Arthur  St Clair

Arthur St Clair (1737 - 1818)

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General Arthur St Clair
Born in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Chestnut Ridge, Greensburg, Westmorland, Pennsylvania, USAmap
St_Clair-342 created 26 Jan 2015 | Last modified | Last edit: 7 Oct 2017
17:15: Robin Lee edited the Birth Date for Arthur St Clair. (Corrected birth to match bio) [Thank Robin for this]
This page has been accessed 1,740 times.

Categories: Old Saint Clair Cemetery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania | Special Improvement Projects | Northwest Territory Governors | President of the Continental Congress | Notables | Continental Congress.

Arthur St Clair is notable.
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1776 Liberty Bell
Event years 1773-1789.
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Preceded by
Territory organized
July 13, 1787
Arthur St. Clair
1st Governor of the
Northwest Territory
Seal of the US
Succeeded by
Acting Governor
Charles Willing Byrd
Preceded by
14th President
Nathaniel Gorham
Arthur St. Clair
15th President
of the Continental Congress
2 Feb 1787 - 22 Jan 1788
Succeeded by
16th President
Cyrus Griffin


St. Clair was born in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland. Little is known of his early life. Early biographers estimated his year of birth as 1734, but subsequent historians uncovered a birth date of March 23, 1736, which in the modern calendar system means that he was born in 1737.[1] His parents, unknown to early biographers, were probably William Sinclair, a merchant, and Elizabeth Balfour. He reportedly attended the University of Edinburgh before being apprenticed to the renowned physician William Hunter.


"St. Clair met young lady Phoebe Bayard, a member of one of the most prominent families in Boston and they married in 1760. Miss Bayard's mother's maiden name was Bowdoin and sister to James Bowdoin, colonial governor of Massachusetts."

"He was the largest landowner in Western Pennsylvania."

"He took part in Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776, before the Battle of Trenton. Many biographers credit St. Clair with the strategy which led to Washington's capture of Princeton, New Jersey in the following days. It was shortly after this that St. Clair was promoted to Major General."

"Was an aide-de-camp to General Washington, who retained a high opinion of him. St. Clair was at Yorktown when Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army."

"General St. Clair was appointed governor of what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, along with parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota [Northwest Territory]."

"In 1791, St. Clair succeeded Harmar as the senior general of the United States Army."

"Arthur St. Clair, Patriot and a Founder of the United States of America, died in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1818 in his eighties and in poverty; his vast wealth dissipated by generous gifts and loans, and by business reverses, but, mainly by the refusal of Congress to reimburse him for monies that he had loaned during the Revolution and while governor of the Northwest Territory."

Arthur St. Clair

"Then came the fatal struggle on the plains during which Lieutenant St. Clair seized the colors, which had fallen from the hand of a dying soldier, and bore them until the field was won by the British."

"His offices were located in the basement of Bedford's "Espy House" that still stands today. George Washington would later utilize the same home as his Whiskey Rebellion headquarters while St. Clair served as his Northwest Territorial Governor."

"Washington called a council of war that night on January 2, 1777 with his troops camped along Assunpink Creek. Many of St. Clair's Biographers, and even St. Clair himself, claim that the movement that culminated in the Victory at Princeton the following day was his recommendation to the council. The General's biographers purport that not only did St. Clair direct the details of the march but also his own brigade marched at the head of the advancing army."

"George Washington remained, throughout his incredible life, steadfastly loyal to Arthur St. Clair recognizing the Pennsylvania general's deeds and council during the campaigns against Trenton and Princeton. It was a beginning of a friendship that would positively serve the United States, beyond anyone's expectations, for the next 24 years. For his service in 1776 and 1777 St. Clair was promoted to Major-General."

"St. Clair assignment after the ordeal was to assist General John Sullivan in preparing his expedition against the Six Nations...commanded at West Point in October 1780"

Arthur St. Clair, medallion

Forgotten Founders

[Books: The Rise of the U.S. Presidency & The Forgotten Capitols]

Birth of the U.S. Constitution 1777-1787 & Arthur Sinclair

"The current Constitution of the United States is the Perpetual Union's second. This video provides a brief history on the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, its collapse and the process utilized to call the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 to form a More Perfect Union. The 1787 President of the United States and his Congress, ultimately, were responsible for the passage of our current U.S. Constitution as they called the convention and choose not to change a word of the New Plan For the Federal Government sending it along to the States. This President and his Congress also passed the Northwest Ordinance , on which Daniel Webster would later remark: "We are accustomed to praise lawgivers of antiquity ... but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced the effects of more distinct, marked, and lasting character than the Ordinance of 1787" These two laws, the U.S. Constitution and The Northwest Ordinance are the products of the what this historian considers to be the most important U.S. Presidency and Congress in American History." Youtube video explaining the importance of The Northwest Ordinance

Two branches as described by Leonard Allison Morrison in The History of the Sinclair Family in Europe and America for Eleven Hundred Years, 1896, pp. 46-47:

"It would make them both, General St. Clair and James St. Clair, descendants of George Sinclair, the 4th Earl of Caithness (No. 74); then through his two sons; Gen. Arthur St. Clair, through his son James, first of Murkle (No. 80), and John of Exeter, N. H., through another son Henry (No. 79). The line woiuld run thus:

The common ancestor, John Sinclair, Master of Caithness, No. 67.

Scotch [Line].

  1. James, the first of Murkle, and
  2. John, son of James, and first of Assery.
  3. James, son of John, and second of Assery.
  4. James, his son, and merchant in Thurso. Scotland.
  5. William, son of James, also a merchant in Thurso.
  6. Gen. Arthur St. Clair, and son of Daniel Sinclair of Longformacus born Thurso, and brother to the William that most site have for Arthurs father but is wrong

American [Line].

            • THIS EXETER LINE CONNECTION THROUGH MORRISONS BOOK IS THOUGHT TO BE WRONG AND NOT OF THE EALDOM Caithness SINCLAIRS The Sinclair line of Ulbster has been dna tested and is an accepted dna match to other Sinclairs in Caithness Orkney and Shetland. Exeter family has also been tested and does not match the Caithness Sinclairs
  1. Henry, his brother [of James, #1 listed above of the Scotch line]
  2. John, the son of Henry, and of Exeter, N. H.; 1st cousin of John of Assery.
  3. James, the son of John, and 2nd cousin of James of Assery.
  4. Joseph, son of James, and 3rd cousin of James of Thurso.
  5. Thomas, son of Joseph, and 4th cousin of William of Thurso. [His brother was Joseph, husband of Martha, father of Hannah Sinclair Rogers]
  6. James of Albion of N. Y., son of Thomas, and 5th cousin of Gen. Arthur St. Clair.

Those of other lines, of course, bear the same relation to General St. Clair. Similarity of looks is a strong evidence of relationship. Among the descendants of John Sinkler of Exeter, N. H., have been many knightly men in civil and in military life, who by their straight and stalwart forms, by their complexion, by their strong traits of character, and by their whole personal appearance have strikingly resembled the Sinclairs and St. Clairs of Scotland, as recorded both "in French and English history." And what does this signify? It proclaims the curious genealogical fact which every discerning family historian has not failed to see, that the mental and physical characteristics of a family are often transmitted for many generations and for centuries. The similarity of christian names existing among the Sinclairs of Caithness and the Sinclairs of the New World will not fail to be noticed. There were the Johns, the Jameses, the Richards, and the Davids, the Janets, and many others in Caithness which were transplanted to the shores of New Hampshire, and have been honorably borne even to the present by the descendants of John Sinkler of Exeter [New Hampshire]. [1]:

President of the Continental Congress Feb. 2, 1787 - Nov. 4, 1787

President of the Congress Under the Articles of Confederation, 1788

The St. Clair Papers by William Henry Smith, 1882

He is the son of William St Clair.

CHANGES Actual birth name spelling is Arther with an E and not a U. according to baptismal papers Also the baptismal date is January 3 1733 and not 1736 or any other dates shown


  1. Gregory Evans Dowd. "St. Clair, Arthur", American National Biography Online, February 2000

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Arthur by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Arthur:

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Images: 9
Arthur Sinclair
Arthur Sinclair

President Arthur St. Clair Passed the U.S. Constitution
President Arthur St. Clair Passed the U.S. Constitution

Northwest Ordinance - July 13, 1787
Northwest Ordinance - July 13, 1787

Arthur Sinclair-St. Clair Image 4
Arthur Sinclair-St. Clair Image 4

Arthur Sinclair-St. Clair Image 5
Arthur Sinclair-St. Clair Image 5

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On 15 Mar 2017 at 18:54 GMT Robert Sinclair wrote:


Draft Disposition and Translation by William Sinclair, merchant in Thurso, to James and Arthur Sinclair, children, and Elizabeth Hamilton, relict of Rev. Daniel Sinclair, of a Heritable Bond on the lands of Thurdestoft [Thurdistoft] (contained in GD69/107) in security for GD69/106. 1742

GD69/171 Letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Sinclair, dated Aug. 1757 and two letters from Arthur St. Clair (on service in North America) dated 20 Mar. 1757 and 26 May 1758 concerning credit given to him by James Balfour of Pilrig. 1757-1758

GD69/163 Contract of Marriage between Mr. Daniel Sinclair, minister at Longformacus, and Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of deceased Robert Hamilton of Airdrie. 5/2/1729

GD69/112 Assignation by James Sinclair, eldest son of deceased Rev. Daniel Sinclair, to Elizabeth Hamilton, his mother, of his rights in GD69/106. 6/5/1745

On 15 Mar 2017 at 18:53 GMT Robert Sinclair wrote:

William Sinclair listed here as Gen Arthurs father is incorrect. William was in FACT Arthurs uncle, Rev. Daniel Sinclair a minister in Longformacus..born Thurso and brother to William is the actual father to Arthur who was born in 1733 .

A simple error same family just wrong man

James Sinclair, 2nd of Assery James Sinclair, second of Assery, married first, Elizabeth Balfour; and, second, Margaret, daughter of David Munro, commissary of Caithness. He had several sons and daughters:- 1. George, eldest son of his first marriage. 2. John, in Ulgrimbeg, married Bess Craigie. George and John are named as brothers-german. 3. James, a merchant in Thurso, who died in 1713, and had several sons, of whom Daniel was minister of Longformacus. William was a merchant in Thurso

On 16 Jun 2016 at 00:21 GMT Mark Wilkie wrote:

St. Clair-167 and Sinkler-Sinclair-St. Clair-11 appear to represent the same person because: I'm proposing this merge because of similar information that I found searching the net. You have much more information that adds value to Wikitree. There is another profile St._Clair-167. Hopefully you have time to review both profiles that I mentioned. Thank you

On 16 Jun 2016 at 00:00 GMT Mark Wilkie wrote:

St Clair-342 and St. Clair-167 appear to represent the same person because: I found this information on can check to see if there is sufficient information to create the merge. There is another profile for that has mostly the same information except a different name and occupation for his father...thank you in advance

On 5 Feb 2016 at 00:59 GMT Robert Sinclair wrote:

DNA for General Arthur should match this person Sinclairs of Ulbster 2491 back to Earls of Caithness. and also Robert Sinclair 2439. These two people tested match almost exactly with STR and SNP markers and share a common ancestor

Arthur is 17 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 15 degrees from Karen Tobo, 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor and 11 degrees from Isabella I de Castilla y León on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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