Lot 16: GEORGE CLYMER, Signer of Declaration of Independence Signed Port Form

Early American

December 10, 2016, 9:00 AM PST
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US
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Description: Autographs
"George Clymer" Signer Declaration of Independence & Among Founding Fathers of the United States of America
GEORGE CLYMER (1739-1813). Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States from Pennsylvania, Member of Continental Congress and Congressman.
c. 1791 Federal Period, Partially-Printed Pennsylvania Document Signed, "G. Clymer," being a PA. Excise Tax Certification Form for payment of duties on rum, no date, nicely printed upon fine quality period laid paper, measuring 8" x 5", Choice Very Fine. Elected as a Representative to the first federal Congress, Clymer proved to be a staunch and unwavering Federalist and supporter of President Washington. He pressed for measures to strengthen the finances of the new government: high duties on imports, assumption of the war debt, the Bank of the United Sates, and a liquor excise tax. Choosing not to run for reelection, he was appointed by Washington as Supervisor of revenue for Pennsylvania to enact the new excise tax. He served in the role for three years, often at great risk, resigning in 1794, just prior to the outbreak of the Whiskey Rebellion. This Excise Tax document certifies that "the duties on one Puncheon of Rum containing one hundred fourteen gallons of the second proof, and marked and numbered as in the margin, have been secured according to the law." Embossed customs stamp in the left margin, very clean and is overall excellent for display.


George Clymer was a patriot and leader in the demonstrations in Philadelphia resulting from the Tea Act and the Stamp Act. He became a member of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety in 1773, and was elected to the Continental Congress 1776-1780.

Clymer shared the responsibility of being treasurer of the Continental Congress with Michael Hillegas, later the first Treasurer of the United States. He served ably on several committees during his first congressional term and was sent with Sampson Mathews to inspect the northern army on behalf of Congress in the fall of 1776.

When Congress fled Philadelphia in the face of Sir Henry Clinton's threatened occupation, Clymer stayed behind with George Walton and Robert Morris. Clymer's business ventures during and after war served to increase his wealth. In 1779 and 1780 Clymer and his son Meredith engaged in a lucrative trade with St. Eustatius.

He resigned from Congress in 1777, and in 1780 was elected to a seat in the Pennsylvania Legislature. In 1782, he was sent on a tour of the southern states in a vain attempt to get the legislatures to pay up on subscriptions due to the central government. He was reelected to the Pennsylvania legislature in 1784, and represented his state at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was elected to the first U.S. Congress in 1789.

He was the first president of the Philadelphia Bank, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and vice-president of the Philadelphia Agricultural Society. When Congress passed a bill imposing a duty on spirits distilled in the United States in 1791, Clymer was placed as head of the excise department, in the state of Pennsylvania. He was also one of the commissioners to negotiate a treaty with the Creek Indian confederacy at Coleraine, Georgia on June 29, 1796. He is considered the benefactor of Indiana Borough, as it was he who donated the property for a county seat in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Clymer died on January 23, 1813. He was buried at the Friends Burying Ground in Trenton, New Jersey.
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