Millard Fillmore, president of the United States. Appointment for Meriwether Lewis Clark as "Surveyor General of the Public Lands in the District of Illinois and Missouri." : Certificates and commissions; Government document 1850
- The Meriwether Lewis Clark (1809-1881) Papers date from 1824 to 1870 and are arranged into personal papers and business papers. The personal papers include correspondence from Meriwether's parents regarding family news and Indian affairs, several certificates of appointment, and membership certificates with various groups. This group contains several bound volumes including Meriwether's journal of his Mexican-American War experience. The personal papers also include correspondence of his two sons, Samuel Churchill Clark and John O'Fallon Clark. The business papers, dated 1848-1852, are arranged into three groups: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Calendars, and Office of Surveyor General. Meriwether Lewis Clark was born January 10, 1809, the first child of William and Julia Clark. The baby, called simply "Lewis," was named for his godfather, who had co-led the famed expedition with William Clark. Described as a sickly child by his father and subsequent historians, Meriwether Lewis Clark showed signs of artistic talent at an early age, spending free time drawing and sketching. William Clark took Meriwether and his stepson William Radford to the eastern seaboard in mid1824. He enrolled both boys at an academy in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. The following year Meriwether was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by Secretary of War Calhoun. Meriwether and his father maintained a close correspondence while he was a cadet at West Point. In 1830 Clark graduated in the middle of his West Point class, and was named color bearer, which, as his father observed, was a substantial honor. Clark's first assignment out of West Point was as an aide to General Henry Atkinson during the Black Hawk War in Illinois. In January 1833, Clark married Abigail Praether Churchill of Spring Grove, Kentucky. That same year he resigned from the army, although he later served as a major in the Extra Battalion of Missouri Volunteers, Light Artillery. Clark entered politics, serving as a member of the Missouri legislature and as a St. Louis alderman and city councilman. Through the 1830s and 1840s Clark employed the skills he learned at West Point as a civil engineer and architect. He served as engineer of the city of St. Louis, engineer of the St. Louis Gas Works, and architect of the St. Louis County Jail. When his company of light artillery volunteers was called into the Mexican-American War, Clark served with Brigadier General Stephen Watts Kearny and Colonel Alexander Doniphan in the Battle of Sacramento. Clark mustered out with his battalion in June 1847. In 1848 Clark became St. Louis recorder and in 1850 was appointed by President Zachary Taylor as surveyor general of Illinois and Missouri, a position he held until 1853. In 1861 he joined the rebel forces, commanding a division of the Missouri State Guard as a brigadier general. He subsequently joined the Confederate States Army and served as a major and later a colonel in the Ordnance Department. In November 1864 Clark was given a command in the Army of Northern Virginia, a post he held until his capture at Amelia Court House on April 5, 1865. After the war Clark was a faculty member of the Kentucky Military Institute until being appointed surveyor general of the state of Missouri. In later years Clark lived in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he died October 29, 1881.
AMDigital Reference: A0289.
- Original Version:
- Reproduction of: Millard Fillmore, president of the United States. Appointment for Meriwether Lewis Clark as "Surveyor General of the Public Lands in the District of Illinois and Missouri." 25 Sep 1850.
- Location of Originals:
- Missouri History Museum
- Copyright Note:
- The Missouri History Museum
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