Lewis and Clark
passed through the area of Fort Osage in present-day Missouri in June,
1804 on their journey west to the Pacific Ocean. Clark considered this
spot to be a good place for a fort with its "high commanding position,
more than 70 feet above high-water mark, and overlooking the river, which
is here but of little depth."
Upon their return in 1806,
was named governor and
was given the post of commander of the militia and Indian agent of the
Louisiana Territory. Clark established Fort Osage, one of the first
military outposts in the Louisiana Purchase, in 1808 to protect and
promote trade with the Osage
The fort was
built by the men of the 1st Regiment, U.S. Infantry, who traveled in six
keelboats up the Missouri River
under the command of Captain Eli Clemon and the St. Charles Dragoons, who
marched overland under Clark's command. Four of the keelboats carried
$20,000 worth of merchandise belonging to George C. Sibley, who was the
chief factor, or trader, at the post.
A vital part of
the success of the "factory" was the trader's access to the river where
incoming and outgoing goods were received and dispatched. Sibley built his
factory so as to have access to the river through his second basement.
Remnants of the Ferry Road are included in the Fort Osage District.
It is believed that two of the most significant treaties in the history of
Missouri were signed at the Fort between the Osage Indians and the U.S.
Government. On September 14, 1808, the Osage ceded all of their lands east
of a line running south of the Fort to the