Clark, George Rogers
Clark, George Rogers,1752–1818, American Revolutionary general, conqueror of the Old Northwest, b. near Charlottesville, Va.; brother of William ClarkClark, William,
1770–1838, American explorer, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark expedition, b. Caroline co., Va.; brother of George Rogers Clark. He was an army officer (1792–96), serving in a number of engagements with Native Americans.
..... Click the link for more information. . A surveyor, he was interested in Western lands, served (1774) in Lord Dunmore's War (see Dunmore, John Murray, 4th earl ofDunmore, John Murray, 4th earl of,
1732–1809, British colonial governor of Virginia, a Scottish peer. Appointed governor of New York in 1770, he remained there for about 11 months before being transferred to
..... Click the link for more information. ), and later went to what is now Kentucky for the Ohio CompanyOhio Company,
organization formed (1747) to extend settlements of Virginia westward. The members were mostly Virginia planters interested in land speculation and the fur trade.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1776 he secured the Virginia legislature's assertion of sovereignty over the Kentucky region, thereby obtaining military and financial support. He returned in time to repel British and Native American attacks on Harrodsburg, Ky., and other posts.
In 1778, Clark made plans for aggressive action against the British in the Old Northwest and, going to Virginia, persuaded Gov. Patrick HenryHenry, Patrick,
1736–99, political leader in the American Revolution, b. Hanover co., Va. Largely self-educated, he became a prominent trial lawyer. Henry bitterly denounced (1765) the Stamp Act and in the years that followed helped fan the fires of revolt in the South.
..... Click the link for more information. and his council to send an expedition. At its head, he swept into the Illinois country and took the British-held settlements of KaskaskiaKaskaskia
, small village, Randolph co., SE Ill., on Kaskaskia island in the Mississippi River where it is joined by the Kaskaskia River. The settlement was established (1703) by Jesuit missionaries and named for a local Native American group of the Illinois.
..... Click the link for more information. , CahokiaCahokia
, village (1990 pop. 17,550), St. Clair co., SW Ill., a residential suburb of East St. Louis, on the Mississippi River; inc. 1927. The first permanent settlement in Illinois, Cahokia's name is derived from a local Native American group.
..... Click the link for more information. , and VincennesVincennes
, city (1990 pop. 19,859), seat of Knox co., SW Ind., on the Wabash River; inc. 1814. The city is the center of an extensive farm area. Its many industries include food processing and the manufacture of transportation equipment; glass, paper, steel, and wood products;
..... Click the link for more information. . The British under Gen. Henry Hamilton advanced from Detroit and retook Vincennes after Clark had left. Winter and Ohio floods halted Hamilton there, but Clark and his men, defying cruel conditions of cold and hardship, braved the flooded bottom lands to return to Vincennes. With the heroic aid of Francis VigoVigo, Francis
, 1747–1836, American frontier trader and merchant, supporter of the American Revolution. He was born at Mondovi, Italy, and originally named Giuseppe Maria Francesco Vigo.
..... Click the link for more information. , François Bosseron, and Father GibaultGibault, Pierre
, 1737–1804, Roman Catholic missionary priest in America, patriot in the American Revolution, b. Montreal. He was sent (1768) to the Illinois country.
..... Click the link for more information. , he struck at the British fort and surprised and captured Hamilton and the garrison in Feb., 1779. After this, the greatest of his exploits, Clark hoped to capture Detroit, but adequate supplies never came from Virginia to the fort he had built (Fort Nelson, where Louisville now stands), and he remained inactive.
In 1782 the British and Native Americans disastrously defeated the Kentuckians in the battle of Blue Licks. The ensuing unrest led Clark, who had not taken part in the battle, to lead another expedition northward against the Native Americans and again establish control of the region. His services had been rewarded by the rank of brigadier general in the Virginia militia, and he was made an Indian commissioner. In 1786 he led another expedition against the Native Americans in Ohio. His own narrative of the capture of Vincennes is in Milo M. Quaife, ed., The Capture of Old Vincennes (1927).
See biographies by J. A. James (1928, repr. 1970) and J. Bakeless (1957); A. W. Derleth, Vincennes: Portal to the West (1968).