Augustine Clarke

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Augustine Clarke (c. 1780—June 17, 1841) was a Vermont attorney, banker and politician who was a leader of the Anti-Masonic Party and served as Vermont State Treasurer.

Early life[edit]

Details of Clarke’s birth are not known for certain. His name is sometimes spelled “Clark” and he appears to have been born in Richmond, Massachusetts in about 1780.[1] He was baptized in Richmond on March 15, 1786.[2]

Start of career[edit]

Clarke moved to Vermont and studied law, although the details of his relocation and studies are unknown.

He was admitted to the bar in Wheelock in 1804.[3] In 1806 he was appointed Wheelock’s first Postmaster.[4]

In 1806 Clarke was admitted to the bar in Danville.[5] In 1808 he married Sophia Blanchard in Danville.[6][7] Sophia Blanchard’s sister Sarah was the wife of William A. Palmer, who served as Governor and United States Senator.[8] Palmer and Clarke became leaders of Vermont’s Anti-Masons.[9]

Clarke practiced law in Danville. An adherent of the National Republican Party, he served in local offices including Justice of the Peace.[10][11] In 1820 he served on the Vermont Council of Censors, the body which met every seven years to review statutes passed by the Vermont General Assembly and ensure their constitutionality.[12]

In the 1820s Clarke also became active in the American Tract Society.[13] In addition, he was an active member of the American Anti-Slavery Society.[14][15][16]

He served as Caledonia County Treasurer from 1822 to 1824, and Caledonia County Assistant Judge from 1824 to 1825.[17]

In 1826 he was appointed President of the Caledonia National Bank, succeeding Palmer, who had been the bank’s first President.[18]

Clarke represented Danville in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1824, 1828, 1830, and 1832.[19]

In 1830 Clarke was appointed one of Caledonia County’s three Commissioners of Jail Delivery.[20]

(The Commissioners of Jail Delivery were responsible for receiving prisoners who arrived to begin serving their sentences, and for tracking time in jail and releasing prisoners whose sentences were complete. They also monitored parolees to ensure compliance with conditions of release. In addition, Commissioners of Jail Delivery determined whether those arrested for debt were eligible for and complying with the conditions of the “freedom of the prison.” Freedom of the prison entitled debtors to leave the prison grounds to earn money for the payment of their debts and support of their families.)[21]

Clarke was named to the Committee to Erect the State House in 1832. He took part in planning and overseeing construction of the Second State House, which was in use from 1833 until it was destroyed by fire in 1856.[22]

Clarke was one of the founders of the Anti-Masonic movement. William Wirt carried Vermont as the 1832 presidential candidate of the Anti-Masonic Party. Clarke was one of Vermont’s electors, and cast his ballot for Wirt.[23]

Later career[edit]

Benjamin Swan had served as Vermont’s Treasurer beginning in 1800 and often ran unopposed or with only token opposition. In 1833 Clarke ran as an Anti-Mason and defeated Swan in the election for Treasurer. William A. Palmer had run successfully for Governor as an Anti-Mason in 1831, and Clarke’s victory at the polls was considered additional evidence of the Anti-Masonic Party’s viability in Vermont.[24]

In September, 1837 Clarke was named to the Anti-Masonic Party’s National Committee.[25]

Clarke served as Treasurer until running unsuccessfully for reelection in October, 1837. That year Clarke had the highest number of votes, but at 47.3% fell short of the majority required by the Vermont Constitution. In cases where no candidate receives a majority, the Vermont General Assembly votes. By then the Anti-Masonic Party’s popularity was on the wane and the nation was in the midst of the Panic of 1837, and Clarke did not win the legislative election.[26][27]

By 1839 the Anti-Masonic Party had dissolved and Clarke joined the Democratic Party. In July, 1839 he was appointed United States Pension Agent for the State of Vermont.[28][29]

Later life[edit]

Clarke’s wife died in 1833.[30] He subsequently moved to Montpelier. In 1840, he married Julia Jewett Hubbard.[31][32][33]

Death and burial[edit]

Clarke died in Montpelier on June 17, 1841, and was buried at Montpelier’s Elm Street Cemetery.[34][35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Margaret Philips, Genealogical Records Abstracted from the New England Puritan, 1840-1841, New England Puritan newspaper, Death notice, Augustine Clarke, June 24, 1841, 1989, page 130.
  2. ^ New England Historic Genealogical Society, Vital Records of Richmond, Massachusetts: To the Year 1850, 1913, page 17
  3. ^ Eleanor Jones Hutchinson, Town of Wheelock, Vermont's gift to Dartmouth College, 1961, pages 97, 125
  4. ^ Town of Wheelock, Vermont, Town Plan, 2001, page 2
  5. ^ Hamilton Child, Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, Vt. 1764-1887, 1887, page 39
  6. ^ Nathaniel Bouton, The History of Concord, 1856, page 697
  7. ^ Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908, marriage record for Augustine Clarke and Sophia Blanchard, retrieved January 5, 2014
  8. ^ Abiel Abbot, Ephraim Abbot, A Genealogical Register of the Descendants of George Abbot, etc., 1847, page 146
  9. ^ Horace Greeley, Park Benjamin, editors, The New Yorker, Volume 1, September 17, 1836, page 410
  10. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, 1828, page 82
  11. ^ Vermont. Supreme Court, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Vermont, Volume 6, 1835, page 561
  12. ^ Zadock Thompson, History of Vermont, Natural, Civil, and Statistical, 1842, page 127
  13. ^ American Tract Society, Proceedings of the first ten years of the American Tract Society, 1824, page 93
  14. ^ The Abolitionist, American Anti-Slavery Society, December 1833, page 177
  15. ^ American Anti-Slavery Society, Annual report, Volume 1, 1834, page 35
  16. ^ Owen W. Muelder, Theodore Dwight Weld and the American Anti-Slavery Society, 2011, page 190
  17. ^ Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, Vt., pages 36, 38
  18. ^ Hewitt Bros., The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, Volume 30, 1964, page 2082
  19. ^ Leonard Deming, Catalogue of the Principal Officers of Vermont, 1851, pages 28-30
  20. ^ Vermont General Assembly, Journal General Assembly of the State of Vermont, 1830, page 133
  21. ^ Vermont General Assembly, The Laws of Vermont, 1825, pages 239-242
  22. ^ E. P. Walton, Records of the Governor and Cpuncil of the State of Vermont, Volume V, 1877, pages 434-435
  23. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Legislative Directory, 1888, page 77
  24. ^ E. P. Walton, Records of the Governor and Council of the State of Vermont, Volume VIII, 1880, page 106
  25. ^ Niles’ National Register, National Antimasonic Convention, September 30, 1837
  26. ^ Vermont. General Assembly, Journal of the Senate of the State of Vermont, 1837, page 111
  27. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Election results: Vermont State Treasurer, 1837, 2006, page 1
  28. ^ Horace Greeley, Park Benjamin, editors, The New-Yorker, Volume 7, July 20, 1839, page 282
  29. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office, An Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of the United States, 1839, page 123
  30. ^ Janice Boyko and Louise Lessard, US Gen Web, Danville Cemetery Listing - Surnames A – C, retrieved January 5, 2014
  31. ^ Research Publication Company, Vermont Marriages, Volume I, 1903, page 29
  32. ^ Abby Maria Hemenway, The History of the Town of Montpelier, Including that of the Town of East Montpelier, 1888, page 383
  33. ^ Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908, marriage record for Augustine Clarke and Julia Hubbard, retrieved January 5, 2014
  34. ^ Abby Maria Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer: Washington County, 1882, page 527.
  35. ^ Northeast Kingdom Genealogy, List of Burials, Elm Street Cemetery, Montpelier, Vermont, 2001
  36. ^ Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908, death record for Augustine Clarke, retrieved January 5, 2014

Notes[edit]

  1. The New England Puritan death notice reads: "In Montpelier, VT, 17th inst., Hon. Augustine CLARKE, 62, late Tr. of the State. For many yrs. Judge CLARKE resided in Danville and filled various offices in that town, and in the Co. of Caledonia." His age of 62 would mean he was born in 1778 or 1779.
  2. In the notice of his death contained in the "Vermont Historical Gazeteer" his age is given as 59. If so, he would have been born in 1781 or 1782.
  3. The Vermont Death Record for Augustine Clarke gives his age as 60. If so, he would have been born in 1780 or 1781.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Swan
Vermont State Treasurer
1833–1837
Succeeded by
Allen Wardner