Jannetje Van Woert was born in 1721. She was the sixth of the seven children born to Albany-area residents Nicholas and Dirckje Barheit Van Woert.
In February 1743, she married Jacobus Clement in the Albany Dutch church where she later became a pewholder. Three of her children were baptized there between 1747 and 1750. But only her son, Nicholas, lived to adulthood.
These Clements lived in a modest home on a southside backstreet. Jacobus was a trader and Indian interpreter and frequently was away from Albany. He dropped from the historical record after 1759 and Jannet became head of their household. By 1766, she was referred to as "Widow Clement." Subsequent first ward assessments valued her house modestly.
In December 1777, the widow was operating an Albany store when she was summoned by the Committee of Correspondence. Admitting to refusing to accept New York State paper money, she was forbidden to buy or trade in Albany except to support herself. The folowing summer, she was reported to the revolutionaries for questioning an American sergeant about troop movements. Fearing consequences, she sought to leave Albany but was apprehended on her way to the Schoharie valley. Called "dangerously ill," she was hospitalized and then released. In February 1779, Widow Clement received permission to accompany John Boyd to Philadelphia to plead her case before the American congress. But by August, she had given Boyd her power of attorney. Perhaps she was ill again!
In 1790, she was living in her first ward home with another woman and a slave. She died in 1796 and was buried in the church cemetery.
Continental Congress: No record of their trip has been found in congressional records.
first posted: 7/23/01