Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Were Brainly
An Overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
–past Al Bredenberg
These days, you can fly across the U.s. in six hours. Even if you lot have to take a machine, you tin do it in six days.
But imagine what it would have been like two hundred years ago, when Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the other members of the Corps of Discovery traveled 3,700 miles from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Bounding main in non-motorized boats, on horseback, and on foot. Not only did they have no cars or airplanes to travel in, they also had to do it with no reliable map — and they had to make their way through territory inhabited by Indian nations who couldn’t necessarily be expected to smile upon a band of armed explorers.
Planning the Expedition
In 1803, when was President of the United States, the U.S. purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. This was a huge tract of over 800,000 square miles, taking in near the entire mid-department of North America from nowadays-24-hour interval Texas and Louisiana up to Montana and Due north Dakota. This almost doubled the size of the new country.
Much of the new territory was unexplored. Jefferson decided to transport an trek up the Missouri River to its source in the western mountains and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson hoped that the expedition would exist able to find the elusive Northwest Passage, a water route across the country, which would be a great boon to commerce.
So in that same twelvemonth, Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery nether the control of his trusted private secretary, Meriwether Lewis. As well seeking the Northwest Passage, Lewis was to map the new territory, assess its natural resource, and make contact with its inhabitants, befriending them if possible. Lewis recruited his friend William Clark to share equally in the command of the expedition, as well as a force of over 40 men. The members of the Corps of Discovery were soldiers, but their purpose was peaceful — exploration, affairs, and science. Lewis was commissioned equally a Captain of the Army of the United States, Clark as a Lieutenant (although this inferior rank was kept underground from the men, and Clark was e’er chosen “Captain”).
|Lewis purchased a large stock of supplies, including guns and armament, food, clothing, navigational instruments, and large numbers of goods to be used as gifts and barter for Indians. To behave the Corps and its cargo on the kickoff leg of their journey, Lewis had a keelboat built, a 55-pes shallow-draft vessel capable of carrying virtually 12 tons of cargo. The gunkhole had a canvass, but was mostly propelled with oars and poles. The journey on the Missouri River would be over two,000 miles — upstream all the manner.|
Up the Missouri
|The trek started from St. Louis, where the Missouri empties into the Mississippi, on May fourteen, 1804. Along the way, Clark oversaw the men and advisedly mapped the route. Lewis made scientific observations and collected specimens of animals and plants. The trip was backbreaking — the men lived outdoors, hunted for food, and rowed the keelboat (forth with two smaller boats) up the river, often towing the boat from the shore when the current got as well heavy or the river became hard to navigate. They fended off huge clouds of mosquitoes that swarmed around them. The party made but 12 or 14 miles on a good day.|
|Forth the way, the group made contact with Indian inhabitants of the state. During the first season of travel, they contacted the Missouris, the Omahas, the Yankton Sioux, the Teton Sioux (Lakota), and the Arikaras. The captains would offer gifts, run into with the chiefs, and brand speeches encouraging the Indian nations to make peace with 1 another and with their new “slap-up begetter,” President Jefferson. All were friendly except the Lakota, with whom the trek had a confrontation that nearly became violent.|
By October, the Corps of Discovery had reached what is now North Dakota, but they were obviously nowhere nearly the Missouri’s headwaters and wintertime was at mitt. Since little was known about the road beyond the Mandan villages, Lewis and Clark decided to build a fort and winter with the Mandans and their Hidatsa neighbors. These tribes, with a population of about 4,500 people, occupied five permanent villages along the Missouri River and were known for their friendliness and generosity.
|During the wintertime, Lewis and Clark hired Toussaint Charbonneau, a French fur trader, and his wife, a Shoshone woman named Sacagawea, realizing that this woman could assistance them by acting as interpreter with her people, who lived near the Missouri’s headwaters.|
|In the spring, the captains sent the keelboat back downward the river with a few men and many items for Jefferson, including an interim report of the expedition, samples of soil, minerals, and plants, Indian items, and even some alive birds and a prairie domestic dog, which had never been heard of in the East. Almost of the trek continued upward the river in canoes, taking along Sacagawea, her married man, and their newborn baby, Jean-Baptiste.|
The group spent the adjacent months making their manner due west upwards the river into territory unknown to white men. They encountered a bully profusion of wildlife, including buffalo, wolves, bighorn sheep, and ferocious grizzly bears. They made their way into present-day Montana, and found the river becoming increasingly impassable, with fierce rapids and waterfalls.
When they finally reached the area of the Missouri’s headwaters, they sought out the Shoshones. As it turned out, Sacagawea’s brother was principal of the village they first contacted. With her assistance, the party obtained the horses they would demand to become across the mountains alee.
Across to the Western Body of water
|Equally the political party began crossing the mountains on horseback, it soon became obvious that the hope of finding a northwest water route was a imitation one. Jefferson had believed that the explorers, after leaving the Missouri, would observe only a modest mountain range with a river to the Pacific only a short altitude on the other side.|
In fact, the trek had to make its way on the Lolo Trail across the vast Bitterroot Mountains, already covered with snow in September. The crossing took xi days, during which the men nearly starved. They were almost helpless when they reached the Nez Percé Indians on the other side. Fortunately for Lewis and Clark and their grouping, the Nez Percé welcomed and fed them, helped them make canoes, and agreed to have care of their horses until their return on the way dorsum east.
With the water finally running west, the explorers rapidly traveled downwardly the Clearwater, Snake, and Columbia Rivers, reaching the Pacific coastal area in early November, a year and a half after leaving St. Louis. They congenital Fort Clatsop, named later the neighboring Indian nation, on the due south side of the mouth of the Columbia, near what is at present Astoria, Oregon, and spent the winter in cold, moisture, miserable weather condition, preparing for the trip back dwelling.
On March 23, 1806, the Corps of Discovery started on the long journey back the manner they had come. They had some conflicts with some of the Indians on the lower Columbia, whom they accused of charging high prices for food, trying to steal from the travelers, and interfering with their progress. Merely when they reached the friendly Nez Percés, they found their horses alive and cared-for, though scattered on open range.
The group was back across the mountains by June and decided to separate up into smaller parties for a while then as to explore some of the territory more than thoroughly. Lewis took a more northerly road, and it was during this trip that the explorers had their first and merely violent disharmonize with Indians. A group of Blackfeet evidently tried to captured horses and guns, and Lewis’due south party killed two of them.
At about that same time, Clark, on a southerly route, discovered an unusual, large stone formation on the Yellowstone River. He named information technology “Pompy’s Tower,” after the nickname of Sacagawea’s son, now in his 2d year (certainly i of the near remarkable childhoods in American history). There on that formation, Clark left an inscription, “Wm. Clark July 25th 1806,” which can still be seen today.
The separate parties rejoined in August back on the Missouri River, at the mouth of the Yellowstone. They continued on downward the river, dropping off Charbonneau, Sacagawea, and little Jean-Baptiste at the Mandan villages. Traveling quickly, they reached St. Louis on September 23, 1806.
The men of the trek were welcomed as heroes. They had been gone so long that the nation feared they were dead. Remarkably, merely one fellow member of the group died. This was Sergeant Charles Floyd, who probably died of a ruptured appendix as the Corps of Discovery traveled upwardly the Missouri River on its way to the Mandan villages.
Lewis and Clark and the Mapping of the Continent
The Corps of Discovery returned with a bully deal of knowledge about the new United states of america territory westward of the Mississippi — the people, the land, the rivers, the mountains, the plants and animals. The expedition made of import contributions to the mapping of the North American continent.
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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark Were Brainly