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La Charrette Village

Interested in what Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike, John Colter, President Jefferson and other notables thought about America's newly acquired westernmost village? Enjoy the west...before it became distorted by TV, movies and novels.

Location: Port Aransas, Texas, United States

A retired professor of Food and Animal Science at Texas A&M University, The University of Connecticut and Texas Tech. A cowboy in my previous life...never thought about being a professor or an author.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Corps of Discovery Visits

Corps of Discovery members first arrived at La Charrette in May 1804 when the poor villagers furnished them with a few provisions upon departing as shown in this Marthasville Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Committee commerative of the event. Here world renowned plein-air artist BillyO recreats their departure into the western wilderness. By September 1806 they returned to celebrate! Sing songs, sip whiskey, dance and tell stories. As the most western settlement of America's new Louisiana Purchase, this had become a rather common occurence. Private trade expeditions had been exploring upriver for over 30 years before Lewis and Clark to say nothing about those individuals wandering about on their own. History Professor Walter Kamphoefner, Director of Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University, expressed it this way. "This was not just any village, but for nearly a half-century in the late 1700s and early 1800s, it was the last outpost of European settlement on the Missouri River, everyone's last stop on the way out and the first stop on the way back." Later as a Brigadier General, William Clark returned at least once, probably more often, to visit La Charrette when Indian Agent of the Missouri Territory. The title link provides more details of Lewis and Clark at La Charrette while journal entries at http://www.uky.edu/AS/ModernStudies/HumSocSci/lc95/sec3/dates3/Date70.html offer yet another insight to their September 20, 1806 arrival. Many other Web pages are devoted to these exceptional moments in history.

Today, with predictable consistancy, we wish these conversations and events had been recorded in greater detail. Unfortunately, little remains of most of these events except for the 1795 expedition of Jean Baptiste Trudeau. President Jefferson read Trudeau's account at Chorette's Creek (soon to be La Charrette Village) which likely led to Lewis and Clark wishing to train at La Charrette as initially planned. I too wish their plans would have been fulfilled.


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