George Rogers Clark statue

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GEORGE ROGERS CLARK STATUE West Main Street near Twelfth. Sculptor, Robert Ingersol Aitkin. Unveiled, January 6th, 1922. (Removed by the University of Virginia on July 11, 2021). This seven-figure group portrayed the mounted Conqueror of the North West in conference with a standing Indian chief, who shares the central focus. Their attendants complete the vital and finely balanced conception. A surrounding planting of pine suggested a forest atmosphere.

The George Rogers Clark statue was located on University Avenue in the Corner district on the grounds of University of Virginia in Charlottesville. It was funded by Paul Goodloe McIntire and sculpted by Robert Ingersoll Aitken. It was unveiled on November 3, 1921. [1] ; Removed by the University of Virginia on July 11, 2021.

This frontier military leader was born in Albemarle County, 1752, on the Stony Point Road. His family removed to Caroline County when he was five years of age, and he early migrated to Kentucky. Upon the coming on of the Revolution he threw himself ardently into the protection of the exposed northwestern regions. At Williamsburg he presented their dangers to the Assembly and obtained a military commission 27for their defense against British and Indian forces. He was in chief command and rose to Brig. General. During this period, 1778-1783, he was a popular idol and was called “the George Washington of the West.”

His later life was tragically darkened by debts contracted for the necessities of his men and never made good by Virginia. Political intrigue and calumny added to his misfortunes. He died in poverty and neglect near Louisville, Kentucky, 1818.

The statue features Brigadier General George Rogers Clark (1752 – 1818), for whom Clark Elementary School.

Clark was born in Albemarle County, near Charlottesville, in 1752, but moved to with his family to Caroline County in 1756. He served as an officer in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War (Little Turtle's War), earning him the nickname "Conqueror of the Old Northwest". In both of these conflicts, he primarily fought against Native American tribes allied with or led by the British. He and his family enslaved numerous individuals on their plantations. When the statue was unveiled, no one from the Indian community was present or spoke. [1]

The statue was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on June 19, 1996 and the National Register of Historic Places on May 16, 1997. [2]

Narrative from Virginia Landmarks Registry

"The monument to Albemarle County native George Rogers Clark, “Conqueror of the Northwest,” is the fourth of four works of public sculpture commissioned from members of the National Sculpture Society by Charlottesville philanthropist Paul Goodloe McIntire. McIntire engaged Robert Ingersoll Aitken to create a heroic-size bronze group that portrays a mounted Clark with members of his expedition confronting an Indian chief and members of his party. The sculpture was cast by the Gorham Company and was erected in 1921. A masterful and complex work of art, the monument reflects the influence of the City Beautiful Movement. McIntire departed here from his usual practice of donating monuments to the city and presented the Clark sculpture to the University of Virginia."

Plans to Remove Statue

In 2020 The University of Virginia's Board of Visitors announced plans to remove the statute after community protests over the statue's portrayal of Native Americans. In June 2021, the board of visitors said that removal of the statue would cost about $400,000.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. UVA and the History of Race: The George Rogers Clark Statue and Native Americans, Christian McMillen, News Article, UVA Today, July 27, 2020, retrieved August 8, 2020.
  2. Web. 104-0252 George Rogers Clark Monument, Virginia Landmarks Register, November 7, 2018, retrieved January 18, 2020.
  3. Web. Removal of George Rogers Clark statue to Cost UVa $400,000, Katherine Knott, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 4, 2021, retrieved June 14, 2021.

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