|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War Virginia and five other states held claims to the western lands. These claims totaled more than 222 million acres. Virginia based their claim on their old Royal Charter, which granted the colony lands north to present day Maine, south to near the current North and South Carolina border. The charter also granted the colony lands “from sea to sea, west and northwest" all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This claim included lands that eventually made up the Northwest Territory. To pay off the soldiers that served the colony during the War, Virginia paid the soldiers off with grants of land in this huge expanse.
The Clark Grant
Since George Rogers Clark fought in the Virginia forces, he sought payment from Virginia. Virginia granted Clark and his men an extensive tract of land along the Ohio River in the future state of Indiana. Known as the Clark Grant, this 150,000-acre area eventually became Clark County. The town of Clarksville is named in honor of George Rogers Clark, whose exploits during the war secured the Northwest Territory for the United States.
Clark Home Site
The site of Clark's cabin is within the boundaries of Falls of the Ohio State Park. The State has erected a replica of Clark's cabin on the site. An interpretive park nearby provides a place for visitors to picnic, enjoy the Ohio River and learn more about George Rogers Clark. The plans for the famous Lewis and Clark expedition commenced in the cabin. The expedition began and ended a short distance from the cabin. George Rogers Clark built a gristmill near the cabin. He also set aside 1000 acres for a town, which became Clarksville. He lived there until 1809, when he had a stroke and fell into the fireplace, burning his leg. The leg needed amputation so he could no longer operate the mill. He moved to live with his brother-in-law in Kentucky, dying in 1818 after suffering another stroke.
For more information about the park, contact:
Falls of the Ohio State Park
201 W Riverside Dr.
Clarksville, IN 47129
Phone: (812) 280-9970
Interested readers can also purchase the author's book
A Visit to Falls of the Ohio State Park
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning