Lewis and Clark Expedition

In 1803, after the successful negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty with France, President Thomas Jefferson initiated an exploration of the newly purchased land under the supervision of his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809) and the renowned frontier explorer, William Clark (1770–1838). Jefferson requested extensive documentation of the area’s geography, plants, animals and environment as well as peoples. He also wished to find a Northwest Passage for trade with Asia. The famed Lewis and Clark expedition or “Corps of Discovery” began in 1804 and lasted until 1806. Aided by the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark proved overland travel to the Pacific to be possible and produced detailed maps, recordings of variations in flora and fauna, and reports on river systems.

Further Readings: 
  • Huser, Verne. On the River with Lewis and Clark. College Station: Texas A&M University. Press, 2004.