Powhatan Clarke was born in Gloucester County, Virginia, the son of Colin Clarke (1791-1865) and Mary Goode Lyle (1801-1884). He attended the University of Virginia in sessions 31-33 (1854-1857), then attended the medical school at New York University, graduating in 1858. (Medical Record, 1917) He later studied for two years in Paris.
Dr. Clarke then moved to Louisiana, where he married Louise Frances Boyce (1839-1900) in 1861. Their children were Powhatan Henry Clarke (1st Lieut., U.S. Army, recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Indian Wars), Henry Boyce Clarke, and Mary Elizabeth Clarke. (Military Times Hall of Valor) Dr. Clarke was appointed surgeon of Louisiana State University in Rapides, Louisiana.
Clarke entered the Confederate Army as a private in the Crescent Regiment Volunteer Infantry (also called the 24th Louisiana Infantry), and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel of the 10th Mississippi Cavalry, where he served as Ordnance Officer for General Simon B. Buckner. He surrendered at Natchitoches, Louisiana in April 1865. He was appointed to the Board of Visitors of the State University after the Civil War, then removed to Baltimore, Maryland a few years later in 1872, accepting the position of professor of natural sciences at Baltimore City College. He also held the position of professor of chemistry for thirty years at Baltimore Medical College. (Medical Record, 1917) In later life he served as vice president of the Maryland Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Clarke died in 1917, at the home of his daughter in Douglaston, Long Island (now Queens), in New York. (Medical Record, 1917) He and his wife are buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. (They are buried with family in Section I, Lot 90, but their graves are unmarked.) (Findagrave.com)
- Goode, George Brown. Virginia cousins: a study of the ancestry and posterity of John Goode of Whitby. Richmond, VA, 1887, p. 377-378.
- Gravesites [unmarked] of Powhatan & Louise Clarke, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA. Findagrave.com (accessed 11/16/2012).
- Hizer, Trenton. “A guide to the Clarke Family Papers.” Accession number 22095. Library of Virginia. c2002 http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaead/published/lva/vi00072.document
- “Obituary Notes.” Medical Record, v.91 (5 May, 1917), p.778.
- “Powhatan Henry Clarke.” Military Times Hall of Valor. c2012. http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=2610