William Clark

William Clark

Discussion
Ask a question about 'William Clark'
Start a new discussion about 'William Clark'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
William Clark was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent
Indian agent
In United States history, an Indian agent was an individual authorized to interact with Native American tribes on behalf of the U.S. government.-Indian agents:*Leander Clark was agent for the Sac and Fox in Iowa beginning in 1866....

, and territorial governor. A native of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, he grew up in prestatehood Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 before later settling in what became the state of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. Clark was a planter
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 and slaveholder.

Along with Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis
Meriwether Lewis was an American explorer, soldier, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also known as the Corps of Discovery, with William Clark...

, Clark led the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

 of 1803 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States. Before the expedition, he served in a militia and the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. Afterward, he served in a militia and as governor of the Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

. From 1822 until his death in 1838, he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

.

Early life


William Clark was born in Caroline County, Virginia
Caroline County, Virginia
Caroline County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 28,545. Its county seat is Bowling Green. Caroline County is also home to The Meadow stables, the birthplace of the renowned racehorse Secretariat, winner of the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and...

, on August 1, 1770, the ninth of ten children of John and Ann Rogers Clark. His parents were natives of King and Queen County
King and Queen County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,630 people, 2,673 households, and 1,897 families residing in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile . There were 3,010 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile...

, and were of English and possibly Scots ancestry. The Clarks were common planters in Virginia, owners of modest estates and a few slaves, and members of the Anglican Church.

Clark did not have any formal education; like many of his contemporaries, he was tutored at home. In later years, he was self-conscious about his convoluted grammar and inconsistent spelling—he spelled "Sioux" 27 different ways in his journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

—and sought to have his journals corrected before publication. The spelling of American English was not standardized in Clark's youth, and his vocabulary suggests he was well read.

Clark's five older brothers fought in Virginia units during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 (1775–1783), but William was too young. His oldest brother, Jonathan Clark
Jonathan Clark (soldier)
Jonathan Clark was a U.S. soldier. After serving as a captain, major and colonel in the American Revolutionary War, he rose to the rank of major-general of the Virginia militia...

, served as a colonel during the war, rising to the rank of general in the Virginia militia years afterward. His second-oldest brother, George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war...

, rose to the rank of general, spending most of the war in Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 fighting against British-allied American Indians
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

. After the war, the two oldest Clark brothers made arrangements for their parents and family to relocate to Kentucky.

William, his parents, his three sisters, and the Clark family's slaves arrived in Kentucky in March 1785, having first traveled overland to Redstone Landing in present-day Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Brownsville is a borough in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States, officially founded in 1785 located 35 miles south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River...

. They completed the journey down the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 by flatboat
Flatboat
Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with Fil1800flatboat.jpgA flatboat is a rectangular flat-bottomed boat with (mostlyNOTE: "(parenthesized)" wordings in the quote below are notes added to...

. The Clark family settled at "Mulberry Hill", a plantation along Beargrass Creek
Beargrass Creek
Beargrass Creek is the name given to several forks of a creek in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The Beargrass Creek watershed is the largest in the county, draining over ....

 near Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

. This was William Clark's primary home until 1803. In Kentucky, his older brother George Rogers Clark taught William wilderness survival skills.

Military career begins


Kentuckians fought the Northwest Indian War
Northwest Indian War
The Northwest Indian War , also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names, was a war fought between the United States and a confederation of numerous American Indian tribes for control of the Northwest Territory...

 against American Indians north of the Ohio River, who were trying to preserve their territory. In 1789, 19-year-old William Clark joined a volunteer militia
Militia (United States)
The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

 force under Major John Hardin
John Hardin
John J. Hardin was a soldier, farmer, rancher, noted marksman and hunter. He was wounded fighting in Lord Dunmore's War; served as a Continental Army officer in the American Revolutionary War and as a Kentucky Co., Virginia militia commander in the Northwest Indian War...

. Clark kept a detailed journal of the expedition, beginning a lifelong practice. Hardin was advancing against the Wea Indians on the Wabash River
Wabash River
The Wabash River is a river in the Midwestern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near Fort Recovery across northern Indiana to southern Illinois, where it forms the Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary...

, who had been raiding settlements in Kentucky. In error, the undisciplined Kentucky militia attacked a peaceful Shawnee
Shawnee
The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...

 hunting camp, where they killed a total of eight men, women, and children.

In 1790, Clark was commissioned by General Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair was an American soldier and politician. Born in Scotland, he served in the British Army during the French and Indian War before settling in Pennsylvania, where he held local office...

, governor of the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

, as a captain in the Clarksville, Indiana
Clarksville, Indiana
Clarksville is a town in Clark County, Indiana, United States, along the Ohio River as a part of the Louisville Metropolitan area. The population was 21,724 at the 2010 census. The town, once a home site to George Rogers Clark, was founded in 1783 and is the oldest American town in the Northwest...

 militia. One older source says he was sent on a mission to the Creek
Creek
Creek may refer to:*Creek, a small stream* Creek , an inlet of the sea, narrower than a cove * Creek, a narrow channel/small stream between islands in the Florida Keys*Muscogee , a native American people...

 and Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 in the Southeast, whom the US hoped to keep out of the war. His responsibilities are unclear. He may have visited New Orleans at that time. His travels prevented him from participating in General Josiah Harmar
Josiah Harmar
Josiah Harmar was an officer in the United States Army during the American Revolution and the Northwest Indian War. He was the senior officer in the Army for seven years....

's disastrous campaign into the Northwest Territory that year.

In 1791, Clark served as an ensign and acting lieutenant with expeditions under generals Charles Scott
Charles Scott (governor of Kentucky)
Charles Scott was an American soldier and politician who served as the fourth Governor of Kentucky from 1808 to 1812. Orphaned at an early age, Scott served under Edward Braddock and George Washington in the French and Indian War...

 and James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, but was twice compelled to resign...

. He enlisted in the Legion of the United States
Legion of the United States
The Legion of the United States was a reorganization and extension of the United States Army from 1792 to 1796 under the command of Major General Anthony Wayne.-Origins:The impetus for the Legion came from General Arthur St...

 and was commissioned as a lieutenant on March 6, 1792 under Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne
Anthony Wayne was a United States Army general and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.-Early...

. On September 4, 1792 he was assigned to the 4th Sub-Legion. He was involved in several skirmishes with Indians during the continuing Northwest Indian War. At the Battle of Fallen Timbers
Battle of Fallen Timbers
The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the final battle of the Northwest Indian War, a struggle between American Indian tribes affiliated with the Western Confederacy and the United States for control of the Northwest Territory...

 in 1794, Clark commanded a company of riflemen who drove back the enemy on the left flank, killing a number of Indians and Canadians. This decisive US victory brought the Northwest Indian War to an end. In 1795, Clark was dispatched on a mission to New Madrid, Missouri
New Madrid, Missouri
New Madrid is a city in New Madrid County, Missouri, 42 miles south by west of Cairo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River. New Madrid was founded in 1788 by American frontiersmen. In 1900, 1,489 people lived in New Madrid, Missouri; in 1910, the population was 1,882. The population was 3,334 at...

. Clark also served as an adjutant
Adjutant
Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

 and quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

 while in the militia.

Lewis and Clark Expedition


William Clark resigned his commission on July 4, 1796 and retired due to poor health, although he was only 26 years old. He returned to Mulberry Hill, his family's plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 near Louisville. While assigned to Clarks' unit, Lewis and Clark grew to respect each other.

In 1803, Meriwether Lewis recruited Clark, then age 33, to share command of the newly formed Corps of Discovery, whose mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade with Native Americans and the sovereignty of the US. They were to find a waterway from the US to the Pacific Ocean and claim the Oregon territory for the United States before European nations did. Clark spent three years on the expedition to the Pacific Coast. A slave owner known to deal harshly with his slaves, he brought York, one of his slaves, with him. York did manual labor in extreme weather and received no compensation. The indigenous
Indigenous
Indigenous means: belonging to a certain place.Indigenous may refer to:In Ecology and Geography*Indigenous resources, resources which exist within local geography, that are not imported...

 nations treated York with respect, and many of the Indians were interested in his appearance, which "played a key role in diplomatic relations".

Although Clark was refused rank when Jefferson asked the Senate to appoint him, at Lewis' insistence, he exercised equal authority, and continued the mission. Clark concentrated chiefly on the drawing of map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s, the management of the expedition's supplies, and the leading hunting expeditions for game.

Indigenous nations and war


In 1807, President Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 appointed Clark as the brigadier general
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 of the militia in the Louisiana Territory
Louisiana Territory
The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805 until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed to Missouri Territory...

, and the US agent for Indian affairs
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. At the time, trade was a major goal and the US established the factory system
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

. The government and its appointees licensed traders to set up trading posts in Indian territory. Indian relations were handled in what became the War Department. Clark set up his headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

.

There he became a member of the Freemasons, a secret fraternal group. The records of his initiation do not exist, but on September 18, 1809, Saint Louis Lodge No. 111 issued a traveling certificate for Clark.

During the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, he led several campaigns, among them in 1814, one along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, up to the Prairie du Chien-area. He established the short-lived Fort Shelby
Fort Shelby (Wisconsin)
Fort Shelby was a United States military installation in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, built in 1814. It was named for Isaac Shelby, Revolutionary War soldier and first governor of Kentucky. The fort was captured by the British during the Siege of Prairie du Chien in July 1814...

, the first post in what is now Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. Soon, the post was captured by the British. When the Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

 was formed in 1813, Clark was appointed as the governor by President Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

. He was reappointed to the position by Madison in 1816, and in 1820 by President Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

. When Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 became a state in 1820, Clark was defeated in the election for governor by Alexander McNair
Alexander McNair
Alexander McNair was an American frontiersman and politician. He was the first Governor of Missouri from its entry as a state in 1820, until 1824....

.

In 1822, Clark was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs by President Monroe, a new position created by Congress after the factory system
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

 was abolished. Clark remained in that position until his death; his title changed with the creation of the Office of Indian Affairs in 1824 and finally the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

 in 1829, both within the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

. From 1824 to 1825, he was additionally appointed surveyor general
Surveyor General
The Surveyor General is an official responsible for government surveying in a specific country or territory. Originally this would often have been a military appointment, but is now more likely to be a civilian post....

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Missouri and the Territory of Arkansaw.

Though Clark tried to maintain peaceful relations with indigenous nations and negotiated peace treaties, he was involved in President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

's Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 policy. This included "his duty to oversee removal". He managed retaliation against Black Hawk and those allied with him in the Black Hawk War
Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict fought in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans headed by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos known as the "British Band" crossed the Mississippi River into the U.S....

, when hostilities arose between them and the Americans. Clark issued "an extermination order", which he gave to Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass was an American military officer and politician. During his long political career, Cass served as a governor of the Michigan Territory, an American ambassador, a U.S. Senator representing Michigan, and co-founder as well as first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan...

, a man who played a central role in Jackson's removal policy.

Marriage and family


After returning from his cross-country expedition, Clark married Julia Hancock on January 5, 1808, at Fincastle, Virginia
Fincastle, Virginia
Fincastle is a town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. The population was 353 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Botetourt County.Fincastle is part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

. They had five children: Meriwether Lewis Clark, Sr.
Meriwether Lewis Clark, Sr.
Meriwether Lewis Clark, Sr. was an architect, civil engineer, politician, and a general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He first served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater as the initial commander of the Ninth Division of the Missouri State Guard and later commanded a brigade...

 (1809–1881), named after his friend and expedition partner; William Preston Clark (1811–1840); Mary Margaret Clark (1814–1821); George Rogers Hancock Clark (1816–1858), named after Clark's older brother; and John Julius Clark (1818–1831), named after his oldest brother Jonathan and Clark's wife.

After Julia's death in 1820, William Clark married her first cousin, Harriet Kennerly Radford. They had three children together: Jefferson Kearny Clark (1824–1900), named after the president; Edmund Clark (1826–1827); and Harriet Clark, named after her mother (dates unknown; died as child). His second wife Harriet died in 1831.

Clark died in St. Louis on September 1, 1838. He was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, where a 35 feet (10.7 m) gray granite obelisk
Obelisk
An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top, and is said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk. A pair of obelisks usually stood in front of a pylon...

 was erected to mark his grave. The cemetery has been designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

.

Legacy and honors

  • In 2001, President Bill Clinton
    Bill Clinton
    William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

     elevated Clark to a Captain in the US Army posthumously. Descendants of Clark were there to mark the occasion.

  • 2004 rededication of the obelisk: Although his family had established endowments to maintain his grave site, by the late 20th century, the grave site had fallen into disrepair. His descendants raised $100,000 to rehabilitate the obelisk. They celebrated the rededication with a ceremony May 21, 2004, on the bicentennial of the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The ceremony was attended by a large gathering of Clark's descendants, reenactors in period dress, and leaders from the Osage Nation
    Osage Nation
    The Osage Nation is a Native American Siouan-language tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky. After years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri,...

     and the Lemhi band of the Shoshone
    Shoshone
    The Shoshone or Shoshoni are a Native American tribe in the United States with three large divisions: the Northern, the Western and the Eastern....

    .

  • The western American plant
    Plant
    Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

     genus
    Genus
    In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

     Clarkia
    Clarkia
    Clarkia is a genus within the flowering plant family Onagraceae. Over 40 species are currently classified in Clarkia; almost all are native to western North America, though one species is native to South America....

    (in the evening primrose
    Evening Primrose
    Evening Primrose is a musical with a book by James Goldman and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. It is based on a John Collier short story published in the 1951 collection Fancies and Goodnights....

     family Onagraceae
    Onagraceae
    Onagraceae, also known as the Willowherb family or Evening Primrose family, are a family of flowering plants. The family includes about 640-650 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees in 20-24 genera...

    ), is named after him, as are the cutthroat trout
    Cutthroat trout
    The cutthroat trout is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. It is one of the many fish species colloquially known as trout...

     (Oncorhynchus clarki), Clark's grebe
    Clark's Grebe
    Clark's Grebe is a North American species in the grebe family. Until the 1980s, it was thought to be a pale morph of the Western Grebe, which it resembles in size, range, and behavior...

     (Aechmophorus clarkii), and Clark's nutcracker
    Clark's Nutcracker
    Clark's Nutcracker , sometimes referred to as Clark's Crow or Woodpecker Crow, is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae. It is slightly smaller than its Eurasian relative the Spotted Nutcracker . It is ashy-grey all over except for the black-and-white wings and central tail feathers...

     (Nucifraga columbiana), a large passerine bird, in the family Corvidae. All were species which Clark identified during the expedition.

  • He is included on the St. Louis Walk of Fame
    St. Louis Walk of Fame
    The St. Louis Walk of Fame honors well-known people from St. Louis, Missouri, who made contributions to culture of the United States. All inductees were either born in the Greater St. Louis area or spent their formative or creative years there...

    .
  • Counties were named in his honor in the following states: Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

    , Idaho
    Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

    , Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

    , Lewis and Clark County, Montana
    Lewis and Clark County, Montana
    -National protected areas:* Flathead National Forest * Helena National Forest * Lewis and Clark National Forest * Lolo National Forest * Rocky Mountain Front Conservation Area -Demographics:...

    , and Washington.
  • The Clarks River
    Clarks River
    The Clarks River, named for William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is a tributary of the Tennessee River in the Jackson Purchase region of western Kentucky. For the greater part of its length, it consists of two parallel forks of approximately equal size, the East Fork and the West Fork...

     in western Kentucky is named for him, as is the Clark Fork
    Clark Fork (river)
    The Clark Fork is a river in the U.S. states of Montana and Idaho, approximately long. The largest river by volume in Montana, it drains an extensive region of the Rocky Mountains in western Montana and northern Idaho in the watershed of the Columbia River, flowing northwest through a long...

     in Montana and Idaho, and the Clarks Fork Yellowstone River
    Clarks Fork Yellowstone River
    The Clarks Fork Yellowstone River is a tributary of the Yellowstone River, 150 mi long in the U.S. states of Montana and Wyoming....

     in Montana and Wyoming.
  • The United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

     Polaris nuclear submarine
    Nuclear submarine
    A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor . The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over "conventional" submarines are considerable: nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for...

     USS Lewis and Clark
    USS Lewis and Clark
    USS Lewis and Clark may refer to:*USS Lewis and Clark , a Benjamin Franklin-class ballistic missile submarine of the U.S. Navy*USNS Lewis and Clark , a dry cargo ship of the U.S. Military Sealift Command...

    was named for him and Lewis.
  • The Clark Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge across the Mississippi River between West Alton, Missouri and Alton, Illinois, was named after him.
  • Lewis and Clark Community College in Metro East was named for the explorers.
  • Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon was named after Lewis and Clark.

General references

  • Buckley, Jay H. William Clark: Indian Diplomat. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. ISBN 0-8061-3911-1.
  • Foley, William E. Wilderness Journey: The Life of William Clark. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8262-1533-5.
  • Jones, Landon Y. William Clark and the Shaping of the West, New York: Hill and Wang, 2004. ISBN 0-8090-9726-5.

External links