What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? by Judith St. GeorgeWhen Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the Corp of Discovery left St. Louis, Missouri, on May 21, 1804, their mission was to explore the vast, unknown territory acquired a year earlier in the Louisiana Purchase. The travelers hoped to find a waterway that crossed the western half of the United States. They didnt. However, young readers will love this true-life adventure tale of the two-year journey that finally brought the explorers to the Pacific Ocean.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader for the mission. The excursion lasted over two years: Along the way they confronted harsh weather, unforgiving terrain, treacherous waters, injuries, starvation, disease and both friendly and hostile Native Americans. Nevertheless, the approximately 8,mile journey was deemed a huge success and provided new geographic, ecological and social information about previously uncharted areas of North America. Meriwether Lewis was Virginia-born in but spent his early childhood in Georgia. He returned to Virginia as a teenager to receive his education and graduated from college in He then joined the Virginia state militia — where he helped to put down the Whiskey Rebellion — and later became a captain in the U. At age 27 he became personal secretary to President Thomas Jefferson.
Lewis and Clark Expedition , —06 , U. Meriwether Lewis and Lieut. The expedition was a major chapter in the history of American exploration. On January 18, , U. Jefferson, who had already sponsored several attempts to explore the West, asked his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead the expedition. Lewis was dispatched to Philadelphia for instruction in botany , celestial navigation , medicine , and zoology.
In sharing the experiences of the Northwest Campaign against the British and the Indians, Lewis and Clark fashioned the bonds of an enduring friendship. On March 6, , Lewis, as a young Army Captain in Pittsburgh, received a letter from the soon to be inaugurated President, Thomas Jefferson, offering Lewis a position as his secretary-aide. It said, "Your knolege of the Western country, of the army, and of it's interests and relations has rendered it desireable for public as well as private purposes that you should be engaged in that office. The reference to Lewis' "knolege of the Western country" hinted that Jefferson was again planning an expedition to explore the West and had tentatively decided that Lewis would be its commander. On February As he made arrangements for the Expedition, Lewis concluded it would be desirable to have a co-commander.
Sacagawea - Heroine of the Lewis and Clark Journey - 3494
Born in in Virginia, William Clark became part of the legendary exploration team of Lewis and Clark. The journey began when Meriwether Lewis invited him to share command of an expedition of the lands west of the Mississippi River. After more than two years and over 8, miles, the expedition helped mapmakers understand the geography of the American West. In , Clark received a letter from his old friend Lewis, inviting him to share command of an expedition of the lands west of the Mississippi River. The expedition was prompted by the acquisition of more than thousand square miles of land through the Louisiana Purchase.
Captain Meriwether Lewis, aged twenty-nine, set off from Pittsburgh by boat at the end of August with a party of men and his Newfoundland dog, Seaman, to begin the first American expedition to the Pacific overland Andrew Mackenzie had crossed Canada to the Pacific in the s. At Louisville he picked up his chosen co-leader, Lieutenant William Clark, who was four years older. The two men, both from uppercrust Virginia planter families, had become friends in the army. Lewis had been personal assistant to President Thomas Jefferson, who authorised the expedition to find a water route through the Rocky Mountains to the west coast, make friendly contact with the native Indians and report on matters of scientific interest. One underlying motive was the hope of opening up a trade route to the Far East, far shorter than the voyage round the Horn. The fact that much of the territory to be explored belonged to Spain was not considered a deterrent.