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Lewis Clark The Journey Of The Corps Of Discovery

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Last Updated: 06 November 2020

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After reaching the Pacific Ocean in November 1805, Corps established Fort Clatsop, near present-Day Astoria, Oregon, as its winter quarters. Then, on March 23 1806, weary explorers head for home. Louis. They retrieve their horses from Nez Perce Indians and cross the Bitterroot Mountains. The expedition separated into two parties near today's Lolo, Idaho, to explore the country more thoroughly on the return trip; groups would be apart for more than a month. During that time, Lewis' company was attacked by Blackfoot warriors, two of whom were killed in fighting, Expedition's only bloodshed. Shortly afterward, half-blind private Pierre Cruzatte mistook Lewis for elk and shot him in the thigh. By the time Lewis was reunited with Clark, his leg was nearly mend. Reaching. Louis on September 23 1806, Clark note, we were met by all the village and received Harty welcome The Corps' 8 000-mile Journey was Over. Sgt. John Ordway Sergeant Ordway, one of the original members of the Corps, had helped organize the Expedition's first winter camp nearby Louis. Like other sergeants, Ordway kept a journal, but he was the only one to record daily entries. On September 21 1806, as Corps reach. Charles, Ordway write: towards evening we arrived Charles fired three rounds and camped at the lower end of the town. People of town gathered on the bank and could hardly believe that it was the US for they had heard and had believed that we were all dead and were forgotten that fall, Ordway also accompanied Lewis and a delegation of Mandan and Osage Indians to Washington, DC to discuss future US trade with these tribes. He later sold his journal to Lewis and Clark for 300, and moved to the Missouri Territory, where he married and began farming land near New Madrid. In December 1811, three major earthquakes struck the area; between 500 and 1 000 people perish. By time the fifth earthquake hit, February 7 1812, scarcely houses remained standing, and New Madrid had become a ghost Town. Little is known of Ordway after this; scholars speculate his farmland may have been rendered useless by earthquakes and that he died in poverty. Capt. Meriwether Lewis on September 23 1806, Lewis wrote to President Jefferson: it is with pleasure that I anounce to you the safe arrival of myself and party. In obedience to your orders, we have penitrated the Continent of North America to the Pacific Ocean, and sufficiently explored the interior of the country to affirm with confidence that we have discovered the most practicable route which dose exist across the Continent by means of navigable branches of Missouri and Columbia Rivers. Both Lewis and Clark were generously rewarded for their services, each receiving large parcels of land and double pay. President Jefferson appointed Lewis Governor of the Territory of Upper Louisiana in March 1807; inexplicably, Lewis waited a year before going to. Louis to take up his new duties.

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Commissioning and preparation

Meriwether Lewis was an intelligent and literate man who also possessed skills as a frontiersman. Lewis solicited the help of William Clark due to Clark's abilities as draftsman and frontiersman, which were even stronger than Lewis's. Lewis so respected Clark that he made him co-commanding Captain of Expedition, even though Clark was never recognized as such by the government. Jefferson hopped that Lewis and Clark would find a water route linking the Columbia and Missouri rivers. This water link would connect the Pacific Ocean with the Mississippi River system, thus giving new western land access to port markets outside of the Gulf of Mexico and to Eastern cities along the Ohio River and its minor tributaries. At time, American and European explorers had only penetrate what would become each end of the Lewis and Clark Trail up Missouri several miles to trapper headquarters at Fort Mandan and up Columbia just bit over a hundred miles to a point little beyond present-day Portland, Oregon. Lewis and Clark Expedition paddles its way down Ohio as it prepares Expedition to be launched officially from Camp Wood, just outside. Louis, in summer of 1804. That summer and fall, a company of explorers paddle and pull themselves upstream, Northwest on the Missouri River to Fort Mandan, trading post, where Corps of Discovery set up Camp, winter, and prepare for journey to the Pacific. When the spring of 1805 brought high water and favorable weather, Lewis and Clark Expedition set out on the next leg of its journey. They travel up Missouri to present-day Three Forks, Montana, wisely choosing to follow the western-most tributary, Jefferson River. This route delivers explorers to the doorsteps of the Shoshone tribe, who were skilled at traversing the Great rock Mountains with horses. Once over the Bitterroot Mountains, Corps of Discovery shape canoe-like vessels that transport them swiftly downriver to the mouth of Columbia, where they winter at Fort Clatsop, on the present-day Oregon side of the River. With journals in hand, Lewis, Clark, and other members of Expedition return to. Louis by September 1806 to report their findings to Jefferson. Along the way, they continued to trade what few goods they still had and set up diplomatic relations with Native American tribes. Additionally, they record their contact and describe the shape of the landscape and creatures of this western world that were new to them. In doing so, they fulfil many of Jefferson's wishes for the Expedition. Along the way, William Clark drew a series of maps that were remarkably detail, noting and naming rivers and creeks, significant points in the landscape, shape of the River shore, and spots where Corps spend each night or camp or portaged for longer periods of time. Later, explorers used these maps to further probe the western portion of the Continent.

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Louisiana Purchase

Explorer Meriwether Lewis, who joined William Clark to blaze trail across the continent to the Pacific Ocean, was born in August 18 1774, near Charlottesville, Virginia. Lewis grew up roaming woods of Albemarle County, near Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson assumed the presidency in 1801, he selected Lewis as his private Secretary. Two years later, Jefferson appointed Lewis to lead exploration of Louisiana Purchase, vast Territory that the US acquired from France in 1803. Know as Corps of Discovery, expedition set out from Camp River Dubois on May 14 1804, heading Northwest on the Missouri River. They hop to discover the Northwest Passagea, water route to the Pacific Ocean. Expedition winter in present-day North Dakota, travel to what is now Montana, and reach the mouth of the Columbia River in present-day Washington before returning to. Louis on September 23 1806. Lewis and Clark keep detailed journals of their three-year journey. Originally published in 1814, journals generate excitement about unknown regions and diminish Easterners ' fears about venturing beyond Mississippi. Captain Lewis & Clark holding council with Indians. Philadelphia: print For Matthew Carey, 1810. Prints & Photographs Division For their part in the three-year adventure, Lewis and Clark each received 1 600 acres of public land. Popular acclaim led to Lewis ' assumption of governorship of Louisiana Territory and Clarks ' appointment as governor of Missouri Territory. Meriwether Lewis died of mysterious circumstanceseither by suicide or murderon October 11 1809. First Snow of Season in Foothills of Little Belt Mountain, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Meagher County, Montana. Russell Lee, photographer, Aug. 1942. Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Color Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

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The Expedition Begins

The United States only pays about three cents an acre for land, which stretches from the Mississippi River in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West and from the Gulf of Mexico in the South to the Canadian border in the North. Spain still owns much of the southwestern part of whatas now the United States, stretching from the area that would become Texas to present-day California. Purchasing this enormous amount of land was one thing, but exploring it was another. Jefferson wanted to plan an expedition to investigate the territory. He called propose mission Voyage of Discovery and began assembling a team of explorers called Corps of Discovery. The President chose Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark to lead the expedition. Lewis, President Jeffersonas personal secretary, was an officer in the United States Army and spoke several Native American languages. Lewis recommended Clarkaa, a retired officer who had served alongside him in the Armyaas expeditionas co-leader.

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Fort Mandan

The site of original Ft. Mandan, named in honor of the neighboring tribe and hosts of Lewis and Clark, is in some dispute, except for the fact that it currently is under waters of the Missouri River. Missouri has changed course many times over the years since Ft. Mandan was build, but no changes were as dramatic as when Garrison Dam was constructed in the 1950's. Part of the Pick-Sloan Plan, Garrison submerge many sites behind it and further altered the downstream path of the already wandering River. Another Pick-Sloan Dam, Oahe in South Dakota, also submerge number of historic sites along the river. Reconstruction of Ft. Mandan currently exists approximately two miles south of Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, North Dakota. Hours: State Museum and Store: 9 am-4 pm M-F; sit. & Sun. 11 am-4 pm We are closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. We are open until noon on Christmas Eve. State Archives: 9 am-4 pm M-F, except State holidays; 2 Sat. Each month, 11 am-4 pm State Historical Society offices: 8 am-5 pm M-F, except State holidays.

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Fort Clatsop

Bedraggle and harry Corps finally reach stormy Pacific Ocean in November of 1805. Theyd completed their mission and had to find a place to live for winter before heading home. They decided to make a camp near present-Day Astoria, Oregon, and start building Fort Clatsop on December 10 and move in by Christmas. It was not an easy winter at Fort Clatsop. Everyone struggled to keep themselves and their supplies dry and fought ongoing battle with tormenting fleas and other insects. Almost everyone was weak and sick with stomach problems, hunger or influenza-like symptoms.

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Pompeys Pillar

Pompeys Pillar National Monument overlooks the Yellowstone River, approximately 25 miles east of Billings, Montana. Pompeys Pillar is a sandstone butte that bear signature of Captain William Clark of Lewis and Clark Expedition, and date, July 25 1806, when he passed along Yellowstone during his return journey. Although Captain Clark refers to this sandstone outcropping in journal as Pompeys Tower, it may have been named in honor of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagaweas son, whom he had given the nickname Pomp. The Pompeys Pillar Interpretive Center opened in 2006 and provides exhibits relating to Clarks ' 1806 journey through Yellowstone Valley. The 5 700-square foot Center also highlights native culture, flora, fauna, story of the Corps of Discovery Expedition, and the historical legacy of the Pompeys Pillar. The Gift store, operated by Friends of Pompeys Pillar, is also located at the Interpretive Center.

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Lewis and Clark Expedition Legacy

No exploration of Oregon Country has greater historical significance than the Voyage of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Historians and geographers judge the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which brought more than thirty overland travelers into the Columbia River Basin in 1805-1806, as the most successful North American land exploration in US history. Officially called Corps of Volunteers for North West Discovery, expedition was carried out under auspices of the US Department of War, with presidential and congressional authorization. Expeditionary force left the Mississippi River Valley in spring 1804, traveling up the Missouri River to the Continental Divide, then down Snake and Columbia Rivers West to the Pacific Ocean, and returning East on Columbia, Yellowstone, and Missouri Rivers to. Louis in September 1806. Explorers travel more than eight thousand miles, by water and land, in boats, on horseback, and by foot. The journey takes just over twenty-eight months, and only one member of the Corps die, result of disease. They meet hundreds of native people from dozens of groups along the exploration route, mostly under friendly or conciliatory conditions, but not without conflict. They also catalog hundreds of new plant and animal species unknown to science of day. The origins and ambitions of the expedition reach back more than two decades before explorers crossed the Continental Divide in August 1805; but nine months the Corps of Discovery spent in Oregon Country left a lasting imprint on the region, while their reports describe it for larger world. Principal legacy of Lewis and Clark Expedition is accounts of journey recorded in Journals written by Captains and five other members of the Corps. Maps, principally the work of William Clark, provide the first detailed topographic representations of interior landscapes of Oregon Country. Expedition also represents international claim for United States on northern Pacific region West of Continental Divide, claim nation used in negotiations over hegemony in the Pacific Northwest during mid-nineteenth century. Perhaps most important, interactions between members of the Corps and Indigenous people leave legacies that influence subsequent relations between Natives and non-Natives in the Pacific Northwest. The presence of a native woman among the expeditionary force Sacagawea makes her one of the most recognized female historical figures in Oregon and US history. For these and other reasons, Corps of Discovery is one of the most important episodes in the history of Oregon. More than any other person, President Thomas Jefferson was responsible for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Beginning in the early 1780s, Jefferson imagined scientific exploration of the interior of North America that would catalog flora and fauna and thoroughly map vast reaches between the Mississippi River and Pacific Ocean. He offers some hints at his intentions in Notes on State of Virginia, his extended work on the North American environment and culture that highlights how little was known about the continent.

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Discovering Diplomacy

One of the main missions of the Corps was to establish friendly, commerce-base relationships with many Native people they would encounter on their journey. According to historian James Ronda, Lewis and Clark share naive optimism typical of so much Euro-American frontier diplomacy. They believe they could easily reshape upper Missouri realities to fit their expectations. To the surprise of explorer-diplomats, virtually all Indian parties prove resistant to change and suspicious of American motives. Over the course of their journey, Corps would encounter tribes including Nez Perce, Mandans, Shoshones and Sioux. Many of these tribes would offer invaluable assistance in the form of directions, food and wisdom regarding the West. They would also introduce Corps to traditions never seen by Americans, including Sioux scalp Dance. Clark describes the scene: large fire make in the Center, about 10 musitions playing on tamberins made of hoops & skinwith deer & Goats Hoofs tie so as to make gingling noise and many others of similar kind, Those men begin to Sing & Beet on Temboren, women come forward highly Deckerated in theire way, with Scalps Trofies of war & proceed to Dance war Dance. With invaluable Sacagawea, who acts as translator and guide, men journey up the Missouri River into Montana. In June 1805, working with descriptions given them by Native Americans, they discover the Great Falls of Missouri, making them the first Americans to see them. Lewis described awe-inspiring sight: I had proceded on this course for about two miles. Whin my ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of the fall of water and advancing a little further, I saw spray arrise above the plain like a collumn of smoke. Soon begin to make roaring too tremendious to be mistake for any cause short of the Great Falls of Missouri.

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Sources

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