William Clark

American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor (1770-1838)
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William Clark (August 1, 1770 – September 1, 1838) was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor.[1] A native of Virginia, he grew up in prestatehood Kentucky before later settling in what became the state of Missouri. Clark was a planter and slaveholder.[2]

William Clark
4th Governor of Missouri Territory
In office
July 1, 1813 – September 18, 1820
Appointed byJames Madison
Preceded byBenjamin Howard
Succeeded byAlexander McNair
Personal details
Born(1770-08-01)August 1, 1770
Ladysmith, Virginia Colony
DiedSeptember 1, 1838(1838-09-01) (aged 68)
St. Louis, Missouri
Julia Hancock
(m. 1808⁠–⁠1820)

(her death)
Harriet Kennerly Radford
(m. 1820⁠–⁠1831)

(her death)
ParentsJohn Clark III,
Ann Rogers Clark
Occupationsoldier, explorer, politician

Along with Meriwether Lewis, Clark led the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States.[3] Before the expedition, he served in a militia and the United States Army. Afterward, he served in a militia and as governor of the Missouri Territory. From 1822 until his death in 1838 (aged 68) he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs.


  1. Jones, William Clark and the Shaping of the West
  2. Jay Buckley, William Clark: Indian Diplomat, University Oklahoma Press, 2008, pg 20-1
  3. Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny Robert Miller, Bison Books, 2008 pg 108

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