Person:George Clark (116)

m. Abt 1749
  1. Gen. Jonathan Clark1750 - 1811
  2. Gen. George Rogers Clark1752 - 1818
  3. Ann Clark1755 - 1822
  4. Lt. John Clark1757 - 1783
  5. Lt. Richard Clark1760 - 1783
  6. Capt. Edmund Clark1762 - 1815
  7. Lucy Clark1765 - 1838
  8. Elizabeth Clark1768 - 1795
  9. Gov. William Clark1770 - 1838
  10. Frances "Fanny" Eleanor Clark1773 - 1825
Facts and Events
Name[1][2][3][4] Gen. George Rogers Clark
Gender Male
Birth[3] 9 Nov 1752 Albemarle, Virginia, United Statesnear Monticello
Alt Birth[5] 19 Nov 1752 Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Death[1][2][3] 13 Feb 1818 Locust Grove, near Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States
Burial[3] Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States
Reference Number? Q918990?

George Rogers Clark

  • 1771-1774 - George Rogers Clark explores Ohio River Valley and surveys land, some for himself. He settles in Grave Creek township, approximately 25 miles below Wheeling, Virginia (English, 59, 60, 62, 63).
  • 1774 Summer - Royal Governor John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore of Virginia raises 3,000 Virginia troops to attack Indian villages as far as Ohio River Valley. Clark receives his first military commission, "Captain of the Militia of Pittsburgh and its Dependencies" (English, 64).
  • 10 Oct 1774 - Moses Samples Served in Captain Joseph Haynes Company. Not much is known of Capt. Joseph Haynes Company of men. From a Pension from Moses Bostick relates that He Moses Bostick served in Capt. Joseph Haynes Company at the Battle of Point Pleasant, also known as Lord Dunmore's War. Under General George Rogers Clark. This was a cavalry company, ordered into service by Col. John Bowman. Men enlisted in Bedford County, Virginia. Clark was not at the Battle.
  • 1775 Spring - Clark is a deputy surveyor for Ohio Company to survey what is now Kentucky. His salary is 80 British pounds a year and his choice of land (English, 65-66).
  • 1775 - Clark visits western settlements organizing and commanding a small militia. He returns to Virginia in fall of 1775 to put his affairs in order, planning to return permanently to Kentucky in the spring of 1776 (English, 68-69).
  • 1776 - Clark returns to Kentucky and becomes a military and political leader (English, 69-75).
  • 1777 - Indian attacks on Kentucky settlers increase. Clark plans expedition into the Illinois country. Sends spies to British forts (English, 82, 85-87, 466-467).
  • 1777 October 1 - Clark leaves for Virginia to ask for permission and help in his western expedition (English, 87, 468).
  • 1777 December 10 - Clark presents his plan to Virginia Governor Patrick Henry (English, 88, 468).
  • 1778 January 2 - Clark receives permission from Virginia Legislature and financial support for his western expedition. Patrick Henry gives Clark public instructions and private instructions known as "secret orders" (English, 91, 93, 468).
  • 1778 Late May - Clark's troops arrive at an island at the Falls of the Ohio River which he names Corn Island (English, 131, 471).
  • 1778 June 24 - Clark's troops leave Corn Island to begin Illinois campaign to take Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. (English, 158, 163, 473-474).
  • 1778 July 4 - Clark takes Kaskaskia, Illinois without firing a shot. Joseph Bowman is sent to take Cahokia, which he captures on July 6 (English, 192-193, 476, 481-482).
  • 1778 July - Father Pierre Gibault goes to Vincennes, convinces French inhabitants to surrender to Clark. Arrives back at Kaskaskia first of August, informs Clark that Vincennes is his. Clark sends Leonard Helm to command Vincennes (English, 487-488, 490).
  • 12 Dec 1778 - Thomas Walker's name heads the list of the famous instructions issued to George Rogers Clark for the government of the newly constituted Virginia County of Illinois, also known as Illinois County, Virginia. (Source:
  • John Bowman Was Clark's 2nd in Command. Bowman began gathering men and provisions during the spring of 1779.
  • 1779 February 5 - Clark leaves Kaskaskia to retake Vincennes (English, 520, 521).
  • 1779 February 22 - Clark arrives at Vincennes. On February 24, Hamilton surrenders to Clark (English, 391, 524-528).
  • 23–25 Feb 1779 - Commander Clark at the Siege of Fort Vincennes
  • 1779 End of summer - Clark returns to the Falls of the Ohio (English, 663).
  • After these Campaign's, Clark used the Buffalo Trace (road) to return to the Louisville, Kentucky area.
  • 1779-1782 - George Rogers Clark builds forts and leads military expeditions to defend Kentucky settlements against Indian attacks (English, 748-760).
Pay roll for Captain Daniel Hall's Company of Colonial Lines Regiment of Militia of Kentucky County in active service under Colonel George Rogers Clark.
An expedition against the Cherokee from the 18th Jul to the 25th of August, 1780...Aaron Atherton is one of the 15 Privates.
Jefferson County, Virginia Militia (later Kentucky) was called to fight the Shawnee Indians and not the Cherokee Indians. The fact that the name was spelled as "Chawnee" and had a blot over the last few letters made it difficult to read. They were under the command of Colonel George Rogers Clark. Capt. Daniel Hall and Private Jonnathan Hodges
  • 1781 January 2 - Virginia gives up claims to all lands northwest of the Ohio River and stops support for Clark's militia and forts (English, 779-783).
  • 1783 July 2 - Virginia's resources exhausted, Clark is relieved of his military command (English, 783).
  • 1783 - Virginia's General Assembly passes act which gives 150,000 acres of land to Clark, his officers, and his soldiers (English, 826).
  • 1783-1784 Winter - Clark is with his family in Caroline County, Virginia (Bakeless, 312).
  • 1784 August 3-4 - Board of Commissioners meets in Louisville to settle claims by Clark, his officers, and soldiers for grant lands. Plans for locating, surveying Clarksville also adopted (English, 827, 833, 861).
  • 1785 - Clark's father and mother arrive to establish the family home, Mulberry Hill, Louisville (Bakeless, 313).
  • 1794-1818 - Clark divides his time between Louisville and Clarksville. In 1803, he builds his own log cabin on Clark Point, Clarksville, overlooking the Falls of the Ohio (Bakeless, 353).
  • 1818 February 13 - Clark, paralyzed from a stroke, dies at his sister Lucy (Clark) Croghan's home, Historic Locust Grove, near Louisville (English, 887).

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article George Rogers Clark.

Note of Caution

This page is currently lacking primary source documentation. --Cos1776 12:36, 13 July 2013 (EDT)
Image Gallery
  1. 1.0 1.1 Student Biography of George Rogers Clark, in Silver Creek High School website.

    George Rogers Clark was born the second son of John and Ann Rogers Clark in 1752. He lived on a 400 acre farm until he was about 5, when he moved to a small plantation in Caroline County. He had what was a typical boyhood at the time. Most of his schooling came from relatives, and he turned out to be well-read and an exceptional writer for the time. He learned many skills as a child. When he was around eighteen, he learned surveying from his grandfather, a skill that would play a large role throughout his life.

    When he was only twenty, he left on a surveying trip to the West. He did quite a few things throughout the next four years, including locating land for himself and his family and friends back in Virginia, acting as a guide for settlers, and participating in Lord Dunmore’s War. This war gained him recognition as a renowned and talented Indian fighter.
    By 1776, Kentucky settlers were continually plagued with violent harassment by surrounding Indians, which caused Clark to a meeting of representatives throughout the territory. An agreement was reached that a more direct connection between Kentucky and Virginia was needed. Clark and another delegate were elected to undertake this task of stating their case directly to Virginia. While there, they ended up proposing their becoming a new state. Governor Patrick Henry and the Executive Council granted Clark five-hundred pounds of gunpowder for Kentucky’s defense, and the General Assembly then recognized Kentucky as a county of Virginia.

    Clark was merely a twenty-four year-old when he was entrusted with the hopes of all the Kentucky settlers to help them out of their tight situation with hostile Indians. Not only did he not falter under the weight, he persuaded and moved the General Assembly and many other important men in Virginia to seeing and agreeing to his point of view. This fact is indicative of his personal determination, wits, public speaking abilities, and overall, his strong leadership skills. These inner qualities were hardly masked by his outer ones; he simply looked the part. The red-haired man was well over six feet tall, and known to be rugged and handsome. He seemed to be the kind that a man could respect and trust with anything and not have to worry. This quality was reflected in his relationships with Indians as well as his military campaigns. There was a perfect balance of fear and respect that he was naturally given by the Indians, and therefore had a relationship with them that other white men at the time could only marvel at. Records show that he also had an unusually close relationship, almost to the point of brotherhood, with his men, and that he inspired them to do what seemed impossible with only constant encouragement. His men had an uncommon eagerness for battle, and believed themselves to be unbeatable. This respect that he had established in the West in a way became insurance for Clark. When so many governors in the East broke their promises to him and left him in horrible financial trouble, he could always retire to the West and to the people who knew him best. His abilities and achievements were not overlooked, but celebrated, in the West. Clark knew that when the East had turned its back on him, he would be able to finds friends and support in the West. Later in his life, accounts show that many Indian warriors and chiefs came to smoke the peace pipe in friendship with him, calling him “the first man living, the great and invincible long-knife.” Men that journeyed with him on his expeditions also continued to come and visit with him long after their excursions were over.
    Soon after the gunpowder was dispersed to forts throughout Kentucky, Clark received word of a man nicknamed the “hair buyer” paying Indians for scalps of people on the frontier. Enraged, Clark sent out two spies to try to better learn the patterns of Lt. Gov. Henry Hamilton. When the spies’ reports confirmed his worst fears, he gained authority from the General Assembly to raise a force for Kentucky’s defense, as well as a commission as Lieutenant Colonel over seven companies of Kentucky militiamen. It was not publicly known at the time, but Patrick Henry also gave him written orders to attack Kaskaskia, as well as several other posts throughout the Illinois Country.

    When Clark and his men reached the Falls of the Ohio, they were joined by a few reinforcements, but not nearly as many as they had planned. It was there that Clark revealed his plan to attack Kaskaskia, and many desertions followed. Their numbers totaled 175 when they began their journey towards Kaskaskia on June 26, 1778. The element of surprise was of extreme importance to their mission, so they could not proceed as a normal company all of the time. There was a six-day stretch of overland march beyond the mouth of the Tennessee River where the entire group was dressed as Indians and marched single file in order to leave fewer tracks. The plan paid off and worked wonders. On July 4, during the night, they took Kaskaskia by surprise and occupied the fort with not a single shot being fired. Clark won the support of the French inhabitants by giving them the news of the recently acquired French-American alliances around the country, as well as offering them “all the privileges of Amercian citizenship.” Clark’s numbers were increased even further when Captain Bowman was dispatched to other communities and their support was won as well without resistance. The French that inhabited Vincennes were then paid a visit by Kaskaskia’s priest, Father Pierre Gibault. He secured their allegiance to Clark, while in the meantime Clark was gathering Indian tribes from as far as 500 miles away. His skill in relating to them was well used when he secured their neutrality throughout the upcoming campaign.

    Hamilton became informed of Clark’s occupation of Kaskaskia, but made the fatal decision not to attack until spring. He figured on using the winter to strengthen fortifications at Sackville in preparation for the coming attack. His Indian allies were sent home for the winter, and Francis Vigo, a Spanish trader, was allowed to leave Vincennes, bound for St. Louis. Instead, he went straight to Kaskaskia and reported Hamilton’s plans to Clark. This information was essential to Clark’s decision: to move on Vincennes in the middle of winter. He knew that if Hamilton had an entire season to gather his forces, the attack would be impossible, and knew that he had to move immediately. In a letter to Patrick Henry, he expressed the mission’s importance, stating that if he did not succeed, “this country and also Kentucky is lost.”

    During the depths of winter, Clark led 172 men, half of whom were French volunteers, over 240 miles of flooded country. It turned out to be a 17 day trip, where under normal conditions it would have taken five or six. The spirits of the men were kept high, however, with Clark’s cheerfulness, laughing, singing, and joking. A common reference was to a little drummer boy who often floated through the flooded waters on his drum.

    The company surprised Vincennes on February 23. Under Clark’s orders, all the flags were staggered at different heights and distances to give off the appearance of about 600 men, rather than only 200. They bombarded the fort with amazing accuracy, preventing the British from even opening their gunports. The morning of February 25 brought Hamilton’s surrender. He was shipped off to Williamsburg under prisoner status. The British then removed from Detroit, expanding the northern boundary of the United States to the Great Lakes.

    Clark continued on as a military commander until the War ended in 1783. A year later, he was named as a principal surveyor of public lands that had been federally reserved for those who had earned land while serving in the Virginia state military. He was also continuously consulted on many different affairs with Indians. Even with all that he did for his country, though, he was not able to retire peacefully. Debts that he had compiled throughout his excursions were suddenly thrown on him personally. Powerful men that had promised to fulfill these debts suddenly withdrew their responsibility and held him accountable. His political rivals broadcasted and enlarged his drinking problem, making him all the less popular in the East. Clark paid debts until he had nothing to his name, save two slaves that had been in the family as long as he had. His drinking increased more and more, and he reportedly was in a solid state of depression. He later had an accident, which led to the amputation of his right leg. Most sources say that while drunk, he fell into a fireplace and was badly burned; however, this is not confirmed. At his request, two fifers and two drummers played outside for two hours during the operation, which was performed without anesthetic.
    The remainder of his life was spent at Locust Grove, located eight miles outside Louisville, Kentucky, with his sister Lucy and her husband, Major William Croghan. He died on February 13, 1818. His body now lies in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, since being moved from the family plot in 1869.

  2. 2.0 2.1 American Revolution: Brigadier General George Rogers Clark .
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 George Rogers Clark, in Find A Grave.

    [Includes portrait and photos of gravesite and headstone which show birth and death dates.]

  4. General George Rogers Clark, in Haymond, Henry. History of Harrison County, West Virginia: from earliest days of northwestern Virginia to the present. (Morgantown, West Virginia: Acme Publishing, 1910)

    General George Rogers Clark.
    George Rogers Clark was born November 19, 1752 near Monticello Albermarle County, Virginia.
    He was surveyor by occupation in early life and his duties as such carried him to the upper Ohio regions west of the mountains. In 1774 he was a Captain in Lord Dunmore's campaign against the Indians West of the Ohio.
    In 1775 he went as a surveyor to Kentucky and in 1776 was chosen a delegate to the Virginia Assembly to urge upon the State authorities to give aid and protection to the Kentucky frontier as that region was under the jurisdiction of Virginia.
    In 1777 he was a major of Kentucky Militia and engaged in the repelling of the attacks of the Indians on the settlements.
    In 1778 he was appointed to Lieut. Colonel and authorized to raise a force to capture the British Posts in the Illinois Country.
    He collected recruits and organized his expedition at the Falls of the Ohio, now Louisville, and after incredible hardships was successful in capturing Kaskaskia and Vincennes, and with the latter Fort Lieut. Gov. Hamilton of Canada known among the frontiersmen as the "hair buyer."
    Clark was promoted to Brig. General and was prominent on the frontier in the Indian troubles, and all that rich domain North West of the Ohio was secured to the Republic at the peace with Great Britain in 1783 in consequence of his energy, capacity and prowess.
    His later years were spent in poverty and seclusion and unfortunately his social habits were none of the best.
    He died February 18, 1818 at Locust Grove near Louisville and was buried at Cave Hill in the suburbs of that City. The town of Clarksburg was named in his honor.
    [NOTE OF CAUTION: Birth and death dates appear to be incorrect.]

  5. George Rogers Clark, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  6.   Filson Historical Society (Louisville, Kentucky). The Filson Club history quarterly. (Louisville, Kentucky: The Club, 1930-2000)
    Vol. 3, No. 1, October, 1928.

    How The Parents Of George Rogers Clark
    Came To Kentucky In 1784-1785

    By Ludie J. Kinkead

    Page 1 - Dr. John Croghan, the son of Major William Croghan and his wife Lucy Clark (sister of General George Rogers Clark), about 1837 wrote his recollections as related to him by the older members of his family and other pioneers, and these are referred to as his “diary” by Dr. Lyman C. Draper. On a visit to Louisville in 1846, when collecting material for his intended life of George Rogers Clark, Dr. Draper copied from this “diary” portions relating to General Clark and others. The portion given below describes the journey of John Clark, the father of General Clark, and members of his family when emigrating from Caroline County, Virginia, to the “Falls of the Ohio” in 1784-1785.

    Page 2 – Several years previous to the removal of my grandfather [John Clark] from Caroline County, Virginia…
    Page 2 – My grandfather with a numerous family of children and servants, left his seat in Virginia in Oct. 1784, and owing to the badness of the roads, the inclemency of the weather, & the obstruction of the Mononogahela with ice, (having embarked in boats at “Redstone Old Fort”, or, as it is now called, Brownesville) did not arrive at the mouth of Kentucky until the 3rd of March, 1785…

    Dr. Croghan 's Diary – January 1837.


  7.   Willson, Richard Eugene and Gradeless, Donald E. INDEX to the GEORGE ROGERS CLARK PAPERS: Based on the Microfilmed George Rogers Clark Papers At the Virginia State Library and Archives.
  8.   English, William Hayden. Conquest of the country northwest of the river Ohio, 1778-1783, and life of Gen. George Rogers Clark: with numerous sketches of men who served under Clark, and full list of those allotted lands in Clark's Grant for service in the campaigns against the British posts, showing exact land allotted each. (Indianapolis, Indiana: Bowen-Merrill Co., 1896).
  9.   Virginia. General Assembly. House of Delegates. Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Washington, D.C.: Samuel Shepherd, 07 Dec 1835)
    Page 45, 07 Dec 1835.

    Commissioner's Adjustment.

    Office Of Commissioner Of Revolutionary Claims Of The State Of Virginia, Richmond, January 16, 1835.

    I have examined the claim of Francis Vigo of Vincennes, and state of Indiana, for supplies furnished to the "Illinois regiment," in the fall of the year 1778, to the amount of eight thousand six hundred and sixteen dollars, evidenced by a sett of bills of exchange, drawn by George R. Clark on Oliver Pollock at New Orleans, for the said sum of $ 8,616, (which said bills have been lost or mislaid,) and which the said Vigo alleges, remain unpaid at this day.

    I have examined, also, every public document within my reach, which I believed would give information respecting the transaction, in which the claims of individuals against the state of Virginia, for supplies furnished to the Illinois regiment originated, and especially respecting the claim of colonel Vigo. In this examination and investigation, I have ascertained the following facts, to wit:

    1. That Francis Vigo was the " Spanish merchant," as he has been called by way of honorable distinction; who was renowned for his integrity, liberality and benevolence, as well as for his firm friendship for, and disinterested and efficient support of, Virginia in the war of the revolution.

    2. That being then the subject of a foreign power, he warmly espoused the cause of the colonies against the mother country, and made large sacrifices in supporting the western troops of Virginia.

    3. That bills of exchange were drawn by general Clark in the year 1778, upon Oliver Pollock, at New Orleans, in favor of Francis Vigo, for upwards of $ 10,000, for supplies furnished by him to the "Illinois regiment" in that year. That these bills were protested by xMr. Pollock (who was the agent of the state) for "want of funds;" that some of them were sold by Mr. Vigo, and afterwards paid by Virginia. That one amounting to $ 298 was paid by the said Pollock to the said Vigo. That the bill for $ 8,616 was one of those which was not parted with by Mr. Vigo, but remained in his possession (that is to say, the second of the sett remained in his possession, the sett consisting of Nos. 1 and 2, and the first having been lost,) until he suffered with a long and severe illness, commencing 1802, and continuing for several years. That during this illness, he handed over the said bill for $8,616 to judge Jacob Burnet of Ohio, to obtain something, if possible, from Virginia, upon it. (See statements of Francis Vigo, Pierre Menard, Jacob Burnet, all on oath.) And also as proof of the credit which should be given to the statements of the said Vigo, (see the affidavits of John Badollet and Nathaniel Ewing, and statement of general Harrison, and letters from generals Wayne, Clark and Knox, &c. &c.)

    4. That the said bill of $8,616 was drawn for supplies actually furnished to the "Illinois regiment" under the command of general George Rogers Clark, by the said Francis Vigo. (See the memorial of Francis Vigo, which has been sworn to, and the affidavits of Pierre Menard and J. Badollet.)

    5. That this bill of exchange (both 1 and 2) have been lost. (See here also, Francis Vigo's statement on oath, and the affidavits of Jacob Burnet and Nathaniel Ewing.)

    6. That the said amount of $ 8,616 remains at this day unsatisfied and due to the said Francis Vigo. (See said Vigo's statement on oath, and the affidavits of Pierre Menard, John Badollet and Nathaniel Ewing; also certificates of the auditor and treasurer of Virginia.)

    T. That all general Clark's bills on Oliver Pollock, at New Orleans, were for specie. (See general Clark's certificate, journal of the house of delegates, May session 1783, page 73.)

    8. That the smaller bills which were drawn in the latter part of the year 1778, by general Clark upon Oliver Pollock, in favor of Francis Vigo, and which he says in his memorial were parted with by him and afterwards paid by Virginia, are proved by the " Illinois documents and papers," now in my possession, to have been paid by Virginia. But these documents and papers furnish no proof whatever of the payment of the said larger bill of $ 8,616, the amount of which is now claimed by Francis Vigo.

    In conformity with the foregoing facts, which are set forth in the first part of this paper, I have adjusted this claim. It gives me pleasure to be able to make a favorable adjustment, and to ascertain the sum of money due from the state of Virginia to a man who has rendered the most important services to his adopted country, and who (if his neighbors, who are the most distinguished men in the part of the United States in which he resides, are to be believed) is one of the most upright and honorable of men.

  10.   Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Frontier Women and Their Art: A Chronological Encyclopedia
    pg. 3.

    With her husband, Colonel William Chapman "Billy" Whitley, a farmer and Indian scout, and toddler daughters Elizabeth and Isabella, in November 1775, Esther traveled on horseback along the 120-mile Boone Trace. The expedition, which included her sister-in-law Margaret Whitley, wife of surveyor and militiaman George Rogers Clark, met with snow and hail on the thirty-three-day ride to Boonesborough Station.