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George Rogers Clark
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Military Personnel
    (November 19, 1752-February 13, 1818)
    Born in Albemarle County, Virginia
    Brigadier General in the Virginia militia during the American Revolution
    Captured the British forts at Kaskaskia, Illinois (July 4, 1778), and Vincennes, Indiana (February 23-24, 1779)
    Older brother of William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition)
    His plans to capture the main British fort at Detroit never got off the ground, since he never could convince enough of the militia to go that far from their homes.
    After an inconclusive campaign against Indians in the Northwest Territory (1786), he was accused of being drunk on duty and was relieved of command.
    Due to poor record keeping, he was unable to convince the state of Virginia to compensate him for money that he had borrowed to finance his military campaigns.
    As a result, he spent most of his life trying to keep creditors at bay.
    He owned slaves.
    His victories secured the Northwest Territories for the United States, nearly doubling its size.
    He denied being drunk on duty and requested a formal inquiry, but was ignored.
    His main accuser, General James Wilkinson, was secretly a paid agent of Spain, whose allegations should be taken with several grains of salt.
    He suffered a stroke, fell into a fireplace, and burned his leg so badly it had to amputated (1809).
    After his death, the state of Virginia decided it did owe him money and paid his estate $30,000.
    The state kept on finding money it owed him, making its last payment to his heirs in 1913.

Credit: C. Fishel


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