George Rogers Clark 1752-1818
The man principally responsible for winning the Northwest Territory for the United States was George Rogers Clark. Charged by Virginia with defending its western boundaries during the Revolution, Clark established an American base at the Falls of the Ohio, from which, in 1778, his forces rode forth to capture British-held settlements at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. When the British retook Vincennes in 1779, Clark led his men on a 240-mile march, recaptured the settlement, and established a garrison there. In 1783, thanks to these efforts, the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolution recognized American sovereignty over the Northwest Territory.
Clark sat for this portrait at his home near Louisville, Kentucky, after suffering a stroke. According to a letter written by one of Clark's family, the artist, a Mr. Cook (possibly C. D. Cook) experienced great difficulty in dealing with the contortions in his subject's face that had resulted from the stroke, and it took Cook more than a month to complete the likeness.