U.S. Democracy Crosses the Mississippi River Historical

U.S. Democracy Crosses the Mississippi River Historical (HM1WKE)

Location: Elk Point, SD 57025 Union County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 40.998', W 96° 41.611'

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While camped at the "Elk Sign" campsite on August 22, 1804, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark acted to replace Sergeant Charles Floyd, who had taken ill and died two days earlier. They called for the Corps of Discovery to vote on Floyd's replacement.

The election of Private Patrick Gass - the first recorded election in the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase - was a distinct break from military custom. With victory in the War of Independence barely 20 years old, democratic zeal was strong among the expedition's cadre of independent backwoodsmen and its leaders.

Picture Title

Patrick Gass and the Corp of Discovery land at the "Elk Sign" campsite, August 22, 1804.

Inset Paragraph
Patrick GasPatrick Gass volunteered for the Corps of Discovery over the objections of his superiors, while stationed at Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois Territory. At age 33, he was among the expeditions oldest and most veteran members. Meriwether Lewis considered him a man of "capacity, diligence, and integrity." He was also considered a good soldier and a first-rate carpenter a rare combination on the frontier. Patrick Gass kept a journal during the entire journey - a remarkable achievement given that his education was limited to nineteen days in school. He settled in Wellsburg, Virginia
now West Virginia and lived to age 99 as the last surviving member of the Corps of Discovery.

Journal Entry
ordered a Vote of the men for a Sergeant of the three highest members a choice to be made
Gass Bratton Gibson — Gass

William Clark, August 22, 1804.
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Series This marker is part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 19th, 2017 at 9:01am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 688964 N 4728226
Decimal Degrees42.68330000, -96.69351667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 40.998', W 96° 41.611'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 40' 59.88" N, 96° 41' 36.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)605
Closest Postal AddressAt or near I-29, Elk Point SD 57025, US
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