Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Elizabeth Meredith Clymer

Elizabeth Meredith married George Clymer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in March 1765. Her father was Reese Meredith who was a "prominent and wealthy merchant" in Philadelphia for more than fifty years prior to the Revolution. Meredith was a "handsome accomplished girl of most exemplary character." The marriage between George, age 27, and Elizabeth, a few years younger, was considered to be a "highly advantageous union on both sides."

George was left an orphan at age seven and was brought up in the home of his maternal uncle, William Coleman. Coleman saw that George received a good education, trained him in his own "accounting room," and left most of his fortune to George. He formed a partnership with Reese Meredith and his son. It was not long afterwards that George married Elizabeth Meredith.

George was very active in the cause of liberty and served in many public offices and committees. His devotion to the Republican cause was particularly obnoxious to the British. Following the defeat of the Continental Army at Brandywine, the British Army marched towards Philadelphia. Clymer took his family to their country home for safety, but Tories led the enemy to their retreat. The British soldiers sacked the house, destroyed the furniture, raided the wine cellars, and carried away everything that was portable. Elizabeth and the children found safety by moving quickly to another area.

Elizabeth and George enjoyed a "very harmonious and happy" married life except for the "enforced separations" and the "hardships caused by the Revolution." They were parents of eight children, three of whom died in childhood.

Facts and quotes from Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 195-197.

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