William Clark

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William Clark
William Clark - Explorer (1770 - 1838)

William Clark was a retired soldier when he was recruited by Meriwether Lewis to share command of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the area acquired through the Louisiana Purchase. His skills in wilderness survival, and the experience he gained during his time in the militia, proved invaluable to the Corps of Discovery on their journey.

This page details facts about William Clark's life and the events that shaped his history.

William Clark the Explorer - Fun Facts for Kids !
William Clark Fact   1: William Clark was born on 1st August 1770 in Caroline County, Virginia. He was one of ten children and, being tutored at home, he received no formal education.
William Clark Fact   2: In 1785, Clark and his family relocated to Kentucky, settling at Mulberry Hill near Louisville.
William Clark Fact   3: It was in Kentucky that he learned wilderness survival skills from his older brother, George Rogers Clark, who had become a General while fighting in the American Revolutionary war.
William Clark Fact   4: In 1789 William Clark joined a volunteer militia force, serving under Major John Hardin. In 1790 he was commissioned as a Captain in the Clarksville, Indiana militia.
William Clark Fact   5: In 1791 he served in expeditions under Generals Scott and Wilkinson as a Lieutenant and Ensign. He went on to enlist in the Legion of the United States where, in 1792, he was commissioned as Lieutenant.
William Clark Fact   6: During the Northwest Indian war, Clark was involved in several fights with the Indians, and in 1794 commanded a company of riflemen during the US victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This victory led to the ending of the war.
William Clark Fact   7: On 4th July 1796 Clark resigned his commission and, due to poor health, retired and returned to the family plantation at Mulberry Hill.
William Clark Fact   8:

In 1803 William Clark was recruited by Meriwether Lewis to share command of the Corps of Discovery on what would become known as the ‘Lewis and Clark Expedition’. His main roles were to draw maps, manage the expedition’s supplies and lead hunting expeditions.

Meriwether Lewis
William Clark Fact   9:

In 1807 William Clark was appointed US agent for Indian affairs and Brigadier General of the Louisiana militia, by President Jefferson. He worked under Meriwether Lewis, who had become the Governor of Louisiana Territory and had the final say on all decisions.


Picture of Meriwether Lewis

William Clark Fact 10: In his dealings with the native Indians, William Clark demonstrated mixed feelings. He was committed to his duty to drive them to give up their lands and traditional ways, but at the same time he was concerned for the survival of these Native Americans.
William Clark Fact 11: William Clark took part in the 1812 war against the British, leading several campaigns. He also established Fort Shelby, which was the first post in what we now know as Wisconsin.
Sacagawea William Clark Fact 12:

Following the death of Sacagawea, one of the guides of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, in December 1812, William Clark adopted her two children Jean Baptiste and Lizette.

William Clark Fact 13:

In 1813 President Madison appointed William Clark as Governor of the newly formed Missouri Territory. He held the position for seven years, being reappointed by Madison in 1816 and President Monroe in 1820. Later in 1820 Missouri became a state and Clark was defeated in the election for Governor by Alexander McNair.

Picture of Sacagawea

William Clark Fact 14: In 1822 Monroe appointed Clark Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He negotiated many treaties between the Indians and the US and took part in President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy.
William Clark Fact 15: William Clark married twice. The first marriage was to Julia Hancock, in 1808, and produced five children. The second, following Julia’s death in 1820, was to her cousin Harriet Kennerly Radford, and produced three children. Harriet died in 1831.
William Clark Fact 16: William Clark died aged 68 on 1st September 1838 in St. Louis. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis.
William Clark the Explorer (1770 - 1838) Fun Facts Info for Kids !

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