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danger that he feared to face, no hardship that he could not
endure. He was quick to act and as crafty as an Indian in
action. With the eye of a military genius, he saw where and
how he could get the enemy at a disadvantage, and he struck
his blows with a force and suddenness that were paralyzing.
He commanded not only the respect, but the love, of his men,
from whom he always received a willing obedience. Had he
been supported by the state, there is not much doubt that he
would have taken Detroit, gone from Detroit to Niagara, from
Niagara to Montreal, from Montreal to Quebec, and changed
the map of North America. "He was a great man," says
Dunn in his "History of Indiana." "Of all those who pre-
ceded or followed him, La Salle is the only one who can be
compared to him in the wonderful combination of genius,
activity and courage that lifted him above his fellows." Neglect
and disappointment were the 'direct cause of his downfall.
Chafing under bitter chagrin at the failure of his cherished
Detroit expedition, worried by lawsuits over goods taken in



GEORGE ROGERS CLARK. 61

the Vincennes campaign, for which the government refused to
pay, mortified because his great ability was not recognized
by a commission in the Continental army, oppressed by pov-
erty and harassed, by political enemies, he sought relief in
drink and destroyed himself. There is no doubt that he felt
the neglect of his country keenly. It is related of him that
when late in life Virginia presented him with a sword, he
exclaimed: "When Virginia needed a sword, I gave her one.
She sends me now a toy. I want bread!" thrust the sword
into the ground and broke it with his crutch, though his latest
biographer discredits the story. [49] In 1799 Judge Burnet,
induced by the veneration he felt for his military talents and
services, made a journey of some miles to visit Clark. "His
health," he says, "was much impaired, but his majestic person,
strong features, and dignified deportment, gave evidence of
an intelligent, resolute mind. He had the appearance of a
man born to command, and fitted by nature for his destiny.
There was a gravity and solemnity in his demeanor, resembling
that which so eminently distinguished 'the venerated Father
of his Country.' A person familiar with the lives and char-
acter of the military veterans of Rome, in the days of her
greatest power, might readily have selected this remarkable
man as a specimen of the model he had formed of them in his
own mind; but he was rapidly falling a victim to his extreme
sensibility, and to the ingratitude of his native state, under
whose banner he had fought bravely and with great success.
The time will certainly come when the enlightened and mag-
nanimous citizens of Louisville will remember the debt of
gratitude they owe the memory of that distinguished man.
He was the leader of the pioneers who made the first lodgment
on the site now covered by their rich and splendid city. He
was its protector during the years of its infancy, and in the
period of its greatest danger. Yet the traveler who has read



[49] English's "Conquest of the Northwest," vol. ii., pp. 88-93.



62 GEORGE ROGERS CLARK.

of his achievements admired his character and visited the
theater of his brilliant deeds, discovers nothing indicating the
place where his remains are deposited, and where he can go
and pay tribute of respect to the memory of the departed and
gallant hero." The prediction remains unfulfilled. Indian-
apolis has erected a statue in his honor, but Louisville has not
followed her example. For half a century his remains lay in
the grave at Locust Grove and then were removed to Cave
Hill cemetery in the suburb of Louisville, where they lie with
nothing more than a simple headstone to mark their resting

place.

DAN B. STARKEY.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January I2th, 1897.



PARKMAN CLUB PUBLICATIONS.



No. 1. Nicholas Perrot; a Study in Wisconsin History. By Gard-
ner P. Stickney, Milwaukee, 1895. 16 pp. paper; 8vo.

No. 2. Exploration of Lake Superior; the Voyages of Radisson and
Groseilliers. By Henry Colin Campbell, Milwaukee,
1896. 22 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 3. Chevalier Henry de Tonty; His Exploits in the Valley of
the Mississippi. By Henry E. Legler, Milwaukee, 1896.
22 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 4. The Aborigines of the Northwest; a Glance into the Remote
Past. By Prank T. Terry, Milwaukee, 1896. 14 pp.,
paper; 8vo.

No. 5. Jonathan Carver; His Travels in the Northwest in 1766-8.
By John G. Gregory, Milwaukee, 1896. 28 pp., 1 plate,
1 map, paper; 8vo.

No. 6. Negro Slavery in Wisconsin. By John N. Davidson, Mil-
waukee, 1896. 28 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 7. Eleazer Williams; His Forerunners, Himself. By William
Ward Wight, Milwaukee, 1896. 72 pp., portrait, and four
appendices, pap.er; 8vo.

No. 8. Charles Langlade, First Settler of Wisconsin. By Mont-
gomery E. Mclntosh, Milwaukee, 1896. 20 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 9. The German Voter in Wisconsin Politics Before the Civil
War. By Ernest Bruncken, Milwaukee, 1896. 14 pp.,
paper; 8vo.

No. 10. The Polanders in Wisconsin. By Frank H. Miller, Milwau-
kee, 1896. 8 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 11. P6re Ren6 M6nard, the Predecessor of Allouez and Mar-
quette in the Lake Superior Region. By Henry Colin
Campbell. Milwaukee, 1897. 24 pp., paper; 8vo.

No. 12. George Rogers Clark and His Illinois Campaign. By Dan
B. Starkey.

IN PRESS.

Stickney, Gardner P. The Use of Maize by Wisconsin Indians.
Gregory, John G. The Land Limitation Movement of 1848-51.

IN PREPARATION.

Bruncken, Ernest The German Voter in Wisconsin Politics.
This paper will include the period of the Civil War.

Campbell, Henry Colin Du Luth, the Explorer.

Davidson, Rev. John Nelson Underground Railway Stations in
Wisconsin.

Kelly, Frederick W. Local Government in Wisconsin.

La Boule, Rev. Joseph S. Allouez, the Father of Wisconsin
Missions.

Legler, Henry E. Mormons in Wisconsin.

Mclntosh, Montgomery E. Cooperative Communities in
Wisconsin.

Miller, Frank H. The Buffalo in Wisconsin.

Starkey, Dan B. The Fox- Wisconsin Waterway.

Stickney, Gardner P. Bibliography of Wisconsin History.

Wight, William Ward Joshua Glover, the Fugitive Slave.



An index to the Club's publications during 1896 will soon be
issued.

PUBLICATION COMMITTEE Henry Colin Campbell, Henry E. Leg-
ler and John G. Gregory.

The Parkman Club was organized December 10th, 1895, for study
of the history of the Northwest. A limited number of copies of each
publication are set aside for sale and exchange. Single copies are
sold at the uniform price of 25 cents, and the annual subscription
(ten numbers) is placed at $2.00.

Correspondence may be addressed,

GARDNER P. STICKNEY, Secretary,

427 Bradford Street, MILWAUKEE, Wis.



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA



GEORGE ROGERS CLARK AND HIS ILLINOIS CAM






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Online LibraryDaniel B StarkeyGeorge Rogers Clark and his Illinois campaign → online text (page 4 of 4)