The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri - Marthasville, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 37.631 W 091° 03.636
15S E 668820 N 4277189
Quick Description: "Camped at the mouth of a Creek called River a Chauritte, above a Small french Village of 7 houses and as many families... The people at this Village is pore, houses Small, they Sent us milk & eggs to eat." William Clark, May 25, 1804
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 1/6/2014 4:59:55 AM
Waymark Code: WMJW44
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Geo Ferret
Views: 3

Long Description:

County of marker: Warren County
Location of marker: Katy Trail trailhead parking, One St. (MO D) & Depot St., Marthasville
The Lewis and Clark Expedition interpretive sign was produced in cooperation with the William A. Kerr Foundation, St. Louis, Mo, and the Missouri State Parks Foundation.
Map prepared by James D. Harlan, University of Missouri Geographic Resources Center, for Lewis and Clark Historic Landscape Project, funded by the Office of Secretary of State

Marker Text:
"On May 25, 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped near Marthasville at the westernmost Euro-American community of La Charrette, which was situated approximately one mile south and slightly west of this location. On that day, the corps made a relatively easy 10 miles and camped at the mouth of La Charette Creek. There the expedition encountered La Charrette, the "Last Settlement of Whites" according to William Clark's journal.

"La Charrette was a small community that apparently came into existence before 1800, perhaps around the same time a small Spanish fort, or garrison, called San Juan del Misuri, was possible established in 1796. (La Charrette was sometimes referred to as St. John after this fort, and a nearby river island was known as St. John's Island; St. Johns Creek across the river still bears the name.) Virtually nothing is known regarding this fort; it may have been planned but never built or it may have existed for only a short time. Clark described the settlement of La Charrette as "a Small french Village of 7 houses and as many families, Settled at this place to be convt. [convienent] to hunt, & trade with the Indians." The inhabitants, though impoverished, were friendly and provided the expedition with milk and eggs.

"Soon after reaching La Charrette, the expedition met a boat that had just arrived from upriver. On board was a fur trader, Regis Loisel, who had spent the previous winter at his trading post near the Teton Sioux Indian tribe. This encounter with Loisel was of special importance because President Thomas Jefferson considered meeting the Sioux a crucial part of the expedition's mission. Captains Meriwether Lewis and Clark gathered " a good deal of information" from Loisel that evening. Loisel also provided "letters." according to Clark. Perhaps these were letters of introduction to Loisel's trading partners, Pierre-Antoine Tabeau and Hugh Heney, who were still upriver. Lewis and Clark were later to encounter both men."

MISSOURI RIVER TRADERS
"At least a decade before the voyage of the Corps of Discovery, French traders had gone up the Missouri River as far as the Mandan villages, 1,600 miles from the mouth, in search of valuable furs. Lewis and Clark relied heavily on traders' maps and information during the 1804 season as they traveled upriver. Regis Loisel was an experienced and articulate trader who was returning from his third voyage upriver. This Montreal-born trader proved a valuable informant who likely provided intelligence about the Indian tribes they might encounter after they passed the Platte River and entered Indian country. He told them they would see no Indians on the river below the Ponca nation.

"Loisel had established a trading post around 1800 on Cedar Island, 1,200 miles up the Missouri River, and traded with the powerful Teton Sioux. Loisel had spent a harrowing winter there. The Teton had harassed him, confiscated his goods and even threatened his life. For the past 10 years, the Teton Sioux had blockaded the river against traders intending to trade with Arikara and Mandan Indian tribes who were above them on the river. President Jefferson had hoped to win over the Teton Sioux and break down trade obstacles. If this was not possible, however, the captains were willing to resort to force to keep "proceeding on." They may well have had the Teton Sioux in mind when they augmented their force to more than 40 men and mounted guns on the keelboat and two pirogues."

Photo Captions:
"Thirty years after Lewis and Clark, Swiss artist Karl Bodmer composed some of the most accurate scenes of the Missouri River. This lithograph is entitled "Encampment of Travellers on the Missouri River" ~ Used by permission, State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia

"A Teton Sioux warrior as painted by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer. A trader that Lewis and Clark met at La Charrette, Regis Loisel, probably gave the captains valuable information about the powerful and warlike tribe. The expedition would have to break their blockade of the Missouri River in order to "proceed on." ~ Used by permission, State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:

On 25 May 1804, seven travel days and about forty river-miles above St. Charles,the expedition camped near a small village at the mouth of a creek called Charrette. Its seven French families had arrived only a few years before, drawn by good hunting, opportunities for Indian trade, and the security of the small fort established there by the Spanish around 1796. The family of Daniel Boone, the famous frontiersman from Kentucky, moved there sometime after 1804.

"The people at this Village is pore, houses Small," Clark observed, but they were hospitable toward the captains at least, for "they Sent us milk & eggs to eat." Their little community was the last settlement of whites on the Missouri River. Here they also met the young French-Canadian, Régis Loisel, who had been a partner with Hugh Heney in trading with the Sioux, and was returning from his fort on Cedar Island, 1200 miles farther up the Missouri, where he had spent the previous winter with another partner, Pierre-Antoine Tabeau.

Passing this way again on 20 September 1806, the Corps knew they were finally back in home territory when they saw some cows on the bank, "which was a joyfull Sight to the party," said Clark. Soon they saw the village, and "the men raised a Shout and Sprung upon their ores." To celebrate, "they discharged 3 rounds with a harty Cheer, which was returned from five tradeing boats" that were moored there. Two young Scotsmen gave the men some beef, pork, and flour, and treated the captains to "a very agreeable supper." The people there "Seem to express great pleasure at our return, and acknowledged them selves much astonished in Seeing us. . . . they informed us that we were Supposed to have been lost long Since."

The Missouri River washed away all remains of the original village of La Charette many years ago. When Lewis and Clark were there, the mouth of Charrette Creek was across the river and perhaps seven miles upstream from where it now enters the Missouri opposite the present town of Washington. The town, named after George Washington, was platted in 1827 on the site of a Spanish fort, San Juan del Misuri (St. John's of the Missouri), which existed there from 1796 until 1803.



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