Robert Clark (U.S. politician)

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Robert Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1819 - March 3, 1821
Preceded by Dorrance Kirtland
Succeeded by Richard McCarty
Personal details
Born June 12, 1777
Washington County, New York
Died October 1, 1837 (aged 60)
Monroe, Michigan
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Catherine Reid
Profession politician
Religion Presbyterian

Robert Clark (June 12, 1777 - October 1, 1837) was a United States Representative from New York.

Clark was born in Washington County, New York, six months after his family arrived after emigrating from the Scottish Lowlands. His father died when he was age thirteen. He was tutored privately and then studied medicine in the office of his brother, Dr. Thomas Clark. He commenced a practice in Galway, New York in 1799. He also married Catherine Reid, when he was age 22 and his wife was barely 15. Although his mother-in-law offered to help establish him in Lachine, Quebec, Canada, his wife's former home, Clark refused to settle in the dominions of the British Crown.

Clark remained in Galway and built a home where his first two children were born. After the house burned to the ground, Clark lived in temporary shelter provided by neighbor's, where his third child was born. He soon afterwards moved to Stamford, New York, and later settled near Delhi, New York, where he continued the practice of his profession.

Clark was a member of the New York State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1812 and 1814-1815. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 16th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1819, to March 3, 1821. He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821.

In 1823, Clark moved to Monroe County, Michigan, and came to the tiny village of Monroe. From 1823 to 1831, he was Register of the Land Office for the 2nd Land District of Michigan Territory. His wife, with their eight children, the youngest age 22 months, followed him from New York as soon as convenient. The family at first lived in a small house in the village. Clark soon purchased a farm at the edge of the village which had once been part of a French estate. When the land office was moved to White Pigeon, Clark returned to the practice of medicine and was also interested in the scientific cultivation of fruits and grasses and the subject of drainage.

Concerning his political affiliations, Clark used to say "that he had never changed his principles, but found himself a member of the Whig Party without needing to change" (Wing p. 146). In New York, he was a Free and Accepted Mason, but was not in harmony or fellowship with the lodge of Monroe. He was a Presbyterian, and when living in New York was a member and ruling elder of the Scotch Church. After a long and painful illness, Clark died on a Sabbath morning in Monroe, Michigan.

Clark's wife survived him for 22 years and was the mother of thirteen children, ten of whom grew to maturity.

References[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dorrance Kirtland
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

1819 - 1821
Succeeded by
Richard McCarty