George Rogers Clark Memorial in Indiana
Original Author: Bubba73 (Jud McCranie), photographer
Created: June 8, 2015
Medium: Digital photograph

George Rogers Clark Memorial in Indiana

A seven-and-one-half-foot bronze statue of a young George Rogers Clark in uniform stands at the center of a rotunda memorial in Vincennes, Indiana. The monument celebrates the westward movement of American colonists that often came at the expense and bloodshed of the native people who had long inhabited the region. Inscribed at the base of the statue is a quote from Clark: "If a country is not worth protecting it is not worth claiming." Seven murals in the rotunda depict Clark's exploits as he led American incursions into the Ohio River country, Indian territory then largely under the control of the British; three of the murals are visible in this photograph. The first, at left, titled Kentucky: Entering the Great Valley, depicts Clark leading American colonists westward across the Allegheny Mountains in the 1770s. The mural in the middle, titled Cahokia: Peace or War with the Indians, shows Clark in the late summer of 1778 trying to convince local Indians at Cahokia, in present-day Illinois, to fight alongside the Americans against the British during the Revolutionary War. Clark offers the Indians a choice—the white belt of peace or the red belt of war. The third panel, titled The Wabash: Through Wilderness and Flood, depicts Clark leading a force of frontiersmen through a flooded plain in midwinter to capture Fort Sackville from the British on February 25, 1779. 

Located near the site of the original Fort Sackville, this monument was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 14, 1936. Hermon Atkins MacNeil sculpted the statue and Ezra Winter painted the murals on Belgian linen panels measuring sixteen feet by twenty-eight feet.