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Encyclopedia > Abraham Clark

Abraham Clark (February 15, 1725September 15, 1794) was an American politician and Revolutionary War figure. He was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey and later attended the Continental Congress .


Abraham was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was a surveyor and lawyer, and was clerk of the Provincial Assembly. Later he became High Sheriff of Essex County and in 1775 was elected to the Provincial Congress. He was a member of the Committee of Public Safety.


Early in 1776, the New Jersey delegation to the Continental Congress was opposed to independence from Great Britain. When the issue became most important, the state convention replaced all their delegates with men favoring the separation. On June 21, they appointed Clark, along with John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, and John Witherspoon as new delegates. They arrived in Philadelphia on June 28 and signed the Declaration of Independence in early July.


Clark remained in the Continental Congress through 1778. New Jersey returned him twice more, from 1780 to 1783 and from 1786 to 1788. Clark retired before the state's Constitutional Convention in 1794. Clark Township in Union County is named for him.


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