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The 36th Annual Meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, August 4-7, 2004

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 Clark:

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 of Washburn.

"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 worthy audience."

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 West.

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 encompassed both."

"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 krogers@bismarcktribune.net.)

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 the Canadians"
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 Art"
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"
John 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 Expedition.

"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 paintings.

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 fondue."

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

and agriculture.

The Philadelphia Chapter's table display on Saturday.

Many who stopped by recalled memories of last year's Annual Meeting.

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.

 

 

 
Updated August 10, 2004
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