George Rogers Clark: I Glory in War by William R. Nester
3 words: detailed, accessible, revealing
OK, guys. Things are about to get super geeky here.
Today we’re talking George Rogers Clark.
Here’s my reintroduction to the dude… The Dear Man and I were touring Cave Hill Cemetery a couple of years ago, so we could visit the grave of Col. Sanders.
So the guy at the gate gave us a map that showed the locations of all of the famous people’s graves. And George Rogers Clark was on the map. We discussed the fact that we pretty much didn’t know who that was, other than: 1700s? Military leader, maybe?
Here’s the quick synopsis of his life…
First, The Good:
- Revolutionary War hero, but in the West
- Led a military unit that captured forts in current-day Illinois and Indiana
- Founder of Louisville
Next, The Bad (aka The Sad):
- He had a serious drinking problem
- He peaked in his 20s
- He fell into poverty
And finally… The Ugly:
- Late in life, he betrayed his country by making deals with France and with Spain
- He was an angry, bitter, resentful man in his later years
So there we have quite the story arc. The early rise, and the long downward spiral thereafter.
Which makes this book not the most jolly of stories.
Nevertheless, the reading experience was a really good one, because the writing is fluid, the narrative is dynamic, and the subject matter is pretty darn fascinating. We got ourselves a seriously flawed hero here, guys.
I finished reading the book during our recent canoe trip to the Lexington area, which involved a stop in Louisville. Because we are some serious history geeks (when we’re not being fast food geeks [I was serious when I said we were visiting Col. Sanders’s grave]), we visited Locust Grove, the final home of George Rogers Clark. The house actually belonged to his sister and brother-in-law, but Clark lived there for the last several years of his life, when he was an invalid.
Give this book a whirl if you like… the American Revolution, narrative nonfiction about forgotten episodes of major historical events, true stories of the downward spiral, flawed historical figures
So, my fellow readers… what semi-obscure historical figure have you found fascinating?