Voices of Sackville
The Capture of Fort Sackville (located in present day Vincennes, IN) has always been regarded as an event of great historical importance. Largely because of Clark’s success, the United States secured claim to the frontier area north of the Ohio River (today’s Mid-West), an area almost as large as the original 13 colonies. Because of this event, the British were forced to cede the entire Old Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, thus almost doubling the size of the country. As early as 1779, George Mason of Virginia lauded Clark as the “Conqueror of the Northwest.” Without American control of Fort Sackville, it is uncertain if the United States would have ever gained control over the land in the Old Northwest. This would have created a much different United States than we know today.
Even so, we must ask, is Clark really the hero that George Mason believed he was? Or did he encourage his men to use brutal measures to secure the Fort? Would Clark have any success without the aid of French and American Indian allies? Did the British Lieutenant Governor known as “Hairbuyer” Hamilton really encourage scalping? What was Hamilton’s relationship with the American Indians? Who provided the supplies Clark’s troops needed to survive? Are there other heroes at Sackville that need to be discovered?
This site will give you the chance to hear the different voices of those who were involved. Click on the individuals listed on the right to listen to episodes from each of their perspectives. After exploring the site, then decide for yourself: Who is the real hero of Fort Sackville?