Iron Will

While William Clark is best known for the expedition he made with Meriwether Lewis, his later life was as historic and more consequential

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By then, two illusions had been destroyed. One was the quixotic belief that to be saved, Indians had to be moved beyond the reach of white civilization. The other was Black Hawk’s conviction that armed resistance would somehow preserve his tribe’s traditional lifeways.


A bust of William Clark now sits on his grave site in St. Louis, overlooking the Mississippi. A seven-foot statue of Black Hawk stands high on its pedestal in a wooded park where the Rock River enters the Mississippi. The two stone statues gaze blankly at each other across a few hundred miles of land and two centuries, as though contemplating the fact that they could not find a place in their respective national narratives for each other.


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