Lewis and Clark went on their journey to explore the western region of what is now known as the western half of the United States of America. On their journey they drew maps and made friends with Indians and described them and their ways of living.
In 1803, Congress appropriated funds for the exploration of the West. Jefferson desperately looked for a leader whom he could trust to lead the expedition. When he came to his conclusion about who the leader would be, he had picked Meriwether Lewis, whom was a good friend. Lewis also brought along his Virginian neighbor to help lead his expedition. Together they chose forty other men to accompany them. The purpose of this expedition was to find a water route to the Pacific, to develop friendship and trade with the Indians, and to map the new land. Also, they had to take note of the climate and wildlife of the West.
On May 14, 1804, the journey began in St. Louis. They started up the Missouri River, in hopes of finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean. During their expedition they saw a wide range of animals such as buffalo, elk, antelope, pelicans, bears, and prairie dogs. They marveled at the wide grassy plains. Their journey was hard because they were forced to travel up the Missouri River. On their way up the river, they ran into many obstacles like floating tree branches.
For the first winter, they stayed with the Mandan Indians, who lived near Bismarck, North Dakota. They became friends with an Indian woman named Sacajewea. She and her husband helped guide the expedition over the Rockies. On the way to the Rockies, Lewis and Clark stopped and visited the Shoshone Indians; Sacajewea's native tribe. Lewis and Clark bought horses from the Shoshone because there was no river to take them over the Rockies.
While they were crossing the Rockies, they crossed the Continental Divide. Their trip got easier after the Continental Divide because from then on, all the rivers flowed towards the Pacific. After the Rockies, Lewis and Clark ran into the Nez Perces Indians. The Indians helped Lewis and Clark make canoes to finish the trip to the Pacific. They made it to the Pacific on November 15, 1805. In their journal they stated, "about 3 oClock the wind luled, and the river became calm, I had the canoes loaded in great haste and Set Out, from this dismal nitch where we have been confined for 6 days passed, without the possibility of proceeding on, returning to a better Situation, or get out to hunt; Scerce of Provisions, and torents of rain poreing on us all the time. proceeded on passed the blustering point below which I found a butifull Sand beech thro which runs a Small river from the hills, below the mouth of this Stream is a village of 36 houses uninhabited by anything except flees, here I met G. Shannon and 5 Indians. Shannon informed me that he met Capt. Lewis at an Indian hut about 10 miles below who had sent him back to meet me, he also told me the Indians were thievish, as the night before they had Stolen both his and Willards rifles from under their heads." Lewis told the Indians if any one of them stole anything from them, then he would have them shot.
They stayed at the Ocean for the winter where they set up Fort Clatsop. After the winter, they went back to the United States. They were back by 1806. Lewis and Clark achieved their goal of reaching the Pacific. Unfortunately, one of their goals was not reached. They did not find a water route across the country. On their journey, they lost only one man.
Lewis and Clark mapped over 7700 miles of uncharted territory opening western routes to settlers. A treaty was formed by Thomas Jefferson between the settlers and the Indians. Both Lewis and Clark signed and sealed the treaty. In 1806, Lewis was appointed governor of the Louisiana Territory. On October 10, 1809, he died mysteriously from two gunshot wounds near the Natchez trace, where there was a number of robbers coming up and down the river. Nobody knows whether it was a suicide or a murder. Clark later became the governor of the Missouri Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark; Edited and with an
introduction by Frank Bergon.
Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose.
The Lewis And Clark Expedition Essay example
1548 Words7 Pages
Quite possibly one of the most important purchases in the
history of The United States was the one in which Thomas
Jefferson enabled the size of the country to double. The
territory was the Louisiana Territory, the 820,000 square mile
piece of land was bought for 15 million dollars which equaled
out to about three cents an acre.
The United States originally only wanted to buy the port of
New Orleans. Thomas Jefferson wanted to buy this because there
was a risk that the half million Americans living west of the
Appalachian would secede from the Union. Purchasing the port
would keep them from seceding because they would then have a
port that they could easily use to…show more content…
Jefferson’s proposed expedition would travel through unknown
lands that were owned by the two most poweful nations, France
and Britan with Spain in possesion in the land to the south
west. Spansh officials administering the region for France had
turned down Jefferson’s request to explore the region. None the
less Jefferson sent his request to Congress. To make his
request more tempting he asked for only $2,500 to fund the trip
but in acctuality it cost $38,722. So on Feburary 28,1803
Jefferson’s request was approved. Jefferson appointed
Meriwether Louis in charge of the expedition.
When the Louisiana purchase was announced on july 3, just
two days before Lewis was to set out to Pittsburgh to buy
supplies and hire men, the semi-covert mission through foreign
land was turned into a daring survey into newly aquired
American land. To ensure that Louis could buy every thing he
needed Jefferson gave a signed page that gave the “faith of the
United States” to reimburse anyone for any goods or services
needed by Louis. Before leaving Louis had Albert Gallatin (a
map collector) make a map that showed North America from the
Mississippi to the Pacific. The only points on the map were
the mouth of the Columbia