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Indiana Historical Bureau

George Rogers Clark > 225th Anniversary Exhibit > Additional Aspects of Clark's Life and Work Additional Aspects of Clark's Life and Work

George Rogers Clark Portrait

Portrait by Matthew Harris Jouett. Courtesy National Society,
Sons of the American Revolution and The Filson Historical Society.

This painting was completed circa 1825, seven years after Clark's death, by Matthew Harris Jouett (c. 1787-1827). Jouett was born near Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

This is the painting used in the age-regression image of Clark early in the exhibit.

The painting is owned by the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution and is housed at the Filson Historical Society, Louisville.

Information about Jouett at Artnet Web site <www.artnet.com/library> based on The Grove Dictionary of Art.

On November 26, 1782, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Clark asking him to send specimens of mammoth bones and tusks and any other unusual fossils and complimenting Clark's knowledge. For years after his retirement, Clark explored the Falls of the Ohio and surrounding area for scientific study.

In 1783, Clark was appointed to the board of trustees of the new Transylvania Seminary.

From 1783 to 1803, he lived at Mulberry Hill, his father's house, Clark devoted his time to reading, hunting, fishing, fowling, and corresponding with a few friends.

In 1784, Clark was granted a site and permission to build the first saw and gristmill in Clarksville.

In 1784, Clark was elected by Congress one of five commissioners to treat with the Indians of the Northwest. He carried out several treaty negotiations into 1789.

circa 1789, Clark wrote a treatise on the Indian mounds in Ohio and Mississippi Valley.

circa 1789-1791, Clark wrote his Memoir.

circa 1790, Clark invented a boat with mechanical oars.

By 1790, Clark was drinking heavily, and it steadily got worse.

In 1803, Clark built a cabin in Clarksville, overlooking the Falls of the Ohio.

circa 1804, Clark began an enterprise to build a canal at the Falls of the Ohio; it failed.

For years, American Indians came to the Falls of the Ohio to visit Clark.

Sources: John Bakeless, Background to Glory: The Life of George Rogers Clark (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1957); William Hayden English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783, and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark, (2 vols., Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1896); James Alton James, The Life of George Rogers Clark (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928); Samuel W. Thomas and Eugene H. Conner, "George Rogers Clark [1752-1818]: Natural Scientist and Historian," The Filson Club History Quarterly, Vol. 41 (1967), 202-26.

Replica of Clark's Cabin
Replica of Clark's Cabin

Courtesy Clarksville Historical Society.

In 1803, Clark built a two-story log cabin overlooking the Falls of the Ohio at a place named Point of Rocks. Clark lived there until 1809.

This replica of the cabin was built though a community effort with the involvement of the Falls of the Ohio State Park and the Clarksville Historical Society. It stands on Clark's original lot.

James Alton James, The Life of George Rogers Clark (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928), pp. 459, 464, 467.

Locust Grove, circa 1790
Locust Grove, circa 1790

Photograph by John Nation. Courtesy of Historic Locust Grove, Inc.

In 1809, Clark suffered a stroke and fell by the fireplace. His leg was burned so badly it eventually had to be amputated.

"Thereafter he lived at Locust Grove, 8 miles from Louisville, the home of his sister Lucy, who was the wife of Major William Croghan. . . . he received every possible attention. A wheel chair enabled him to go about the house, and he was supplied with a carriage for trips to town. His interest in the allotment of lands to his Illinois troops was still unflagging."

This circa 1790 Georgian mansion was built by William and Lucy Croghan. The home has been restored to its original appearance. Located six miles east of downtown Louisville, the home and estate are open to visitors. It is a National Historic Landmark.

James Alton James, The Life of George Rogers Clark (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928), p. 467; Locust Grove Web site at www.locustgrove.org/aboutlg.html.

Clark Says Goodbye to His Brother William
Clark Says Goodbye to His Brother William

Painting by Michael Haynes for the Bicentennial Commemoration
and National Signature Event, Lewis and Clark, Falls of the Ohio.

The famous Lewis and Clark expedition began at the Falls of the Ohio in 1803, leaving from a point below Clarksville.

William Clark, in uniform, is portrayed here shaking hands with his older brother, George Rogers, while other Clark family members look on.

Lewis and Clark sought George's expertise and knowledge on leading such an expedition.

It is interesting that on December 4, 1783, Thomas Jefferson asked George Rogers Clark if he would be interested in leading such an expedition if the money could be raised.

Information about the poster from Jane Sarles, Clarksville Historical Society; James Alton James, The Life of George Rogers Clark (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1928), p. 305.

225th Anniversary Exhibit