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Corps of Discovery - What Did William Clark Do After the Exploration?

William Clark bustWilliam Clark returned to St. Louis and the east coast to great fanfare and accolades. Although his promotion to Lt. Colonel was not immediately passed, he quickly impressed his superiors with his abilities and was eventually made head of Indian Affairs in St. Louis. There with his wife and children, as well as Sakakawea’s child Pomp, he was widely liked and admired–quite the opposite of Meriwether Lewis. Among the tasks Clark sought to conclude was a comprehensive Indian policy based on the fur trade and protecting Indian interests up river, something he was less than successful in achieving. He served in his post until the 1830's, in time to meet some of the great artists such as Karl Bodmer and George Catlin in 1832. Before he died in 1838, he was saddened with the news of a great smallpox epidemic that wiped out large numbers of Mandan people, the tribe that had proved so helpful to the Corps of Discovery thirty years earlier.

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