Clark, William, 1770-1838

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1770-08-01
Death 1838-09-01
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Explorer, governor of the Territory of Missouri, army officer, and the U.S. superintendent of Indian Affairs.

From the description of William Clark papers, 1816-1818. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79452648

Explorer.

From the description of [Codicil to will] 1837. (Denver Museum of Nature & Science). WorldCat record id: 29305311

Army officer best known for partnership in the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1794, he was Lieutenant in the 4th sub-legion of the Legion of the U.S. under "Mad Anthony" Wayne.

From the description of [Request for whiskey]. 1794, May 30 Letter. (Tulsa City-County Library). WorldCat record id: 262559377

Explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis led the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).

From the guide to the William Clark journal, January 6-10, 1806, January 6-10, 1806, (American Philosophical Society)

Clark was an explorer, brigadier general, and governor of Missouri territory.

From the description of ALS, 1809 June 12 : Saint Louis, to Colonel Daniel Bissell, Bellfontain. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 17258032

William Clark was an explorer and Indian agent. After the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), he was made governor of the Missouri Territory and superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis.

From the description of Diary, 1808 Aug. 25-Sept. 22. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 173465641

American explorer, Indian agent, and governor of the Missouri Territory.

From the description of Letter, 1794. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122392795

William Clark requested that Nicholas Biddle, scholar, statesman, and financier, write a narrative of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which was published in 1814 as "History of the Expedition of Captains Lewis and Clark."

From the guide to the Nicholas Biddle correspondence, 1815-1893, 1815-1893, (American Philosophical Society)

After the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), explorer and Indian agent, William Clark became governor of the Missouri Territory and acted as superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis.

From the guide to the William Clark diary, August 25, 1808 - September 22, 1808, August 25, 1808 - September 22, 1808, (American Philosophical Society)

American explorer, Indian agent, and a leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

From the description of Bill of exchange, 1808. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122367763

William Clark (1770-1838), younger brother of George Rogers Clark, served in the army Indian campaigns, 1789-96. In 1803 he joined Merriwether Lewis in leading an expedition to the Pacific Ocean, after which he retired and became superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis and in 1813 governor of Missouri Territory.

From the description of Letter: to the Honorable William H. Crawford, Secretary of War /by William Clark, 1816 Oct 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702127587

William Clark (1770-1838), co-captain of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

From the description of Field notes, 1803-1805. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702127314

Soldier, explorer, government official.

From the description of Journal, 1794 July 28-1794 Oct. 26. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49194068

Explorer, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of the Missouri Territory, 1813-1820, and superintendent of Indian affairs, St. Louis Superintendency, 1822-1838.

From the description of Letters : St. Louis, [Mo.], to Col. J[osiah] Snelling, St. Peters and Fort St. Anthony, [Minn.], 1823-1825. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36641720

From the description of Letter : St. Louis, [Mo.], to Brig. Genl. H[enry] Atkinson, Jefferson Barracks, [Mo.], 1833 Mar. 25. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36640822

Explorer, Indian agent; lieutenant of infantry, 1792-1796; explored a route to the Pacific Ocean with Meriwether Lewis, 1804-1806; Indian agent and governor, Louisiana Territory, 1807-1813; governor, Missouri Territory, 1813-1820; superintendent of Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Missouri, 1822-1838.

From the description of Letter: Louisville, Ky., to James Morrison, Lexington, Ky., 1809 Oct. 20. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 28397827

From the description of Document : St. Louis, [Mo.], 1814 April 8. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 28447891

William Clark, the younger brother of George Rogers Clark, was the co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and later served as the superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis and the governor of the Missouri Territory.

From the description of Letter, 1825 September 3. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49194095

William Clark was an explorer and, with Meriwether Lewis, led the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).

From the description of Journal, 1806 Jan. 6-10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 173465650

With the close of the War of 1812, William Clark, Auguste Chouteau, and Ninian Edwards were appointed commissioners to conclude peace treaties between the U.S. and warring western Indian tribes.

The treaty conference convened on July 5, 1815, at Portage de Sioux and continued until Sept. 16, 1815. Numerous treaties with individual tribes pledging forgiveness and the release of prisoners were drawn up during the meetings. In addition, the Indians were compensated with presents for their dead.

From the description of Instructions : St. Louis, [Mo.], to Mr. Turcotte, 1815 May 16. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36635092

Explorer, governor of the Missouri Territory, and Indian agent.

From 1822 until his death in 1838, Clark served as superintendent of the St. Louis Superintendency of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Until 1834, his jurisdiction included agencies on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and encompassed within its limits many Indian tribes, including the Winnebago. Clark was known for his sympathetic understanding of Indian affairs, and throughout his superintendency made pleas to Washington for a humane and just Indian policy.

From the description of Letter : Superintendency of Ind[ian] Affairs, St. Louis, [Mo.], to Nicholas Biddle, President Bank of the U[nited] States, Philadelphia, [Pa.], 1831 June 2. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 34333438

William Clark, famed explorer of the early American frontier, was born on Aug. 1, 1770, in Virginia. A former militiaman and Army officer, he was asked by Meriwether Lewis to join an expedition to explore the area between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. That expedition, the first of its kind in the young United States, now bears Lewis and Clark's names. The journey began in earnest in 1804, when the party of explorers began to push their way up the Missouri River, and ended in 1806. Clark made most of the journey's maps and assumed responsibility for maintaining military discipline along the way.

After Lewis's death in 1809, Clark took on the task of arranging publication of the records of the journey. He was appointed superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1807 and held that post for three decades, gaining the respect of the Indian tribes, among whom he was known as "the red-haired chief." From 1813 to 1821, Clark was also governor of the Missouri Territory. He left the post when Missouri became a state. Clark died in St. Louis on Sept. 1, 1838.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science owns several objects that once belonged to Clark, including a brass telescope that he carried on the expedition. The telescope and other objects, part of a group of items sold by Clark's great-grandson, were later donated to the museum.

From the guide to the William Clark, Codicil to will, 1837, (Denver Museum of Nature & Science, )

U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, St.Louis, Missouri

Agency Dates Louisiana Territory Agency 1807-1812 Missouri Superintendency 1812-1821 St. Louis Superintendency 1822-1851 Central Superintendency 1851-1855 Superintendents Dates William Clark, Agent 1807-1812 William Clark, Superintendent 1812-1838 Joshua Pilcher, Superintendent 1839-1841 David D. Mitchell, Superintendent 1841-1844 Thomas Harvey, Superintendent 1844-1849 David D. Mitchell, Superintendent 1849-1853 Alfred Cumming,, Superintendent 1853-1855

From the guide to the William Clark papers [microform]., 1957., (Minnesota Historical Society)

When Thomas Jefferson acceded to the Presidency in 1801, one of his great unfulfilled wishes was to see a proper scientific expedition carried overland to the Pacific. As a Congressman in 1783, he had failed to convince George Rogers Clark to explore the west, and in 1793, his plans for André Michaux fell prey to international political machinations, and several other attempts had failed at even earlier stages. But in 1801, Jefferson dusted off the basic plan he had devised for Michaux, and once again, prepared to send an exploring party to the west.

To lead his expedition, Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, a political ally, fellow Virginian, and a rejected applicant (at the tender age of 19) for the Michaux expedition. Lewis was not the worldly savant that Jefferson was, but he was well-read, scientifically versed, wrote beautiful prose, and was experienced in wilderness life. Lewis was allowed to select his second in command, an old army friend, William Clark, with whom he had served in the Northwest Territory. Although less well-educated than Lewis, Clark was an astute observer in his own right and if his prose was less polished, he was a more conscientious diarist and a very capable cartographer. Differing in personality, the moody Lewis and solid Clark made a compatible team.

From the outset, the Lewis and Clark expedition seemed destined to enjoy a better fate than its predecessors. While Michaux had become ensnared in international rivalries after entering the field, Lewis and Clark were presented with news that the Louisiana Territory had been purchased, removing one more international hurdle to clear in an already arduous course. Although usually thought of as a scientific expedition, it was driven as much by political and commercial interests as scientific. In keeping with his Enlightened precepts, the information that Jefferson hoped to gain was practical as well as theoretical. He hoped as much to spur the extension of the fur trade further into the interior as to advance pure knowledge, and wished to determine which areas were most amenable to white settlement. On the political front, Lewis and Clark were specifically enjoined to cultivate alliances among the Indians to blunt Spanish and British influence in the region. Above all, the success of the expedition promised to aid in fulfilling what Americans thought was inevitable: extending American sovereignty from sea to sea.

Lewis left Philadelphia in the summer of 1803, and joined with Clark and a few recruits in Indiana before arriving late in the year at the staging area near St. Louis. After making final preparations, they set off on May 14, 1804, for the west, ascending the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri, and then westward. From North Dakota to nearly the coast, Lewis and Clark passed through lands that no Europeans had ever seen, before reaching their goal, the Pacific, in November 1805. On the return leg of their journey (begun on March 3, 1806), the two improvised an even more ambitious plan, splitting their party in two to cover more territory, before reuniting in North Dakota. They finally arrived back in St. Louis on September 23, 1806.

Today, all along the original trail, the expedition is remembered as an example of fortitude and scientific achievement. Unlike many who followed, the explorers were generally cooperative with the native peoples they encountered -- indeed, they were reliant upon them -- and on only one occasion did they resort to violence. In their descriptions of dozens of new plant and animal species, in their "ethnographic" descriptions of Native Americans, and in their invaluable maps of the region, Lewis and Clark more than justified Jefferson's confidence and truly set the stage for an American west.

From the guide to the Lewis and Clark Journals, 1804-1806, (American Philosophical Society)

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Ark ID:
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SNAC ID:
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Subjects:

  • Indian agents
  • Chickasaw Indians--History--Sources
  • Indians of North America--Claims against
  • Osage Indians--Treaties
  • Indians of North America--Land tenure
  • Wayne's Campaign, 1794--Sources
  • Native America
  • Indians, treatment of
  • Indians of North America--Oregon
  • Northwest Coast Indians
  • Indians of North America--Government relations--1789-1869--Sources
  • Indian land transfers
  • Manuscript maps
  • Louisiana Purchase--Discovery and exploration
  • Indians of North America--Commerce--West (U.S.)
  • Travel
  • Trade
  • Sihasapa Indians
  • Travelers--History--19th century--Sources
  • Indian cartography--North America
  • Indian cartography
  • Indians of North America
  • Early National Politics
  • Murder--History--19th century--Sources
  • Missouri Indians
  • Indians of North America--Wars--1750-1815
  • United States--Discovery and exploration
  • Indians of North America--North Dakota
  • Shoshoni Indians
  • Winnebago Indians--History--19th century--Sources
  • Explorers--Biography--Sources
  • Plateau Indians
  • Indians of North America--Treaties
  • Wills
  • Indians of North America--Government relations
  • Indian agents--Correspondence
  • Natural history
  • Indians of North America--Commerce
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806)
  • Indian agents--Biography--Sources
  • Yale Maps
  • Indians of North America--Education
  • Maps shelf
  • Visitors, Foreign--History--19th century--Sources
  • Mandan Indians
  • Chinook Indians
  • American letters--History--19th century
  • Indians of North America--Treaties--History--19th century--Sources
  • Alcohol--Law and legislation--History--19th century--Sources
  • Fur trade
  • Indians of North America--Government relations--1789-1869
  • Plains Indians
  • Indians of North America--History--19th century--Sources
  • Indians of North America--Missouri
  • Winnebago Indians--Government relations
  • Oto Indians
  • Discoveries in geography--American
  • Soldiers--Biography--Sources
  • Salish Indians
  • Indians of North America--Montana
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Exploration
  • Ojibwa Indians--Government relations
  • Dakota Indians--Government relations
  • Indians of North America--Claims
  • Manuscript maps--Facsimiles
  • Fur trade--United States
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806)--Maps, Manuscript--Facsimiles

Occupations:

  • Explorers
  • Governors--Missouri
  • Public officials
  • Explorers--United States
  • Indian agents--Minnesota
  • Cartographers--United States
  • Soldiers--United States
  • Public officers--United States
  • Army officers

Places:

  • Missouri--Saint Louis (as recorded)
  • North America, West of the Mississippi (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Mississippi River Valley (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Missouri River Valley (as recorded)
  • Oregon (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Sibley (Mo.) (as recorded)
  • United States, Army (as recorded)
  • Northwest, Old (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri (as recorded)
  • Prairie du Chien (Wis.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Missouri Territory (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Saint Louis (Mo.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri--Saint Louis (as recorded)
  • Missouri River (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri (as recorded)
  • Fort Osage (Mo.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • McCracken County (Ky.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Missouri (as recorded)
  • Paducah (Ky.) (as recorded)
  • Pepin, Lake (Minn. and Wis.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • North America (as recorded)
  • Kentucky (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri--Saint Louis (as recorded)
  • Wisconsin (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • North America (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Louisiana Purchase (as recorded)
  • Saint Louis (Mo.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri (as recorded)
  • Fort Osage (Mo.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri--Saint Louis (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Fort Madison (Iowa) (as recorded)
  • Missouri--Saint Louis (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Missouri River. (as recorded)
  • Minnesota (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)