A Trip to Kentucky -- 4

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Remembering York.jpg (31500 bytes)

wb00475_.gif (505 bytes)The Corps of Discovery included William Clark's slave, York, who was not an official member of the expedition (he did not receive compensation for his services, even though he bore the same hardships and made significant contributions to the success of the expedition).

A life-size bronze statue of York will soon be placed at the riverside park in Louisville to honor this man's participation in the historical trip across the continent.

wb00476_.gif (509 bytes)Hasan Davis provided a living history portrayal of York. It was a dramatic and informational study of York's accomplishments while with the Corps of Discovery and his struggle for freedom once the military expedition was ended.

Hasan Davis.JPG (21718 bytes)
dear brother.jpg (29352 bytes)

wb00475_.gif (505 bytes)Until recently, not much was known about York's post-expedition life, but much is revealed about this subject in personal letters William Clark wrote to his brother Jonathon. The letters were discovered in the attic of a Clark family member in 1988 and entrusted to the Filson Historical Society. This book, Dear Brother, edited by Jim Holmberg and published by Yale University Press in 2002, presents the annotated text of the letters and other documents related to William Clark.

Listen to NPR's Bob Edwards's radio interview with James Holmberg on May 14, 2002's "Morning Edition." (Requires that you have Real Audio installed on your computer.)


The meeting featured a special program for kids, and Hasan Davis was popular with the Young Explorers who sought him out for an autograph after his performance portraying York.wb00476_.gif (509 bytes)

Other meeting events featuring York included a lecture by Jim Holmberg on what is known about York and discussions by artists who have depicted York in paintings, music or sculpture. We were treated to a first-ever performance of selections from an opera about York, to be presented this November at Penn State University.

Hasan Davis signs autographs.jpg (30491 bytes)
Bud Hasan Bob and Roger.jpg (28274 bytes)

wb00475_.gif (505 bytes)From left, Bud Clark (descendent of William Clark), Hasan Davis, Bob Anderson (descendent of expedition member George Shannon), and Roger Wendlick (wearing an unusual and authentic Jefferson Peace medal).

Mel Hankla (left), portraying Gen. George Rogers Clark, and Budwb00476_.gif (509 bytes) Clark, portraying his ancestor Capt. William Clark, raise a glass to toast Kentucky.

Toasting Clarks.jpg (26917 bytes)

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