Kansas City in Wyandotte County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Lewis and Clark at Kaw Point / Kaw Point
June 26-29, 1804
Side A: Lewis and Clark at Kaw Point
The Lewis and Clark expedition arrived here at Kaw Point on June 26, 1804, concluding another daily struggle against the powerful current of the Missouri River. Captain William Clark wrote in his journal that "our tow rope broke twice & with great exertions...we Came to and Camped in the Point" above the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas (Kaw) Rivers.
The Corps of Discovery carried the destiny of our young nation on this scientific and diplomatic mission providing notice of the recent purchase of the Louisiana Territory by the United States.
This military expedition consisted of a keelboat and two pirogues (large canoes), approximately 46 men, including an army interpreter, the African-American York, at least ten temporary river men, plus four horses, and Lewis's Newfoundland dog, Seaman.
Captains William Clark and Meriwether Lewis directed the repair of the boats and the exploration of the confluence area. "To defend ourselves against the Indians" the captains ordered the men to erect across the point a "...strong redoubt or brest work frome
John Ordway and a hunting party traveled up the Kansas River valley and killed several deer, sighted their first buffalo, captured a wolf pup, and found excellent springs.
A Courts-martial was convened on June 29, which resulted in Pvt. John Collins, who was on sentry duty, received 100 lashes and Pvt. Hugh Hall 50 lashes for drawing whiskey without authority.
Side B: Kaw Point
The Missouri River can be seen to the east and the Kansas (Kaw) River can be seen to the south. The confluence of these rivers is the original reason for the geographic location of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Captain William Clark wrote on June 27, 1804, that "the Countrey about the mouth of this river is verry fine." The expedition's journals say that the confluence area would be a fine place for a fort and that this area teemed with deer, elk, buffalo and bear, plus a great number of "Parrot queets", the now extinct Carolina parakeet.
Claimed alternately by Spain and France until 1803 when it became part of President Thomas Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana, this point of land soon became known as Kaw Point. The north-south line through this confluence became the western border of the state of Missouri in 1821 and settlers began to arrive on the Missouri side of
In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which created Indian Territory and called for all eastern tribes to be removed to west of the Missouri border. Although the Kanza Indians were in this general area, the Delaware Indian reserve was created in 1829 which included Kaw Point. The Wyandot Indians arrive in 1843 and purchased land from the Delawares that included Kaw Point.
In 1854 Kaw Point became part of Kansas Territory with the passage by Congress of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened the territory for white settlement. In 1859 the town of Wyandott, which included Kaw Point, was incorporated. Kaw Point became a part of Kansas City, Kansas as a result of the consolidation of 1886.
Erected 2005 by Native Sons of Kansas City.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Kansas City - Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1891.
Location. 39° 6.984′ N, 94° 36.676′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Kansas, in Wyandotte County. Marker is at Lewis and Clark Historic Park at Kaw Point. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City KS 66115, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers Bird Woman's Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); "we determin to delay at this Place" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Encampment at Kaw's Mouth - June 26-29, 1804 (within shouting distance of this marker); Homeland of the Kanza Indians (within shouting distance of this marker); "the water…contains a half…Glass of ooze" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cruise-Scroggs Mansion (approx. half a mile away); Commissioner Thomas F. Lally (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kansas City.
Also see . . .
1. History of Lewis and Clark at Kaw Point. Kaw Point Park entry (Submitted on March 27, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. National Park Service entry (Submitted on March 27, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on March 27, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 577 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 27, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.