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In 1798—more than five years before he led the epic western journey that would make him and Meriwether Lewis national heroes—William Clark set off by flatboat from his Louisville, Kentucky home with a cargo of tobacco and furs to sell downriver in Spanish New Orleans. He also carried with him a leather-trimmed journal to record his travels and notes on his activities. In this vivid history, Jo Ann Trogdon reveals William Clark’s highly questionable activities during the years before his famous journey west of the Mississippi. Delving into the details of Clark’s diary and ledger entries, Trogdon investigates evidence linking Clark to a series of plots—often called the Spanish Conspiracy—in which corrupt officials sought to line their pockets with Spanish money and to separate Kentucky from the United States. The Unknown Travels and Dubious Pursuits of William Clark gives readers a more complex portrait of the American icon than has been previously written.
Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark co-captained the most famous expedition in American history. But while Lewis ended his life just three years later, Clark, as the highest-ranking Federal official in the West, spent three decades overseeing its consequences: Indian removal and the destruction of Native America. In a rare combination of storytelling and scholarship, best-selling author Landon Y. Jones presents for the first time Clark's remarkable life and influential career in their full complexity. Like every colonial family living on Virginia's violent frontier, the Clarks killed Indians and acquired land; acting on behalf of the United States, William would prove successful at both. Clark's life was spent fighting in America's fifty-year running war with the Indians (and their European allies) over the Western borderlands. The struggle began with his famed brother George Roger's western campaigns during the American Revolution, continued through the vicious battles of the War of 1812, and ended with the Black Hawk War in the 1830s. In vividly depicting Clark's life, Jones memorably captures not only the dark and bloody ground of America's early West, but also the qualities of character and courage that made him an unequalled leader in America's grander enterprise: the shaping of the West. No one played a larger part in that accomplishment than William Clark. William Clark and the Shaping of the West is an unforgettable human story that encompasses in a single life the sweep of American history from colonial Virginia to the conquest of the West.
This new full-length biography of Meriwether Lewis is presented within the context of the turbulent times of the early AmericanRepublic. The author discusses intrigues to seize the Floridas and Louisiana from Spain with the help of France or Britain, and makes the case for General James Wilkinson assassinating General Anthony Wayne to become the commanding general of the U.S. Army. She proposes that the deadlock in the presidential election of 1800 between Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson was caused by a British faction of Federalists who planned to invade Louisiana and Mexico if Burr were elected president. Three parts of the conspiracy are identified: a secret military base on the Ohio, Cantonment Wilkinsonville, where 700 U.S. Army troops were stationed; the Philip Nolan filibuster into Texas; and British naval support. After Jefferson's election, Lewis lived in the White House as his confidential aide. In 1803, he left the White House as the leader of an elite army unit to reinforce America's claim to the Pacific Northwest. When he returned, Jefferson appointed him governor of LouisianaTerritory based in St. Louis with orders to remove followers of Aaron Burr from positions of power and influence. Within two years Meriwether Lewis was dead at the age of 35, killed by an assassin's bullets in 1809. The case is made that General Wilkinson and John Smith T., a wealthy lead mine operator, were the organizers of his assassination. Their motive was to prevent Lewis from stopping another filibuster expedition into Mexico in 1810. This biography of Lewis offers a very different interpretation of his character and achievements, supporting the idea that, if he had lived, Lewis was in line to become president of the United States. It presents a detailed account of his activities as a loyal Jefferson supporter, presidential aide, leader of a continental expedition, and governor of LouisianaTerritory.
Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life. Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life. Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.
Ancient human groups in the Eastern Woodlands of North America were long viewed as homogeneous and stable hunter-gatherers, changing little until the late prehistoric period when Mesoamerican influences were thought to have stimulated important economic and social developments. The authors in this volume offer new, contrary evidence to dispute this earlier assumption, and their studies demonstrate the vigor and complexity of prehistoric peoples in the North American Midwest and Midsouth. These peoples gathered at favored places along midcontinental streams to harvest mussels and other wild foods and to inter their dead in the shell mounds that had resulted from their riverside activities. They created a highly successful, pre-maize agricultural system beginning more than 4,000 years ago, established far-flung trade networks, and explored and mined the world's longest cave—the Mammoth Cave System in Kentucky. Contributors include: Kenneth C. Carstens, Cheryl Ann Munson, Guy Prentice, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Philip J. DiBlasi, Mary C. Kennedy, Jan Marie Hemberger, Gail E. Wagner, Christine K. Hensley, Valerie A. Haskins, Nicholas P. Herrmann, Mary Lucas Powell, Cheryl Claassen, David H. Dye, and Patty Jo Watson
Two ambitious men. One historic mission. With a blinding flash in the New Mexico desert in the summer of 1945, the world was changed forever. The bomb that ushered in the atomic age was the product of one of history's most improbable partnerships. The General and the Genius reveals how two extraordinary men pulled off the greatest scientific feat of the twentieth century. Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers, who had made his name by building the Pentagon in record time and under budget, was made overlord of the impossibly vast scientific enterprise known as the Manhattan Project. His mission: to beat the Nazis to the atomic bomb. So he turned to the nation's preeminent theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer—the chain-smoking, martini-quaffing son of wealthy Jewish immigrants, whose background was riddled with communist associations—Groves's opposite in nearly every respect. In their three-year collaboration, the iron-willed general and the visionary scientist led a brilliant team in a secret mountaintop lab and built the fearsome weapons that ended the war but introduced the human race to unimaginable new terrors. And at the heart of this most momentous work of World War II is the story of two extraordinary men—the general and the genius.
This collection of Clark's intriguing letters to his brother reveals important new details about the Lewis and Clark expedition, Meriwether Lewis's mysterious death, the status of Clark's slave York, and life in Jeffersonian America. 17 illustrations.
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