Figure from Cape's past being honored with plaque

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The John Guild Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is recognizing an important figure in Cape Girardeau's history on Sunday.

George Drouillard was a chief hunter on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, said Jane Randol Jackson, director of the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center. He was also the nephew of Louis Lorimier.

At 2 p.m., members of the Daughters, Sons and Children of the American Revolution will be dedicating a bronze plaque to Drouillard at the Red House Interpretive Center in downtown Cape Girardeau.

"The DAR thought we should recognize him since there are really no other places honoring his memory," Jackson said. "Lewis and Clark were the main people on that expedition but without George Drouillard, they wouldn't of had much to eat and they wouldn't have been able to interact with the Indians. He was a valuable member of the expedition."

The son of a Frenchman and Shawnee woman, Drouillard lived in Cape Girardeau while he was young. He lived and bred horses in the area.

'Man of much merit'

Although Drouillard died at the age of 33, Jackson said he was a knowledgeable man and accomplished many things in his life.

Meriwether Lewis described him as, "a man of much merit; he has been peculiarly useful from his knowledge of the common language of gesticulation, and his uncommon skill as a hunter and woodsman, those several duties he performed in good faith, and with an ardor which deserves the highest commendation."

The DAR applied for permission from the National Society of the DAR six months ago and received approval in October to place the plaque at the Red House.

"We felt the Red House was an appropriate place to put the marker because Drouillard would have visited that spot many times," Jackson said. "The Red House is a reproduction of a trading post and seed of government for Louis Lorimier. Meriwether Lewis stopped there in 1803 and had dinner with the Lorimier family."

The Drouillard plaque was paid for by donations from the John Guild Chapter DAR members and the Missouri State Society DAR.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony, which will include the new Town Crier and members of the Missouri State Society DAR.

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