We cruised out of Attica, Indiana today with a destination, kind of. This is my favorite kind of road trip. A bag packed just in case we don’t make it back, the cat fed and watered for the same reason and the open road. Where we ended up was Vicennes, the first city of Indiana. Founded in the late 1700’s, Vicennes played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War.
This is the place where Britian was forced to surrender its’ hold on the West. George Rogers Clark was the man to make that happen. Now if you are like me, you probably don’t know who he is. I thought “Clark” of Lewis and Clark, but no, this is the man’s older brother. A leader among men, George Rogers Clark was just 26 when he demanded and received the surrender of British Governor Hamilton. He waged a mid-winter war against a garrison that was least expecting it. He challenged the Indians to respect the white men and side with the New Americans, he enlisted the help of the French to secure the west for the growth of the States. Not many men stand with so many credits to their name as our George Rogers Clark.
In Vicennes, Indiana, a town full of lots of history, a monument has been built to Mr. Clark. It is in the neo-classical tradition similar to the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. In the interior rotunda stand eight murals painted in the artists studio in Connecticut that measure 16’ x 28’ – the damn things are huge! The setting is on the Wabash River, about two blocks from Governor Harrison’s mansion. You may recall Harrison, he was the 9th President of the United States. Now for those of us from the West, this kind of history is always a little breathtaking, when you consider Harrison took office in 1840, nine years before the California gold rush even began.
Another great adventure, another great National Park, another Junior Ranger badge. I love my life!