Clark’s autograph is a real rarity, this being the first one we have ever had
George Rogers Clark is remembered as the heroic Revolutionary War commander who led a small force of frontiersmen through the freezing waters of the Illinois country to capture British-held Fort Sackville at Vincennes during February 1779. Making this victory especially sweet was that he had vanquished British Lieut. Governor Henry Hamilton, who...
George Rogers Clark is remembered as the heroic Revolutionary War commander who led a small force of frontiersmen through the freezing waters of the Illinois country to capture British-held Fort Sackville at Vincennes during February 1779. Making this victory especially sweet was that he had vanquished British Lieut. Governor Henry Hamilton, who was known as the “hair buyer” because of his policy of paying Britain’s American Indian allies for American scalps. Clark captured Hamilton and he was taken in chains to Williamsburg, Virginia, to the glee of the Americans. Although this was Clark’s most dramatic accomplishment, he continued his exertions on behalf of the American cause in the West during the entire war. These efforts included building forts on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, repelling a British-led Indian attack in the Illinois country, and leading two major expeditions that destroyed the British-allied Shawnee towns in the Ohio country. In the same way that William Henry Harrison was largely responsible for saving the West in the War of 1812, Clark has that accolade in the Revolution.
Clark’s younger brother William became famous also. He teamed up with Meriwether Lewis, and their expedition will always be known as Lewis and Clark.
As a reward for the services of Clark’s men, after the Revolution they were entitled to a “bounty of land”. One of those entitled was Robert Davis, listed as a private on the “List of Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers the the Illinois Regiment and the Western Army Under the command of General G.R. Clarke, who are entitled to Bounty in Land.” Davis received 140 acres in the bank of the Ohio River, and assigned his right to the land to one Solomon Walker. Walker determined to sell it to a John Berry, and this is the document evidencing that grant.
Document signed, November 23, 1805, granting Berry the land, signed by Clark, Major William Crogham, who was married to Clark’s sister, Lt. Col. Richard Taylor, father of future President Zachary Taylor, and others. Clark’s autograph is a real rarity, this being the first one we have ever had.
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