Mobridge in Walworth County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
A Valuable Member of the Team
Captain William Clark enlisted his slave, York, as one of the members of the Corps of Discovery. York grew up in Virginia with Clark and traveled with the party during the entire journey to the Pacific Ocean and back to St. Louis, Missouri.
York was valuable addition to the Corps, he was extremely strong and an excellent hunter. The Native Americans were amazed by his skin color and his coarse, black hair reminded them of the sacred buffalo.
After the expedition returned to St. Louis, York asked Clark for his freedom- which he was granted. It is said that York later started and ran a freight hauling business for several years. Many believe that York died of cholera, but unfortunately there is no written record of his death. There are stories that he returned and lived with Native Americans for many years, but there is no proof of his travels. Regrettably, there is no record of what happened to York, it appears that he has disappeared into history.
Artist Michael Haynes drew this portrait of York depicted as a skilled hunter. Not one portrait of York was ever completed during his life and consequently his appearance is a bit of a mystery. In this portrait, Haynes drew him in Clark's old clothing - it is common in the time period for owners to give their slaves
Artist Michael Haynes' drawing of the expedition members cordelling a keelboat upstream on the Missouri River. York most likely assisted in this part of the work and his strength was an asset to this duty.
Erected by Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
Location. 45° 31.811′ N, 100° 26.065′ W. Marker is in Mobridge, South Dakota, in Walworth County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail 1 and Park Blvd.. Touch for map. The marker is located on the trail. Park at the lot off Park Blvd. The marker is near there. Marker is in this post office area: Mobridge SD 57601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "the track of the white bear" (here, next to this marker); Lewis and Clark/Mobridge (within shouting distance of this marker); "they just did a man's job" (approx. half a mile away); "Sakakawea and Lewis & Clark" (approx. half a mile away); Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. ¾ mile away); Honored Leaders A Final Resting Place (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lewis & Clark meet the Arikaras (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mobridge.
Categories. • African Americans • Exploration • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.