Pompeii's Pillar

Captain William Clark Etching His Name into the Sandstone Surface of Pompeii's Pillar, South Bank of the Yellow Stone River - 1806

Original Art Canvas, 8 sq. ft. (30" x 40") by Artist Frank M. Thomas  - Found in a private collection...Dallas, Texas

 Historical Background:
    In July of 1806, as the Expedition was returning East from the Pacific Coast, and while navigating by horseback through the Rocky Mountains, they split up and traveled by two different routes to reach the Missouri River. Captain William Clark, accompanied by Sergeant Prior, Private Shields and Shannon, and five other soldiers, plus York, Charbonneau, Sacagawea, and Pomp, with 49 horses and a colt, set off east riding along the bank of the Gallatin River.

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They crossed over a gap in the mountains (today's Bozeman Pass), following their pilot Sacagawea's recommendation and "struck an old buffalow road, the one our Indian woman meant," which took them down to the Yellowstone River (the longest free-flowing river in America). The Yellowstone is named for its walls of yellow rock.

Clark's party proceeded down the river on horseback searching for suitable trees to make canoes. Finally, nearing today's Billings (Montana) he found two large cottonwood trees that answered their needs. After several nights of set-backs (horses stolen by Indians, wolves eating their dried meat), the canoes were ready; it was time to get on. On July 24th they set out, making 69 miles, well out of the mountains and into a country that was paradise for grass-eating animals.

The following morning Clark's party came to "a remarkable rock situated in an extensive bottom on the Starboard Side (south or right side) of the river & 250 paces from it. This rock I ascended and from its top had a most extensive view in every direction. This rock which I shall call Pompy's Tower is 200 feet high it being a perpendicular clift. The Indians have ingraved on the face of this rock the figures of animals &c near which I marked my name and the day of the month & year."

       The Clark etching, in script, reads:    "Wm Clark
   July 25, 1806"

That sandstone rock monolith, on the south bank of the Yellowstone, with Clark's graffiti, is the only remaining evidence that the expedition pass this way. And the etching, clearly, fully visible today, may be seen behind a protective covering of shatter-proof glass edged in bronze.

Canvas Art Print Offerings:

18" x 24" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$155.52                                              

18" x 24" (signed by artist/stretched - ready to frame)......................$174.50                                                

24" x 32" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$276.48                                               

30" x 40" (signed by artist//rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$432.00                                              

NOTE: The rolled canvas print may be stretched in most frame shops before framing.      Also the art image (above) may be quite beautifully printed on heavy art paper (same price as canvas art...slightly different technique) and then shipped flat.