Abraham Clark’s Recommendation of David Whitehead
Philedelphia December 30 1793
I hereby Certify that the Barer David Whitehead is a Native of the Town in which I Live he is of a reputable Famely who I was well acquainted with I have but a Slight personel Acquaintenc withe the barer but never heard any thing of him to his disadvantage and From his general Carector think him Deserving the Esteem of Such as he may Fall among he being about going to the Northard
Tr (MHi); entirely in Whitehead’s hand; dateline adjacent to signature; at foot of text: “a Coppy”; on verso of an undated, canceled, printed form announcing a meeting at Tammany Hall of the Mount Vernon Masonic lodge.
Abraham Clark (1726–94), surveyor and public official, was a native of Elizabethtown (later Elizabeth), New Jersey. He held a series of overlapping political offices over several decades, including clerk of the New Jersey Assembly, 1752–66, and sheriff of Elizabethtown and Essex County beginning in the latter year. In 1774 Clark joined the New Jersey Committee of Safety, and he was selected for the colony’s Provincial Congress in 1775. That body appointed him a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, 1776–78, 1780–83, and 1786–88, where he voted for independence and signed the Declaration of Independence. Clark represented Essex County in the Senate of New Jersey, 1778–79, sat on the state’s Legislative Council in 1778, and was elected to the General Assembly in 1783, where he served until about 1785. He represented his state in the United States House of Representatives from 1791 until his death. Clark favored the interests of debtors and less restrictive policies concerning paper money in the 1780s, and he argued for a small and inexpensive army during his final years in Congress. He died at his farm near Elizabethtown (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ; Ruth Bogin, Abraham Clark and the Quest for Equality in the Revolutionary Era, 1774–1794 , esp. 39, 42, 48, 51; Philadelphia Dunlap and Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser, 18 Sept. 1794; gravestone in Rahway Cemetery, Rahway, N.J.).