York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark: An African-American's Part in the Great Expedition

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9780060091125: York's Adventures with Lewis and Clark: An African-American's Part in the Great Expedition

You've probably heard about Lewis and Clark. This famous duo led an exploration through uncharted lands.

Did you know that a black man, Clark's slave York, was part of this famous expedition? Working alongside free men, York paddled boats, lugged provisions, climbed mountains, and built shelters for the Corps of Discovery.

Throughout the journey, he significantly helped foster friendly relations with the many different Native American tribes whose goodwill was vital to the expe- dition's success. York was even allowed to vote, sixty years before the Civil War.

The award-winning author Rhoda Blumberg tells of Lewis and Clark's adventure with York's experiences firmly in view. Giving readers an unusual perspective, she draws on Clark's journal entries to reveal York's importance.

Insightful, historically accurate, and gripping, this account has an ending that will shock you. It will leave you with a clear understanding of what life was like for a slave, and a new appreciation of the role an African-American played in one of the nation's landmark events.

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About the Author:

Rhoda Blumberg has written about the opening of Japan (1853-1854) in Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, a Newbery Honor Book, which also won the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the Golden Kite Award. Her acclaimed histories also include The Incredible Journey of Lewis & Clark, The Great American Gold Rush, and The Remarkable Voyages of Captain Cook, all ALA Notable Books. She is the winner of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for her overall contribution to nonfiction.

Rhoda Blumberg says that while doing research for Commodore Perry, "I read about the ordeals and strange adventures of Manjiro, then spent years replaying his life story in my mind until I felt impelled to write about him."

The author and her husband, Gerald, live in Yorktown Heights, New York.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4-8. Blumberg, author of The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark (1987), now offers an account of the same journey featuring York, the only African American member of the Corps of Discovery. William Clark's playmate as a child and later his personal slave, York joined his master on the expedition, where his strength, skills, and courageous acts were recorded in the journals. His black skin and strong physique amazed and impressed many of the Native Americans, perhaps helping the corps gain acceptance. Blumberg notes that without York, the expedition might have failed. Reproductions of paintings, prints, photographs, documents, and artifacts illustrate this large-format book, which concludes with a bibliography, Internet sites, and several pages of endnotes, containing background information and citations for the many quotations from books, letters, and journals. Although much of York's life was unrecorded, this clearly presents what is known and acknowledges speculation where it occurs. Your shelves may be bulging with Lewis and Clark expedition books in this bicentennial year, but make room for this one. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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