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Lewis and Clark Expedition
Transcript of Lewis and Clark Expedition
Americans knew very little about the land west of the Mississippi.
Jefferson persuaded Congress to sponsor an expedition to gather information about the new land.
This expedition would document findings about the territory's people, plants, and animals as well as recommend sites for future forts.
The expedition also had another goal: and that was to find a water route across the west to the Pacific Ocean called the Northwest Passage. This water route had been sought for hundreds of years by many explorers.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark
Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition.
Lewis was Jefferson's private secretary.
William Clark was co-leader of the expedition.
He was a friend of Lewis's.
Clarke was especially helpful building ties with Native Americans.
In the Spring of 1804, the expedition left St. Louis and worked its way up the Missouri River.
"Buffalo Elk and goats or Antelopes feeding in every direction...[T]he buffalo furnish us with fine veal and fat and beef...We have not been able to take any fish for some time past. The country is as yesterday beautiful in the extreme."
-from the journals of Lewis and Clark
The Expedition Continues
Lewis and Clark met many Native American groups on their journey.
A Shoshone woman named Sacagawea joined their group as a guide.
After 18 months and nearly 4,000 miles, Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean. They spent the winter there, and returned back east in September 1806.
Lewis and Clark's expedition had collected valuable information about people, plants, animals, and the geography of the west. Also, their journey inspired other Americans to move west.
Unfortunately they did not find the Northwest Passage because one does not exist.
Analyze the impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by: identifying their routes on a map and citing evidence from their journals.
Lewis and Clark's Journey
"The shortness...of grass gave the [land] the appearance throughout its whole extent of beautiful bowling-green in fine order...this scenery, already rich, pleasing, and beautiful was still farther heightened by immense herds of Buffaloe, deer Elk and Antelopes which we saw in every direction feeding on the hills and [flat land]. I do not think I exaggerate when I estimate the number of Buffalo which could be comre[hend]ed at one view to amount to 3000."
-Meriwether Lewis, Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Which part of their journey do you think Lewis is describing here?