Clark was the oldest brother of the children of John Clark and Ann Rogers, was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, August 1, 1750. He received a fair English education, and, in time, became a lawyer, and a successful man of business. He was the prudent, practical business man of the elder portion of the numerous children of John Clark, as his brother William was of the younger. When quite young he spent some time in the office of the clerk of Spottsylvania county, Virginia, as deputy clerk.
In 1772 he removed to Woodstock, in the county then called Dunmore, but which was afterwards changed to Shenandoah, and was very soon taken into public favor by being selected, with the celebrated Peter Muhlenberg, to serve as delegate from the county in an important convention held at Richmond in the interests of the colonies.
About this time trouble began between the citizens of Virginia, and the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, which culminated in the latter seizing the public powder belonging to the colony without authority. This led to an uprising of the colonists to regain possession of the powder, by force if necessary, and young Clark marched towards Williamsburg, the then capital, as lieutenant of an independent company of riflemen for that purpose.
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