Biography of George Rogers Clark (1752-1818)

Explorer and U.S. military, born November 19, 1752 in the County of Ambermarle (Virginia), and died February 13, 1818 in Louisville (Kentucky). He/She achieved fame by his explorations into the Northwest Territories and their victories against the English troops during the war of independence. His brother was also famous Explorer William Clark, who explored the lands between the Mississippi and the Pacific.

Early exploration

His childhood was spent on the family farm of the Carolina County (Virginia); There he/she met the author of the Virginia Constitution, George Mason, who took him under his protection. At the age of twenty was commissioned to explore and topografiar the land south of the Ohio River, so it moved to Kentucky, where opposed to establish independent Transylvania colony. The 1775 was appointed official surveyor in Kentucky and was tasked with the distribution of land.

His performance during the war of independence

At the outbreak of the war of independence, he/she enlisted with the rank of captain in the popular militias. His great prestige among the colonists won him election as a Kentucky representative in the Parliament of Virginia. His efforts succeeded in that to be recognized that as a county of the State. He/She turned to their lands with the necessary ammunition and the order to recruit men to defend the territory from attacks by Indians, allies of the English. He/She will approve a plan which envisaged the conquest of the territory of Illinois English forts, while he/she was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel for his brilliant defence of the border. With a force of 175 men, he/she snatched the English, without losing a single man, the posts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes in January 1778. His diplomatic skills were all French inhabitants of the border to become loyal allies of the Americans. The expedition could not keep with its goal to get to Detroit, that not the promised reinforcements arrived. Clark, then decided to reinforce their positions, which built Fort Nelson, the current Louisville.

During January, 1779, news reached his headquarters that the English had retaken Vincennes. Clark reacted quickly and brought a troop of 170 men, most French, who set out to reconquer the lost Fort. This expedition was all a feat since they crossed the mountains in Midwinter in eighteen days without suffering a single loss and met its goal. Again, before the oft delayed promised reinforcements, renounced plans to fall on Detroit. On his return to Kentucky, he/she built Fort Jefferson near the mouth of the Ohio River. The following year, he/she could finally meet a numerous army, so with his thousand men departed against the villages of the shawnee Indians and the English forts of Kentucky. It fell on Indian camps of Chillicothe and Piqua in revenge to their attacks on the lands of settlers. These actions were able to stop the English attack on the Spanish town of San Luis. When everything was ready for the attack on Detroit, the invasion of Virginia by the English general Cornwallis suspended it definitively. Since then, almost at the end of the war, was dedicated to prevent the French advance from its base of Fort Nelson. At the end of the war, his contacts with the French were definitive for the Northwest Territories were handed over to the United States in the Treaty of Paris. But the end of the war of independence also left debt-laden Clark, since during the war had all expenses of their forces under the promise to be reimbursed by the Government of Virginia, made that never materialized.

Last years

Once reached independence, was appointed Commissioner for Indian Affairs and member of the Bureau which was responsible for distributing 150,000 acres of Illinois among the settlers. From his position of Commissioner, he/she managed to sign peace with the shawnee Indians and the wasbah in 1786. However, the following year fell in disgrace, to be accused by James Wilkinson of betrayal and bad management. These accusations resulted in was away from his office official and replaced by the own Wilkinson. The memory of Clark was not restored until after his death, when it was discovered that all the prosecution had been an English espionage mounting. Before his departure from official life, he/she retired to his possessions in Kentucky, where took the opportunity to write his memoirs, published in 1791. In 1799, he/she returned to Louisville, where not already out until his death.


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