York’s Mother

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Marlene Rivero of Grand Chain, Illinois will portray Rose (Clark), the mother of York, the only African American on the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition between 1803 –1806. She will bring York to life in story and song in the picnic area behind the Interpretive Center. This free program is sponsored by the National Park Service.

For social distancing and comfort, bring a blanket to sit on.  The event will move to the auditorium if it rains.

She developed her character around nineteenth century music, the journals, legal documents, and letters sent to the Clark family members and common slave life in costume for that period.  Rivero’s story is one of a mother worries, unsure her son will ever return from the military mission. Her presentation includes York’s boyhood with his owner, William Clark, as well as his experiences and adventures west during the expedition up the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, leading to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  She also tells how his life changed after he and his master returned with the remainder of the Corps.

In portraying Rose, Marlene is able to impart a little bit of African American history with which few are familiar, and that sparks interest.

$2 pay-to-park fee applies for those using the parking lot behind the Interpretive Center.

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