St. Clair, Arthur

St. Clair, Arthur

St. Clair, Arthur, 1734-1818, American general, b. Thurso, Scotland. He left the Univ. of Edinburgh to become (1757) an ensign in the British army and served in the French and Indian War at Louisburg and Quebec. In 1762 he resigned his commission and settled in Pennsylvania, where he purchased a vast estate and held a number of civil offices. In the American Revolution he served in the expedition to Canada as colonel of a regiment of militia which he had raised (1775). He was made a brigadier general and, authorized by George Washington to organize the New Jersey militia, fought in the battles of Trenton and Princeton. As major general, St. Clair took command (1777) at Fort Ticonderoga, which he evacuated without a fight to superior British forces. A court-martial in 1778 cleared him of blame, and he served afterward in several minor capacities. After serving as a delegate to Congress (1785-87), St. Clair was appointed (1787) the first governor of the Northwest Territory. He established its capital at Cincinnati and became (1791) commander in chief of the forces fighting the Native Americans. The Native Americans, led by Little Turtle, surprised and defeated St. Clair near the Miami villages. The defeat led him to resign his commission (1792), although a congressional investigating committee later exonerated him. St. Clair's arbitrary rule as governor gained him many enemies, and in 1802 he was removed by Thomas Jefferson after condemning the act making Ohio a state. He published in 1812 a defense of his military conduct and spent his later years in poverty.

See W. H. Smith, ed., The St. Clair Papers (2 vol., 1882, repr. 1971); biography by F. E. Wilson (1944).

St. Clair County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. Its name is in honor of General Arthur St. Clair, who came to America from Scotland as an officer in the British Army in the French and Indian War. He settled in America and served as a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He also was the only Governor of the Northwest Territory

As of 2000 the population was 64,742. It has one county seat in Ashville and another in Pell City. While other counties in Alabama have multiple courthouses, St. Clair County is the only county in Alabama with more than one county seat.


St. Clair County was established on November 20, 1818. The county seat was incorporated and named "Ashville" in honor of John Ash. In 1836, a portion of St. Clair County was separated to establish Cherokee County and DeKalb County. In 1866, after the Civil War, a northeast section of the county was used to create Etowah County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,693 km² (654 square miles). 634 square miles (1,641 km²) of it is land and 20 square miles (51 km²) of it (3.04%) is water.

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As of the census of 2000, there were 64,742 people, 24,143 households, and 18,445 families residing in the county. The population density was 102 people per square mile (39/km²). There were 27,303 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.03% White, 8.13% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,143 households out of which 35.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.80% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.60% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 101.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,285, and the median income for a family was $43,152. Males had a median income of $33,914 versus $24,433 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,960. About 9.60% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.20% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.

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