Camp Dubois

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Memorialized starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the background Camp-dubois-start.jpg
Memorialized starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the background
Reconstruction of Camp Dubois Camp Dubois reconstruction 034.jpg
Reconstruction of Camp Dubois

Camp Dubois (English: Camp Wood), near present-day Wood River, Illinois, served as the winter camp and starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Wood River, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Wood River is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. The population was 10,424 according to the 2013 census estimate.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It has the 5th largest Gross Domestic Product by state, is the 6th-most populous U.S. state and 25th-largest state in terms of land area. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in northern and central Illinois, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, contains over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports around the world from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean; as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway on the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

Lewis and Clark Expedition American overland expedition to the Pacific coast

The Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. It began in Pittsburgh, Pa, made its way westward, and passed through the Continental Divide of the Americas to reach the Pacific coast. The Corps of Discovery was a selected group of US Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark.

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Founded at the confluence with the Rivière du Bois (Wood River) on December 12, 1803, it was located on the east side of the Mississippi River so that it was still in United States territory. This was important because the transfer of the Louisiana Purchase to France from Spain did not occur until March 9, 1804, and then from France to the United States on March 10, 1804. The expedition returned again to the camp on their return journey on September 23, 1806. [1]

Wood River is a 2.4-mile-long (3.9 km) tributary of the Mississippi River, which it joins near East Alton, Illinois, to the northeast of St. Louis, Missouri.

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

In 1803, at Cahokia, Lewis and Clark had met a well known French citizen, Nicholas Jarrot, who owned 400 acres on the du Bois, and he agreed to let them camp there. [2] William Clark established Camp Dubois, with a group of men that he recruited from Kaskaskia and Fort Massac. There, they constructed a frontier fort. Captain Meriwether Lewis joined the camp several weeks later after gathering information about Upper Louisiana and the west from Cahokia, Kaskaskia, St. Louis and other locations. Also during this time, Lewis took the opportunity to smooth relations with the Spanish authorities in St Louis to make the transfer of the Louisiana Purchase easier.

Cahokia, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Cahokia is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is located east of the Mississippi River in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, 15,241 people lived in the village, a decline from 16,391 in 2000.

Nicholas Jarrot Mansion

The Nicholas Jarrot Mansion is a historic house at 124 East First Street in Cahokia, Illinois and is operated as an inactive historic site by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). It is a State Historic Site, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and became a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Built in 1807–1810 for the son of French colonists, it is an extremely rare example of Federal architecture in the upper Mississippi River valley.

Kaskaskia, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Kaskaskia is a historically important village in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. In the 2010 census the population was 14, making it the second-smallest incorporated community in the State of Illinois in terms of population, behind Valley City. As a major French colonial town of the Illinois Country, in the 18th century its peak population was about 7,000, when it was a regional center. During the American Revolutionary War, the town, which by then had become an administrative center for the British Province of Quebec, was taken by the Virginia militia during the Illinois campaign. It was designated as the county seat of Illinois County, Virginia, after which it became part of the Northwest Territory in 1787. Kaskaskia was later named as the capital of the United States' Illinois Territory, created on February 3, 1809. In 1818, when Illinois became the 21st U.S. state, the town briefly served as the state's first capital until 1819, when the capital was moved to more centrally located Vandalia.

Camp Dubois was a fully operating military camp. Soldiers stationed at the camp were required to participate in training, maintain personal cleanliness, police the camp and other duties spelled out by the United States military. They had inspections, marched, stood guard duty and hunted to supplement their military rations. Sergeant John Ordway was in charge of the camp during periods in which both Lewis and Clark were away. [3]

A military camp or bivouac is a semi-permanent facility for the lodging of an army. Camps are erected when a military force travels away from a major installation or fort during training or operations, and often have the form of large campsites.

Sergeant John Ordway, the youngest of ten siblings, was an important part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the United States. John Ordway was one of the sergeants from the United States Army who stepped forward to volunteer for the Corps of Discovery. Ordway exercised many responsibilities on the trip, such as issuing the provisions, appointing guard duties, and keeping the registers and records. John Ordway also kept a detailed journal about Native American life during the expedition.

On May 14, 1804, the Expedition, under Clark's command, left Camp River Dubois on the east side of the Mississippi River and sailed up the Missouri River.

Missouri River major river in the central United States, tributary of the Mississippi

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.

Memorial

The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site has been established south of the actual winter camp site of the Expedition in Hartford, Illinois. It is located across the Mississippi from the present mouth of the Missouri, as the original camp was; however, the rivers have altered their courses, making the original site inaccessible. The Historic Site contains a museum center and reconstructed replica of Camp Dubois. [4]

Lewis and Clark State Historic Site

The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site opened in 2002 and is owned and operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation. The site, located in Hartford, Illinois, commemorates Camp River Dubois, the camp of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from December 1803 to May 1804. The site is National Trail Site #1 on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and is located directly off the Confluence Bike Trail, part of the Confluence Greenway. The site is at the southern end of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Route.

Hartford, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Hartford is a village in Madison County, Illinois, United States, near the mouth of the Missouri River. The population was 1,429 at the 2010 census. Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1803-1804 here, near what has been designated the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site.

Related Research Articles

Corps of Discovery unit of the United States Army

The Corps of Discovery was a specially-established unit of the United States Army which formed the nucleus of the Lewis and Clark Expedition that took place between May 1804 and September 1806. The Corps, which was a select group of volunteers, were led jointly by Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, the Corps' objectives were scientific and commercial even – to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to learn how the Louisiana Purchase could be exploited economically.

Illinois Country Historical region in North America

The Illinois Country — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States. While these names generally referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, French colonial settlement was concentrated along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in what is now the U.S. states of Illinois and Missouri, with outposts in Indiana. Explored in 1673 from Green Bay to the Arkansas River by the Canadien expedition of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, the area was claimed by France. It was settled primarily from the Pays d'en Haut in the context of the fur trade. Over time, the fur trade took some French to the far reaches of the Rocky Mountains, especially along the branches of the broad Missouri River valley. The French name, Pays des Illinois, means "Land of the Illinois [plural]" and is a reference to the Illinois Confederation, a group of related Algonquian native peoples.

Peter M. Weiser was an American soldier and member of the Corps of Discovery on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

John Shields (explorer) American explorer

Private John Shields (c1769–1809) was, at about 35 years old, the second oldest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and its oldest enlisted member. Shields, born in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, moved at about 14 years old to the wilderness of Tennessee, helped build and lived in a family fort that provided protection from Native Americans, traveled with Captain Meriwether Lewis, Second Lieutenant William Clark, and Native American Sacagawea to the Oregon Coast where he helped build Fort Clatsop, and then returned to St. Louis, Missouri. At the completion of this great adventure Shields hunted and trapped with the famous American pioneer Daniel Boone.

Richard Windsor served the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Corps of Discovery as a hunter, scout, and woodsman.

Louisiana (New France) Administrative district of New France

Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control 1682 to 1762 and 1801 (nominally) to 1803, the area was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. It originally covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains.

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. It is part of the National Trails System of the United States. It extends for some 3,700 miles (6,000 km) from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon.

Fort Atkinson (Nebraska) fort in Nebraska

Fort Atkinson was the first United States Army post to be established west of the Missouri River in the unorganized region of the Louisiana Purchase of the United States. Located just east of present-day Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, the fort was erected in 1819 and abandoned in 1827. The site is now known as Fort Atkinson State Historical Park and is a National Historic Landmark. A replica fort was constructed by the state at the site during the 1980s–1990s.

American Bottom

The American Bottom is the flood plain of the Mississippi River in the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois, extending from Alton, Illinois, south to the Kaskaskia River. It is also sometimes called "American Bottoms". The area is about 175 square miles (450 km2), mostly protected from flooding in the 21st century by a levee and drainage canal system. Immediately across the river from St. Louis, Missouri are industrial and urban areas, but many swamps and the major Horseshoe Lake are reminders of the Bottoms' riparian nature. This plain served as the center for the pre-Columbian Cahokia Mounds civilization, and later the French settlement of Illinois Country. Deforestation of the river banks in the 19th century to fuel steamboats had dramatic environmental effects in this region. The Mississippi River between St. Louis and the confluence with the Ohio River became wider and more shallow, as unstable banks collapsed into the water. This resulted in more severe flooding and lateral changes of the major channel, causing the destruction of several French colonial towns, such as Kaskaskia, which relocated; Cahokia, and St. Philippe, Illinois.

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site

Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a 200-acre (0.8 km²) park near Chester, Illinois, on a blufftop overlooking the Mississippi River. It commemorates the vanished frontier town of Old Kaskaskia and the support it gave to George Rogers Clark in the American Revolution.

Old Cahokia Courthouse

The Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site is a reconstructed French-Canadian structure built about 1740 at what is now 107 Elm Street, Cahokia, Illinois. At various times it has served as a house and as a courthouse. It is currently interpreted to resemble its appearance about 1800 as a frontier courthouse of the Northwest Territory. The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1972.

Old Baldy (Lynch, Nebraska)

Old Baldy, also known as the Tower, is a hill located near the village of Lynch, in Boyd County, in the northern part of the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. It was visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their way up the Missouri River in 1804; nearby, they discovered a colony of prairie dogs, an animal previously unknown to scientists.

The history of St. Louis, Missouri from prehistory to 1762 was marked by the presence of the Moundbuilder indigenous culture, the explorations of Europeans, and the establishment of French trading posts along the Mississippi River.

Bois Brule Bottom

The Bois Brule Bottom is an alluvial floodplain in Bois Brule Township in Perry County, Missouri stretching between Bois Brule Creek to the west and the Mississippi River to the east.

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