ST. CLAIR, Arthur

1734–1818

Biography

ST. CLAIR, Arthur, a Delegate from Pennsylvania; born in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, March 23, 1734 (old style); attended the University of Edinburgh and studied medicine; purchased a commission as ensign in the Sixtieth Foot, May 13, 1757, and came to America; served under Gen. Amherst at the capture of Louisburg July 26, 1758, and under Gen. James Wolfe at Quebec in 1759; resigned April 16, 1762; settled in Ligonier Valley, Pa., in 1764, where he erected mills; surveyor of the district of Cumberland in 1770; justice of the court of quarter sessions and of common pleas; member of the proprietary council, justice, recorder, and clerk of the orphans' court; prothonotary of Bedford and Westmoreland Counties; served in the Pennsylvania Militia and Continental Army during the Revolutionary War; was a member of the Pennsylvania council of censors in 1783; Member of the Continental Congress 1786-1787, and its President in 1787; appointed governor of the Northwest Territory upon its formation in 1789 and served until November 22, 1802; named commander of Federal Troops, March 4, 1791; returned to Ligonier Valley, Pa., and engaged in the iron business; died near his old home, "Hermitage," near Youngstown, Pa., August 31, 1818; interment in General Arthur St. Clair Cemetery, Greensburg, Pa.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1772-1793, 200 items. The papers are also available on microfilm.
Papers: 1774-1796, 4 items. The items of Arthur St. Clair include a sheriff's writ (1774 July 7) from Westmoreland County, Pa.; a decree (1788 Aug. 30) establishing a general court for the Northwest Territory at Marietta, Ohio; a photocopy of Arthur St. Clair's presidential appointment (1789 Sept. 1) by George Washington as governor of the Northwest Territory; and a letter from Arthur St. Clair to Benjamin Talmadge relating to Ohio Company land warrants.
Papers: 1778, 1 volume. The volume contains the court martial proceedings of Arthur St. Clair in 1778. The volume is also available on microfilm.
Papers: In the Winthrop Sargent Papers, 1772-1948, 9 boxes, 12 volumes, and 1 folder. Persons represented include Arthur St. Clair.

Boston Athenaeum

Boston, MA
Papers: In the George Washington Papers, 1766-1790, 12 items. Correspondents include Arthur St. Clair.

Cincinnati Historical Society

Cincinnati, OH
Papers: 1791-1833, 31 items. The papers of Arthur St. Clair contain official statements as governor, letters to Winthrop Sargent, from Captain John Whistler, correspondence with Shawnee Chiefs, and letters to his son Arthur, Jr. and daughter Elizabeth S. Lawrence.

Central Michigan University
Clarke Historical Library

Mount Pleasant, MI
Papers: 1798, 1 folder. The papers contain correspondence from Arthur St. Clair to Nathaniel Maper and Benjamin Goodan, Esquires, dated July 23, 1798, mainly answering their letter about legal matters and Adamsville (Ohio).

Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland, OH
Microform: 1788-1815, 119 micro-opaque cards. The papers contain correspondence and other papers relating to Arthur St. Clair's activities in the Northwest Territory.

Indiana Historical Society

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: In the Northwest Territory Collection, 1721-1838, 4 boxes. Persons represented include Arthur St. Clair.
Papers: In the Albert G. Porter Collection of Papers, 1759-1942, 6 boxes. Persons represented include Arthur St. Clair. A finding aid is available in the repository.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1780, 1 item. A letter from Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Reed written on August 19, 1780. In the letter, Arthur St. Clair writes concerning vacancies and promotions in the Fourth Regiment.
Papers: 1781, 1 item. A letter from Arthur St. Clair to General Nathanael Greene written on November 14, 1781. In the letter, Arthur St. Clair informs General Greene of his itinerary with the Pennsylvania and Maryland troops.

Ohio Historical Society

Columbus, OH
Papers: 1772-1802, 6 items. The collection includes scattered papers, of Arthur St. Clair, including photographic copies of letters from John Hancock and George Washington relative to Arthur St. Clair's promotion to mayor general, and the appointment of officers in Arthur St. Clair's division. Also in the papers is a photostatic copy of the charges presented to the President by Thomas Worthington against Arthur St. Clair in 1802, as well as Arthur St. Clair's oath of allegiance, and a letter to George Tod defending his position on the militia.
Papers: In the Northwest Territory Collection 1781-1802, 0.75 cubic foot. Other authors include Arthur St. Clair.

The Rosenbach Museum & Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1781, 1 item. A letter from Arthur St. Clair to Joseph Reed written on January 4, 1781. In the letter, Arthur St. Clair writes concerning negotiations with the mutineers of the Pennsylvania line of the army.
Papers: 1781, 1 item. A letter from George Washington to Arthur St. Clair written on April 8, 1781. George Washington writes in preparation for the spring campaign, inquires about the present state and strength of the Pennsylvania Line of the army. The letter is written in the hand of David Humphreys.
Papers: 1790, 1 item. A letter from Henry Knox to Arthur St. Clair written on May 19, 1790. In the letter, Henry Knox informs the governor of the Northwest Territory that a group of French immigrants plan two settlements in Ohio and he has requested troops to protect them from Indians. (The settlers reached Ohio in October and founded the town of Gallipolis.)
Papers: 1800, 1 item. A letter from John Marshall to Arthur St. Clair written on June 12, 1800. In the letter, John Marshall sends to the governor of the Northwest Territory a copy (not present) of the act of Congress that designated part of that territory as the separate Indiana Territory.

U.S. Army War College
Library

Carlisle, PA
Microfilm: 1746-1869, 8 boxes. The papers of Arthur St. Clair contain correspondence (1746-1818); reports of expedition and campaign in 1791, military records (1776-1803) and other materials including deeds, land records, minutes of legislative proceedings, maps, treaties and family papers.

University of Chicago
Butler-Gunsaulus Collection

Chicago, IL
Papers: ca. 1782, 1 item. A letter from Arthur St. Clair to John Dickinson, President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania written around August 4, 1782. In the letter, Arthur St. Clair writes a recommendation for Captain Stewart Herbert.

Western Reserve Historical Society Library

Cleveland, OH
Papers: 1765-1844, 0.4 linear foot. The papers of Arthur St. Clair contain correspondence, financial accounts, receipts, military resolutions, and other documents, chiefly 1790-1818. Mainly the accounts of Arthur St. Clair with merchants, grocers, lawyers, laborers, and the Hermitage Furnace and Mill Creek Iron Works in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania. Included also papers relating to the handling of the estate of Arthur St. Clair (1818) and financial accounts and several letters of Daniel St. Clair, Louisa St. Clair Robb, and Robert Graham.
Papers: In the Documents Signed by Ohio Governors, 1787-1916, 0.4 linear foot. Persons represented include Arthur St. Clair.
Papers: In the John Lacey Papers, 1776-1806. 0.2 linear foot. The papers include correspondence with and records of accounts (1792-1806) with General Arthur St. Clair.

Wisconsin Historical Society
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Microfilm: 1746-1782, 8 microfilm reels. The papers of Arthur St. Clair contain correspondence, reports of expedition and campaign in 1791, military records, and other materials including deeds, land records, minutes of legislative proceedings, maps, treaties and family papers. The papers are from the Early Ohio Political Leaders Project.
Papers: 1785, 0.1 cubic foot. A letter from Arthur St. Clair to John Dickinson, president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, written on March 21, 1785. The letter concerns the appointment of William Irvine as agent for the distribution of donation lands to soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line. The letter was signed by Arthur St. Clair and others representing the soldiers.
Papers: 1791, 0.1 cubic foot. An order book, June 16-October 30, 1791, of General Arthur St. Clair, governor and commander-in-chief of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio River. The book was kept by Winthrop Sargent, adjutant general.

Yale University Library
Microform Reference

New Haven, CT
Microfilm: 1788-1815, 119 micro-opaque cards. The papers contain correspondence and other papers relating to Arthur St. Clair's activities in the Northwest Territory.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Krull, Theresa Vinton Pierce. "The Bicentennial of Major General Arthur St. Clair." Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly. (1934): 256-272.

Letter from Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the North-western Territory, on the Subject of a Division of the Said Territory; and The Petition of George Tevebaugh and Others, Inhabitants of Knox County, in the North-western Territory: Read the 14th. March 1800: Ordered to Lie on the Table. Philadelphia: Printed by Zachariah Poulson, Junior, 1800.

An Oration, Delivered at Marietta: July 4, 1788 by the Hon. James M. Varnum, Esq., One of the Judges of the Western Territory. The Speech of His Excellency Arthur St. Clair, Esquire, Upon the Proclamation of the Commission Appointing Him Governor of Said Territory. And the Proceedings of the Inhabitants of the City of Marietta. Newport, R.I.: Printed by Peter Edes, 1788.

Smith, William H. The St. Clair Papers. The Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair, Soldier of the Revolutionary War; President of Continental Congress; The Governor of the Northwestern Territory; with his correspondence and other papers. 1882. Reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

St. Clair, Arthur. A Narrative of the Manner in Which the Campaign Against the Indians, in the Year 1791, was Conducted, Under the Command of Major General St. Clair. 1812. Reprint, [New York]: Arno Press, [1971].

------. The St. Clair Papers: The Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair: Soldier of the Revolutionary War, President of the Continental Congress; and Governor of the North-western Territory: With his Correspondence and Other Papers. 1882. Reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

Walsh, William Patrick. "The Defeat of Major General Arthur St. Clair, November 4, 1791: A Study of the Nation's Response, 1791-1793." Ph.D. diss., Loyola University of Chicago, 1977.

Willson, John. Arthur St. Clair and the Northwest Ordinance. Editorial director, Joseph S. McNamara. Hillsdale, Mich.: Hillsdale College Press, 1993.

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