George Rogers Clark - Siblings
The following is taken from Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark by William Hayden English. The two volumes were published by The Bowen-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Kansas City, Missouri, in 1897. Chapter XXVI is found on pages 991 to 1019.
- Jonathan Clark
- Ann Clark Gwathmey
- John Clark
- Richard Clark
- Captain Edmund Clark
- Lucy Clark Croghan
- Elizabeth Clark Anderson
- Frances Eleanor Clark
- Governor William Clark and discusses the three individuals named William Clark"
the oldest brother of the children of John Clark and Ann Rogers, was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, August 1, 1750 (old style).
He received a fair English education, and, in time, became a lawyer, and a successful man of business. He was the prudent, practical business man of the elder portion of the numerous children of John Clark, as his brother William was of the younger.
When quite young he spent some time in the office of the clerk of Spottsylvania county, Virginia, as deputy clerk, in which capacity he added much to his stock of information about practical affairs.
In 1772 he removed to Woodstock, in the county then called Dunmore, but which was afterwards changed to Shenandoah, and was very soon taken into public favor by being selected, with the celebrated Peter Muhlenberg, to serve as delegate from the county in an important convention held at Richmond in the interests of the colonies.
About this time trouble began between the patriotic citizens of Virginia, and the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, which culminated in the latter seizing the public powder belonging to the colony without authority. This led to an uprising of the sturdy colonists to regain possession of the powder, by force if necessary, and young Clark marched towards Williamsburgh, the then capital, as lieutenant of an independent company of riflemen for that purpose.
Clark's company returned home, however, without bloodshed, and he and Muhlenberg were again sent as delegates to the convention which met at Richmond in December, 1775.
In the spring of 1776, Clark was promoted to the captaincy of a company (commissioned March 4), which advanced from Woodstock to Portsmouth, and was engaged in several skirmishes with the adherents of the royal governor, Dunmore, who, in the meantime, had fled the capital and taken refuge on an English ship.
Early in the following summer, Clark marched with Muhlenberg's regiment and other troops to Charleston, South Carolina, at which place they arrived on the 24th of June, and were at once involved in the important military movements then going on at that place and vicinity. He continued there until in August when he was ordered further south, and at Savannah was seized with dangerous illness which so prostrated him that, for a long time, he was unable to perform military service, and returned home on furlough in the autumn of that year. When about recovered from this long protracted sickness in the spring of 1777, he had the misfortune to be taken down with the small-pox, which again disabled him for a considerable period.
As soon as his health permitted, he returned to the army under Washington, then at Bound Brook encampment, and with the Eighth Virginia Regiment, in the brigade of General Charles Scott, participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and aided in breaking the British right wing in the latter battle.
He was also in the battle of Monmouth in 1778, and in 1779 served with great distinction in the surprise of the enemy at Paulus Hook, on which important occasion he was second in command, having been previously promoted to be a major by congress.
One hundred and fifty-nine of the enemy were captured in this affair, with a loss to the Americans of only two killed and three wounded. So important was the result that General Washington hastened to communicate it to congress in a manner highly complimentary. He said "that a remarkable degree of prudence, address, enterprise and bravery was displayed on the occasion, which does the highest honor to all the officers and men engaged in it, and that the situation of the fort rendered the attempt critical and the success brilliant." Congress returned thanks and ordered a gold medal to be made in honor of the event, and fifteen thousand dollars to be distributed among the rank and file who participated in the enterprise.
Major Clark was highly complimented in letters from Lord Sterling and other officers, and in November following congress promoted him to be a lieutenant-colonel, to date from the previous May.
In the following winter Clark and the Virginia regiment to which he belonged, together with other troops, marched through terrible hardships to the south, reaching Charleston in the last of March, 1780, where they encountered still further trials and sufferings, until finally, on the 12th of May, the American army, then under command of General Lincoln, was compelled to surrender to the enemy. Colonel Clark was held a prisoner in Charleston until the spring of 1781, when he was paroled and returned to Virginia, but he was not formally exchanged until after the surrender of Cornwallis.
Abraham Bowman was the colonel of the eighth Virginia regiment of which Clark was the lieutenant-colonel, and he was also the first cousin of an attractive young lady residing in Frederick county, Virginia, named Sarah Hite. She was the daughter of Isaac Hite, Sr., and granddaughter of Jost Hite, and her brother Isaac Hite, Jr., was likewise a major in the Revolutionary army.
The friendship existing between the two comrades-in-arms led to an acquaintance between Colonel Clark and Miss Hite, which resulted in their marriage February 13, 1782. He settled for a time in Spottsylvania county, and was commissioned a major-general of the Virginia militia in 1793.
But his thoughts now turned to the great west, and in 1802 he joined his distinguished brother, George Rogers Clark at the falls of the Ohio, settling finally at Trough Spring, near Louisville. Here he devoted himself to business with great success, accumulating a large fortune in real estate as well as personal property. The inventory of the latter, returned by Abraham Hite, his wife's cousin, and John H. Clark, his son, his administrators, covers eleven pages of book of inventories No. 2, Jefferson county, Kentucky. A glance over the long list shows that fifty-six of his slaves were mentioned by name. The following notice of General Jonathan Clark's death appeared in the Western Sun, published at Vincennes, December 14, 1811: "Another Revolutionary hero is gone--Died at his seat near Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday, the 25th ult. (November, 1811), General Jonathan Clark--He supped with his family on the 24th, retired at his accustomed hour to rest, and in the morning was found numbered with the dead."
The marriage of Jonathan Clark and Sarah Hite was a happy one in every respect. She was the younger by some eight years and survived him about that time. They are resting side by side in Cave Hill Cemetery, and the family monument and the inscriptions thereon have already been described in a previous chapter. A list of their descendants was kindly furnished by one of them, Miss Ann J. Bodley, of Louisville, Kentucky, will be found near the close of the appendix.
The following is an extract from an interesting notice of the death of General Jonathan Clark, which appeared in a leading newspaper of that time:
REPOSITORY of DEATH
At his seat, on Monday, the 25th ult. (November, 1811), General Jonathan Clark, aged sixty-one--one of the heroes who participated in the dangers of his country in those days when she struggled for her birthright amongst the nations of the earth. He supped with his family on the evening of the 24th, retired at his accustomed hour to rest, and in the morning was found numbered with the dead. His death may be considered as truly enviable, for it was free from every species of pain or those agonizing feelings that so often attend the last hours of our existence. (Here follows a brief narrative of the leading events in his life, which are omitted, as they have already been given.)
On the religious character of General Clark it will not be necessary to enlarge. The principles of piety and virtue were early instilled by a strict education; nor do they appear ever to have lost their influence upon the general conduct of his life. He was too great a lover of truth not to make religion the object of his serious inquiry. The result of his investigation was a full conviction of the divine origin of the Gospel, and the nature of it to be such as demanded his warmest acceptance. In his person he was tall and well-proportioned; in his manners easy, uniform and engaging, and in his conversation, oftentimes, sprightly - always agreeable.
Thus has a fond wife been bereft of an affectionate and loving husband, children of a tender father, and society of a valuable member.
December 6, 1811.
A pleasing form, a generous, gentle heart;
A good companion, honest without art;
Just in his dealings, faithful to his friend,
Belov'd through life, lamented in the end.
Reader attend, and copy if you can
The noblest work of God--an honest man.
ANN CLARK GWATHMEY
Whose portrait will be found in the frontispiece to this chapter, was the eldest sister of General George Rogers Clark. She was born in Virginia and became the wife of Owen Gwathmey in about the eighteenth year of her age. He was for a short time a soldier in the Revolutionary War, but removed west soon after and settled at, or near, Louisville, where he became a successful business man. They raised a large family of children, and among their descendants will be found the names of several persons of distinction. It is notable that three of their children, viz., John, Samuel and Ann, married three of the children of Colonel William Aylett Booth and his wife, Rebecca Hite, viz.: Ann, Mary and William. The mother was a sister of General Jonathan Clark's wife.
Samuel Gwathmey, the husband of Mary Booth, was one of the trustees who laid off the town of Jeffersonville in 1802, and was long a resident of that place, and intimately connected with early Indiana history. He was appointed clerk of Clark county, Indiana territory, in 1801 and treasurer in 1802. He was a member of the first legislative council of Indiana territory, and further mention will be made of him in that connection. He held a number of offices, and on one occasion, at least, held two at the same time, which caused a curious question to arise, as to whether he could properly be the custodian of his own bond. He referred the matter to General John Gibson, the secretary of the territory, in an interesting letter, now before the author, and its tone clearly shows the nice sense of honor and propriety of the man.
He was an Episcopalian in religion, a man of high character, fine business qualifications, and was long the president of a bank in Louisville. He was the first register of the land office at Jeffersonville, and held it until he was removed by General Jackson for political reasons. He was the owner of slaves in Indiana during the territorial period. He had five children, Marie, William, Balor H., Rebecca and Mary Eliza. Rebecca became the wife of Henry Tyler and mother of Henry S. Tyler, at present mayor of Louisville (1895). Samuel Gwathmey died in 1850, in the seventy-second year of his age.
John Gwathmey, the other son, was also a man of fine business qualifications and the author has in his possession many of his letters, some of them of historic interest in relation to early events about the falls, and especially about Jeffersonville and other parts of Clark's Grant.
The son of John Clark and Ann Rogers, was born in Albemarle county, Virginia, September 15, 1757, and when his eldest brother vacated his position of deputy clerk of Dunmore county, in 1776, John was given the place. He was then quite young, but had already been assisting his brother in the office for some time and was familiar with the duties.
He left the position, however, in august, 1777, when he was appointed a lieutenant in the Fourth Virginia Regiment. The next month after Lieutenant Clark entered the service he participated in the battle of Brandywine, and in the next month after that was in the battle of Germantown, so that it was warm work for him from the beginning. In the latter battle the division of the army to which he belonged broke the British right wing and captured a considerable number of prisoners, but subsequently was forced to retreat; and, being surrounded, a portion was in turn captured, including Lieutenant Clark, Colonel George Mathews and other Virginians. This Colonel Mathews is the same person mentioned in the fac-simile letter of Mr. Jefferson given in Chapter XIV. The capture proved a sad affair, indeed, to Lieutenant Clark, as he was kept a prisoner a long time and subjected to such neglect and harsh treatment that it brought on a disease which occasioned his death. He was held as a prisoner at first in Philadelphia, then in possession of the British, and for a time was kept in what was called the "New Jail." In the summer of 1778 he was removed to Long Island and kept there, or in the neighborhood, several years, and finally was confined in one of those loathsome prison-ships, which, to the disgrace of the British authorities, caused the death of an immense number of American prisoners by barbarous treatment, as shown in Chapter XIV. Poor Clark was one of the victims, and, although he did not die in the prison, yet when he was at last exchanged in 1782, he returned to his father's home in Caroline county, Virginia, a physical wreck from consumption, brought on by the treatment he had received while a prisoner. In the hope of averting the terrible disease he went to the West Indies, but it was in vain, as he was too far gone for anything to save him. He came back without material improvement, and his relatives and friends, with great grief, saw him gradually waste away, until he died at his father's house in 1784, in the twenty-seventh year of his age. The death, under such circumstances, of this bright and promising young man, not only occasioned much sorrow in the community, but greatly added to the indignation felt at the time towards the British for their cruel treatment of American prisoners.
Joined his brother George Rogers Clark at Kaskaskia in March, 1779. He was then in his nineteenth year, having been born in Caroline county, Virginia, in 1760. He served for a short time as a volunteer in Captain Robert Todd's company and was commissioned a lieutenant in June, 1779. He was one of the party that marched to the relief of Cahokia, in 1780, and also was in the campaign against the Indians about Peoria. He was stationed for some time at Fort Jefferson, but went to the falls of the Ohio in the summer of 1781, and the next year was with his brother in the campaign against the Indians. Lieutenant Richard Clark was allotted two thousand one hundred and fifty-six acres of land in Clark's Grant, Indiana, for his services in the Illinois campaign, being Nos. 15, 18, 191, 274 and part 160.
He lost his life in March, 1784, probably on Indiana soil. He started to make a journey on horse-back from the falls of the Ohio to Vincennes or possibly Kaskaskia. The strange part of the story is that he undertook this long and dangerous journey alone. There is but little wonder that he lost his life in the effort. The particulars are not known, but the probabilities are that he was drowned in trying to cross some stream. His horse, saddle-bags and some other things were found on the bank of the White river which is pretty clear evidence that he was not killed by the Indians as they would have taken the horse. The family long entertained the hope that he might not be dead, and the mystery and uncertainty added greatly to their distress. There is another tradition which names the Little Wabash as the river where his horse was found, but this is not probable as it is not likely he was aiming to go further than Vincennes.
CAPTAIN EDMUND CLARK
Who is buried by the side of his distinguished brothers, General George Rogers Clark and General Jonathan Clark, in the Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville, was born in Virginia, September 25, 1762. At the time that state was exerting every energy to raise troops for the relief of Charleston, Edmund Clark, then under eighteen years of age and at school, was appointed a lieutenant in the Eighth Virginia Regiment of the continental army. This was the celebrated German regiment raised by Colonel Muhlenberg, and after his promotion to be a general it was commanded by Colonel Abraham Bowman, a brother of Joseph and Isaac Bowman, who were prominent officers in George Rogers Clark's Illinois campaign. The Eighth Virginia was distinguished in the war, but the extent of young Edmund Clark's participation is not clearly known. It is said that he was held a prisoner by the British for a time, and that he was not exchanged until the close of 1782. When the war was over he returned to Caroline, his native county in Virginia, and engaged in business for several years. He was tendered a commission as captain in January, 1799, by President Adams, at the time some trouble was expected with France and served for some time, but it was found not to be as serious as was anticipated, and the troops were disbanded. He emigrated to Jefferson county, Kentucky, soon after this, where he remained with his many relatives already there, until his death, on the 11th of March, 1815. Like his brother George, he never married.
The inventory of the personal property of Captain Edmund Clark was filed May 8, 1815, in Jefferson county, Kentucky, by D. Fitzhugh, administrator of his estate, and was appraised at a total of $2,641.25. Book 2, pp. 136,137.
LUCY CLARK CROGHAN
Lucy Clark, whose portrait will be found in the frontispiece to this chapter, was the second daughter of John and Ann Rogers Clark, and was born in Caroline county, Virginia, September 15, 1767. She was the wife of William Croghan, who came to America from Ireland when quite young. He was the nephew of the celebrated George Croghan, who was long in the employ of the British as Indian agent under Sir William Johnson. Like his uncle, William Croghan took sides with the Americans and joined, with a company, the army of Washington, in the region of Pittsburgh. He was assigned to Colonel Weedon's Virginia regiment, shortly after the battle of Long Island, and continued in active service for years.
He was promoted to be a major in 1778, and was assigned to Colonel John Neville's Fourth Virginia Regiment and participated in the battle of Monmouth. He marched with the Virginia troops to Charleston, South Carolina, where the whole American army at that place was compelled to surrender to the enemy. In 1781 he was paroled and returned to Virginia, in company with his friend, Colonel Jonathan Clark, and for a time was the guest of Colonel Clark's father at the family residence, in Caroline county. The transition from the exposures and hardships of army and prison life to the comforts and enjoyments of this hospitable Virginia home was doubtless most enjoyable, and all the more so, as he was brought into agreeable female society from which he had been long deprived. One of these young ladies was Miss Lucy Clark, the young and attractive daughter of the host, and it is not at all surprising that an attachment sprung up between them, which ended in their marriage a few years later. John Clark, her father, removed with his family to the falls of the Ohio in 1784, and as Miss Lucy was there, Major Croghan came also in due season, and they were married soon after, and finally settled at Locust Grove, a few miles above Louisville, where they continued to reside the rest of their lives. He died in September, 1822, in the seventieth year of his age, and she in April, 1838, in her seventy-first year. (NOTE: January 12, 1830, Lucy Croghan, sister of George Rogers Clark, made a will devising to her daughter Serina E. Croghan and her granddaughter Angelick Croghan the "land the south of Tennessee" which had belonged to her brother George Rogers Clark, also fee-simple of certain property in Louisville, Kentucky, to her grandchildren, George and John Croghan. Will probated June 1, 1840. (Records of Jefferson county, Kentucky.) )
General George Rogers Clark died at their house where he had lived many years. Major Croghan witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, but took no part, as he was under parole. He was a delegate from Jefferson county to the Kentucky conventions in 1789 and 1790, and he was one of the commissioners to divide the land in Clark's Grant.
The children of Lucy Clark and William Croghan, her husband, were six sons and two daughters, named as follows: John, George, Charles, Nicholas, William, Edmund, Ann and Eliza.
Charles and Nicholas were twins.
Eliza married George Hancock, and Ann married General Thomas Jessup, adjutant-general U. S. A.
John was a prominent physician and long resided at the old family homestead where he was noted for hospitality and his care of historical family papers.
George married Miss Livingston and greatly distinguished himself as a soldier at Tippecanoe in 1811, in the War of 1812, and in the Mexican War. He was a major at the time of his successful defense of Fort Stephenson at Lower Sandusky in the War of 1812, and won great fame for his gallantry on that occasion. He was then barely twenty-one years of age. Congress presented him a medal, a picture of which is given here.
General William Henry Harrison, in his official report of this affair says: "It will not be among the least of General Proctor's mortifications that he has been baffled by a youth who has just passed his twenty-first year. He is, however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, General George R. Clark."
"The brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel was immediately conferred on Major Croghan by the President of the United States for his gallant conduct, and the ladies of Chillicothe presented him an elegant sword, accompanied by a suitable address." (NOTE: McAfee History of the War of 1812.)
A fine monument has been erected on the site of Fort Stephenson at Fremont, Ohio, in honor of Major Croghan's gallantry in holding the fort. A picture of it will be found on the next page.
ELIZABETH CLARK ANDERSON
Elizabeth, daughter of John Clark and Ann Rogers Clark, was born in Caroline county, Virginia, February 11, 1768. She married Richard Clough Anderson, also a native of Virginia, about the year 1787. He entered the Revolutionary army, the head of a company, at the beginning of the war, and served in Colonel Parker's regiment, during the winter campaigns of 1776-7, in New Jersey, being at Trenton and Princeton. He participated in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown in 1777, and the next year was commissioned a major. He was also in the battle of Monmouth. His regiment went south in the summer of 1779 and he was wounded in the assault made on Savannah from which he never entirely recovered. Parker, the colonel of the regiment, was killed at the siege of Charleston. Samuel Hopkins succeeded him as colonel, and Major Anderson was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel. This is the same Samuel Hopkins who subsequently conducted two expeditions against the Indians northwest of the Ohio river. Colonel Anderson was taken prisoner at Charleston, but finally succeeded in securing an exchange and served until the close of the war. He was appointed principal surveyor of the lands granted by the state of Virginia to the soldiers of the continental line by the act of December, 1783. He opened his headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky, in July, 1784, and was a representative from Jefferson county to the conventions at Danville in 1784 and 1788.
Colonel Anderson was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth Clark, died in 1795, having been the mother of four children; a son, named after his father, and three daughters, Ann, Cecelia and Elizabeth.
The second wife was Sarah Marshall, also of the Clark family, (NOTE: A descendant of the daughter of Jonathan Clark, Senior, who married Torquil McLeod.) and they had seven sons and five daughters, viz.: Fanny, Larz, Robert, William, Mary, Louisa, John R., Hugh, Charles, Lucelia, Matthew, and Sarah. Colonel Anderson died October 16, 1826, at soldiers' Retreat, Jefferson county, Kentucky. Richard Clough Anderson, Junior, the son of the first marriage, was born in 1788, and was a member of congress from Kentucky from 1817 to 1821. After that he represented the United States as minister to Colombia, in which country he lost his wife, who was his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of Owen and Ann Clark Gwathmey, and it is notable that Elizabeth, his sister, married his wife's brother, Isaac R. Gwathmey. The next year after his wife's death, which was in 1825, he died of yellow fever, on his way to Panama, as a representative of the United States to a congress of American nations. He is represented as a gentleman of fine ability and unblemished character. Of the children of the second marriage Colonel Robert Anderson was the renowned hero of Fort Sumter in the Civil War, whose history is so generally known that it need not be repeated here, and Larz and Charles were prominent citizens and politicians in Ohio, the latter being lieutenant-governor of that state in 1864 and subsequently governor by reason of the death of Governor Brough. (NOTE: Governor Charles Anderson here referred to subsequently removed to Kentucky and died at his residence there a short time before the publication of this volume, and a letter written by him to the author in relation to this sketch, his daughter Katherine states, was the last he ever wrote. In fact they were all people of high standing, as were also the children of the first marriage.)
FRANCES ELEANOR CLARK
Was the youngest sister of General George Rogers Clark, and all the traditions unite in declaring her to have been beautiful and accomplished. An interesting romance in relation to her marriages and life is told as part of these traditions, but will not be related here as it does not fall within the line of this work. She was born in Caroline county, Virginia, January 20, 1773, was married three times, and had two children by each marriage. Her first husband was Doctor James O'Fallon, a finely educated Irishman, who came to America shortly before the Revolutionary War and soon became an active participant on the side of the colonies. He was an officer during the war, at one time in command of a company, but was employed most of the time as one of the directors of the hospital department.
The two children of Frances Eleanor Clark and Doctor O'Fallon were sons named John and Benjamin. Before John was twenty years old he was in military service under General William Henry Harrison and was wounded in the Tippecanoe battle. He also served with distinction in the war of 1812.
The second husband of Frances Eleanor Clark was Charles Mynn Thruston, of the distinguished family of that name mentioned in a previous chapter. From this marriage resulted two children, Charles William, and Ann Clark, and from these have sprung a long line of descendants, many of them of prominence. Upon the death of Charles Mynn Thruston the widow married her cousin Dennis Fitzhugh, of the well known Virginia family of that name, and from this marriage there was a son and daughter named Clark and Lucy. Surviving all her husbands, this youngest sister of George Rogers Clark died in St. Louis, in June, 1825, at the house of her son, Colonel John O'Fallon.
A remarkable number of persons, bearing the names of prominent families, can be mentioned among the descendants of this estimable lady, such as the O'Fallons, Thrustons, Fitzhughs, Churchills, Ballards, Farrars, Popes, Kennetts, Polks, Hargraves, Burns, Potters, Belchers, Housers, Keeses and Peppers, as will be seen by reference to the genealogical list in the appendix.
GOVERNOR WILLIAM CLARK
William Clark, the youngest brother of George Rogers Clark, was born in Caroline county, Virginia, August 1, 1770. He came west with his father and mother in 1784, and joined his brother and other relatives at the falls of the Ohio. His home was in this vicinity until his departure on the celebrated exploring expedition, led by him and Meriwether Lewis, across the country to the Pacific ocean in 1804-5, under the auspices of President Jefferson. The distinguished military history of his family naturally drew his attention to military matters from his early boyhood, and when he was only nineteen years old he marched against the Indians northwest of the Ohio river in an expedition led by Colonel John Hardin. In 1790 he was sent on a mission to the Creek and Cherokee Indians, and in 1791 he served as an ensign and acting lieutenant with the expeditions under Generals Scott and Wilkinson against the Indians on the Wabash. General Washington commissioned him a first lieutenant in the fourth sub. legion under General Wayne in March, 1793.
He entered active service at once, aiding in constructing forts on the line proposed to be followed into the Indian country, and in the latter part of the year he was dispatched on an expedition up the Wabash to Vincennes, which lasted several months, his boat being blocked by ice at one time for a period of twenty days.
He returned to Fort Washington, where Cincinnati is now situated, in the spring of 1794, having had several skirmishes with the Indians. He was next assigned the duty of escorting a large quantify of clothing and provisions to Fort Greenville. It required seven hundred pack-horses to carry the goods, and Lieutenant Clark had eighty men under his command on the journey. While on the way the advance guard of the party was attacked by Indians and five of the whites killed. Lieutenant Clark, who was with the main body of the troops, advanced rapidly upon the Indians, when they retreated with some loss. He was thanked for his good conduct by General Wayne.
He distinguished himself at the successful action of August 20, 1794, when in command of a company of riflemen he drove a portion of the enemy on the left several miles, killing a number of Indians and Canadians. In 1795 he was dispatched on a military mission to New Madrid, on the Mississippi river. He resigned his commission in 1796, and for a time retired from the army, because of bad health.
For the next seven or eight years he was most of the time about the falls of the Ohio, either with his parents and relatives on the Kentucky side, or with his brother, General George Rogers Clark, at Clarksville, on the Indiana side. It is stated in Dr. Coue's valuable edition of the history of Lewis and Clark's expedition that a commission was issued to him, January 8, 1790, by Arthur St. Clair, "governor of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio," as "a captain of militia in the town and vicinity of Clarksville." If this was the William Clark now being considered, he was evidently residing in Indiana at that time, and this commission is in possession of his descendants.
But there were three William Clarks connected with Indiana history in the pioneer period, and this has been the cause of confusion and historical mistakes. William Clark, the subject of the present sketch, long survived the others and from that cause, as well as the prominence he subsequently attained, matters pertaining to the other two have, more or less, been attributed to him. In other words, he has to some extent absorbed the others, and some have spoken of him as the surveyor-in-chief of Clark's Grant, and some as being the William Clark who was made judge of Indiana territory in 1801.
Even so high an authority as "Appleton's Encyclopedia of American Biography," a work of great value and general accuracy, states, on page 631 of volume 1, under the head of "William Clark, Jurist," that "President Adams appointed him in 1800 chief-justice of the territory of Indiana, and he was afterward commissioned as the second governor of the territory of Missouri." Governor William Clark, of Missouri, died and was buried at St. Louis, September 1, 1838, and William Clark, the judge of Indiana territory, never was governor of Missouri territory, and died and was buried at Vincennes, November 12, 1802, as will be seen from the fac-simile of the entry of his death in the records of St. Xavier's Church, which is reproduced on next page.
NOTE: S. (Translation of fac-simile which appears on preceding page.)
In the year 1802, on the 12th of November, the body of William Clark, one of the judges of the supreme court of the territory of Indiana, was interred in the cemetery of this church. He died the day before, and although having religious convictions, the last progress of his sickness was so rapid that time was not left him to receive the Christian sacraments. An enlightened judge, firm, and incorruptible, he has taken with him the just regrets of all good people.
Vincennes, 12th November, 1802.
T. Sr. Rivete,
A further sketch of Judge William Clark will be given in a subsequent volume.
William Clark, the surveyor-in-chief of Clark's Grant, and one of the trustees of Clarksville, who spent much of his time at that place, a sketch of whom has already been given, was not the William Clark who was governor of Missouri territory, but his cousin.
William Clark, the subject of this sketch, joined Captain Meriwether Lewis in conducting an expedition through the unexplored wilderness to the Pacific ocean in 1803, as already stated. (NOTE:The perfect confidence President Jefferson had in the heads of this expedition is shown in a remarkable letter of credit which he issued, a fac-simile of which is at this writing before the author, and not reproduced here because of lack of space. In it he says: "I hereby authorize you to draw on the secretaries of state, of the treasury, of war, and of the navy of the United States, according as you may find your draughts will be most negotiable, for the purpose of obtaining money or necessaries for yourself or your men; and I solemnly pledge the faith of the United States that these draughts shall be paid punctually at the date they are made payable." It will be observed that there was a striking evidence of trust in those given charge of the undertaking.)
Captain Lewis had been the private secretary of President Jefferson, and the expedition was undertaken at his request. The winter of 1803 was spent at the mouth of the Missouri river, and the party set out on the journey, from that point, early in the spring of 1804, numbering forty-three men. The long journey through to the Pacific and return was of great importance to the country, and thrillingly interesting. It is too well known, however, to be dwelt upon here. Some time after his return in September, 1806, he visited Washington and, no doubt, the place of his former residence in Virginia at the same time. At or near Fincastle, in that state, on the 5th of January, 1808, he married Miss Julia Hancock, who died June 27, 1820; and on the 28th of November, 1821, he married Mrs. Harriet Kennerly Radford, who died December 25, 1831.
Some time after his return from the Pacific, Captain Clark was appointed to the then important position of Indian agent at St. Louis, a place for which he possessed superior qualifications by reason of his acquaintance with the western Indian tribes, and intimate knowledge of the Indian character. He was later also made a brigadier-general of that territory, and in 1813 was made its governor.
In the War of 1812 he was offered a commission as brigadier-general in the regular army, but did not accept it, believing that he could be of more advantage in his position of governor and Indian agent in influencing the Indian tribes to neutrality, and there is no doubt but his services in this direction were highly beneficial.
He was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs by President Monroe in 1822, and secured many important treaties with western Indian tribes.
Governor William Clark died in St. Louis, September 1, 1838, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, universally esteemed by all who knew him. The highest respect was paid to his memory. He was buried with distinguished honors at a beautiful place he had himself selected near St. Louis, being the family cemetery on the plantation of his kinsman, General John O'Fallon.
The only child now living (1895), of any of the brothers or sisters of General George Rogers Clark, is Governor Clark's son Jefferson K. Clark, of St. Louis, whose portrait is here given and who has freely contributed to the material used in this work.