William Clark Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1770 – 1838 *** Full Name: William Clark *** Occupation: an American Explorer, Soldier, Indian Agent and Territorial Governor *** Date of Birth: William Clark was born August 1st 1770 *** Place of Birth: William Clark was born in Carolina County, Virginia, USA *** Family background: His father was John Clark and his mother Ann Rogers and William was the ninth of ten children. His parents had family ties to England and possibly Scotland. Members of the Anglican Church they were common planters and owners of a small estate and owned a few slaves *** Early life and childhood: William Clark grew up on the family estate with his siblings *** Education: William Clark began his education at home ***
William Clark Fact 1: William Clark was born on August 1st 1770 and during the 18th century period in history when many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry.
William Clark Fact 2: During the Revolutionary War between 1775 and 1783 five of Clark’s older brothers all fought in Virginian units but Williams was not old enough.
William Clark Fact 3: George Clark, William’s second oldest brother, who spent most of the war in Kentucky and rose to the rank of general, together with their eldest brother Jonathan, made arrangements for their family and parents to move to Kentucky after the war.
William Clark Fact 4: Together with his parents, three sisters and the family slaves, the family moved to Kentucky in 1875 and settled in Mulberry Hill. George would go on to teach William wilderness survival skills once they had settled.
William Clark Fact 5: Trying to preserve their homeland and territories North of the Ohio River, the American Indians fought the Kentuckians during the Northwest Indian War.
William Clark Fact 6: By 1789 William Clark was nineteen years old and old enough to join a volunteer militia force headed up by Major John Hardin. By 1780 William was commissioned as a captain in the Clarksville Indiana Militia led by General Arthur St Clair who was the governor of the Northwest Territory.
William Clark Fact 7: Having served as an acting lieutenant and ensign during expeditions under generals James Wilkinson and Charles Scott, William Clark went on to enlist with Legion of the United States and would be commissioned as a lieutenant in March of 1792 under Anthony Wayne.
William Clark Fact 8: In September that year, William Clark was reassigned to the 4th Sub-Legion and would be involved in battles with Native Indians during the continuing conflicts.
William Clark Fact 9: In 1794, as a result of decisive action by Clark as commander of a company of rifleman at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, William Clark and his men managed to drive back the enemy, killing a number of Canadians and Native Americans but which would ultimate bring the Northwest Indian War to an end.
William Clark Fact 10: Resigning his commission in July of 1795 William Clark retired partially due to ill health, and at twenty six years of age he returned to Mulberry Hill, his family home.
William Clark Fact 11: In 1803 William Clark made the acquaintance of Meriwether Lewis who at that time was in command of the newly made Corps of Discovery. Their mission, to explore the territory of Louisiana Purchase, establish trade links with the Native Americans and establish a waterway between the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean as well as to lay claim to Oregon territory before any European nations did.
William Clark Fact 12: Clark’s main function in the group, largely as a result of his brother’s survival training when he was a boy, was in the drawing of maps, managing the supplies and leading hunting excursions for food supplies.
William Clark Fact 13: President Jefferson would appoint William Clark to brigadier general in 1807 over the militia in Louisiana Territory as well as the U.S. agent for Indian affairs.
William Clark Fact 14: As a result of his experiences Jefferson felt that William Clark was ideally suited to that of a diplomat between themselves and the Native Americans.
William Clark Fact 15: William Clark seemed to understand and sympathize with Native American people and in so doing tried to be as fair as possible and to view situations from the side of both the Americans as well as the Native Americans.
William Clark Fact 16: As much as he could, William Clark tried to protect the Native Americans, their way of life, their beliefs and values, at the same time as promoting life-saving inoculations.
William Clark Fact 17: In 1813 when the Missouri Territory was created, William Clark would be appointed as governor by the sitting President Madison, and held that governorship for several terms.William Clark Fact 18: By 1822 Clark would be appointed as Superintendent of Indian Affairs by President James Monroe a position newly created by Congress.
William Clark Fact 19: In this position he was the most powerful man West of the Mississippi on matters of Native Americans, however he was deeply involved in President Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy.
William Clark Fact 20: Although William Clark would be married twice and over the course of two marriages he had eight children, when William Clark died on September 1st 1838 aged sixty eight years he was a widower. His body was laid to rest in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, marked with a gray granite obelisk to mark his grave site.
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