William Clark (1770–1838) was the frontiersman and explorer who, with Meriwether Lewis, led the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the Louisiana Territory and Pacific Northwest in 1804–1806. Born in Virginia, Clark joined the militia on the Ohio frontier in 1789 and was commissioned as a lieutenant of infantry in the Army in 1792. Under General Anthony Wayne, Clark took part in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. He left the military in 1796 and in 1803 was invited by Meriwether Lewis to join him in leading an expedition through the Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery departed from St. Louis on May 14, 1804, and spent fifty-two months exploring and documenting the lands, wildlife, and people of the West. After their return to St. Louis in September 1806, Clark became brigadier general of the militia for the Louisiana Territory. He later served as the territorial governor of Missouri and superintendent of Indian affairs, negotiating Indian removal and acquiring Indian lands for the United States.

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