William Clark (1770-1838) - Born 1 Aug 1770 in Caroline County, Virginia. A U.S. Army officer and explorer of the western United States. Shared command of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) with Meriwether Lewis. Appointed as agent for Indian Affairs in the west and as a brigadier general in the Louisiana Territory militia. Served as governor of the Missouri Territory (1813-1820). Died 1 Sep 1838, in St. Louis, Missouri. Now buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
In 1801, Captain Meriwether Lewis was appointed as an aide to then President Thomas Jefferson. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Jefferson chose Lewis to lead an expedition to explore a western route to the Pacific through the new territory. Lewis recruited William Clark to share command of the expedition. Lewis and Clark carefully chose the expedition members and formed what would become the "Corps of Discovery".
The expedition left Camp River Dubois across from St. Louis on 14 May 1804 and spent the winter of 1804-1805 at Fort Mandan in present day North Dakota. While at Fort Mandan the expedition employed Toussaint Charbonneau and his young pregnant Shoshone wife named Sacagawea, who would later prove to be invaluable when the expedition encountered her people.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition successfully navigated to the headwaters of the Missouri River at Three Forks, crossed the Rocky Mountains and reached the Pacific Ocean at Cape Disappointment in present day Washington State. They built and then spent the winter of 1805-1806 at Fort Clatsop near the mouth of the Columbia River in present day Oregon.
The expedition returned to the starting point at St. Louis on 23 Sep 1806 after examining other river basins along the way. The expedition's carefull documentation of the journey with detailed maps and observations as well as a compelling set of day-by-day narrative journals, captured the public's imagination and made the Corps of Discovery national heros.
William Clark was appointed agent for Indian Affairs in the west and as a brigadier general in the Louisiana Territory militia. He served as governor of the Missouri Territory (1813-1820).
William Clark died on 1 Sep 1838, in St. Louis, Missouri. He is now buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
Father: Jonathan Christopher Clark (1725-1799)
Mother: Ann Rogers Clark (1728-1798)