The 36th Annual Meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, August
The following article, reprinted with permission of Ken Rogers
and the Bismarck Tribune newspaper, gives an overview of the Annual
Meeting and discusses Landon Jones' newly-published book on William
August 4, 2004
Clark seen as truly American
By KEN ROGERS, Bismarck Tribune
The missing piece in the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial
puzzle, a biography of William Clark, has been published by Landon
Y. Jones. The author and other writers, scholars and Corps of Discovery
enthusiasts will be in Bismarck-Mandan this week for the annual
meeting of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation.
About 275 people will be on hand for performances, workshops, tours
and lectures beginning today and running through a Saturday-night
banquet, featuring former North Dakotan, author and scholar Clay
Jenkinson, who will speak on "Lewis and Clark Among the Canadians."
Other presenters include historian-author Ray Wood, author Tracy
Potter, Three Affiliated Tribes member Amy Mossett, oral historian
Jim Williams, archeologist Ken Karzminski and musician and performer
Daniel Slosberg. A $320 registration fee is required for taking
part in the events during the four-day meeting.
The meeting is hosted by the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation
"They love this stuff," said Kristie Frieze, executive
director of the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, host for
the event. She calls the members of the national group a "very
In a telephone interview from his home in Bozeman, Mont., on Tuesday,
Jones said, "Clark was the most famous American without a biography."
The author was managing editor of "People" magazine for
eight years and spent 37 years in the trenches writing and editing
for "Life," "Time," "Money" and "People."
He's also the author of "The Essential Lewis and Clark."
Jones said he began writing about the expedition after becoming
involved in the foundation, although he laughingly calls it the
Clark and Lewis Trail Heritage Foundation.
"William Clark and the Shaping of the West" is a serious
yet readable biography of Clark. It puts the red-haired leader in
the context of his older brother, the famous Revolutionary War soldier
George Rogers Clark, and in the unfolding scheme of the American
After the transcontinental expedition, Lewis committed suicide
and made the transformation into myth, while Clark worked for many
years as the superintendent of Indian affairs for the territory,
as governor of the Missouri Territory and, eventually, as superintendent
of Indian affairs throughout the West.
Jones offers readers a sympathetic biography without diminishing
the significance of Clark as a slave owner. Nor does Jones sugarcoat
Clark's views on Indians, those people who he held such sway over
as the primary federal officer in charge.
He was personally responsible for numerous treaties that took land
from the Indian nations at bargain-basement prices.
Clark as the hero can be justified, Jones said, but a person also
needs to look at the other, darker side of Clark as well.
As the world changed, Jones paints a portrait of Clark that changed.
One of Clark's great strengths was that he was flexible, Jones said.
In "Shaping of the West," Jones writes: "The cruelties
of Clark's time and the strengths of his character did not contradict
one another; they lived within him. He was a man whose complexity
"He is the emblematic American -- all of the themes of American
life are in Clark, and he embodies them," Jones said.
Jones opens the biography with a remarkable prologue. It well captures
St. Clair's Defeat in the Ohio country in November 1791. In dramatic
language, Jones recalls the defeat of American forces by a large,
well-organized army of Shawnee, Miami and Delaware Indians. Maj.
Gen. Arthur St. Clair's 1,400-member command was sent to punish
the Indians for failing to quietly give up their land. St. Clair
lost 630 men. As Jones puts it, "... three times as many Americans
as the Sioux confederacy would later annihilate at Little Big Horn."
No, Clark was not there. But it marks the beginning of the terrible
conflict between westward advancing America and the native people.
It was a conflict that stretched through and defined Clark's life.
At that battle, Jones writes: "The mouths of the dead were
filled with dirt, mocking the Americans' land-hunger." This
too shaped the West.
Jones follows both Clark and the changes in Indian policy in this
country through to the explorer's death Sept. 1, 1838.
The biography of Clark by Jones is an interesting story, with great
detail, in part because Clark was writing journals long before he
met Meriwether Lewis. Clark recorded much and Jones, who's originally
from St. Louis, had access to those observations.
(Reach Ken Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Lanny signs a copy of his book for Boyd Sponaugle.
Both men are members of the Philadelphia Chapter.
The Philadelphia Chapter at the Meeting
Attending the meeting from the Philadelphia Chapter were Ruth Backer,
Mary and Vern Enge, Jean and Walt Jones, Landon Jones, Anne Mackintosh,
Doris Polites, Dick Prestholdt, Stephanie and Brad Smith, Boyd Sponaugle,
Marsha Thompson, and Mary Jane Whalen.
Programs and Speakers
"The Canadians that Influenced
Lewis and Clark"
Gary Anderson is an Interpretive Specialist at Fort Mandan
for the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, having served
in that position the past six years. Daily, he reveals to visitors
the story of the Expedition's time spent at the Fort during the
winter of 1804-05. Gary has long been active in archeological and
interpretive areas, both in his professional and personal activities.
Prior to serving the Foundation, he worked on archeology at the
Custer House south of Mandan, ND and co-authored a cultural resources
book on Fort Abraham Lincoln.
"Archeology of the Lewis and Clark Sites"
Ken Karsmizki is Executive Director of the Columbia Gorge Discovery
Center in The Dalles, Oregon. Ken has worked in the museum field
since 1980 as curator, historian, and archaeologist and came to
the Discovery Center in early 2001. During his 22-year professional
career, Ken has published in popular and professional journals and
his research has resulted in over 70 technical reports. Ken is currently
working on a book length manuscript covering his Lewis and Clark
archaeological research. For the past 17 years Ken has been engaged
in an archaeological search for evidence of Lewis and Clark campsites.
"Lewis & Clark Suite," an original composition
by the Central Dakota Children's Choir
Established in 1998 through a variety of community partnerships,
the Central Dakota Children's Choir has been delighting listeners
since then. "The Lewis & Clark Suite," by Tom Porter,
was commissioned by the Choir to commemorate the Bicentennial.
"The Role of Women of the Tradeworks of the Upper Missouri"
Nationally and internationally recognized as the leading Sacagawea
scholar, Amy Mossett is a MandanHidatsa enrolled member of the Three
Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.
She has traveled extensively, telling the story of the young Indian
woman and her child, who accompanied the Corps of Discovery from
Fort Mandan to the Pacific Ocean and back. She serves as the Tribal
Officer of the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial
and is a board member of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.
"Meriwether's Bad Day" and "Lewis and Clark among
Clay Jenkinson is a North Dakota native and nationally-recognized
humanities scholar, with a breadth of knowledge about Thomas Jefferson
and his era, including the Lewis & Clark Expedition and in particular,
Meriwether Lewis. He is a scholar-in-residence at Lewis & Clark
College, Portland, OR; artistic director, Great Basin Chautauqua;
and director, New Enlightenment Radio Network. He is the voice of
Jefferson on "The Thomas Jefferson Hour" on National Public
Radio. He portrays both Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis in
Chautauqua and across the United States. He recently edited "A
Vast and Open Plain, the Writings of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
in North Dakota, 1804-1806."
"Buttons to Buttes: Striving for Accuracy in Historical
Bob Moore is a public historian with an extensive background in
history, art and film. He has been the Historian for the National
Park Service at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis,
MO for 12 years. He has served as commentator and advisor to a number
of documentary films on a wide variety of topics, including the
Lewis & Clark Expedition. Author of many articles and books,
he co-authored, along with artist Michael Haynes, "Tailor Made,
Trail Worn--Army Life, Clothing and Weapons of the Corps of Discovery."
He lives with his family in St. Louis.
Michael Haynes has firmly established his reputation as "America's
Lewis & Clark Artist," capturing in vivid, accurate detail
the Corps of Discovery's exploits. A lifelong interest in history
has inspired his passion for historically oriented painting. His
work enhances many Lewis & Clark interpretive centers, museums
and art galleries across the country. An exhibit of over 50 of his
paintings, "The Art of the Lewis & Clark Expedition,"
is currently showing at the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive
Center in Washburn. He resides with his family on a small farm in
Wildwood, MO, outside of St. Louis.
"Keepers of the Story: Preserving our Oral Histories"
Dr. Jim Williams is an associate professor at Middle Tennessee
State University and a nationally recognized leader in the field
of oral history. He is presenting a special session on taking oral
histories of Foundation and Trail Commission members. It will also
be beneficial to members interested in taking oral histories in
their own communities.
"Sheheke, Mandan Diplomat"
Tracy Potter is Executive Director of the Fort Abraham Lincoln
Foundation, administering restoration and interpretation of On-a-Slant
Mandan Indian Village and George Custer's last posting, near Mandan,
ND. He has published numerous historical articles for the Foundation
publication "The Past Times," as well as other historical
journals. He is a leading authority on the history of the Mandan
Indians and is author of "Shcheke: Mandan Indian Diplomat,"
the first book published by Fort Mandan Press.
"William Clark and the Shaping of the West"
Landon Jones was the managing editor of People Magazine
for eight years and wrote and edited for Life, Time, Money
and People for 37 years. He is a longtime member of the Lewis
& Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and is currently a board
member of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.
He is author of the newly-published "William Clark and the
Shaping of the West," and "The Essential Lewis & Clark."
He lives in Princeton, NJ and Bozeman, MT.
"Precursors to Lewis and Clark"
Ray Wood is a professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia
and is widely recognized as the leading authority on Northern Plains
Indian anthropology and archeology. He has led or participated in
many archeological projects for three decades. He is the author
of many books, including "Early Fur Trade on the Northern Plains,"
"Archeology of the Great Plains" and most recently, "Karl
Bodmer's Studio Art."
"The Provenance of the Joseph Whitehouse Journals"
Baker, Ph.D. Professor of Health Services Administration at the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock and member of the Lewis &
Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. He is currently researching and
writing "A Private's Journal: Joseph Whitehouse and the Lewis
and Clark Expedition." Baker will present fascinating information
on the life of this Corps member, the provenance of his original
journal, and the contributions his journal entries have made to
our understanding of the Expedition.
"Voyages of Discovery: Lewis and Clark and the Astronauts"
Robert Phillips, DVM, Ph.D., was a Payload Specialist selected for
the Space Shuttle Flight "Spacelab Life Sciences 1" and
served three years as Chief Scientist for the International Space
Station. He is Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University and
currently works part time doing outreach for NASA's Office of Biological
and Physical Research. He has been a Foundation member since 2000.
"The Lost Guide: the Man behind the Lewis and Clark Expedition"
Richard Hétu is the New York correspondent for Montreal's
"La Presse," the largest French newspaper in Canada. He
is the author of two books in French, one of which was translated
into English and published last month in the United States"The
Lost Guide: The Man Behind the Lewis and Clark Expedition,"
a historical novel. His presentation will focus on Toussaint Charbonneau
and the other French-Canadians associated with the Lewis and Clark
"Birds of the Expedition: a Confluence of Cultures."
Carla Wambach is a retired elementary teacher with a Master's Degree
in Environmental Education. She has received numerous awards and
honors associated with her environmental and wildlife activities.
She is a member of the State Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Educational
Committee in Montana, and is active in Helena's Gates of the Mountains
Chapter of the Foundation. Her familyoriented programs have been
enjoyed by many.
"Edge of the Unknown, a theatrical production"
Dakota Stage has been Bismarck's community theater since the late
1970s, producing a number of shows each year. "Edge of the
Unknown" was commissioned by Dakota Stage through a nationwide
competition, and is being offered as a special performance for the
members of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
For more information about Fort Mandan and the Lewis and
Clark Interpretive Center, visit the
website. David Borlaug, President, and Kristie Frieze, Executive
Director, were responsible for planning the Annual Meeting.
Coming soon--a Signature Event in Bismarck
The University of Mary, Bismarck, is hosting a National Signature
Event, Circle of Cultures, from October 22- 31, 2004. For
information visit the Circle
of Cultures website.
Next year in Portland--
The Oregon and Washington Chapters invited everyone to Gateway
to the Pacific, the 37th Annual Meeting, in Portland-Vancouver,
Oregon country, from August 6- 10, 2005.
A few glimpses of the Annual Meeting
Three heroic sculptures are in place outside the
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn.
After Michael Haynes and Robert Moore spoke about
"Buttons to Buttes: Striving for Accuracy in Historical Art,"
visitors had the opportunity to visit many of Michael Haynes original
Stephanie Smith, Doris Polites, and Mary Jane Whalen
pause before entering Fort Mandan.
Fort Mandan interpreters answer many questions.
"Pierre Cruzette" and Gloria Slosberg
make music together.
Stephanie Smith, Anne Mackintosh, and Mary Jane
Whalen are ready for the picnic dinner, which featured "pitchfork
In the outdoor setting of Fort Mandan, Lanny Jones
discusses the life of William Clark.
Tracy Potter spoke about the Mandan Indian diplomat,
Sheheke, on Friday morning when rain delayed the trip to On-a-Slant
and Knife River Indian villages.
Each earth lodge at On-a-Slant village is furnished.
A scaffold for drying corn is in the foreground of the picture.
An interpreter explains the furnishings and implements
of an earth lodge.
At the Knife River Village, members of the Three
Affiliated Tribes demonstrate drumming and
pipes and pipestone and beadwork
The Philadelphia Chapter's table display on Saturday.
Many who stopped by recalled memories of last year's
Gathering for the closing banquet are Olive Harvell
and her brother, Dick Brooks, Dick Prestholt (in his keelboat reenactment
gear as one of the seven young men from Kentucky), Doris Polites
and Boyd Sponaugle.
Mary Jane Whalen and Walt and Jean Jones at the
closing banquet with
Vern and Mary Enge.