Elizabeth Meredith Clymer
Wife of George Clymer, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1739 – 1815 A.D.
Elizabeth Meredith was the daughter of Reese Meredith, a prominent and wealthy merchant of Philadelphia for more than half of a century prior to the Revolutionary period. She was a handsome and accomplished girl of most of exemplary character, and her marriage in March, 1765, was considered a highly advantageous union on both sides.
George Clymer was twenty-seven years old at the time of his marriage, and his bride, several years his junior. Left an orphan at the age of seven, he had been brought up in the family of his mother’s brother, William Coleman, who not only gave him a liberal education, including tow years’ training in his own counting room, but dying, left to him most of his considerable fortune. After completing his education, young Clymer went into the mercantile business and afterward formed a partnership with Reese Meredith and his son. It was soon after this that Mr. Clymer was married to Elizabeth Meredith. He was a very public spirited and, during the Stamp Act agitation, began taking an active part in public affairs. He was at the head of a vigilance committee and afterward was a member of the Committee of Safety. In 1776, he was one of the delegates elected to the Continental Congress because of his pro-independence views and from that time period practically gave up his private business to devote himself to public affairs.
In Congress he was an indefatigable worker, whose cool judgment and unswerving patriotism were recognised [sic] on every side. Mr. Clymer seems to have been especially obnoxious to the British. At the time of General Washington’s defeat at Brandywine, when the British army was marching towards Philadelphia, Mr. Clymer’s family retired for safety to their country home in Chester County. Tories led the enemy to their retried. The house was saacked and the furniture destroyed; the wine cellars were raided and everything portable on the place was carried away.
Upon this occasion Mrs. Clymer and her children saved themselves by a hasty flight back into the interior.
The married life of the Clymers was very harmonious and happy and only marred by the enforced separations and the hardships caused by the Revolution. Like most of the signers, he suffered large losses of properties from British depredations.
Eight children were born to Elizabeth and George Clymer, three of whom died in childhood.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.