General Archibald Clark House, 1802, St. Marys

The General Archibald Clark House [also known as the Jackson-Clark-Bessent-MacDonell-Nesbitt House] has had many owners throughout its long history and as the oldest house in St. Marys has given rise to many stories over two centuries.

One long held belief was that General Clark, who lived in the house from 1804 until his death in 1848, provided a hideout for Aaron Burr in July 1804 as he fled authorities seeking to arrest him for the murder of Alexander Hamilton. Though there is no contemporary validation of this story, he is known to have been given shelter on St. Simons and Cumberland islands later in the summer of 1804. Clark was a classmate of Burr in law school and the men knew each other but there is no mention in either man’s written records that indicate Burr was in St. Marys.

During the War of 1812, British soldiers arrested Clark, who was the collector of customs for the port of St. Marys, and established temporary headquarters in the house. General Clark later hosted General Winfield Scott after the Mexican-American War.

The current owners, Ron Smith and Carlene Taylor, are restoring the house at this time.

St. Marys Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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