Thursday, February 28, 2019

George Rogers Clark

George Rogers Clark (November 19, 1752 – February 13, 1818) was an American surveyor, soldier, and militia officer from Virginia who became the highest-ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the militia in Kentucky (then part of Virginia) throughout much of the war. He is best known for his celebrated captures of Kaskaskia(1778) and Vincennes (1779) during the Illinois Campaign, which greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. The British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, and Clark has often been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest".
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark.jpg
1825 portrait by James Barton Longacre
Nickname(s)Conqueror of the Old Northwest[1]
Hannibal of the West[2]
Washington of the West[3]
Father of Louisville
BornNovember 19, 1752
Albemarle County, Virginia
DiedFebruary 13, 1818(aged 65)
Louisville, Kentucky
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchVirginia Militia
Years of service1776–1790
RankBrigadier General
UnitIllinois Regiment, Virginia State Forces
Commands heldWestern Frontier
Battles/warsLord Dunmore's War Northwest Indian War
RelationsJohn Clark III (father)
Ann Rogers Clark (mother)
General Jonathan Clark (brother)
Captain William Clark(brother)
Ann Clark Gwaltney (sister)
Captain John Clark (brother)
Lieutenant Richard Clark (brother)
Captain Edmund Clark (brother)
Lucy Clark Croghan (sister)
Elizabeth Clark Anderson (sister)
Frances "Fanny" Clark O'Fallon Minn Fitzhugh (sister)
SignatureGeorge Rogers Clark Signature.svg
Clark's major military achievements occurred before his thirtieth birthday. Afterward, he led militia in the opening engagements of the Northwest Indian War but was accused of being drunk on duty. He was disgraced and forced to resign, despite his demand for a formal investigation into the accusations. He left Kentucky to live on the Indiana frontier but was never fully reimbursed by Virginia for his wartime expenditures. He spent the final decades of his life evading creditors and living in increasing poverty and obscurity. He was involved in two failed attempts to open the Spanish-controlled Mississippi River to American traffic. He became an invalid after suffering a stroke and the amputation of his right leg. He was aided in his final years by family members, including his younger brother William, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died of a stroke on February 13, 1818.