presence of Miss Brown, would as often occasion a little confusion of manner and a protest from the old lady upon the folly of David in talking such nonsense.

      During all this time affairs in the Province seemed to be gliding on smoothly, and everything promised peace and prosperity. But it was a deceitful calm; the clouds of the coming tempest were gathering in the distance and preparing to burst with terrible effect upon the doomed city. The people were daily becoming more bitter against their rulers, and the latter still more persistent in enforcing their rigorous policy. "History," it has been said, "does not furnish an instance of a revolt begun by the people which did not take its rise from oppression." The subject of taxing the colonies had for some time been agitated in England. It was argued that as they had a right to demand protection from Parliament, the Parliament in return had a right to enforce a revenue from the colonies. It was asked, by the reputed great master of American affairs, " Will these American children, planted by our care, nourished by our indulgence to strength and opulence, and protected by our arms, grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy burden under which we lie?" "We have power to tax them," said one of the ministry, "and we will tax them." On the 27th of February, 1765, the Stamp Act, which had been long debated, passed the Commons. In ten days it was agreed to by the Lords, and on the 22d of March received the royal assent by a commission. When the news of this event reached New York, copies of the Act were hawked about the streets, with a death's head affixed to them, and this legend, "The Folly of England and the Ruin of America."

      On the night before the dreaded first of November, when the act was to go into effect, the merchants met at Burns' Coffee House, on the west side of Broadway, opposite the Bowling Green, a site which has been occupied within the last few years as a public garden, and there resolved to import no goods from England, and to sell none on commission received thence, until the measure should be repealed.

      In a letter written at this time to his uncle and aunt in Holland, referring to the sale of some lands in the Westchester patent, in which all the Family were interested, Clarkson says:

      "New York, Nov. 13, 1765.

      "Hond. Uncle and Aunt:

      ". . . They are to give Bonds with interest for the exact quantity of acres, at seven per cent. from the 31st October last, with security of a Mortgage upon the said Patent, which has not yet been done, neither do I know when it will be, as a late Act of Parliament deprives us of our liberties, by obliging the Colonies to make use of Stamp-paper, sent on purpose from England, for every Deed, Bond and Mortgage, and in short for every thing, and enacts that they are invalid without it. The Colonies are determined never to use them, so that the Governor, who is sworn to put the Act in force, has not yet been able. The disturbance it has occasioned, and still occasions, cannot be described, all government being at an end. The Mob as they are called by some, the Sons of Liberty by others, obliged the Governor to entrench himself in the Fort, who had the Stamp-paper in his possession. They swore, if he did not deliver it, they would destroy the city, but, before he complied, they did a deal of mischief. . . . This day Sir Harry Moore arrived.

      "For the above reasons, this vessel was cleared before the first of November, and no one knows when another will be cleared, unless they use Stamp-paper, which, the Mob say, it is death to do. . . .

      "D. CLARKSON."

      Ten days afterwards he writes on the same subject to his friend Mr. Thomas Streatfeild, of the eminent mercantile house of Pomeroy and Streatfeild, of Leadenhall street, London. The family resided at Chiddingstone, Kent, and had an ancient and an honorable record. At the time of his death, in 1792, an obituary appeared in "The Gentleman's Magazine," which commended his benevolent and religious character, and extolled his many and conspicuous virtues.

      "New York, Nov. 23, 1765.

      "My worthy friend :

      "I am ashamed to mention how long it is since I wrote you last, being as far back as the 10th August, accompanying Mr. Baker. I hope he is safe arrived. I dont doubt of your usual goodness in excusing me, as my remissness never proceeded from want of affection and esteem, but, was occasioned by the disturbance in putting the Stamp Act in force.

      "Such times I never expected to have seen, the particulars of which you must have heard. Had not the Lieutenant Governor delivered up the Stamps to the people, as he did, most persons believe the city would have been destroyed, as, the Fort had long since been making preparations for that purpose.

      "For my own part, as I am a neighbor of the Governor's, I thought it prudent to carry my children to Flatbush, where they stayed till a capitulation was made. I also packed up my most valuable effects and sent them off.

      "But, thank God, just as affairs were thus situated, our new Governor, Sir Henry Moore arrived, when Colden was, with universal joy, dismist. We are now in peace and quietness, and happy unanimity subsists, which, I sincerely wish may continue. However, I believe it will be entirely owing to Parliament, whether we are to remain so, or, to be a ruined people. If they insist upon the Act being put in force, nothing human can prevent our destruction. We are therefore between hope and fear. Many arguments are made use of to encourage the former, but, the latter spoils our reflections.

      "I should be much obliged to you, to give me the earliest intelligence, of the very smallest appearance, to ground my hopes upon, that those oppressive acts will be repealed.

      "I wish it was in my power to partake of as much happiness as a voyage to England would afford me, but, as I cannot as yet have it in reality, I therefore frequently think of it with a vast deal of pleasure, the result of which is, that it sets me the more earnestly longing.

      "D. CLARKSON."

      The house at Flatbush, to which reference is made in the foregoing letter, had been leased some years previously from Mr. P. Nagel, Jr., and Mr. Clarkson was accustomed to remove to it with his family every summer. Besides being easy of access from the city, it had the additional advantage of being near the old homestead where Freeman continued to reside.

      Whitfield, the famous Methodist divine, was now in New York, and the excitement his visits always occasioned, will account for an entry which appears in the almanac for 1766: "Paid Nath. Fish, for my horses standing in his stable while Parson Whitfield preached." Persons of all sects were attracted by his fame, and whenever it was known that he was to occupy the pulpit, every pew, gallery and aisle were sure to be filled. The very sound of his deep-toned and melodious voice was enough to rouse the enthusiasm of his hearers, and connected with his exciting doctrine, its effect was said to be overpowering. My grandfather, said Mr. Duer, went often to listen to his oratory, and was wont to relate that on one of these occasions, he happened to be seated next to an old lady, whom the pathetic eloquence of the preacher had moved to tears. They flowed so copiously, said he, and were accompanied by sobs so loud and sighs so deep, and withal so indiscriminate, that he was induced to ask her, after the exercises were over, what part of the sermon had most particularly affected her, "Oh! sir," she replied, "it was when he said, 'Gethsemane! Gethsemane!'" Such was the magic of this man's oratory.

      No relief had yet come to the colonies, and their deplorable condition was the burden of two letters written by Clarkson, at intervals of a few months, to his London friend, Mr. Streatfeild.

      "New York, January 6, 1766.

      "My worthy friend :

      ". . . I observed your complaint of the very great decline of business to America and your sincere wishes for its being remedied. This must be the observation and wish of every judicious and well-thinking person, but, believe me, you, nor no one else, that is a friend to America, will ever see our trade to Europe augmented, unless we are relieved from many oppressive acts, particularly, the late unpopular, unconstitutional Stamp-Act. The Colonies are determined for the future to supply themselves with everything this country affords, for which reason, they have established a Fair or Market, fbr all kinds of woollens, etc., giving great premiums for the largest in quantity and best of the kind that is made, and it is increasing daily. Many gentlemen are already clothed with this country's produce.

      "I did not know when I should he able to forward this, as all vessels for some time past, have been stopped by Men-of-War in port, by reason of their clearances not being stamped, but, the inclemency of the weather has obliged the captains of them to lay them up, so that the port is now open again.

      "Notwithstanding, we are still in a sad state, having no law to compel debtors to pay their debts, neither, can we sell Real Estate. Every person does as he pleases. He that speaks in favor of the Act is sure to be hanged in effigy, or, has some threatening advertisement against him. We are suspending almost all business until we hear our fate. . . .

      "D. CLARKSON."

      The following letter is of the same general tenor:

      "New York, March 15, 1766.

      "My dear friend:

      "I have none of your esteemed favors unanswered, having wrote you last on the 6th January, in which I acquainted you with the distrest condition we were in on account of the Stamp-Act, which increases by the length of its continuance.

      "The merchants, I think, never had greater reason to complain of hardships than at present, as they have little or no sale for their goods. The people throughout the colonies are determined to encourage every manufacture the country is capable of, particularly, the making of linen and woollen cloths, which are already brought to great perfection.

      "I am just returned from Jersey, where I had an opportunity of seeing them extremely busy in spinning, as the bounty given, for these articles, by our society, for the most in quantity and the best in quality, is very large. They have had so high a price at the beginning for every thing they made, that it has encouraged them to exert themselves to outdo each other and to get all they possibly can before the Act is repealed.

      "The following manufactories are already established. An Air Furnace for casting Iron pots, Kettles, backs, etc. Several manufactories of women's silk and worsted shoes, which have been judged cheaper and better than those made by the famous Hose. Woollen cloths from seven shillings to fifteen shillings a yard, a scant yard width, which is now worn by the principal gentlemen of the city, who take a pride in it. Shalloon and stuffs are as yet very ordinary and dear. Linen from two shillings to six shillings a yard, and in very great quantity. Pipes, for smoking, made very cheap and neat, of all sizes. Paper, - though not fit to write upon. Paper-hangings. Cutlery, very neat, but dear. Earthen manufactory, dishes, etc., etc., very cheap. Many, for the making of iron into pigs. Another for the making of anchors, etc., of different weights, heavy enough for any of our vessels. Snuffs, of different sorts. Distilleries for Rum, Brandies, Cordials, etc. Sugar bakers in great abundance. Weavers of caps, breeches, stockings, etc., all Germans, - and many others.

      "I sincerely think that the promoters of that measure have done Great Britain a real injury and I believe after we have recovered from the difficulties it has thrown us into, which will be some considerable time, we shall then begin to find the good effects of having everything we want within ourselves.

      "Not long since, a merchant of this place, took a Mediterranean pass from a Custom-house officer, for which he obliged him to sign a Bond upon Stamped paper, for the re-delivery of the said Bond. When it was discovered, it was with difficulty their lives and property were preserved, but, as it happened to be their first offence, they were permitted to go into the fields, amid thousands of spectators and from a stand to beg pardon, promising never to do the like again.

      "We are waiting, with the greatest expectation imaginable, the arrival of the packet, to hear the agreeable news of the Act being suspended or repealed.

      "Last week, the Sons of Liberty, as they style themselves, made an effigy of a late unpopular Lieutenant Governor, which they called by the name of the Rebel Drummer. This they mounted upon a cannon, with a drum on his back, and being fitted on a cart, was drawn by negroes, a prodigious concourse of people following. It was so contrived, that all the way they went, he was drilling the touch-hole, because he had ordered the cannon on the Battery spiked, for fear the inhabitants should turn them upon the Fort, in case it should be besieged. . . .

      "D. CLARKSON."

      On the 20th of February, 1766, the Act which had given so much offence to the colonists was repealed, and on the 20th of the following May the news was received in New York with the greatest enthusiasm. In his next letter to Mr. Streatfeild, Mr. Clarkson refers to the subject again:

      "New York, June 28, 1766.

      "My dear friend:

      "We had the agreeable news of the repeal of the Stamp-Act before the arrival of the packet which brought me your most esteemed favor of the 7th March.

      "The rejoicing we had upon the occasion was much more than we ever had for any or all the victories gained over our enemies, though, I must say, I was not half so much elated, owing to the expectation I had that it would certainly he repealed. The General, whoever he was, that made so rash a declaration, would certainly have been egregiously mistaken, if the number of regiments had been granted him that he demanded, and had come to America. He would have had too great a regard for himself and his handful of troops to have made the attempt. I am extremely glad that matters are thus far settled, as they have given me many a melancholy hour.

      "I hope this Province and every other upon the continent will for the future, out of gratitude, strive to outdo each other in every act of loyalty, being, as well convinced, as I am that I exist, that it is for the mutual advantage of Great Britain and her colonies, to be cemented together, for which reason, as an individual, I shall ever endeavor to promote it, though, I am afraid, from what has happened, it will be for the future, as you apprehend, 'a jealous eye over each other.'

      "I think not only as you do, my dear friend, that it was an imprudent speech that the American made, but, I would have left out the letter r in the word imprudent, viz.: 'That in less than a century the seat of government would be here.' For my part, I neither wish nor believe it. . . .

      "D. CLARKSON."

      In the autumn of this year St. Paul's Chapel, esteemed one of the most elegant edifices on the continent, was opened for the first time for religious services. It must have been an occasion of peculiar interest to Clarkson, who had been connected with the parish as a vestryman for nearly ten years. The attendance was very large, embracing people of all ranks and denominations. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Achmuty, of Trinity, and at the suggestion of his Excellency, Sir Henry Moore, the Governor, "a band of music" was engaged, "on the condition that it should only join in such parts of the service as was usual and customary in like cases."

      It is an amusing fact, that the first letter Clarkson writes to Streatfeild, after witnessing the pageant at the chapel, contains an order for "a good hand-organ." "I mean such an one," he says, "that turns with a handle, which will play all the psalm tunes that are set to music by Tate and Brady;" and then he adds: "I should not begrudge giving five or six guineas for it, provided, it had a good tone. I want no ornament about it, but, all the cost to be upon the goodness of the pipes."

      In this letter he expresses his conviction that "Great Britain and her colonies will be as good friends as ever," and then continues, "I could have wished Mr. Pitt had had fortitude enough to have refused the alluring offer. I make no doubt but he will retain his integrity, though, by accepting it, he deprives the public of ever having the benefit of his most valuable services in the station he was in."

      The change of ministry which brought about the repeal of the obnoxious Stamp-Act, by which the Government expected to realize £10,000 annually, soon gave way to another under the leadership of Pitt, who had just been raised to the Peerage, with the title of Earl of Chatham, and this event was evidently the occasion of the remarks in the above correspondence.

      The following letter was addressed to Sir John Riddell, Bart., who hadd shared with the writer his success in the lottery.

      "New York, Nov. 11, 1766.

      "My dear friend:

      "I have received your esteemed favor of the 10th December last. It was no less pleasing to hear of your health and welfare than it was to find that you had not forgotten your old acquaintance, which time and circumstance often erase out of our minds.

      "I am informed, by the death of your father, the title belonging to your family, devolves upon you. I therefore congratulate you upon the occasion. You certainly are a particular favorite of Providence, having in conjunction with myself been blessed with riches, - now with honors. I make no doubt but you keep in mind the advice of the Prophet, I mean when he says, 'Let not the rich man glory in his riches, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, but, let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he knoweth Me, that I am the Lord.' . . .

      "It is with pleasure I hear of the increase of your family, . . . and may propitious Heaven, whose benign smiles you have already so abundantly felt the happy effects of, continue to shower down every blessing upon you and yours to the very latest posterity, and that after having received as much as is possible for the Beneficent Bestower of every good gift to supply here, may you and they receive such everlasting happiness in Heaven, as it is impossible for the heart of man to conceive, is the ardent wish of your sincere friend and

      "Affectionate humble servant,

      "D. CLARKSON.

      "P.S. Mine and Mrs. Clarkson's compliments to you and family."

      When he writes again to Streatfeild, Clarkson says, "My friend, Sidney Breese, who is just departing this life, made me promise, that I would give his kind respects to you, having seen you in some of the outposts of England," and then alluding to the report of Sir John Riddell's illness which had just reached him, adds, "I am sorry for his indisposition. In him, we see, my dear friend, there is a cruel something unpossest. Providence seemed to smile upon him in every instance, but health, without which there is no enjoying comfortably the Divine Blessings, but, it may finally prove his greatest happiness, designed on purpose by the Wise and Benign Author of our being to take us off from the allurements and pleasures of this world and to make us fix them on Him, in whom alone the only true and solid happiness is to be found." Sir John died in 1768, at Hempstead, England, leaving three sons, one of whom, James, succeeded to the baronetcy.

      In the summer of 1767, Clarkson sends four "gammons" of his own curing to Streatfeild, and requests his wife to buy for Mrs. Clarkson, "twenty-four yards of best bright blue satin and a fashionable winter cloak of crimson satin for her own use." He further ordered, "a handsome silver bread basket, open work," and adds, "I would have it light and thin, so as to cost but little money, with the crest, a griffin's head upon it." The same order included a carpet, which was to have a green ground.

      These articles were severally received, and as he writes, "very much to our liking; though the carpet was not green, it was yet very handsome, extremely thick, and will be very serviceable." Mrs. Streatfeild had departed somewhat from her instructions in the choice she was to make of a hat and cloak, but they also gave great satisfhction, as well as the bread basket, which, says the letter, "is as I desired it might be, very light and very pretty."

      A calm, in the words of Dunlap, such as portends a storm, - a quiet, such as precedes an earthquake, reigned in the colonies during the years immediately preceding 1770.

      Though the Stamp-Act was repealed, the ministry had not abandoned their purpose of raising a revenue in America. It was not long before a bill was introduced into Parliament and passed, laying import duties in the Provinces upon several articles, including tea, and this measure had been preceded by a severe rebuke from the Crown, suspending the legislative powers of the Assembly in New York, in consequence of its refusal to comply with the requisitions made upon it to furnish quarters and provisions for the King's troops.

      During the excitement, consequent upon these occurrences, Clarkson seems very despondent. He writes to Streatfeild, "I am extremely sorry the Parliament will meet so late this year," and further on says, " I am very well convinced that something very fatal will be the result, as it is impossible for the nation to continue long in such convulsions as it is in at present." He concludes: "I know of nothing better for my part, than patience and resignation, for what I cant help I must inevitably bear."

      Tidings having been brought to him in the following spring of the death of his uncle Levinus at Voorburg, Clarkson at once offers to the bereaved sister his sincere sympathy:

      "New York, April 6, 1770.

      "My dear Aunt:

      "On the 2d of this month, and not before, I received your much esteemed favor of the 10th October, acquainting me with your inexpressible loss in the death of your worthy and good brother, my much esteemed uncle, who departed this life in sure and certain hopes of one infinitely better, in the 73d year of his age, on the 6th of October last.

      "I heartily and sincerely condole with you in the very heavy loss you have sustained, well knowing, my dear aunt, the great affection you had for each other, and consequently the great affliction it must be to you, he being always a kind and tender brother. I heartily pray God to give you such a resignation to His Divine Will, that you may be able to bear the loss, though severe, with that patience and composure becoming a good Christians. It certainly must be a very great comfort to you, to recollect, that, his delight while on earth was to serve that good and gracious God, who now has taken him to the full enjoyment of himself to all eternity.

      "As you are now left alone, and without relations, I wish you would consent to come to America. You should enjoy every conveniency of life that I have, having room enough for you in my house in the city as well as in that in the country. If you will agree to it, I will get my wife's consent to fetch you, - whenever it is most convenient to you, you will be good enough to let me know.

      "I am sorry I cant write you in Dutch, having forgot the language I once knew better than English.

      "I heartily pray Almighty God to bless you with the choicest of His blessings and to give you such consolation that you may be contented and happy while on earth, even without your affectionate brother, my dear uncle, and after living in such a state of happiness here, according to the appointment of the Divine Will, may you ever enjoy with Him, eternal rest, is the sincere wish and desire of;

      "Your affectionate nephew,

      "D. CLARKSON.

      "P. S. - Mrs. Clarkson and family condole with you in the loss of our dear uncle, and request to be kindly remembered to you."

      At his father's death, Levinus was but six years old, and his sister Anna still younger. As early as 1718, the year atter he had attained his majority, he was established as a merchant at Amsterdam. His maternal uncle, Levinus Van Schaick, whose name he bore - a name still perpetuated in the family - had already settled in Holland, and was the occasion, it may be supposed, of his nephew's visit to that country in 1719, Clarkson was again in New York, but for a short time only, and when he returned to Amsterdam he was probably accompanied by his sister Anna. Their lives now became inseparable, and neither married. For some years Levinus was a member of the house of Van Nyys and Clarkson, and when he retired from business, he and his sister removed to Voorburg, near the Hague. Their residence was called "Sion's Lust," from which place they corresponded, first with their brother David, and afterwards with his son, the subject of this memoir.

      The decease of Levinus, which occurred in the 74th year of his age, on the 6th of October, 1769, did not long precede that of his nephew Freeman, who died in the autumn of the next year in the homestead at Flatbush.

      In a letter, subsequently written to his aunt in Holland, David says: "My brother Freeman departed this life in hopes of a better, on the 14th September, 1770, in the 46th year of his age, extremely resigned."

      The funeral was conducted in conformity with the usages of the time; some of the items of expenditure, which follow, would look odd enough on a similar occasion at the present day:

      13 gallons, Madeira Wine, at 8s. - £5.4.0
      2 barrels, Beer, - £2.8.0
      Pipes and Tobacco, - £0.8.9
      Ferryman for ferriage, - £0.3.8
      50 yards, Linen, at 5/4 - £13.6.8
      1 piece white Riband, - £0.17.0
      Mr. John Sebring's bill for funeral, - £3.15.8
      Sexton, for his burial, - £1.0.0
      Mr. Peter Lott, for ground in the church, - £4.0.0
      For the coffin, - £1.8.0
      For candles, - £0.12.0

      The will, which was dated June 23, 1770, contains the following clause:

      "Imprimis: I give unto my brother, David Clarkson, of the city of New York, merchant, my gold watch and the seals I usually wear, - the pictures of our grandfathers, Secretary Clarkson, and the Rev. Mr. Freeman, and our uncle Mr. Matthew Clarkson and my own picture, - my glass scrutoire in my dining-room and all the folio books in my library, together with my case with silver-handled knives and forks, my largest silver jug and a two-earred silver cup. I leave him these as a mark of my esteem for him. The Providence of God having given him more than his brothers, is the reason of my leaving him no more."

      These several portraits, there is reason to believe, were collected in the house in Whitehall street, which contained besides one of the Rev. David Clarkson, one of each of the parents of the subject of this memoir, inherited upon the decease of his mother, one of his younger brother Levinus, his own picture and that of his wife. This large number represented the four generations of the family since Robert Clarkeson. The last two of the above named paintings were not regarded as likenesses, and were given to a domestic, from whom, subsequently to Mrs. Clarkson's death, they were obtained by one of her sons and placed in his garret, and by the children were hung as targets; after being completely riddled, an inferior artist was employed to make what was called "copies" of them. These are now in the possession of Mr. Charles Clarkson Goodhue, who is also the owner of the original portrait of the Rev. David Clarkson, referred to in an inventory made by David as "the picture of my g-grandfather D. C." This is the only one of the collection now extant.

      Freeman left the homestead at Flatbush to his brother Matthew, who had been the senior member of the firm of Clarkson and Sebring, in Dock street, and had not been successful in business. Upon his death, it was to be offered in turn to his remaining brothers, David and Levinus, for £700. if neither was willing to purchase it at this price, it was to be sold to the highest bidder.

      In the year 1770, several prominent and public spirited inhabitants of the city of New York, subscribed considerable sums of money for the purpose of erecting and establishing a Hospital. A charter of incorporation was obtained in the following year, and still later, a site on Broadway for the buildings. This comprised five acres of land and formed at part of the Rutgers farm. It was upon the slope of a hill, on three sides of which were marshes, and adjoined the Ranelagh gardens. The property in later years was bounded in front by Broadway and in the rear by Church street, northerly by Anthony street and southerly by Duane street. The corporation was known as the "Society of the Hospital, in the city of New York, in America." The governors were twenty-six in number, and Clarkson was elected a member of the first board. Their meetings were held at Bolton's, and at the Coffee-House: Bolton's was on the southeast corner of Broad and Pearl streets, and was a resort not unlike the modern Delmonico's. The building is still standing, and while it remains will he memorable as the place where Washington bade farewell to his officers in the winter of 1783-4. The Coffee-house was on the southeast corner of Wall and Water streets. Clarkson served the institution into seven years, and the same office has been filled by three generations of the family successively.

      The first blood of the Revolution had already been shed. On the 18th of January, 1770, on the summit of Golden Hill, as John street was then called, near Cliff and William streets, a conflict had occurred between the troops and the citizens, which lasted two days. No lives were lost, but the event served to indicate the resolution of the colonists and to warn their oppressors of the danger of persisting in their fatal policy.

      However much the resources of trade may have been curtailed by reason of the disturbed condition of the Provinces, Clarkson does not appear to have sustained any serious pecuniary loss. We find him still ordering furniture from England, and in the autumn of 1771, expressing his own and his wife's admiration of a girandole and chimney-glass which they had just received. His available means, too, enabled him to accommodate his friends, as we see by the following letter. Judge Livingston was the father of the future chancellor:

      "March 12, 1771.

      "Dear Sir:

      "I have just received yours. I can let Judge Livingston have the sum he wants, provided, he can wait until the first of next month for it. I may, perhaps, supply him with half that sum in a few days, but, would engage £1,850, if he can stay until the 1st April. The best method for him would be to take my money as I receive it in £300, or £400, at a time, giving me his receipt for the same and when I have paid him the sum he wants, the time whence the interest is to commence can be easily ascertained. The method, of not recording Mortgages, I do not approve of, however, the opinion I have of Judge Livingston's integrity, will make me very easy and satisfied without it.

      "As the sum is large, I would mention, that if it is inconvenient to the Judge, when the interest becomes due, to pay it, he could have no objection to give me his Bond to make the interest principal.

      "If he approves of what I have now wrote you, you may draw the writings, leaving a blank for the date.

      "I am, &c., &c.,

      "D. CLARKSON.


      "Mr. William Livingston."

      About this time Clarkson hears the news of Mrs. Streatfeild's death, and in his letter of condolence to her son, after alluding more particularly to his friend's trial, he says: "I often think I am as happy as the fluctuating state of things here can make me, but, then that very happiness, which greatly consists in the welfare of my family, is instantly taken away, when any of them are taken sick. I lately experienced this to a very great degree in the indisposition of my only daughter, who is now, thank God, quite recovered, which makes me enjoy everything as I used to do. I intend for the future to do all I possibly can to get the better of over anxious care for her and my children's welfare, as I am very sensible it is my duty to do so, but, I fear it is too much to expect, as the poet writes:

      'I may strive what I can, or say what I will,
      Nature will be nature still.'"

      The quiet of the city had remained comparatively undisturbed since the encounter on Golden-hill, though the spirit of resistance to oppression was continually developing itself and becoming more defiant. Affairs were evidently approaching a crisis.

      Clarkson, however, was hopeful, and in the spring of 1772 writes to his old friend Larry Reade with a playfulness which characterises but few of his letters.

      "New York, March 28, 1772.

      "My dear friend:

      "I expected before now to have had a letter from my good friend Larry but a multiplicity of engagements, I suppose, has engrossed his time so much, I fancy he can spare but little, to communicate to an old friend, how agreeably it passes away.

      "Did you know the pleasure and satisfaction it gave me to hear of your welfare, you would indulge me oftener. However, I often inquire of those who do hear from you and was lately informed you had suffered from a severe fit of the gout. You have undoubtedly read Cadogan. I wish with all my heart, you would put what he says in practice. But, I have very little reason to believe you will regard what I advise, as you are in the midst of every enjoyment of life, where you have importunity and opportunity to partake of everything that is so very kindly offered to you. But, be assured, pay-day will come, and having had one severe fit, you will undoubtedly get another, unless you forbear. I know I am writing to my good old friend and therefore can take the liberty to tell him that did he practice my advice, it would be more conducive to his health.

      "By this ship, you will have the pleasure of seeing three of your old acquaintances, Doctor Jones, Robert Watts, and Duer. The two last, it is said, are engaged to Lord Stirling's daughters. The doctor goes over upon a very odd errand, to have his throat cut! I wish him good success with all my heart, for he really is a blessing to society.

      "Our young ladies marry extremely slow and their number increases exceedingly fast, so that they begin to murmur for sweet-hearts. I wish you would return to us and endeavor to make one, out of the many, happy.

      "D. CLARKSON."

      At a very early period, slavery had been introduced into the Province, and a writer says that at one time, New York swarmed with negroes, and resembled a Southern city, with its calaboose on the Park Commons and its Slave Market at the foot of Wall street. Almost every family in the Colony, until within the last hundred years, owned one or more negro servants, and among the richer classes, the number belonging to any one master, was considered to indicate, in some degree, his relative wealth. Clarkson and his father both had house-slaves, and the former, it would appear, by the following letter addressed to Col. John Reid, did not scruple to sell them, if they were not efficient:

      "New York, Dec 3. 1772


      "I am sorry I had not the pleasure of seeing you, when, you took the trouble to call upon me about my negro, to whom I had given liberty to look for a master. I should be glad, for his sake, if after I give you his just and true character, he would suit you. He had, as he informed you, acted with me in the capacity of a coachman for nearly eight years. He understands but little of gardening. I have suffered him to wait at table when I was straitened for want of servants. I am well pleased to tell you, he understands it, and any housework required in a family.

      "I have now informed you as to his capacity. As for his honesty and sobriety I can recommend him to you in the strongest terms, which were the virtues, if I may call them so, that induced me to keep him until now.

      "The reason of my being willing to part with him is, he is not diligent enough and he is too saucy, though, I believe, he may be easily cured of both faults, were proper methods taken.

      "I could wish it were in my power to recommend him in such a manner that you would approve of him, but, I apprehend if that were the case, he would not be offered for sale. I gave ??100 for him, which is the lowest price I intend to take, and I can with truth say, he is better worth it now, in every respect, than when I bought him.

      "D. CLARKSON."

      In the early autumn of this year, Mr. Clarkson lost his brother, Matthew, and in the New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury of the 28th of September, 1772, we read this tribute to his memory :

      "Friday last died Mr. Matthew Clarkson, of Flatbush, on Long Island, formerly a merchant of this city, a gentleman eminent for many good qualities. He is missed as a kind and affectionate husband, a tender parent, sincere friend, humane and generous benefactor and an useful member of society. In short those who esteem virtue and regard true merit, must sincerely regret the loss of him, as one who exhibited to the world a laudable example of these striking qualifications. 'Laus illi debetur et a me Gratia major.' Hor."

      His family consisted of four sons and one daughter. David M., Abraham, Margaret, Matthew and Bernard Freeman. Of these, David M. and Matthew alone left issue.

      David M. married Feb. 18, 1781, Mary, daughter of Gerrit Van Horne (a son of Cornelius G. Van Home and Joanna Livingston), and Anne Ramie (whose mother was a daughter of Philip French and Anne Philipse), and his family is now represented by the descendants of his son and daughter, John Charlton Clarkson and Maria Charlton, the wife of John L. Holthuysen.

      Matthew, married on the 18th of Dec., 1790, Belinda Smith, and had two sons and one daughter, William, Charlton and Margaret Eliza. All died unmarried. Mrs. Clarkson was a sister of Col. W. S. Smith, whose wife was a daughter of President John Adams.

      It appears that David, soon after the death of his brother, purchased the old homestead at Flatbush, and was busily engaged in the summer of 1773, in repairing it and making necessary additions. He had also given orders to have his chariot and phaeton painted and gilded, and looking forward to the autumn, had promised Streatfeild six barrels of Newtown pippins.

      On the 28th of April, 1774, Mrs. Clarkson's niece, Sarah Livingston, then in her eighteenth year, was married to John Jay, a young lawyer of twenty-eight. The bride was a daughter of William Livingston, afterwards Governor of New Jersey, and a granddaughter of Philip French. Mr. Jay up to this time had held no public office, but before long was called to take part in the first movements of the Revolution.

      All hopes of a reconciliation with Great Britain seemed now at an end. A General Congress of Deputies from the several colonies had been summoned for the consideration of public affairs. The Assembly of New York having refused to make any arrangements for sending delegates to the Congress, it was determined that they should be chosen by a Provincial Convention composed of members from the different counties.

      Kings, on Long Island, in furtherance of this object, held its meeting on the 15th of April, 1775, at the County House, at Flatbush. David Clarkson, John Vanderbilt, and others, were present, as deputies from that town. Other towns were also represented, and after the required number of delegates were elected, the meeting adjourned.

      The Provincial Convention assembled at the Exchange, in this city, on the 20th of the same month, and appointed several deputies to the Continental Congress, which was to convene at Philadelphia in the ensuing month. Three days subsequently New York was thrown into the wildest excitement in consequence of the news of the battle of Lexington. The British troops, after a night's march from Boston, had forced their way through Lexington, into Concord, and destroyed the army stores and munitions of war. But the work of destruction was followed by a sudden attack of the infuriated colonists, and the soldiers were pursued out of the town, leaving many of their comrades dead in the streets. The excellent behavior of the New England yeomanry on that occasion, inspired the Americans everywhere with fresh ardor.

      Even before the tragedy which had taken place at Lexington and Concord, the people of the colonies had been thrilled by the soul stirring words of Patrick Henry : "Give me liberty or give me death," which had been delivered with powerful effect in a speech in the Assembly at Richmond.

      It now became necessary to organize a Provisional Government for the city, which should have the absolute control of municipal affairs until other arrangements were made by the Continental Congress. Accordingly, a meeting of citizens for this purpose was called for the 5th of May, at the Coffee House, at which a Committee of One Hundred was chosen, who at once assumed the duties imposed upon them. Of this number was David Clarkson, who on the same day, was elected with twenty others to represent New York in a Provincial Congress, which was to assemble on the 22d of May.

      Some of the most prominent men of the Colony were members of this body. Among the number were Alexander McDougall, Nathaniel Woodhull, Richard Montgomery, James Clinton, and James Van Cortlandt, all of whom subsequently served as generals in the army. The names of some of the other deputies were: Governeur Morris, John Sloss Hobart, John Morin Scott, John Van Cortlandt, James Beekman, John de Lancey, Richard Yates and Abraham Walton.

      The delegates elected met at the Exchange, and organized by the appointment of Peter Van Brugh Livingston as President. The first business before the House was a resolution moved by Mr. Low and seconded by Mr. Governeur Morris:

      "Resolved, as the opinion of this Congress, That implicit obedience ought to be paid to every recommendation of the Continental Congress, for the general regulation of the associated Colonies, but, that this Congress is competent to, and ought freely to deliberate and determine on all matters relating to the internal policy of this Colony."

      Debates arising thereon, Mr. Scott, seconded by Mr. Clarkson, moved the previous question, whether the question on Mr. Low's motion should now be put, and it was carried.

      Upon the same day, a copy of a recommendation and directions from the Continental Congress, signed by their Secretary, was read, which conveyed the intelligence that there was great danger that the military stores and cannon at Ticonderoga, lately taken possession of by some of the residents of the vicinity, might fall into the hands of the British and be used to effect an incursion into the Province, and desired that the said stores and cannon might he removed.

      A resolution complying with the directions of the Continental Congress having been passed, a committee of eleven members was appointed, with Clarkson as its chairman, to consider the best methods for carrying it into effect.

      He received immediately afterward a similar appointment, which he seems to have held while the subject of the stores at Ticonderoga and Crown Point was engaging the attention of the House. Subsequently he served on the Committee on Correspondence.

      The members of the Provincial Congress, on the motion of Clarkson, now subscribed to the "American Association," in which, after declaring their conviction of the necessity of union, they resolved "in the most solemn Manner, never to become slaves, and to associate, under all the ties of religion, honor, and love to their country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution, whatever measures may be recommended by the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by this Provincial Congress, for the purpose of preserving their constitution and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British Parliament, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America, on constitutional principles, which is most ardently desired, can be obtained."

      At the same time that Clarkson was thus actively engaged in the Congress, he offered to guarantee, in company with Lispenard and McDougall, all advances of money made to the Colony to the extent of fifteen hundred pounds, to meet the present exigencies.

      The Continental Congress had asse
    Person ID I10802  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 26 Sep 2018 

    Father David CLARKSON, Sr.,   b. Bef 19 Aug 1694, New York City, New York County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Apr 1751, New York City, New York County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 56 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Anna Margareta FREEMAN,   b. 31 Aug 1706,   d. 20 Jan 1759  (Age 52 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 25 Jan 1724  New York City, New York County, NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5008  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth FRENCH,   b. 27 Dec 1724,   d. 14 Jun 1808  (Age 83 years) 
     1. Ann Margaret CLARKSON,   b. 3 Feb 1761,   d. 2 Nov 1824  (Age 63 years)  [natural]
     2. Matthew CLARKSON,   b. 17 Oct 1758,   d. 25 Apr 1825  (Age 66 years)  [natural]
     3. Levinus CLARKSON,   b. 31 Mar 1765,   d. 28 Sep 1845  (Age 80 years)  [natural]
     4. Thomas Streatfeild CLARKSON,   b. 5 Apr 1763,   d. 8 Jun 1844  (Age 81 years)  [natural]
     5. David CLARKSON, III,   b. 15 Nov 1751,   d. 27 Jul 1825  (Age 73 years)  [natural]
     6. David CLARKSON, III,   b. 30 Jul 1750,   d. Bef 15 Nov 1751  (Age < 1 years)  [natural]
     7. Freeman CLARKSON,   b. 23 Feb 1756,   d. 14 Nov 1810  (Age 54 years)  [natural]
     8. Philip CLARKSON,   b. 4 Apr 1754  [natural]
    Last Modified 26 Sep 2018 14:55:00 
    Family ID F4944  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart