A thumbnail sketch of William Clark

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2003

William Clark was born on Aug. 1, 1770, in Caroline County, Va. He was a frontier militiaman and Army officer but had returned to his home near Louisville, Ky., when he was asked by Meriwether Lewis to join him in leading an expedition to the Pacific. Though he shared command equally and was called captain by Lewis and others, Clark was commissioned a lieutenant. He produced most of the journey's maps.

After the expedition, Clark became superintendent of Indian affairs for the Louisiana Territory and was governor of the Missouri Territory from 1813 to 1821, when it achieved statehood; after that, he resumed his Indian affairs position, sometimes meeting with delegations from tribes he had met on the expedition. He helped raise and educate Sacagawea's son and daughter. He named his own son Meriwether Lewis Clark.

William Clark died in St. Louis on Sept. 1, 1838.

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