RevGalBookPals: The Journey of York

RevGalBlogPals | 9/19/2019 | Staff
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I live in Montana and here, as in some other parts of the United States, the story of Lewis and Clark is part of the local ethos. The truth and the fiction of the Corps of Discovery is in the soil here. When Philemon was recently in the lectionary, I thought about York. York was enslaved by Captain William Clark- treated as property and passed down from Clark’s father, John. York traveled with the men who volunteered to go on the mission across the Louisiana Purchase, but he was not offered the opportunity to volunteer. He was forced to travel with Clark.

York did the same work as all of the other men along the arduous trek. His body was used as a tool to gain the “respect” and attention of the Native Americans (the first Americans) that the Corps met along the way. He was able to vote at Ft. Clatsop, along with the other men and Sacajawea, about where to stay. It was there, on the Oregon coast, that York began to know that he would not return to the same acclaim as the other men. He would return to the full realities of enslavement, if they had at all been tempered during the travels.

Journey - York - Unsung - Hero - Lewis

The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is a lovely picture book, suitable for about ages 10 and up, about York’s story. With research into Lewis and Clark’s journals, the book tells a little about York’s experience both as an enslaved person and then on the trek with the Corps of Discovery. While the book is not explicit in the horrors of slavery, it does make it explicit that York was not offered a chance to “choose” or “volunteer” for the trip and he did leave his family behind....
(Excerpt) Read more at: RevGalBlogPals
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