Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17







Arthur St. Clair perhaps came naturally by his aristocratic

attitudes for he was descendant of Norman-Scot nobility who

were noted for their monarchical loyalty.

Born in Thurso, Caithness County, Scotland, in 1734, the

son of a younger son, he inherited nothing, but was able to enter

Edinburgh University to prepare for the medical profession. In

1756 he was indentured to a celebrated London doctor, William

Hunter. A year later he purchased his freedom and secured an

ensign's commission in the Sixtieth Regiment, or Royal American

Foot. In May, 1758, he arrived in America with General Jeffery

Amherst and participated in the capture of Louisburg. In April,

1759, he was made a lieutenant, assigned to the command of

General James Wolfe, and was with him at the capture of Quebec.

Here he was garrisoned until after the capture of Montreal in

1760. During a furlough to Boston he married Phoebe Bayard,

the daughter of Belthazer Bayard and Mary Bowdoin, the latter

a half-sister of Governor James Bowdoin.1 She brought him a

dowry of ĢI4,000, with which, having sold his commission,2 he

purchased an estate in Ligionier Valley, western Pennsylvania.

Here, near Fort Ligonier, built by General John Forbes in 1758,

he erected a fine residence and gristmill. In this western country

he held many offices while pursuing his private affairs and was

perhaps the best known gentleman and official in the region.3 He

of course sided with Governor John Penn against Lord Dun-


1 William H. Smith, ed., The Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair

(Cincinnati, 1882), I, 1-12.

2 Ellis Beals, "Arthur St. Clair, Western Pennsylvania's Leading Citizen,"

Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine (Pittsburgh), XII (April-July, 1929), 76.

3 Ibid., 81. He received 700 acres from the king for services in the army.

Ibid., 77.