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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wickliffe in Ballard County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Lewis & Clark at Old Fort Jefferson

 
 
Lewis & Clark at Old Fort Jefferson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
1. Lewis & Clark at Old Fort Jefferson Marker
Inscription. Long before Lewis and Clark stopped near Wickliffe in western Kentucky on their outbound trip to the west, Fort Jefferson had been built in 1780-81 by George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War as an outpost against British-led Indian attacks. It was also constructed to project the claim of the infant United States to a western boundary on the Mississippi River. Decommissioned within a year, records have been located detailing the day-to-day activities of those who lived in the fort or nearby.

The journal kept by Lewis indicates that the Corps of Discovery spent the night of November 14, 1803, at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, near present day Cairo, Illinois, where they remained until November 20. During the days the two Captains tried to determine the best location for establishing a military fort. They also each spent time taking astronomical readings to determine latitude and longitude, and they visited the site where Old Fort Jefferson had stood.

Below is artist Richard Day's reconstruction of Fort Jefferson as it appears in a book published by Kenneth C. Carstens, Ph.D., who operates Archeological Services.

This 90-foot cross in Wickliffe, Kentucky, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, serves as a beacon for the hundreds of ships which ply the two rivers. The cross was
The Cross at the Site of Fort Jefferson image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
2. The Cross at the Site of Fort Jefferson
financed by Donations from individuals in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and many other states, and also by those who purchased bricks in the pedestal supporting the cross, and on the "walking wall" in front of the cross.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 36° 57.46′ N, 89° 5.537′ W. Marker is near Wickliffe, Kentucky, in Ballard County. Marker is on Westvaco Road (U.S. 51/62), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located at the entrance to Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross Park. Marker is in this post office area: Wickliffe KY 42087, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Jefferson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Supply Base (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Jefferson Site / Indian Massacre (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lewis and Clark in Kentucky Fort Jefferson (approx. 0.2 miles away); County Named, 1842 (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Prince of the French Explorers (approx. 0.9 miles away); King Mounds (approx. 0.9 miles away); Welcome to Wickliffe Mounds (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wickliffe.
 
More about this marker. On the right is a photo of the cross. To the lower left is the drawing referenced
Kisosk image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
3. Kisosk
On the other side of the kiosk is a panel describing the inspiration and construction of the cross.
in the text showing the fort as it likely looked when completed.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross at the Confluence. (Submitted on May 2, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Exploration
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,528 times since then and 95 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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