Simon Boerum is a very little known Founding Father. He was neither wealthy nor well known, but worked hard to serve his country.
Simon Boerum was a mill owner and farmer in Flatbush New York who found time to dedicate himself to public service.
At 26 he was appointed by Governor George Clinton as County Clerk of King’s Count, what we now know as Brooklyn, NY. In this position, he would have been responsible for overseeing all legal records for the county.
By 37, Boerum was elected as a delegate to the New York Provincial Assembly.
As tensions rose with the British, Boerum quickly became a radical.
New York was one of the more loyalist colonies. There were many contributing factors for this. First, as a big city New York was very prosperous under British rule and many people didn’t want that to change. Additionally, New Yorkers new they would be a target if the British moved on from Boston. (This would happen in August of 1776.)
When the First Continental Congress was called, the colony of New York did not send any delegates. However, many of the counties elected representatives directly. Brooklyn elected Simon Boerum.
Responding to Britain
In Congress, Boerum helped defeat the Galloway plan of union. In short, this plan attempted to create an American Parliament which would act as an equal to that of the British Parliament. Each institution would be able to veto the others’ actions.
Although this was a creative solution to help the colonies control their own taxes, it was attacked from both sides. Loyalists believed it too radical and revolutionaries believed it not radical enough.
Instead, Boerum supported and signed the Continental Association, which organized a boycott of British goods. He also signed the Declaration and Resolves which outlined the rights of the colonists. These were the major contributions to the United States that came out of the First Continental Congress.
Unfortunately, upon returning to Brooklyn, Simon Boerum passed away at the young age of 41 and never saw his new country created.
Simone Boerum has very little written about him and most of what is available is out of print. Take a look at some of these books about the First Continental Congress: