Monday, February 20, 2017

Black History Month: Intrepid Explorer


Statue of York in Louisville, KY
A largely uncredited member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Captain William Clark’s slave, York, participated in the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. He even voted with the group in 1805 when there was a decision to be made about camping for the winter. Even though, York, “seems to have performed the same duties as the other expedition privates,” he did not receive compensation for his efforts (Lauderdale, 2004). He was still a slave to Captain Clark when the expedition ended, but York was freed by Clark about five years later.

Lauderdale, B. (2004, April). Westerners. Wild West. 16(6). pp.10-11.

Sellman, J. (2005). Military, Blacks in the American. In Appiah, K.A. and Gates, H.L., (Eds).  Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, 2nd. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 13.

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