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William Clark. Reproduction of a watercolor based on a painting by Charles Willson Peale. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-10609).


Clark, William (01 August 1770–01 September 1838), explorer, Indian agent, and governor of Missouri Territory, was born in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of John Clark III, a planter, and Ann Rogers. Although he was informally educated, Clark acquired the refinement and intellectual development usually reserved for those who had been exposed to formal study. His family noted of him that at a young age he demonstrated leadership skills as well as an intellectual curiosity about the natural phenomena of his native Virginia....


Mitchell, David Brydie (22 October 1766–22 April 1837), governor of Georgia and U.S. Indian agent, was born near Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland, the son of John Mitchell; his mother’s name is unknown. He originally came to the United States in 1783 to claim a Georgia estate left to him under the terms of an uncle’s will. On 19 January 1792 he married Jane Mills, with whom he had four known children. Mitchell read law in the Savannah office of William Stephens, at which time he also served as a clerk for the committee to revise the state criminal code. This experience led to his election as state attorney general in 1795 as a Democratic-Republican. In 1796 Mitchell was elected to the first of two consecutive terms as a representative in the Georgia General Assembly, where he became known for his opposition to the fraudulent Yazoo land sales. From 1798 to 1801 he served as the eastern district judge in the state superior court, after which he was elected mayor of Savannah. His popularity and legal skills led to his appointment as U.S. attorney general for Georgia in the following year, a post he held until his selection as major general of the state militia in 1804....