George Rogers Clark: His Life and Public Services

George Rogers Clark: His Life and Public Services

George Rogers Clark: His Life and Public Services

George Rogers Clark: His Life and Public Services

Excerpt

In all American history it would be hard to find a more dramatic career than that of the young Virginia surveyor whose life will be sketched in the following pages -- George Rogers Clark. In spectacular settings, in strongly contrasted actors, in tense situations and thrilling actions, it seems unique. Its scenes take in the old colonial life of Tidewater Virginia; the wilderness of the Mississippi Valley; the far-away Kentucky settlements with pioneers living in rude cabins or log forts: the ever picturesque Indians; the French Creoles of varied grades in the old Illinois and Wabash towns; the Spanish officials and motley population of early St. Louis; the Canadian French, and the highly disciplined British redcoats of the 'King's Own Regiment.'

No true and adequate life of Clark can be written without presenting many of these dramatic scenes, but that is not the aim of this book. It is one product of many years of careful search and study of the numerous extant source materials -- most of them unpublished -- in preparation for writing a history of the Revolutionary West, and it aims to give the facts about him as disclosed in those records.

For over fifty years after the Revolutionary War its western phase was rarely mentioned in our histories. They were nearly all written by eastern men who were naturally more interested and better informed about the events and men in their own sections than about those in the far western wilderness. They did not realize, as historians now do, that both the winning and the value of American independence hung upon the successful conduct of the war in the west, as well as along the Atlantic seaboard. The result was that generations of American readers of history were left ignorant of the fact that in the Mississippi Valley there was a struggle for independence and empire which, although the numbers engaged were small, was far more desperate than the eastern conflict and hardly less significant in the upbuilding of this nation. In that western war, as all historians agree, the out-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.