Philadelphia Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

Home Page Chapter News Chapter Membership Philadelphia Connection Especially for Educators More about Lewis and Clark The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation 2003 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia
Information about upcoming meetings and activities, highlights of previous events, minutes of past meetings, and news of interest for Chapter members

Robert Patterson's many-times great-grandson, Alex Chamberlin, was an honored guest.

The Dedication of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Marker Honoring ROBERT PATTERSON
Thursday, July 22, 2004
(180 years after his death)
2 PM
WELCOME - and Words on Philadelphia Chapter, LCTHF
Frank Muhly, Board of Directors
GREETINGS – and Words on PHMC
Wayne S. Spilove, Chairman
Dr. Peter Conn, Provost, University of Pennsylvania
Frank Muhly
Roy Goodman, Assistant Librarian, APS
Alex Chamberlin by Robert Weir, Jr., Dickson City Learning Center
Frank Muhly
Roy Goodman

Frank Muhly's remarks on Robert Patterson:
Let me add a few words about Robert Patterson’s contributions to the success of Lewis’s, and eventually Clark’s, efforts from Philadelphia to the Pacific Ocean in 1805 and back to this city in 1807.

Both Patterson and Ellicott advised Lewis against taking a theodolite because of its delicate construction, its difficulty of transportation and its ease of getting out of order. The instruments Patterson advised taking were two sextants, a few artificial horizons, a good Arnold’s watch or chronometer, a surveyor’s compass with a ball and socket, a two pole chain, and a set of plotting instruments.

Lewis obtained all these items here – in fact, the chronometer was his single most expensive purchase – and Clark used the plotting tools at Fort Clatsop on the Pacific Coast to convert their directions and distances onto his renowned map of their travels.

In addition, Patterson prepared a set of astronomical formulae for Lewis and devised a Statistical Table which Lewis could use to set down his astronomical observations.

Frank Muhly explained, "Until very recently, few persons were aware of Lewis and Clark’s connections to Philadelphia. To promote that essential relationship, the Philadelphia Chapter has pursued a program of erecting markers financed partially by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at sites related to the expedition. So far, markers have been placed to commemorate Andrew Ellicott, Caspar Wistar, Benjamin Rush, Meriwether Lewis, and the Schuylkill Arsenal, where 3500 lbs. of supplies were assembled so they could be shipped by Conestoga wagon to Pittsburgh on June 10, 1803."

He added, "And the chapter urges each of you to contact your Senator in Washington by phone or letter or e-mail to vote yes on the Jim Bunning Senate Bill S-2018 extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to the east coast so that it finally fulfills Thomas Jefferson’s dream of it being a truly “sea to sea” route."

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.
Harrisburg, PA
Rhonda R. Cohen
Philadelphia, PA
William A. Cornell
Wormleysburg, PA
Rep. Lawrence Curry
Harrisburg, PA
Senator Jane M. Earll
Harrisburg, PA
Dr. Gordon A. Haaland
Kilmarnock, VA
Robert A. Janosov
Nanticoke, PA
Cheryl McClenney-Brooker
Philadelphia, PA
Secretary Vicki L. Phillips
Harrisburg, PA
Janet S. Klein, President
Rydal, PA
Rep. Stephen Maitland
Harrisburg, PA
Dr. Brian C. Mitchell
Washington, PA
Kathleen Pavelko
Harrisburg, PA
Senator Allyson Schwartz
Harrisburg, PA
Wayne S. Spilove, Chairman
Philadelphia, PA
Mary Clare Zales
Harrisburg. PA

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Bobert L. Barchi. MD, PhD
Office of the Provost

City of Philadelphia
John Street, Mayor
Anna C. Verna,
President City Council
Frank DiCicco
1st District Councilman


Frank Muhly, on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Chapter, Wayne S. Spilove, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and Dr. Peter Conn, Provost, University of Pennsylvania, opened the program.

Dr. Conn noted that Robert Patterson was a vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, one among his many positions.

Chapter members and guests listened to the speakers' remarks. Donna Weaver (in the flowered dress), sculptor/engraver at the US Mint, knew that Patterson was an early director of the Mint.

The marker was unveiled. It stands outside the post office (the original site of the University of Pennsylvania) on Ninth Street between Market and Chestnut.

Roy Goodman invited everyone for refreshments at Franklin Hall of the American Philosophical Society, where the portrait of Robert Patterson by Rembrandt Peale now hangs.




Updated July 30, 2004