Merriwether Lewis/Clark Expedition

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It was on February 28, 1803 that President Thomas Jefferson won Congressional approval for the expedition of the Western lands that would become the adventures of Merriwether Lewis and William Clark.(1) A budget of $2,500 was allotted for the expedition of the group who were dubbed “The Corps of Discovery” by Jefferson. Jefferson was extremely interested in the western lands, so much so that his personal library at his home, Monticello, had more books on the subject than any other library in the world. (2) The group were to be led by Jefferson’s secretary, Merriwether Lewis, and Lewis’ friend William Clark. The group of men set out from St. Louis, Missouri in May of 1804 in search of a water passage to the west coast. These men traveled by boat, foot, and horseback across the unknown lands and encountered many new things. They were helped by the Native peoples, and often traded goods and supplies with them. Along the way Lewis and Clark encountered the …show more content…

Merriwether Lewis and his group of men had a much harder way back than Clark and his men did, as a group of Blackfoot Indians attempted to steal supplies from them. Also, only a month after the incident with the Blackfoots, Lewis was shot in the leg by one of his own men while hunting Elk. Lewis wrote in his Journal, “I was in the act of firing on the Elk a second time when a ball struck my left thye about an inch below my hip joint, missing the bone it passed through the left thye and cut the thickness of the bullet across the hinder part of the right thye; the stroke was very severe.” (4) Lewis survived this wound, and the two groups met back up at the Missouri River and traveled the rest of the way back to St. Louis together. In total the Corps of Discovery traveled around 8,000 miles of uncharted land, and this expedition would come to be known as one of the greatest journeys in American

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