HARTFORD, IL – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today that communities, state parks and state historic sites along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers will hold special events in November and December that will retrace the route that Lewis and Clark made in Illinois exactly 200 years ago.
“The Lewis and Clark expedition spent more time in Illinois than in almost any other state,” said Governor Blagojevich. “The preparations they made here, the people they recruited, and the supplies and information they gathered undoubtedly enabled them to successfully complete their historical mission.”
The bicentennial observance of the expedition in Illinois will begin November 8 in Old Shawneetown in Gallatin County and will wind up at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford on December 12th. The observance will mark, 200 years to the day, that the explorers established their winter camp in the vicinity.
The bicentennial celebration will continue in Hartford, Illinois, along the Mississippi River in Madison County on May 14, 2004, as the 200th anniversary of the journey’s departure from Hartford will be re-created using replica boats and costumed actors. All anniversary events in the state are being coordinated by the Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host special events at various public historic sites and state parks along the way.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is also helping sponsor some of the special events being held in communities as well.
LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL
EVENTS IN ILLINOIS, 2003
November 8, Old Shawneetown
An exhibit barge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will arrive and be open for visitors from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, a group of Lewis and Clark re-enactors, is scheduled to arrive during the day. Evening activities include a 4 p.m. presentation by Jim Hart on “Lewis and Clark and Native Americans.” At 4:30 p.m., Esther Duncan will portray “Mother of Pvt. Bratton of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.” A local play, “Savor of Salt,” will be presented at 5 p.m. A Wild Game Banquet will be served at the Gallatin County School at 6:30 p.m.
Historical Perspective: In the fall of 1803, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark passed Shawneetown with about twenty men on their way westward. At the nearby confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers they first reached territory that is now the State of Illinois. They then turned their boats south on the Ohio River.
November 9, Old Shawneetown
Lewis and Clark activities continue at Old Shawneetown. The exhibit barge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be open for visitors from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Jim Hart and “Lewis and Clark and Native Americans” will be presented at 4 p.m.; Esther Duncan will portray “Mother of Pvt. Bratton of the Lewis & Clark Expedition” at 4:30 p.m.; and “Savor of Salt,” will be presented at 5 p.m.
November 10, Cave-in-Rock State Park
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exhibit barge will be available for tours. The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, a group of Lewis and Clark re-enactors, is scheduled to arrive and depart during the day. “Dance Music of the Lewis & Clark Era” will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Riverfront Opera House by Professor Howard Marshall of the University of Missouri. “Savor of Salt” will be presented at the Riverfront Opera House at 8 p.m.
Cave-in-Rock State Park is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Historical perspective: In the fall of 1803, Lewis and Clark and about twenty men passed this well-known landmark that was denoted on some early maps of the area.
November 10, Golconda
A dedication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. for a Lewis and Clark local marker in the Golconda Courtyard. The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive at Golconda
Marina, and a re-enactor portraying Sara Lusk will greet visitors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exhibit barge will be open. Games and music will be played throughout the day in
various locations throughout the town. Evening activities will include a community potluck dinner geared toward period food and a costume contest, both of which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Golden Circle Senior Citizens Building.
November 11, Metropolis
The City of Metropolis and Metropolis VFW Veterans Day Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. at Fort Massac State Park. Soldiers from the 1750s to the present will be represented in the flag ceremony. Members of the Discovery Expedition who are U.S. military veterans are scheduled to represent the Lewis and Clark expedition.
November 12 – 15, Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis
For three days, Education Days will introduce area school children to the inhabitants of Fort Massac and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Kindergarten through second grade will participate on November 12; third through fifth grade, November 13; and sixth through eighth grade, November 14. The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive during the day November 12. A special Lewis and Clark breakfast will be held November 15 from 8 to 10 a.m., and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day visitors may tour the fort, attend special lectures, or experience demonstrations of daily life from 1803.
Fort Massac State Park is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Historical Perspective: Lewis and Clark arrived at Fort Massac on November 11, 1803. They spent three days here, recruiting enlisted men to join their westward expedition. They also hired George Drouillard to act as an interpreter for the journey. Known for his hunting and scouting skills, Drouillard became a valuable member of the expedition.
On November 14, 1803 Lewis, Clark and a group of recruits passed Cantonment Wilkinsonville, an outpost of Fort Massac. In his journal, Lewis noted the first great chain of rocks stretching across the Ohio River opposite the encampment. Known as “The Grand Chain” of the Ohio, it was a dangerous area for river navigation.
November 15 - 20, Fort Defiance, Cairo
The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive November 15 and depart November 20. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exhibit barge will be open for tours.
“Tent of Many Voices” and the Corps II History Mobile from the National Park Service will be set up at Fort Defiance from November 20 – 25.
Fort Defiance is administered by the City of Cairo and is open from dawn to dusk.
Historical Perspective: On November 14, 1803, Lewis, Clark and their party landed at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the site of present day Cairo. They spent nearly a week there, learning how to determine longitude and latitude, a skill they would need on their westward expedition.
November 16, Ellis Grove
An 1803 “news conference” with President Thomas Jefferson about the Lewis and Clark Expedition will be held Sunday, November 16 at 1 p.m. at the Pierre Menard Home State
Historic Site near Ellis Grove, Illinois. McKendree College professor Dr. Thomas Jewett will portray the third president during this unique, half-hour presentation. President Jefferson will cover such “current” topics as the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson’s relationship with Lewis (who was formerly the president’s secretary), Jefferson’s involvement with the expedition, Lewis’ training, and the president’s interests and expectations for the expedition. After the “news
conference,” Jewett (as President Jefferson) will be available to speak to visitors until 4 p.m. at the Pierre Menard Home.
The Pierre Menard Home State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free public tours.
November 20, Thebes
As they travel past Thebes, the Discovery Expedition is scheduled to be honored by a 7-shot salute by the Orphan Brigade from a period, 10-pound Parrot gun.
Historical perspective: In November 1803, Lewis, Clark and their party camped on the slate rock bank of the Mississippi River in present-day Alexander County. They found moving the boats upriver very difficult and traveled only about one mile per hour against the strong current. It was a taste of the long journey ahead.
On November 20, 1803 Lewis, Clark and their men made camp near Two Sisters Island in present-day Alexander County. It was their first day moving up the Mississippi River and they only traveled 10.5 miles. The river’s current was stronger than they ever imagined. Would they need more men for their journey?
On November 21, Lewis, Clark and their party camped on an island near present-day Horseshoe Lake Spillway. In his instructions to Lewis, President Jefferson directed him to describe the plants and animals he saw on the journey. As they moved slowly up the Mississippi River, Lewis noted in his journal “a large quantity of Misseltoe” and sketched the islands they passed. He also described “black & white pided ducks;” “Heth hens” or prairie chickens; and deer.
On November 22, the expedition camped south of present-day Thebes after a difficult day battling the rapid current up the Mississippi. Clark was sick, and the men killed a prairie chicken to make a soup for him. They encountered some American settlements on the west side of the river. They also passed two large keelboats from Louisville loaded with goods bound for Kaskaskia upstream. Later, they met two more boats full of furs bound for New Orleans. As night fell, Nathanial Pryor, who had gone hunting that morning, had yet to return. He was lost and the worried crew did not see him again for two days.
The expedition next crossed the river to visit Cape Girardeau, and the following day they were relieved to find Pryor. They camped on a rocky sandbar near Cape Girardeau on November 24. They passed Grand Tower in present-day Jackson County and camped across the river; here, Clark sketched the area, the local landmarks of Grand Tower and Sugar Loaf, and their keelboat anchored near the shore.
November 28 - 30, Chester
“Christmas on the River” at Chester from November 28 – December 13 will celebrate Lewis and Clark with special exhibits, crafts, programs, dinners and tours. The
National Park Service’s Corps of Discovery II traveling exhibit will be at Chester’s Cohen Field from December 8 – 13.
The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive at Chester November 28 and camp at the riverfront through November 30 with their replica keelboat and pirogue.
Historical Perspective: The Lewis and Clark expedition camped on Horse Island just opposite Chester on November 27, 1803. The next morning, Lewis left them to travel by land to Cahokia while Clark and the men pushed on to Kaskaskia.
November 30 – December 2, Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site, Ellis Grove
The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive November 30 and be camped at Fort Kaskaskia until December 2, where visitors may see the authentically costumed re-enactors, replica boats and see what daily life was like for members of the Lewis add Clark expedition.
Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and is open Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours.
Historical Perspective: William Clark and 24 men arrived in Kaskaskia on November 29, 1803. Here they recruited 12 more soldiers from the local fort, including Patrick Gass and John Ordway. They obtained a second pirogue (river boat) and hired several French boatmen to help move their boats upriver. They also hired an additional interpreter, Francois Labiche.
December 4 – 6, Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, Prairie du Rocher
The Discovery Expedition is scheduled to arrive December 4 and be camped at Fort de Chartres until December 6, where visitors may see the authentically costumed re-enactors, replica boats and see what daily life was like for members of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and is open Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours.
Historical Perspective: On December 4, 1803 William Clark and several recruits passed by the ruins of Fort de Chartres, which had been built by the French in the 1750s, and Clark noted the ruins in his journal.
December 6, Kaskaskia Island
The Kaskaskia Church French and Indian Celebration, beginning at 3 p.m., will give tribute to Lewis and Clark. Kaskaskia Island is accessible by taking Route 51 just north of Chester across the Mississippi River.
Historical perspective: Kaskaskia, which later became the first Capital of Illinois in 1818, was on the east side of the Mississippi River in 1803, but a flood caused the river
to change course, wrecking the town and making it the only Illinois territory west of the river. The State Capital had moved to Vandalia before the disastrous flood.
December 7, Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site, Cahokia
Lewis and Clark’s arrival at Cahokia Courthouse will be re-enacted with a special event. A new exhibit on the Postal System at the time of Lewis and Clark will be opened at the Post Office located within Cahokia Courthouse. The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature a special commemorative cancellation.
Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours.
Historical Perspective: On December 7, 1803 William Clark and several recruits landed at Cahokia, a town of about 700 residents. Lewis was then on the road to St. Louis to meet with the Spanish governor about setting up the expedition’s camp west of the Mississippi River; the Spanish governor refused, forcing Lewis and Clark to make the historic decision to set up their winter camp on the east side of the river in what is now Illinois. Two Cahokia men, Nicholas Jarrot and John Hay, went with Lewis as translators. The expedition left Cahokia on December 10, but returned often during the winter for supplies and mail (the post office was located in the Cahokia Courthouse).
December 12, Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, Hartford
The dedication of the reconstructed Camp River Dubois behind the new Lewis and Clark Visitors Center will begin at 10 a.m. Dr. Gary Moulton, editor of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the definitive 12-volume set on the expedition’s written record, will be the featured speaker at the camp dedication. Gerard Baker of the National Park Service will also make remarks. The Alton Colonial Fife and Drum Corps will provide period music.
Lewis and Clark re-enactors of the Discovery Expedition are scheduled to arrive in a replica keelboat at noon at the river’s edge and will be greeted by state officials, local citizens, and the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band. The state flag will be presented to the re-enactors, and a dedication ceremony will be held for a new marker at the river’s edge. The day’s activities will be hosted by the Camp River Dubois Detachment. The Discovery Expedition will then proceed to Wood River.
This special event commemorates the arrival of the expedition at its winter camp near here exactly 200 years ago. This is one of the major events of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration. The other nationally significant event to be observed in Illinois will occur May 13 - 16, 2004 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, which will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the departure of the Lewis and Clark expedition from its winter camp. This departure was by Captain Lewis to be considered the beginning of the expedition.
Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, features a new Visitors Center with exhibits depicting the time the expedition spent in Illinois. It also features a newly-reconstructed Camp River Dubois. The location is Site Number One on the National Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail. The Visitors Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for free public tours.
Historical Perspective: On December 12, 1803 William Clark and several recruits arrived at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. While Lewis gathered information and supplies at Cahokia and St. Louis, Clark and the men constructed Camp River Dubois near present-day Hartford and Wood River, Illinois. They spent the next five months here preparing for their expedition. Here they practiced hunting and survival skills, performed military drills, prepared their boats, and packed their provisions. They departed Camp River Dubois on May 14, 1804 and did not return there until September 23, 1806 on the final leg of their Journey of Discovery.
December 12, Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey
Halfway Hall at Lewis and Clark Community College will be the setting for several events the evening of December 12. At 6:30 p.m. Michael Hanes will unveil a new painting depicting a shooting contest by Lewis and Clark Expedition members at Camp River DuBois. At 7 p.m. the 144th Army Band and the 566th Air Force Band, both units of the Illinois National Guard, will present a patriotic music concert. At 8 p.m. Gary Moulton, editor of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, will talk about the expedition’s stay at Camp River DuBois. Gerard Baker of the National Park Service, who is Native American, will present “We Saw Them Coming,” the Native American perspective of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Following the night’s programs, a candlelight walk will be made to the campus’ Sacagawea statue, where members of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band will honor the famed Native American guide who proved invaluable to Lewis and Clark.