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In Search of York: The Slave Who Went to the Pacific with Lewis and Clark, Revised Edition Paperback – November 5, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado; Revised edition (November 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870817140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870817144
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,489,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Bett's biography of York, Clark's black slave who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is the finest study ever written about this significant yet elusive member of the Corps of Discovery...The documentary evidence provided by Betts indicat

About the Author

The late Robert B. Betts graduated from Harvard, was a successful advertising executive in New York City, and regularly contributed to the Lewis and Clark journal We Proceeded On.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on March 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book for the first time about ten years ago. On re-reading it, I experienced the same general mood I remembered from the first time around: sadness.

When the men in the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis after their two-and-a-half year journey to the Pacific Northwest, they were amply rewarded, with money and land, by a gushing Congress. All of them but one, that is. York, William Clark's slave, had traveled with all the rest of the men. He's mentioned occasionally in the journals written by some of the expedition's members (not the least of whom are Lewis and Clark). He pulled his weight in the physical toil of the journey; he appears to have been a good hunter; his blackness, a fascinating novelty to a few of the Indian tribes the Corps encountered, seems to have been a cultural ice-breaker on at least one occasion; and he was accepted as a bona fide member by the other Corpsmen, given that there are no negative comments made of him by any of the journal writers and that he was given a vote equal to any other Corps member's on two separate occasions. Yet, on the Corps' return to civilization, York became invisible again: a man with no last name, a slave, a piece of property. Chattel.

So it is with the invisibles of history, the people who our cultural blindspots just won't allow us to see. For too many years, blacks and Indians have been the invisibles in US history. It's as if they never existed. They vanish without leaving a ripple on the pond, and this is incredibly sad.

That's why In Search of York is such an important book, because in it Robert Betts tried to overcome cultural blindness by painstakingly searching out and documenting as much information about York as he could.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. D. Roth on January 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved the way the author cleared the air on others who wrote about York in a negative way. The speculations about facts that are not known about York make a lot of sense. The footnotes alone were very informative. Great reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Clare on August 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
There's some good information about York on the web, but the best source is the biography In Search of York. This fascinating and well-illustrated book brings together all that is known of York. It is not only a great book about York, but one of the best books in the L&C literature.
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