DARC Ethiophile Chronicles
On this day
On May 14, 1804 a slave known only as York, accompanies Lewis & Clarke in their famous expedition of the northwestern regions. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark expedition across the Louisiana Territory faced unknown people, harsh conditions and unexplored lands that were bought from France.
Clark’s slave York fascinated many Native Americans, who had never seen a black man before. Calling York “big Medison,” some Indians ascribed healing powers to him. On the expedition York more than pulled his weight—hunting, guarding, paddling, pushing—yet Clark did not free him until several years after the end of the expedition. York made invaluable contributions to the expedition on many occasions. Risking his life to save Clark in a flash flood on the Missouri River near Great Falls in present-day Montana. Going out and hunting and bringing in the game. Putting up the captain’s tents, managing the sails, plying his oar, doing all the things that everyone else did. He made his contribution. And he was a part of the team.