Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Lewis and Clark Expedition

The marker is located south of Wood River on the west side IL Route 3 (Lewis and Clark Drive). The marker is about 1/4 mile north of the intersection of IL Route 3 and IL Route 143.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark originally planned to camp west of the Mississippi River during the winter of 1803-04. Carlos Dehault Delassus, the Spanish commandant at St. Louis, however, had not received formal notification from his government of the Louisiana Purchase and would not permit the expedition to cross the river. Thus in the middle of December, 1803, Clark led about twenty-five men to the winter camp on the American side at the mouth of the Wood River, then 1.25 miles southwest of this site.

At Camp River Dubois Lewis and Clark gathered supplies, compiled information and trained their men. Originally there were nine Kentuckians, fourteen soldiers, two French watermen, one hunter- interpreter and Clark's Negro servant at the camp. They were energetic, healthy individualists who did not accept discipline willingly. During the winter Lewis reprimanded several men for refusing to obey the orders of their officers, failing to perform sentry duty and making "hunting of other business a pretext to cover their design of visiting a neighbouring whiskey shop...."

Additional recruits enlisted for the first part of the trip Through hostile Indian country and in the spring three boats loaded with provisions, ammunition and merchandise were prepared for the long journey from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean and back. On May 14, 1804, Clark and about forty-five men "set out at 4 o'clock P.M., in the presence of many of the neighbouring inhabitants, and proceeded on under a gentle breeze up the Missouri."

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