Analysis Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States. It began near St. Louis, made its way westward, and passed through the continental divide to reach the Pacific coast. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It comprised a selected group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend, Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of…show more content…
The route of Lewis and Clark 's expedition took them up the Missouri River to its headwaters, then on to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River, and may have been influenced by the purported transcontinental journey of Moncacht-Apé by the same route about a century before. Jefferson had a copy of Le Page 's book detailing Moncacht-Apé 's itinerary in his library, and Lewis carried a copy with him during the expedition. Le Page 's description of Moncacht-Apé 's route across the continent, which neglects to mention the need to cross the Rocky Mountains, may be the source of Lewis and Clark 's mistaken belief that they could easily carry boats from the Missouri 's headwaters to the…show more content…
The historian John L. Loos of Louisiana State University wrote William Clark 's Part in the Preparation of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a 511-page manuscript published in 1954 by the Missouri Historical Society.
RETURNING HOME Traveling to Washington, Lewis and the other members of the expedition received a warm welcome from nearly place they went. Many towns held special events to herald the explorers’ return as they passed through. Once reaching the nation’s capital, Lewis received payment for his courageous efforts. Along with his salary and 1,600 acres of land, he was named governor of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis also tried to publish the journals that he and Clark wrote during their great adventure. Always prone to dark moods, he began to have a drinking problem and neglected his duties as governor.
TRAGIC END Lewis died on October 12, 1809, at an inn near Nashville, Tennessee. He had been on his way to Washington, D.C., at the time. Most historians believe he committed suicide while a few have contended that he was murdered. Despite his tragic end, Lewis helped change the face of the United States by exploring uncharted territory – the American West. His work inspired many others to follow in his footsteps and created great interest in the region. Lewis also advanced
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