Wilderness Journey
The Life of William Clark
William E. Foley
344 pages
6.13 x 9.25

Formats available:
Paperback   $24.95 TR
ISBN: 978-0-8262-1663-2
E Book   $30.00 SH
ISBN: 978-0-8262-6263-9

About the Book

Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life.

Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life.

Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.


William E. Foley is Professor Emeritus of History at Central Missouri State University. He is the General Editor of the Missouri Biography Series and author or editor of numerous books, including Genesis of Missouri: From Wilderness Outpost to Statehood, Dictionary of Missouri Biography, and A History of Missouri, Volume I: 1673–1820, all available from the University of Missouri Press.

The Missouri Biography Series, edited by William E. Foley


"No one is better able to treat in a comprehensive way William Clark's public life than William Foley. Foley knows, and has skillfully used, the massive store of archival materials. He has written a balanced, solidly researched biography of a major American figure. The great strength of this biography is Foley's unparalleled command of the sources and his broad understanding of the West in the early Republic. William Clark shaped the early West and was shaped by it."—James P. Ronda


Foley has been awarded the 2005 Missouri Conference on History Award for Wilderness Journey: The Life of William Clark.

Foley also won the silver medal in the category of biography in ForeWord Magazine's book of the Year Award.


The Genesis of Missouri
William E. Foley

Dictionary of Missouri Biography
Edited by Lawrence O. Christensen, William E. Foley, Gary R. Kremer & Kenneth H. Winn

Lewis and Clark in Missouri
Ann Rogers

Francois Vallé and His World
Carl J. Ekberg

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