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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.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

New Marthasville Brochure


To the Marthasville Area Chamber of Commerce upon issuing an attractive and enticing new brochure. The front page shown here says it all...

MARTHASVILLE: Our roots run deep

Plant your feet on the soil where Lewis and Clark once

stood and where Daniel Boones' family lived and

were buried.

Featured are all the elements of local history available to visitors and tourists. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at the title link to learn more about exploring the site of La Charrette Village, our nation's first most western settlement beyond the Mississippi.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Questing La Charrette: Historians

Many professional historians assisted in my quest for information on La Charrette Village.
One of the first was John Mack Faragher of Yale whose credentials are posted at http://www.yale.edu/lamarcenter/faragher.html He not only offered his file on Indian Phillips and Daniel Boone, but challenged me to make the La Charrette story a seamless one after seeing an early manuscript draft. Likewise, Walter Kamphoefner of Texas A&M was ever helpful with the last generation of settlers to arrive there - the Germans. Meet Walter at http://www.tamu.edu/history/faculty/kamphoefner.htm Jim Denny, historian with the State of Missouri, offered commentary on early portions of the manuscript as well, just as he responded to this folksy interview posted at http://www.hearingvoices.com/trail/river/denny.html

Ken Kamper, a local nationally established historian on the Boone family was very helpful in his suggestion leading to the disclosure of La Charrette tax records. His favorite campsite is with the Boones at Boonesfield Village posted at http://www.slfp.com/ETC-PioneerDays.htm Another historian with local roots is Dr. F. Todd Smith, professor of history with University of North Texas. Todd presented a uniqe insight in his Preface to La Charrette when emphasizing how appropriate it was to publish on this tiny village history. His expertise on the borderlands of America are revealed at his webpage at http://www.hist.unt.edu/faculty/smith/smith.htm Mr. Ralph Gregory of Marthasville, who has chosen to avoid the Internet, aided me as much as anyone throughtout manuscript preperation. Even the historians at the Western Manuscript Collection of The Historical Society of Missouri at Columbia were helpful in locating remote documents. Their webpage is available at the title link. To these, and many others, I will be long grateful for their help. Thanks, one and all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

JUST PUBLISHED ! January 10, 2006

La Charrette
A History of the Village Gateway to the American Frontier Visited by Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike

Lowell M. Schake, PhD

La Charrette provides a first-ever historical look at America’s westernmost frontier settlement, which—over a mere thirty-year existence—managed to leave behind a rich, vibrant legacy that is firmly rooted in local, state, and national history.

Located sixty miles beyond St. Louis on the banks of the Missouri River, La Charrette Village began as an eighteenth-century French fur-trading outpost. The citizens of La Charrette—one of America’s earliest melting-pot communities of Native Americans; African descendants; and French, Spanish, and German immigrants—played a vital role in shaping the American West. Its people were the first to be granted Indian trade rights and to map the Santa Fe Trail, and La Charrette was the last outpost of civilization along the monumental trek toward westward expansion.

A virtual Who’s Who of the American frontier, La Charrette documents the life and times of the families who lived in this influential riverbank village. It also chronicles many legendary heroes who passed through, including Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Captain Pike, ‘Indian’ Phillips, John Colter, Flanders Callaway, Syndic Chartran, and others who helped to shape history and forever change the face of our nation.

"Schake's book documents the intimate life and history of a village that helped serve as a launching point into the territory and it role in American frontier life."—Brad Urban, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Suburban Journals

Buy It Now! Activate this button to proceed directly to the iUniverse Bookstore, the title link or call the publisher at 1.800.AUTHORS. $18.95.

This expanded reissued volume not only contains new information about La Charrette, but it comes with a 20-page Index, a Forward by American Frontier scholar F. Todd Smith, Ph.D. University of North Texas, a new title, eye-catching covers to include world renowned artist Billy’O rendition of Lewis and Clark departing La Charrette as shown above and the endorsements given below. Its a whole new look!

Continue visiting La Charrette at my blog at http://lacharrettevillage.blogspot.com/

Praise for La Charrette
(From inside the front cover)

“A delicately crafted, absorbing account of an American past seldom encountered in conventional histories … Meticulously researched.”—Kirkus Discoveries of New York

"Dr. Schake presents a highly detailed, but easy to read, characterization of La Charrette's long neglected significance. It is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in American History."—Harry Windland, Treasurer, Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission

“For both the scholar and the avocational historian, La Charrette adds much-needed pages to the history of the westering experience and the Missouri River.”—Clive G. Siegle, Southern Methodist University, Executive Director, Zebulon Pike Bicentennial Commission

“One might question whether a village of seven houses rates a book, but to do so would be to underestimate both Lowell Schake and La Charette. 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, the natural highway to two thousand miles of Indian country, everyone’s last stop on the way out and the first stop on the way back. Lowell Schake has done a remarkable job of digging in French, Spanish, and territorial records to reconstruct the multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-ethnic society of his hometown, the intriguing frontier village of La Charette.”—Walter Kamphoefner, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, Texas A&M University

“Schake’s book documents the intimate life and history of a village that helped serve as a launching point into the territory and its role in American frontier life.”—Brad Urban, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Suburban Journals

La Charrette is highly recommended not only as a result of the impeccable research by the author, but also his talent for bringing the village of La Charrette to life in print.”— Timothy Forrest Coulter, descendant of John Colter, Corps of Discovery member and America’s First Mountain Man of La Charrette

“If you are a history buff—or even if you’re not—La Charrette will make a valuable edition to your personal library.”—Stephen E. Smith, My Missourian

“At last … ‘Charrette Village’ is put in its universal, national, and territorial place. For the strong interest now in the Lewis and Clark Expedition this book should be useful matter.”—Ralph Gregory, President, Franklin County Historical Society, Washington Missourian

“This is an important book and recommended.”—Leo E. Oliva, Santa Fe Trail Quarterly

“If you have ancestors who moved to and settled in Missouri when it was still the edge of the American frontier, you will be interested in … La Charrette.… I think you will find it an interesting historical and genealogical source.”—Martha Jones, PhD, Victoria Advocate

“Boone descendants will be happy to see this new and original book pertaining to a part of Daniel Boone’s life, and the lives of his family members, that has not been written about before…. If you are interested in learning more about the earliest life of those who moved to and settled Missouri when it was still the edge of the American frontier, you will enjoy this book.”—Margy Miles, Boone family descendant

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Questing La Charrette: Cartography

Have you ever attempted to document a ghost? It is not an easy task to map a 'ghost' village. La Charrette collaborator Jerome Holtmeyer was the map person. For years he was committed to pinpointing the exact location of the village and the Corps of Discovery campsites there in 1804 and 1806. Maps, maps, maps describe how Jerry thinks.

His efforts resulted in my creating this overlay of the old village with present day Marthasville. Maps like this one, which appears as Figure 5 in La Charrette, and Figure 2 are not only expensive to have professionally produced, but required lots of detail study, searching and calaulating as well as both actual and electronic survey work. The title link gives La Charrette along with other Missouri 'Ghost' towns, not all of which have recieved as much attention as the one which today is central to two national bicentennial celebrations.

Other maps were critical to the complete questing of village history. It was the farm survey of Jean Baptiste Luzon which became pivitol in our pinpointing the Lewis and Clark campsites. His 1806 farm survey, shown as Figure 6 in the book, depicts the entry of Charrette Creek into the Missouri River at that time as indicated above. And there was no suitable map documenting La Charrette as the mostwestern settlement of the Louisiana Purchase. So it was developed and produced as Figure 2.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Questing La Charrette: Genealogy

How La Charrette was 'returned' to life involved relentless questing in every resource available to me. Questing is to ask, seek, hunt, inquire, pursue, prowl after, try to find, look up, look for, search for... even to journey in search of adventure. In my case, "leaving no stone unturned" became part of the adventure. Most reviewers noted this in their comments. Timothy Forrest Coulter, a fourth generation grandson of La Charrette's John Colter, America's First Mountain Man" and one of the three "giants of western exploration", had this to say:

La Charrette is highly recommended not only as a result of the impeccable research by the author, but also his talent for bringing the village of La Charrette to life in print.

Genealogy was one of the tools that served well in this quest of village history. In one case it allowed me to dismiss the enticing but puzzling item written by Reverend Irion. In contrast, an embryonic village history began to emerge once the genealogies of its seven village families was initiated. This, combined with old military, tax, and legal records plus other historical documents added much needed detail to village life. The title link takes you to Heritage Quest should you desire to learn more of your family history and genealogy. Genealogies can be a powerful technique in compiling events of history, after all, nearly all histories relate to people in one manner or another.

The mock pedigree (above) could well be that of the Paul and Jean Marie Cardinal, Jr., as their mother married the slave of their deceased father. Both their mother and step-father were Native Americans. As with Tim Coulter and most other La Charrette families, I have been blessed to share Cardinal family history with descendants still residing near the old village. Researching genealogies can be very rewarding! I began studying three generation of pedigrees of registered Polled Hereford cattle that my famly owned at the age of eight. I can still recite them in detail.