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George Clymer

Clymer loans his brother money

and signs the promissory note from him twice

George Clymer, 1739–1813.  Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  Manuscript Document Signed twice, Geo Clymer, one page (recto and verso), 8¼” x 4¼”, Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania], July 30, 1802.

Clymer, who was wealthy from his business dealings during and after the Revolutionary War, loans his brother $1,225—more than $27,000 today.  This promissory note in the hand of his brother, Henry Clymer, recites:  “Sixty days after date I promise to pay without defalcation to Geo Clymer, or order, Twelve hundred & twenty five Dollars value recd.”   

George Clymer has signed the note twice.  At the lower left of the front side, he has signed and dated his signature “July 20, 1802,” after his brother’s notation “To Credit of ye Drawer”—his brother himself, who drew the note.  On the back, beneath the initials “RBW” in another hand, Clymer has signed an endorsement.

Clymer, who was one of the first patriots to advocate independence from Britain, was a leader of the protests in Philadelphia against the Tea Act and the Stamp Act.  He was elected to the Continental Congress in the critical year of 1776, when he signed the Declaration of Independence as one of nine members of the Pennsylvania delegation along with the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, and Robert Morris.  He served as treasurer of the Continental Congress before he resigned from Congress in 1777.  He later served in the Pennsylvania legislature, represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and was elected to the first United States Congress in 1789. 

The document is slightly irregularly trimmed at the bottom and has two horizontal folds, one of which goes through Clymer’s second signature on the back.  There is a pinhead-size hole in the center of the document that does not affect any of the text, and the upper left blank corner has a diagonal bend that is slightly separated.  Some of the handwriting on the back bleeds through to the front, affecting three words of the text but neither of Clymer’s signatures.  Overall the piece is in fine condition.




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