Was born in the state of Delaware in the year 1819. His mother died when he was but one year old, and he was placed under the care of an uncle, with whom he remained until his twelfth year, when his uncle died, leaving Leander with his aunt. She very soon informed him that he must take care of himself. So, at the tender age of twelve, he was turned out upon the world, barefooted, the ground covered with snow, no clothing except what he had on, and one cotton shirt and a cotton handkerchief — the latter he still retains. In this condition he fell in with a true Christian — the Rev. T. P. McCalley, of Milford, Delaware, — who proved to be a friend. This good man put shoes and socks upon his feet, and administered to all his wants. On the advice of his reverend friend, he bound himself to a Christian man to learn the harness-maker's trade. After working at that for four years, he found his health would not stand it; so he left, and engaged with another man to learn the blacksmith trade, and remained with him for four years. After that he went to Philadelphia, and worked for two years under instructions in one of the best machine shops in that city. He then returned to Maryland an accomplished mechanic, and commenced business for himself.
In 1842 Mr. Clifton was married to Miss Elizabeth Parker, who was born in Maryland in 1818, and was the daughter of the Hon. W. A. Parker, a man of great wealth and influence in that country. Mr. Clifton continued in his business until 1847, when he engaged in the general mercantile business, and at the same time had control of several important coasting vessels on the ocean. He was very successful in business, and accumulated a large amount of property in the state of Maryland, including a number of slaves.
In 1857 Mr. and Mrs. Clifton started on an extensive traveling tour through many of the southern and western states and territories, and returned to their home in Maryland in 1860. At that time Mr. Clifton considered himself well off; but during the war he was reduced to very low circumstances.
In 1866 Mr. Clifton and his wife emigrated to Barry, Pike county, where he again commenced blacksmithing, at which he has been energetically and successfully engaged ever since. Mr. Clifton is considered one of the best mechanics in Pike county. He is a man of strictly moral habits, of undoubted veracity, and an enterprising citizen. With such industry, energy, and ability as he possesses, who can doubt his ultimate success.