George Rogers Clark
Brigadier General George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) was born in Albemarle County near Charlottesville. In 1756, he moved with his family to Caroline County, Virginia. He served as an officer in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War (Little Turtle's War), earning him the nickname "Conqueror of the Old Northwest". His younger brother, Wiliam Clark, was a member of the eponymous Lewis and Clark exploration.
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Clark served as an officer in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War (Little Turtle's War), earning him the nickname "Conqueror of the Old Northwest". At that time, the state of Virginia included the area that is now Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Illinois. During the Revolutionary War, Clark was the highest ranking military officer in the northwestern frontier. In both of these conflicts, he primarily fought against Native American tribes allied with or led by the British. Clark's most well-known military accomplishments include the captures of Kaskaskia (1778) and Vincennes (1779), both in what is now Illinois.
When Clark's father John Clark III, died, Clark inherited from him:
"I give and bequeath to my son George Rogers and to his heirs and assigns forever, one negro man named Lue, also one negro woman named Venice, with live, present, and future increase, except Peter."
Peter was bequeathed to Clark's younger brother, Wiliam Clark, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark exploration. William Clark mentions George Rogers Clark in the Certificate of Freedom for Kitt, one of his enslaved individuals:
"Be it known that Kitt, having served faithfully, and as the body servant of Genl. George R. Clark deceased, conducted himself for many years with entire approbation, is hearby liberated from any involuntary servitude..." Signed by William Clark 31 March, 1818
Clark Elementary School was named in his honor in 1931, after the suggestion of Paul G. McIntire, because "his services to Virginia and the nation are well known". McIntire's first wife, Edith Clark, was a descendant of George Rogers Clark's father, John Clark III. McIntire also funded the George Rogers Clark statue.