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St. Charles in St. Charles County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri

 
 
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, December 16, 2020
1. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
Inscription.  On May 21, 1804, the Corps of Discovery departed from St. Charles near this spot. The day before, Meriwether Lewis had finally arrived from St. Louis. That same day, William Clark had given 20 of the men permission to attend the local Roman Catholic Church in St. Charles.

On his last morning in St. Charles, Clark enjoyed one more meal at the household of Francois Duquette, who had been a most accommodating host during the five days the corps had spent in St. Charles. As the time drew near to depart from St. Charles, the westernmost town of the United States, the pace of final preparations for the expedition quickened. Clark said that he spent "all the forepart of the Day Arranging our party and procureing the different articles necessary for them," then attended to the last details of packing the two pirogues and the keelboat. George Drouillard and Alexander Willard were to stay behind and rejoin the party a few days later by land. They probably brought along two horses that would be very useful for the hunters who would thereafter be sent out into the surrounding countryside almost every day to bring in fresh game.

The
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, December 16, 2020
2. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
Marker is behind the flag pole, next to the Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum.
corps set out in mid-afternoon and received three cheers from a group of gentlemen gathered on the bank. Soon after getting under way, the party was pelted by a rainstorm and a hard wind and decided to camp at the upper point of an island, later called St. Charles Island, about three miles upriver from St. Charles. The rain came down hard for the rest of that night.

(side quotes:)

May 21, 1804: "…Set out at half passed three oClock under three Cheers from the gentlemen on the bank…"

Sept. 21, 1806: "…we Soon arrived opposite the Town [St. Charles], this day being Sunday we observed a number of Gentlemen and ladies walking on the bank, we saluted the Village by three rounds from our blunderbuts and the Small arms of the party, and landed near the lower part of the town."

(aside:)


Triumphant Return

Two years and four months after leaving St. Charles, the expedition made a triumphant return to the town on Sunday, Sept. 21, 1806. As they neared home, Clark noted that "our party appears extreamly anxious to get on, and every day appears to produce new anxieties in them to get to their Country and friends." Approaching the village of LaCharrette, the party saw cows on the bank and cheered at this sign of approaching settlements. On Sept. 21, they quickly covered the 48-mile distance from La Charrette to St.
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Charles. Around 4 p.m., as the town came into view, Clark said "the party rejoiced at the Sight of this hospital village plyed thear oars with great dexterity." The party fired a salute to the people of St. Charles with three rounds from the mounted swivel guns and small arms. By the time the boats pulled to shore, a large crowd of townspeople gathered around them. Amazed to see the members of the expedition alive and well, despite rumors that they had been killed or captured, the townspeople showered the returning explorers with hospitality, and most of the party found quarters in town with obliging residents. Lewis and Clark spent the evening with Francois Duquette and Basil Proulx. The next day, following a rainstorm, the boats of the expedition pulled out in late morning and continued the downriver journey to Fort Bellefontaine. On the next day, Sept. 23, they arrived at last at the end of their epic journey - the town of St. Louis.

(photo caption:)

Gary R. Lucy depicts the departure of the Corps of Discovery from St. Charles on May 21, 1804. He portrays the men dressed in their best uniforms, while the bank is lined with citizens of St. Charles and visitors from St. Louis.
 
Erected by National Park Service, Missouri Dept of Natural Resources, and Missouri Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.
 
Topics and series.
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This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition series list.
 
Location. 38° 46.385′ N, 90° 28.931′ W. Marker is in St. Charles, Missouri, in St. Charles County. Marker can be reached from South Riverside Drive east of Boone's Lick Road. Marker is next to the Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1050 S Riverside Dr, Saint Charles MO 63301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bishop's Landing (a few steps from this marker); Peter Geery (within shouting distance of this marker); 25th Anniversary (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); 921 South Riverside Drive (approx. 0.2 miles away); Missouri (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lewis & Clark Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Trail to Fort Osage (approx. 0.2 miles away); Home of Don Carlos Tayon (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Charles.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 25, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 2, 2021