Sergeant Floyd MonumentSergeant Floyd Monument (U.S.National Historic Landmark) Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sioux City, IowaLocation: Glenn Ave. and Louis Rd., Sioux City, IowaCoordinates: 42°27′45.25″N 96°22′39.08″W / 42.4625694, -96.3775222Coordinates: 42°27′45.25″N 96°22′39.08″W / 42.4625694, -96.3775222Built/Founded: 1804 Architect: Unknown Architectural style(s): No Style Listed Designated as NHL: June 30, 1960Added to NRHP: October 15, 1966NRHP Reference#: 66000340 Governing body: Local
The Seargeant Floyd Monument is a monument on the bank of the Missouri River at Floyd's Bluff in what is now Sioux City, Iowa. The monument honors Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, who died on the upstream voyage in 1805 and was buried here.
The monument is significant also because it is the first designated National Historic Landmark of the United States.
Charles Floyd (1782 – 1804) was a United States explorer, a non-commissioned officer and quartermaster in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A native of Kentucky, he was a relative of William Clark . He was one of the first men to join the expedition.
While exploring the Louisiana Purchase with Lewis and Clark, he took ill at the end of July 1804. On July 31st, Floyd wrote in his diary, "I am verry sick and has been for Sometime but have Recovered my helth again." However, this apparent recovery was soon followed by a severe turn for the worse. William Clark described Floyd's death as one "with a great deal of composure" and that before Floyd died he said to Clark: "I am going away. I want you to write me a letter."
A funeral was held and Floyd was buried on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, which the expedition named Floyd's Bluff in his honor.
Clark diagnosed the condition which led to Floyd's demise as bilious colic, though modern doctors and historians agree Floyd's death was more likely to have been caused by a ruptured appendix. The brief "recovery" Floyd described may have represented the temporary relief afforded by the bursting of the organ, which would have been followed by a fatal peritonitis. If that were the case, because there was no known cure for appendicitis at that time, he would have been no better off had he been with the best physicians of the day.
By 1857, erosion had caused much of Floyd's grave—even the original cedar post marker left by the crew of the expedition—to slide into the river and wash away; concerned citizens rescued most of his skeleton, including his skull, and re-buried it 200 meters east of the original burial site. A forensic reconstruction of Sgt. Floyd's probable facial appearance based on a plaster cast of his skull is on display at the Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum in Sioux City.
After Floyd's expedition journal was published in 1894, new interest was taken in him and his gravemarker was stolen by thieves. He was re-buried once more on August 20, 1895 with a monument. A marble cornerstone three feet wide and seven feet long was placed in 1900. When the obelisk of white sandstone standing 100 feet (30 m) high was completed on May 30, 1901, Floyd's grave was moved for the fourth time to rest nearby, where it remains to this day. In 1960, the monument was recognized by the U.S. Department of Interior as the first National Historic Landmark. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 30, 1960.This excerpt from the Lewis and Clark map of 1814 shows the rivers of western Iowa. Floyd's Grave is noted at the left of the map.
The Floyd Monument is now located in a 23 acre park that offers visitors a splendid view of the Missouri River valley. Floyd's final resting place is located on old U.S. Highway 75, in the southern part of Sioux City, Iowa, in the United States.
The Sergeant Floyd Monument commemorates the burial site of U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Floyd, the only man to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is a National Historic Landmark, with its prominent 100-foot (30 m) obelisk situated on 23 acres of parkland, high on a river bluff with a splendid view of the Missouri River valley.
- ^ a b Sergeant Floyd Monument. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-10-08.
- ^ National Register Information System. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service (2007-01-23).
- ^ Stephen Lissandrello (July 2, 1975), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Sergeant Floyd MonumentPDF (239 KiB), National Park Service . Accompanying 2 photos, from 1937 and 1964.PDF (195 KiB)
- The Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark: John Speedway and Charles Floyd ISBN 0-8032-8021-1
- Sergeant Floyd Monument
- Lewis and Clark Trail: Sioux City
- Sgt. Floyd Monument NPS
- George Catlin's 1832 painting of "Floyd's Bluff"
- Floyd Biography
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