Catalogue


William Clark and the shaping of the West /
by Landon Jones.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Hill and Wang, c2004.
description
394 p., [16] leaves of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0809030411 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : Hill and Wang, c2004.
isbn
0809030411 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5331155
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [365]-373) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Excerpt fromWilliam Clark and the Shaping of the Westby Langdon Y. Jones. Copyright 2004 by Landon Y Jones. To be published in May, 2004 by Hill and Wang, A Division of Farrar Straus & Giroux. All rights reserved. PROLOGUE A DARK AND BLOODY GROUND In the cold morning air of February 1, 1792, a detachment of 150 soldiers on horseback rode toward the headwaters of the Wabash River in Indian country north of the Ohio. The troops were mounted militiamen led by Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkinson, the newly appointed commander of the western army. Just thirty-four, Wilkinson had won an early reputation for brilliance during the Revolutionary War in Boston and in the New Jersey campaign at Trenton and Princeton. His social connections through his marriage to a prominent Philadelphian, Ann Biddle, had further helped smooth his rise in the army, despite his reputation for intrigue. The soldiers found it slow going. On either side of them were the blackened branches of the Ohio hardwood forest, dense with trees reaching a circumference and height that were almost unimaginable. There were red and white oaks and maples 100 to 150 feet tall, enormous chestnuts and buckeyes 18 feet in girth. Along the frozen river bottoms stood huge thickets of cane, with stalks 12 to 20 feet high, tall enough to hide a man on horseback. The hollowed-out trunks of the sycamores, called buttonwoods, could shelter a family. Running up the branches and through the treetops was the forest's most distinctive feature: ropy tangles of wild grapevines that in warmer months made a canopy so dark and forbidding that no underbrush could grow beneath it. For years, Indian hunters had burned scattered clearings into the impenetrable Ohio woodlands to flush out deer and to create meadows to attract herds of elk and eastern bison. Settlers later found another way to clear fields: they notched dozens of closely arrayed trees, each halfway through. They would then topple one of the goliaths, which would in turn bring down an entire stand in a succession of deafening crashes. Wilkinson and his troops approached the Wabash on a rough road that had been cut into the forest the previous autumn. A fresh snowfall blanketed the ground twenty inches deep. As their horses snorted and pawed through the drifts, the soldiers began to realize that the piles of snow in front of them were covering up a multitude of objects strewn about the road. As they rode on, they discovered increasing numbers of cartridge boxes, pieces of uniforms, carcasses of horses and mules, fire-locks, knapsacks, and other debris. Just before 10:30 a.m., a few miles from a branch of the Wabash, they began to find the bodies. First they stumbled on a few, almost imperceptible beneath mounds of soft snow. But then they found dozens of corpses, many of them dragged into the open by scavenging animals. Almost all had been grotesquely mutilatedstripped naked, scalped, genitals cut off, "stakes as thick as a person's arm drove through their bodies," one officer in the party later reported in a letter.1 Buffeted by a strong, cold wind, the soldiers tried to bury the victims, most of them men, but there were also many women and children among them. The icy soil was hard as granite, and, as Winthrop Sargent, an adjutant general and secretary of the Northwest Territory, wrote in his report, the task was difficult, "the bodies being frozen down to the ground, quite covered with snow, and breaking into pieces in tearing them up."2 A genteel Harvard graduate who was once known as the best-dressed man in the Continental Army (he was said to own a field kit made by Paul Revere), Sargent rode bleakly around the site, noticing that many trees had been stripped of twigs and branches by the ferocity of the gunfire. The soldiers pulled together several ruined wagons and gun carriages and burned them in order to salvage
First Chapter
Excerpt from William Clark and the Shaping of the West by Langdon Y. Jones. Copyright © 2004 by Landon Y Jones. To be published in May, 2004 by Hill and Wang, A Division of Farrar Straus & Giroux. All rights reserved.


PROLOGUE
A DARK AND BLOODY GROUND

In the cold morning air of February 1, 1792, a detachment of 150 soldiers on horseback rode toward the headwaters of the Wabash River in Indian country north of the Ohio. The troops were mounted militiamen led by Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkinson, the newly appointed commander of the western army. Just thirty-four, Wilkinson had won an early reputation for brilliance during the Revolutionary War in Boston and in the New Jersey campaign at Trenton and Princeton. His social connections through his marriage to a prominent Philadelphian, Ann Biddle, had further helped smooth his rise in the army, despite his reputation for intrigue.

The soldiers found it slow going. On either side of them were the blackened branches of the Ohio hardwood forest, dense with trees reaching a circumference and height that were almost unimaginable. There were red and white oaks and maples 100 to 150 feet tall, enormous chestnuts and buckeyes 18 feet in girth. Along the frozen river bottoms stood huge thickets of cane, with stalks 12 to 20 feet high, tall enough to hide a man on horseback. The hollowed-out trunks of the sycamores, called buttonwoods, could shelter a family. Running up the branches and through the treetops was the forest's most distinctive feature: ropy tangles of wild grapevines that in warmer months made a canopy so dark and forbidding that no underbrush could grow beneath it.

For years, Indian hunters had burned scattered clearings into the impenetrable Ohio woodlands to flush out deer and to create meadows to attract herds of elk and eastern bison. Settlers later found another way to clear fields: they notched dozens of closely arrayed trees, each halfway through. They would then topple one of the goliaths, which would in turn bring down an entire stand in a succession of deafening crashes.

Wilkinson and his troops approached the Wabash on a rough road that had been cut into the forest the previous autumn. A fresh snowfall blanketed the ground twenty inches deep. As their horses snorted and pawed through the drifts, the soldiers began to realize that the piles of snow in front of them were covering up a multitude of objects strewn about the road. As they rode on, they discovered increasing numbers of cartridge boxes, pieces of uniforms, carcasses of horses and mules, fire-locks, knapsacks, and other debris.

Just before 10:30 a.m., a few miles from a branch of the Wabash, they began to find the bodies. First they stumbled on a few, almost imperceptible beneath mounds of soft snow. But then they found dozens of corpses, many of them dragged into the open by scavenging animals. Almost all had been grotesquely mutilated—stripped naked, scalped, genitals cut off, "stakes as thick as a person's arm drove through their bodies," one officer in the party later reported in a letter.1

Buffeted by a strong, cold wind, the soldiers tried to bury the victims, most of them men, but there were also many women and children among them. The icy soil was hard as granite, and, as Winthrop Sargent, an adjutant general and secretary of the Northwest Territory, wrote in his report, the task was difficult, "the bodies being frozen down to the ground, quite covered with snow, and breaking into pieces in tearing them up."2 A genteel Harvard graduate who was once known as the best-dressed man in the Continental Army (he was said to own a field kit made by Paul Revere), Sargent rode bleakly around the site, noticing that many trees had been stripped of twigs and branches by the ferocity of the gunfire.

The soldiers pulled together several ruined wagons and gun carriages and burned them in order to salvage their ironwork. But they were unable to locate the six cannons that had been carried by the destroyed army. They concluded that the Indians must have thrown them into the river, now covered with a hard shell of ice. In the end, Wilkinson's party buried about one hundred bodies, placing them in several shallow mass graves hacked into the ground. Many of the dead, they observed, bore a disturbing sign: their mouths had been stuffed with handfuls of dirt.

Excerpted from William Clark and the Shaping of the West by Landon Y. Jones
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
William Clark is justly acclaimed for his role as coleader with Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-6. Less well known are his achievements in the ensuing 30 years. Jones (The Essential Lewis and Clark, 2000), a board member of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, has provided a biography that deals with both Clark's public career and his private life during those years. Especially noteworthy are the discussions of Clark's duties in the Kentucky militia, his service as governor of the Missouri Territory, and his campaigns as an officer in the US Army on the Ohio River Valley frontier. Jones also evaluates Clark's role as Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis, a post in which he supervised Indian-white relations and negotiated treaties with several tribes. The author finds that Clark often lamented on paper the deteriorating conditions experienced by the Indians while he implemented policies that exacerbated their plight. This is an excellent study of an important figure who helped to shape major events in the history of America's early West. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public libraries and undergraduate collections. L. B. Gimelli emeritus, Eastern Michigan University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-03-15:
Famous for his exploits as part of the fabled Lewis and Clark expedition, but long overshadowed by the ill-fated Lewis, William Clark (1770-1838) spent the better part of his life playing a key role in America's expansion into the territory he had eagerly scouted. Using newly available archival materials, Jones (Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom), former managing editor at People and vice-president of the Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, provides a riveting portrait of the lawlessness and chaos of postrevolutionary life on the American frontier as well as a fast-paced story of Clark's dramatic life. Born into a planter family, Clark grew up in Kentucky, of necessity becoming an expert marksman. By the age of 24, Clark had served as a lieutenant in various Indian wars throughout Kentucky and the territories that later became Ohio and Illinois. After the expedition with Lewis, Clark resumed his military career, overseeing the expropriation of Indian lands by treaty and war-a task for which, in Jones's searingly honest portrait, Clark showed no compunction. Clark was unafraid to kill Native Americans mercilessly in order to demonstrate his power and the power and determination of his country. As Jones indicates, by the time Clark died he had "supervised the removal of 81,282 Indians from the eastern United States to the western side of the Mississippi." Jones's spirited and balanced biography is likely to tarnish the image of one of America's celebrated heroes. 16 pages of b&w illus., maps, not seen by PW. (May 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-05-01:
For most of us, William Clark (1770-1838) is forever linked to Meriwether Lewis and their 1804-06 Corps of Discovery expedition across the North American continent. Jones (The Essential Lewis and Clark) capably describes this voyage while filling in the other details of Clark's life. In 1789 Clark joined the Kentucky militia and spent the next seven years on the Spanish, English, and Indian fronts of a growing, land-hungry American nation. During this time, he learned leadership and organizational skills and observed how to negotiate with Indian tribes, especially at land-ceding treaty councils. From 1807 until his death in 1838, Clark served the U.S. government in a variety of positions, including governor of the Louisiana Territory, brigadier general of the territory's militia, and superintendent of Indian affairs, sometimes simultaneously and controversially. Jones points out that Clark signed 37 treaties with various Indian nations during this time and oversaw the removal of over 81,000 Indians. Clark tried to balance helping the Indians with placating Missouri settlers and various War Department administrations in Washington. Informed by recent finds, Jones's research and writing are excellent; he cites an extensive bibliography and puts it to work in very thorough endnotes. He does an excellent job of describing the broader picture and placing Clark the man, not Clark the myth, in the context. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.] Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is a triumph of both research and storytelling. The endeavors of the amazing William Clark are fascinating, and they help us understand the opening of the west and the expansion of America. By recounting both his famous explorations and his more controversial work resettling native Americans, Lanny Jones helps us make vivid and personal the conflicts that are integral to our history." --Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life "A fascinating, richly textured tale of a brave and complicated man. Landon Jones has brought to life a violent, morally complex time--when the frontier was St. Louis and diplomats and statesmen needed to be warriors and explorers." --Evan Thomas, author of John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy "At last a full length comprehensive study of the life of one of America's most overlooked heroes. Landon Jones has given us a map of William Clark's life, showing us the points where he was a man of his time and the moments he was far ahead of it. He directs us to Clark's involvement in the sad episode that was the removal of the Native American Indian, spanning from its naive beginnings to the bitterly cruel end. Jones presents William Clark warts and all; we see that for all his apparent contradictions, Clark remained always a man true to himself." --Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, co-author, The Lewis and Clark Companion "With Landon Jones' superb biography of William Clark we have at last a full treatment of this distinguished American, written with sparkle and insight. The wait is over." --Gary E. Moulton, editor, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, January 2004
Publishers Weekly, March 2004
Booklist, April 2004
Library Journal, May 2004
Los Angeles Times, June 2004
Washington Post, September 2004
Choice, January 2005
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Summaries
Main Description
Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark co-captained the most famous expedition in American history. But while Lewis ended his life just three years later, Clark, as the highest-ranking Federal official in the West, spent three decades overseeing its consequences: Indian removal and the destruction of Native America. In a rare combination of storytelling and scholarship, best-selling author Landon Y. Jones presents for the first time Clark's remarkable life and influential career in their full complexity. Like every colonial family living on Virginia's violent frontier, the Clarks killed Indians and acquired land; acting on behalf of the United States, William would prove successful at both. Clark's life was spent fighting in America's fifty-year running war with the Indians (and their European allies) over the Western borderlands. The struggle began with his famed brother George Roger's western campaigns during the American Revolution, continued through the vicious battles of the War of 1812, and ended with the Black Hawk War in the 1830s. In vividly depicting Clark's life, Jones memorably captures not only the dark and bloody ground of America's early West, but also the qualities of character and courage that made him an unequalled leader in America's grander enterprise: the shaping of the West. No one played a larger part in that accomplishment than William Clark. William Clark and the Shaping of the West is an unforgettable human story that encompasses in a single life the sweep of American history from colonial Virginia to the conquest of the West.
Unpaid Annotation
In a rare combination of storytelling and scholarship, bestselling author Jones presents for the first time Clark's remarkable life and influential career in their full complexity.
Short Annotation
Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark co-captained the most famous expedition in American history. But while Lewis ended his life just three years later, Clark, as the highest-ranking Federal official in the West, spent three decades overseeing its consequences: Indian removal and the destruction of Native America.
Table of Contents
Mapsp. ix
Prologue: A Dark and Bloody Groundp. 3
America's First West: 1722-1772p. 13
General George Rogers Clark: 1772-1789p. 24
Lieutenant Billy Clark: 1789-1795p. 49
Soldier and Citizen: 1795-1803p. 87
"Ocian in view! O! the joy!": 1803-1806p. 114
This Wild Country: 1806-1809p. 147
Life without Lewis: 1809-1813p. 180
Territorial Governor: 1813-1820p. 214
"The Red-headed Chief": 1820-1829p. 256
Resistance and Removal: 1829-1838p. 296
Notesp. 335
Bibliographyp. 365
Acknowledgmentsp. 375
Indexp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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