John Clark (Georgia governor)

John Clark (sometimes spelled Clarke) (February 28, 1766 – October 12, 1832) was an American planter, politician, and slaveholder. He was the 31st Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia, from 1819 to 1823. As governor, he prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court case Ex parte Madrazzo, a dispute over whether a claim of ownership of a group of enslaved people could be enforced against the state.

John Clark
BornFebruary 28, 1766
DiedOctober 12, 1832 (aged 66)
Cause of deathyellow fever
Resting placeSt. Andrews Bay,
relocated to Marietta National Cemetery
Occupation(s)Planter, politician
SpouseNancy Clark
RelativesElijah Clarke (father), Edward Clark (nephew)

Early life edit

Clark was born in 1766 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Along with his father, Elijah Clarke, Clark fought in the American Revolutionary War at the Battle of Kettle Creek and served in the Georgia militia.

He moved to Wilkes County, Georgia, in the early 1770s. He became a major general in 1796.

Political career edit

John Clark's gravestone at the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia

Clark served as a presidential elector in the 1816 presidential election.[1] He served in the Georgia House of Representatives before he was elected to consecutive two-year terms as the 31st Governor, from 1819 to 1823. During his term, he successfully defended states' rights in a US Supreme Court case, Ex parte Madrazzo, over a Spanish citizen who claimed that he owned some of Clark's slaves.

Personal life edit

Clark resided at Woodville, a plantation in Milledgeville, Georgia.[2] He was married to Nancy Williamson, the daughter of Col. Micahah Williamson (1744-1796) and Sarah Gilliam.

Death and legacy edit

Clark died of yellow fever in St. Andrews (Florida) a.k.a. Old Town, in 1832 in what was then Washington County (now Bay County) and was buried in that same city; however, his grave was relocated to Marietta National Cemetery in Georgia in 1923 by the Georgia State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Clarkesville, Georgia[3] and Clarke County, Alabama are named after him.[4][5]

References edit

  1. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Vol. I. New York, N.Y.: James T. White & Co. 1898. p. 223 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form: Westover, or Clark-Bentley House". National Park Service. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Clarkesville". Explore Georgia. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Clarke County: A Brief History". Clarke County Historical Museum. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
  5. ^ West, George M (1922). St. Andrews, Florida Historical notes upon St. Andrews and St. Andrews Bay, with Maps, and a portrait of Governor Clark (1922 ed.). St. Andrews, Bay, Florida: Panama City Publishing Co. pp. 26–88. Retrieved 4 Apr 2024.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)

Sources edit

External links edit

Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
  1. ^ West, George M (1922). St. Andrews, Florida Historical notes upon St. Andrews and St. Andrews Bay, with Maps, and a portrait of Governor Clark (1922 ed.). Panama City Publishing Co. Retrieved 4 Apr 2024.