Born: 1733; Edgecombe County, South Carolina
Died: December 15, 1799; Richmond County
Elijah Clarke was born and grew up in South Carolina, probably of Scottish-Irish parents. He eventually migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia and joined the militia shortly before the American Revolution broke out. He began the war serving with Andrew Pickens. He saw action in various skirmishes and small battles at Alligator Creek, Kettle Creek, Green Spring, Cedar Springs and Musgrove's Mill.
In September 1780, Colonel Clarke is part of a failed attempte to retake Augusta, Georgia, an event which reignites Loyalist vengence in Georgia. He then saw action with Thomas Sumter against Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton at Blackstocks. In April 1781, Clarke and Andrew Pickens began a successful siege of Augusta, which ended in June. After the war, he remained in the militia and fought Indians in 1781.
Clarke was given a plantation, later defeating Indians again and retired a Brigadier General. He next began service with the French minister to the US in a scheme to gain control of West Florida. 1794, he set up the short lived Transoconee Republic. Later on, he was rumored to be involved with new schemes over West Florida and the Yazoo Land Fraud, but in spite of all his dubious postwar pursuits, he died in 1799 still a revered hero.
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