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  St. Clair, Arthur
NameArthur St. Clair
, Pennsylvania , United States
Born March 23, 1734
DiedAugust 31, 1818 (84 years)
ContributorU Ole Polecat
Last ModifedU Ole Polecat
Mar 13, 2003 03:02pm
InfoArthur St. Clair studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and came to America as ensign of the British army. He served under Gen. Jeffrey Amherst during the French and Indian War (1758-1760). St. Clair resigned in 1762 and later settled in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania. He was a surveyor of the district of Cumberland (1770) and justice of the court of quarter sessions and of common pleas. During the Revolutionary War St. Clair served in the Pennsylvania Militia and Continental Army. In 1783 he became a member of the Pennsylvania council of censors.

On 11 Nov 1785 St. Clair was chosen a member of the Continental Congress (1785-1787) and on 2 Feb 1787 he was elected president of the Congress by the votes of eight states. Two days later, Gen. Benjamin Lincoln's troops defeated Shays' rebels at Petersham, Massachusetts. In response to calls for a stronger central government, Congress endorsed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention, which convened in Philadelphia on 25 May 1787, and began to work on the Constitution of the United States on 19 Jun 1787. On 13 Jul 1787, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance, which established formal procedures for transforming territories into states. It provided for the eventual establishment of three to five states in the area north of the Ohio River, to be considered equal with the original 13. On 17 Sep 1787, thirty nine delegates of the Constitutional Convention voted to approve and then signed the final draft of the new Constitution.

In July 1788, St. Clair was appointed Governor of the Northwest Territory and served until 22 Nov 1802. He was named commander of Federal Troops on 4 Mar 1791. Upon his retirement, St. Clair returned to Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania, and was engaged in the iron business.


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