Local author connects the Treaty City to the Western Sea

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Caitlin with her new book on Lewis & Clark in Greenville, Ohio. Abigail Miller photo.

GREENVILLE—Do you know all there’s to know about the history of Greenville, Ohio?

Well, think again. Local author, teacher and all-around history buff Caitlin Clark has recently discovered a whole new chapter in Greenville, Ohio’s vast history.

Caitlin started studying famous expeditioners Lewis & Clark as a seventh grader.

“It kind of started by accident,” she said. “We were having a garage sale, and there was a stack of books sitting off to the side that would be put in the sale. I just happen to grab the one off of the top, it was my mom’s childhood collection. The one on top happened to be about Lewis & Clark. I read it, and it all kind of snowballed from there.”

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark [Lewis & Clark] are best known for their expedition from the Mississippi River to the West Coast and back. The expedition, called the Corps of Discovery, was President Thomas Jefferson’s project to explore the American West.

It began in May of 1804 and ended in September 1806.

“My goal with this book is to attract attention to Greenville’s involvement in the expedition,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that Lewis & Clark actually met here. If they hadn’t been here at the same time, arguably, the expedition wouldn’t have been the success that it was.”

Caitlin said research on the subject is fairly new.

“Documents have recently come up that are directly related to his court martial, Lewis’s,” she said. “His court martial took place here in Greenville. As a result, he was transferred to William Clark’s chosen rifles. It wasn’t really looked into.”

Caitlin said a friend of her’s encouraged her to write a book on the subject.

Once the seed for a book was planted, it didn’t take long for her book From the Treat City to the Western Sea: Lewis & Clark in Greenville, Ohio to come together.

Caitlin’s book ‘From the Treaty City to the Western Sea: Lewis & Clark in Greenville, Ohio.

“It was originally a newspaper article,” she said. “But it bloomed, on accident. It started when a friend that I study history with, asked me to write an article on Lewis & Clark, and their time in Greenville. Well, the more research I did, I just kept finding more and more, and how significant there time here was.”

The book is broken up into several parts: During Greenville, During the Expedition, short bios on Lewis, Clark and Lewis’s court martial and After the Expedition.

Recently, Clark began planning a summer book tour to discuss her findings.

“We are leaving June 22, and we are hoping to be back by July 6,” she said. “I’m presenting in museums in Montana, Washington, North and South Dakota. I’ve also got one coming in two weeks in Tennessee, where Lewis is buried.”

Clark said many of her friends, and herself, believe Greenville should be on the Lewis & Clark Trail.

“I reckon the best way we could go about making that happen is to tell them, ‘Hey you would not be on the Lewis & Clark Trail if it weren’t for Greenville,'” she said.

In addition to the expeditioners, readers will learn a lot about what Greenville was like in it’s fort period.

“Something significant that I learned through this, is that Greenville is not on the National Registry of Historical Places,” she said. “Despite Annie Oakley being here, Anthony Wayne being here. It fits all of the qualifications to be on the national registry.”

In her book, Caitlin lists point-by-point why Greenville deserves to be on the National Registry of Historical Places.

“I know it’s been looked into before, and nothing happened,” she said. “It would do so much for Greenville.”

Caitlin’s book, From the Treat City to the Western Sea: Lewis & Clark in Greenville, Ohio, is available for purchase at Garst Museum, at 205 N Broadway St, Greenville, Ohio. You can also buy her book online on the Garst Museum site.