Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
CLARK, Jonas, clergyman, born in Newton, Massachusetts, 25 December, 1730; died in Lexington, Massachusetts, 15 November, 1805. He was graduated at Harvard in 1752, and ordained as Rev. Mr. Hancock's successor at Lexington, Massachusetts, 5 November, 1755, remaining there till his death. As was common in those days, he was farmer as well as clergyman, and cultivated about sixty acres of land. He was an ardent patriot. Edward Everett says: "Mr. Clark was of a class of citizens who rendered services second to no others in enlightening and animating the popular mind on the great question at issue." He well understood the state of the question between the colonies and the mother country, and from 1762 till 1776 drew up an able series of papers, giving instructions to the representatives sent by the town to the general court. These papers are still among the Lexington town records, and are conceived in a manly, yet calm and respectful spirit. Mr. Clark was noted for his hospitality, and was entertaining John Hancock and Samuel Adams at his house on the night of 18 April, 1775, when Paul Revere warned him of the approach of the expedition sent out by Gage, one of whose objects was to surprise and capture these two patriots. When asked by his guests whether the people would fight, Mr. Clark replied that he had "trained them for this very hour; they would fight, and, if need be, die, too, under the shadow of the house of God." It was but a few rods from Mr. Clark's house that the first blood of the revolution was shed on the following day, 19 April, 1775, and the men that fell were his parishioners. "From this day," said he, when he saw their dead bodies, "will be dated the liberty of the world." Mr. Clark published several sermons, among them one to commemorate the battle of Lexington (1776).Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM