The Lewis And Clark Adventure That Changed Our World Summary

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According to Elin Woodger and Brandon Toropov in their reference book, The Encyclopedia of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, New Orleans was a highly desired port for trading. New Orleans was part of this vast territory known as the Louisiana Territory that was under French rule. American traders had been denied permission to use this port for trade. That, along with the fear of a “French army arriving on the American mainland” (Woodger & Toropov), gave Jefferson reason to consider purchasing this land from France. Jefferson sent two representatives, James Monroe and Robert Livingston, to negotiate with France about this issue: The instructions given to Monroe and Livingston were that they should offer up to $10 million to buy New Orleans and …show more content…

According to the Reader’s Digest book Great Adventures That Changed Our World: The World’s Greatest Explorers Their Triumphs and Tragedies, Jefferson asked Congress for $2,500 to provide everything necessary for this expedition to take place. Jefferson asked his private secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to be the leader of the expedition. Jefferson believed Lewis was qualified to be such a leader because he had “courage, prudence, habits and health adapted to the woods, and some familiarity with the Indian character” (Thomas Jefferson, qtd. in Reader’s Digest 213). Lewis took on the responsibility of organizing and preparing for the voyage (Reader’s Digest, 213). Along with preparing the necessary items and food and other important commodities, Lewis asked William Clark, his former commanding officer in the army, to help him lead the expedition. Lewis said to his future co-captain and old friend, “my friend I can assure you that no man lives with whom I would prefer to undertake and share the difficulties of such a trip than yourself” (Reader’s Digest, 213-214). The President gave Lewis specific and direct instructions of what he wanted them to accomplish. Jefferson’s first purpose was for Lewis to follow the Missouri River, and explore it, in order to see if there was an efficient stream of water to the west coast for commerce. Along with this, Jefferson also instructed Lewis to record maps of the land, analyze the soil to see it’s potential for providing crops, record the climate, and also to learn about the Indians (Readers Digest,

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