- The George Rogers Hancock Clark (1816-1858) Papers consist primarily of correspondence with family, friends, business associates, and matters pertaining to the settlement of the estates of William Clark and William Preston Clark. The papers also include many bills and receipts, several of which pertain to household affairs, throughout the collection. This series contains several letters of William Clark to his son George, dated 1828-1837, offering advice and providing news of family and friends in St. Louis while he was away at school. William's letters discuss Pompey, brother Julius's health, brother Lewis's experiences in the army, and cholera outbreaks in St. Louis. After 1838, the year William Clark died, the letters tend to be business related. This is possibly a combination of George having been named administrator of his father's estate and of his having finished school and beginning to manage his own financial affairs. The bills and receipts, dated 1832-1857, mostly relate to household expenses, including many bills for work on Clark's home, dated 1845-1849. Other activities revealed in the receipts include the burial of an African-American child, the family's attendance at Christ Church, and travel evidenced by hotel receipts from Louisiana. George Rogers Hancock Clark was born May 6, 1816, in St. Louis, the third son of William and Julia Hancock Clark. Julia Clark died June 27, 1820, leaving 50-year-old William Clark a widower with five children. Within a year and a half William Clark married Julia's widowed first cousin, Harriet Kennerly Radford, and the Clark household increased by four-Harriet and her three children. When he was 10 years old George was shot in the face when a gun his hunting companion carried accidentally discharged. The shot entered below George's right eye and opened a gaping hole in the roof of his mouth. George recovered, and was able to speak somewhat clearly again within a few days. However, the damage his mouth sustained caused him problems for years to come. As an adult he wore a beard that concealed his scars. In 1827 George went to Lexington, Kentucky, to enroll at Augusta College. George's older brother, William Preston Clark, encouraged him to stay in school and not return to St. Louis to become a store merchant, as George had earlier expressed an interest in doing. In February 1833 William Preston Clark wrote George: "You must not expect a fortune from our father's estate, he is using every exertion to give his children an education and will have but little left to divide among them." After his father's death in 1838, George, now back in St. Louis, became administrator of William Clark's estate. The Clark Family Collection contains a number of letters to George regarding the sale of Clark family land in Kentucky and Indiana. It appears that George made his living in this capacity; St. Louis city directories for the 1840s and 1850s list no occupation for him. In 1841 George married Eleanor Ann Glasgow. The couple resided in St. Louis. Their eldest daughter, Julia (later Julia Clark Voorhis), inherited William Clark's journals and manuscripts from her father and eventually gave the items to the Missouri Historical Society. George Rogers Hancock Clark died September 29, 1858.
AMDigital Reference: A0289.
- Original Version:
- Reproduction of: List of unpaid bills due to Wm. P. Clark estate c. Jun 1842.
- Location of Originals:
- Missouri History Museum
- Copyright Note:
- The Missouri History Museum
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