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The Lewis and Clark Expedition

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Gillie Yanoff

on 8 February 2013

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Transcript of The Lewis and Clark Expedition

The Lewis and Clark Expedition By Gillie Yanoff 1803-1806 In 1803, the U.S. bought the Louisiana Purchase, 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi, from Napoleon (France). Thomas Jefferson appointed his secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead an expedition to explore the new land and, hopefully, find a water route that went all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis made his friend, William Clark, co-commander of the mission, and they formed the Corps of Discovery, their expedition party of about 40 men. Over the course of several years, they explored and, finally, reached the Pacific.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was important because they found that there is no direct water route across the continent. They also established relations with the Native American Tribes of that region, documented over 100 animal species, and over 170 plants. The Lewis and Clark Expedition also opened up the door to more explorations, and settlement of the Louisiana Territory. In 1803, the U.S. bought the Louisiana Territory from France, 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million. President Thomas Jefferson appointed his secretary Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition of their new land. Lewis chose his friend William Clark to co-command the mission though he was not recognized as such by the government. Together they formed the Corps of Discovery, their expedition team, made up of around 40 men. The goal of the mission was to see if there was a water route that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The team spent the winter in St. Louis waiting for the transfer ceremony making the purchase official. The expedition officially started in May. In September, 1804, the expedition ran into the Teton Sioux, a Native American tribe. They demanded that they hand over a boat before they could pass. When they refused, the Teton Sioux threatened violence and the expedition party prepared to fight. Both sides retreated without a fight. The party traveled up the Missouri River. The Corps of Discovery spent the winter with the Mandan Indians, at a fort they built named Fort Mandan. They continued up the Missouri to what is now known as Three Forks, Montana, and then continued down the Jefferson River. In spring, 1805, the expedition party set out with several new members, a French trapper and his wife, a Shoshone Indian named Sacagawea, and later on, their baby. They had to carry their boats 18 miles to get around the Great Falls of the Missouri. It took 2 weeks. The Corps of Discovery met the Shoshone Indians, and Sacagawea was reunited with her tribe. They helped the team cross the mountains to the Columbia River. On July 3, the expedition split up into several groups to better explore the region. They each continued down their separate rivers until they flowed back into the Missouri River, where they met back up and continued the rest of the way home together. Thanks for Watching!!! Works Cited Briney, Amanda. "Lewis and Clark.' About.com Geography. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb 2013. geography.about.com/od/historyofgeography/a/lewisandclark.htm Lewis and Clark Expedition (United States History)." Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/338232/Lewis-and- Clark-Expedition. Perry, Douglas. "The Lewis and Clark Expedition." Lewis and Clark Expedition. National Archives, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/lewis-clark Garcia, Jesus. Et al. Creating America. McDougall Littel. Evanston, IL. 2001. The team spent the winter at Fort Clatsop and then started back home. They continued down the Columbia River, until in November, 1805, they finally reached the Pacific Ocean. The Lewis and Clark Expedition discovered that there is no direct water route across the country. They documented over 100 animal species such as the Grizzly Bear, Mountain Lion, and North American Porcupine, and over 170 plants, such as the Large Monkey Flower, Hair Grass, and the Prickly-pear cactus. They set up relations with many Native American tribes of that region such as the Shoshone, Nez Pierce, and Kickapoo. This expedition also paved the way for many more explorations in the future. Back in St. Louis, the group was met with a grand reception. Lewis and Clark received 1600 acres of land each, and the others received 320 acres each. Lewis was appointed governor of Upper Louisiana Territory and Clark became an Indian agent.
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