George Rogers Clark Accepts Henry Hamilton's Surrender Of Fort Sackville At Vincennes, Indiana
On the morning of February 25, 1779, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, elder brother of explorer William Clark, accepted British Lt. Gov.
Henry Hamilton's unconditional surrender of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, Indiana.
Despite a 1763 prohibition against settlement of Kentucky and points west, hundreds of colonists and their families drifted beyond the Appalachians. With the Revolutionary War under way, these pioneers were vulnerable to attack from both British and Native American forces.
Clark believed Hamilton rewarded Indians for raids on American settlements. With the support of Virginia's Governor, Patrick Henry, Clark marshalled volunteers from among the frontiersmen and successfully attacked British outposts along the Mississippi River.
George Rogers Clark (November 19, 1752 – February 13, 1818) was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war, Clark is best-known for his celebrated capture of Kaskaskia (1778) and Vincennes (1779), which greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. Because the British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Clark has often been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest."
Clark's military achievements all came before his 30th birthday. Afterwards he led militia in the opening engagements of the Northwest Indian War, but was accused of being drunken on duty. Despite his demand for a formal investigation into the accusations, he was disgraced and forced to resign causing him to leave Kentucky to live on the Indiana frontier. Never fully reimbursed by Virginia for his wartime expenditures, he spent the final decades of his life evading creditors, living in increasing poverty and obscurity. He was also involved in two failed conspiracies to open the Spanish controlled Mississippi River to American traffic. After suffering a stroke and losing his leg, he was aided in his final years by family members, including his younger brother William, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark died of a stroke on February 13, 1818.
Lieutenant Governor Hamilton engages to deliver up to Col. Clarke, Fort Sackville as it is at present with all the stores, ammunition, & provision &c. &c.”— Account of the Expedition of Lieut. Gov. Hamilton