Includes Clark's quotes about his life and career Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
"I am George Rogers Clark. You have just become a prisoner of the Commonwealth of Virginia." - George Rogers Clark
The last days of the colonial era in America seemed to spawn a number of Renaissance men, unique individuals who were as comfortable in a log cabin as a ballroom and could write as well as they could hunt. George Rogers Clark was one of these men, and in many ways he was a paler, less-accomplished version of his illustrious neighbor, George Washington. Like the Continental Army's leader, George Rogers Clark was an accomplished surveyor who helped map out their Virginia homeland, a good soldier, and an officer in the Virginia militia before and during the Revolutionary War. While Washington led the army, he tasked Clark with leading the American troops along the frontier border in that portion of Virginia that would one day become Kentucky.
While he did not necessarily share Washington's success and military genius, Clark played a major part in winning the war, including capturing the important town of Kaskaskia, Illinois, then in the hands of the British, on July 4, 1778. The following year, he took Vincennes, Indiana, in a similarly successful maneuver. These two victories weakened the British presence in the Northwest Territory and allowed the patriots to focus attention on battles further east. After the war ended and the British gave the Northwest Territory to the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the newly formed nation proclaimed Clark "Conqueror of the Old Northwest", a noble and serious title for a man not yet 30 years old.