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Alexander Willard and His Wife Eleanor
Alexander Willard and His Wife Eleanor

Alexander Hamilton Willard was born in New Hampshire in 1778. He was living in Kentucky when he enlisted in the regular army in 1800. Enroute up the Missouri, on July 12, 1804, he was tried and convicted of sleeping on sentry duty. In the Corps, that offense was punishable by death, but he was instead given the lesser penalty of 100 lashes. Blacksmithing was a trade he had apparently had learned prior to his enlistment, a craft that served him well during the journey as an assistant to John Shields. Willard married in 1807, which resulted in a family of twelve children. In 1852 they emigrated to California, where he died and was buried in 1865, near Sacramento.

See also The Lesser-Known Members of the Corps.