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Lewis And Clark

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The Lewis and Clark journey was most likely the most significant project supported by the government in the beginning of the 1800's. The idea of the expedition came from Thomas Jefferson. There were three main parts of the expedition. The first were the goals of the expedition. The second was how Lewis and Clark were chosen as leaders. Then finally the results and experiences of the journey itself. The journey led to the expansion of America and many new discoveries from Lewis and Clark's side trips. The importance of the expedition was to have meetings with the Indians in the West, to gather plant and animal samples, to keep records of the weather, and an easy trade route that could put the East and West together. Their journey was America's first exploration of the West. Some of the main goals of the journey were met and some were not.

There was one thing that Jefferson had to settle before he could even think about the journey. The French had already bought a large chunk of land in North America. Eventually Napoleon sold the land for fifteen million dollars (Ambrose 30). This was the Louisiana Purchase. It made America almost double in size. The Louisiana Purchase became the world's largest deal on real estate. The deal opened up the new land for exploration. Jefferson could now begin to plan the journey.

While he was planning for the journey, Jefferson realized the he had some very important reasons for his journey. There were certain discoveries he wanted to make too. He wanted to expand to spark the economy. He wanted to find a shortcut across America. He asked for 2,500 dollars for his expedition's funding (Ambrose 25). He asked for such a small amount so that no congressman would turn him down. The President was ready to choose the leaders of his journey now that he had the money and part of the plan.

Jefferson was going to give the men he chose some very important tasks. The tasks included finding a way to get to the Pacific Ocean by water. He was also wanted the men to complete a very detailed logbook of the journey. These were tasks that Jefferson really wanted his leaders to fulfill (Blumberg 8). Jefferson needed men that could most definitely complete these tasks.

Meriwether Lewis was chosen to command the expedition. He had been a friend of Jefferson for a long time (Blumberg 17). Lewis had been Jefferson's secretary for a while. Lewis was an apprentice to the president in a way. Lewis even helped Jefferson plan the exploration because Jefferson had never been more than fifty miles out of Virginia (Blumberg 22). The White House was the control center for the journey.

Meriwether Lewis was chosen to command the expedition. He had been a friend of Jefferson for a long time (Blumberg 17). Lewis had been Jefferson's secretary for a while. Lewis was an apprentice to the president in a way. Lewis even helped Jefferson plan the exploration because Jefferson had never been more than fifty miles out of Virginia (Blumberg 22). The White House was the control center for the journey.

Lewis chose William Clark as his co-leader in the voyage. Lewis had served in the army with William Clark. Clark had previously been a skilled surveyor and woodsman (Lewis Journal).

Unfortunately for Jefferson, the French had already bought a large chunk of land in North America. Eventually Napoleon sold the land for fifteen million dollars (Ambrose 30). This was the Louisiana Purchase. It made America almost double in size. The Louisiana Purchase became the world's largest deal on real estate. The deal opened up the new land for exploration.

The boat used during the trip was fifty-five feet long, with sails. (Blumberg 18). It was called a keelboat. The original crew consisted of twelve soldiers from the army, 3 regular men, one river pilot, Clark, Lewis, and Clark's slave. The regular men were not very qualified for the mission.

After setting up camp in St. Louis for five months, they decided to get more men and decide on the responsibilities of the crewmembers. Lewis was to buy provisions and gather new information. William Clark was in charge of the men. The amount of men began to increase during this time. One of the new men acquired was George Drouillard. He knew Native American languages and he could hunt.

The voyage began on May 14, 1804. The final group of explorers consisted of twenty-two sailors on the keelboat, six men on one open rowboat, and seven more men on another rowboat (Blumberg 32). The men stopped at St. Charles. This was their first stop on the voyage.

The crew went on many interesting adventures on the side of the expedition, such as visiting old Indian graves, or Lewis collecting plants and drawing animals. The main grave that they visited was of the Omaha Chief, Blackbird. He died of smallpox. The explorers respected the tribe and made an alter for the chief. When Lewis went on his own small excursions, he picked up new plants and flowers. When Clark went out on his own, he worked on mapmaking. He became one of the most significant mapmakers in America. One of the most important new species that was discovered by Lewis was the prairie dog. It was one of their first new discoveries.

Some Indian tribes became enemies with the expedition group and some were peaceful. One of the first peaceful tribes was the Sioux. They had been known to be very aggressive, but they praised the voyagers. One night Lewis gave a speech. The speech influenced the chief of the Sioux to make peace with other tribes.

However, the Teton Sioux were not so friendly. They did not want ships moving up the river because they did not want to lose their profit off of trade. They did not want any competition. The Tetons sold British goods for high prices to other Indian tribes. When the crew came in contact with this tribe, they were always alert. After four days with the Tetons, there was finally an outbreak. The battle was stopped by a rival Sioux chief whose name was Black Buffalo. Lewis and Clark rewarded him with a ride on the keelboat.

There were some friendly tribes. The Flathead Indians were very generous. They traded sick horses for healthy ones. The group continued to travel up the mountain along the Lolo Trail. The crew faced hunger along the trail. Along the trail, Clark met the Pierced-Nosed Indians.

This tribe greeted Lewis and Clark with food. The tribe decided to give Clark a map that would lead them to the Columbia River. The Pierced-Nosed Indians kept Clark's horses while they traveled. Another friendly group was the Arikaras, but unfortunately at the time of the exploration smallpox was spreading. It was really affecting people in the

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