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William Clark

1770-1838

In a secret message to Congress dated January 18, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson asked for $2,500 to explore lands west to the Pacific. Jefferson worked closely with Lewis, co-commander of the expedition, to ensure that he was well-prepared to anticipate the party's needs. While the party ran out of such luxuries as whiskey, tobacco, and salt, they had plenty of rifles, powder, paper, and ink. - Courtesy of the US National Archives

List of Indian Presents Purchased by Meriwether Lewis in Preparation for the Expedition to the West. Click Here - Courtesy of the US National Archives

Receipt for 130 Rolls of Pigtail Tobacco Purchased by Meriwether Lewis for the Expedition to the West - Click Here - Courtesy of the US National Archives

Receipt for Wine and Kegs Purchased by Meriwether Lewis for the Expedition to the West. -- Click Here - Courtesy of the US National Archives

President Thomas Jefferson's message to Congress communicating the discoveries of the explorers Lewis and Clark - Courtesy of the US National Archives

Page one, Page two, and Page three

 

 

Clark,  William, soldier, born in Virginia, 1 August, 1770; died in St. Louis, Maine, 1 September, 1838. He was the youngest of six brothers, four of whom were distinguished in the revolution. He removed with his family in 1784 to the falls of the Ohio, in Kentucky, the site of the present City of Louisville, where his brother George Rogers had built a fort. That part of the country was then known as "the dark and bloody ground," on account of the frequent Indian raids, and young Clark became early acquainted with the methods of Indian warfare. He was appointed ensign at the age of eighteen, and on 7 March, 1792, became a lieutenant of infantry. He was assigned to the 4th sub-legion in December of that year, was made adjutant and quartermaster in September, 1793, and resigned in July, 1796, on account of ill health. 

Soon afterward he removed to St. Louis, and in March, 1804, was appointed by President Jefferson a second lieutenant of artillery, with orders to join Capt. Meriwether Lewis's exploring expedition from St. Louis across the Rocky mountains to the mouth of Columbia river. Clark was really the principal military director of the expedition, materially assisted Capt. Lewis in the scientific arrangements, and kept a journal, which was afterward published. His intimate knowledge of Indian habits and character had much to do with the success of the exploration. He was promoted to first lieutenant in January, 1806, and was nominated to be lieutenant colonel of the 2d infantry, but was not confirmed by the senate. He resigned from the army, 27 February, 1807, and officiated as Indian agent till he was appointed by congress brigadier-general for the territory of Upper Louisiana. During the war of 1812 he declined the appointment of brigadier-general in the army, and also the command then held by General Hull. President Madison appointed him governor of Missouri territory in 1813, and he held the office till the organization of the state in 1821, when he was, against his will, a candidate for election to the same office, and was defeated. He remained in private life till May, 1822, when President Monroe made him superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis, and he held this office till his death.



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CLARK, George Rogers, soldier, born near Monticello, Albemarle County, Virginia, 19 November, 1752; died near Louisville, Kentucky, 18 February, 1818. He spent his early life in Caroline county, Virginia, and enjoyed some educational advantages from a noted Scotch teacher, Donald Robertson, in King and Queen county among whose pupils was James Madison. He fitted himself for a surveyor, and at the age of twenty practiced his profession on the upper Ohio, and became a farmer. Two years later he served under Governor Dunmore in his campaign against the Shawnees and their allies, which ended in the treaty o1: Camp Charlotte, memorable as the occasion of the undying speech of Logan, the Mingo chief. Early in 1775 Clark went to Kentucky, and was occupied in surveying; but, as the western Indians were induced by the British to take up the tomahawk, he became the natural leader of the people in the detente of their infant settlements, was made a major of the militia in 1776, and chosen as a delegate to the Virginia convention, to urge upon the state authorities the claims of the colony for government and detente.

He arrived at Williamsburg just after the convention had adjourned, but succeeded in procuring the formation of the new county of Kentucky, and a supply of ammunition for the detente of the frontier. It is said that Clark, seeing that his appeal for powder was likely to remain unheeded, exclaimed: "A country which is not worth defending is not worth claiming." The 500 pounds of powder thus obtained was conveyed by land to the Monongahela, and thence by water to the Three islands, a few miles above where Maysville now is, and there secreted, while Clark and his escort went to Harrodsburg for horses and a guard for its conveyance to that station. At length it reached the place of its destination, but not without the loss of some of the party who first attempted its acquisition. Early in 1777 Clark repelled the Indian attacks on Harrodsburg, sent out spies to Illinois, and on their return hastened on foot to Virginia to lay before the governor and council his plan for the conquest of the Illinois country and the repression of the murderous Indian forays from that quarter. His scheme was approved, and he was made a lieutenant colonel, authorized to raise the necessary troops, and pushed on with his little force to a small island opposite the present City of Louisville, where he erected block-houses, drilled his men, and planted corn. Hence the name of Corn island. On 24 June, 1778, during an eclipse of the sun, he set sail, passed safely over the rapids, and soon landed at the old deserted Fort Massac, and, marching thence six days across the country, a portion of the time without food, took Kaskaskia by surprise, 4 July. The other French villages in that quarter followed suit and surrendered at discretion. The Illinois country was thus captured without the firing of a gun or the loss of a man. Clark conciliated the surrounding Indian tribes, changing enemies into friends. All this tended to alarm the British. Governor Hamilton at Detroit marched a large force, mostly Indians, and retook Vincennes early in December of that year.

This intelligence soon reached Kaskaskia. "I must take Hamilton, or he will take me," said Clark; and with fewer than 170 men, all told, he marched across the country in midwinter, through the submerged hinds of the Wabash and its tributaries, sometimes breaking the ice, too thin to bear them, often wading up to their armpits in water, with scanty food, but buoyed up by patriotic hopes. They at length appeared before the astonished garrison, plied successfully their unerring rifles, and in a few hours Col. Hamilton yielded up the fort, surrendering to Clark and his ragged followers, 24 February, 1779. The weakness of his force and the poverty of Virginia alone prevented his attempting the capture of Detroit. Early in 1780 Clark established Fort Jefferson, a little below the mouth of the Ohio. Hearing of the approach of a formidable British and Indian force against Cahokia, his upper garrison, and the Spanish settlement of St. Louis, Clark hastened with a party to the relief of Cahokia, reaching there just in time to repel the enemy. Learning from them that another large force was marching to Kentucky, he hastened there on foot, with but two companions, leaving his Illinois troops to follow the retreating enemy to their towns on Rock river, which they found deserted and destroyed. On reaching Kentucky, Clark learned of Bird's invasion, capturing Martin's and Ruddell's stations, with 340 prisoners, when he hastily gathered a thousand men, invaded the Shawnee country, defeated the Indians, and laid waste their villages.

Once more Clark's attention was turned toward Detroit, the headquarters of British power and influence in the northwest, whence savage war-parties were constantly sent forth to harass and destroy the infant settlements of Kentucky. Going to Virginia, he concerted with Governor Jefferson and council a campaign against Detroit, which met the approval and assistance of General Washington. Before it could be carried into effect, Arnold's invasion of Virginia in January, 1781, occurred, when Clark temporarily headed 240 riflemen and ambuscaded a party of the enemy at Hood's, on James river; and then hastened forward, with the commission of brigadier-general, for the execution of his scheme against Detroit. But it miscarried, owing to the poverty of Virginia, the difficulty of raising an adequate force with inadequate means, and the powerful opposition of the enemy, headed by Brant, the great Mohawk chief, McKee, Girty, and other border leaders, who attacked Clark's detachment and invaded the Bear-grass settlements around Louisville.

In 1782, after the British and Indian attack on Bryan's station, and the disastrous defeat of the Kentuckians at the Blue Licks, Clark led forth 1,000 men, driving back the savages on Big Miami, and destroying their villages and means of sustenance. This was Clark's last important service, as his expedition up the Wabash in 1786, and his efforts in behalf of France in 1793-'4, against the Spaniards on the Mississippi, proved abortive. The freedom of Clark's early life had unfitted him for domestic happiness, and he never married. A tradition is preserved in the family that he was fascinated with the beauty of the daughter of the Spanish governor of St. Louis when he relieved that post from an Indian attack. Observing a want of courage in the governor, he broke off his addresses to the girl, saying to his friends: "I will not be the father of a race of cowards."

His last years were spent alone and in poverty, in a rude dwelling on Corn island, until his sister took him to her home at Locust Grove, near Louisville. He felt keenly what he considered the ingratitude of the republic in leaving him in poverty and obscurity, and when the state of Virginia sent him a sword, he received the compliments of the committee in gloomy silence. Then he exclaimed : "When Virginia needed a sword, I gave her one. She sends me now a toy. I want bread!" He thrust the sword into the ground and broke it with his crutch.

Clark was tall and commanding, brave and full of resources, possessing the affection and confidence of his men. All that rich domain northwest of the Ohio was secured to the republic, at the peace of 1783, in consequence of his prowess. His grave is in Cave Hill cemetery at Louisville, marked by a little headstone bearing the letters G. R.C. It is said that not half a dozen people in the United States can point, it out.

 

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lewis-clark.org :: Home Page
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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
... Meriwether Lewis and William Clark made their historic journey from May 1804--five
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Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (National Park Service ...
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... 5, Issue 1 October - December 1995 "The Bratton Bulletin". WILLIAM BRATTON--of Lewis
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Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
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and William Clark and their "Corps of Discovery." More than twenty years of ...

Educator's Choice Search: Lewis and Clark Explorers
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and William Clark( Lewis and Clark). Lewis and Clark Expedition. ...

CM.Russell's Captain William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark ...
... Charles Russell's "Captain William Clark, of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Meeting
with Indians of the Northwest", 1897, oil on canvas, 30" X 42". ...

William Clark, Lewis and Clark Expedition
... www.linecamp.com/museums/americanwest/western_names/clark_william/clark_william.html
William Clark, Lewis and Clark Expedition. ...

Lewis and Clark's Historic Trail
... In May, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out on an amazing expedition
across the Louisiana Territory. It has been nearly 200 years since then, and ...

Lewis and Clark: Introduction
... S. Watson and Castle McLaughlin. On May 22, 1804, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark,
and members of the Corps of North West Discovery left St. Louis for what was ...

GORP - Lewis and Clark Trail
... men were recruited along the way. At Clarksville, opposite Louisville, Lewis was
joined by his cocommander, William Clark. The party established its 1803-04 ...

Lewis and Clark in Montana
... In 1804 a hopeful Thomas Jefferson sent Captains Meriweather Lewis and William Clark
to find the fabled River of the West. From the time of Columbus, explorers ...

Exploring the West from Monticello: Chapter 4
... Both Meriwether Lewis and William Clark continued to learn about the topography
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Lewis & Clark Internet Archive
... Below is a comprehensive list of web sites (URLs) that are related in some manner
to the Lewis & Clark expedition. They are included without much regard to the ...

Lewis and Clark Collection
... manuscript maps which are thought to have belonged to William Clark 1770-1838),
coleader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The treasure of the collection is ...

Lewis & Clark
... Jefferson chose his young secretary, captain Meriwether Lewis. Lewis invited his
friend lieutenant William Clark to share the leadership. Both were familiar ...

Explorers & Travelers - Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Meriwether Lewis
(1774-1809) A native Virginian, Lewis ...

K-12 TLC Guide to Lewis & Clark
... General Resources Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Members of the Expedition Fort
Clatsop National Memorial, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, The Lewis and Clark ...
Description: A teacher's guide to resources available online.

Lewis and Clark Trail @ Buffalo Trails - Meriwether Louis - ...
Lewis and Clark Trail @ Buffalo Trails - Meriwether Louis - William Clark Search
Buffalo Trails' collection of Native American links! These sites includes ...

ThinkQuest Library of Entries
... Welcome to the ThinkQuest Library of Entries. ... Explorers of the Millennium. click
here to view this site A ThinkQuest Junior 1998 Entry. Click image for the Site. ...

Lewis and Clark Spotlight
... In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began a journey that was to become the
symbol of America's next century. They were the first United States citizens ...

Lewis and Clark Trail - Re-live the Adventure of the Corps ...
... and Clark, Lewis and Clark Trail, Lewis Clark Trail, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark,
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USA WEEKEND: Lewis & Clark, 11/02/97
... connect all of us together. For me, the remarkable journey of Meriwether Lewis
and William Clark is the kind of history that does just that and offers each ...

Lewis & Clark
... Meriwether) Lewis. Died 11 October 1809, near Hohenwald, Lewis County, Tennessee.
Welsh ancestry. Capt. William Clark - Born 1 August 1770, in Caroline County ...

PBS Online - Lewis and Clark: Inside the Corps
... to assist Lewis, President Jefferson s first choice to lead the journey. Lewis wanted
William Clark. On June 19, 1803, Lewis penned a letter to Clark, who was ...

Lewis & Clark in Missouri
... Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Exhibition In 2004, two hundred years after Meriwether
Lewis and William Clark set out from St. Louis on their transcontinental ...

Missouri Historical Society - Lewis and Clark Exhibit
... In 2004, two hundred years after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from
St. Louis on their transcontinental journey of exploration, a major exhibition ...

Lewis and Clark Herbarium
... home to more than 200 priceless specimens of plants collected by Meriwether Lewis
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