CLARK, ABRAHAM, Signer (New Jersey). Autograph document signed ("Abra: Clark"), n.p., [Philadelphia?], after 31 October 1783. One page, oblong 4to, a small burn hole afecting one letter, verso with contemporary endorsements.
A SIGNER'S ACCOUNTS FOR "ATTENDING CONGRESS"
The document, Clark's formal account for compensation due him from the State of New Jersey for service as a delegate to the Continental Congress, is headed at top, "The State of New Jersey, to Abraham Clark." Beneath in a single column, Clark sets out his 264 days attendance in the years 1782 and 1783 (the year the Revolution ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris), for which he was to be paid $4 per day, for a total of $1,056. For 1782, Clark assesses his state $204 for "my time in attending Congress" from 15 November 1782 to 4 January 1783, "including two days going to Philadelphia & my return home, making 51 days." In 1783, Clark notes, he attended Congress from 25 February to 25 June "including my going and returning, making 120 days," for which he asks to be paid $480; when Congress reconvened, he attended from 7 July to 20 August, "except two days absent at home," and finally from 12 September to 31 October. This highly interesting document corrects the record of Clark's Congressional attendence given in E.C. Burnett, Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, 1934, vii:lxx, where some dates are conjectural or vary significantly from Clark's. Signer's accounts for Congressional attendance are rare on the market.
Clark (1726-1794) served as sheriff of Essex County, New Jersey, joined the Committee of Safety in May 1775 and was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress in June 1776. He signed the Declaration of Independence and was re-elected a delegate in each succeeding year (except 1779) up to 1783. After spending some time out of politics, he again served in Congress in 1787-88 and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, but poor health prevented his attendance. He opposed the adoption of the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was appended, and served in Congress again from 1791 until his death (from sunstroke) in 1794.