Cait Clark, author of From the Treaty City to the Western Sea; Lewis and Clark in Greenville, Ohio

1998

Cait Clark is a dynamic woman who has her eyes set on helping make Greenville, Ohio, seen on a National Scale. The Lewis and Clark combo she writes about in her book and the history we know about them would possibly never have happened if it weren’t for Greenville, Ohio.

The Lewis and Clark duo began when Lewis threatened to kill his superior officer. Anthony Wayne separated the two and put Lewis in Clark’s Chosen Rifles. The rest, you might say, is history. With that being said, right here in Greenville, Ohio, is where the two met and where it all started.

Cait wrote her book titled From the Treaty City to the Western Sea: Lewis and Clark in Greenville, Ohio. Not only does she write beautifully, but she also illustrated and did all the watercolor paintings in the book. She said it took her around 3 to 4 months to complete. Her book is self-published with the help of Shelly Bowman and her company, Graphic Communications. Shelly is also a local from North Star, Ohio.

I asked Cait how she got started writing this book and where that interest came from. She shared that she read Rifles for Watie about the Civil War by Harold Keith when she was around 12 years old, and her interest in history began. So much so that she went to the University of Virginia, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson, in  Charlotteville, VA. She also worked at Monticello, Jefferson’s house, which means “Little Mountain.” I personally think it’s great to have such a young person interested in history to help bring things to light and keep these stories alive.

She also is a part of Wayne’s Legion Research Group, where she edits articles for them. They’re covering Ft. Jefferson right now, along with multiple historic sites in Northern Darke County with a lot of archeology. 

Cait has articles published in American Digger Magazine and has helped edit articles for Ohio Archaeologist. These are national publications.

You can find her this year dressed as Annie Oakley at the Gathering of the Garst, and who knows where you might see her next portraying Annie. She works closely with Garst Museum, where she held a presentation about her book, and continues to work with them to further highlight Lewis and Clark’s time in Greenville.

I also learned from her that the Treaty of Greenville painting we know so well has Lewis and  Clark in it. One is at Wayne Health Care, and another at the Ohio Statehouse. The one at the Ohio Statehouse was painted in 1945 by Howard Chandler Christy, an Ohio native. The Treaty of Greenville occurred in 1795 when members of Western Indian tribes assembled at Fort Greene Ville to come to peace terms with General Anthony Wayne.

She recently just returned from a two-week book tour out West. She and her mother, Lisa Clark, visited the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, which covers 4,900 miles, crossing 16 states, and 60 Tribal Nations. Among them, they visited Pompey’s Pillar, MT; Fort Mandan, ND; the Columbia River Gorge, WA; Great Falls, MT; and Missoula, MT. Cait has traveled the historic trail twice, once solo.

Authenticity is important to Cait, and she brought back a series of artifacts to be seen at Garst Museum in the future. She personally purchased them directly from the Native people.

I asked her what some of the best moments on her recent book tour were; she said, “Meeting professional scholars like Clay Jenkinson, David Nicandri, and John Fisher. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with them and the National Park Rangers.” Clay Jenkinson wrote The Character of Meriwether Lewis, David Nicandri is a professional on Pacific NW history, and John Fisher is a historian of historical medical practices.

Along their travels, her mother would strike up conversations with people, and ultimately they discussed why they were there and shared about her book. A couple of interesting stops that stood out for Cait were at a coffee shop in Milwaukee, WI, where they met a lady who purchased a book and also gave her connections to their public library to potentially host her books there. They also met a lady horse wrangler in 1880 Town in Midland, SD, who purchased a book on their travels. Her book keeps reaching further places.

I was curious about any challenges she had along the way. She laughingly answered, “Mosquitoes! Specifically at Pompey’s Pillar.”

With her book tour, she is helping put Greenville, Ohio, on the map with Lewis and Clark history, and she hopes to implement related historic signs here. These historic signs along the trail itself mark primarily the interconnecting of the interstates and highways following the main rivers. So, it only makes sense as to why we should have signage for Lewis and Clark right here in Greenville, Ohio. Without their meeting here, the trail probably wouldn’t even exist.

I shared with her how I think it’s great when our youth grow up and bring back and keep their talents right here in Darke County, Ohio. We are lucky to have her representing us and sharing her knowledge, and keeping this history alive.

You can purchase her book at The Garst, Heritage Foundation, Google, or message her. They are $9.00. Cait is also available for presentations; you can find her through messenger on Facebook at Cait Clark or email her at ckclark1995@gmail.com