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York

Tobijah Tyler as York, Clark’s slave and the only nonwhite
man on the expedition
 
Clark’s slave York fascinated many Native Americans, who had never seen a black man before. Calling York “big Medison,” some Indians ascribed healing powers to him.

On the expedition York more than pulled his weight—hunting, guarding, paddling, pushing—yet Clark did not free him until several years after the end of the expedition.

Photograph by John Livzey

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Preview our large-format film Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West.