William Clark's Slave York


The names Lewis and Clark have been branded into history, along with
Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who helped guide their expedition across the
uncharted American continent.
How about York? Remember him? If not, you're not alone. York was a slave -
the property of Capt. William Clark.
Now a group of historians says York has not been given the attention he
deserves for his role in the Corps of Discovery's journey across America.
They want to rectify that as the bicentennial of the 1803-1806 journey
nears.

Scholars scheduled a conference in Portland today to discuss York's
contribution to history.

They hope the conference will Americans understand the true history of the
expedition, and ...

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at the University of Portland, where he overlooks
the long Columbia River valley that stretches to the Pacific.

Holmberg says York was a valuable member of the expedition, helping smooth
relations with Indian tribes, hunting and sharing the burdens of travel
with men who otherwise may not have shared so much as a drink of water with
York because of his color.

Holmberg is the editor of a collection of letters that Clark wrote his
elder brother, Jonathan. The cache, found in 1988 in the attic of a
Louisville home owned by Jonathan Clark's descendants, provided the first
detailed look at York.

York had been William Clark's slave since both were boys. But York became
like any other member of the expedition, said Ron Craig, who's producing a
documentary about York.

``He's carrying guns, he's talking with native tribes, he's interacting
with white people,'' said Craig. ``We're talking 1804 or 1805, and that's
incredible for that era.''

By the time the Corps of Discovery reached ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/14/2004 03:21:31 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 621
Pages: 3

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