Rev. William Ware described Clarke this way: "It would not be beyond the truth to assert that there was no person at that time and in that vicinity, - not only no clergyman but no other person of whatever calling or profession, who took a firmer stand for the liberties of the country, or was more ready to perform the duties and endure the sacrifices of a patriot, than the minister of Lexington."
Clarke was born in 1730. He graduated from Harvard College in 1752, and was the third pastor in Lexington (formerly Cambridge Farms) from 1755 to 1805. He married Lucy Bowes, daughter of Rev. Nicholas Bowes of Bedford, and granddaughter of Rev. John Hancock, the second minister in Lexington. Governor John Hancock, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, was cousin to Mrs. Clarke and grandson of Rev John Hancock.
- A Sermon, Preached at Lexington, April 19, 1776, To commemorate the murder, bloodshed and commencement of hostilities between Great Britain and America, in that town by a brigade of troops of George III, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, on the 19th of April 1775, to which is added a brief narrative of the principal transactions of that day
- (1941) Massachusetts; a Guide to Its Places and People. Best Books.
- (1901) Opening of the War of the Revolution, 19th of April, 1775: A Brief Narrative of the Principal Transactions of that Day. Lexington historical society.