George Rogers Clark statue
National Park Service
Upon entering the memorial rotunda, the presence of George Rogers Clark is immediately felt as one sees the Hermon MacNeil statue of the soldier and patriot, standing in military uniform. The bronze statue of a youthful Clark stands seven and one-half feet tall. The statue and its marble pedestal together weigh 12 tons. Clark was only 25 years old when he conceived of the idea of leading his brave frontiersmen into the Illinois Country. Truly a man of vision, Clark felt that only a strike at the heart of the British-controlled countryside would lead to an end to the horror of Indian raids on frontier settlements.
The inscription at the base of the Clark statue reads, "If a country is not worth protecting it is not worth claiming."
Upon the walls of the memorial rotunda, seven murals depict the Clark expedition story. The murals, which are oil on canvas, stand 28 feet tall and 16 feet long. It would take artist Ezra Winter and six assistants two years to complete them.
Learn more about each of the seven murals:
1. Kentucky: Entering the great valley
2. Cahokia: Peace or war with the Indians
3. The Wabash: Through wilderness and flood
4. Vincennes: The British barrier to the west
5. Fort Sackville: Britain yields possession
6. Marietta: The Northwest, a new territory
7. St. Louis: The way opened to the Pacific