Abraham Clark

Born into a quiet country farm in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Abraham Clark’s life would entail more adventure, hardship and suffering than his modest beginnings implied. Although a sickly and frail child, Clark devoted much of his time to personal study, and developed a fondness for mathematics. Not only was he a self-taught scholar, but as he matured into manhood became both a surgeon and a counselor to his neighbors on legal issues, fondly referred to as the “poor man’s counselor.” Clark’s first public office was as sheriff of Essex County, New Jersey. At twenty-two he married Sarah Hatfield of Elizabethtown, and together they had ten children. Abraham Clark was well on his way to prominence, not necessarily as a New Jersey farmer, but as a patriot for independence.