1770 - 1838Captain William Clark epitomized the best qualities of the American citizen-soldier and their seminal contributions to the development of the United States. Clark was born 1 August, 1770 to a modest, but accomplished and fiercely patriotic Virginia family. Clark began his military career at 19 in the Kentucky militia. Transferred to the Regular Army as a lieutenant, he served in challenging postings in the "Old North-West" where, Clark wrote, he "...learned how to build forts, draw maps, lead pack trains through enemy country, and fight Indians on their ground." By 1795, rising on sheer merit, Clark was a captain in command of a small frontier post. One of his subordinate officers was Ensign Meriwether Lewis and the two established a friendship which would result in one of the most successful military collaborations in history. In 1803, after the acquisition of the vast Louisiana Territory, President Jefferson and Captain Lewis were developing a plan to explore the key geographic and economic features of this new American frontier. To aid in this daunting undertaking, Lewis avidly recruited his old friend Clark, by then returned to private life, as co-leader for the "Corps of Discovery." Clark was given a commission as a "Volunteer" Captain and set about helping Lewis to recruit soldiers and finalize preparations for the expedition. Clark possessed many physical, moral, and intellectual qualities which proved invaluable to the success of this epic mission. He was physically robust with practical skills as a frontiersman and was an optimistic and charismatic leader. While lacking formal education, he had a keen intellect and was a quick and careful student of new information. Finally, his skills as a self-taught cartographer not only ensured the expedition's secure passage, but produced the first accurate map of the Missouri and Columbia river systems which opened the continental interior to settlement. Clark went on to a distinguished military and civil career which included appointment as Brigadier General of Militia, Governor of the Missouri Territory, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs where he was a tireless and respected advocate for Native Americans. Clark died in September 1838 having helped to transform the wilderness he courageously explored into a United States stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
|Placed By||United States Army|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 10:27pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||15S E 334936 N 4356710|
|Decimal Degrees||39.34408333, -94.91546667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 20.645', W 94° 54.928'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 20' 38.70" N, 94° 54' 55.68" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 191-255 Stimson Ave, Leavenworth KS 66027, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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