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Marthasville in Warren 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 William Fischer, Jr., January 14, 2012
1. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
Inscription.

"the party being extreemly anxious to get down ply their ores very well, we Saw Some cows on the bank which was a joyfull Sight to the party and Caused a Shout to be raised for joy at [blank] P M we Came in Sight of the little french Village called Charriton [Charrette]."
William Clark, September 20, 1806

On Sep. 20, 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped near this site on the return voyage of their epic trek across the continent. Only three days out from St. Louis, the men on the Corps of Discovery were eager to reach the ending point of the expedition, and for the previous two days they had foregone hunting and subsisted on pawpaws in order to waste no time in reaching the "settlements," (La Charrette), on the evening of Sept. 20.

As they pulled into the village at sunset the men raised a shout and received the permission of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to fire a salute. Three rounds were fired to hearty cheers. A party of five trading boats tied up at La Charrette returned the salute. These boats were bound for the Osage and Oto tribes (Sgt. John Ordway stated they were heading to the Omaha nation) and were under the command of two young Scotsmen from Canada. They generously provided the men with beef, flour and pork, and the French residents from the village brought milk
Drawing on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Lewis, January 21, 1804
2. Drawing on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
[Caption reads] William Clark made the only known drawing of the keelboat on Jan. 21, 1804. This 55-foot long, galley-style keelboat proved unwieldy and difficult to handle on the Missouri River.
Yale Collection of Wesern Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
and other items for the crew. One crafty resident sold the expedition two gallons of whiskey for the extortionate price of $8 in cash.

According to Clark, "every person, both French and americans Seem to express great pleasure at our return, and acknowledge them selves much astonished in Seeing us return. They informed us that we were Supposed to have been lost long Since, and were entirely given out by every person &c."

The captains did encounter discontent among the American settlers they met at the village over the difficulty they were having with the new U.S. territorial government getting their Spanish land grants confirmed. Lewis and Clark, as future territorial administrators, would soon become embroiled in this seething controversy that would drag on for several years prior to statehood.

Schenectady Boats
While at La Charrette, William Clark expressed his admiration for the boats of the party of Canadians that were tied to the river bank. During the trip up the Missouri River in 1804 to the winter camp at the Mandan villages, members of the expedition had to maneuver a large 55-foot long keelboat that Lewis had contracted to be built in Pittsburgh against the uncommonly rapid currents of the Lower Missouri River. By the end of this leg of the journey, both captains were ready to concede that the large, ungainly keelboat was not the
Plat Map on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
3. Plat Map on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
[Caption reads] At La Charrette, Lewis and Clark encountered Americans who were disgruntled over the difficulty they were having getting their Spanish land grants confirmed. This plat shows several Spanish-era American land grants associated with the Boone settlement, including one belonging to the celebrated pioneer Daniel Boone at the lower right corner. Boone had received this grant in 1799, but it was denied by a federal land commission in 1809 and not finally confirmed until 1814. Members of Boone's extended family resided at La Charrette and Boone, himself, was a frequent visitor.
Plat courtesy of Missouri Dept of Natural Resources' Geological Survey and Resource Assessment Division.
ideal boat to take up this river. The boats Clark saw at La Charrette, however, seemed perfectly suited for the Missouri. These "schenectady" boats, as Clark termed them, were wide in proportion to their length, unlike the keelboat, which had a round bottom. They were smaller - 30 feet long by eight feet wide with pointed bows and sterns and flat bottoms. Because of this design, they were not prone to rolling on their sides when grounded on sandbars, which was a problem that constantly plagued the keelboat. And unlike the keelboat, which required 20 oars, these boats needed only six oarsmen. "I believe them [the Schenectady-type boats] to be the best Calculated for the navigation of this river of any which I have Seen."
 
Erected by National Park Service, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission, and the William A. Kerr and Missouri State Parks Foundations.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Lewis & Clark Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 38° 37.628′ N, 91° 3.637′ W. Marker is in Marthasville, Missouri, in Warren County. Marker is on 1st Street south of Depot Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is just east of the Katy Trail State Park kiosk. Marker is in this post office area: Marthasville MO 63357, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Map Detail on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1826
4. Map Detail on The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Marker
[Caption reads] This ca. 1826 map of Missouri, published in France, shows Charette (La Charrette) in Montgomery County (Warren County would not be established until 1833). The village fell victim to the floods and shifting currents of the Missouri River and ceased to appear on maps by the end of the 1820s. By then, Marthasville was a thiving pioneer community.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri (here, next to this marker); Katy Trail State Park 20th Anniversary (a few steps from this marker); Marthasville to Dutzow (a few steps from this marker); Lewis and Clark in Missouri (a few steps from this marker); Marthasville to Treloar (a few steps from this marker); The Daniel Boone Trail (a few steps from this marker); La Charrette Marthasville (within shouting distance of this marker); La Charrette (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marthasville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. (Submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. (Submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Lewis and Clark Across Missouri. (Submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. ExplorationPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 14, 2012
5. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri Markers
Along the Katy Trail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 364 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 8, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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